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Cold Weather Hunting


Chapo

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I have a year and a half old brittany. I was wondering if there was any recommendations on how long to have a dog out in the field with you depending on the temperature. And of course adding in all of mother nature's features. Thanks for any info.

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I have hunted my setter in -10, we hunted for about 2 hours and she seemed fine. We did have a problem with ice balls on the feet but she seemed no worse for the wear. The only reason we were out is because we were guiding for a group of guys from Texas and they were leaving the next day. My feeling is if you can stand it, your dog probably can too. As long as its not one of those bald, bob-tailed dogs. wink.gif

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I've got a 9 month old Springer and he'll be out in whatever mother nature throws at us from here on out for the rest of the season. For the most part they are fine as long as they are hunting. I would say to make sure to take care after the hunt. Make sure to have kennels/crates wrapped up so that they can stay somewhat warm on the trip home.

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I have a young and an old brittany and they hunt in any weather. The only issue is if they somehow get wet, that can affect them. Other than that, I have hunted to -20 with no problems. Since they are always moving, they stay warm. If you would make them stop for any amount of time, that could be an issue as well.

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I'll hunt my setter in any weather as well. Making sure the dog is warm and comfortable after the hunt is important. And same as setterguy, the only problem is ice balls on the feet. Besides booties, anyone have ideas on how to avoid this?

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Bald, bobtailed dogs??? You guys are going to make me cry. wink.gif I will usually wuss out before my dog will.

I think most dogs will be fine unless they get wet or it's really cold and really windy.

If your dog gets cold easily hunt for shorter periods of time and make sure to take more breaks in the truck for the pooch to warm up. Make sure to give it plenty of water and some doggie snacks to help keep it's energy level up.

As far as ice balls on the feet, that's why I have a bald, bobtailed dog so I don't have to worry about that. grin.gif Could you trim off some of the hair on it's feet with a clipper or something???

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A guy once told me to spray thier feet with cooking spray...he swore by it. I have never tried it, but it sounds like it would work I guess.

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15 years ago hunting in Iowa after a snow, my dogs feet were ice balls after going in the cattail sloughs and then back in the snow and grass... I went into town at lunch and bought a can of PAM and I'll be darned if that didn't do the trick. I touched it up once more on an afternoon break and again through the next day and never had another problem. Very minimal build-up and I didn't need to worry about them licking it off after the hunt.

Good Luck!

Ken

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After chasing birds the other day I was wondering the exact same thing about the ice balls. Think I'll bring the vid with when I try the spam. I can already see her sitting down and licking her paws.

Then again I can't get her to calm down enough to drink water or even eat a treat after she sees a gun case so it'll be on the drive home. I've literally watched her "squat" to do her business while still trying to hunt - maybe a bit groteque, but one of the funniest sights ever - problem being that she's pooping in a back and forth pattern in front of me!!! grin.gif (HUP - Direction change!!!)

One thing I did notice was that she got cut up on her nips quite a bit the last time out and in the exact same terrain (place actually) where earlier she'd had no problems. Wonder if the colder weather doesn't create some more brittle vegatation that gets sharper when she's busting through it. Definately need to get her a neoprene vest.

Labs, if you say it really works I'm gonna give it a try.

Spray her in warm weather for the deer ticks (which were insane this year), with spam in the winter for the ice balls... Now I just need a spray to keep the burrs from creating an hour long ritual after a hunt... maybe a spray for myself so I hit more of the birds that she gets up. blush.gif

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Woodview... PAM not spam! grin.gifLOL hehehe, if I put Spam on my dogs paws that may even cause them to not hunt! Labs always think with their bellies!

Try using a little udder balm on your females nipples. This will help them heal up. Also it will help keep them from getting beat up when hunting. You are right, it is the colder, more brittle vegitation, combined with dry skin that causes the cuts.

Heading out Sunday finally for the 1st pheasant hunt of the season! This work thing is way over rated! 3 days in So Dak. Come home for a week and a half and then back out. Throw in a day run or two to western MN and I'll get a whole season knocked out in a month.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Got back from the Sherburn area this afternoon; four guys and eight birds before noon. Great day! Dogs (two britts) had a blast (lots of hens and the occasional missed rooster smirk.gif ) and the snwoballs were in full force on their bodies but didn't even phase them. I clipped their paws earlier in the week and that helps a lot.

Fun day in the snow!

TRITC

Thought I'd add a couple pix from the day...

This first shot is of the little lady locked up in the thick stuff. Man those birds were holding tight!

Mazi.jpg

And one of both dogs after we were done. The bird on the left went down in a creek and was kinda waterlogged.

MaziHershey.jpg

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I have no issue hunting my Britts in temps above 10 F all day long. They actually seem to prefer temps between 15F and 40F. From -5F to 10F will typically hunt shorter parcels and take a few breaks. Since I typically do not wear gloves - nice break for me too.

If temps are below 20F and my dog gets submerged in water, I will assess if we need to return to the truck and dry off or keep going.

Ice balls in the feet and on the body can be an issue. Some dogs can not stand them and spend more time trying to chew them off rather than hunt. Dog boots probably would solve that issue.

I have read that hunting below O F can be dangerous on hunting dogs because they are pumping so much cold air through their lungs. Any one have a reference to this medical issue ? Real ?

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I was out hunting for three hours each Sat and Sun at 5 above with my two labs and they were just fine, they loved it. But they are kenneled outside and I make sure they got plenty of dogfood and water on Friday and after the hunts. If you can take it, they can take it.

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Chapo, I think if you use good judgement with your dogs, you will not have any problems. We hunted in 10-20 below stuff over the last 3 days and the dogs did fine. Insulated kennel covers in the topper of the truck, dog beds in the crates, slept in the breezeway at the house we were at... (around 50 degrees in there at night), keep em' moving when hunting... keep em' well hydrated (several water breaks), feed em' real good food, give em' treats every hour or so (I used Cabela's high energy dog biscuits, 2 every couple hours per dog seemed to do the trick). If you are uncomfortable standing there, they probabaly are too. The few times we posted something, the poster put his dog away instead of making them sit there and get real cold. Bottom line, keep your eye on them, use common sense, keep the fluids and calories up, put a vest on them if needed and hunt away!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Thanks for all the info. Had the dog out last sunday and she managed ice balls on all of her paws, so time to try the cooking spray or boots. This weekend should be fabulous to be out.

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Chapo,

I've tried the boots on my older britt and they didn't work to well. Their paws aren't real big like a labs and because of that I don't think the boots stay on too well. I would suggest clipping in and around their paws, that works well for me.

TRITC

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