I took the dogs out for a little exercise today, and to set up a couple of calling stands. I hiked to one of my good spots, tied Bear and Sadie to a couple of trees, and put an electric caller across a small gully from us. Had the video camera on a tripod as usual. It didn’t take long to see that this just wasn’t going to work. As soon as I turned the e-caller on (remotely) little Chigger had to run over there to see what was making those strange sounds. Then he came running back and jumped squarely in the middle of his uncle Bear; biting, chewing, and rough housing for all he was worth. A few minutes of this and the older dog made it plain that he wasn’t going to take it anymore, so the pup spent the rest of the time on the stand digging holes and attacking some bushes. He was having the time of his young life! Like a fart in a skillet, he couldn’t stay still for a minute. It’s ok at this point, as the main object right now is to get him used to being out and to hearing the distress calls, whether coming from an electric or mouth blown call. At least he didn’t start howling at the sounds as some pups do when they first hear them. A little hard on his uncle though, who was tied and couldn’t get away from the puppy attack. Chigger knows better than to try this with Sadie. She doesn’t like puppies at all, and she wouldn’t have tolerated his foolishness for a minute.
After spending awhile on the first unproductive stand I gathered up my toys and walked back to the truck. I loaded Sadie and Chigger in the pickup and roaded Bear ahead of the truck for awhile to give him a chance to stretch his legs. For the second stand I picked a spot where I could set up right next to the truck with the camera aimed down an old fire break, and the caller parked in a bush several yards down the hill. Bear and Sadie were in the back of the truck, and Chigger was up in the cab. He was tired by then, and content to take a nap on the seat without trying to eat it. This is a good spot, and I have called in several fox and a bear from here using exactly the same setup, but no such luck today. Not even a bird came to the call, so I ate my lunch there then poked along home. I fed the pup, and as soon as he had his belly full he crashed. It was an exciting day for him, and he was plumb tuckered out. So far I like what I see, even if he is full of puppy foolishness. That’s to be expected. He isn’t a bit spooked about being out in the woods, and on the walk to that first stand he was running right along with the older dogs; not trying to walk between my legs (and tripping me) as some puppies do.