Good to catch up with you yesterday.  I wanted to share my recent hunting experience.

Edgard de L’Escarbot – 4 ½ yrs. old
Father – Soska
Mother – Abbie

Walk-in Hunting just east of Pollock, SD

“Hunting Dead”

John,  I wanted to share my recent “tracking” experience in South Dakota.  My good friend his Labrador and I were hunting a Walk-In area which was comprised of a large lake bordered by approximately 75 yards of the nasty, thick cattails.  We were walking in the grassy area beyond the cattails when Edgard sharply pointed a loafing Ringneck.  The bird burst from the scene and my friend and I shot simultaneously thinking the bird was dead and hit very hard.  As we reached the area the bird dropped, we were surprised to see that it was not there and had escaped (poor shooting).  The dogs heard the command, “Dead Bird, Find it” and began to work the area around where the bird had dropped.  After about a minute my friend called out that Edgard was on point on the edge of the cattails.  As I entered the cattails, I noticed Edgard locked down pointing a large clump of reeds and cattails.  I gave the command, “Fetch it up” and he raced into the clump followed by the Labrador.  Both dogs ran franticly trying to located the wounded bird with no luck.  This went on for about ten minutes with no bird to be found.  At that time my friend called his dog off the search and I gave three sharp whistle blasts to call back Edgard.  As my friend and his Labrador returned to the grassy area, I was having trouble calling the dog back.  Being that I use a Garmin Astro GPS unit for my dog I decided  to look at my receiver.  The unit showed his travel through the thick cattails in the direction of the lake..45 – 50 – 60 – 75 yards, then the unit beeped “on point”.  Thinking that he was on another bird, I trudged the 75 yards through the thickest cover I’ve ever been through to find the location of dog.  As I came within 5 yards I still could not locate the dog due to the heavy cover.  As I took one more step, I saw the dog just to my right in two foot of water, locked down tight with his nose just above the cattails.  I gave the command again, “Fetch it up” and he buried his head in the heavy cover grabbing the Rooster by the neck and dragging him out from under the cover delivering the bird to hand.  I couldn’t believe that he had tracked this crippled bird nearly 75 yards, through the thickest and wettest area I had ever seen!   We then made the nearly 100 yard journey back to my friend and his Labrador who I know thought we were on a wild goose chase. As we got closer I held up the crippled bird with true pride and my friend couldn’t believe what he saw. I think his words were, “WOW that is impressive”!    In all the time hunting with Edgard, I remember him tracking many crippled birds, but this one was the most impressive ever!


Dan Shirey
Birmingham, AL