Well, today I took off and went out to try and get some ducks. It was not even close to productive. Not only did I not even get a shot, but I saw a some total of 8 ducks. The closest were about 200 yards away. I guess I should have brought Anti Aircraft rather than a 12 gauge….
It was a great day to spend with my pup, though.
Angus the lazy lab.
He did really good, though. Last year he was running around EVERYWHERE and it was impossible to keep him mellow. This year he stayed right next to me and just hung out. He did act a little annoyed about his gonads soaking in the mud, but it didn’t cause him to go running around wild or fidget. Angus was a very good boy.
Although we didn’t see anything of note, I did get a chance to pull out my decoys for the first time this year.
In this next picture you will see something pretty funny. I COMPLETELY forgot that I had picked up 4 duck butts at the end of last year. Of course I thought I needed some for this season so what did I do? I picked up 4 more. Luckily, my father is going to buy 4 from me when he comes down a little later in the season. Until then I think I will run them just because it makes me laugh.
Duck butts everywhere!
The idea of 8/20 mallard decoys being duck butts just humors me a lot. All decoys counted I run about 30-32 in total between the various species. Mind you that my spread does change over the course of the season. It morphs to meet the behaviors of the ducks. Some seasons produce more ducks with a half circle, V pattern sometimes, J pattern at others, blah, blah, blah…. Over my many years of hunting I have discovered 1 thing that always rings true. If you don’t adapt to your game you will always come home empty handed.
Angus and I will head back out again tomorrow. The migrating flocks have not really come in yet, but we might be able to pull in a couple locals. I will try out a more staggered and spread out design to see how that works.
Wish us luck!
Yesterday I picked up a couple Gun Dog videos, Retriever and Pointing Dogs. Although I have been around hunting dogs and training of hunting dogs my entire life, I was wondering if there was anything new that I might pick up to use. The videos were actually quite impressive in the manner that they step you through the puppy training process all the way to the point where you have a dog that will actually hunt.
Gun Dog Retrievers
The first couple sections built upon pressure as a way to exert control. It started with them simply holding the puppy and applying pressure until they quit squirming. They then used that with several other advanced obedience commands later on, especially with regard to leash work.
Gun Dog Pointing Dogs
One thing that I am not used to was treat training. I know that it makes the training process easier, but I am not as fond of that method as praise training. I know some people may not agree with me, but I have found that dogs seem more bonded to their people through praise training than treat training. When professional trainers are getting dogs ready for clients, I can see how treat training is the way to go so that the dog will bond with their new people after they are built into hunting dogs.
I do love the way that they transitioned the puppy from feathers, to birds and integrated the gunshots into the whole mix. That was worth the price of the video just in seeing how they did it without stressing the dog. I look forward to watching the pointing dogs video to see how they train upland bird hunting. After watching my dog naturally pointing bugs in the yard, I am excited to see how well he picks this up. There is little doubt that we will get it with a little work because he is such a smart little guy.
My recommendation after watching these videos is that anyone training a hunting dog take some time to examine other people’s training techniques.