Lay down your arms
Hunting freshman bird dogs a little differently.
Think about how long you will be hunting with your dog, sacrificing time during the hunting season to help teach and reenforce proper field obedience while wild bird hunting will no doubt payoff for years to come. All bird dogs will go thru a transition, from training to hunting, planning and understanding what to do during this phase is important.
The goal is to dedicate some quality time and focus into ‘locking-up’ your pointing dog when wild bird hunting.
There will be many new experiences that you will have to manage thru when hunting wild birds over inexperienced bird dogs and all the field distractions that come with it can easily make things challenging. Plan out each hunt and consider what’s the most important thing to accomplish while you have your dog on the ground.
Consider putting some extra focus into polishing up positive outcomes like; no moving while holding birds, holding birds until your release, steady-wing-to-shot, retrieves, honoring & backing, recalling, etc.
Harvesting birds is the bonus!
- Only shoot pointed birds until you feel the dog is ready for you to shoot wild flushes.
- Have someone else carry and shoot the gun – the shooter has an important role to play!
- The handler can carry a shotgun to instill recognition that multi guns are being carried but focus on the dog.
- Plan out the roles you both will have – Handler and Shooter.
- Go over the scenarios that you want to look for and work on.
- Don’t short cut your control commands and enforcement opportunities.
- Run one dog at a time for certain hunts and add a more experienced bird dog to help.
You want to shoot over your dog, we all do, but the little extra time it takes to properly work on your dog while hunting will set a great foundation for a strong, balanced and controlled pointing dog.