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Yellow lab owners that duck hunt...

19 posts in this topic

Do you use a camo vest for your dog when your out duck hunting, and if so is it for the camo or the weather?

...or both....do you take it off if it's warm out?

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I use a vest when it's colder out for my y lab. If I'm hunting out of the boat, I will use it to help protect her belly when she is being pulled in the boat. I just purchased a ladder for her this year, we'll see how that works out.

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I use the vest for the weather, not too worried about hiding the dog.

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Having the dog be steady and not moving around is more important then camo

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I bought a uninsulated vest and my female cooks in that thing during warm weather. I tried it a few warm hunts and she would pant all the time. Now I just use it when it gets colder out and it doesn't bother her at all. As far as camo goes, I really don't think a yellow lab scares ducks. We have had ducks land when a dog is swimming on another retrieve and when a dog is running back and forth on the shore. It almost seems like they come in close to see what is going on. So I am not worried about camoing the dogs at all.

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You're not hunting muddy enough water if you need a camo vest for your yellow! hehehe grin.gif

I agree a steady dog is more important than a vest... a lab should never need a vest till maybe the end of the season... it is easy to over heat them with it on...

Good Luck!

Ken

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HAHA this reminds me that i have a vest for my yellow lab and a couple of summers i put it on her for her to practice in and she wouldnt move. She wouldn't move a step, she just sat there and shook. So my lab doesn't wear a vest, i tried, but she was too scared.

A. Shae

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Bushwhacker: You mention that the ducks almost come in because they see the dog moving around. Here's tonights duck hunting history lesson. In the old days (everything was black and white) when market hunters needed all sorts of tricks, they developed a technique called Tolling. And they even bred some dogs to do nothing but toll ducks. This consisted of dashing back and forth on the beach, into and out of the water, simply running around. Huge flocks of divers, like Cans Redheads, Bluebills etc. for some reason find that activity strange and the cannot resist swimming in to see what the Tolling dog is doing. At that point the old timers stand up with an unplugged '97 Winchester or maybe even a punt gun and blast away. Lotsa ducks on the water and then on the way to market.

Okay.Lesson over. No test.

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Thanks for the replys!!

I guess one last question...maybe I am taking this to far, but do you worry about shiney collars and/or the chrome buckels (that comes with the e-collars)?

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i wondered the same thing about the shiny buckle, i just bought some camo cloth tape and taped them up..

i use the hodgmans floation vest with the black "extreme" coating on the bottom for late season when there is sharp ice and if they are getting a lot of retrieves in cold water the extra floatation helps and they swim alot faster with the floatation too.

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Here's my yellow's duck attire on a cold day. Buckles don't concern me. I love the neoprene vests though...keeps the dog much warmer and drier for the cold hunts. I use the vests all the time, unless it's excessively warm.

Ducks003.jpg

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my yellow lab wears her vest when it gets towards the end of the season. and as for the shiny buckels on the collars. i haven't had any problems with that and i don't think you need to worry about that.

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I don't let my dog wear a collar when hunting over water... Twice I've heard of guys losing dogs to drowning because they were hung up. They do make camo collars with a flat black buckle as opposed to chrome if you're gonna use one.

Good Luck!

Ken

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what do they get hung up on?

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One was in the river bottoms and it was a submerged branch sticking up from a dead tree... it was just below the surface, slid between the collar and neck... pulled him under...

The second one was in the dakotas back in the mid-90's, it was a submerged fence, I believe barb wire, was not strung post to post anymore, but just a big loop off one post sticking up, they figured it got hung up around the collar, the dog panicked, got twisted up in it good and went under...

I wasn't there for either event, but I guess it happens quick and by the time you know what's going on and take action it can be to late...

Young dogs that i'm working with still have their shock collar on, but I make sure it's tight and try to 'know' my water so I don't have to experience this. Once I know they are steady it's no collar time.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I have a question about vests as well. I purchase a Cabela's vest that could be cut to fit. Even after trimming the vest (no returning it now), it still does not fit that well. My dog is a Griffon and his body shape does not allow a good fit in some areas. I had to go with an XL because of the depth of his chest and it is large around the neck and waist area.

What are some opinions about concerns with there being a gap or cup in the vest under his chin / front of chest. Is this going to hinder him from swimming or be a cause for concern about safety? It is a vest with floation, so that will help. I do want to find a vest for late season, cool water conditions.

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I am facing the same dilema with my lab and a vest. I went a Mad Dog veg by Stearns (got it at Joes) and decided to go with a medium vs a large for that reason. It feels a little tight when trying to zip it up, but once it's on I can slide my hand in under the vest and it does not seem to tight around the chest. I can still pinch some of the vest.

I measured 29" or so around his chest and the vest had options of medium at 28" or under and large 30" or under. I chose the med and it seems to fit snug but not tight. The 30" was a bit loose.

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My dogs chest is so deep, but narrow (if that makes sense) the XL in this Cabela's vest barely goes aroung his chest behind his front legs. However his neck and front of his chest are too small.

I will be at my parent's lake home on Friday, we will have to test it out and see how it goes.

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  • Posts

    • SkunkedAgain

      Posted (edited)

      Maybe there is a market out there for higher end food on Vermilion. If I were in the restaurant business and felt that way, I would probably operate that restaurant on the other end of the lake where it stands out from the competition and benefits from the higher population density and bigger cabins/wealth.

      In my mind, what the west end has always wanted is a fun place to hang out, get a beer, and swap fishing tales. You don't need $20 bloody mary's to do that or $12 burgers. Most people would be happy with a Heggie's pizza, some wings, or nachos with melted cheese....accompanied by a mug of Schells/Leinie's/Bud and your occasional can or bottle of something more fancy like a Surly. No need to make this a high-end sushi joint or something that it's really not.

      Those seeking a fancy meal will seek it out as necessary. The masses will just avoid the joint if it isn't to their liking.

      Edited by SkunkedAgain
    • BSLNORTH

      Posted

      We did pretty well duck hunting and I thought there was a lot of shooting around. Spent a few hours in the woods checking stands and didn't see one grouse. Lots of deer sign.

    • rundrave

      Posted

      I think you need to go back to basics. What you are trying to do doesn't have to be reinforced in just the boat.

      You need that dog to obey and listen to each command you give. If you are trying to get her to sit/stay then that's what you need to work on.

      You can practice and work on that command every time you open the door to the kennel to let the dog out. You tell her to sit/stay and you open the door. If she doesn't you know close the door and repeat.

      Every time you give your dog a bowl of food don't just give it to her make her sit/stay before she get its. There are  varieties of situation that the sit command can be used for. Start with small exercises and work your way up to bigger more complicated tasks, repetition, repetition repetition. Be sure to praise and always try to end work on a positive note. 

      I think the most important thing is don't give a command you cant reinforce.

    • Musky hunter 82

      Posted

      I made it out last night, saw a small buck and a nice doe at 20 yards but to quite to hear them and since I'm in some really thick stuff I didn't see them until they were on top of me.  Also saw another deer 40 yards away but couldn't tell what it was, then spooked something behind (not the direction the deer normally head to in the evening) me as I was getting down.  Almost had a Coyote in the CRP grass when I was walking out, big sucker and the second one see in two sits now (one by my wife and now by me), the land owner said that they are coming up on to his yard now.  I've hunted this ground for 12 years and this is the first year I've seen a coyote while hunting.

      Here's a couple of views from the stand, going to move it to the edge of the CRP field that is about 30 yards behind me.

      20160925_164858.jpg

      20160925_164902.jpg

    • paceman

      Posted

      Made it out for a very short sit Saturday Night. Thunder storms had my son and I scrambling for the truck. Our view. Lots of good deer sign in area. Early SE Corn.JPG

    • 750 this week only Im losing money on this but would rather have someone be able to use it than for it to just sit around. After this week I am going to winterize it and it will no longer be for sale.

    • How is she on the sit command?  That is the basis of everything.  She needs to learn to sit still and wait until the next command.  I don't even teach my dogs "stay" because it isn't necessary if they are solid on "sit".  Every dog has the ability to be steady, it is up to you to teach them.  A lab that isn't steady in the boat is not only annoying, it is potentially dangerous with loaded guns and the potential to capsize a boat in open water. 

      If she knows sit but just needs some reinforcement, it may just take a couple trips where you don't even bring the gun along and let others shoot while you handle the dog. 

      If she's real bad, I would recommend going back to the basics. It will be tougher with an older dog versus a puppy but is definitely worth it. Check out the retriever training DVDS by Bill Hillman. They are spendy but definitely worth it.

    • easyrider25

      Posted

      Looking for advice on keeping the dog focused and quiet in the duck boat.  Was out today and we shot enough ducks to keep her busy, however my dog is such a hyper hypo that it's a  little annoying.  Either whining or jumping back and forth from the front and back of the boat.  Do I just need to establish the expectation and keep on her till she finally gets it or is this how some dogs are in the boat? This is her 4th year duck hunting and she has continued to improve each season.  Overall I am happy with her work, especially with the limited amount of hunting I do.  We were out today for 3 hours, shot 8 birds and she did great on the retrieving end and is pretty much focused on the skies, but if something is not constantly dropping from them I feel like I have a screaming baby on my hands.  It's not really that bad, just very annoying.   I would just like her to sit in her spot, stare at the skies and wait for my command.  Is this to much to ask?

    • On 9/24/2016 at 3:30 PM, ZachD said:

      she's getting big

      She's up to 38 pounds at a few days short of 5 months and does not stop going 100 mph. She got exposed to a lot of feathers this weekend at duck camp. She retrieved dead ducks and geese in the yard after our hunts. The goose was a bit big so I chopped a wing off and worked with that after she picked it up and barely made it back a short distance to me. 

      1 person likes this
    • delcecchi

      Posted

      Maybe that is how they can stay in business 



  • Posts

    • SkunkedAgain
      Maybe there is a market out there for higher end food on Vermilion. If I were in the restaurant business and felt that way, I would probably operate that restaurant on the other end of the lake where it stands out from the competition and benefits from the higher population density and bigger cabins/wealth. In my mind, what the west end has always wanted is a fun place to hang out, get a beer, and swap fishing tales. You don't need $20 bloody mary's to do that or $12 burgers. Most people would be happy with a Heggie's pizza, some wings, or nachos with melted cheese....accompanied by a mug of Schells/Leinie's/Bud and your occasional can or bottle of something more fancy like a Surly. No need to make this a high-end sushi joint or something that it's really not. Those seeking a fancy meal will seek it out as necessary. The masses will just avoid the joint if it isn't to their liking.
    • BSLNORTH
      We did pretty well duck hunting and I thought there was a lot of shooting around. Spent a few hours in the woods checking stands and didn't see one grouse. Lots of deer sign.
    • rundrave
      I think you need to go back to basics. What you are trying to do doesn't have to be reinforced in just the boat. You need that dog to obey and listen to each command you give. If you are trying to get her to sit/stay then that's what you need to work on. You can practice and work on that command every time you open the door to the kennel to let the dog out. You tell her to sit/stay and you open the door. If she doesn't you know close the door and repeat. Every time you give your dog a bowl of food don't just give it to her make her sit/stay before she get its. There are  varieties of situation that the sit command can be used for. Start with small exercises and work your way up to bigger more complicated tasks, repetition, repetition repetition. Be sure to praise and always try to end work on a positive note.  I think the most important thing is don't give a command you cant reinforce.
    • Musky hunter 82
      I made it out last night, saw a small buck and a nice doe at 20 yards but to quite to hear them and since I'm in some really thick stuff I didn't see them until they were on top of me.  Also saw another deer 40 yards away but couldn't tell what it was, then spooked something behind (not the direction the deer normally head to in the evening) me as I was getting down.  Almost had a Coyote in the CRP grass when I was walking out, big sucker and the second one see in two sits now (one by my wife and now by me), the land owner said that they are coming up on to his yard now.  I've hunted this ground for 12 years and this is the first year I've seen a coyote while hunting. Here's a couple of views from the stand, going to move it to the edge of the CRP field that is about 30 yards behind me.
    • paceman
      Made it out for a very short sit Saturday Night. Thunder storms had my son and I scrambling for the truck. Our view. Lots of good deer sign in area.