Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Gems of Internet Scouting

Prior to a hunt, I always go through the ritual of looking at land available to hunt, and then cross-checking on Google Earth to verify suitable habitat for birds that would yield better-than-average hunting. I am doing it on a much larger scale for my trip to Montana. I happened to come across something that you wouldn't normally find on a topographical map...

Looks like a crater, right? Apparently it was a formed by a developing volcano that never came to fruition. From what I can tell, this land is open to public hunting. Birds or no birds, I think it would be a fun place to run dogs.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Some Bikejoring Tips

It's been more than a month, and I've bikejored with the dogs a dozen times now. I've only changed my rig a couple times and have come to something I'm happy with--at least enough that I'm not going to waste time monkey'ing with it. I try to road them every other, or every third day. It's not always possible, and I haven't been strict about the schedule, but they're getting worked enough. Here are a few things I've learned:

1. We always park and start in the same spot, go east some distance, and turn around and come back. With country roads in the 1-mile grid pattern, no need to get complicated. It makes planning a routine easier.

2. Water the dogs down head to toe before you start, they'll pull harder for longer.

3. If you can plan to go over a creek or by accessible pond, it's nice to be able to get the dogs wet again halfway through the exercise.

5. Wear a Camel-bak or something to water the dogs. Seeing a trend here? Also, it's best not to let them gorge themselves on water. It is better to give them small amounts every mile to wet their mouths, which helps them cool themselves.

4. I'm happy with a 10-minute mile pace, including breaks. That typically means 6-minute mile pace while running, or about 10mph. Any slower and the dogs kick into a trot instead of the gallop, and I'm sure the "power curve" ramps once they're into the gallop, as they are kicking off with both rear feet almost simotaneously.

5. Look into disc brakes before you buy a bike with traditional pads. I've nearly worn through the pads on my rear tire already. I'm not advocating discs, just check them out; they may be better from a functional and longevity standpoint.

6. Pull over and stop when a vehicle is about to pass you, no matter the direction. It'll make you, and them, feel better about it.

7. Don't overdo it. The dogs need their rest.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dog Sitting

Today three dogs come into my care for a few days. Wes is dropping off Doc for a long weekend away, and I'll also be taking care of Ted's two dogs, Dottie and Vegas. If it were October, I'd seriously consider loading them all up for a weekend away chasing birds, guns or no guns.