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MNpurple

Rabbits after Roosters??

17 posts in this topic

Just finished my very first pheasant season with my 11 month old dog. We had a great time and each learned alot but I dont want to see it end.

There are a ton of rabbits on the WMAs I've been hunting, both in the cattails and the brush. Any of you guys switch gears from roosters to rabbits?? I thought it would be a great way to keep my dog smelling and putting up the pheasants but I'd be shooting the bunnies instead. Would this screw a young dog up if I switch my quarry on her suddenly?

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I will be going after rabbits and squirrels this weekend with my bow it is a lot of fun to shoot a running bunny with a bow even though you dont have a very good success rate.

As for the dog I dont know I just go out with a few of my friends and do little drives with posters. If you jump a rabbit stay still they will usually circle back to where they were.

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If you start shooting rabbits in front of your bird dog, next pheasant season she'll be chasing pheasants AND RABBITS!!! I once had a pheasant dog that got into a fight with a coon in the cattails, I shot the coon, guess what, from then on in he hunted coon in the cattails!!!!

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Dude, little fuzzy bunnies are fun to shoot and darn tastey. However, if you shoot them over your bird dog you will have turned your bird dog into a bird/bunny dog. That's not a lot of fun when you're out bird hunting and your dog takes off after a bunny.

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Keep in mind that you'll also be shooting at something running on the ground ahead of your dog. You'll probably want to get an orange vest.

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One factor to consider is the breed of dog you are running. The versatile breeds are suppose to hunt feather and fur. I do not promote or train my griffon for hunting fur, but in the pure sense he was bred for both. Even though I do not promote it, I know he still hunts rabbits. He pointed a few last Saturday.

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I know that when we are pheasant hunting she will sniff out a hot rabbit scent if she finds one as I have watched a rabbit break out of cover in front of her while she is scenting where they just were. I guess I have never punished her for it because many times unless you actually see the rabbit, you dont know what scent has them excited.

You guys with older, more experienced dogs, do your dogs truely just ignore a hot rabbit scent if they get on one and totally ignore a rabbit right in front of them? Is this something you punished them for doing when younger or they just learned that nothing comes from chasing a rabbit, only a pheasant?

I just figured the more time I spend afield with her scenting and putting up pheasants the better she will be, and if she happens to flush a rabbit I will put a few in my game bag. Maybe it will cause more harm than good though.

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I've never shot a rabbit in front of my dog and when we are out pheasant hunting see doesn't chase after rabbits when they take off in front of her. If you want a dog that hunts both go for it, but don't forget that the retrieve is the reward for the dog. My dog has gotten to the point that she won't even chase after pheasants that aren't shot at, she'll follow the bird for maybe ten yards and then if there isn't a shot she circles back and starts hunting again.

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Quote:

do your dogs truely just ignore a hot rabbit scent if they get on one and totally ignore a rabbit right in front of them? Is this something you punished them for doing when younger or they just learned that nothing comes from chasing a rabbit, only a pheasant?


My dogs learn 'NO RABBITS' from a young age when we are out for walks, its in the same catagory as 'NO DEER', they learn in a hurry that we're after birds. Nothing worse than seeing your dog getting birdy - and then seeing a rabbit running away instead of a bird flushing. The 'NO RABBITS' along with early exposure to birds and bird wings tied to dummies is enough to make them into BIRD dogs.

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I would not be shoot'n bunnies in front of my BIRD dogs. Especially pointing breeds.

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I wouldn't shoot at something on the ground in front of my dog. Too close to him. He won't chase a rabbit while we are out in the field, unless it jumps up right in front of his face, but then all I have to do is yell "No" and he stops. I would hate to see him start chasing rabbits and stop looking for the roosters. grin.gif

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There is always preserve hunting.

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I would not shoot rabbits in front of my pointer. I think it would encourage the hunting of rabbits for her and detract from the pheasant hunt. My dog will point and start to chase the occasional rabbitt but it is stopped by my command in a hurry. It is not a problem and I would prefer to keep it that way.

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Everyone has missed the answer so far. What you need is another dog. A friend tells fond stories of hunting rabbits with beagles in Illinois when he was a kid. Come on kid, be a true American. Go out and spend some money.

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If you want to keep a pheasant in front of your dog, hit a game farm every once in a while through out the off season. Nice treat for you and your dog.

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Well this is what he little guy and I were able to come up with last night in half hour.

2193756746_47a7a6c5d0.jpg

I don't know why someone would chase some from China anyway!

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In England, Labs are required to retrieve both birds and hare at field trials. In makes no difference to the handlers or the judges what is shot and what needs to be retrieved.

We had a lab that pulled double duty whaen we were in high school and college. We pheasant hunted with him all fall and walked the tracks along the Mississippi in Jan and Feb. for bunnies. He never had a problem... the key is not what they are being used to flush, but if they are under control on the flush. ie: they are not allowed to chase! We also just walked over and picked them up. Never a problem with him when hunting... I'd rather have them check out ALL game scent and verify bunny or bird on the flush, but that is me.

With that said, I don't employ those tactics any longer. I now ice fish more than bunny hunt... way more. My last 3-4 bunny meals have come from air rifle shots at the landscape eating vermin in my yard. Once in a great while I get out and really hunt them... should do it more as it's fun... just don't seem to get around to it.

I don't believe they ever totally ignore rabbit scent, even if we never shoot one in front of them. Last week in SoDAk, I bet my dog flushed 50 rabbits in 3 days. No big deal, she won't chase them and I knew then it was not a bird. If I wanted a years worht of hassenphefer, I could've had it!

Good Luck!

Ken

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