I have written about the dense cover New England Woodcock inhabit, to the mild amazement of my Western and European readers. Hers is Gil Stacy's pic of GEORGIA Woodcock habitat. There really is a dog in there, though you have to look hard. (Double or right click to enlarge). Suffice to say that I would not walk or put a dog in that cover without frost first--it is PERFECT for eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, the largest venomous snakes in the US.
Of course, like mine, his dogs are very disciplined. He wrote: "One thing I find important in training dogs for woodcock is no coddling or spoiling. Human contact should be at a minimum except for feeding and canine work in the field. It also pays to harden dogs by leaving in kennels with concrete floors, especially in the cold. A spoiled dog is a ruined dog. Here are Abby and Willa in their kennel contemplating the hunt."
Gil's partner in the hunt is the sporting wood carver-sculptor Floyd Robbins. He doesn't just make images of LIVE birds-- he carves dead ones good enough to fool me.
"Woodcock on the photo, it is me that I shot. With the help of the formidable Irina female dog of my friend Patrice; she just two years and at the edge of a wood, it successively traverses three hurdles surrounding an adjacent field, taking care to have a good side so that the wind brings him fumes. Observation justified by the sudden immobility of Irina on the hedge on my left. Arrived at ten meters two woodcocks off from the other side of the hedge under the nose of the dog. However I could follow their eye off well and I deduced that they would seek refuge down below, on the edge of a wood. As soon as we come to this place a few minutes later, I see Irina petrify, then I follow the flight of Beautiful, to finish the action with a superb shot from about 60 meters, leaving the bird fall by the Holy Spirit to provide the little spaniel pleased to report his trophy."
Kirk Hogan, who shoots in Normandy, adds this link.
And for old times sake, me with Woodcock and Parker, ca 1975.