Feb 26th

Late Southern Frost

By Gun Dog Dixie
We have had several weeks of warm weather here in Georgia, way too warm to work your dog. Not to worry cause before spring arrives we know there will be a frost or two. I learned this early from my Grandfather and Father; "don't plant anything but taters and onions before Easter son, the frost will get it".

True to form after temps in the 70's it is going to be 30 on Saturday so the scramble starts to find a bird supplier that might still have birds this late in the year. You see you can't waste a cold morning this time of year on anything except your dogs. Summer is coming and in Georgia that means oppressive and dangerous temps. Days turn to months and you dream of brown grass and long trips for wild birds. You make plans for training that will fix that retrieving problem or vow to have your dog healing to the field this year.

But back to the Frost. Birds have been found and you pick them up Saturday morning. If you are lucky, like I am, you have a friend with a farm that may still hold enough cover to hide quail. Dogs are in great shape as you have hunted and worked them for the last 6 months. The morning is clear and cool. You set your course and as you prepare your first dog the sun starts to melt away the morning crunch. Temps rise and so do scenting conditions. 20 minutes later Traveller is standing proud with a high head over the 5 bird covey you set. You stand there savoring the moment. Sun sitting low in the eastern sky, steam rising off the ground cold damp ground and your young dog holding Gentleman Bob, waiting for his hunting companion to come. Now you move in and everything works as it should. A fine covey rise ( the supplier has raised the birds correctly) a crisp report from a 28 gauge and a bird that only seconds ago was driving hard right to left finds its way to the ground, giving its life to you and the dog. You hold the little hen in your hands, admiring her beauty and appreciate what she has offered you. One can ask nothing more from a late Southern Frost.
Jan 28th

How I found my lost Garmin Astro 220

By Gun Dog Dixie
My brothers and I just returned from a great Kansas trip. At the end of one of the days hunts I noticed Randy patting his pockets and looking for something. What have you lost? "I have lost my Astro 220". The look on his face was, well what you would expect when someone has lost a $400 item that helps them keep track of big running bird dogs.

We were in the middle of the trip and although I had my Astro 220 we did not always hunt together. Just then Ricky (my other brother and his twin) chimed in about how you should have that thing tied to you or at least zip that pocket. No need to beat Randy up about it now what is done is done. It never occured to them that we could find it after an all day hunting trip over several sections of ground. We had hunted quail that day and were up and down hill sections
Jan 27th

Three weeks in Kansas, Bobs, Pheasant and WEATHER

By Gun Dog Dixie
We arrived a day before all of this weather passed across the country. Our first day out was extreme cold and blowing snow. My brothers ( Rick and Randy (twins)) headed out for pheasant early in the morning. We took 6 dogs with us. Must have plenty of dog power in these conditions.

We hunted both public land and WIHA and found the pheasant #'s to be limited. We killed birds when we found them but they were not exactly pouring out of the fields which for us was just fine. It was good for the dogs to work for the birds. Jack and Liz (our preserve shorthairs) performed like well oiled machines. Working close in the tall grass and giving us nice points and in range roosters that we took advantage of.

What we did not expect was the amount of quail that we found. The hunting was hard and you had to walk the plumb thickets and hills and river bottoms to find them but if you knew good habitat and went bird hunting you were rewarded with nice size coveys. Five coveys was our best day. This may not sound like much but when you live in an area where the quail that once ruled and are now gone forever this was the mother load.

I have some video to post and a few pics but it is hard to drive 1000 miles and video instead of hunt. The trip was not without its trying times. I had to change a flat late one evening as I watched Roosters come in and out of a Milo field that I had planned to hunt. Heading out early one morning and following the brothers truck cause I didn't know this area, I took a few well placed rocks to the windshield that will now have to be replaced.

On a personal note I took both species with 20, 16 and 12 gauge either o/u or sxs.
Dec 24th

Shooting Preserves make economical sense

By Gun Dog Dixie
When my money is tight and I can't save the $2000 it takes to get me from Georgia to SD and back for a few weeks I rely on the local shooting preserves to keep my gun and my dogs in shape. I can shell out $250 for the opportunity to bag 20 bob white, leave a good tip to the guide and most likely be home sleeping in my own bed that night. Now is that what I would rather do. Of course not. I'd rather be in a bird rich area where I might have the chance to point and shot a WILD pheasant, shaprtail, hun, chicken. Every year is not a good year and the money is not always there. My dogs deserve to be in the field. later