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How do you feel when Pigeons are used in a hunt test

  • Cheated, I pay good money and I want ducks

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  • Love them, they create realism.

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  • Don't care what kind of birds they use, I enjoy it just the same.

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Discussion Starter #1
I got beat up my some old timers on another forum about this topic. I wanted to get your thoughts.
You go to a HT and the birds being used are pigeons. Now I am not asking if this is a legal bird, I know that they are. Further more I have been to test where these were used and have yet to have a dog have a problem with them because we do train puppies with them, so I am not complaining about using them based on that. My gripe with pigeons, however, comes from several less that fun test created due to weather and other factors such as having cub scouts for bird boys.
The post on the other web site started by someone asking what we though about using pigeons vs. ducks because the club would realize a savings of about $6 per bird. The point I tried to make was that I was/am unhappy when I spend hundreds of dollars to go to a HT with dogs and find that the birds are pigeons (again I run the test and don?t complain). If I want my dogs to retrieve winged rats we can go up to the McDonald?s. I told the original poster that if I were traveling a good distance to get to the test and found that they used pigeons, that I would probably not come back next year for their test thus causing the club to actually lose money rather than save it. I pointed out that pigeons make very difficult marks at 150 yards, that wind and rain can certainly affect there use, and that bird boys and launchers are often a problem with them. Basically I was simply giving my opinion on the down falls of using pigeons to the poster that asked what we thought...
Most of the replies then of course called me a complainer and continued to tell me that I should be prepared for any birds used (my dog have never had a problem with pigeons, see above), and that these created realism because you could simulate a dove hunt (fine but see comment above about marking distances).
My point is I feel cheated when a club uses pigeons. I pay the entry and I want ducks, pheasant, or other REAL GAME BIRD. Please do reply and tell me that pigeons are hunted, that?s not the point. I just want to know how you feel in this situation. Would you enjoy the test as much? Would you go back (assuming it was not a local club)? Do you think it is a good idea for a club to save money this way?
 

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I thought I'd be the first to respond, so I'm not swayed by any other replies. I've only had this past season of hunt tests as my experience at the Senior stake. I can thoroughly understand how you feel and you have every right to. I've never used pigeons, but if I knew a club was going to use them, you bettter belive I'd give dawg some work with them. Personnally, I don't think I'd care; but I'd rather have a good bird boy tossing a pigeon with a nice arc and flight path, than a cub scout tossing a duck on a low, flat, short flight. I also think that if a club is using pigeons, the entry fee should be reduced somewhat.
 

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What venue are you speaking of because if it is AKC hunt tests pigeons are not allowed any longer.... I think since the 2000 rule changes?

Chapter 3. Section 2.
Pheasants and/or ducks and/or chuckars may be used in AKC-licensed or member club Hunting Tests, as may an other species of game bird that might be unique to a specific region. Club shall specify in the premium list the exact species of birds to be used in their hunting tests.

So unless somebody in your region hunts pigeon, I'd say they can't be used.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lady
The post is titled "question for you HRC hunt testers"

Heres your sign :D
 

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I personally would not be very happy if I traveled to a test and my dog got to retrieve pigeons. These are not game birds and the tests are designed to simulate hunting scenarios.
 

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Oops, my bad...its early this morning. I just opened the "hunt test thread read the question and answered. We play both games and my dogs don't care what they pick up, so if it isn't against the rules there's no problem by me.

Our club (dual club) uses ducks, we find that they hold up longer than pigeons and while they are cheaper per bird, they are not cheaper per dog.
 

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Pigeons verses ducks in HRC

Badbullgator,

I have run HRC tests in Texas and Louisiana since 1992. When I first started running no club useds ducks only. Pigeons were always used on the land tests because for the most part it was to simulate a dove hunt. Now almost all the clubs have gone to using "ducks only".

I perfer ducks in all series. But will run or judge whatever the club has chooses to use.

Regarding the cost factor, as someone else previously stated, the pigeon may cost less per bird but not less per dog. To keep the quality of the birds being thrown for the first dog as well as the last dog running each day at each stake the club will have to buy a much larger number of pigeons to run the same number of dogs as ducks and therefore our club had come to realize that the cost factor is a non issue. Now keep in mind that the last time our club bought pigeons we were paying $3 + per bird. So when you need to buy at least twice as many pigeons as ducks the savings are a non issue.

Quality all the way around should be the #1 concern of a club hosting any type of hunt tests.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Janet
Good points and I also pointed out that there really was not a cost savings. Furthermore, most clubs save the good left over ducks for use in training days again making the ducks a better value for the club and in my opinon better for those running dogs.

Like you I will still run it if I show up and that is what they are using, but I just don't like pigeons in place of ducks at a hunt test, but I do agree that they are nice for setting up a dove hunt type test. Now if I know in advance that pigeons are the birds to be used.....I most likely will not attend the test unless it is a local club.
 

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Interesting thread. Couldn't previously have imagined a pigeon complaint.

My gripe would be water-logged, nearly featherless young ducks used on land tests. I fuss my pups for picking up such trash on field jaunts. Much rather a slobbery well used pigeon. Never seen one as remotely beat up as some ducks used in land tests.
 

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It doesn't matter to me. I'm there for the fun and the points. We do train with them, so that's never a problem.
 

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I wouldn't care either way...a dog should be trained on all type of birds...first training session using a pigeon, my dog wouldn't touch a pigeon even though she was FF. It's all part of a well rounded retriever....

And by the way...you don't pay for ducks at a test...you pay for the test. Period. It's your responsibility to have your dog ready for whatever the judges throw at you.
 

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I'm waiting for a premium for an HRC test in March. While I would prefer ducks-ifthe premium indicates that pigeons will be used-I'll still go. My dog doesn't care one way or the other. I would be a bit disappointed running a test with pigeons because I think visibilty may be a factor, but having run the Golden WCX where land is always pigeons-it's doable.
M
 

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The type of birds to be used should be listed on the premium. You can choose to enter or not. Personally, I prefer to have ducks &/or pheasants. If it's a brand new club, I would pay the entry fee for pigeons to help them get started, but would expect gamebirds in the future.
 

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My view is that at seasoned or finished the dog should retrieve whatever you send them after. Whether it is a pigeon, duck, pheasant, etc. I do agree, however, the choice of pigeons should not be made as a cost saving alternative. Instead, it should be made out the interest of variety.
 

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Why doesnt the HRC put what birds they are going to use on the premium for the test. That would solve the probem of driving to a test for a $2 bird.
 

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Lady Duck Hunter said:
Our club (dual club) uses ducks, we find that they hold up longer than pigeons and while they are cheaper per bird, they are not cheaper per dog.
that's why i enjoy this site. I learn something every day.
 

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Matt Miller said:
Why doesnt the HRC put what birds they are going to use on the premium for the test. That would solve the probem of driving to a test for a $2 bird.
Every test I've been to they've listed the birds that could be used..however I've never been to one that uses anything but ducks.
 

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Quality

Around here there are so many trials,you have a choice to attend quality tests.Bird personell at least i n thier teens,wingers ,and ducks.That spells quality marks to me.Then,I am not by any means a "purist" on the realism or hunting thing.We run HRC,AKC hunt test,NFRA,and Field Trials,and enjoy the beauty of these fine dogs doing thier thing.
 

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Re: Pigeons verses ducks in HRC

jksboxofchocolates said:
Now almost all the clubs have gone to using "ducks only".
That was my point on another thread -- who is still using pigeons for licensed events? They were pretty regular in the late-80s and early-90s, but I don't remember seeing any for the last decade.

For training and fun hunts? Of course. For licensed tests? No way.
 
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