The Opener

An athletic attempt to fetch a pheasant

Catching Air
An athletic attempt to fetch a pheasant

By Dale C. Spartas

This past December I was hunting with Mark Travis at Cottonwood Borco Ranch, near Presho, South Dakota. We had just finished working a piece of cover, and this rooster must have sneaked out and hidden in the short grass. As we were walking to another cover, my Lab Callie winded the bird from 70 yards and set out on a dead run. I stopped her to whistle so that we could catch up, and when I released her, she bolted again and flushed the pheasant. Luckily the rooster gained altitude quickly and all that Callie caught was air. Once the bird was high enough and had made some headway, Mark tumbled it with a great shot—and Callie was able to complete the job with a nice retrieve.

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