After kicking off in Fishing Planet, this week I’ve taken a chance and fired up The Hunter – Call of the Wild. I’m aware of a number of outstanding issues from the most recent of updates but I wanted to try out hunting with a canine companion.

So, meet Mack, my Bloodhound…

…Not the best looking dog and I’d rather have a Border Collie but Expansive Worlds have only given us Bloodhounds. The advantage of that is the tracking ability when you’ve wounded an animal. After initially struggling a little, Mack is now picking up the scent of blood from a good distance which comes in handy when you shoot a Moose – even mortally wounded, they can run over a kilometre and often choose some good hiding places to finally keel over! This one chose open water having dived through some big reeds that would probably have had me scratching my head even with the tracking aids that we have…

…Mack’s barking at me to make sure I’ve seen what he’s found 😉

The community as a whole have welcomed the dogs – even more than the announcement that we were getting Turkeys in a US reserve last year! The disappointment of the bugs that came with the dlc did dampen things a bit but still they are a welcome addition. It is less about what the dog may be able to do and much more about having a companion when you’re out there hunting alone. I certainly like having Mack with me – almost like I occasionally enjoy having a passenger in my truck 🙂

However, I think the presence of a dog comes at a cost, at least in the early days. I’ve missed a couple of shots because Mack got in the way and I had to lower my weapon. I missed an opportunity of a Blacktail buck because, despite having earned the ‘Awareness of when an animal is likely to spook’ trait, Mack spooked the deer. I wonder if the dog’s understanding and implementation of these learned traits slowly improves over time? I guess I’ll find out. But it is good to have a companion 🙂

Here we are sharing a couple more kills – a Bear and a nice Moose 🙂 …

I’ll let you know how Mack grows into the job. ps – If you’re wondering about the name, my Mack Trucks are named after dogs, so I’ve reversed the process 😉

I had a set of things, mainly revolving around the computer games that I play, that I hoped would happen this spring. Most of them didn’t and it’s time for some explanations.

Lets start with Farming Simulator. I have often thought about kicking this off again but just like back in December, Truck Simulator has been eating much of my playing time. There was also a lot of time spent on The Hunter – Call of the Wild when I wasn’t trucking. Then Giants Software announced the proposed release of Farming Simulator 2022 – sometime in the last quarter of 2021. At that point, I decided to wait for the new game which will include seasons and other improvements! I can’t promise a return to Boundary Farm to begin with though 🙂

So, if I’ve been hunting, why haven’t I been writing about that? Well, I did, sort of… There were 2 posts in January and I pressed on for a while after that progressing my new profile….

…But there never seemed a good time to write about it and then there was the ‘Dogs’ update. We were going to get Bloodhounds to aid our tracking and to be our companion in the field. It would have made for a good time to post about the game. Unfortunately, the dogs had ticks – or should I say, were bugged – causing a number of issues. I was lucky, because I was too busy in Euro truck at the time of the release, I didn’t get the chance to begin playing with a dog before the issues came to light. Expansive Worlds issued a hotfix to get around the most glaring of the problems but fell into the trap of ‘fix one bug – create two more’. I have stayed away from the game and will only return when the worst of the bugs have been eradicated. Expansive Worlds are a small team and I sometimes wonder if they should take a leaf out of the SCS Software playbook and do open beta’s for their changes – the player base is very loyal and would happily pitch in to catch bugs before the release of a new update.

In the background I have continued with Car Mechanic Simulator – a fun game that I play off and on. Here’s a recently restored Chevy Corvette…

…I have stopped playing that game now because… The 2021 version is due to be released soon – can’t wait 🙂

Warframe is dead – for me and my Son. Too many changes that seem to have no real gains for the player. We both stopped playing over a year ago – and there are a lot of other players who did likewise. But the game continues to prosper with new players joining to replace those who have given up on it. In many ways, Destiny 2 has become what we thought Warframe should have been and Alasdair is enjoying playing that.

The Fisherman – Fishing Planet. One of those games that sits there patiently waiting for you to come back. Pushed into the background by The Hunter, I went back earlier this week for the first time in several months and once again fell in love with the relaxed gameplay. There’s something special about waiting for that first bite in the cool mist of dawn…

…It took me a little while to remember what baits might work best for different fish and at different locations, but it’s all coming back. I found that I had a very unbalanced set of rods, floats and baits in my kit along with a plethora of lures that duplicated each other, so I’ve had a late spring clean 😉 Expect a ‘fishing’ related Birdshot post sometime soon!

And that brings me to Trucking… The less said the better as that’s really a subject for a Trucking Digest and you can expect one of those very soon 😉