Lost River Gemstone on the left and his son Lost River Hercules on the right

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12/17 and 12/18 2010

  The bad weather sure messed with our plans we were going to take to camper north on Thursday but a 1/4" of ice put an end to that but I got up at 3:15 Friday morning and pulled out of the driveway at 4:21 AM with Gem, Maggie, Jet and Ammo and headed north.  I picked up my hunting partner Scott Williams at Bedford around 5:30 and we headed North towards Kentland IN.  We arrive in Kentland around 9:00 and stopped at the little Mom and Pop resturant and had a big breakfast.  After we ate we went to the local hardware store and checked out a lead on some private ground to hunt.  The gentleman was quite gracious and allowed us to hunt his ground.  The habitat looked really good but we did not see a bird in fact I did not even see any tracks in the snow.  We asked to hunt a couple of other spots and we were turned down.  They were all quite nice but didn't allow hunting so we went to railroad tracks where I have hunted for years.  We've killed several roosters on this property and always at least flushed a few hens but not this year.  I hunted this patch the day after Thanksgiving and again Friday and we did not see a bird not even any tracks in the snow on this area too.  I hunted all 4 dogs Gem and Maggie got the short run the snow was pretty deep and the walking was hard so they both wore out pretty quick. 
  Scott and I got a room at the motel 8 around 3:00 and decided to call it a day and rest up for the big hunt an Saturday.  The motel 8 was not pet friendly no dogs allowed, can you believe that!  We went to KFC and got some supper and brought it back to the room to eat.  But I couldn't let Gem sleep in the truck so I picked him up and Scott threw his coat over him and then he stayed between Gem and I and the cameras and we snuck him in.  Never heard a peep out him and I didn;t even have to get up in the middle of the night to walk him.  Scott conked out around 9:00 and Gem stretched out beside him and he let out a big groan and that is where I found him at 6:20 the next morning.  I told Scott he stole my dog I expected Gem to sleep with me but the traitor stayed in bed with him.  The rest of the dogs slept in the truck I had packed the dog boxes with straw and they were quite comfortable.  Went out to walk the dogs first thing in the morning and it was 7 degrees dang cold but a great day to hunt.  We ate breakfast at the hotel and headed to the DNR habitat area near Fowler around 8:00.  Trent Temperly was supposed to be our third gun and he couldn't make it so he asked if his son, Callin could hunt with us and we said sure.  He was running a little late so we started with out him
  Callin is 20 years old and new daddy his daughter was born around Thanksgiving and he is quite the proud Papa.  Callin is quite a nice young man and I even suggested that I introduce him to my daughter but that didn't fly and I am sure it wouldn't have flown with Sara and her husband too. :).   He is in the reserves and going active duty in August Let's all wish Godspeed and safety while he is on active duty.
  Scott and I got to our hunting spot around 8:45 and hunting time was 9:00 so by the time we got everything in order and the collars on the dogs it was time to hunt, my thermometer in my truck said 10 degrees and it was pretty chilly but by the time we walked a little bit we warmed right up.  We started out with Gem and Maggie and made our first pass up the field no birds and no points on that pass but the snow was littered with tracks so we headed to the standing corn and decided to cover it on the pass back.  About 1/2 way down the corn Gem pointed and Maggie backed and no bird but about 30 yards or so up the corn rows the rooster flushed wild and Scott got a shot off but no luck.  While the dogs were on point the phone rang and I ignored it since the dogs were on point.  But once the point was what I thought was unproductive I called back and it was Callin making sure he had his directions right.  While I was talking to Callin is when the rooster flushed I yelled rooster, rooster at the top of lungs so Scott would know to shoot I yelled right in the phone and about busted Callin's ear.  Then another 50 yards or so up the field Maggie pointed and Scott could see the rooster running at the end of the corn and it flushed wild we never got a shot but by that time Callin arrived and was getting ready at his truck and the rooster flew right by him if he had been 2 minutes earlier he could've been out of his truck and his gun loaded and he could've probably got a shot at that bird.  Well we hooked up with Callin and the first rooster had flown to the end of the field landed so we decide to hunt the same side back and see if we could find him and we did Scott got off a shot but again he missed because he couldn't tell if was a rooster or a hen and he thinks he pulled off at the last minute.  This pass up the field was all Gem and Maggie could handle the trip back to the truck they basically just stayed in front of us.  The grass was deep and the snow was deeper and it just wore the 2 old warriors out de did not see anymore birds back to the truck.
  We hunted the rest of the this field and did not see another rooster but while Scott was crossing the creek to hunt that corner he flushed a small covey of quail there was only 6 birds in this covey so we left it alone and hopefull they will make it through the winter and muliply this spring and be huntable numbers next year.  While Scott was hunting the corner 2 hens flushed wild  and we headed bak to the truck by this time it was 11:30 and we drove to Fowler and ate some lunch at the local minimart and headed back out to hunt the next field We arrived at exactly noon.
  This pretty well covers the first half of the day I will finish this tomorrow my typing fingers are about worn to a nub!!  I am going to post a couple of pictures now and will do the same tomorrow.  I am also posting a link to facebook photo album.
  This was Gem and Maggie's swan song, they are officially retired.  Gem with his heart problems and Maggies age, 12, has really slowed them down.  It broke my heart to watch these 2 great dogs stuggle after only 45 minutes of hunting.  Both were great dogs and will always have a home at Lost River Kennels.  I was not supposed to hunt Gem at all the doctors at Purdue said he shouldn't hunt but I could not keep him from what he loved so I hunted him sparingly and let him enjoy his time afield but alas the time has come to let rest and just be my best buddy.  Below are the pictures I took Saturday of Gem and Maggie's last point.  I hope you enjoy.

Lost river Gemstone's last point

If you look down the corn row you will see Maggie's last point


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