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Dog training for pheasant

Old 09-12-2010, 05:46 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Dog training for pheasant

hey guys im kind of new to pheasant hunting. I have walked the waterway behind our family farm quite a few times and so far the only luck we have had is a few rabbits. During harvest we spook them all the time with the equipment and we can see them from the house from time to time but always evade us as we walk. Well I am finally in a financial situation that I was able to get a dog. I went to the pound, and long story short, I walked away with a pointer/mix. The humaine society as well as us believe that she is full blood pointer, but without papers cant be proven. Anyway we have had her less than a month and she is house broke, knows sit, down, stay, come, all of this she had in about a week. she walks right beside me without a leash and now Im trying to find out what to make the next step for her. We practice fetch, and drop. but at only 3 months old dont know if I should start taking her out to the fields and look for pheasant, or if theres anything I should really be focusing on? As i said i really trying to start getting into pheasant hunting so any advice you can give on training the dog, or helping me be more successful be greatly appreciated. thanks
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:40 PM
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You may already know this...maybe you don't. DO NOT HUNT over her this year. She is too young and the last thing you want to do is make her gun shy. Take her out for short trips (with water) and let her have fun. My trainer calls them "happy walks" ...she gets to wonder, smell and get a feel of whats out there. My setter is 7 months old and I will not hunt over her this season. She will be out there and probably hear shots but not "over her"..she can chase pheasnts all she wants and have fun doing it. Maybe I can get a fresh wing for training from some other hunter. I will give her lots of breaks (with water) and use the collar when I give commands. It kills me to skip this season but I know starting next year she will be ready and we both will enjoy the seasons to come.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:53 PM
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Agreed with outdoor we didnt hunt over our lab until he was a year old. We did however start training him and getting him use to pheasant wings we would rubberband a couple on his training dummy and play fetch like that. The more familiar they are with the sent of the bird the better.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:58 AM
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i had heard that. my question is where can i get a few pheasant wings? I have pheasants on our property, but we cant get them without a dog and pheasant are rare in my area, and even fewer hunt them.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:03 PM
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I don't understand why you cannot get them without a dog. Granted, it is more difficult. Perhaps you don't know how. With one person, very difficult, but with two people, you only need to catch one bird between the two of you. One walk from one direction, the other from the other. You can confuse the bird and when he does flush (as he cannot run) shoot the sucker. This can be worked from a corner just as well. Each enter from either side of a corner, say 50 or even better 75 yds. from each side. Gradually work your way, slowly is the key, towards the corner. If that does not work, you have the smartest pheasants I ever saw.
AS far as the dog, very good advice so far. But have you introduced any live bird to the dog as of yet? Obtain a pigeon or such. Clip the wing so it cannot fly and introduce to your dog. If there is intense interest, fine. You would be surprised the number of hunting dogs that may show no interest at all. I would not want to waste my time, or the dogs, unless I know, that dog WILL HUNT. It is heart breaking to obtain a fine dog, with high price, that won't hunt.

Last edited by Teddee5; 09-14-2010 at 02:07 PM. Reason: addition.
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:59 AM
  #6  
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You can test the dog to see what breed/s it is made up. the test is like 70.00 and if I remember right vetgen is the place. Now I do not believe the statement of don't hunt the dog for the first year who has dreamed that one up. Max's first hunt he was 4.5 months old, already been around gun fire, and tried to retieve a pheasant, the bird was to heavy, at 7 months with ice hanging off him, he did a double duck and goose retrieve. You should already be doing this (shooting) are darn close to starting, a cap pistol or black pistol is a great tool for this. If your dog is gun shy now and you don't know it, in a year it will be just as hard to cure. In the end you need to decide what you want in the end product, flush or point? There are books to help you also.
Oh last thing, I will not get into a debate of age to hunt or start shooting around your dog, that is up to you and you ony,especially if you are the sole trainer.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:21 AM
  #7  
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Personally, I would say 9 months is about the best time to take a gun and go afield. It highly depends upon the dog. If the dog isn't interested yet, don't bother. If the dog is too immature (attention span), don't bother.

What I would do is when the pup starts showing interest, take them out to walk the fields alone, only the pup and you or with a friend but no real guns. The moment when she finds/chase a sparrow or such, fire a cap pistol. The pup should ignore it but if not, put it away then try it again the next day. Graduate to a starters pistol or .22 and use caps. A friend would be helpful here as he can stand perhaps 100 yards away and fire. Slowly let him come closer to shoot. By this time you should be using game birds. Some people skip the .410 but I'd use it anyways.

A gamefarm is great for teaching a dog. Alot of land and in a noise controlled environment. Use small birds at first like quail. Large birds can startle a small pup.

My dog got birdy at around 6 months. At 7 months, I introduced birds and the gun. The season started two months later. The first few hunts were walking hunts. The next few were asking other people without dogs if they want to hunt with her (never multiple hunters always just one gun). By mid- to late season we were hunting together.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:29 PM
  #8  
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The purpose of skipping until the dog is close to 1 year old is not engraved in stone of course ...there are always exceptions...but rather let the pup enjoy "it's hunt". These are important steps in the pups life to becoming a good bird dog. A dog that enjoys the hunt rather than one that has been drilled into the program. SOME of us are too hungry to let a season go by...thats their decision. If my new setter (9 months old) wants to chase birds on her own and she enjoys it is MY OPINION that I will have a better bird dog next year. For me its not about the kill rather the time I spend with her...for that matter if she never turns out to be a classic thats OK too...she's my best friend.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:55 AM
  #9  
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Another good point to remember, you cannot train and hunt by your self. Go with a friend, friend hunts while you train. Otherwise you, like most, will get involved in the hunt and not be able to train. Having said that, I have a friend I have known for 35 years who has very successfully trained all his hunt dogs without any aid, except for one time I shot a few pen raised quail for his young pointer while he steaded the dog. I had bought a 28 gauge Citori, and never missed a bird. Then, on a regular season hunt, I missed every quail I shot at. Moral: pen raised fly slow, wild fly fast. Some times a light gun gets over controlled. Sold it. Quite a few years ago, might be not so light today.
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:56 AM
  #10  
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Call your local GAME FARM and buy a bird or two. Then have at it,clip the wing and place the bird and introduce pup to the bird. If it kills it, just freeze when done and reuse it. At all cost, make it FUN. This is the most important thing.
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