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Hunting Dogs


ReelTimes

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Question for you pointing dog guys. I have used flushing dogs for years with much success(both spaniels and labs). I have very little experience with pointing dogs. Friend of mine has a real nice munsterlander. I have personally seen the dog work great on game farms and in the field with grouse. On a recent trip to SD, the dog pointed many hens successfully but time and time again would go on point only to lose a flush to what I think were running roosters. Couple times I saw the bird running. I actually found it frustrating to have so many points without the bird being flushed. Is this common with pointing dogs on wild roosters? If so, how do you overcome it? Many of these roosters don't hang around for the point by the time the gunner gets there. Appreciate your thoughts. Thx.

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I don't have alot to reference to, but my GSP is 5 years old and he doesn't hold point usually when a bird has run. He will creep and relocate and relock. Seems when roosters run they run, stop, run,stop. My dog seems to lock,relocate, lock,relocate. I think that makes sense. He has gotten much better on running birds each year. I wish I could train him to circle and cut them off, I have read some will do this.

There are still times he will lock and when I go for the flush nothing but not very often in his 5th year.

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It sounds like two things may be happening.

1. The dog "bumped" the bird by getting too close to it before locking on point and they started running.

2. The Dog is ranging too far ahead of you and the birds had time to decide they had better get moving before you caught-up to your dog and were ready to shoot.

I have two pointing dogs, 1-GSP, 1-Brittany and rarely have I had the problem of the birds running away from their points.

I trained the dogs to stay close and especially not to "bump" the birds.

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Chells

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Cock pheasants running out from under points is not uncommon and the frequency of this varies with the type of cover being hunted and the weather seems to play a factor too.

Cover with lots of cutoff points, clumpy cover, or linear cover like ditches will be more productive with a pointer. Large fields of uniformly tall (waist high or higher) grass like big CRP fields will result in a lot of unproductive points. You should still hit some productive points at the end of the field though.

Snow seems to help the dogs as the birds seem more willing to sit than run. I've also found that hunting a pointer with only 1 or 2 persons is the most productive and absolute silence improves productivity even more. Army style "hunting" is not a good match for a pointer.

I've never hunted with 2 pointing dogs at the same time so I'm not sure whether tag-team action would help pin the birds better either. I've heard it make the hunt more productive but haven't witnessed it firsthand. In the next couple years I'll have that opportunity though.

gspman

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As BDR said, Most pointers "correct" themselves after pointing running birds, by creeping and relocating the bird. Keeep the dog working a little closer to you, and move quickly when the dog goes on point. Roosters love to run, at times flushing is the last resort. Creeping and relocating is fine...up to a point. I'd prefer the dog to hold point, then with a tap on the head and an "OK" command, the dog relocates the bird with me close by. I hate dogs that break point or chase flushed birds. I see lots of dogs do this. I like a dog to hold point even after the bird flushes and is shot. Steadyness is vital to me, be careful on what you allow your dog to do as far as creeping up on game. You can confuse the dog by allowing him certain things like relocating and creeping on his own....than punishing him later while he's pushing up grouse because of this.

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http://groups.msn.com/canitbeluck

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 11-24-2003).]

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Real good info here, there are times that the birds just are not going to be pointed. As far as keeping your dog in close I have found just the opposite to be true. When I am hunting grass for pheasants I allow my dogs to roam just about where ever they choose. My experiences have been that my dogs are out a little from me and running so hard that when they do find a bird they really slam it, almost freezing the bird until I get there. Now I do not allow my dogs to relocate for the reasons mentioned above. I am a grouse hunter first and foremost and your dog can learn some real bad habits hunting running birds. Now of course I do have unproductive points while pheasant hunting, but think about this...how many times did your labs or springer get birdy without a flush? It is not as noticable with a flushing dog when they catch an old scent or the scent of a running birds. Bottom line, there is no perfect dog for every species or situation. Most of us are confined to having 1-3 and have to make the best of them for all birds and all conditions. If i had my druthers I would own a couple English setters for grouse hunting in Minnesota and Wisconsin, a few springers for roosters in SD, a nice Chessie for ducks down in Arkansas, and an whole kennel of English pointers for quail in Kansas and Oklahoma. Since I love my wife and don't want to get divorced I decide what I like to hunt most and try and make a lot of friends.

PS what are we all doing inside today? Chasing roosters after the first snowfall is always a blast.

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Thanks for all the replies. Good thoughts and I will share them with my friend. There is still some season left so lets get out there.

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I hunted many years with a Brittany. It was very rare that she would go on false point. It happened, but I would always love when she went on point because I knew there was a bird there. The times that we did have a problem was usually in very birdy areas.

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Setterguy, you got it right, we should all be out hunting roosters in this first snow but unfortunately theres work and bills to pay... But since I have in-laws coming on Thursday and Friday, I've made the decision to take Wednesday off, bowhunt in the morning and then go after pheasants. My lab has been looking at me with those sad eyes. Haven't had her out since I got back from SoDak on the 19th, she'll be wild that first hour!! Cattails here we come!

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