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Old November 16, 2019, 01:23 PM   #1
stinkeypete
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Proudest dog in the world got his first pheasant.

My two year old labrador just got his first pheasant and it's a miracle to see how happy and proud the little guy is.

He aggressively chased two down in the deep brush, flushed them, and for once I did my part correctly, then he ran off and with a little direction found his bird. He's not ready to retrieve it yet (now that we have some pheasant wings we'll work on that) but putting your nose on it in the brush and wagging your tail like windshield wipers on high is a good start!

Nice big fat pretty cock pheasant, and so much curious nose while I dressed the bird out at home. I am thinking a maple/apple grilling as... I hit the bird light then hit it again in the air hard. Not the best shooting but better a little too hard than a little too soft.

He's kicked up quite a few but my shooting has been letting the team down. Not this time. He got to show he learned the command "Find It!" and he did!
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Old November 16, 2019, 04:11 PM   #2
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My congratulations to him!
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Old November 19, 2019, 09:41 AM   #3
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Once they identify what you are after, it just gets better and better. Congrats.
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Old November 19, 2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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One of the coolest things in the world to witness is a dog bred to hunt,and has his first kill or retrieval. They are genetically programmed to do this but aren't sure just how it transpires. Once they have done it for the first time, they realize they figured out what their job is in life.
The body English and facial expression says it all.
Now it's up to you to keep it going.
Every time your dog fetches a bird,rabbit, whatever your hunting, act like a complete fool, really exaggerate your praise and pets. Use a special word at this time and only at this time. "Good Boy/Girl" for normal every daisy things ;And " Very good Boy/Girl!" for the hunt. They pick up on this and will react to it.
I've been training dogs for 60 years now and I hunt with my Greyhounds 4/5 times a week ( Bunnies/Jack's and coyotes.) It gets me out of the house and the dogs really look forward to it. The bond you will create will be amazing.
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Old November 19, 2019, 11:23 AM   #5
stinkeypete
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Rob, our next trip out is just as you said. It’s amazing to see him charging in to the brush, knowing what his nose is telling him, and how excited he runs back after flushing a bird.

Yesterday he flushed many birds and the one I hit went down softly... he “found it!” And pinned the bird with his nose until I came. Good dog! Of course I have a pocket full of treats for every correct action and he got much praise. He found it and did not grab it and shake it like a rat, most important to me. It’s easier to teach more than to try to unteach a bad habit, right?

Now that we have some wings and a dummy we’ll start on retrieving birds with soft mouth- but find em running, flush em up, find his bird and hold it in place is ... considering i’ve Never trained a dog and have only read a book on it... great dog and great breeding. Bringing it back is just going to make the other dogs look bad and other hunters jealous. But we’ll try!

I did a slow bbq of maple syrup, cider vinegar and spices glaze on breast fillets then a final topping of applesauce for the last few minutes. My wife was skeptical of pheasant but has immediately declared we can get as many more as we can and she’ll eat em so long as I dress them. I had the wings and legs for lunch the next day.

I’ll be doing breast fillets again, but i’ll Make a soup from the carcass, legs and wings tonight. The legs are tougher than I had considered, but then they’re running birds.

Birds are flushing close and I am thinking of having the choke on my lovely 1946 mfg. Ithaca Model 37 opened up from full to a tight modified. That... or keep working on my shooting. Skeet is fun, but it’s not prepared me for all the odd angles and surprises. The more we hunt, the better my little team of dog and me are doing. It’s a real joy.

Last edited by stinkeypete; November 19, 2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old November 19, 2019, 11:48 AM   #6
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My congratulations to both of you.
These events are nearly priceless... def. a Kodak moment.
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Old November 19, 2019, 12:03 PM   #7
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Makes for a great day !!!

There is a current thread about hunting/driving game with dogs. My most memorial experiences, have been hunting Pheasant with dogs. It really comes together. These memories will last forever.…..

Now then, I know I'm going to get some flack on this subject but in the cleaning process, have you ever shared the entrails with your dog. I get the impression that it is like candy to them and rewarding.

Good hunting and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old November 19, 2019, 05:16 PM   #8
Rapidrob
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I was hunting Jack-Rabbits with my Greyhound Gunner right after I posted the reply. The weather today was going to be in the 60's with Snow tonight and the rest of the week crap.
I drove 30 miles out to a Mesa that I have hunted before and was hoping it would be a good day.
The clouds started to build and the shadows of the moving clouds scares the rabbits ( think Hawk) so he only chased one bunny. The rest had gone to ground.
We walked about three miles around the edge of the Mesa and he had a good time playing Canis Runusamuckus.

He just turned two and can be trusted off-lead and never wanders farther than 50 yards away from me.
He is 90 pounds of Mean-Lean-Running Machine.
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Old November 19, 2019, 05:26 PM   #9
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Rather than have the choke re-shaped, consider buying/ reloading a "Spreader-Wad".
They are really just internal vertical compartment wads that really disrupt the shot pattern as it leaves the muzzle. They work well and can be found on the web.
My Patterning Board showed the shot went from "Full" to Modified" at 25 yards with 7 1/2 shot out of my Browning A5 with a Tula-Choke using these wads.
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Old November 19, 2019, 05:48 PM   #10
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Pahoo... my dog earned a heart, which he gobbled with relish. He did not get his heart immediately, only after the bird was in my vest and we had moved on. Guts were a “leave it!” And he obeyed. He was very excited and interested in what was in the back my vest. The heart was in a front pocket. He got his heart for settling down, sitting, laying down, obeying while excited. I reckon I don’t want him to associate “my” bird with “his” bird heart. No chewing the bird! So far so good.

I have friends that have greyhounds or salukis; it’s great to see a sight hound in it’s element and doing the job they do best. I bet that dog seems to fly.

My wife thanks you fellas, she loves watching the dog work and he is a joy for her to command too... but she doesn’t hunt and I am retired and hunt when working folks can’t be in the field because of work. It was her idea to get me a dog so I would have a hobby that gets me back in the outdoors. She’s smart. But she’s heard enough about our hunts while she’s stuck inside in her office job.

No matter troubles or dark moods, it’s impossible to be unhappy around a joyful dog doing his job.
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Old November 19, 2019, 08:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
He just turned two and can be trusted off-lead and never wanders farther than 50 yards away from me.
He is 90 pounds of Mean-Lean-Running Machine.
That's a beautiful dog. I can only imagine watching him work in country like that.
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Old November 22, 2019, 12:50 PM   #12
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We had a good snow storm yesterday on my mountain and the bunnies were in the road to get out of the snow. Gunner had a ball chasing the rabbits all over the property and up the mountain.
He slept very well last night!
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Old November 22, 2019, 08:48 PM   #13
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Doc's first retrieve.

I had a ranger/hunting buddy who had a male black lab he'd named Doc. My pal Terry and I did a fair amount of poor-boy duck hunting on public water in central AR, he had the dog, I had the boat.

Doc was deemed ready for his first hunt, and I had found some ducks on a certain remote slough on Lake Ouchita. At shooting time, a flight of mallards came in, and as agreed, only Terry shot, one duck, so as Doc's first would be simple. The stricken mallard drake fell from the sky to land just off the gunwale of the boat with a large splash, close enough that we all got sprayed.

"Doc, go"..........Doc leaned out of the boat and caught a limply waving wing from the bird, and drug him in. Of course, much applause...."Good dog, good boy" and the dog was quite proud of himself, as was his owner.

In the way of hunting buddies, I told Terry that only he could have a Lab who could retrieve his first duck, and not get wet.
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Old November 23, 2019, 12:22 AM   #14
lefteye
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^ ^ ^ Great story! I haven't hunted ducks for many years (I'll be 73 in a few days) but I currently have two Labs in my family. My biggest, most wonderful lab ever was honored with the name Ruger.
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Old November 23, 2019, 08:39 AM   #15
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As read the OP and friend had a good day afield. Kudos to you both.
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