Does thes strike you as odd?

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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby 3drahthaars » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:07 pm

JONOV wrote:Well, I left my waders in North Dakota and still shivered for three hours Saturday morning at the local game lands. After I flooded my boots I just stood in knee waist deep water.

Duck hunting in NC is a so-so proposition, and some of it depends on your access to land, boat, etc...

I will say, while I don't think duck hunting bears a lot of resemblance to the Duck Search, I do think that duck hunting does wonders for the dog do develop the skill set to perform that event. My dog, for all his shortcomings, understands that when I send him, that there is probably a duck out there and he should find it.

Folks that don't duck hunt with their dog, wonder about "how do I get her to expand the search?" "How do I get her to work beyond the cover barrier?" Maybe if you took the dog out and made her sit all morning with you and shot a few, even if they're chip-shot retrieves, even if the dog marks them well and gets right to them, would put the pieces together in the dog's mind.


Duck Commander didn't help the sport... and, good spots quickly become common knowledge and hunted to death.

That said, you're dead on about how actual hunting inspires a duck search... many go through great efforts to "train" the search. I've been there, but this time around I picked my breeding, trusted the propaganda, and just hunted the pup. Last season she independently found lost ducks for two separate parties in public impoundments... 20 minute searches tracking ducks shot hours before.

But, I think that randomnut is also spot on... it takes effort to hunt, and effort isn't the thing now. A good hunt beats the best score in my mind. And, I too am "crazy proud" of my pup... taken more tail gate pics of her than the other 3 combined.

There are too few sunrises in a pup's life to waste on training days vs. mornings in the swamp (and bacon/egg/ cheese biscuits on the drive home) and mid days in the field for quail.

I'm a hunter not a gamer...

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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Constructeur » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:47 pm

3ds,
My sentiments exactly. Our old chapter liked to host the annual meeting, held during hunting season. With the long months off and plenty of time to sit and shoot the breeze, we always gave them a miss.

orhunter wrote:You've got to understand more and more NAVHDA people aren't hunters.


I've now also seen a number of judges, including senior judges that I deem to be 'light' hunters at best. Fair weather folks, only hunt manicured duck clubs, private land, lots of planted birds even during season, that sort of individual. That's fine, mark me down as you see fit according to the test regulations; don't think however for a 1/4 second that I value a softies opinion or approach to what my fire breathing dragon needs. (never seen a softy that could legitimately train a hellion anyhow.)
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby randomnut » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:49 pm

Constructeur wrote:3ds,
My sentiments exactly. Our old chapter liked to host the annual meeting, held during hunting season. With the long months off and plenty of time to sit and shoot the breeze, we always gave them a miss.

orhunter wrote:You've got to understand more and more NAVHDA people aren't hunters.


I've now also seen a number of judges, including senior judges that I deem to be 'light' hunters at best. Fair weather folks, only hunt manicured duck clubs, private land, lots of planted birds even during season, that sort of individual. That's fine, mark me down as you see fit according to the test regulations; don't think however for a 1/4 second that I value a softies opinion or approach to what my fire breathing dragon needs. (never seen a softy that could legitimately train a hellion anyhow.)


Great post. When I look at the way my dog hunts, and think "Damn that was awesome", I could care less of others opinions.

I think of a stud dog, that has fathered maybe 100 or more pups this year. Dog hasn't hardly left the kennel, with a highly regarded owner who hasn't hunted much in several years.

Besides blood tracks, I'll take hunting over training every time. I can spend hours planting quail or pigeons, days driving looking for rabbits, hundreds of dollars of domestic mallards.
Or I can take a weekend in productive areas hunting that'll teach these dogs lessons for a lifetime.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Kiger2 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:04 pm

Just a few thoughts.
theres no reason for a training day to be a waste of time. There is always something that can be worked on or taught. You just have to know what those things are. Marking, blind retrieves, increasing the dogs knowledge that if you say somethings there, theres something there.

It is pointless to compare hunting to training. They are not the same. Tests/training are used to identify and develope "SKILLS" that a hunting dog should have. Not to imitate hunting.

Should you hunt the dog or go to training day??
Depends on a lot of variables. Has the dog been hunting and shown he needs work in a certain area? then perhaps, hunting is not the best move.

So lets look at a dogs first duck hunt. Everything is new. His learning curve is very steep, from getting up early and getting into the truck to heading out to the blind. Its All new.
So you are set up in the blind. (also new if you haven't prepared). Ducks come in and you dump one in the decoys. dog gets the retrieve. Same thing happens as you get your limit. Every time the dog gets a duck out of the decoys, his learning curve flattens out to a straight line. He can get 7 ducks a year or 5000, if they are all in the decoys the dog isn't learning anything. His learning curve is flat. But say duck 5001 is a cripple and sails off 200 yards. The dog will most likely run out to the decoys and hunt because thats where they all are!! But his learning curve took a turn up. But say we taught pup to mark to 200 yards or more. duck 5001 that sails out there is a bump in the learning curve, but not as steep as without training and actually very beneficial. Next one that goes out there will be easier. Pretty soon all the 200 yard birds are no brainers. They may get there without truing, its just zoo much faster with it.
Lets say we thought pup was FF. But he's chewing birds. Is it better to hunt him or train him? He's breaking out of the blind and flaring birds, better to train or hunt?

The goal of training is to keep the dogs learning curve when hunting as flat as possible. A bird goes down 200 yards out should not be a huge spike in the learning curve. It may be a slight bump, but it shouldn't be a surprise.

A dog will learn many skills with time and hunting. But why wait until hunting for him to learn skills we can teach???

Ive seen quite a few dogs that should have been in a lot more training days before they went afield.

For those that believe, tests don't look like training. Again, you are correct, but they are not supposed to. Don't knock teasing /training because you don't participate. Don't knock those that Test/Trial but don't hunt. Many of them are instrumental in the quality of the dogs we have today.

My young dog is 10 months old. Ive been training her to kennel in her blind starting a few months ago by teaching her to kennel and then throwing bumpers. The last few weeks, I have been putting pigeons in the launchers in the decoys, having her kennel and blowing the duck call, yelling "taken em" "kill em" and then popping a bird and shooting it for her. she snow steady until released. so when I take her for her first real hunt, how steep will her curve be???? Much, Much, Much flatter.

It takes as much or more effort to train than to hunt.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:32 am

I did not take 3ds OP to be an either or proposition - training vs hunting. Rather it is an issue of timing and priorities. I train my dogs in the Spring and Summer alot. Hunt them alot in the Fall and Winter. I do not attend Tests or Training days during hunting season. And September is a Major part of each hunting season. I seriously doubt I will run my pup in the Invitational as Good Lord willing, I will be hunting doves, teal, grouse and elk in Sept 2018. Skipping the Invitational does not mean I will not be training my pup next summer however. We have more work to do. Time and place for everything. Stay on task and you can do both.

To Kiger2's post. I train my puppies prior to taking them duck hunting so they are better prepared to do well on their first hunts. Simulated hunts over decoys with a blind, duck calls, retrieves of shot pigeons, introduction to dog ground blind, layout boat, marsh platform, working released ducks. The pup having worked/searched for released ducks in heavy cover prior to their first hunts just makes them better prepared for the real thing. You can do the reverse e.g. hunt first train second, but why you would is not apparent to me. And yes what the pup learns in duck search training absolutely carries over to actual hunting as a dog will fail consistently without the willingness to search independently out of sight of the handler in heavy cover where I hunt.

Waterfowl hunting benefits from good training far more than Upland bird hunting does is my view. Upland birds hunting early on is best learned mostly in the field through exposure to wild birds. In Waterfowl hunting, a dog is best prepared to succeed out of the box through training then hunting, within reason. Some of that depends on the age of the puppy when hunting seasons start as to where they will be in training when hunting seasons open. I will always hunt my puppies and adjust the hunts to their capabilities accordingly, but I also prepare them as best I can at that stage of their development prior to the hunt.

Dove season opens first and has always been my pups first hunt. Sitting at heel, marking and retrieving doves, hunting for downed birds that fall into heavy cover, and particularly hunting doves over a water hole where alot of birds fall into the water has always been a great introduction for my pups prior to teal season where they get to apply the same skills and learnings. But I will have already worked the pup on all those areas prior to those first hunts.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby crackerd » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:40 pm

Lot of good rationale here for both sides of the hunting v. training argument. Afraid Kiger's whistling in the wind with a versatile audience, however, on the joys/advantages/"Zen-efits" of retriever training - even though many of the breeds represented on this forum can now participate in AKC retriever hunt tests (but seldom do).

I agree to a great extent with 3ds' take on all this, but don't feel a need to underscore whether I'm more a hunter than "gamer" - I run retriever field trials and used to "play" NAVHDA with all the train-the-trainer help so affiliated with that fine organization mightily welcomed by me. But to a great extent, given my then-living arrangement and location, NAVHDA was a surrogate for hunting, too. Though I must admit that, being new to versatiles and to training a working gundog, I was chuffed to the gills that the hardcore nucleus of that particular NAVHDA chapter referred to themselves as "the trainiacs" with their goals of getting to the Invitational every year. They also accommodated my non-NAVHDA breeds in getting some work afield too - particularly on steadiness to flush and waterfowl retrieving - I'm eternally grateful for that, as well.

And has anybody priced duck leases recently? One of my nearby trialing grounds - on the marsh - recently sold for $10M to a consortium of "sports" whose membership fee alone was $25,000. Alas, that took any future "gaming" right out of the equation.

All of my last six dogs picked thousands of snow geese each but again that was down to (fortuitous) circumstances and a new location, not on how much I might be willing to shell out to see to it that my "gaming" dogs also got their fill of serving their master as "duck dogs."

The overarching preference for me has always been to do both, with the caveat that the continuous training retrievers get over the course of their lifetime - four, five days a week if possible - doesn't deprive either me or the dogs of any camaraderie or "time spent afield together." It actually adds to it - and greatly. But again, that's retrievers - where there's always more advanced training (for field trials or to an extent hunt tests) to spur you and your dogs into that gratifying "togetherness." That's if you train your own dogs for such games, of course.

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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Willie T » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:53 pm

Well stated AG. I train in the off season to give the dog the tools for success. Hunting season is where dog and handler put things together and reap the rewards of training, as well as identify what the training priorities will be in the coming off season. The biggest thing I do to develop an upland dog is to simply put it on as many birds as possible. I think the majority of what an upland dog does is instinctive and experience teaches them how to handle birds.

A highly skilled retriever on the other hand, is the product of a combination of a lot of intensive training combined with experience, and what I spend the majority of off-season training to develop.

I will however concede that some of the finest, most skilled dogs I have ever hunted with were trial dogs that were hunted, but sparingly.

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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:09 pm

People are still training?? I won't be back to the training grounds until March.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby orhunter » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:20 pm

.....another thing. A very large portion of the US doesn't have diddley for birds to hunt and there are lots of folks with dogs living in these areas. Training is all they and the dog have. I don't agree with it but that's the way it is.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Constructeur » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:59 pm

randomnut wrote:
Great post. When I look at the way my dog hunts, and think "Damn that was awesome", I could care less of others opinions.


It's not just that I don't generically care about others opinions; I've found that the folks that would train instead of hunt are the ones using the club more as a social group than to get their dog sorted out to kill birds (I call them the knitting circle). They are at training days to help complete newbies, catch up, talk story, just make a weekend of it. That's totally fine ofcourse, there is room for everyone, and I feel people should be free to focus on whatever nuance of the activity they like, I'm just saying it's all about making a better dog to me. I'm there to work hard at that goal, bottom line.

Kind of the same thing at the gun club, though I love shooting clays I don't care how accurate I am at station 8 as it has no transference to me shooting more birds.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby mgrucker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:08 pm

3drahthaars wrote:May just be me... I try to hunt my pup at least every weekend.

Seems a waste to miss one day.

Not sure of why to get a versatile dog and not at least hunt both upland and waterfowl...

... I'm sure some of these dogs are getting bred and marketed as versatile Hunter's.

Big difference from versatile "testers".

3ds


What should people be getting, in your opinion, if they don't hunt waterfowl?
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby 3drahthaars » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:27 pm

mgrucker wrote:
3drahthaars wrote:May just be me... I try to hunt my pup at least every weekend.

Seems a waste to miss one day.

Not sure of why to get a versatile dog and not at least hunt both upland and waterfowl...

... I'm sure some of these dogs are getting bred and marketed as versatile Hunter's.

Big difference from versatile "testers".

3ds


What should people be getting, in your opinion, if they don't hunt waterfowl?


Just to give you perspective, I seldom hunt deer anymore, because I want to hunt my dog as much as possible... and, I've not shot a deer yet that required tracking. At one time I wouldn't hunt preserves, because I didn't want to pay to play. But, after wasting my first 3 DDs lives in quest of only wild game I realize how short their lives were and how few opportunities the local quail and waterfowl migrations were. I hunt ducks and woodcock and now supplement with the best preserve quail that I can find (released NOT planted).

That said, to have a dog that is exceptional in water, field and in the forest, I think it a disservice to not try to utilize it for everything than you can hunt. I feel the same of those who get a DD to just blood track... may as well get a Teckel (cheaper too).

But to get a versatile dog to just hunt ducks or just hunt upland or just blood track or worst yet to just test (and in some cases just breed) is a disservice to the versatile dog community. The true "test" is in the field.

So, if I were strictly a bird hunter I'd get a Brit, ES, or EP.

I'd like to also x2 for the comment that hunting is hard work... doesn't always deliver the rewards... training days are much easier to provide your dog the "illusion" of hunting. But, only the true hunter recognizes that searching for the 3 planted birds in the field isn't the same as searching a field that may or may not have game and the feeling of pride and fulfillment when your dog "finds" and the opportunity is given to complete the deal.

The same goes for freezing your @$$ off in the swamp with only the sunrise, smells, and the bacon/egg/cheese sandwich on the drive home as the reward.

The hunters know what I am saying.

This versatile dog thing started out as a true quest for the ultimate all around dog for HUNTING... my issue is that of making it a "recreational sport" of only testing dogs... hence the rant.

Regards,

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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby Constructeur » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:48 pm

3drahthaars wrote: hunting is hard work... doesn't always deliver the rewards...


...I think the hard work is the reward.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby mgrucker » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:27 am

3drahthaars wrote:But to get a versatile dog to just hunt ducks or just hunt upland or just blood track or worst yet to just test (and in some cases just breed) is a disservice to the versatile dog community. The true "test" is in the field.

So, if I were strictly a bird hunter I'd get a Brit, ES, or EP.


I guess this is as good a place as any for my rant and it's not specifically aimed at you... When I was researching getting my first dog a bit over 3 years ago this forum was very helpful. I thought that most of the stuff I read was supportive and trying to help people out. Since I've come back recently it seems to have changed quite a bit. Now people who don't hunt enough (and "enough" is apparently defined as how much a wealthy retired person can) don't deserve a versatile dog. People who don't hunt enough species don't deserve a versatile dog or is somehow doing a disservice to the versatile dog community.

I only hunt grouse and pheasant and got a pudelpointer. He's the best pheasant dog I've ever hunted with and I couldn't be happier with my choice. What I do with my dog doesn't affect you or anybody else in any way. If I'm doing a disservice to this "community" then I gotta say I don't really want to be a part of it anyways.
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Re: Does thes strike you as odd?

Postby LongHammer » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:14 am

Hunting is where the rubber meets the road. What better way to learn how to chase down a 200 yard cripple than by actually doing it? Hunting is training no better teacher than wild game. I wish more people went to training days and tests year round. Keeps them away from me. When the first light cracks the night sky reach over and give your dog a good rub tell him about the other dogs at home in bed waiting to test or train. Tell him about judges, rules and points and if he was there what they might think of him getting a little humpy with some fine looking bitch. Nothing like a good laugh before before shooting light! :D
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