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Thread: Question for upland hunters

  1. #71
    Senior Member Scum Frog's Avatar
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    Here is my experience for ruffed grouse (sorry not pheasants) and I have logged a lot of hours behind a lab in the grouse woods.

    I believe Sit to Flush is not critical in the grouse woods. The woods are pretty thick, the birds generally flush, get up quick and are out of sight. The dogs don't tend to chase like they would in an open field. I don't think I have ever fired two shots at one bird in the same flush. It is one of three scenarios. 1) Wild flush and neither dog nor hunter sees the bird. Any follow up is based on locating by sound 2) Flush with missed shot or no shot at all, follow up on the bird 3) Flush and bird shot, retrieve.
    Last edited by Scum Frog; 03-25-2013 at 12:23 PM.
    Labrador Retriever, a 20g & grouse...is there a better combination?

  2. #72
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scum Frog View Post
    Here is my experience for ruffed grouse (sorry not pheasants) and I have logged a lot of hours behind a lab in the grouse woods.

    I believe Sit to Flush is not critical in the grouse woods. The woods are pretty thick, the birds generally flush, get up quick and are out of site. The dogs don't tend to chase like they would in an open field. I don't think I have ever fired two shots at one bird in the same flush. It is one of three scenarios. 1) Wild flush and neither dog nor hunter sees the bird. Any follow up is based on locating by sound 2) Flush with missed shot or no shot at all, follow up on the bird 1) Flush and bird shot, retrieve.
    You forgot to mention that scenario 3 is the least common, i.e. flush and bird shot.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

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  3. #73
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post
    you forgot to mention that scenario 3 is the least common, i.e. Flush and bird shot.
    Ouch!!
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  4. #74
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    Here are a couple of good articles on Illinois Ringnecks. The first one is from 2010 and a lot of good information on the population. Second one is current stats.
    http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2010/1..._il_aa111604a/

    http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/...rtPheasant.pdf

    Fifteen years ago I could walk ditches and railroad tracks to get wild ringnecks in my area, but today those some places do not produce. When I call the farmers I know, they tell me if the farm has birds or not and whether it is a waste of time. Pheasant Farms should be called dog training, not real hunting but in my area a lot of people think going to the Game Farm is hunting.

    I dont see a problem holding a high standard in training and letting the dog slide a bit when the conditions warrant, like your wild bird hunts with incredible cover and/or multiple dogs. Allowing the dog to get loose during hunting season keeps the pro trainers in business retraining them every spring for test/trial season!
    Erik B.

  5. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by HNTFSH View Post
    I prefer not to waste the dogs energy or mine tracking a broken winged bird for 90 minutes to find it ran through a fence row.
    I am glad that has worked for you and you enjoy hunting that way. My experience with unsteady dogs and been much different. I don't want to discount that the way you hunt works for you and your dog, but at the same time you should not discount the way someone else hunts.

    Two years ago in Iowa I hunted with a couple other guys we had three dogs on the ground at once. My dog was the only steady dog. Day one bird shot went down at about 80 yards. The two unsteady dogs ran to retrieve and came up with nothing. Neither dog cared to scent. I put my dog on the area of the fall and within 15 minutes she tracked the bird over 100 yards to the fence. That bird went on to private land and could not hunt it. Point is the dogs that broke had no skills to find the bird sure the bird could not have been retrieved but you would not have known that if you had not tracked it. Second day Bird shot dropped 10 feet in front of unsteady dog he came up no bird and would not follow the scent. I put my dog on the secent of the bird and we got another flush from the bird and it was shot and retrieved.

    http://s399.photobucket.com/user/Che..._0001.mp4.html


    Later that same day my dog flushed another bird that bird had three shells put it at less than 30 yards unsteady dogs got to the area of the fall came up with nothing and gave up. I put my dog on the area of the fall within seconds she was on a scent trail and tracked that bird across the creek and 100 plus yards she came back with the bird. I have never had a tracking situation that has taken more than 20 - 25 minutes. Has the dog gotten in to the area of the fall and not found a trail yes, but you know that quickly.

    The first image was taken seconds before the bird was flushed. You can see the creek in the back ground and the hill in the distance the dog tracked the bird over the top of that hill and the second photo is the dog bringing the bird back. About 15 minutes form shot to retrieve. First photo was at 3:49 the second photo was 4:05.



    Last edited by Im_with_Brandy; 03-25-2013 at 11:12 AM.
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  6. #76
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Im_with_Brandy View Post
    I am glad that has worked for you and you enjoy hunting that way. My experience with unsteady dogs and been much different. I don't want to discount that the way you hunt works for you and your dog, but at the same time you should not discount the way someone else hunts.

    Two years ago in Iowa I hunted with a couple other guys we had three dogs on the ground at once. My dog was the only steady dog. Day one bird shot went down at about 80 yards. The two unsteady dogs ran to retrieve and came up with nothing. Neither dog cared to scent. I put my dog on the area of the fall and within 15 minutes she tracked the bird over 100 yards to the fence. That bird went on to private land and could not hunt it. Point is the dogs that broke had no skills to find the bird sure the bird could not have been retrieved but you would not have known that if you had not tracked it. Second day Bird shot dropped 10 feet in front of unsteady dog he came up no bird and would not follow the scent. I put my dog on the secent of the bird and we got another flush from the bird and it was shot and retrieved.

    http://s399.photobucket.com/user/Che..._0001.mp4.html


    Later that same day my dog flushed another bird that bird had three shells put it at less than 30 yards unsteady dogs got to the area of the fall came up with nothing and gave up. I put my dog on the area of the fall within seconds she was on a scent trail and tracked that bird across the creek and 100 plus yards she came back with the bird. I have never had a tracking situation that has taken more than 20 - 25 minutes. Has the dog gotten in to the area of the fall and not found a trail yes, but you know that quickly.

    The first image was taken seconds before the bird was flushed. You can see the creek in the back ground and the hill in the distance the dog tracked the bird over the top of that hill and the second photo is the dog bringing the bird back. About 15 minutes form shot to retrieve. First photo was at 3:49 the second photo was 4:05.



    Oh - make no mistake, I couldn't agree more with you on dog ability. Guess my point was that a dog that can work a wild bird that's healthy and avoiding detection can certainly work one that's been crippled. I don't think game farms provide that perseverance personally for wild birds as the time between picking up scent is often long and tedious. There's a LOT of hunting in between birds. That's a belief system and work ethic developed in the field over time.

    I just prefer the dog be UNDER that bird on the fall. It lessens the time the bird has to escape. We worked a broken wing Rooster for 90 minutes last year in 50 degree temps, at days end, after already hunting 6 hours. The bird ran us across a few miles back and forth with the dog leading our way. You have to stay in gun range as cripples sometimes regain the ability of flight, sometimes they don't. If that bird gets a short flight onto private ground - you've wasted a bird to the coyotes.

    You'll not find a bigger fan of dog tracking bird and being extremely proficient at it. Wouldn't have it any other way.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

  7. #77
    Member pstrombeck's Avatar
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    I initially did some stop at flush and shot before I decided to rely on the whistle. Since I CC on the stop whistle this is the strongest command I have in my tool box. Lets say I am in SD and we flush and shoot the dog is free to go unless I stop em because another dog is closer or another hunter has it under control. I always hunt with whistle in mouth - just a habit. Friends laugh when they see me with a whistle in my mouht and my dogs are taking a break in the trailer.

  8. #78
    Senior Member Scum Frog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdgnyc View Post
    You forgot to mention that scenario 3 is the least common, i.e. flush and bird shot.
    Left out on purpose....I figured anybody who has spent any measurable amount of time chasing ol' ruffy will know that
    Labrador Retriever, a 20g & grouse...is there a better combination?

  9. #79
    Senior Member Dave Flint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Im_with_Brandy View Post
    The two unsteady dogs ran to retrieve and came up with nothing. Neither dog cared to scent. I put my dog on the area of the fall and within 15 minutes she tracked the bird over 100 yards to the fence. That bird went on to private land and could not hunt it. Point is the dogs that broke had no skills to find the bird sure the bird could not have been retrieved but you would not have known that if you had not tracked it. Second day Bird shot dropped 10 feet in front of unsteady dog he came up no bird and would not follow the scent. I put my dog on the secent of the bird and we got another flush from the bird and it was shot and retrieved.


    Later that same day my dog flushed another bird that bird had three shells put it at less than 30 yards unsteady dogs got to the area of the fall came up with nothing and gave up. I put my dog on the area of the fall within seconds she was on a scent trail and tracked that bird across the creek and 100 plus yards she came back with the bird. I have never had a tracking situation that has taken more than 20 - 25 minutes. Has the dog gotten in to the area of the fall and not found a trail yes, but you know that quickly.
    I’ve seen this happen quite often when hunting w/ multiple “non-steady” dogs. They get accustomed to chasing a bird but having another dog get there first. Quite often they give a cursory search, then they figure somebody must have got it already so they just peel off & start hunting for another one. There’s no sense of responsibility to come up w/ the bird.

    In my opinion, the dog that found & flushed the bird deserves the retrieve, even if the bird falls closer to another dog. The primary difference between a productive dog & a laggard is that the productive dog has a stronger desire to find birds. If every bird he produces gets stolen by a breaking dog, he can lose some of his motivation to find them.

    I doubt many of us send multiple dogs on a single retrieve in training but what do you think would happen if you did? One dog will prove to be faster or more aggressive & the other will eventually accept it & lose enthusiasm. That’s what happens when you hunt w/ non-steady dogs. You end up w/ one dog that gets most of the retrieves. Sometimes he’ll even start to pay more attention to the other dogs to see if they produce a bird so he can steal it rather than trying to find his own birds.
    "The bird hunter watches only the dog, and always knows where the dog is, whether or not visible at the moment. The dog’ nose is the bird hunters eye. Many hunters who carry a shotgun in season have never learned to watch the dog, or interpret his reaction to scent."
    Aldo Leopold, Round River

  10. #80
    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Flint View Post
    I’ve seen this happen quite often when hunting w/ multiple “non-steady” dogs. They get accustomed to chasing a bird but having another dog get there first. Quite often they give a cursory search, then they figure somebody must have got it already so they just peel off & start hunting for another one. There’s no sense of responsibility to come up w/ the bird.

    In my opinion, the dog that found & flushed the bird deserves the retrieve, even if the bird falls closer to another dog. The primary difference between a productive dog & a laggard is that the productive dog has a stronger desire to find birds. If every bird he produces gets stolen by a breaking dog, he can lose some of his motivation to find them.

    I doubt many of us send multiple dogs on a single retrieve in training but what do you think would happen if you did? One dog will prove to be faster or more aggressive & the other will eventually accept it & lose enthusiasm. That’s what happens when you hunt w/ non-steady dogs. You end up w/ one dog that gets most of the retrieves. Sometimes he’ll even start to pay more attention to the other dogs to see if they produce a bird so he can steal it rather than trying to find his own birds.
    Probably a matter of form and function but when I hunt with another dog and hunter we're covering our own ground. Same field, same cadence, often inline, but working different cover. In the event birds cross paths or both dogs glue to one bird be it Pointer/Flusher or Flusher/Flusher...we'll let both work the bird until we read from the dog the bird is near ready. When working with a Pointer I generally call my dog off to see if we can get the point. If the bird won't hold - dog gets released back into the mix.

    As said before on the thread - anything can be accomplished on a whistle sit.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

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