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Thread: My Dogs First Hunt

  1. #21
    Senior Member swampcollielover's Avatar
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    I never take my dogs on opening day Dove! Where we go it is morning hunting, but it can get fast and furious, very confusing and sometimes dangerous for dogs. On top of that, dog hate dove, the small feathers get in their throat and I think the scent is very light. Many dogs cannot scent a dove....save your dogs for bigger birds. If you do decide to work your dog on the opening, leave your gun home and 'work your dog' or you may make trouble for both of you....

  2. #22
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    Making a dog's first hunt an opening day dove hunt is a recipe for disaster!! Not only is it usually too hot, but the gunfire and commotion can unnerve a young pup. After many doves have fallen and dove scent is all over the field, they can't track downed birds with their nose; this frustrates young pups. Take her with one other person who does all the shooting, be sure to keep her cool, and make sure she's under your control at all times. The feathers bother some dogs, but never have bothered mine. I dedicated the first season to her; going out with only one other person who did all the shooting. The next 10 seasons we went out with our group, everyone blasting away, she did great, was under control (mostly!) and we both had great fun. Our season starts in a few days, and for the first time in 11 years I can't take her; she's almost 12 and can't take the heat or exercise. It breaks my heart.

  3. #23
    Senior Member RookieTrainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Lietzau View Post
    Now this post I understand.... We don't hunt dove but I can't imagine hunting them without my dogs. It would seem to me the perfect place to train a young pup. If you live in a warm climate adjust your game to meet your needs. JMHO..Don
    I had the same idea you did about the hunting environment being the perfect place to train a young pup. It is - for training in bad habits. At least for this rookie.

    There are too many variables you can't control. I am an inexperienced dove hunter too, so I had no idea about the feathers and how they come off in the dog's mouth. I also didn't realize that the average size dove was about the size of a very warm, soft, scrumptious meatball to my meathead, and I had to save a couple by the foot. If you are on a field that has been plowed and has had a disc run over it, the doves are hard to spot on the dirt - at least in my area. And this is all in addition to the problem of managing the dog in the heat.

    And this is a 1.5 YO dog with some pro training and some hunting experience. But there were 25 guns and doves flying everywhere, which was a recipe for disaster for him. I can't imagine what it might do to a pretty birdy pup.

    And yes, I know (now) I should have had better control over my dog. With a young pup, there hasn't been time to establish that kind of control in most cases.

    JMHO. YMMV.
    Steve Wyatt

    HR Belle's Rolling Big Rig "Jimmy"

  4. #24
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    I hunt my dogs regardless of how hot it is. I sit in the shade and take water and ice. I take two dogs and rotate them but only let them pick up the close easy birds. They can hunt a dove for a while and be all over it so be careful letting him hunt. Just be careful and wait til 3 or so to get him out. Mine average being out maybe 30 min at a time then go to a crate full of ice.

  5. #25
    Senior Member jb504079's Avatar
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    88 degrees isn't that hot though. Now 98? 100+? Ya, that's hot. Not shooting and just working the dog is what I do opening weekend. We sit in the shade and retrieve birds for my dad, who is still a crack shot. But I deny at least 50% of birds. Builds drive, steadiness, and keeps him cool. 88 degrees isn't TOO hot to work a dog. Well, unless the average temps are around that. My dogs are well accustomed to 90+ heat. We hunt early and late when it's cooler, so 88 isn't that bad.

    Just use good judgment. Watch your dog closely.

  6. #26
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claimsadj View Post
    I hunt my dogs regardless of how hot it is. I sit in the shade and take water and ice. I take two dogs and rotate them but only let them pick up the close easy birds. They can hunt a dove for a while and be all over it so be careful letting him hunt. Just be careful and wait til 3 or so to get him out. Mine average being out maybe 30 min at a time then go to a crate full of ice.
    Doesn't say where you live, but 3:00 is about an hour before the temp peaks around here that time of year. I check when sunset is and plan to be at my spot under a shade tree about 90 minutes before sunset. If the birds are flying, that should be plenty of time. I should also say that I usually hunt alone or with one or occasionally two other people and we spread out.
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member jb504079's Avatar
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    You don't go dove hunting with a dog at 3:00 in Texas. It's too hot. Temps usually peak around 5:00, and we usually go out around 7:30 and hunt til dark. In the morning, we hunt from daylight til about 9:30. By then, it's starting to heat up. But a high temp of 88 isn't bad.

  8. #28
    Senior Member fishduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claimsadj View Post
    I hunt my dogs regardless of how hot it is. I sit in the shade and take water and ice. I take two dogs and rotate them but only let them pick up the close easy birds. They can hunt a dove for a while and be all over it so be careful letting him hunt. Just be careful and wait til 3 or so to get him out. Mine average being out maybe 30 min at a time then go to a crate full of ice.
    That describes my theory on dove hunting. Only difference is mine go into the insulated dog box with frozen ice bottles.

    However I created a breaking problem with my first dog on a dove field. My advice is forget your pride & tie a dog out on its first hunt.
    Mark Land

  9. #29
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    North Alabama. We usually have temps in the 80's for the dove opener. For many that is boiling, for my dogs it's a below average summer day.
    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    Doesn't say where you live, but 3:00 is about an hour before the temp peaks around here that time of year. I check when sunset is and plan to be at my spot under a shade tree about 90 minutes before sunset. If the birds are flying, that should be plenty of time. I should also say that I usually hunt alone or with one or occasionally two other people and we spread out.

  10. #30
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claimsadj View Post
    North Alabama. We usually have temps in the 80's for the dove opener. For many that is boiling, for my dogs it's a below average summer day.
    If I had to stay home on days that reached the mid eighties I wouldn't be able to hunt dove until the late season in Dec/Jan and might have to skip a few days then too.
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
    (John Dewey)

    Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
    (George Washington)

    Gig'em Aggies!! BTCO'77HOO t.u.!!

    www.HughLieck.photoshelter.com

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