There’s the old expression, “That dog won’t hunt,” meaning that someone’s assertion lacks credibility. My dog, Lizzie, won’t be stopped from hunting. October has been a tough month for her because I bought a fall turkey permit. That allows me to hunt turkeys during the month of October, but Missouri regulations do not allow the use of dogs to hunt turkeys.
I tried to sneak out of the house a few times this month wearing camo and carrying a shotgun, but Lizzie always knows when I’m leaving to hunt. Once I took my shotgun to the truck the night before so she wouldn’t see me carrying it early the next morning. That didn’t help. If I could wear camo to work, maybe I could confuse her. It’s not so hard on me to leave her behind, but my family has to tolerate the barking and whining for 30 minutes after my early departure at a time when they would prefer to be soundly sleeping.
Now that I’ve harvested a fall turkey and we are into the second half of October, I’m going to focus more on getting out with Lizzie so that she can get in shape for the quail and pheasant seasons that open on Nov. 1. Dove season is open through Nov. 9, and American woodcock season opened on Oct. 15 and runs through Nov. 28. Lizzie likes to retrieve doves for me, but woodcock hunting is her first real opportunity this season to put all of her talents to good use in locating, pointing and retrieving birds.
If you have a bird dog at home, you have no excuse for not heading to the fields soon. This cool weather should energize both hunter and canine companion. There’s a lot of opportunity for Missouri’s upland hunters in late October and early November. Besides the game birds, there are all sorts of seasonal natural events that should be observed first hand. Maybe Lizzie and I will see you there!