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Pheasant Dogs


Mayfly

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I just wanted to open a discussion on what everyone prefers for pheasant hunting....flushing dogs or pointers, and why?

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It guess it's obvious by my tag name that I prefer pointers over flushers. Having said that, I think a WELL TRAINED, CONTROLLABLE flusher is probably optimal in more situations.

I emphasize well trained, and controllable because of the 10-15 flushers I've hunted behind none were well trained and none were controllable and most were out of shape. Of those dogs I think 3 or 4 had good potential to be really good gun dogs.

I hunt more for the experience and the challenge and I find it more fun and rewarding to bag a cock pheasant over a point than any other way. I'd rather shoot one bird over a point than 5 birds any other way.

To me, or 1 or 2 hunters with 1 or 2 dogs is perfect for how I like to hunt. I also hate hunting army style with drivers and blockers.

This is not a slight against flushers but just my personal preference. If I ever changed my mind and got a flusher the only dog I'd even consider is a field bred springer spaniel. I'd get one, train it properly and hunt the heck out of it. I love those dogs. They have endless energy, speed, and drive, and they have style which really catches my eye. I love watching the tail start buzzing when they catch a scent.

I like dogs with speed, style, and drive which is why I like pointers (especially field trial pointers), and the field trial springers. Those types of dogs are a handful and most hunters are not comfortable with a dog like that but I just love'em.

I all really boils down to preference and what a person is comfortable with.

There you go. My 2 cents.
gspman

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Hey gspman,
You and I should hook up for a hunt. I'd love to hunt my Springer with you. I too really appreciate a good pointer. They are super fun to watch.

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Good Fishin!
Crossin

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I have never owned a dog myself; but I've hunted with buddies who have flushers and buddies with pointers. Next spring I'm getting a puppy and its gonna be a GSP. I really like the way those dogs hunt. I've been out with BDR a couple of times and his dog (GSP) does nice work. Its a hoot to watch pointers lock-up!

mm

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If pheasants were the only thing I hunted and numbers of birds were my ultimate goal, I would probably choose a flusher over a pointer. Pheasants can be a real challenge for pointers because of their tnedancy to move from point of contact. Like gspman said I would rather shoot one bird over a pointer than multiples any other way. Hope this helps.

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I hunt over 2 english setters and also have a golden retriever.My setters are alot more fun to hunt over than the golden.I love to hunt over big running pointers with alot of style.That being said my golden does well also but it is nothing compared to the setters.I've hunted over a few springers and they are great dogs.Crossing eyes and I have been trying to get together this year but always have something come up.Best of luck in your hunt.
Ryan Hale

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Mayfly,

Granted I am biased but I prefer a big dog that can crash through cattails and point. My choice would be a pointing lab. I have a lab that points to a fault (holds so tight I need to "encourage" him to flush the bird). He's a great dog, good with kids and has a killer blood line. He is availble for stud. His father is Rik's Risky Raider who is a top performer in field trials and in hunting.

Check outs labs!! You won't be disappointed! GSP's be a great, as I have hunted over them many times. I am just sold on labs!

Thanks,


WG

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Its interesting to hear what other people think. I personally like pointers. I grew up hunting with a Brittany Spaniel. This dog was incredible. It made the hunt. After she died I hunted Pheasants one more year and then stopped because to me Pheasant hunting isn't Pheasant hunting without a dog. A pointing dog to be precise. I am now ready to get back in the mix and have gotten a new dog. I posted about it a while back, you all may have read it. I met a guy on here that had a GSP stud who knocked up his neighbors chocolate lab. Shes 8 weeks now and can't wait till she grows and hunts with me. I just hope that she points. I think I can get it out of her. I personally think shes starting to look more like a GSP but all chocolate with white on her chest and two white socks on her back legs. It should be fun.

Beside that though I really do like a pointer. Theres nothing like it when that dog locks up.

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My vote is for labs because of their personally and versatility - retrieving ducks in water and muck, early season pheasants, late season pheasants in the thick stuff. And they're always happy, super personality, a kid can stick their fingers thru the kennel and get them licked, not bitten. Of course you can say that about a lot of dogs, a lot depends on how they were brought up.

Most dogs of any breed will be a good companion with the proper upbringing, so your choice of dog depends on what kind of hunting that you do most of the time.

Someday I may get a pointer, its appealing to do that leasurely stroll thru a field, but how do you hunt a pointer in thick cover/cattails? And how do they do on a wounded pheasant that has run over the hill out of sight, will they track it down and bring it back to you? I want a dog that knows its job is to bring that bird back to you, no matter what, whether you're in thick cattails or out of sight. And will any of them really do the job retrieving ducks in water, will they hunt up a duck dropped in cattails? Not bashing pointers here, just trying to find out for future reference.

Most people that bash flushing dogs have had the experience where the dogs has run ahead and flushed birds out of range, but doesn't that happen with pointers too?

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I recently purchased a GSP thanks to the help of GSPman. I can't imagine a more friendly outgoing dog. His personality reminds me of a Lab. He is only 3 1/2 months old and I took him out with the breeder and we set 14 birds out for him. I was shocked what this dog could find at that age. It is soooo much fun watching a pointer lock up and then going in for the flush and shot. I also hunt with flushing labs a few times a year and it is still fun to watch, but I like the anticipation of a point.

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I have hunted behind some good GSP and it sure is fun to shoot roosters over a pointer. But I also hunt ducks, so I own labs and prefer flushers for hunting in the cattails.

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crossin' eyes,
Sounds great. Unfortunately I'm booked til the end of the season. Too many Christmas parties and other activities. I've got one more hunting day out this season and I've got some guys (rookies) going with. It could get real interesting with this snow storm. Maybe we can hook up next year. I'd love to see a good springer in action.
gspman

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I would like to cast my vote for pointing labs. No doubt, they are the best all-around dog. If you are strictly an upland bird hunter, a pure pointing dog may be for you. But, a lot of us that hunt waterfowl as well as upland love our pointing labs. They are as durable as they are effective in the field.
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There is no such thing as the perefect gun dog. Virturally every breed of sporting dog whether flushing or pointing was created centuries ago by breeders who had specific achievement and performance objectives and goals based specifically on the type of game they were pursuing and the unique habitat of their surroundings. Hence many breeds matching perfectly for many different hunting applications.

It's my opinion that the perfect gun dog for me is the Brittany Spaniel. Brittanys being of the Sporting Breed of dogs are energetic but not high strung or hyper. Brittanys are not mean or aggressive by nature. They are people dogs. They are great with children and other dogs and family pets. They are very intelligent, easily trained and eager to please. Brittanys are not a one owner dog. They will listen to all family members and bond very well with everyone in the family. They are sensitive dogs and do not require a heavy hand in training. A Brittany is contented being a family member and not being a hunting buddy if that is what the family would like. A Brittany doesn't require excessive grooming. The average life span of a Brittany is 12 to 14 years. I know of many Brittanys that have lived to 16 years old. Brittanys are one of the healthier of the purebred breeds. Because of their structure, their bodies are as long as they are tall, they are not prone to hip and elbow dysplaysia. In my opinion all puppies should come with a written and signed guarantee against genetic defects. They are not genetically prone to any cancers, unlike the Retrievers now unfortunately are. A Brittany is not a common breed unlike the Labs, Retrievers and Beagles. That is part of the reason they are a healthier breed. Unfortunately as a breed becomes common the breed can deteriorate as backyard breeders and puppy mills think they can make easy money and quick sales on breeds of dogs that people want now. People need to spend the time researching which breed is best suited for their lifestyle and "never" buy a puppy from a pet store. A Britt is generally an emotionally secure dog that does not have separation anxiety if he is left at home while you work. There isn't a significant difference in male vs. female Brittanys. They are both between 30 and 40lbs as adults. Females usually being on the smaller side of that scale. If you are not going to show, trial or test your dog I strongly recommend that your dog be spayed or neutered when it is 16 weeks old. This is better for the longevity of your dog. A Brittany is physically and emotionally mature by the time he reaches 1 1/2 years of age. Unlike, the Labs, Golden and Setters that aren't mature until they are about 3 years old.

I have shot birds over several different breeds of dog. I have seen good flushing dogs and bad pointing dogs. I have seen good owners and bad owners. I have seen dogs with no drive and dogs with too much drive. I have seen smart dogs and I have seen lazy dogs. I know there are dogs that do better in cold and some that do better when it's warm. Observed dogs that love the water and others that don't. I think it all boils down to matching the right breed of dog with your personality, hunting and family situations. Most of all make sure you get the very best pup you can with the best bloodline you can afford. Do some research. Ask a lot of stupid questions (like I have done the past few months). Take it slow at first and use your common sense regarding training and expectations. Most of all, get the dog out as much as possible and let the dogs natural ability and instinct be your guide!

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Black Jack,

Hunting a pointing Lab in cattails isn't a problem. Just send them into the middle and get ready. My lab acts like a flusher until it knows it has a bird holding tight in front of him. Granted it may sometimes be hard to see a dog locked up on point in cattails. However birds generally run alot in frozen cattails and having a bird try to hide is somewhat rare.

My Lab chases and retrieves cripples. I look at a pointing lab as the best of both worlds, you gets a flusher on running birds and a pointer on birds that have stopped.

Thanks,

WG

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Walleye guy, how hard was it to bring out the pointing in your pointing lab, or was it just natural? Did you do anything to help it along?

Something to consider when I start looking for the next dog in a year or three.

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Walleyeguy- Just wondering what drew you to the pointing lab? What characteristics did it have over a German Wirehair for instance. I have never seen one in action and am just wondering how they range, do they really point or do they simply pause before the flush? I know they are becoming very popular and am wondering why. Any info would be appreciated.

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I have a pointing lab and I'm hooked!! Why did I pick a PL over other breeds? Well first and formost I'm a lab guy that hunts waterfowl and find most of my pheasants in catails and I was interested in getting more versatility out of my dog since I only have room for 1 dog and am getting into grouse hunting more.

I have done ZERO pointing work with him it's all been natural. He pointed all the grouse we took this year and if the pheasants are holding he'll point them (thank you snow!) otherwise he'll act as a flusher.

If your interested in seeing a PL work contact the breeder mentioned. He's more than willing to show what his dogs can do.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 12-30-2003).]

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I'm a Vizsla guy. My dog is going on 8 years old now, and still going strong. I'm starting to get into duck hunting so eventually I'd like a retriever, but as for upland birds, it'll always be Vizsla's for me.

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One thing about a Lab is the versatility. Upland, Waterfowl and in the house. My lab will also point on any bird that will hold but will flush if the bird starts to move, this is a great combination depending on the cover and how the birds work. Also a lab is very mellow for those times when you are not hunting, yet get out the gun or hunting clothes and he is ready to go !

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Koda,

Just wondering what breeding you got your lab from? I am on a waiting list for a Saukriver lab out of Jake and Magic. Everything I have seen and heard about Jake has been absolutely incredible. A friend has a lab out of Jake/Sundance and cant say enough good things about him. My wife teaches with the owner of Saukriver Labs, and everybody has great things to say about him and his dogs.

-Hossienda

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My dog (Koda) is 1 1/2 yrs. out of Jake and Sundance. If you look on his web page under upcoming litters there is a picture of Koda holding a rooster in his mouth. I'm sure everybody says there dog is the best they've ever owned but really the speed with which he learns stuff amazes me. Stuff that should take a summers worth of training he is picking without a problem.

You are in for a real treat!!! David's dog Jake is a dream dog. He even mentioned to me it's one of those dogs that comes once in a lifetime and sometimes never. I think the litter your waiting on will be even stronger than the past litters. I can't wait till I have Koda finished and I can add another one of Jake's pups to our family!

If you see David tell him Josh and Koda said hello!! We are loading up the truck today and heading out for our last weekend of Roosters! The snow should make for some great pointing work.

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One more question. Anyone hunt with a british lab? I tend to like the big tough physical labs, but a smaller calmer lab wouldn't be so bad either.

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I got hooked on pointings from a friend of mine who had two of them. I was amazed at how versatile they were and started doing some research. Pointing cannot be taught. Its a natural instinct. I first saw my dog at 10 weeks of age.

Look for both a mother and father that point. Someone once told me that 4% of labs point. However there are many kennels that specialize in pointing labs. I did pay alot for my dog 4.5 years ago. However his father is a multitime pointing field trial champion so I wasn't surpised at the cost. Personally I could care less about field trials, I just wanted a dog that pointed could be used as a waterfowl dog and was great with kids. I found all three in my dog.

Most hunters have a liking to a certain bred of dog and that is just fine. However if you you have an open mind about it and are hooked on certain dog, I would highly recommend checking out pointing labs.

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I have always believed that all dogs have pointing instincts. Even if you watch a wolf, when it encounters a scent they will freeze momentarily with 1 paw up. I think the pointing breeds have just polished that instinct. Would make sense to me that you could start a sub species of any flushing breed.(I am not saying this is a good idea!)How did they get pointing labs? Did they train specifically for pointing, then thru a few generations the training became inherient? Brian

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Ok this pointing lab has got me intrigued. I already have one choc lab who is a great dog and all round hunter. I guess I always assumed that a pointing lab was forcing a lab do something it wasn't bred for. The majority of my hunting is duck hunting, but I do a fair amount of upland hunting as well. I was planning on getting another dog in the spring. I was 100% sure I was going to get another lab from northland kennels in blaine, then I went to Iowa and my buddy had a brittany and a lwellian. I wasn't terribly impressed with the brittany (might have just been the individual dog), but I really liked the lwellian. In the end though I think I do too much duck hunting to justify anything besides another lab. Are there any breeders closer to the metro area, where I could see one of these dogs work?

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I bought my first pointer this year. I've had retreivers all my life, so this was new for me. I bought a llewellin setter. He's 6 months old now. He's gotten me 12 pheasants now in about a month of hunting. We're still working on his first grouse. This is the best hunting dog I've owned.

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My uncles lab isent a pointing lab and he will point a pheasent if it sits tight. If it runs he will flush it. I have seen him point over 20 pheasents this year.

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I've owned and raised both flushers and pointers. I owned labs, german wirehairs and French Spaniels. My friends hunt with Golden Retrievers. The goldens pretty much work in front of my friends and don't cover much ground. They do a nice job of finding crips.

The German Wirehairs I had were great all-round hunters. However, their temperment was a bit sharp and I didn't trust them around my kids.

The labs I had were good. I wouldn't mind trying a pointing lab. My brother just got one. The pointing is not assured. It takes a while to find out if your lab is going to be a sound pointer.

I ended up researching and finding the The French Spaniel. I fell in love with this dog. I have three. They are close working, good retrieving, pointing dog that is a good family dog.

I think all dogs are great and it is up to the likes and sometimes the temperment of the
hunter which dog works for you. If you want to discuss this further my e-mail is : [email protected]

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2003 was a good year for www.chumpchangewires.com. Jiggs was able to earn his NAVHDA utility prize 1 score, on his first attempt. Jiggs also earned his (HR) Hunting retriever title. Jiggs's biggest milestone was that 100 wild birds were shot over him in the 2003 hunting season.

2003highlights1_tn.jpg Jiggs was able to attain the UKC/HRC title of (HR) Hunting Retriever, testing with the retriever breeds in their tests.

2003highlights8_tn.jpg2003highlights3_tn.jpgphoto_rt10_tn.jpg2003highlights2_tn.jpg2003highlights6_tn.jpgphoto_up18_tn.jpgphoto_ssp_14_tn.jpg I have to agree with the GWP as the all round versatile dog!

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http://groups.msn.com/canitbeluck

[This message has been edited by can it be luck? (edited 12-23-2003).]

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