How do you handle your hunting? - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #11 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 05:00 PM
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Look at it this way. If you pulled the dog back because it cheated cover, and a crippled bird escaped, think about how you would explain your actions to a Conservation Officer who watched the episode unfold. (You may be looking at a summons in some states.)

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post #12 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampcollie View Post
Look at it this way. If you pulled the dog back because it cheated cover, and a crippled bird escaped, think about how you would explain your actions to a Conservation Officer who watched the episode unfold. (You may be looking at a summons in some states.)
Exactly. I once lost a crippled black duck that did the diving/snorkeling routine because I didn't retrieve it fast enough. Since then getting the bird is my top priority. I felt terrible about losing that bird.
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post #13 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 07:09 PM
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I don't get to hunt as much as gdgli, so my comments are limited in both quantity and quality (esp. the latter). And, nearly all of my hunting is for waterfowl.
These are just random thoughts ....

My trial dogs hunt. It's as much a break from the routine for them as it is for me.

My standards are admittedly relaxed when hunting, but I don't throw them out the window either. If I blow a whistle, I expect my dog to sit (well, actually to turn around and tread water until I give a cast) ... PERIOD. If there's not a response to the whistle, consequences follow (in most instances, I am able to hunt with a collar on the dog).
Must the dog take the cast ... yes.
Must the dog be steady ... mostly.

HOWEVER, I do not hunt with a dog that is not at least through transition. It's not worth the hassle, or the risk of screwing up some milestone that I've reached with the dog, if it's not fairly solid.

In addition (this is not my original thought), I believe that dogs, at least most fairly well trained retrievers, are situational learners. That is, they understand the difference between hunting and trialing (but see CAVEAT, below).

CAVEAT: I co-owned one pretty good trial dog. Said trial dog was competitive in Opens and Ams. Said trial dog was running very well and my hopes were mounting for a strong fall trial season. Without prior warning, said co-owner took said trial dog dove hunting on Wednesday and Thursday. I picked up said dog Thursday night so I could run an Open the next morning. Said trial dog crept on the first bird down, and the second bird, and broke on the third bird ... it was a quad, so the dog never even knew that there was a flyer being shot! So, at least for my trial dogs, hunting during trial season is probably not gonna happen again.

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post #14 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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FT

Some things I do not compromise on. Response to the whistle is one. Delivery to hand is another. Admittedly, when I hunt I prefer to take the bird from the dog while she is facing me while still standing. Steadiness...well I do my best but the truth is when the guns go off and the birds are falling...well you know what happens. Especially when your eyes are off the dog and you are busy shooting.
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post #15 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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OK, new scenario. You are pheasant hunting. Bird flushes, your hunting partner hits the bird lightly. It glides across the field 80 yards into the woods for maybe another 20 yards. Your dog is not able to mark it because he either 1) is busy retrieving another bird or 2) the nature of the cover does not allow the dog to visually mark the bird.

Sooooo, how do you handle this one?

Not an uncommon scenario for pheasant hunting in my area.
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post #16 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FTGoldens View Post

CAVEAT: I co-owned one pretty good trial dog. Said trial dog was competitive in Opens and Ams. Said trial dog was running very well and my hopes were mounting for a strong fall trial season. Without prior warning, said co-owner took said trial dog dove hunting on Wednesday and Thursday. I picked up said dog Thursday night so I could run an Open the next morning. Said trial dog crept on the first bird down, and the second bird, and broke on the third bird ... it was a quad, so the dog never even knew that there was a flyer being shot! So, at least for my trial dogs, hunting during trial season is probably not gonna happen again.

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post #17 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 06:18 AM
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Very common here, too. I just send him in the general direction of the fall and let him look for it. He knows that's what's expected. The command is still just "take it" because implied in that has always been "and don't come back until you find it". Sometimes I'll give him a cast to get him downwind of *about* where I think it went down if he's having a real hard time finding it. He seems to be pretty good at guessing how far birds usually fall, but if one flies a goodly distance frequently he will pull up and hunt short.
BTW that's exactly the scenario in the "hunt dead" portion of the AKC flushing spaniel tests. The dog is sent in the general direction of the downed bird and has 5 minutes to find it and bring it back. You don't know exactly where it is, either.
Oh, and steady to wing and shot is simply non-negotiable, along with delivery to hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdgli View Post
OK, new scenario. You are pheasant hunting. Bird flushes, your hunting partner hits the bird lightly. It glides across the field 80 yards into the woods for maybe another 20 yards. Your dog is not able to mark it because he either 1) is busy retrieving another bird or 2) the nature of the cover does not allow the dog to visually mark the bird.

Sooooo, how do you handle this one?

Not an uncommon scenario for pheasant hunting in my area.



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Last edited by hotel4dogs; 01-26-2017 at 06:30 AM.
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post #18 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Your post shows that you have hunting experience. There is more than one way to handle this.

More on this later.
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post #19 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 01:43 PM
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A couple of weeks ago we were shooting live flyers in training. I was having a bad day and couldn't hit the broad side of the barn for some reason. DH couldn't either. So one duck got away. The winds were super high that day, the ducks had a terrible time flying. It was also about 5 degrees. I watched where the duck landed in the brush pile on the far side of the field. I knew that the weather would keep him planted in that brush pile where he felt safe. So when we were done training an hour later, I walked out with Riot, who's never had to hunt one up before. About 100' or so from the brush pile, I turned Riot loose. He hadn't seen that bird fall, but he knew what was up somehow. He just knew exactly what to do. He came up with that bird pretty quickly after scrambling around the brush pile chasing the duck. He came to heel nicely and we walked back to the truck and put the unharmed live flyer back in his bird crate. For Riot that's as close to hunting as he has gotten so far. I'm not ready to take him full on hunting yet until we're solid on handling. But that day he did well for me. I don't feel like there were any negatives results in training the next day.

~ Stacey with Hunter, Lucy and Riot, missing Reilly, Tiger and Pennie
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post #20 of 104 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 04:10 PM
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Stacey, we've had many instances like that of flyers getting loose in training and what fun to have the dogs go "search" for it! Sophie and Fisher were the stars at that. I'm not sure if Bally's ever been put to that task, I think I use fewer flyers with him. Toward the end of Fisher's life when he couldn't exercise as much I would often go plant a duck in the woods (best form of cover we have here) and after a while let him go find it. He always did. Super fun
I've been hunting exactly one day in my life. Doves. Bally went. Exactly one time was a bird shot that resembled a mark. It was about 30 yards away, he marked it, I sent him for it, he brought it back and didn't eat it, and the hunter I was with thought this dog was a freakin' genius. The rest of the time it was "the bird fell over there, let's go find it." Nothing resembled training for tests or trials, other than maybe being steady and delivering to hand. In hunting you are not being judged, and no one will care if you walk out there yourself and hunt it up, the dog hunts its way to a blind, you have fifty cast refusals, or you throw rocks to get your dog in the water. If you hunt and test/trial I think it would have to be a very careful balance of what you will or won't accept for your dog's skill level in both venues.

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