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JPowell

First time pheasent hunter

13 posts in this topic

It's getting to be abut that time of year again. The pheasents are looking awesome this year and i am getting itchy. I have a great new hunting buddy that is just full of energy. My 16 month old yellow lab (poacher) is shaping up to be a great duck/goose/pheasent dog. It's the owner that is just to darn nervous about the season. I have been trying to figure out different games and things to do to get him into the swing of things with the land birds. i have differnet thoughts that he won't know what to do when the time comes. He loves tennis balls so i invented a game where i got about 6 balls together and drown them in pheasent scent and then throw them blindly out into a field. we went around to the downwind side and he found all those balls. we do this now and again. My thought is that if he thinks this is a game then he will have quite the supprise when he go to grab a ball and a bird flys up.

well i guess i am asking for peoples ideas on how they get the game into the dogs head. i would like to get some birds from a farm or smehting but they get so darn expensive and you usually have to get a set number. So let's hear some ideas.

Also if anybody with a young dog/old dog or anyone looking to get out before the season starts. possibly splitting some birds a couple different ways to down the cost or get a little experience for the dogs. I am around the St. Cloud area. seabass91@hotmail.com

jp

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Actually game farms are a great way to introduce a dog to birds. It isn't as expensive as it sounds either. Figure in your fuel savings from driving around field to field when hunting wild birds, at least 1 if not 2 meals etc. etc. You'll have $50 into the day before you bat an eye. Convert that into 4 birds in a 20 acre field and a 1 hour hunt. That is how you get a dogs attention and get them pumped up. If you are not in an area that holds a reasonable population of wild birds, a young dog will soon lose interest in hunting for them.

If you really want to go the inexpensive route, buy a dozen pigeons at $3 a piece and plant 4-6 a day in a small brome field and hunt them up. This is a great way to intro a young dog to hunting upland birds.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Has poacher been around gun shots? If not, there has been some good posts on how to introduce the dog to that on here. Have you tried training with Pheasant wings wrapped around a field dummy? The wings will feel different in the dogs mouth than a tennis ball.

"hooks"

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He has been around lot's of gun shots and just gets more excited when they go off. I have also worked with pheasent wings, duck wings and frozen ducks and pigeons. nothing live as of yet and he does well with all of that. so i might need to find some pigeons and try it out. anyone have some to sell? I think that i am just getting myself worked up. I have talked to people that just tell me that the dog will get the hang of it after the first couple of birds. just seems so far away though. thanks for the replys guys...

JP

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The best thing you could do for your dog would be to join a shooting preserve. I overheard someone say this past weekend was the difference between a good, a great and exceptional gun dog was the number of birds that were put in front of the dog. It is probably the best investment in making your dog a great gun dog. Most preserves will work with you on a payment plan if the initial cost is too much for your checkbook to handle at one time. Many preserves have "scratch birds" at a reduced cost, which will keep your dog on birds. There are many preserves throughout the state, and you should be able to find one that will fit you and your dog. Go to Game Fair this weekend and talk to those preserve operators that have a booth.

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My dogs first live pheasant was at a game preserve. I went with a couple of buddies and their dogs. Before we let my buddies dogs out of the truck the gal at the preserve took a bird and placed it nearby so we knew where it was and we let my dog go to find it. He did what he was supposed to do and after that the other dogs helped him learn more. I do not blame you to getting excited about this, it's great to see the dog work (or is it work) grin.gif.

"hooks"

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I took my 7mth old lab to a dog trainning field the other day that suppose to have some wild grouse and sharptails somewhere. My dog did good I thought, stayed within 20yds and seemed to kick every brush and shady spot and had his nose to the ground. However we were unable to kick anything up.

I was wondering how good those game farm birds hold. Could a rookie first timer dog like mine kick them up or do you really need a good dog for those. I sure would hate to drop a $150 and not see a bird. What do you think?

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ran,

Everytime I've been to a game farm I have seen at least as many birds as I've paid for and usually see a couple extra scratch birds as well. And yes they tend to hold very tight to the cover.

TRITC

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ran, if you tell the game farm you have a young dog and want to get them on birds they will usually help you out. I have hunted with young pups a couple of times and the game farms will "spin" the pheasants to make them dizzy so they will sit longer for your dog to work to them and flush them for you.

My last dog we took to a farm he would also flag every other pheasant along with spinning them and he put them in a straight line so we could help the pup by keeping her working in the area where the bird was intially placed. By the end of the line they were starting to move around a little more but it did help to get her on the birds quicker.

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Your lab pup should have no problem with the average game farm bird or even the above average game farm bird. Those game farm birds usually hold just fine and most of the time they hold too well. Many flushers and even some ill mannered pointers will catch game farm birds. Be careful about the shooting aspect. If you have multiple people with you make sure only a couple shots are fired so the pup doesn't get scared. Also game farm birds can be notorious for flying low so safety is also a factor.

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Randy, We usually do a game farm hunt or two prior to pheasant season. Your welcome to join us. You would just need to decide how many birds you want for your dog. Also, we sometimes get birds (pheasant, chukar) at wholesale and use them for training in cover. Again, your welcome to join us. We will probably be doing this pretty soon.

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I wouldn't worry too much. My yellow lab had her first hunt last Fall when she was 7 months old. It was just me, her and the open trails. The first bird I knocked down she surprisingly found it right away. When she found it she didn't want anything to do with it. She stuck her nose next to it then jumped back. I figured she was young and would get the hang of it in the weeks to come. Well it didn't take that long. About an hour later I got my second bird. She took off into the woods where it lay flapping it's wings, and chomped right on to it and brought it out to me. She gave it a few of those crocidile head whips but eventually gave it to me. By the end of the day we got our third bird and once again she went right up to it and retrieved it for me. Keep in mind, until this point she had never been introduced to any birds, live or frozen. She was completely green. It just comes naturally to them. Your dog will do great I'm sure.

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Bill, thanks for the invite. Hes going threw growing pains right now I think and isnt listening very well. Might just work on the duck hunting 4 now and slowly worksome grouse in. I just dont see him doing very good with other dogs and people around yet. I'll get ahold of you if I change my mind. thanks

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