Life with the Llews in the UP

Hello Everyone!   I can’t believe we have been here a week already!! It’s rained everyday but one day since we’ve arrived but that hasn’t stopped us from getting out and hunting every day for at least several hours. Many of our hunts have been incredibly exciting!! I could sit here for hours and hours just writing about all the great play by play bird/dog action from the past week!!! But I don’t want to bore you to death especially given that I really don’t have access to upload photos of the dogs on point (haven’t taken any yet really due to the weather). The grouse are so crafty it’s ridiculous!! Certainly anyone that spends time with them will understand why they are dubbed The King of the decidous forest. Always fleeing before we arrived at them, running safe distances before flight, hiding in their bunker until you immediately pass, roosting in a nearby tree and take off careening in the other direction, sneaking to the other side of the hemlock then taking off…. and my favorite though I’m hoping they are not this smart…. getting back near the house flushing a grouse and it flying directly over my 500 gallon propane tank. So much for throwing Kyle a bone!! But in all seriousness— it’s been a blast!! My llews are in heaven and watching them work the grouse and woodcock is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Warms my heart, brings tears to my eyes and gets my adrenal going all at the same time. All the dogs improve with each hunt this early in the season and the transformation is always amazing to watch. My old girl Rogue is in her 11th hunt season (2nd in the UP) she a superstar even at her respected age. I only hunt her every third day or so and only have 1-2 hours. She runs as hard as my two year olds. For any of you Toby Keith (country singer) fans, there’s a song that has the main line goes—”I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was….” well that’s Rogue’s theme song these days and we spread her hunts out for that reason. Love my old girl!! Then there’s the trio!!— My three kids that all grew up together and are around two years old in their second hunt season. Last year I was super impressed with these young kids on grouse and woodcock. This year they are proving to be the dogs that I’ll be proud to call my foundation stock. Once the leaves are off the trees here hopefully we will get more shots at these feathered crouch rockets!!! Duncan’s drive, intensity yet cautiousness—Widget’s wicked crazy smart intelligence to figure everything out before the grouse does pointing nearly every grouse before it gets a jump—and my Pixel—my primal girl as I call her… she’s no nonsense, find those darn birds one by one and move onto the next. Then there’s Omiimii… my little devil child that I spoil rotten!!! WOW!! She doesn’t like when dad goes hunting without her!!! I have been taking her every single day on at least one hunt since this is her first season. I call her my ninja! She slices thru the woods in a sneaky way to frequently check the scent in the air from a stand still then selects her next route. She’s incredible on woodcock and has over a dozen grouse points in her first week of the hunting season. I love this 30 pound little bundle of crazy happy energy. lastly there are the two newest additions that I’ll take out in the woods in another week or two— Jolene and Eli. They are having a great time racing around the house and the yard and playing with everyone between my hunts. They are 4 mouths and one week old as of now. I usually don’t start bird work until around 6-7 months old with the llews but certainly since we are in the UP in October I gotta take them out a bit. So just giving them every little chance I can to get a little bigger and wiser. But their bird fun is soon to start too!! Ok well it’s 8am here and it’s time to suit up and get out and find some birds with the kids!! Have a happy and safe day out in the woods wherever you are!!