Bourjaily: Jed's First Rooster

I thought all of you who have helped me name and train my dog with your posts might like this picture. It's me, Jed and his first rooster, shot Tuesday, November 25, near Oxford, Iowa. We were looking for the singles from a covey rise of bobwhites when Jed found this bird hunkered in a hank of grass about halfway down a vertical creek bank and clambered down to point it.

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I made a poor shot - I am blaming the steel 7s I had in the gun in anticipation of quail - and my host Tom Fuller's Brittany, Star, found the cripple and made the retrieve. Jed was with her every step of the way and found the whole process very exciting. He is now blooded as a bird dog and eager for more.

This Thanksgiving week, I've got a new hunting partner to count among my blessings. Later I put Jed up and ran my setter Ike, who made a beautiful point on a second covey, despite being 12 years old, slow and afflicted with cataracts. There's nothing wrong with his nose, and I've got that, and the memories of the past 12 seasons with Ike to be thankful for, too.