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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 10 month-old lab, Kate, got her first bird hunt out near Mason. There were about 20 guys in the hunting party, but the field was huge and open with plenty of room between shooters.

Kate and I set-up our shooting spot on an outside corner of an old water pen. We had the high grass in the pen immediatelyy behind us with really thick, 6' tall sunflowers beyond the pen. That gave us a 270 degree field of fire in our direct front. The shooting field itself was sunflowers that had been mowed twice, once to get the whole field to a 2' height and then once again to cut it into long strips of sunflowers separated by the last mowing. That made it pretty easy to find birds that you knocked down in front of you.

Unfortunately, my first bird was a passing shot behind me. It landed in the 6' sunflowers. Kate followed me into them, but they were so thick she couldn't get around me. Rather than having her fail in her first attempt to find a bird, I abandoned the search and returned to our hunting position.

I decided not to take anymore shots at birds behind me after that. The first bird I dropped in front of us landed in a strip of sunflowers about 40 yards out. I got her excited about looking for it, altho', being her first hunt, I don't think she knew what she was looking for. I kind of guided her to it and kept telling her to "fetch it" and she finally got the idea and picked it up. I had her follow me back to the hunting position before I asked her to "give", which she did. I had her sit and then gave her a treat and really praised her a lot. The next one was just the same. I guided her to the bird and we repeated what we had done a few minutes earlier. I could tell she was catching on by the time we had another couple of birds in the bag. By this time, she was starting to associate my shooting with dead birds on the ground. I finally nailed one coming straight at us that did the trick. I dropped it incoming and it landed about 15 ' in front of us and she moved on it as it hit the ground. We were lucky enough to get a couple more that plopped to the ground directly in front and I could tell she had firmly grasped what was going on. In fact, I had to recall her several times when she'd see a bird shot by someone else fall. The nearest shooter to us was about fifty yards to our left and we had a couple of guys 150-200 yards or so off to our left front. She'd see them knock one down and start to move in that direction, but would yield to my command to stay.

All in all, it was a great first hunt for her. We got a limit of birds and she got some good work with no injuries from barbed wire or prickly pear. She'll get to rest up for a couple of days and then we'll hit another field somewhere, probably on the river at Center Point.

Bob
 

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Let's Go Fishin Boss!
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Congratulations On A Great Hunt

Dove hunting is always fun, but it is just fantastic when you get a chance to teach a pup to hunt. I had a female Irish Setter that hunted with me for the better part of 12 years. Here is what I remember most about hunting with her.

(1) They usually will stare in one direction and give a little moan when they see a bird (any bird
) in the air. This works out great because you can now look the opposite direction and not have to worry about a bird sneaking up on your blind side.

(2) You will hardly ever lose a bird if you can get her in the general vacinity of where it fell.

(3) She will be happy to bring you freebees from other hunters who gave up on a lost bird.

(4) At the end of the afternoon, all your buddies will look at you with admiration as you send fido into the stock tank to retrieve the wet birds!

(5) Wait till she starts to growl at you and gives you a funny look when you miss a layup that she put you on to (see #1)


Anyway, just make sure she has a lot fun this first year and believe me, she will want to be your hunting buddy for life.

HH
 

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bait chunker n fish yanker
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That sounds like a great first hunt for your dog. I used to train pointers years ago. I now just received a 1 yr old female chihuahua, and she seems to be just as high spririted and good a hunter as any of my "hunting" dogs I had in the past, and she loves to retrieve. I have a South Zone bird lease out of sugarland this year and I am thinking about taking her out a few times to see if there is any chance of her becoming a bird dog as well. It would sure be fun to see a chihuahua working birds, but it may make seeing commands tough for her short size in the brush. She may just end up being a squirrel dog, but that would suit me fine too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No bird pics, but...

This is Katie a couple of months ago near Rockport. She's a great boat dog and isn't happy until I toss her a sand trout or piggie perch to play with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
B Bill

Thanks. I see you live in Austin. I just moved there from San Antonio and still learning the area. I used to take my pup to San Pedro creek behind the Univ of Incarnate Word and work her in the water. it was generally deserted and we'd get a good work out. Also took her to nichols Crosing on the guadalupe just of 281. during the week, it was also deserted. Are there any good, quiet spots around Austin where i can work her in the water without a zillion people trying to pet/distract her?
 

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http://talesofhumor.blogspot.com/
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during the week 5 Mile Dam down on the San Marcos river is a great place. No kids, no adults, etc.. That is where I go.
 
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