Reusing Training Birds

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Reusing Training Birds

Postby Quailguy » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:26 am

I've started tracking with my year old pup and he is doing well with dragged, dead birds. My next step, I believe, will be to use a live pheasant or chukar to refine his skills for a NA test. My question is how to use a bird and not kill it after one track. Locally, pheasants are about $20 a piece, chukar run $10-$15 each. This makes for an expensive training day. Anyone have an idea how I can hobble a bird to get more than one track out of it?

Appreciate everything
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby 3drahthaars » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:25 pm

A drag is a drag... pure OB.

A track is different... spend the money to do it right. Some birds aren't going to cooperate.

Not sure how most will drop several 100 $ on collars and launcher and pinch on birds...
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby J D Patrick » Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:03 pm

reusing a live bird isn't generally an option with my pup - if it's hobbled she WILL kill it, then bring it back to me,,,,heck if it's not hobbled, but to slow on the rise, she will nail it as well,,,,


and yes, we are working that small issue. She points fine, but after a bit she get's the ol "heck with this, I'm killing something" mindset - though the concept of saving on shot gun shells is compelling!


I'm with 3drahthaars - don't skimp on teh birds your dog needs - small price to pay for a great hunt companion,

heck next week I'm going to pay for about a dozen chuckar - and may not shoot the first one,,,it will be all about the hunt and point,,,if she holds we will kill one, othewise bye bye birdy - worth it for the training value to me

but I do hope to find some pigeons for the summer!! coop is the next project in two weekends (the next is already full)
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:19 am

I put them on a Musky Rod and Reel with 100# test jerk bait line. The legs are somewhat shackled. I can kind of guide the bird where I want i to go without ever crossing the pheasant track. When you've gone far enough, just engage the reel and let the rod lay in the grass. I like the dog to point the bird not pick it up when it gets to the end of the drag. Because the pheasant is shackled, they usually lay there and let the dog point them.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby Quailguy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:19 am

I must have forgotten to mention that I am cheap! Obviously the best way to go is suck it up and buy more birds, but thought maybe all you gurus out there had some ideas.

Thanks again everyone

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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby orhunter » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:32 am

The one thing you need to avoid is not having the dog exposed to the birds used during the test for the very first time at the test. Dogs need some sort of introduction the the birds we hunt/test so they learn what we hunt and what we ignore. Initially, your bird drags, tracks and such, you can use most anything to teach the dog the drill. Once the pup gets it, you'll need to switch to the correct birds in training for the last month before the test. If the dog will track a phez a couple of weeks prior to the test, you can stop there. Don't do any bird work for the next two weeks so the dog will be fired up for bird contact on the day of the test. The lack of bird contact helps with drive and search.
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby Quailguy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:07 pm

Makes perfect sense
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby LongHammer » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:57 pm

You can always eat them!
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby Densa44 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:28 pm

I'm in this state of poverty you see to-day due to dog training. You don't want the dog to catch the pheasant, just track it. Make the bird flightless by removing some flight feathers from ONE side. pull out the long ones.

I buy that bright red brick layer's twine and tie one end to the birds foot. I remove some (not too many) breast feathers to mark the starting point. I leave my hat there too so that I can find it. We get a lot of wind here and that can be a problem.

You dog my point this bird and that's great so have a plan (not shooting a $20 bird).

Let the bird go and shoo it along the line until it gets out there a way.

Have fun, you both will love it.
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Re: Reusing Training Birds

Postby Duckdon » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:23 pm

Quailguy wrote:I've started tracking with my year old pup and he is doing well with dragged, dead birds. My next step, I believe, will be to use a live pheasant or chukar to refine his skills for a NA test. My question is how to use a bird and not kill it after one track. Locally, pheasants are about $20 a piece, chukar run $10-$15 each. This makes for an expensive training day. Anyone have an idea how I can hobble a bird to get more than one track out of it?

Appreciate everything
Quailguy


No one pays more per bird than us guys in Alaska. That said, you could do a couple live pheasant tracks on a line and long pole, off to the side, putting the bird in a small cage at the end. I do drags with dead game before that to establish my release and teach the dog to get it's nose down. I would be more likely to let it run, let the dog track in and if he gets it, so what. If he loses it, take some more experienced dogs and go on a hunt.
By the way, if we can get them, we pay $15 for quail, $22 for Chukar and up to $38 for mallards. I use maybe 60 birds a year. Wild pigeons are $8.
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