I had an opportunity to quail hunt on a rare property in Mississippi today. We don’t have many places in the state that are actively working to have huntable numbers of wild quail. It’s expensive, demanding work, with no end in sight. Everything is against you and success can be fleeting.
And like many of my opportunities , it’s really my dogs that get the invitation. Much like quail, bird dogs (with wild bird experience) are also rare in this part of the world.
I’m just their driver. I don’t mind holding that position.
Again, it’s a rare opportunity. You want to be prepared and professional in these moments. Especially in the area that some folks consider you to be an expert.
Some folks consider me to be……at times I wonder.
I had hunted on Sunday. It was a good day. I got home late and I charged all my gear. That’s what you do after you hunt all day.
On Monday, I went to the gym and then stopped at the house to pick up Cowboy and head to the office. CB likes to go to work. He’s thinks it’s important to show his face at the office a few times a week and check on the crew.
We went on a few walks around the building and did a few tennis ball / hunt dead “fun” retrieves. He was wearing a TT 15 collar on my Pro 550 plus. I loaded him in the truck after we were done. I put my collar and my transmitter back in the cab and I cut them off. I KNOW I did because that’s what you do. I’m a professional, ya know.
I got home that night and did my chores. I knew I was hunting Tuesday, but there was no need to bring my tracking gear in to charge because I had only used the one collar for a little bit and I KNEW I cut it off. It’s what you do. Being a professional and all that.
Tuesday, I headed out to hunt. We met up and got ready to go. We loaded the dogs in the UTV and I put the tracking collars on the first two dogs. Everything turned on and I checked that I had signal. We turned them lose and started driving.
When I went to check the distance on Moose was when I found the problem. The battery indicator was showing that there was no charge on his collar. It was about to shut down.
Apparently, I did turn off my 550 plus handheld but I neglected to turn off my TT 15 collar. It ran all night and into the afternoon. It was about to die.
There are few things more useless than a GPS tracking collar with a dead battery.
I stopped the rig and called Moose in to check his collar. Fortunately, he was still working close and I could see him. The collar was on its last leg. Since I am a professional, I had a fully charged back up unit with me in my hunting bag. I reset the back up collar into the Dog 1 position and put it back on Moose and we started over. I was able to recover and not disrupt the hunt or waste anyones time.
It was a good day. We had solid dog work and the birds cooperated a bit. I also reinforced the fact that we have daily rituals for a reason. If you use your tracking gear today, you charge it tonight so it’s ready for tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how long you use it. If you use it, you charge it.
For those that are keeping score, Cowboy was dog of the day, again…..
I can see it now, I’m going to end up with a kennel full of shaggy dogs. I expect my father finds this humorous.
Maybe I need to start taking Bull to work instead.