First, Ted Stevens was found guilty of fraud on all seven counts. He faces up to 35 years in prison, but he'll probably get no time. Either way, he is officially tarnished, which is good.
The next bit of news is much more directly related to my well being. I had Steelie out hunting for the first time yesterday. I can't afford a license so I brought him along with a couple buddies for Quail and Grouse in the coast range. Mainly I just wanted him to get comfortable with guns blazing. When we started I kept him 50 yards or so from the guns and had them shoot, then moved him to within 20 yards, then within 10 feet. He barely flinched when he was up close, his ears were up and he was looking around trying to figure out what was going on. Then I threw a pheasant wing that I taped to a stick (for distance), he got all fired up and pretty much stayed that way the rest of the day. At the last spot we walked we flushed a covey of about 15 quail. 5 shots were fired and he was staring at the birds the whole time. The bank was a little steep for him to be comfortable on, but I brought him up anyways so he could see the downed birds. One of them did the dead bird wing flap and that spooked him a little, but he recovered quickly. When we were back on the road I threw the bird for him to retrieve and he did, flawlessly. Before we headed home we stopped at a spot we had seen birds in earlier. There was one quail on the road that ran into the ditch and flushed too fast to get a shot. Steelie didn't see the bird, but when he got to the scent he got super birdy and I could barely call him out of the ditch, he was determined to find that bird. All in all, an awesome first outing for a 4 month old. He is amazingly controllable already and I'm pretty excited to see how he'll hunt next season. Til then, I'll keep him busy as an alarmingly effective (so far) good luck charm for steelhead.