A Farewell to Mooch the Pooch
Pheasants Forever’s Rooster Road Trip 2011 happens to be my last major pheasant hunting trip without a bird dog to call my own. And if ever there was a case study about the power of dogs when it comes to chasing ringnecks, this week has been it.
PF’s Bob St.Pierre, with his midst-of-her-prime shorthair, Trammell, has three times as many shot opportunities as me on this trip, and PF’s Andrew Vavra, with his coming-into-her-own lab, Beau, has twice as many shot opportunities as me. Me? All I have are my own two feet – “Mooch the Pooch” – sandwiched haplessly between these two trying to scratch out a bird off their scraps.
This is not to say I don’t fully enjoy my time afield; rather, I want that “next level” of pheasant hunting only made possible with a four-legged companion. The relationships Bob and Andrew have with their dogs is something I aspire to. This Rooster Road Trip has also been a crash course in what will be asked of me when I become a dog owner, a day that’s just five weeks away. In that respect, it’s been the ultimate training ground for the soon-to-be trainer.
But I’ve also grown impatient. I’ve waited a long time to get “My First Bird Dog.” I’ve appreciated Trammell and Beau’s field work. I’ve enjoyed watching Bob and Andrew’s wingshooting. And I’ve been a congratulatory bystander after either pair has earned a sporting rooster. But a part of me is also completely selfish and wants that all – for me. What mooch wouldn’t?
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts:
- Introducing “My First Bird Dog”
- What I’m Looking For
- Gun Dog Experts’ #1 Piece of Advice
- Just Show Me the DOGFAX
- Why Attend a Hunt Test or Field Trial?
- What Was Your First Bird Dog?
- Stuck Between Two Litters
- Rationalizing the Sticker Shock
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