Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tacoma, Labrador Retriever

Tacoma has been a pleasure to have. He has such a great manner to him. He has learnt well his commands; I have taught him to "Come", "Sit", informal "Heel". I got him retrieving a bumper but since he is still a pup, he wants to play some. At home he is well socialized and I can take him anywhere. He was lightly introduced to water and he should have no problems with it. As for birds, he loves picking them up. For a puppy, Tacoma has done a great job. In a couple of weeks, he will have to go home but maybe I can work with him some more in the future.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Allie is coming along rather well. Here she is pointing a wing on the string. She has pointed planted birds, too - but, it is rather hard trying to take a photo while steadying her. And, it looks like she is ready to go into heat.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Long and cut

Here is Duke on the whoa table. This time he had a little trouble up there because Kathy was taking his photo. I built this table for whoa training and for hold training. The dogs love to jump off it when they are loose in the yard.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Now that Duke has been with me for awhile; I have gotten to see more of his training. I planted a couple of pigeons in yard to see if he could point them out. The first bird he wasn't too impressive with the find; he was almost on the bird before he pointed. The second bird he was walking by and got the scent cone and slammed a point that was almost breath taking. I am getting Duke more used to the leash to show him the heel command. He was trained to come with the command "here" so I may have to find a command that is not too close in resemblance to heel - maybe something in Spanish. (I teach my dogs commands in Spanish, too). I worked him on the whoa table and he knows "whoa", so I am very happy with that. His kennel (crate) training is coming along now. He goes in by himself but I do cheat with the kennel training; I give the dogs a treat after they go in. My next goal is to get him to retrieve. This weekend, I am going to take him out and do some field training on birds with a .22 blank pistol and see how it goes with him (I was told that he has had this before).

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is my latest addition to my wingshooting partners. He is a English Pointer, 11 months old. He has had some training so the training should go well with him. I am going to call him "Duke" for Conde Duque.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tacoma's bird introduction

This is his first introduction with a bird. I don't think he'll have any problems picking up birds.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Enjoying the journey

Allie is coming along fine. Lately, her points have been the classic three legged stance with a leg tucked up; pretty to watch. She is retrieving but I still have her on a long check cord. Her basic obedience is doing well and will start the whistle on her. I have had her on planted birds in the yard which she did well on. I am enjoying the journey with her. She is still young but look forward to the future when I can hunt her and test her.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I got the blues...

Last weekend I went up to our local mountians to hunt Dusky Grouse; formally called Blue Grouse. This past weekend I have major bragging rights; I scored my first Scotch Double on Duskies. My dog, Tizona, got super birdy and took me downhill for about thirty yards - there are times you know she on a hot scent and something is ready to flush. I was standing on a small rise between an old logging road and drain. She jumped onto the old road and flush some duskies. The flush occurred behind some spruces so I waited for the instant for the birds to appear. I picked out one bird and shot; I saw two birds tumble in the air. My dog retrieved the birds and my hunting buddy came over to investigate "a witness". He later that afternoon got a pair of birds with two shots. Dusky Grouse season is a great way to start out the hunting season. My birds are on the left with the spent shell next to them.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rio Costilla 2011

This was a workshop that I did on the Rio Costilla in August.

Here is Allie pointing a wing on a string at two and a half months. She has since pointing at a planted pigeon and is doing her sit training. I also have gotten her to retrieve a puppy bumper, too.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Making friends

My daughter and my German Shorthair "Allie" making friends. A very good method for socialization.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Infanta Alba "Allie". Newest member to the family. A German Shorthaired Pointer.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Reina Loba

Reina Loba, 02/07/99 – 06/22/11

Last week, I lost a good friend. My friend would accompany me on my wing shooting and fishing trips until hip dysplasia didn’t permit it any more. Also, because of my friend, I developed a love for hunting over well trained dogs and in that process, I learned quite a bit about this world that I have become to love.

My friend’s name was Reina Loba; she was my Labrador Retriever. She lived quite a long life for a Labrador. I first got her when she was only seven weeks old – I got her from a back yard breeder. Since I couldn’t afford to have someone train her, I did it myself and I am glad I did. I gleaned the internet for information on training retrievers, libraries on any information and bought a few books on the subject. Even with the mistakes I did when training her, she developed into a fine bird dog. She hunted both upland and waterfowl equally well. In fact, I started to put her in HRC hunt tests and she did well. Even in her later life with I judged HRC hunt tests, she would be the test dog to show the participants how the tests was to be run.

We decided that maybe she may be a candidate for breeding; she was a good looking field dog and large in bone. So, in the desire to do things correctly; I got her hips tested. The vet who reviewed the X-rays was frank, “She has got severe hip dysplasia”. My heart sank. He also mentioned that Reina didn’t show yet because of her excellent physical condition. I knew it was a matter of time before she couldn’t hit the fields with me and I had no other recourse than to spay her. That evening, I wept silently in bed thinking everyone was deep in sleep; my wife next to me reached for my hand and said, “I am so sorry.” I can admit that I sobbed a bit after that. It was the first time that I had ever cried for a creature.

Our first hunt was after Blue Grouse which now called Dusky Grouse. She was just over a year old. The first couple of birds she did okay on being that she hadn’t ever picked up a grouse. The last bird of the day and the limit, she hunted like a pro. I saw her get birdy and was going to go over a ridge line in front of me and I stopped her with a whistle blast. I got next to her and in front of us on the slope was an open meadow the size of a baseball diamond. I told her, “Caza” and she took off quartering the field until her route got smaller and tighter towards the center. She jumped and with a sharp bark flushed two grouse in the knee high grass. One went hard to the left into the conifers while the other went straight up and away. I hit the second one; it locked its wings and flew in the dark forest. Reina broke and took off after it. A couple of moments later Reina was running up the slope with a grouse in her mouth. She came around to heel and dropped the bird on command. The total time of our hunt was one hour and ten minutes. As we made our way down the mountain, she flushed two more grouse for good measure, my gun was resting on shoulder and I enjoyed the show. Needless to say, my feet never touched the ground heading back to the campsite.

She touched quite a few people in her life. She thought of my eldest daughter as her own as my daughter was just one year old when I got Reina. The rest of my kids were born after she arrived and she was very protective and loving to them. My mother in law once asked me to give Reina to her for company and protection after my father in law died. I was flattered but couldn’t bear the thought of giving her away. When, my mom moved into a little studio flat on my property; Reina would lie on her porch and would stay with her during my hunting and fishing excursions when she didn’t go.

The last time we went hunting; we were hunting ducks along the Rio Grande. The morning was cold but with a bright sky. One lone duck came down the river, I called a couple of times and the duck cupped its wings to come into the decoys. Once in range, I hit it with one shot and down it went. I lined up Reina to go and gave the command. She took off to retrieve but seemed to stumble into the water. She went out to the duck and picked it up and started back. Normally, I would say that Reina was the “USS Reina”, her swimming was so strong. But, this time the current got ahold of her and took her to the back side of the little island in front of us. I wanted a few minutes and thought, “What’s up?”. I crossed over to the island see what was wrong. I found Reina at the bank; her front feet were on the bank and she was to get the back legs under her. She couldn’t pull herself up the slight bank with the front and her back legs didn’t seem to work. The duck was on the bank which she would never do, she always brought the birds to hand. If there were any way to describe her expression as she stared back me was shame or embarrassment as she labored to get on the bank. I felt bad for my dog. I pulled her up on the bank and picked up the duck. She tried to shake the water off but her back legs looked like they weren’t connected to her. She hobbled back to the Bronco and I lifted her onto the back. I picked up my decoys, packed my gear and called it a season.

The last day of her life was not very pleasant; for me and I know definitely for her. She wouldn’t drink any water but was throwing up. She had a glazed look over her eyes. When I tried to sit next to her and comfort her, she would slowly get up and limp away. Finally, she went into the porch where it was a little cooler and took a nap. Her breathing was rapid and short but at least she was resting a bit. That evening when I went to check on her, she had gone. I sobbed; the second time I cried for her. She is resting in the yard under the shade of an elm.
Hasta Siempre.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rio Cimarron

Rio Cimarron is a nice tailwater fishery with a lot of Brown Trout. The stream is located in northern New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

This trip the fishing conditions were rough. The water was flowing at 15 cFS and super clear. The fish were wary because of the clarity of the water and would spook at 25 feet. The morning I fished it, the fishing was slow; several fish were caught amoung three of us with the largest at 16 inches long. I nymphed and my fishing buddies used a dry and a dropper.

Here is Rod B. of Amarillo, TX with the first trout of the day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Compliment

I recieved this compliment from David C. who's dog I was working on for awhile.

Hello Thomas,

How are thing going with the new dog. This morning I went for a run along the ditch bank next to hay fields. When I got close to some tall grass Akita was bouncing like crazy. She came to a complete point and I left her at point for a minute then I started to walking to her. When I came about fifteen feet I yelled "get em" and she flushed 2 pheasants five feet from her like a season pro. Thanks for your help.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Akita came to me at one year old and didn't have any formal training. Unfortunately, the owner had to pull her out of training. Here is a short clip.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seven Eights of number Eights.

Now that the wingshooting season is over, most of the gear has been put away until next season. However, to get some practice in with the shotgun and have some great fun is to continue shooting by hitting the sporting clay range. Since I use a Spanish SXS for my upland hunting and sporting clays, I reload for it. Normally, when I am hunting upland, pheasants for example, I reload one oz. of #6 shot. When I am on the sporting clay range, I use a different load that works well - 7/8's of #8 shot. Here is the recipe for this particular load. It should give me about 1,200 fps.

  • Hulls: AA

  • Wads: TGT 12

  • Primer: W209

  • Shot: 7/8 of #8 shot

  • Bushing: #30

  • Powder: 16.6 Red Dot

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bird Introductions to Maks

This was Maks first bird introduction. He may had some exposure to pigeons at his breeders kennel but I wouldn't know that. I think things went well. He showed no fear even when the bird fluttered its wings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Maks is a Vizsla. This pointing dog is originally from Hungary and is said to be an old breed. Maks (pronounced mox) is six months old. It is sure a different change to have an almost puppy around. His basic commands are good, I have to reenforce them. Soon, will be an introduction to birds.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tropical dreaming

Located off the coast of Puerto Rico is "La Isla Nena". The first time we went there, my wife and I fell in love with it. The second time we went there, my kids fell in love with it. This where I also caught my first bonefish. Our next trip is not soon enough for us.

Gentlemen's Game Dinner

Once a year a few of us get together to have a dinner from the game we took during the year. This year's star role was the crane one of our hunting companions took during the year. I also suppplied pheasant breasts and another person, supplied slow roasted whitetail deer. One person brought about six bottles of wine so we can taste with the meal. The meat was cooked on a grill; the crane had a rub on it and the pheasant breast were marinaded. The crane was superb and if anyone had the opportunity to hunt or eat it, I would highly reccomend it. The pheasant wasn't too shabby, either. The roasted deer was as good as expected. I brought the leftovers home and everything disappeared the first night.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rio San Juan, "El Reposado Tour"

It was great to see friends and spend time with them and my family on the San Juan. The river fished well enough for us; we all caught fish. My best day was on Friday when I stopped counting fish. We fished the upper flats with very little competition with the river flowing at 500 CFS, more or less. On Saturday, we ventured to the lower flats. The lower flats area didn't have many anglers on it with the exception of the float guide trips that would frequently come by. I only hooked two fish during the morning but both were huge; I lost one before bringing it to the net - it turned and faced me and the hook just popped out, the second one (cutbow) went 19 inches with a thick body. The going pattern for us was the Chocolate Emerger in a #22.

The above photo is my son, J.J. He casted the nypmh, set the hook and reeled in the little trout all by himself. He has fished with a fly rod before and enjoys it.

We BBQ for our dinners. The first night we had rib eye steaks. The second night we ate Nilgai, Axis Deer and pheasant breasts. Both meals were superb.

Unfortunately, it had to come to an end. The gentlemen from Texas had to return home and I had to return to Albuquerque. Not before we had made plans for upcoming trips.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Akita is a year old German Shorthaired Pointer. I am training this spring for an individual with the hopes to get her ready for some hunting in the fall. She came to me with absolutely no formal obedience done much less to say anything about advanced field work. Her owner, David C. from Albuquerque acquired her with the hopes of doing the training himself but the training fell threw with all of life's other obligations.

I have had her a week now and can get her to sit on command until released. Next week, I will do the come command and introduce "Whoa" training. This is my first experience with working/training with pointers and looking forward to it. In the past, I have had guide trips where the pointers (Brittany) owners wanted a more experience dog around with their young dogs (Ducky Grouse hunting in the mountains). Akita is a high engery dog and likes to run. It will be fun to see her working a field.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grilled Chukar

I enjoy grilling. I also enjoy just as well as when I can do it with game that I have taken. The last uipland hunt, I picked up some Chukar that were destined by their fate for the grill. I grill over briquettes with a chunk or two of hickory for smoke.

The ingredients were:
  • Five Chukar; plucked and butterflied (backbone removed).
  • One teaspoon of powder ginger.
  • One teaspoon of ground New Mexico Red Chile.
  • Half teaspoon of ground pepper.
  • One level tablespoons of kosher salt.
  • One teaspoon of rice wine vinegar.
  • One teaspoon of basalmic vinegar.
  • Two large cloves of garlic, minced.
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil.

Place the chukar in a gallon zip lock baggie. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the birds. Turn baggie to ensure all is distributed. Place in the fridge for at least four hours ( I went over night that may be too much). Turn baggie frequently. Before grilling, bring out and let come to room temperature for a half an hour.

Get the grill hot. Keep the grates clean and slightly oiled. Place the hickory chunks on ash covered coal/briquettes. Remove birds from baggie and place on grill. Grill with cover closed with indirect heat until interior breast temperature is 170 degrees, or until thighs give easily.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pheasant of the Llano...

I was invited to hunt on a private reserve/ranch located in the eastern part of the state. The ranch has a load of wildlife on it. I saw hundreds of geese, turkeys, a large herd of deer and of course, pheasants. Granted, the hunting on the reserve was outstanding; it is a controlled enviroment and there is no pressure at all. At times I was the only one out shooting. It was a joy to watch the dogs work the birds to which there were many, not just the pheasants but the chuker we found, too.

This won't take the place of walking the WIHA of Kansas. That is too special. In my heart is place that only Kansas can fill with flushing, cackling roosters. All in all, it is all fun and good.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Take a Kid Fishing, or Hunting

Unfortunately, today the majority of the kids don't have a chance or an opportunity to go and enjoy the outdoors. The reasons are many and we can spend forever naming them. Most of the time, some kids just want to stay home and play video games or surf the internet. Not that is bad because in today's world; kids must be computer/electronic savy to function.

However, for our way of life, we have to introduce the outdoors to the upcoming generations for hunting and fishing to continue. I am going to place my daughter in hunter's education this year; she's 13 and probably ready for it. All three of my young children have already been fly fishing numerous times and enjoy it - I don't try to push them hard on it, their attention spans won't handle all day on the stream.

This young many picture is Kiran from Albuquerque. His family friend Kyle C., also from Albuquerque has been taking him out hunting; dove, quail, rabbit and now waterfowl. Of course, the young man has a lot to do in school, ROTC, band and sports but has shown a lot interest in the outdoors. Here he is with his first ducks from his first duck hunt. Congratulations young man and kudos to Kyle.