Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Home : Main Forums : Duck Boat/Hunting Forum :

Keeping the duck dog busy. Final update, 10/26.

(Page 1 of 3)
Quote Reply
Keeping the duck dog busy. Final update, 10/26.
I've been keeping busy with the duck dog in the nearly duckless West.

I'm on my first solo road trip in a long while. Beaver and I headed West a month ago and we have been scouting and hunting in preparation for the archery elk opener.

They call Montana big sky country, but I say - pfffft, Wyoming has some skies too.












Beaver has been a machine. He is the oddest, most loving, lovable, curious and somehow begrudgingly tractable dog. He is in the running for best dog ever award.


Needs lot of fetching.




He is even featured at Cabela's


Napping in the wilds on a break.


Had some hot weather.


Lots of nice views.


We spent the last weeks of August scouting for elk. We found sign.

Warm and steamy, we found the elk that made the deposit about 5 minutes later.


Warm and steamy donor. Interacting with this elk, I knew Beav and I could get it done. This was the proof I needed that I could kill an archery elk with a dog at my side.


Found several wallows. Nice for a dog to cool off in if you want your dog (and your bed, eventually) to smell like anaerobic mud and elk piss.


I'd like to know what his nose is telling him.


More rubs.


Earlier in August when the bulls were loosing their velvet, we found a lot of it. Beaver was particularly interested in it, like jerky maybe.


Elk on the hoof, bumped from their bed.


Season opened September 1 and the temps were hot and the action was slow, but there was action. I heard bugles most days and saw elk and lots of fresh sign and interacted with some bulls.

We sat water holes several mornings and afternoons when it was so hot. There was a bull using a wallow that we sat and had several close encounters. These moose visited several times. We also saw a radio collared mule deer and fawn.


With the change in temps (much cooler) and with the entrance of an early how cow, the mountainside I was on came alive. The bull I was on was displaying to a bedded cow that had been pushed all over the mountainside by multiple bulls (could hear them screaming). I pushed them until she bedded down and wouldn't move. In our given setup, I tried to thread the needle through a perfect vital sized gap made of 4 trunks (2 horizontal and 2 vertical) and came up short. 20 minutes later I was able to get it right through the same window.


First blood. It took 50 yards to start, but once it did, there was no question how it would end.


Archery success. This was a pretty good unit that took quite a few points, but I decided that the first 6x6 in range would not get passed on. I got to experience what I was looking for, far beyond what I was hoping. I had multiple days of bugling bulls and worked several over the days, with this one screaming more than I could have imagined.


As found.


Progress by midnight.


Meat stacked to chill in the freezing temps. It was glorious, the frost appeared by 9 pm, but it did not get much below freezing, so the meat chilled quickly, but didn't freeze.


Celebratory bourbon at 1 am!


Reward lunch after missing dinner the day before packing meat.


Trip is going well is the report. I'm cutting meat for the freezer for the next couple days.

Last edited by:

tod osier: Oct 26, 2022, 2:15 PM
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Wow, congratulations!
That's an excellent archery bull. What an adventure...and nice beaver.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Ah Nuts!"

http://snipehunterfishart.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Tod,

Thanks for sharing your hunt. I had been wondering what you were up to this year. You know, you could have swung thru Shell Rock and lightened your load just a bit on your way home. Wink
Love the fall in the mountains. One year my elk hunt got interrupted by 25 inches of snow overnight.

Nice bull and great story. You shooting a cross bow?

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Good Job! Now go get Beaver some DUCKS!

---------------------------------------------------------------------
***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***


Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, Kodi, and Otter
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
TimJ wrote:
Wow, congratulations!
That's an excellent archery bull. What an adventure...and nice beaver.


Thanks Tim, good to see you here!

The Beaver jokes have not gotten old! I still laugh (to myself) every time.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Tod,

Thanks for sharing your hunt. I had been wondering what you were up to this year. You know, you could have swung thru Shell Rock and lightened your load just a bit on your way home. Wink
Love the fall in the mountains. One year my elk hunt got interrupted by 25 inches of snow overnight.

Nice bull and great story. You shooting a cross bow?



Thanks Dave. Well here is your chance, I'm not headed home for another several weeks, I'll stop by!!!! :).

I have 2 pronghorn tags to fill and I want to get Beaver on some sage grouse!!!! Lot of plans ahead. If I get bored I may even fish, since they give you a free license with your elk tag.

Yes on the crossbow. I like everything about it, except carrying it.

Last edited by:

tod osier: Sep 11, 2022, 10:02 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Phil Nowack wrote:
Good Job! Now go get Beaver some DUCKS!


Thanks! That is the plan, but will probably have to wait until I get home.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Freaking AWESOME Tod
.
.
.
.
A LOT OF MEMORIES IN A MAN'S STOOL........
Duck hunting without a dog is just shooting
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Outstanding!!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Those pictures are so vivid I think I can even smell the dung. What a trip! Holy jeez what a trip! Congratulations. Dang, you don't half ass any trip out west. Great stuff

Eric
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
That is a great looking bull and by all means you sure earned it. Congratulations, Tod. Your pictures were outstanding. Thanks for the story.
Al

Out of plain curiosity, how far did you have to pack the meat to your truck? Hopefully not too far.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Thank you for sharing this! i enjoyed your pictures and your dog looks so happy! congrats on the Elk!
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Bob M wrote:
Freaking AWESOME Tod


Thanks Bob, I'll never forget the experiance.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Eric Patterson wrote:
Those pictures are so vivid I think I can even smell the dung. What a trip! Holy jeez what a trip! Congratulations. Dang, you don't half ass any trip out west. Great stuff

Eric


To not half ass some things, you have to half ass others - and I'm not particularly good at compromise so there is always a struggle, but I'm glad I'm able to make it work.

Thanks!
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:
That is a great looking bull and by all means you sure earned it. Congratulations, Tod. Your pictures were outstanding. Thanks for the story.
Al

Out of plain curiosity, how far did you have to pack the meat to your truck? Hopefully not too far.


Thanks Al, it is amazing what photos a phone will take these days. Love always having a camera on me.

As you know, sometimes the real "trophy" is how close to the truck you get a big animal down. I'd been hunting back a mile or two off the road, but I ran into this action very close to the truck AND he ran downhill in his death run, through windblown timber to die at the edge of a meadow. Pack out was 10 minutes from animal to truck without a load and a little more with 80-90 pounds on my back. :).
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Awesome Tod!!!! That's a very nice bull and pretty cool that Beaver is hunting with you so well. How much longer are you out there?

For sure WY has some wide open, gorgeous scenery. The woods are also pretty open. See any grouse?
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
tod osier wrote:
Pack out was 10 minutes from animal to truck without a load and a little more with 80-90 pounds on my back. :).


Work smarter, not harder.





Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Dani wrote:
Awesome Tod!!!! That's a very nice bull and pretty cool that Beaver is hunting with you so well. How much longer are you out there?


For sure WY has some wide open, gorgeous scenery. The woods are also pretty open. See any grouse?



Thanks Dani, I'm super pleased with the bull and it was really great having Beaver with me. The first close bugle he heard at the start of the season was a really aggressive mean sounding bull right at dark and Beaver looked at me like WTF was that animal????? it is going to eat us??? ??!!? and he wanted to head for the truck.

I have a really open schedule this fall, I could stay all fall if I wanted, but the cold and missing home will push me east before that. I'd like to stay through September. Sage grouse opens up the 17 and runs through the 30th, we have found some good numbers of sage grouse in a couple pockets. As far as regular grouse (mountain grouse - ruffs and duskys) we have put on way over 100 miles hunting and scouting in what looks like prime habitat and if my count is right, we have seen 10 or 12. Two groups of ruffs and 2 of blues. I also have the 2 antelope tags, and I want to make that hunt last as long as possible, since those tags were a lot of points to draw.

We had a little "bump in the road" today. Beaver tore a toenail running off some steam fetching. We just got back from the vet, who took the whole nail off under sedation. She thought he would be good as new in a couple days (minus the nail). This is the second nail he tore, I hope this is the end of it.

Patient under sedation.

Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Work smarter, not harder.


I thought it was pretty smart to shoot him a quarter mile from the truck and have him run towards the truck. :).

Beaver is a hurtin' unit now, he isn't travoising anything for a couple days.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
tod osier wrote:

We had a little "bump in the road" today. Beaver tore a toenail running off some steam fetching. We just got back from the vet, who took the whole nail off under sedation. She thought he would be good as new in a couple days (minus the nail). This is the second nail he tore, I hope this is the end of it.


Ouch

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Huntindave McCann wrote:
Ouch


What I will say is that it was fast and inexpensive to take care of. What would have taken half a day and cost $400 in CT took 15 minutes and cost 1/3 of what it would have.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
How are Beavers' feet holding up otherwise? Sucks about the torn nail...I've had that happen a couple times but have always been able to just cut the nail back...never was so problematic that we needed to mellow the dog out to get it taken care of. If Beaver is like Drake or B, he'll hardly notice it....they always noticed when the nail was still present but it was a huge relief once it was cut back.

Bummer about the mountain grouse. Those woods where the elk were look pretty open (WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more open than I ever shot grouse in) and all the trees seem to be the same age. What I recall at least about ruffs is that they like younger tracts of woods but I could be misremembering.

Are the antelope tags also archery? Or one archery and one general gun?

Feel free to give Beaver some "feel better cookies" from me and Belle
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Been wondering where you were or if your just up and retired. Looks like a great trip to some great country. Congrats on the bull he is a dandy. Wild that Beaver accompanied you every step of the way. Love the photos. A lot more steady than my duck dog would be. He barks at the elk on the farm.
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Dani wrote:
How are Beavers' feet holding up otherwise? Sucks about the torn nail...I've had that happen a couple times but have always been able to just cut the nail back...never was so problematic that we needed to mellow the dog out to get it taken care of. If Beaver is like Drake or B, he'll hardly notice it....they always noticed when the nail was still present but it was a huge relief once it was cut back.


Bummer about the mountain grouse. Those woods where the elk were look pretty open (WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more open than I ever shot grouse in) and all the trees seem to be the same age. What I recall at least about ruffs is that they like younger tracts of woods but I could be misremembering.

Are the antelope tags also archery? Or one archery and one general gun?

Feel free to give Beaver some "feel better cookies" from me and Belle



In lieu of cookies, how about an elk leg bone to chaw on. :).



As for the toenail injury, be glad that you haven't had a bad one with your pups. I hadn't ever had a problem until August and now I'm at 2 of them with Beaver. To give you and idea of what it looked like, the nail was split from tip to base and spread open with the bloody quick completely exposed. He was a hurting unit, really must have hurt. He is not looking very good today. I'm going to rebandage to see what it looks like. Feet are holding up good, we have been in a lot of rock and rough terrain. Doesn't seem like he will had issues with pad wear.

Most tags in WY for Deer, Elk, Antelope are rifle tags and then you pay for an archery tag on top of that to extend the season (there are archery only tags too, but less of them). So for the elk, I could archery hunt Sept 1-30 and then rifle October 1-31. Antelope is similar, just different dates. I'll rifle hunt for Antelope, since that is open now. I'm no purist, I'll use the longest range weapon possible. For elk the rut coincides with archery, that is what makes it desirable to me. For antelope I have an "any antelope", which amounts to a buck tag (same with the elk tag) and I have a second antelope tag that is a doe/fawn.

I agree on the grouse habitat in the photos, but there is quite a bit of good looking stuff too. The Biologist said that there were OK grouse numbers, but the Game Warden said that mountain grouse numbers were pretty low and they were hard to find. I was excited that we might find some good numbers, but in the end, I'm glad that we didn't have that distraction. With Beaver getting birdy and going wild woudl have hurt the elk hunting for sure.

Last edited by:

tod osier: Sep 13, 2022, 6:56 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Keeping the duck dog busy. In reply to
Brad Bortner wrote:
Been wondering where you were or if your just up and retired. Looks like a great trip to some great country. Congrats on the bull he is a dandy. Wild that Beaver accompanied you every step of the way. Love the photos. A lot more steady than my duck dog would be. He barks at the elk on the farm.


We did make some serious progress on the retirement clock this year, so I'm even closer than I was and I'm sooo ready :), but no, not retired - yet!

Beaver was pretty good with the elk. He did huff at a couple early on, but didn't mess up any encounters. There is a lot of windblown timber in the unit, so it was tougher than just getting him to heel, to keep him close, since we were having to navigate a pretty complex landscape. Most of the time he was out in front doing his thing, but he pays attention to my movements like no dog I've had and he pops right back if I make a noise to come. The elk we got close to didn't seem bothered by him if they saw him.