So I have been trying to get away from my normal hunting spots and venture out to find new places within a days drive from home. I decided a while ago that I wanted to try a few different wildlife areas, one on my list was the Indian Dan wildlife area near Pateros Washington.
I finally had a day where it worked out for me to go hunting, so I loaded up the dogs Remi and Lily took Maddy to daycare and we were off to Indian Dan.
On the way there I checked a few spots along the highway to see if I could jump some ducks in the river. I tried to put a sneak on a few ducks along the bank but could not find good enough cover to get close enough for a shot.
We arrived to the wildlife area and it was the first spot I ever hunted where you had to register to hunt. I filled out the card put the top half in the drop box and kept the lower half with me. I read all the info posted like the warning that the Sharp Tailed Grouse lived in this area and that all hunters should identify birds before shooting. In Washington State you can not shoot Sharp Tailed Grouse although I have never seen one "they" say they look a lot like hen pheasants.
We got to a frozen lake and I decided this was as good of a spot as any to start hunting. There was a rancher there who was getting ready to go look for some of his cows and I decided to ask him to share any knowledge he might have about where the quail are in this area. The rancher told me where to go, but told me that it was the same area he was going to be riding to look for his cows. I thanked him for the info and told him I would try that area another time.
I got the dogs out and we walked around the frozen lake, about half way around the lake Remi decided to disappear. Then the battle in my brain starts. Is she locked on point and should I look for her or is she off dicking around in front of me scaring up what ever is out there and should I call her back risking calling her off a point.
After looking for her for a few minutes I decided to call her........No answer. A few more minutes had passed and you could tell how pissed I was getting by the sound of my voice. Finally I see her about a half mile away and about 200 feet above me coming down a hill. I call her again to let her know where I was. Again the minutes start passing by. I start to think about all the horrible things I am going to do to her when she gets back. After a 1/4 mile hike in the wrong direction she catches up with me. I turned her over on her back and grabbed her snout and put my nose to hers and asked her "Where the HELL have you been?" Once she broke eye contact a few times I let her go. That will teach me to leave the Electric Collar at home.
We hiked up one ravine over the top and back down the main canyon. If my dogs found as many birds as they did cactus's we would of had a good day. But we decided to spend most of our time removing cactus chunks from dog legs, paws and one human thumb. (PS just getting pricked by one of those things.....It doesn't tickle.)
Even though we did not shoot any birds or see much of anything at all we did find a huge hornets nest made in a clump of grass, a mouse nest made out of Doritos yes that's right I said Doritos, out int he middle of no where. I also slid down three to four hundred feet of canyon slop in the snow in the baseball slide position. I figured it was a lot safer then trying to walk down it.
Over all I had a great hike and found a nice area to hunt. I can't expect to find all the birds the first time hunting there.