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AlexRM

Choice of gun dog?

34 posts in this topic

I am just curious what everyones choice of gundog is. What do you guys hunt for? hunt behind? and why?

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Labs

We primarily hunt ducks, geese, and pheasant. Occasionally a ruffed grouse trip up North.

Have also hunted behind Germain Shorthairs and Springers. They are pretty neat too, more specialized in upland.

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German Shorthaired pointer. They are the perfect dog for me. I just like the way they look and hunt. I mostly hunt pheasants but usually make a couple trips for grouse and woodcock too. I'd be happy own an English Pointer too as well as an English Setter and a field bred English Springer Spaniel if somebody else would do the hair maintenance on them. wink.gif

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I hunt with an English Setter (3rd one). I hunt mostly grouse, and I'll get a couple of weekends a season pheasant hunting. Why a setter? My buddies late father put it this way "With all dogs, every once in awhile things can get a little ugly out in the field and not go as planned; one thing about a setter, at least they're easy on the eye..."

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I run English Setters. Why? This is why....

Frecklesonpoint1.jpg

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I hunt labs. Always have and always have had good luck with them. They are also great memebers of the family. I am sure setters and pointers are too but all I have ever had is a lab and I love them.

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Labs are the way to go for versatility and trainability. They can take the cold weather and water, are great family dogs, and few other breeds can be used on as many game species. Mine may not point, but I can usually tell when something is going to happen. I am very partial to black labs as well.

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After owning most of the pointing breeds I run nothing but english pointers now. There are a lot of misconceptions about pointers that keep some people away from them. Granted there are a lot of "run out of the country" pointers out there but I have had several Britts that did the same thing. I guess that I like the looks of a long, straight-up tail and I love the versitilty of them as well. I can go up north and hunt grouse in dense cover and the dogs will stay within 50-60 yards from me and I can take them to ND the next weekend for huns and the same dogs will stay 1/2 mile ahead of me. This gives the ability to cover a lot of ground in open country and maximize my hunting time. A well trained big running dog is a real asset in open country. On the other hand, an untrained big runner is about the worst thing in the world. You just need to look at your style of hunting and see what kind of dog suits you the best. I would also recommend that you consult a trustworthy source when looking at dogs. There are a lot of people out there who will take advantage of you if they can. Good luck,Jim

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I hunt with a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. This is my first dog and I am very pleased that I went with a Griffon. I hunt ducks and pheasants mainly and I have really shifted to the pheasants. He loves the water and I think with some more advanced training, he will become a great duck dog. (The photo is from last season - note the snow depth).

[image]pointing24rz.jpg[/image]

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I have two German Shorthairs and I would not trade them for the world. Both have great noses and are great retrievers also. Also both are water lovers. Just dropped a rooster in the water yesterday and both went diving in the frigid water without even thinking about it. Have hunted around pretty much every hunting dog around and the Shorthair always hunts circles around the others and also seems to have a lot more stamina when it comes to hunting long days in a row. They are also very loyal and good house dogs as both of mine are house dogs.

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OK all you Pointer guys since Labs hasn't chimed in I guess I will.

A well trained, good bloodline lab is probably all that I will ever own. They can Hunt Pheasants, Ducks, and Geese. The reason I love my Chocolate Lab is his temperment and trainability. I enjoy that extra challenge of hunting behind a flusher because you never know when a bird might flush. If find that fun, as long as you have a lab that is taught to quarter and come back to you after getting out about 20 yards(as far as grouse goes I need to go with some of you pointer guys smirk.gif).

Also if you are going to be hunting ducks, half the fun is watching the dogs retreive the birds.

Just my 2 cents smile.gif

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Capt Jim, where did you get that dog???? Was it local? That dog looks familiar.

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He came from Numark Kennel in Missouri. I've had close to 100 pointing dogs over the years and he's as good as any that I have walked behind. I have several more from Numark and all are really first class.

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Jim,

Welcome to FM!! Great to have someone else posting here. Your Pointer is a great lookin dog. Those tails are imistakeable. Is his name Numark Checkmate?? smirk.gif

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I hunt over Red Setters. I also live with them as members of our family. Two adults, two kids, one Bassett, and three Red Setters. I have NEVER been around a sweeter dog, and I have been around a LOT...Mostly labs. My two female Red Dogs are the best family dog I could dream of. My male is close.

I hunt mostly grouse with a few ringnecks thrown in. I will always hunt over pointing dogs (probably setters)as I feel I can flush a bird just as well as a dog if I know where it is. If I ever get into duck hunting I will probably get a lab. I also believe I will have a English Setter some day too.

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Field Bred English Springer Spaniels!!!!!!

I hunt Pheasants for the most part and there is nothing like watching a springer quarter in front of you, catch a hint of scent and then watch them hone in on the bird like a heat seeking missle. Then watch them deliver the bird( assuming the person with the gun does his job)to you just to start it all over again.

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Matt, thanks for the warm welcome. I moved up here from TX last winter and am pretty excited about the bird hunting opportunities. The dog's name is Numark Checkmate and his call name is Matt, believe it or not.

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Well as Matt pointed out, you can guess what I've huted over for almost 20 years. Why? Because of their versatility and ease of training. A well bred lab will cover up many of the mistakes we make in training them and still come out on top. They will stay with you through the longest most drawn out hunts and never quit on the most demanding. They make miracle retrieves where you have already written the bird off in your mind and roust roosters out of the thickest stands of cattails known to man. All this in a package that gives you looks you swear are human and a warm muzzle on your shoulder in the blind.

With that said, I am trying out a new breed... 1st time since the late 80's, something other than a lab will grace our kennel. It is a field bred American Cocker. I needed a house dog for the wife, and was looking for a dog to fill the role as grouse hunter (and an additional gun in the pheasant fields). After years of research and throwing my name in the hat for pups, I finally got one 2 weeks ago.... he is doing great. I can see his passion to retrieve already and he loves the frozen birds we've been playing with. As I type he is sleeping in bed with my wife! It hopefully will be a great 1-2 punch. I hunted over many other fine flushers in the past... English Cockers, Springers, Goldens and Chessies.

I've had a shorthair before, and while he was nothing short of my best buddy, he never reached his abilities as a hunter. Mostly because of my lack of training skills. He was a yoman duck dog for the 1st few weeks of each season and tried like heck to pheasant and grouse hunt... but was never trained well enough to remain staunch on point... we got a few birds, but they were almost always after he bumped them. Though I knew it best not to shoot those, too teach him this was not the way to hunt, I did anyways because I was young and used them for food... also, I was in college and did not have the money to travel to hunt, so every shot was taken when presented. He actually taught me more about traing retrievers than my 1st lab did. He in essence was a pointer turned retriever... I also knew then which direction of dog I needed to take. In the interim, I've hunted with many pointing dogs including some fine shorthairs, Brittanies, Setters and Wiems. When youger I even got to hunt behind an Irish Setter, my uncle who raised Weims, had one in the 70's... boy was he beautiful to watch! Never got to hunt behind a Wirehair or Vizla.

At my previous place of employment, my boss ran a great 'walk behind' English pointer. She was such a hoot to hunt behind, I kicked around getting one. I never did, but had the pleasure of hunting behind her many times. We even took a 1st with her in the puppy class of the U.S. Open pheasant competition. She was quick and stylish!

I think the best breed of dog is the one that suits "YOU", the handler, best. Well bred and trained, each of the different breeds will be a pleasure to hunt behind and increase your success and enjoyment in the field.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Labs will always be in my kennel, I grew up around them, I've owned them for the past 25 years, they can retrieve the few ducks I shoot, they make good pheasant dogs, and best of all is their personalities, friendly, loyal, good around kids, ALWAYS happy to see you (wish I could say that about my wife!!). Great all around dogs!

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How many times has this question been posted and everyone (including myself) has the best breed (dog) ever? It is great to see that everyone has such admiration for their dogs. A good dog is what makes hunting so much fun. In my second season with a dog, I have put in more hours of pheasant hunting over the past 2 season than the previous 20. Many of my hunts are just the two of us. It is so enjoyable.

The simple fact is that the best choice of a gun dog is one that comes from proper breeding and recieves the proper socialization as a pup. There is no doubt that genetics are a huge factor, but you can ruin a great dog real fast with poor socialization in the early stages. If the breeder has done their part with socialization and exposing the pup to a variety of things at a young age, you can simply pick up where they left off and have a great foundation for a great hunting partner for the next 10 years or so.

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Tommorow I will be "changing breeds". After 17 years having English Cockers my wife will be picking up a Yellow "Pointing" Lab she bought the family for Christmas. I had not deceided which breed to replace my last Cocker that died while hunting in October of 2005 (the wife had not agreed to let me yet). I guess it is easy when your wife does it for you, and it does not bother me. I think it will be more what I make of the dog rather than what the breed makes for me. If the dog actually points it will make some difference going from flusher to pointer but I have hunted behind both. I have been getting pretty excited about getting the pup. Now the fun begins.

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I would have to say field bred english springer spaniels and labs. My dad and I have 3 springers including an Field Champion that was run out of Sand Creek. We also have 2 labs that are good a pointing chocolate and a yellow lab that flushes. All of these dogs are good hunters. One thing I have noticed after training both springers and labs is that it seems the springers have more natural instinct for pheasant hunting in terms of quartering and finding birds. The labs have taken longer to get "birdy" but once they figure out what they are doing they do fine in the field. Also, until it gets really late in the season the springers are just as good of retrivers as the labs are. The labs really shine when they are breaking ice.

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You dont have to get hung up on a breed, 10 years ago I was lab shopping and ran across a Chesapeake Golden Retriever cross (It was an oops but both parents were good field dogs)

Look at the parents and use your gut feel, I think my next dog will be a griffon but I will keep an open mind and maybe end up with another gem.

Mg

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As everyone else has pretty much stated it really depends more on the species of birds you want to hunt. If ducks are your primary game -setters would not be the top choice. I own english setters and love them, great family dogs and eager to please. Primarily becaue I hunt grouse and head out west to hunt prairie chickens and sharptails. Watching and hunting behind any well trained sporting dog regardless of breed can't be beat. So what ever you choose make sure you get a dog out of good hunting stock-once you hunt and own a good dog you are hooked for life-give me a choice of leaving the gun or the dog behind-and I would choose the gun everytime.

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i just got a Pointing Lab this spring and at 4 months old i started taking her pheasant hunting at the game farm. She points and is a hard charger. i took her out to ND a few times pheasant hunting and she was OUTSTANDING for only bein 6 months old. She is a great family dog and LOVES to hunt, is easy to train and will work cattails like only labs can.

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