The Big Prairie In Michigan

While hunting Pine Hill Sportsman’s Club 160 acre “Big Prairie” property with friends Bobby and Wayne, a pheasant was shot and flew into heavy cover along a creek. We stood at the top of the steep embankment and spotted the bird under some brush. Elsa was sent in to either get it back in the air, or retrieve it. The pheasant apparently wasn’t wounded too badly as it led Elsa on a chase up-and-down the snow-covered sides of the creek, and at one point, slipping along its frozen surface… all the while she was no more than six inches behind its tail feathers. Elsa eventually overtook her quarry and proudly brought it up from the creek below.

This episode reminded me that genuine learning occurs away from the classroom, or in our case the training field, when one encounters the unexpected. And while you cannot seek the unexpected, it tends to do just fine finding you… especially when you are pursuing game birds.

At the end of the afternoon, Elsa retrieved seven pheasants to-hand, and pointed even more. Here’s some footage of her performing a couple more routine retrieves…