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Experiences with a 5 month old GSP

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Seeing the post about what to expect with an 11 month old GWP, I decided to post about my expereinces with my 5 month GSP.

For starters, I will say that I am well aware that he is still VERY young and has lots of time to learn. This is my first pointer, so it is a totally new expereince for me having to get the dog to point before I shoot.

I spent most of the day in the woods near Emily with him on Friday. We covered a lot of ground early in the day without seeing, pointing or flushing a single bird. There were many areas where he would get "birdy" and really work areas over very thoroughly and kept going back to the same spot to pick up the scent. We didn't see our first bird until 3:30. After that, they were everywhere. We saw 14 birds over the next 90 minutes. Of those 14, the pup had a legitimate chance to point 12 of those birds, but did not point any of them. It is very obvious that right now, he just loves to run in the woods and explore. Several times he ran right by the birds and never even noticed that they were there. On one occasion, he ran to within 7-8 yards of two birds that were standing right in the middle of the trail, only to turn and run back toward me. To his credit, the birds were down-wind, so scenting them may have been a bit hard, but I was at least hoping he would see them and point.

At one point, while he was off to my right, exploring and sniffing about 50 yards into the woods, a bird got up about 15 yards to my left, which I shot and dropped into a swamp. I looked for it for 15 minutes, while my pup just sat in one spot in the swamp, seemingly smiling at me the entire time. I finally walked over to him only to see that he had found the bird and was sitting very proud with it between his front feet. That brought a huge smile to my face, and a good rub down and lots of praise for him.

While it was frustrating at times to not see him point birds that I knew were there, it was a lot of fun to watch him run, play, explore and gain lots of confidence. As the day went by, he seemed to run and hunt with more purpose despite not actually pointing a bird. When I kenneled him for the last time Friday evening, I felt a sense of pride and confidence that he has many bright days ahead of him aside from all the hard work him and I will put in along the way.

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Not knowing anything about pointers, I would say it sounds like a good first day! Exposure to the woods and all their smells, finding a downed bird, and just plain ol' having fun is a great way to introduce a dog to hunting! It's no different than a young child! Make it fun and they want more.

On a side note, we hunted for 4 hours yesterday afternoon between Motley and Nevis and never even flushed a bird! I never walked a trial once and walked many different types of cover. Pretty disappointing. I'm trying to get my young dog on birds and the last 2 areas we've hunted, have been real disapponting in terms of bird numbers.

Good Luck!


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