How do you handle your hunting? - Page 11 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #101 of 104 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gdgli View Post
Today we are working the dog at a duck shoot at a shooting preserve. I call these flighted ducks. There is a duck blind at the edge of a pond with two shooters in it. You and the dog are behind the blind. The ducks fly out of the woods from across the pond and most of the time drop down as they fly over, almost none set into the decoys. It is cold and the pond has frozen. Although most hit birds drop on land, some will land on the ice.

Questions:

How does your dog handle ice?
What issues does the ice present?
Well, my thought would be that you don't send a dog out onto ice that you wouldn't walk out on yourself, but then again I've never actually seen a pond frozen over so this is all theoretical I'll be interested to see how this one evolves


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post #102 of 104 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
Well, my thought would be that you don't send a dog out onto ice that you wouldn't walk out on yourself, but then again I've never actually seen a pond frozen over so this is all theoretical I'll be interested to see how this one evolves
Not usually thick ice. The humans usually been out on the pond to set decoys, or broken up the ice into chunks with a boat. Having the dog "break ice" isn't too unusual up here, but it's never thick ice. Just takes a determined dog not to give up. I found a YouTube video that kind of demonstrates



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post #103 of 104 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:36 PM
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Well, it depends upon how thick the ice is. If the ice is thick the dog will work on it the same as on land, no cover so very easy retrieves. If the ice is thin, you may have to get the boat out to break up the ice so the dog can swim. If it's very thin skim ice, the dog will break it on his own and make the retrieves.

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post #104 of 104 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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OK, I have to admit that I have limited experience with this but I can share what I have observed. Clarification needed. These are freshwater ponds. They seem solid on top, not skim ice. Remember, ponds freeze from the top.

1) My dog has not run out onto the ice. She seems to get to the edge and is cautious. When she does go onto the ice, I have seen her slip just a bit. She does get the birds.
2) I fear that she could get an injury from slipping on the ice---pulled muscle, sprain, stretched ligament.
My other fear is slipping through the ice.

I did see a young Chessie go out onto the ice and then fell through the ice in the middle of the pond. This was my friend's dog Bull. He could not get out---he kept sliding back in. This went on for several minutes and the dog became frantic. Finally the bird thrower came out onto the pond by sliding a jon boat across the ice. He pulled the dog out and into the boat.

I think that there is a lesson here. Be prepared. I would bet that there are plenty of people that hunt a pond by just walking up to it and have no boat. You then need to have another plan to rescue your dog.

How do you get ducks to decoy to a frozen pond? The old timers poured Bluette onto the ice to make it look like open water. I have heard of blue plastic sheets being used these days too. Add flat bottomed decoys. This is now a magnet for ducks.
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