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Old 12-27-2017, 07:22 PM   #827
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:32 PM   #828
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:49 PM   #829
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I see how you only have 205 posts since 2011. No time for foolishness. Well played sir, and a Happy New Year to ya.
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Old 12-28-2017, 01:49 PM   #830
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Thanks Steve

Your Family Also

For a Blessed New year's.
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:35 AM   #831
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A few snapshots from this season:

Our season always starts out on Sept 1 with dove shooting (it’s not real upland hunting) on the family farms. This is Joy watching some bird fly into the flowers and sorghum:

9-8-17 - Joy afield in flowers - 3 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

My 14 year old buddy, Chase, is still able to come along if the weather and terrain aren’t too bad. This day, it rained, which kept him cool enough to be safe. Here is Chase retrieving a dove in the rain:

9-13-17 - Chase retrieve by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Ruins of a 1750’s farmstead. Makes you wonder what the world must have been for the people who carved the land out of the wilderness and spent their lives here:

9-27-17 - 18th Century ruins - 1 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Eventually, our favorite time of year rolled around once again – pheasant season. All year round, the dogs and I work hard at staying in good physical condition, training, shooting clays, etc for this special month. We got our two-bird limit on the first day with my trusty 20 gauge and hunted with similar success nearly every day of the season:

10-23-17 - First Day - first birds of the season by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

I find the uplands this time of year to be peaceful and beautiful. It is a true privilege to still be able to enjoy covering mile after mile with my beloved dogs.

11-2-17 - Early Morning Uplands by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Joy hard at work searching for scent with her inexhaustible enthusiasm and well… joy:

11-2-17 - Joy in action - 2 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Chase making a retrieve on a nice cockbird. He always looks me in the eye when he delivers a bird – and he has probably brought me thousands over birds over his long career:

11-10-17 - Chase looking in my eyes as he delivers a bird by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Even after 59 seasons, I am amazed to see how a dog will slam from streaking through the fields to instant, statute-like stillness when they bring a bird to a point. This is Joy holding what turned out to be a big cockbird for me on a hard point in heavy cover after having worked this particular bird for several hundred yards – all by scent – she never actually sees the bird – without either losing it or pressing it so hard it flushes out of range. This is the moment of truth. A heart-pounding moment for me because it’s time to do my job of killing the bird in the air and I know it hears me approaching and will thunder into the air any second:

11-9-17 - Point!! by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

We are still covering many miles per day as we near the end of the season – “There’s gotta be a bird in here somewhere, Boss. We’ll find him for ya!”

11-14-17 - Gotta be a bird in there somewhere... by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

We interspersed pheasant hunting with some ruffed grouse hunting in the mountains where we live. The eternal dog question when going anywhere “Are we there YET??”

12-19-17 - Grouse cover in the home mountains by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

The terrain is different, but equally wild and beautiful:

12-13-17 - Joy Grousing - 2 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

The season is over now for another year – and we go back to exercise, training and shooting clays. Solid, crystal-clear ice on the little mountain lake by my house (just before it got covered with snow)

12-29-17 - Solid ice on the mountain lake - 2 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr
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Old 12-31-2017, 06:47 AM   #832
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KCSA75. Nice eye for composition Willie!
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:03 PM   #833
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Birddogman, another epic post. Good to hear from you. You obviously have an eye for photography as well as the birds. Your photos are on another level. Thanks for sharing.

BTW, how do you hunt and shoot photos at the same time? I was quail hunting last year and wishing I had a camera just to follow the dogs. Figured I would have to leave the gun behind to do so.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:32 AM   #834
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Birddogman, another epic post. Good to hear from you. You obviously have an eye for photography as well as the birds. Your photos are on another level. Thanks for sharing.

BTW, how do you hunt and shoot photos at the same time? I was quail hunting last year and wishing I had a camera just to follow the dogs. Figured I would have to leave the gun behind to do so.
Thank you for the gracious thoughts, kind sir!

I guess the short answer to your question is that I work at it. For one thing, you need to be willing to lose a bird now and then to get good images of a point. But, I kill a lot of birds and to have one get away now and then because I had the camera in hand instead of the gun is a risk well worth taking to get a good image - besides, taking longer to limit out lets us spend more time in the uplands.

This close-up shot of Joy pointing what turned out to be a rooster pheasant cost me the bird. It flushed just as the shutter snapped, but I have no regrets:

2-8-17 - Joy pointing a cockbird - 1 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

This pointing image, did not cost me the bird because I wasn't so close:

2-8-17 - Joy pointing a cockbird - 3 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Another "secret": The moment I shoot, I put the gun down and get the camera ready to capture the retrieve. These can be very fast and if you aren't ready, you likely won't capture the image.

2-8-17 - Joy Retrieve - 1 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

When just trekking along watching the dogs work (which, as you know, is 99% of upland hunting), I will take some shots whenever the lighting is good and there is some nice background. This is easy.

11-10-17 - Chase working the standing corn by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

11-29-17 - Joy Afield by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

Likewise, the birds-n-gun pics are easy, if a little boring as one runs low on creativity after a while. This day, I doubled on pheasants (both birds dead in the air at the same time) with my 1940's vintage Model 42 - the first time I've ever doubled with a .410:

11-29-17 - Doubled on phez with the M42 today by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

The most important "secret" is having a way to carry the camera so that it doesn't interfere with walking or the gun mount; and (this is critical) it doesn't get caught in the heavy brush we are constantly pushing through, but yet is instantly accessible (often photo ops only last a couple seconds) and it can be put away and one's hands freed just as quickly(to shoot or whatever). I've tried many differing methods for different cameras. Maybe the best one is to wear a fairly large fanny pack backwards, so it hangs right at belt buckle level and doesn't bump into my legs, keeping the pouch open so the camera can be grabbed and dumped as quickly as an old-time cowboy drawing and reholstering his .44.

Even so, when alone, as I almost always am, I can never photograph the best stuff - the actual flush and shot. The only time I can do that is when I'm taking someone out to hunt over my dogs. This young man is an avid sporting clays competitor at my gun club, but had never hunted, so we took him out one day. Here he is walking in to flush a Joy point and then following up with the shot:

10-13-17 - Training Day - Antonio flushing a Joy point by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

10-13-17 - Training Day - the flush - 1 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

10-13-17 - Training Day - the flush - 2 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

10-13-17 - Training Day - the flush - 3 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

He missed, BTW. Birds aren't nearly as fast as the clay targets he is used to.

Another example, with another friend flushing a Chase point that Joy was honoring:

2-16-17 - Dave's phez - 2 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

2-16-17 - Dave's phez - 3 by Greg Hartman, on Flickr

So, now you know our photographic "secrets".

Regards,

Greg, Chase and Joy
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:10 AM   #835
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Not sure what camera you are using, but this is what I use on hiking and rafting trips. It gives me use of both hands and holds it securely to my chest. The elastic straps allow it to be raised for taking shots. In this situation I carry it in a holster like you, so to speak. The harness is made by OP Tech. The "holster" is made by Lowepro.
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:17 AM   #836
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Not sure what camera you are using, but this is what I use on hiking and rafting trips. It gives me use of both hands and holds it securely to my chest. The elastic straps allow it to be raised for taking shots. In this situation I carry it in a holster like you, so to speak. The harness is made by OP Tech. The "holster" is made by Lowepro.
My new Lowpro holster came with a second strap and instructions for using it in several different ways to do essentially the same thing scotty has shown. I can use it to carry the camera as if it was a backpack or can use the second strap to securely fasten it to my body at the waist so it doesn't flop around. Mine is a bit larger holster to accommodate a DSLR with an 18-400mm lens so carrying it in front of me on my chest would be a bit awkward.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:29 AM   #837
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Not sure what camera you are using, but this is what I use on hiking and rafting trips. It gives me use of both hands and holds it securely to my chest. The elastic straps allow it to be raised for taking shots. In this situation I carry it in a holster like you, so to speak. The harness is made by OP Tech. The "holster" is made by Lowepro.
Thanks for the info. A chest mount like that works in the sense that the equipment doesn't flap around, bump into your legs or get caught on brush, but it would make a proper gun mount very difficult.
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