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Thread: Quail

  1. #1
    Member tuckerdutch's Avatar
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    Default Quail

    Anyone hunt quail with a lab? If so any tips?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Labs's Avatar
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    Yep...hunt them like you would any other upland fowl...of course, I am in the midwest and only hunting bobwhites, when we can find them...your desert quail may be another story...
    The dog will always prove you wrong

  3. #3
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerdutch View Post
    Anyone hunt quail with a lab? If so any tips?
    My hunting buddy and I have been hunting California (Valley) Quail in the high desert for many years over our labs. The dogs work great. If you train for NAHRA or HRC your dog will quarter. If you can keep your dog within 15 or so yards you get great opportunities once you bust a covey. It doesn't take too long for the dog to figure out that it has to check every possible bit of cover. The birds hold tight until they think the dog has found them. Then they explode into flight. You have about 2 seconds to get a shot but you can read when your dog is "birdy" and be ready. Coveys can range in size from 30 to 100 birds but it is rare to get more than a few birds out of one. With a 10 bird limit the dog gets plenty of experience and has a great time. Just be sure to have good boots and pack plenty of water. You will be doing a lot of walking.

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    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    By the way, this is Gage at 12 weeks on his first flush and first retrieve:
    FirstFlush.jpgFirstRetrieve.jpg

    I should add that this was the last day of the season and we didn't shoot over the puppies. They were just there for the excitement.
    Last edited by Arnie; 09-14-2013 at 03:34 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pupaloo's Avatar
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    The main part of the covey will explode and fly all directions....but often a couple stay where the covey was, so let your dog go back and check.

    Helps if you have a pointing lab
    Marlana Smith
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Arnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pupaloo View Post
    Helps if you have a pointing lab
    Wouldn't call our dogs pointing labs but as long as they're quartering in easy gunning range they give us plenty of time to get ready (and if they're out of range we better get back to training).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Russ's Avatar
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    Work on quartering and steadiness to the shot ahead of hunting. If you are able to hunt across the border in Baja, coveys of several hundred birds are common. You will not be able to replicate the excitement of even a thirty bird covey in training, so be prepared to concentrate more on training than hunting in the beginning.

    Quail are low flying birds, so a dog that breaks when the quail start flying or when you put one down will jeopardize taking a second or third shot. It may even put the dog in danger of getting shot

    Cactus is a constant problem when quail hunting. I train my dogs to sit without trying to extract the cactus themselves. Sometimes I realize that my dog is not with me and look back and see him sitting patiently behind me several hundred yards, waiting for his master to come pull out a large chunk of cholla. I wear the diagonal cutters in a holster from my fishing tackle box. I find the "dikes" are the most efficient tool for removing the spines. I have a collapsible cordura nylon water bowl in my hunting vest and carry at least a quart of water for the dog.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Golden Boy's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Russ;114622

    Quail are low flying birds, so a dog that breaks when the quail start flying or when you put one down will jeopardize taking a second or third shot. It may even put the dog in danger of getting shot

    [/QUOTE]
    Can't agree more with the above statement. I wouldn't hunt quail with a dog that wasn't steady to wing & shot. Safety First.
    Cold Creek Gundogs
    The more I'm on the internet the more I love my dogs.

  9. #9
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    I use my lab in training with my pointing dogs. She is used to go find the bird that escapes and brings it back so I can manage the field and where the birds are for training the pointers. She handles them softly and delivers them live. Only killed one last summer and I think it died when she pulled it out of heavy cover. As far as hunting upland, she hunts close and slows down and watchs me for the sit command when she gets on birds. Don

  10. #10
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    If you can find a hunting buddy with an experienced Quail dog, your dog might be best served by running & learning from them. That will save you a bunch of time, trying to teach the game. Also rattlesnake shots & avoidance; quail are the gamefowl where you're probably the most likely to run across snakes.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
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    GMRH HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast)
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