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I am interested in ducks, pheasants and doves.

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I am interested in ducks, pheasants and doves.

Old 04-13-2014, 03:28 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Sacramento County, CA
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Question I am interested in ducks, pheasants and doves.

I want to take up feathered game with retrievers, typical water dogs, for both uplands and field ducks.

I have never hunted feathered game or any game with shotguns before but have owned retrievers in
the past and have hunted non-feathered animals with rifles.

Should the new wing shooter first learn field ducks or start with the uplands?

I live in California and we have rice-field ducks here in the Central Valley and that is what interests me.

Marsh ducks and wearing waders is what least interests me. My grandfather once told me that the rice-field ducks are the best eating and that marsh and bay ducks taste fishy, especially the divers. Puddlers like Mallards fattened on grain are the gourmet chef's delight.

Field duck hunting might be most akin to the upland disciplines as far as web-footed feathered game goes. I am not sure if the rice-field duck hunters use pits or blinds.

I also want versatile black (my favorite color) Labs trained for any feathered game I go after. I will have to learn to master the dog handling skill as well as the shooting, calling, and decoy skills. I figure a Lab trained for the uplands might do equally well in the rice fields for Mallard quackers.

I will probably join a local retriever club and a hunting or rod n gun club to get started.

Will my Labs for upland work have to be trained to point and hold birds?

I think the wing shooting shotgun I might start with is a Mossberg 930 self-loader 12 gauge with a synth stock that can use adjusting spacers to get that sought-after fit. This, I read is a soft-shooting ported gas operated gun that can handle light dove loads to magnum duck loads without a hitch at a blue-collar price. 28" barrel is the norm for open fields. Choke tubes to boot.

Last edited by JonMBailey; 04-13-2014 at 03:53 AM.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:16 AM
  #2  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Iowa
Posts: 469
Default three thoughts

1-take some shooting lessons
2-Labs shouldn't point
3-hope you have deep pockets
4-good luck


Yeah, I know that's four.
And I made DocE mad.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:50 AM
  #3  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Originally Posted by JonMBailey View Post
1. I also want versatile black (my favorite color) Labs trained for any feathered game I go after.

2. I will have to learn to master the dog handling skill . I figure a Lab trained for the uplands might do equally well in the rice fields for Mallard quackers.

3. I will probably join a local retriever club and a hunting or rod n gun club to get started.

4. Will my Labs for upland work have to be trained to point and hold birds?
1. Unless you can get a black dog well hidden they are more easily seen by ducks and geese. A nice shade of Yellow might be a better choice.
2. Get on a modern sequential training program such as Smartwork (by Evan Graham) for the retriever work.
3. Definitely
4. You don't train Labs to point. You can train them to "stand game" which is markedly different than pointing.
However, you can get a QUALITY Pointing Lab and they point naturally (genetically) just like the "pointy breeds" and a great training book for the "Pointing portion" of training is "Training the Pointing Labrador", by Julie Knutson.

.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:18 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Originally Posted by 2eagles View Post
2-Labs shouldn't point

And I made DocE mad.
You didn't make me mad ---- Take a look at my signature line, I hope you take it to heart
Labs are described as Retrievers, so I guess they shouldn't Flush either

Most Labs don't point, but Pointing Labs certainly do.



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Old 04-13-2014, 08:47 AM
  #5  
Fork Horn
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Iowa
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Default Ignorance can sometimes be cured, but stupid is forever.

And experience is a great teacher.
One reason I don't want my retriever to point is the best Lab I ever owned. Tough as nails and would have rather died than quit on a retrieve. But later in his life, he started to point downed birds. I lost several ducks that dove in heavy marsh grass and pheasants that could outrun the old boy after he hesitated on the retrieve. This was back in the early 70's and we shot a lot of pheasants in Iowa. Not sure how / why he started that, but I didn't like it. Never will.

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Old 04-13-2014, 09:06 AM
  #6  
Nontypical Buck
 
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2eagles
A Lab (of any variety) should never "point dead" -- sounds like your dog started bugging and blinking birds for whatever reason. Often this occurs after a bad experience with a bird.

Wait till you're my age and you'll appreciate a dog that points.

BTW, I was born and raised in Iowa when the Pheasant hunting was as good or better than the Dakotas, and in those days there were no pointing labs, so I've seen the best of both worlds.

.

Last edited by Doc E; 04-13-2014 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:27 PM
  #7  
Spike
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: N.E Kansas
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Default

Originally Posted by JonMBailey View Post
1. Should the new wing shooter first learn field ducks or start with the uplands?


2. My grandfather once told me that the rice-field ducks are the best eating and that marsh and bay ducks taste fishy, especially the divers.

3. Field duck hunting might be most akin to the upland disciplines as far as web-footed feathered game goes. I am not sure if the rice-field duck hunters use pits or blinds.

4. I also want versatile black (my favorite color) Labs trained for any feathered game I go after. I will have to learn to master the dog handling skill as well as the shooting, calling, and decoy skills. I figure a Lab trained for the uplands might do equally well in the rice fields for Mallard quackers.

5. Will my Labs for upland work have to be trained to point and hold birds?
1. Either or, both are generally so different that neither are applicable to each other in shooting style or anything else. There are some exceptions however.

2. Your grandfather was wrong no offense intended. Puddle ducks feed both on aquatic vegetation and on grain. Just because you shoot a mallard in a marsh does not mean he was not in the rice fields. Actually around here the marshes, lakes, rivers, ect are more used as places to loaf and sleep than feeding grounds. The ducks move from water sources to fields to feed. Now divers are different they do only feed on aquatic vegetation but they do not taste fishy because they do not eat fish. Though Mergansers eat only fish and most people do not eat them due to their fishy taste.

3. In your case field duck hunting has ABSOLUTLY no similarities to upland hunting. In my case the only similarity is that I am hunting in a corn or wheat field. Field hunters use both pit blind, layout blinds, other types of blinds, and no blinds at all.

4. The reverse is true you want to first train your dog for waterfowl work before moving onto upland work. Since you will run into issue with getting the dog to sit still if he was trained for upland work first. I would recommend Water Dog and Game Dog by Richard A. Wolters for waterfowl and upland work respectively. They are classics and are still used after 50+ years for a reason they work.

5. No, it is impossible to train a dog to point and though it is possible to teach a dog to hold birds but with a flusher what is the point? You a trying to circumvent the dog's instinct to flush game which could fail at anytime and is the whole problem is solved by keeping the dog within shotgun range. Now there are breed that pause before flushing game but they don't hold birds or point.

Last edited by ksfowler166; 04-21-2014 at 08:33 PM.
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