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How to train with pheasants?


BLACKJACK

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I've seen an ad in the Outdoor News where a place over by Princeton will sell hen pheasants for $4. Was wondering how to go about using them in the training process with my pup? With pigeons I just trim one wing and toss them in the grass, they normally don't go very far. With pheasants and their running ability, I'd think it would be tough for a young dog to run them down. Or maybe game farm birds wouldn't be as fast? Any ideas?

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When I trained with pheasants I got a plastic mike crate and would tie a good length of string to the crate and the birds leg. I would then tie a 20-30 foot rope to the crate and "plant" the bird where I wanted it, under the crate. As my young dog picked up the scent and got within a couple dog lengths I'd pull on the rope which would flip the crate and the bird would fly to the end of the string. When it hit the end of the string the bird would fall allowing the dog to retreive. You can use a gun at this point to simulate a shot bird.

What this did more than anything was to get the dog to follow scent in a controlled environment. You know where the bird is without worry of having a runner. You can also pull the flight feathers of hen pheasants and place them in cover so they can run but this can be done just as easy and cheaper with pigeons. Good luck with your training. Ed

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Picked up a few of those $4 birds on Saturday. One wing will already be clipped and when I say clipped, I mean really clipped. Trust me when I say this...they will not fly and they will not get away...unless you plant them and give them some time to run into heavy cover where your pup will not be able to root them out.

Great way for young pups to have some fun...scenting, seeing, chasing, playing, tasting, etc., etc., etc. Not much of a challenge for older pups that already have field experience.

If your dog is older you may want to buy a few birds (at regular price) either hens or roosters from this years hatch and clip one wing by yourself. Take enough off so they can't get up and fly to the next county but not so much that they can't even get up off the ground and go 50 to 75 yards.

Knowing what I know now...that's what I will do the next time. I wanted to work with my pointing dog on holding points while keeping him steady to wing. I was going to hold him steady while he marked the flushed bird...then release him to continue the hunt. You can't do that with the preclipped $4 breeder birds.

Oh yeah, we were on a game preserve so we were protected from breaking any laws that may require you to carry a permit while using protected game birds or carryng a firearm while training your hunting dog outside of a legal open season.

Maybe someone can better quote the state laws than me regarding what we can or can't do this time of the year regarding dog training. My understanding is that: A) We can now take our dogs out in the fields for exercise and conditioning. B) We can now take dog, gun and unprotected game birds out as long as we have a permit and permission from landowner. C) We can take dog, gun and unprotected game birds out without permit at the start of any legal open upland game season. The only exceptions would be authorized state training areas and game/shooting preserves.

Please help me out if I have misunderstood any of the states regulations.

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Forgot to mention...try binding their legs with a piece of string or heavy rubber band. This will definately impede their ability to make a swift get away on foot. I personally have never tried this but I have heard that it is easy to do and works very well.

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I say just let the birds go and hunt them down. My uncle just brought his dog to a game farm and let him hunt, after about 3 times he picked it up and now he is the best pheasent hunting dog I have ever seen, even better then the dogs we have "rented" from game farms. My uncle did play fetch with pheasent wings before he brought his dog to the pheasant farm so he knew the scent.

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Couple of quick questions:

1.) do you know the number so I coudl get ahold of these birds for my dog

2.) What do you do with them after you are done with them? Bury or freeze them?

3.) Anyone know of any areas where I could use these birds with my dogs? I live in the West Metro. Victoria/Waconia area. I guess I would need some land to let these birds go in, other then my yard. Maybe I need to go and talk to some farmers.

Thanks

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maxwell- if you are hunting released pheasents, we freeze them then eat them whenever we want, they taste good.

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