This is Bonny. A girl with a really big heart and, as you can see in the photo on the left, some rather large (other) body parts as well when this story took place.
A few years ago Bonny (Perrygreen Abby) was in the process of weaning a litter of pups so I decided to give her a small break and a nice long walk around a local lake. I loaded her in the car and set off, but as I crossed a bridge at the upper end of the lake, what did I see? A small flock of unassuming geese leisurely swimming about 75 meters out in the water. Well I had a retriever and a rifle in the back of the car. I also had permission to shoot all geese on sight, as they had become such a pest in the area, so what could I do? I'm sure you have figured that out by now. So after parking my car, a little belly crawling and four shots later, four geese lay floating in the calm water amidst a fair amount of vegetation. Now all I had to do was go get Bonny. The rest was simple. Four times out and four times in, but I will have to admit that due to that big heavy undercarriage she was sporting, she was riding a little low in the water and set no speed records!!!
My first and probably only ever Snipe double
One fine October day in 2005 a good friend, Maria Trogen and I, decided to do a little snipe hunting, She had just recently gotten her first shotgun and this her very first time to shoot at game, and in my opinion, it takes a brave heart to choose snipe as a virgin hunting experience! Anyway, the coin was tossed and Maria would take the short grass and bogs near the lake's shore with her little cocker, Yippi, while I would take the waist high grassland further inland with Bonny. After only a short while Bonny and I came to a very wet, marshy area that looked promising and before I could finish thinking that thought, she flushed two snipe. One flew straight ahead of me and the other about 120* to my right and slightly behind me. These are the times when experience and instinct seem to shift into high gear. Being right handed, the snipe to my right would be the toughest shot, as I would have to twist my whole body in that direction but coming back to pick up the straight away bird would be much easier. Bangbang! and both snipe dropped into the tall grass and as I broke open the faithful and true old side by side 12 gauge that I have been shooting for forty years, I looked down at Bonny who was still holding fast but with a serious case of the shakes waiting for me to say that magic word. After loading two new bright red and shiny federal 7 1/2 shot shells I said "fetch" and Bonny leaped into action, but to my surprise she dove into a tuft of marsh grass about a meter and a half away and out flew another snipe. Bang! now three lay hidden in the tall grass and I understood just why she was really shaking as she was. She knew all along that that third snipe was tucked in and hiding. That's my girl! I must say that it takes a lot longer to tell this story than it took to transpire, because in real time from the first to the third shot, maybe 30 - 40 seconds had passed. Bonny had marked all the falls and made the retrieves, but they were not that easy as the tiny little devils were for the most part laying in mud and water below a meter or more of grass. Shortly afterwards, Maria came over to me and asked me if I knew what I had just done and it was only then I realized I had shot a snipe double, and sort of a triple, I guess you could say.
On another occasion a few years earlier a good friend, Peter Norberg, from Sweden; paid me a visit to do some snipe hunting and it was another kind of day indeed. One of those we spent shooting a lot of holes in the air. So much so, I had to write a poem about it. Hope you like it.
Ode to a sportsman
with gun in hand
and dog by side
through the marshes
we did glide
in search of a tiny
upon which only
kings and queens
then out of the grass
at the speed of light
this wing-ed creature
takes to flight
and no rhythm does
this demon possess
first flying east
then shifting west
suddenly is heard
a thundering sound
but alas nairy a feather
falls to the ground
and time after time
this scene is repeated
until hunter and hound
are soundly defeated
now t'is the end of the day
as we reminisce
about how often we hit
and how more often
oth hunters agreed
they really had fun
but the snipe had beat them
by twenty to one
By: Lawson Vallery
Photo: Paul Andersson
This is a about Ginger, daughter to Sealpin Reckless and Creignant Llefenni. She was 17 months at the time.
It was October 2004, as best as I can remember. I had a very interesting and nerve wracking experience while attending a field trial in Claestorp, Sweden. It ended up being a great experience but it could have just as easily gone the other way.
The judge was Mrs. Wendy Night from GB.
Ginger and I had finished a long run and after finding no game, the trial leader decided we should all return to the cars and drive to another area.
The trial leader had a vorster with him which he released as we all headed for the parking area that was around a kilometer away. Suddenly, about half way to the cars, the vorster went on point in a small wooded area in the middle of a large, open field and after a short discussion between the judge and trial leader; I was told to "Bring your dog", and we began to double time it in the direction of the vorster who was still on point. As we got within 50 to 60 meters the trial leader stopped everyone and began to creep up behind the vorster, and I swear to God, he crawled the last 20 meters. To our surprise he managed to get the dog by the tail, drag him in reverse and not flush the game.
Then Wendy said to me, "Release your dog", and work the wooded area and of course, within a minute, Ginger flushed a flock of partridge. The gun on the right made a very long shot. Ginger was stone steady looking at me, and we all thought he had missed. Then after a long period the trial leader shouted that a bird had fallen, however it had fallen around 200 meters away. Again a discussion between Wendy and the trial leader, then I was told to leash my dog, and we were going to go toward the area that he thought the bird had fallen.
So now here we are, standing in the middle of a very large open field at least 150 meters from where the shot was made and the trial leader tells Wendy, "I think that it fell somewhere between here and that white post at the edge of the field." That post was about 80 meters away and I was thinking to myself, this is not really happening. It's a dream but suddenly the dream turned into a nightmare when Wendy told me to "Send your dog." Well I sent her, and sent her, and sent her. I handled her all the way out to that bloody post six times and finally I was told to call her in and leash her, which I did. Then the trial leader handed his vorster over to someone to mind it for him while he, Wendy and the two guns went out to look for the bird and sure enough they did find it. However, it was about 60 meters in the opposite direction that I had originally been told to send Ginger. Well by this time Ginger was exhausted and confused. Then Wendy asked me if I thought I could handle her out one more time. I looked at Ginger and she looked me in the eyes then in her own special way which said, "Don't worry, I can handle it Dad." And she did!
While she was retrieving the partridge the vorster got loose and, as the photo shows, went on point at the bird as she delivered it to me. As I said, what an experience!!!!!!!!!
Blazer and the wild goose chase
One day in the summer of 2005 a friend called and wanted to come out on a Friday and do some cocker training, so I said sure. But when Friday came, it was nearly full storm, and although it was blowing and raining like crazy, we stuck to the plan. We were training in the snipe terrain when suddenly Honk, Honk a pair of Canada geese flew over and landed near the farm where I have permission to shoot on the other side of the lake.
Well this was just too good to pass up, so we head for the car and shortly we were driving up to the farm. As I said, the weather was terrible. I exited the car with my Sako.22 Hornet in one hand and my Bushnell electronic range finder in the other. After creeping for several meters I reached a stack of firewood and as I peeked over, there they were so, I eased up the rangefinder and click click 85 meters. Using the stack of wood to support my rifle it would have been an easy shot if not for the strong South to North wind so I held a little right and fired a single shot. However, to my surprise, the goose lifted into the air, flew a hundred or so meters, then dropped like a stone into the storming water. But with the wind as it was I had no chance to row my boat out and get it. So, only one thing to do, and that was to go to the car and get 14 month old Blazer. When we got back to the water the wind had blown the goose Northward and now it was a little closer but if we didn't get it soon it would ground itself in the tangled brush near a small island, so Blazer and I walked for a few more meters and suddenly he put his nose in the air and I said " got ya." The waves were so big that they all had white tops on them and I could only see the goose now and then. Blazer could not see it at all. Anyway, I gave him the command he had been waiting for and off he went. By this time the goose was 70 to 80 meters out but he just kept swimming toward the smell, and like the goose, I could only see him now and then when he was on the top of a wave. When he finally reached the goose he took a grip where the neck and body meet and headed for Papa. Well I don't mind saying that my heart was pounding as I watched the waves roll over his back and drive him and his prize under, time after time, but he never gave up or lost his grip. Finally, as his feet touched the mud under the rolling surf, he drug that monster goose to the water's edge and with still with a firm grip, looked at me as if to say, can you please take it now? I can tell you there was not a prouder cocker owner on the planet at that moment.. The goose weighed 1.2 kilo more than him.
My name is Rosetta and I run the
Scooterbrook lost and found department
This young lady has the most uncanny ability to find lost objects such as car keys and eye glasses, etc. This is a story about her putting that ability to good use.
Last summer we had a friend, and her six year old daughter from Oslo, come out the to the wilds of Aurskog-Høland to spend a few days with Susan and I. On the second day, the three girls went to pick wild strawberries and were gone for several hours arriving back home in the late afternoon. Later in the evening it was discovered that the small digital camera they had taken with them was missing, then Marcela remembered she had let her six year old daughter use it and then forgot all about it. I said she shouldn't worry too much unless it rained because tomorrow they could take Rosetta, walk the same general area and if it was laying on the ground, there was a very, very good chance she would find it and bring it back. Next day, in the car with Rosetta and away they go. Arriving at the area, they park the car and walk to the point where Marcela gave the camera to little Luna. Then Susan tells Rosetta "find it, bring it here" which is all we ever need to say to start her on a search. The group began to backtrack, as best they could remember, where they had been the day before and after about ten minutes came to a small lake. Suddenly Rosetta put her nose into the air and raced to the blueberry bushes near the lake's edge and smartly returned to Susan with the expensive little digital camera in her mouth.
This is Scooterbrook Scarlet trying to explain
the true meaning of hard water to me
One very cold morning last month, after taking the dogs out of the kennel for their morning run, I got the surprise of my life. I was preparing to feed and do the rest of my morning duties when suddenly I turned around and little 8 month old Scarlet was standing behind me with this block of ice from a frozen outdoor water bowl in her mouth and looking at me as if to say " hey dad, maybe it's time to freshen the water"