Duck Search Training, great opportunity

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Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Densa44 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:09 pm

If you have a dog that is going to run in the UT it has to do very well in the water and the series that separates them is the duck search. Well if you want to run this test, train alone, and also duck hunt, this is for you.

I'm assuming that your dog knows what a blind is because you taught that already (on land) now here is a chance to introduce water and live bireds, and if you are poor like me, the birds are free!

If you hunt ducks you will know where the good places are, ones with lots of both bull rushes and early morning hunters. Take the dog out after the hunters have left for the day and put her in the water at a spot with an easy entry and close to the weeds. Make it easy or she may not go. I never use a gun as in the test you won't have one and there will not be a shot. BTW I never throw rocks other stuff, it just embarrasses the dog. Set her up and send her, if it is anything like the ponds near Calgary there will be lots of scent and lots of cripples.

Depending on your luck or the place you pick, it can be a wild day. I have picked up a limit of cripples in less that 1/2 an hour.

If things are going well and you and the dog are both happy pick a new spot with a more difficult swim, set the dog up and send her, if she goes, you have got it made! This has worked for me for many years. I often meet hunters who have no dog and ask if my dog can retrieve some birds that they have knocked down and can't get.

This opportunity doesn't last long in Alberta before there is ice and no water but until then, you can get lots of valuable work done, and the dog will love it.

BTW, I count the birds she finds as part of my possession but not daily limit. I use them for training blind retrieves in the water.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:14 pm

I do what you are advising at home around the duck impoundments, great work for a dog or pup. Forrest
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Densa44 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:24 pm

I wonder how many other dog people do this? I have always thought that it promoted hunting with a trained dog. My old mentor used to say, "a hunter wouldn't know a good dog if it bit him!" , my experience is that he wasn't far wrong. I try to demonstrate how much more enjoyable the experience is with a trained dog.

Anyone else?
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby J D Patrick » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:52 pm

that's great info and concept
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:51 pm

Good to have you back Densa.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby crackerd » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:30 am

AverageGuy wrote:Good to have you back Densa.


Hold on, AG - Densa wasn't stranded on the marsh at high tide, was he? :wink:

That's a great suggestion he put forward if you're in an area that could avail itself to your UT needs. Alas, duck hunters I know wouldn't leave their blind a nanosecond before legal shooting hours end, much less leave it with enough daylight left for somebody to come along and do duck search "practice" - and certainly not at the prices they're paying these days for leases!

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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Densa44 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:57 pm

Y'all come and visit us in Alberta,no leases, lots of birds, and lots of places to hunt. Plenty of room.

Bring your dog.

BTW Alberta dogs don't have fleas. I didn't believe it either, but the way fleas infect other dogs (include coyotes) is that they hop off one dog and wait for the next one to pass by and hop on the new dog. Bad news for the fleas, in the winter, much of the year, when the flea gets off a nice warm dog at F 101, if lands in the snow at -50 C and before another dog can show up the flea is frozen as hard as a BB.

Don't have the dog practicing in your swimming pool, the water here is as cold as water can get. The local dogs don't know the difference but dogs from the south, sometimes won't wet a paw.

We could really use some help up here.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby J D Patrick » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:53 am

Densa44 wrote:Y'all come and visit us in Alberta,no leases, lots of birds, and lots of places to hunt. Plenty of room.

Bring your dog.

BTW Alberta dogs don't have fleas. I didn't believe it either, but the way fleas infect other dogs (include coyotes) is that they hop off one dog and wait for the next one to pass by and hop on the new dog. Bad news for the fleas, in the winter, much of the year, when the flea gets off a nice warm dog at F 101, if lands in the snow at -50 C and before another dog can show up the flea is frozen as hard as a BB.

Don't have the dog practicing in your swimming pool, the water here is as cold as water can get. The local dogs don't know the difference but dogs from the south, sometimes won't wet a paw.

We could really use some help up here.



you better watch making general invites,,,,I ain't afraid to drive that far!! Course Earl may not like that cold water,,,he's from the Northwest but is adapting to NC waters pretty well!!
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby orhunter » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:07 am

Yea, I be nockin’ on your door. Next year..... Leg will be healed up and I’ll be ready to go.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby crackerd » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:29 pm

Hmm, Harvey...

orhunter wrote:Yea, I be nockin’ on your door. Next year..... Leg will be healed up and I’ll be ready to go. With my new Boykin. Huntin' them prairie potholes.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Densa44 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:07 pm

Guys we'll try to squeeze y'all in. We are about the same size as Texas, hardly any people (3 million mostly in the cities) plus we have Saskatchewan and Manitoba both of whom would be happy to welcome you.

One difference from Texas, and you'll notice it right away, it is not as warm.

Come before the third week in October, we have already had one foot of snow in Calgary, it is gone now but will be back soon.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby ryanr » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:09 am

With hunting season on tap here, yesterday I wrapped up my last duck search training of the year. I had about 18-20 ducks left to use up so I took them all up to our training water. It's back in the woods off a 2 mile dirt road on private hunting club (big game & waterfowl- not a bird hunting club.) Anyway, nice secluded place and a couple other club members joined me.

We put 8 ducks out immediately to start (including 1 in a floating launcher) and just got to work running dogs individually. All the young dogs did really well. After a slow start I've been really impressed with the progress of my little GWP over the last month. With just a little encouragement she's now pretty much going on her own without needing a visual. She got 3 ducks in a row (she was excited so I did 2 resends instead of just 1) and even vocalized for the first time on a duck chase (I just love that.) Her drive for ducks has really amped up in the last few weekends. Her sister (owned by a friend) was really fun to watch as she readily dives underwater for any ducks that dive. I mean all the way under water too like a seal!

After each dog, we kept adding a few more ducks before the next dog. This way we ensure that as long as the dog just keeps expanding it can't help but a find duck. It works great and we make sure the dogs are always successful every time, and every resend. We also only use live ducks. It's just what we strongly believe works best for us. We're also always prepared to paddle out and shoot a duck for a dog during an extended chase.

After all the "pre-UT" dogs went we turned the older dogs loose together to just let 'er rip. Cool thing was to watch all the dogs do their own independent duck searches, even when another dog was on a duck they didn't care because they knew they could find their own.

Once all the ducks were released we called it a day and I'm glad my duck pen is empty until next Spring. Now it's time to hunt!
Last edited by ryanr on Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby orhunter » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:52 am

Densa.... If everyone trained this way, we’d see much better duck searches on test day. Failures would be rare.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby Densa44 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Such good advice, I got my first dog, over 50 years ago, just so I wouldn't lose any cripples.
In case any one is going to run the invitational the techniques mentioned above are an excellent start. I used to use a 1" 1x1 foot square pieces of ply wood, tied to a decoy anchor. We placed them in a line, just like we did on land to stretch out land blinds, on each plank we put a dead duck.
Once the dog "got it" we picked up the short ones and just made the longest one longer, until we got to about 150 yards.

You can figure out the rest, there are younger fellows here who probably have better ideas.

Remember that "you can teach a dog anything!" Gary Boyce Professional dog trainer.
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Re: Duck Search Training, great opportunity

Postby ryanr » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:19 pm

Pretty cool idea.
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