Tag Archives: Christie

Vera and the three bears

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My second dog Maggie pointing a chukar at Banin Upland Game Farm.

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Wing and shot with Maggie on a chukar at Banin Upland Game Farm.

Over the past several years as the opening of a new hunting season drew near and anticipation grew in me and my dogs, I liked to go to Banin Upland Game Farm to gun for pen raised chukar and pheasant to whet our appetite for wild birds. The proprietors of Banin Upland Game Farm and Fionavar Kennels, Ed and Vera, breed Springer Spaniels for use as gun dogs. Banin Upland Game Farm is set up for dog training and I spent time training all of my dogs there. In fact, the header photo for the blog shows me posing with Juno, my third dog, after her first hunt at Banin Upland Game Farm. Juno was my third dog and sadly, I lost her in 2012. She was felled by cancer at four years of age, just as she was coming into her prime as a gun dog. Tragic as it was, life goes on and now as the 2016 season draws near, I thought it would be fun to take my current dog, Hera, to Banin Upland Game Farm in pursuit of some chukar. I called earlier this week and Vera answered the telephone. She recognized me right away and we chatted briefly, getting caught up on what is new for both of us. I asked if she had birds in stock and her reply took me by surprise.

She told me they had birds in the spring, but since then bears, yes multiple bears, turned up and broke into the pens to get at the feed for the birds. In fact, she told me bears are brazenly continuing to raid the pens and out buildings on the farm in search of food. She told me because of the problem of nuisance bears, they are not stocking chukar and pheasants for now. She added that she has hunters lined up to deal with the bears and once this is taken care of they will probably have birds again. I immediately thought of my hunting buddy Jason Quinn. He shot a bear during the spring season. I wondered if he might be interested in party hunting for bear at Banin Upland Game Farm with me in the fall season. I contacted him and raised the subject, but the demands of work and family life are too pronounced for him to take part this time. In addition, I must confess that bear hunting really does not interest me that much. Given the opportunity, I might give it a try, but I do not plan on going out of my way to take up bear hunting.

I hope the hunters Vera has lined up take care of the problem of nuisance bears on the property in short order and Banin Upland Game Farm will be up and running with chukar and pheasant in stock later this season. I really hope to take Hera to chase some chukar and pheasant later this season in continuing the tradition that started when I took my first dog, Christie, to Banin Game Farm back in the 1990s.

Posted by Geoffrey

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Christie (1994-2004)

 

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Christie (1994-2004)

 

Christie was my first gun dog. I brought her home on April 16, 1994 when she was between six and seven weeks old. She passed away on May 19, 2004. Her life came to an untimely end due to cancer. Her death was a devastating loss for me. Letting her go was difficult, but now I treasure my memories of our time together. She lives on in my memories, one of which I noted in my diary many years ago and will share with you here.

I remember fondly one magical day afield with Christie on October 14, 2000. I had planned to go afield that morning with Christie and Glenn Lester, one of my hunting buddies. It was raining when I woke up, and Glenn called to bow out because of the rain. Undaunted, I took Christie and we set off to a patch of cover in the Marlborough Forest I call Twins. By the time we arrived at Twins, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. We arrived at about 8:00 AM. It was a Saturday morning. The temperature would climb to about 18 degrees C by mid-morning.

Christie and I set out on what would prove to be a most memorable hunt for woodcock. Christie locked up on point in minutes. I walked up the point and flushed a woodcock. It offered a fairly easy shot, but I managed to miss cleanly to Christie’s chagrin. No matter, it turned out, because Christie quickly pointed another woodcock. This time I did not miss. We moved on through the cover, working our way through the first of a series of meadows and through some pines. By the time we reached the second meadow, I had four woodcock in the bag, all shot over Christie’s points. This was exciting. We continued through the cover, working our way through the lowland bogs with aspen, alder, birch and hawthorn. There were more than thirty woodcock flushes that morning, most of which were over Christie’s points. By the time we completed our sweep of the cover at about 12:00 PM, I had seven woodcock in the bag. This is just one short of the daily limit of eight birds. I thought about stopping at one more cover on the way home to get the bird number eight, but decided that knowing I could do this was sufficient.

I will love Christie forever. May she rest in peace.

Posted by Geoffrey