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Pointing running birds

I have a 2 1/2 year old gsp. This is her second hunting season. Hunting wild pheasant that run downwind she slows way down and trys to relocate the bird but she tends to bump the bird. I know it is hard on her having to trail a bird running down wind and no body scent. Is this something she will learn to deal with over time or is there a method I can use to train her to circle the bird.

As little as I know about pheasant hunting and pheasants, I have had the experience with another type of upland bird that behaves similar to pheasants. The blue quail or scaled quail as some people call them tends to run from a dog's point as much as they can, upwind , downwind, any wind direction, you name it. Hunting birds that act like that is frustrating for both the hunter and bird dog alike. (believe me, I know)

A young dog with the proper field training will learn to handle birds that run, but you will have to do a little bit of work. The way I get dogs to learn to handle these type of birds is by first getting them steady to wing and shot, steady to wild flush and consistent stopping on WHOA! command. Then, when I take them in the field for a hunt, if I think they are making game, I try to make a judgment as to what direction the birds are running and hurry up and make a wide circle to try to pin the running birds between me and the dog. A smart dog that had the proper time invested in his/her training will pick up on this technique and by the second or third hunting season he will be doing this on his on.

So to answer in a nutshell, if you have a smart dog with lots of natural ability, he will in time learn this trick and you and your dog will make a great hunting team.

Arnie Tovar
AT Kennels

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