Some of the things from Tuesday and Wednesday spent researching Sunday’s article about how GPS collars allow hunters to keep full-time track of their dogs.
- Ted Gartner, of Garmin International, is very addicted to hunting birds with bird dogs. Given a choice, he’d much rather walk open expanses of prairie for things like bobwhites or sharptail grouse than milo rows or fencelines for pheasants.
- There’s not much middle ground when it comes to English pointers. It seems like they’re either out-of-control, bird-flushing headaches or some of the most beautiful and effective working canines on the planet. It was fun to watch three-year-old LuLu, Gartner’s pointer, doing what she was born to do. The bloody tip from her always wagging tail smacking wild plum and other brush shows she was having a great time, too.
- Gartner was one of several bird hunters who have trekked to western Kansas to hunt lesser prairie chickens last week. News that the feds will probably close the season when they list the birds as “threatened” means time is running out for those that want to experience the great gamebird. Most have seen quite a few lessers on their hunts, and succeeded in getting a bird.
- Quail were pretty plentiful, with Gartner and host Tom Turner averaging about five coveys per half-day hunt.
- The photo of LuLu on point, with the quail visible a few inches in front of her face is one I’ve been hoping to get for many years. Most people don’t realize how difficult it usually is to see the well-hidden birds. This male quail was probably a bit more visible because it felt secure with a small cedar above its head. It was impressive that LuLu held the point for several minutes, and didn’t budge as I literally crawled in to take a series of photos.
- There’s no question that walking in the rolling, foot-grabbing sandhills for lesser prairie chickens or quail is far more physically challenging than any other kind of habitat in Kansas. My hips hurt more than having spent as much time wading through thick CRP grass.