The General Manager

This is Turk.Turk

Turk, otherwise known as Turkey, or Mr. Impressive if you want to get all official about it, is my brother’s dog. In the past few years Turk has been joined in the field by his two half brothers. Trip (my dog) and Sunday, a.k.a. Weasel (also my brother’s dog) and the three of them are amazing.Turk, Trip and Sunday

I could wax poetic on how, when they hunt together, they truly hunt together. Working with each other, blocking birds, covering the field all the while looking like the handsomest trio of pups you’ve ever seen. But those of you who are bird hunters with dogs of your own probably won’t believe me (because, obviously, your dogs are better).  And those of you who aren’t won’t fully comprehend the awesomeness that I’m trying to convey so I won’t. I’ll just stick with amazing.

These dogs are amazing.

One field, three awesome dogs and a limit of pheasants for everyone including my mom the picture taker.

One field, three awesome dogs and a limit of pheasants for everyone including my mom the picture taker.

Turk is getting up in years, he’ll be 9 come spring, which means that sadly his experience in the field is getting tempered by his stamina. Fortunately, he has the young boys, four year old litter-mates, that he’s training up. And yes, I say he’s training them up. My brother and I, we try to help, but Turk is the one pulling the real weight.Turk on the kennel box

Early in our week of Montana hunting the three boys would swarm the field together. Often Turk was the steadying presence for the young dogs as they pinned down a bird. But by the end of the week he was tired, trotting rather than running through the grass. Occasionally, stopping and staring into whatever likely cover we were passing by as if to say, “Hey boys! Get in there!”And the youngsters did. He had taken over as general manager of our little pack of dogs.Turk

But Turk wasn’t completely out of gas.  He was just an experienced dog conserving it for when it counted.

Near the end of the week my brother shot a sharp-tailed grouse. Off it flew over the crest of a hill, running out of steam and going down. Right behind it flew the dogs. Sunday, Turk and Trip lined up and running all out for the retrieve. They were, as I have said, a beautiful sight. And then, as we watched, Turk kicked it into high gear. Always the champion of the long distance retrieve, he was not about to be outdone by those young upstarts.  And the dog that had been trotting about lengthened his stride and started gaining on Sunday as they crested the hill and disappeared out of sight.

My brother and I looked at each other and laughed. Turk retrieving sharp-tail.

Of course it was Turk who came back over the hill, mouth full of feathers, with a look in his eye for the youngsters as if  to say, “This is how it’s done.”

 

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12 comments on “The General Manager

  1. I love how you can write about anything, even something so out of my experience as a ex-veggie, non-hunting Canadian, and still make it sound so fun! Your enthusiasm is catching!

  2. Dan says:

    Dogs are amazing. I’ve never had a hunting dog, but I used to take my collie x terrier long walks growing up. One time I climbed this cliff face I’d climbed lots of times before, albeit without Rocky watching. I panicked when he followed me up but like a sure footed mountain goat he made it to the top. I then looked for a way down the other side and the look he gave me when I said “come on” was priceless. At least one of us knew what they were doing and he led me down a safer way😊

  3. Beautiful. This is what bird hunting is all about. Watching a pair or trio of dogs hunt as a team is indeed amazing. Kudos on a great hunting trip. Especially for Turk. My applause to the hunter with the classic side-by-side double gun 🙂

    • Jessie says:

      Thanks Jerry! And we’d all be happy to take your applause. That’s my brothers 16 in the picture but my Mom and I (and Dad too)shoot side-by-sides as well, it’s a family thing. 🙂

  4. Thank you for this!! It almost made me cry! I knew you were the perfect home for my Turkey, even though it was so hard to let him go…thank you for loving him and giving him such an amazing life!

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