Bird launchers Smell?

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Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Runningwild » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:14 pm

Can a dog tell the difference between a bird in a launcher vs planted? Do the launchers have a strong smell?
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby orhunter » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:25 pm

To a dog, everything has a strong smell. I'm sure a lot of dogs would point an empty launcher if they've been overworked/trained with them.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Apr 11, 2017 4:55 pm

agree with Orhunter. They will point an empty launcher (that's had birds in it), or birds in a launcher, or just planted birds... all depending.

This past winter was pretty brutal on chukars out here in the West, and one day after several miles (and several hours) trucking through mid-calf deep snow without a bird contact one of my dogs went on solid point. I finally got in position and moved in and nothing happened, but the dog was still on point. I finally released the dog and she went over to a sage brush shrub and sniffed its base a bit so I inspected the area myself. I found one chukar turd.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:52 pm

You can train a bird dog a lot of things, but one thing you cannot teach/train is NOSE.

In my experience, with experience a decent dog with a decent nose learns eventually to distinguish wild birds from domesticated, planted from wild/released, etc., etc..

This is why I preach ad nausem (sp?) to not "train" but get your pup on wild birds. And, I may add I absolutely loath a check cord on a pup!!! Best way to impede independence and a good search.

If you rely enough on launchers, a dog soon may point launchers with residual scent (like a hot spot) or whatever. And, eventually after a hunting season launchers become an OBEDIENCE subject, because the dog knows better.

Lastly, since this is a versatile forum and tracks and drags are a necessary evil you will eventually experience the intelligent dog who forgoes the search and simply tracks you to the planted birds... I call it malicious compliance (i.e. he/she does what you ask but not exactly the way you wish).

Planted birds are sometimes a necessary evil. But, I avoid them like the plague.

My last advice... take the money that you'd expend on a remote and launchers and invest in a trip to NODAK, KS, or OK... it will be money well spent

Good luck,

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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby orhunter » Tue Apr 11, 2017 6:29 pm

Good stuff Bruce and 3D's:

The longer time between bird contacts, the more likely my dog is to point anything that smells like a bird. If bird contacts are frequent, she'll point nothing but birds.

My feeling about launchers, check cords and the rest of the stuff 3D's mentions are identical to his. Training does not supplement hunting, it fine tunes it. You cannot train a dog to hunt.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Scott Linden » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:23 pm

All our launched birds become double retrieves: 1) bird; 2) launcher. :)
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby JTracyII » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:26 pm

In my experience, yes. They can tell a difference. The launcher has a much stronger smell with all the pooping a pigeon does in it over time. Before tests I always switch over to pen raised chukar in cages a few weeks out. Then to free planted chukar. The first time or two it seems like dogs are looking for the stronger launcher scent before pointing and may be prone to not point it at all. They must learn to point a fainter scent than the launcher. Then, the next learning curve is hunting wild birds that have even less scent than pen raised birds, much less. The only way to teach them about that is by hunting. Hope that helps.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:12 pm

I'd rather not have hunt tests in the equation at all but seem to be a necessary evil. Same with the release traps.

There's nothing like wild birds to teach the dog manners. Hunt tests just encourage dogs to road in too close, and also require a higher level of restraint on the dog's part (and more correction from the handler). It's all not very natural, yet it doesnt' seem to take very long while hunting for the dog to get it's perspective back.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby JTracyII » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:23 am

I can see how the hunt tests can cause many handlers to put too much pressure on their dogs, but on the other hand it certainly provides a destination to guide goals for training. It also seems to motivate the handler to train more than they would if they had no test coming up. I bet dogs that are tested or trialed are generally more functional hunting dogs than those that are not if only because the handlers were motivated to train, even if the training took place on pigeons in launchers. I do not view pigeons in launchers to be near a problem as some have posted here. I agree that hunting is better and a true finished dog must be finished on wild birds. I have folks come to my place to train dogs almost every weekend in the spring and summer. I always tell those new to training that when they have the launcher transmitter in hand it is their job to make the pigeon act wild by launching with very little forward progress of the dog after you know they have smelled the bird. This makes a more cautious dog and a better wild bird dog overall than a dog that has not been hunted a lot or trained on pigeons, which is often the case for the dog that is owned by a guy who does not plan to test. Training on launchers simply allows a handler to have much more control in training of a given situation when the goal is to have a steady to wing, shot and fall dog.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby orhunter » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:20 am

Some folks are so strict with their dogs, they teach them not to move at the first hint of scent. This may work for some types of hunting but in the wide open west where detectable scent can travel up to 300 yards on the wind, they'll be at a total disadvantage because the dog has never learned how to truly handle and hunt birds. About the closest I ever wanted my dog to get to Chukars and Huns is 30 yards, 40 is better, 50 isn't too far. A dog needs to know what to do when it first detects scent and closing to a reasonable distance. Many times with spooky birds, a reasonable distance is never obtained.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby JTracyII » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:54 am

orhunter wrote:Some folks are so strict with their dogs, they teach them not to move at the first hint of scent. This may work for some types of hunting but in the wide open west where detectable scent can travel up to 300 yards on the wind, they'll be at a total disadvantage because the dog has never learned how to truly handle and hunt birds. About the closest I ever wanted my dog to get to Chukars and Huns is 30 yards, 40 is better, 50 isn't too far. A dog needs to know what to do when it first detects scent and closing to a reasonable distance. Many times with spooky birds, a reasonable distance is never obtained.


Or, that makes sense too. Seems like most dogs can figure that out if hunted enough. It seems easier to ease up a bit while hunting after having been trained to be steady, than to expect more during hunting if not already trained.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby orhunter » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:42 am

JT: Yea, train for one thing, accept what you get when hunting. I'd never want a dog under such control it wasn't allowed to be creative.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Kiger2 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:30 am

Couple of points.

My weim figured out the launcher game real quick. Manual ones she would just look for the pull string. Converted them to remote and she would just track me. So i quit using them.

But after reading this thread, I believe I just wasn't thinking through the issues. If the dog is scenting the trap. Put empty traps out. In fact wouldn't hurt at all to introduce empty traps to pup as a part of a daily routine. Then as the dog progresses, mix it up. Some empty traps some with birds. Basically condition pup to focus on actual scent. I bet it wouldn't take but a few sessions.

As to tracking. I could have simply laid out some tracks that ended with no launcher.

For many that have limited access to wild birds, launchers can be the only game in town. I think its very valuable to be able to put most of the pieces together so when it is time for the hunt, there are fewer things to worry about and tools in the box if you need them. Theres no reason for the dog not to be steady to wing and shot prior to hunting. It has nothing to do with pointing. Its done in the yard.

With a launcher, I would demand steadiness. This is one time we know for a fact that the bird isn't moving.

Once we are hunting and the dog points and we have no idea what the bird is doing, when the bird moves and he loses the scent, he will want to move. Let him.
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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby Coveyrise64 » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:46 pm

Let me simplify this topic. You buy and use launchers for one reason….to control the situation. Who cares if it smells like a launcher or a free planted bird. I doubt the dogs even give a flip for that matter.

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Re: Bird launchers Smell?

Postby JTracyII » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:35 am

JTracyII wrote:Training on launchers simply allows a handler to have much more control in training of a given situation when the goal is to have a steady to wing, shot and fall dog.

Coveyrise64 wrote:Let me simplify this topic. You buy and use launchers for one reason….to control the situation. Who cares if it smells like a launcher or a free planted bird. I doubt the dogs even give a flip for that matter.

cr



Thanks, I guess I could have simplified it too with my last sentence, which resembles what you said.
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