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walleye18

Late Season Waterfowl - Dog care and keeping the dog warm

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walleye18

Wanted to post a quick question on what you folks do to keep your dogs warm/dry when hunting waterfowl late season over water?....I'm sure its been a topic in the past.

I have 2 dogs that I alternate during the late waterfowl hunts to keep them warm and fresh. Both dogs have neopreme vests on them and I try to keep them warm/dry as much as possible. I do the routine of toweling them off, etc...

Over the last few years (and depending upon how cold it is, ice formations, etc..) I began feeding them more in preparation for the late season to "fatten them up". This seems to have helped a little. I also take care in sending them too quickly on multiple retrieves to give them a break.

Any thought of what others do on late season waterfowl over water - and care for their dogs? Any additional thoughts on dogs kept outside verses in the house and how that relates to their vigor breaking ice, hunting waterfowl late?

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jparrucci

I have an 8 year old Brittany. He has broken ice for late season ducks every year. He is a spoiled house dog who sleeps in the bed, sometimes manages to get under the covers. He has a neoprene vest, along with a towel or shamwow. I also started using a small wool blanket or a fleece blanket. The fleece is really light if you have a long walk to the blind, the wool weighs a ton. I am pretty sure I bring more gear for the dog than myself. I haven taken off my heavy jacket and wrapped him when he still looked cold, and twice he looked too cold to continue and we called it due to his safety. You would be surprised how fast a dog can warm up and dry off just going for a quick walk. I have a 8 month old puppy now too. He had no hesitation goin

g out into the lake when the ice was just pulling a way from shore. Who needs a lab?

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Lunker

Neoprene vest, towel off, blanket. I have a friend who brings an electric heater with a battery or a propane heater for them when it gets really nasty

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walleye18

Thanks for the replies.

I think one of the most important things for me is to "stop" when the dogs had enough and is too cold. My choc lab is one of those dogs that will never quit - had 2 scary incidents with him late season over the years. Gotta use common sense - and watch for the initial signs of hypothermia.

One of our relatives lost a dog cause he pushed it too hard late season - dog succumbed to hypothermia. It was a bad deal.

I like the idea of bringing a propane heater and battery powered blanket. Also the "sham wow" is a great idea too.

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TylerS

Neoprene vests are a must-have in my household. They not online provide buoyancy, but insulation.

My wirehairs are hearty, but they're no Chessies. Late, late season I use my best judgement for water hunts. Typically, that time of year I'm field hunting so it's not a big deal. But he's made retrieves on 20-degree days in water that shouldn't have been open and just kept right on trucking afterward. Those days, I take extra care to make sure he's not biting his feet (signs of ice/frostbite), shivering uncontrollably, isn't delirious or losing focus, getting lethargic, etc. It's weird, because I almost worry more about heat stroke than hypothermia, but given our propensity for late-season waterfowl and rooster hunts, I probably ought to keep both conditions front of mind.

The sham-wow or a swimmer's towel are great ideas I'm going to implement this year for sure. Lightweight, but highly absorbent. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Thanks for the tip guys!

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