What a morning! First, I’m deep in thought concerning the right amount of adjectives to add to my latest literary work of genius (a tactical article on bowhunting whitetails) when I hear my dog, Sage, barking incessantly outside my office window.
Always looking for an excuse to lift my behind from behind my desk, I peek out the window and see her staring into the pasture, barking at nothing. Or does see she something I don’t? With a sweep of my Nikons I spot the culprit: It’s a red fox with no obvious signs of fright. Looking for even more of a break I decided to let Sage practice some predator hunting skills. I use her for decoying coyotes, but what about fox?
With the “get ‘em” command she takes off and surprisingly works to within 30 yards of the stubborn red. As the fox slinks off I smile, realizing maybe she’ll work on fox as well. If you’re wondering why I didn’t shoot the fox, well … I decided to give it a break. Denning season is coming up, coyote numbers are down near home and I’d love to watch a batch of red fox pups grow up this spring to become cagey quarry next winter.
About an hour later I hear a loud smack on my window. I rush out to the porch to discover Sage again in the fray cornering a dazed and confused sharp-tailed grouse. I’ve been feeding the grouse in the front yard and they’ve been showing up in droves, even putting on a strutting show just for me. This grouse must have missed the landing strip—been texting or simply asleep at the wheel—because it obviously didn’t see our house.
I held it out of harm’s way from Sage’s friendly nature, and when it looked perky, I let it go. If this keeps up I’m either going to have to open a petting zoo or get a job in town away from the wild kingdom.