Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us. We should get back to you within 24 hours. If not, it means we are out chasing birds with dogs, shotguns and Canons. In that case we will get back to you as soon as we've finished the roasted Teal and Bordeaux . 

 

464 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, MB, R3A 0X5

204-956-4708

Through words and images, we are on a mission to share our passion for pointing dogs, upland hunting and sporting dog photography. 

Pointing Dog Blog

Léo's First Rooster

Craig Koshyk

What to do for the next 99 days waiting until the hunting season opens? How about writing about our adventures from seasons past? Here is a story written by my beautiful wife Lisa Trottier about our pup Léo's first pheasant hunt:

As we do every year, we go to North Dakota to hunt pheasants. Last year we took Uma, our 13-year-old Pont-Audemer spaniel who still loves to hunt, and Leo, our 10-month-old Picardy spaniel. And I should mention that just seeing a Ponto and a Picardy on the same hunting grounds in North America is already a feat in itself!

Since Uma is now getting on in years and it was Léo's first hunting season, we weren't really expecting much. The main goal was to have fun with Uma and get Léo into some birds. Where we hunt, all the pheasants are wild. The are usually found in or near cat tails that surround the many ponds scattered across the huge fields of harvested grain.

We arrived in North Dakota in late afternoon after a 600 km road trip. We decided to let the dogs out to stretch their legs in a field that looked like it would be easy enough for a pup to run and hunt in. After twenty minutes of zooming around the field Leo caught scent of something and headed towards the reeds. I hear: "Point" so I rush to get into position.

Then Craig says: "Leo is on an awesome point, but I think the pheasant is running. I will see if he will do the 'coulé' (a technique that we had not yet taught Léo to do. In English is it called 'drawing on' and means getting a dog to cautiously follow a running bird after the bird has been pointed, but then tries to run off. The goal is to stay close enough so the bird doesn't sneak away yet far enough so that the bird hunkers down again for a point instead of flushing.)

I hear Craig say "coule.... coule..." (in English we'd say easy... easy..) but I can't see anything except his head and shoulders above the cat tails, about thirty yards away.

I keep watching and get into a better position. Once again I hear "Point!" and a few seconds later a big rooster comes cackling out from cover.

I shoulder my side-by-side and using my best Quebecois slang say "tu vas nulle part mon maudit!" (You ain't going nowhere bad boy!). I pull the trigger and the rooster crumples ... into the water!

Leo had never seen a pheasant, never pointed a pheasant or ever done the 'coulé' on a pheasant. Would he fetch one from water ...?

I could see the bird in the middle of the pond, but I couldn't see Leo since he was still in the reeds. But I heard Craig say "apporte!" (fetch!) and then "splash!" Leo leaped into the pond and was swimming like an otter. He rushed to the bird, grabbed it in his mouth, turned back and delivered it to hand. With huge smiles on our faces, we stood there, completely amazed and proud of our puppy!

We decided to finished the day on that note and headed back toward the truck. On our way, I said to Craig, "I'm so happy that I was able to make a good shot on Leo's first pheasant."

Surprised, Craig asked, "You shot?"

Me: "Well, yes!"

Craig: "I shot too, didn't you hear me?"

Me: "Not at all"

Craig: "Well I guess we shot at the exact same time."

We both thought that we were the one to hit the bird. But how could we find out for sure?

It turns out that it was pretty easy. You see, I was shooting copper-plated shot and Craig was shooting bismuth shot that has no copper-plating. So all we had to do was clean the bird and take a look at what kind of shot was in it.

Back at the hotel, we carefully inspected the big fat rooster. The verdict was a slam-dunk. Every single pellet we found was copper-plated. There wasn't a bit of bismuth in the bird at all.

So the honour of shooting Leo's first pheasant was all mine! Of course it took a lot of great teamwork, so it goes without saying that we were both absolutely delighted with the happy ending of Leo's first ever pheasant hunt. 





www.dogwilling.caEnjoy my blog posts? Check out my book Pointing Dogs, Volume One: The Continentals













Version française

Voici une petite histoire qui remonte à l'automne dernier alors que nous chassions, comme chaque année, le faisan au Dakota du Nord. Nous avions avec nous Uma, notre épagneule de Pont-Audemer de 13 ans qui aime toujours autant chasser, et Léo, notre épagneul picard de 10 mois. Il faut dire que trouver un Ponto et un Picard sur un même terrain de chasse en Amérique du Nord est déjà un exploit en soi!

Comme Uma est d'un âge vénérable et que Léo, le petit dernier, en était à sa première saison de chasse, nous avions des attentes raisonnables. L'important était surtout de mettre notre chiot en présence de gibier, en l'occurrence, cette fois-ci, de faisans. Là où nous chassons, les faisans sont naturels. Ils se tiennent normalement dans les roseaux autour des étangs épars dans d'immenses champs de blés ou autre moissonnés.

C'était la fin de l'après-midi et nous venions tout juste d'arriver après avoir fait 600 km de route et, pour dégourdir les pattes de nos chiens, nous avons choisi un champ ouvert qui nous paraissait assez facile pour un chiot. Après une vingtaine de minutes de quête vive et passionnée, Léo en levant la tête se dirige vers les roseaux. J'entends : «arrêt!» Je me mets alors en position en attendant la suite.

Craig annonce : «Léo fait un arrêt superbe, mais je crois que le faisan piète. Je vais essayer de le faire couler» (ce que Léo ne connaît pas encore…). J'entends : «Coule, coule». Je ne vois rien sauf les épaules et la tête de Craig qui avance d'une trentaine de mètres. Je suis aux aguets. Là encore : «arrêt!» Et après quelques secondes, un beau faisan glapit en émergeant des roseaux. J'épaule mon juxta en me disant : «toi, mon gros faisan, tu vas nulle part!» Et je tire un coup. L'oiseau tombe comme une roche… dans l'eau!

Jusque-là, Léo n'avait jamais chassé le faisan. Il n'avait donc jamais fait d'arrêt sur faisan. Il n'avait jamais fait la coulée non plus. Et maintenant, un rapport à l'eau…? Je voyais le faisan au beau milieu de l'étang, mais je ne pouvais pas voir Léo. J'ai entendu : «apporte», puis «plouf»! Léo nageait comme une loutre. Il s'est précipité vers l'oiseau, l'a pris dans sa gueule et l'a rapporté comme un pro. Avec un immense sourire accroché aux lèvres, nous étions totalement éblouis et fiers de notre chiot!

Nous avons terminé la journée sur cette bonne note et en allant vers la camionnette, j'ai dit à Craig : «Je suis tellement heureuse d'avoir pu tirer, et juste, sur le premier faisan de Léo». Craig me dit : «tu as tiré?» J'ai répondu : «ben oui!» Il me dit : «moi aussi j'ai tiré, tu ne m'as pas entendu?» J'ai répondu : « ben non! on a dû tirer en même temps». Craig était persuadé que c'était lui qui avait eu le faisan, et moi j'étais convaincue que c'était moi. Alors, comment le savoir?

Or, contrairement à Craig, je tire des grenailles couvertes d'une couche de cuivre. En préparant l'oiseau, nous n'avons trouvé que de la grenaille couverte de cuivre et pas une seule bille non couverte. C'est donc moi qui ai eu l'honneur de tirer le premier faisan de Léo! Mais en fait, quel beau travail d'équipe! Il va sans dire que nous étions tous les deux ravis.