One of of those beautiful fall days on the prairie southwest of Pierre, South Dakota my Brittany and I strode forth to hunt prairie grouse. Overall Brit was a good companion and an okay hunting dog particularly in heavy cover. She had a miracle nose and if one cock pheasant hunkered down in a large block of habitat, she'd sniff that rooster out. Unfortunately, she never picked up on the idea we were to hunt as a team. Frequently she'd range far ahead and I'd be scrambling to keep up.
This hunt took us into short grass and just ahead we encountered a small thicket of vegetation about ten foot square that rose above surrounding grasses. Brit approached the thicket...then froze on point at something in it. Shotgun in hand, I slowly followed. As I eased up behind her, she broke point and leaped straight up coming down in the thicket.
A split second later with a yelp, she retraced her airborne journey going straight up again and coming down just outside mystery island. Within minutes, the reason for all the commotion became apparent as a very mature, surly badger emerged from his midday retreat and lumbered off. Brit was lucky for the only physical damage she suffered was a bloodied toe.
For Brit, the old adage "Look Before You Leap" fits perfectly.
STORY TIME WITH KENT OLSON A Collection of Wildlife Short Stories