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LABS4ME

An American Ally

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LABS4ME

As usual the English and American's are allied again... This time in a field hunting Chuckars.

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It was the 1st 'live bird' hunt for my 11 month old American Cocker. We invited my buddy and his 2 year old English Springer to come along for a little pre-season tune-up. We began the afternoon putting out 4 Chuckar for 'Chaser' to get the feel for hunting live birds. The 1st bird got up and we missed the shot (picked it up a little later)... Too much attention was turned to Chaser. He did as expected and sat to the flush looking like "WHAT?"... "THAT'S ALL?". The next bird gets up and get's a wing tip broke... lands 60 yards away. We get Chaser in the little box elder grove where it landed and that's when the light bulb really turned on. He was trying to figure out where the bird went everytime he dove into the cover for it... it would run out from under his nose as he paused to pounce on it. We eventually got it and worked on retrieving and getting on the bird right away. We then preceeded to put up and shoot (and retrieve) the next 2 (3)birds as I was hoping for.

Then we had 8 more Chuckar released. Between the 2 dogs we managed to find and shoot all 8 in about an hours time (my son lost one out of his vest in the field), but all in all a very good hunt by both dogs. Chaser was a little overwhelmed with the additional dog at 1st, but soon settled into hunting. Titan did a 'bang-up' job and is ready for pheasant season. There is definitley a difference in their style of hunting. The Springer covers more ground and is quicker, where-as the Cocker quarters a smaller area and uses it's nose more. It was surprising to see the distance in which he winded some of the birds. It was a riot to see him get birdy and bound over cover for 10-20 yards and zero in on a bird (or where a bird used to be). Even the chest high millet was no problem for him, making me believe he may do O.K. in some limited cat-tail hunting.

All in all it was a successful 1st hunt. He needs a lot more exposure to 'the hunt', but the nuts and bolts are all there. He never broke all day and was never over 20 yards form me. I know as a breed they tend to hunt close and use their nose more, but I'm hoping he expands his range a little. It is odd to have a young dog out upland hunting and for it to never get out of control and never having to use the command 'here' to recall it. I am planning on doing 3-4 more game farm hunts over the next month to really get his skills honed. I am planning a grouse hunt with him around the 1st up north, so I'm hopeful he can handle the wild birds as well as he does the game farm birds.

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Chaser's 1st birds.

Well that's about it for this update! This week he will start out on his own and end the afternoon hunting with my youngest lab for the latter part of the hunt.

Good Luck!

Ken

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gspman

Nice!!! If you get him in the "right" cattails I think he'd do a knockout job. If you are interested, there is a decent article on spaniels (including cockers) in the latest issue of Shooting Sportsman.

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LABS4ME

Thanks! I'll have to try and find a copy... My buddy just gave me an issue of I think 'gun dog journal'. Had an article on English COckers in it.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Eckie

Hey Ken ~

Dug this out of the archive (remembered skimming over it a couple of months ago).

Did you buy your cocker locally? Wondering if you'd be willing to provide me with any kennel recommendations in the state.

My private email is mgeckman at mchsi (Contact Us Please) com. We met this summer when you gave away the playpen, which has been put to good use (btw)...

Thanks for any insight and advice!

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311Hemi

Ken...looks like a good first outing for the pup and like you guys had some fun. Good luck on wild birds later the season!!!

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Eckie

Hey Labs...just checking if you saw my post a couple of days ago..hoping to pick your brain on finding a cocker...

Thanks..

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Lynch Gun Dogs

Hello Labs.

Good luck with the little cocker. I have been running English Cockers in cattail sloughs for a long time. I love hunting western MN cattails. The ones that figure out how to run under in the tunnels and not jump can be fantastik.

His Range may open up more but enjoy it for now. Nothing is better then be able to relax out in the field. A good days hunt you will use zero whistle and find birds in gun range.

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