December 5, 2015
At 14 months old, our pudelpointer- Koa, has been our family member for almost a year now. She has a ton of energy and is so driven to get after game birds. I say she is psycho for birds. Steve Waller, the owner of Tall Timber Pudelpointers, affectionately calls her “Hot Rod”.
Prior to Koa joining our family, my free days during the fall and winter game bird season were spent in a local field somewhere overlooking a spread of a few dozen goose decoys. My hope is to one day get her to sit tight alongside me as I call (and hopefully shoot and get) geese working a decoy spread. However, for now, I’m trying to find ways to get Koa onto some upland game birds whenever possible. As a versatile hunting dog breed (meaning, they do it all- point, track, & retrieve) she should be able to run through the field and find a game bird, point it and wait for me to come alongside her and shoot it as it flushes from cover, then find and retrieve the bird to me.
This weekend offered a perfect opportunity to get Koa out on some birds while scouring the foothills of the Cascades for a Christmas tree to take home with us. Potentially, we could get “two birds with one stone”. We headed up the North Umpqua Highway and stopped in the town of Glide to get our Christmas Tree Permit ($5) from the US Forest Service- North Umpqua Ranger District Office. As we pulled into the parking lot, we could see a lot of other families had the same idea. It was an annual trek to the hills for a lot of local families to get their tree, throw some snowballs, go sledding, target shoot, drink hot apple cider, etc. We were met by Smokey Bear posing to take pictures with families. In years past, there was a Santa Claus who gave out candy canes and asked kids if they were good, what they wanted for Christmas and took pictures with them. I wonder if asking kids if they were good or what they wanted for Christmas offended someone or was it the potential liability of having kids sit in Santa’s lap without first conducting an extensive criminal background check on Mr. Claus? Perhaps it just made sense to switch to a mute, half-naked bear in blue jeans and a Smokey hat. Maybe next year we’ll see Smokey Bear covering his top half with a shirt as that would be gender neutral and less offensive. Don’t roll your eyes, it could happen. Arghhhh… As far as we were concerned, we were just happy to be on our way looking for a
Holiday Christmas tree and a grouse for Koa.