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Training Question


Mr. B

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My female 1.5 yearold black lab (Maggie) has finally figured out the training I have done for pheasant hunting. My question is we were at a game farm over the weakend and everything clicked for her but my concern is she managed to catch two of the pheasants as they took off. Is this something I should worry about? I am concerned when we are not at a game farm she might catch a hen. I also have no idea how to train her to not do this.

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Chances are that a wild bird will not hold for the dog the way a game farm bird will. Being your dog is a flushing dog, you want the drive it sounds like your dog has to put a bird in flight. There may be a time that your dog does catch a hen, not really much you can do about it. Call the game warden and explain the circumstances and wait for his/her instructions as to what to do with the bird. If you were really concerned you could possibly teach your dog to pause before the flush so you would have a chance to survey the situation. Now I run pointing dogs, but in my brief experiences with flushers I don't think this is much of a problem. Someone else may have more info for you. Good luck with the dog...

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Keep the tip up, ask permission and shoot straight. Setterguy

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setterguy, I wasn't advocating anything illegal, just stating reality, hens will get caught just as easy as roosters. Just because I disagreed with your 'calling the warden'. They have better things to do than worry about hen pheasants caught by a dog. I know a guy thats been talking to a warden since deer season, trying to get some action on a tresspassing complaint/and some deer stands that were stolen, they both even know who has them. But hes 'too busy'.


[This message has been edited by setterguy (edited 12-29-2003).]

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

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Mr. B
I can relate to hunting preserve experience. Some that I have been to the birds flown very slow, expecially the hens. So slow that I have had to hold off shooting the bird because the dog is at the tip of the tail feathers. One of my labs did catch a "wild" hen once and brought it back alive and well - when I told her to "drop" the bird took off running again and eventually flew. If you're lab is like most and has a soft mouth, chance are if she does catch one, it'll be alive when she brings it back. Good Luck!

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Blackjack- I know where you were coming from, however when giving advice on a private site such as this one there is no grey area when it comes to breaking the law. I know Co's are busy, however the legal thing to do is report it so there is a record so that you don't get caught with an illegal gamebag. Whatever avenues individuals may take is fine with me personally, but here I represent the voice of Rick and the entire site along with his advertisers. I hope you understand my position as I DO understand yours.

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Keep the tip up, ask permission and shoot straight. Setterguy

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It seems like the dog is well on its way to being what you want. Many speniel people train their dogs to sit on the flush. This can help with them being steady and also keep them from getting shot by the over excited hunter.
The dog is still young and learning. You have all year to get her ready for next season.

You can have her stop to a whistle when you flush a bird or just work her on a check cord and let the birds fly wild with no shot. The dog will then just have to watch and you can reassure them it is alright. Then make sure you go after another bird in another direction so you do not get the delayed chase across the country.

Then re introduce the shot but missing every time. They will get calmer with the flush and then get better marks for when you send them. No substitute for yard work in the off season.

It sounds like you have a lot of potential and a delevoping companion for years to come. Good luck

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Thanks for all the information. Since this is really my first hunting do gI was worried that Maggie's ability to catch a Pheasant in flight might be a problem. It sounds like since they were game farm birds this was the cause and with wild birds this should not happen.

I am sort of dissappionted because that day she plucked more birds out of the ait than I shot. If she could do it on a regularly I would get more birds and not miss as much.

Thanks again.

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Mr. b
I run a flusher as well and pheasant hunt 5 to 7 days a week from the end of october through jan. in three differnt states I was actually hunting today in iowa (just got back). My dog sees alot of birds and actually catches maybe 15 to 20 birds a year. some roosters and some hens. Frankly it happens, the last thing I believe you want to do is stop your dog at an early age from any activity around birds. In my book the more birds the better, experience is the best training a dog will get. I praise my dog alot when she catches them. Do have to keep in mind some of these birds can be other peoples cripples. As every one else says game farm birds are a little dummer so shes gonna catch more of those than in the wild. Whissle stop works good or sit on the flush too. I whissle train but I dont use it on the flush, if its a cripple the faster the dog gets there the better your chances of recovering that bird is. After years of yelling hen your dog will figure that out to and stop chaseing them after the flush and just continue hunting sorry to ramble on these are just my experiences I'm no pro these things just work for me.

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