Thought I lost him

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Thought I lost him

Postby Firedad » Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:26 am

Jäger is my 9 month old PP who I plan to be my chukar hunting partner as well as waterfowl. The only times I’ve been able to take him to swim the water has been very cold or moving faster than I felt comfortable for him to swim for him first time. He’d splash around and seemed to love it but it wasn’t until last week when I could take home to a lake with warmer water. He swam so well and had a ball. It was time to pack up and head home so I put my shirt and shoes back on and carried stuff toward the truck. As we walked around the shore we came upon a group of geese on the lake and for Jäger recall went straight out the window. He started swimming out to them and as they paddled away he followed. I called and called and then panic set in, he just started swimming today and now looked as he was going to be doing his first marathon. I was so scared he would go too far and run out of energy before he could make it back. I went after him screaming for help from nearby people. Someone brought me a floaty and I paddled out screaming at a boat for help the whole time but they didn’t hear me or recognize what I was saying. Jäger was so far out I couldn’t see him and I just knew he wasn’t coming back. A half mile out I saw him again swimming now toward shore. I caught up with him and swam beside him just in case and when we got back to shallow water I held him and him what a Ahole he was. We made it home and expected him to be tired but instead he was ready to party. Turns out he’s a strong swimmer.
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Re: Thought I lost him

Postby orhunter » Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:39 am

My dogs got way out there I worried about them being hit by a boat.
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Re: Thought I lost him

Postby Dmog » Tue Jul 12, 2022 10:25 am

I know its a bit scary when they chase the geese and the geese just go fast enough to take them out farther on purpose but I have found that unless conditions are zapping their stamina, its not much different for them than running once they stop the puppy splashing and level the body out. I still get nervous but my PP will far out swim my expectations. I try not to forget the ecollar when around water and waterfowl.
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Re: Thought I lost him

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Jul 12, 2022 7:21 pm

Well now you know. :D

Decades ago I was hunting geese on a sod farm with a couple of big irrigation lakes on it. We worked a group of big honkers in, dropped several and sailed a big honker over the hill, eventually it glided down on the next lake over.

My first GWP Hank and I went after it. I swung Hank with me below the dam, left him at the bottom as I crept up over. Tried to swat the big honker dead on the water with my BPS 10 gauge but it was too far out to kill. Hank came running over the dam at the shot, crashed the water and was in hot pursuit.

The pursuit went on a very long time. The water was cold.

I had given up trying to call Hank off and stood and watched, wondering if he would have sense enough to stop before he drowned. Every time he got close the goose dove, he tread water and then began his pursuit all over when he spotted the goose swimming low in the water.

Both goose and dog were exhausted.

The goose was now swimming with it's mouth gaping open gasping for air, Hank was breathing hard and swimming harder still in pursuit. The goose made it's final error when it dove in water that was sufficiently shallow it could not get fully under as easily. Hank dove with it and came up with a mouthful of honker, never loosen his grip as he swam for shore and ran to me with the goose.

I started walking back to the lake we were setup on as Hank swung down below the dam to hunt a hedge row on the way back. Dang if he did not run a big crippled goose out, nailed it on the ground as it ran and retrieved it to hand.

Met my Brother coming over the hill to meet us as he had gotten worried we had been gone so long.

Was hunting a slough duck lake off the Grand River at the head waters of the Truman Lake with the same dog. The river had flooded and our duck lake had a hole in the dike. My Brother sailed a greenhead out into the middle of the slough and Hank took off swimming after it. I went along behind him trying to catch up so I could swat the greenhead dead. Normally I could wade all the way across but the river had flooded into the slough and I got to the top of my chest waders and had to turn around.

It was in that moment as I turned around that I realized what a grave mistake I had made.

The current created by the water gushing through the hole in the dike was so strong it was all I could do to keep from being swept off my feet. A panic swept over me immediately. I considered turning loose of my shotgun and using my hands to paddle to keep on my feet but really did not want to loose it. I turned my head to see Hank following the greenhead through the gushing hole in the dike into the swollen flooded timber of the Grand River. I fought back tears as I thought it was the last I would ever see him again.

My Brother was fighting frantically to uncover our small 14 jon boat and pull it into the water to attempt my rescue. I struggled my way forward managing to keep from being swept away, inching my way to less deep water. Finally I was in shallow enough water to turn around and search for Hank.

Just as we had loaded up into the jon boat to go search for him, Hank popped up on the dike from the flooded river on the back side carrying that greenhead. Jumped in the slough and swam across back to us as though it was just another day at the office.

Dogs and hunting waterfowl will give us some tense moments along the way.

Glad you and your pup made it safely home.
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Re: Thought I lost him

Postby Firedad » Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:49 am

I have two garmin collar systems, one being the latest alpha model but I was concerned that the water could ruin the collar but sounds like it should be ok. The collar is the tt15 not sure what the other is, a delta model I think. Guess I’ll have to collar him up near large lakes next time.
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Re: Thought I lost him

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Wed Jul 13, 2022 1:13 pm

These dog's are tough. About four years ago we had a monster storm here, dropped 36" of snow on us in a matter of 8 hours or so. I was exercising my pup, got lazy, and didn't put a GPS collar on her. She was running down the road, dove off the side and I lost sight of her. Next time I saw her she was upwind of me, 200 yards out, chasing a flock of geese through the spring break up of ice floes. I called but she couldn't hear me. I had a crippled leg and couldn't get to her. I got my son and he bulled through the ice and muck, got to the shore, and eventually called her in. She turned from the geese and headed in and two of the geese broke from the flock and came after her. All the way in they'd try to climb her back and peck her head. She'd then turn and swim for them again. Eventually we got her back but when we did, she'd been in 38 degree water over two hours. Story was in PDJ web page. They're tough.
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