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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a dog but he's a goofy Golden Retriever, very blonde and acts like it. So I don't have a hunting dog but I like to hunt. For those of you who do have a hunting dog how much do you think your success rate improves by using your dog? I'm thinking of bird hunting (quail, pheasant) and even rabbits. Obviously a dog is a big help in duck hunting but not so much in finding the ducks. And I'm not thinking about **** hunting or a hunt that pretty much mandates using a dog. I suppose deer and bear and even hogs could be included - dogs may be a big help with those hunts?

Let's hear about how much better I would do if I had a hunting dog.....or not?

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When between dogs, like now, I'm torn between getting another one and developing the personal hunting skills a dog makes unnecessary. And also, I sure hate losing a dog. Anyway, for upland shooting there's nothing like a good bird dog for finding birds, but the trick is in the word "good".

Bird dog breeders and trainers hate it when a dog points critters like rabbits but I never minded it- could be hungry and need some rabbit some day.
 

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I think hunting over a dog is generally more successful.
Aside from that, my dog is an English Setter and hunting with her is such a joy I often go out outside of season without a gun. Just watching her work, letting her work is so beautiful that the hunting is almost an afterthought.
She's 15 now and our sessions have gotten shorter. As much as I hate to lose her, I know it's coming - and I hope she can go out in the field, chasing a bird. Heck, it's how I'd want to go out.

Hunting with a bird dog creates a much deeper man-dog bond, and if you ever experience it, you will never regret it.
 

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I have a springer spaniel, and a Chesapeake bay retriever. My springer could be awake for 48 hours , you could sleep that whole time and not come close to this dogs energy. My Chessie, is a duck and geese hunting finatic, there is nothing like watching a good retriever work. I like the chessies for big open water , with 2 Great lakes within a hour ride, we hunt some big water. And you dont get wet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a wondeful black lab that came from good hunting stock. I was living in Michigan at the time but moved to Florida soon after his arrival and south Florida is tough on a big black dog. He lived a great life as a pampered house dog in the A/C and out of the heat. Needless to say we didn't get far in field training! He was a terrific dog and lived 15 years. The day came when "it was time" and we had to say good bye. That was 8 years ago. I still miss him terribly.

If I get the opportunity to live a ways further north I think I would have another try at a hunting dog. Hard Chilled Shot, you are so right - I hate losing a dog too. When you buy a puppy you are also buying some heartache down the road.

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I had a wondeful black lab that came from good hunting stock. I was living in Michigan at the time but moved to Florida soon after his arrival and south Florida is tough on a big black dog. He lived a great life as a pampered house dog in the A/C and out of the heat. Needless to say we didn't get far in field training! He was a terrific dog and lived 15 years. The day came when "it was time" and we had to say good bye. That was 8 years ago. I still miss him terribly.

If I get the opportunity to live a ways further north I think I would have another try at a hunting dog. Hard Chilled Shot, you are so right - I hate losing a dog too. When you buy a puppy you are also buying some heartache down the road.

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Yes in one way buying a puppy is like adopting a child you know will die in 10 years... which is what you could call the gloomy way of looking at it. :)

At any rate, the most popular dogs for upland bird hunting have to be the Brittany and the German Shorthair, followed by the Pointer and the English Setter. They'll all both point and retreive but the first two will also do ducks and such, up to the cold water limits of their coats. Me I'm inclining towards a rare breed called the Wirehaired Griffon; every breed has specific advantages. For many, the whole point of hunting is to work with the dogs, it's a great experience.
 

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When younger(40 years ago) I hunted Quail with a German Shorthair. She was the goofiest thing but she loved to hunt. Now down in Texas, quail are hard to come by but we hunt hogs with dogs at times. I don`t have any but a guy I hunt with has some Rhodesian Ridgeback mix dogs and they are brutal on hogs. I do hunt hog without them during daylight hours but I won`t at night. Too many critters besides the hogs roaming around. I want all the ears and noses I can get at night. My buddy has lost a couple over the years due to a big hog gutting them with his tusks and that is a sad scene to see.
 

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A little known fact !

I use to hunt dogless , than I got a lab and were things better with a dog . I've had many labs since as I hunted pheasants here in westcentralIowa ( when we had pheasants ) .

I wouldn't hunt without a good trained dog , I like large labs to push brush best and having a good nose helps !

I'd sooner talk about my labs than the hunt or any guns at one time !

How I miss those days in the field with a lab , as the pheasants are now a very rare sight where I live today and the kennel has no lab in it ! :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I use to hunt dogless , than I got a lab and were things better with a dog . I've had many labs since as I hunted pheasants here in westcentralIowa ( when we had pheasants ) .

I wouldn't hunt without a good trained dog , I like large labs to push brush best and having a good nose helps !

I'd sooner talk about my labs than the hunt or any guns at one time !

How I miss those days in the field with a lab , as the pheasants are now a very rare sight where I live today and the kennel has no lab in it ! :eek:
My Grandad farmed in northwest Iowa and as a young man would walk along the road and shoot pheasants as they flushed out of the ditches, swales and fence rows, shooting from the hip with his old single shot. Seemed to be no end to the pheasant population. Then they "improved" the roads and the fields went to edge of the road and eliminated the habitat until pheasants were pretty scarce. But back in the day........
 

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I had a German Shorthaired Pointer back about 25 years ago who was just a joy to hunt partridge and pheasant with in the northeast. I just loved to watch him work, and he had a nose that just didn't quit. Sometimes I would just watch him work and forget I had a gun in my hands. He used to point the chickens in our hen house / pen as well!
 

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I've had a lot of dog's. GSP's, E pointer's, E Setter's and no pick up a Red Setter in three more days.

I would not hunt without a dog. I do take them out without a gun now and then. I'm not sure I could live without a dog. Dogs make us better people. They teach us to love, to forgive and to grieve.
 

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I enjoy hunting upland birds and turkeys. I've got a German wire hair cross that loves to point birds, but the nuckle head is gun shy! So when I do go bird hunting I go with a friend that has a standard poodle. Great retriever. Nuckle head is still my buddy and a good companion.
 

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Jeeze, I can't say how much better you would do. But, I can relay my limited experience.

I hunted Pheasant over a pointer and a flusher and it was an amazing experience. Watching the dogs work together and watching them work the field was as much part of the enjoyment of the hunt as was taking the fast flying Pheasant. Those dogs must have run 8 miles each during that day in the field.

My biggest concern was one of the dogs getting shot accidentally. I had a first time hunter with me and some of those Pheasant would flush very low to the ground.
 

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I've been hunting with dogs for about 10years now and nothing has improved my enjoyment or skill more than the dogs. I train my own retrievers all Labs. Knowing that without fail my dog will bring me any bird I down has VASTLY improved my shooting skills.

My dogs are like my kids I love them dearly. Having a well trained dog lets me focus 100% on shooting. Before I got my first dog I never shot a double. Now they are common and I've even got several triples Dove hunting. Training my dogs also give my a great hobby during the off season.

Like Don I'm not sure I could live without my dogs. My dogs have never been too busy, to tired, had a Honey Do list, or any excuse to not go hunting with me. Get a dog and train him yourself, YOU WILL BECOME A BETTER HUNTER!!!
 

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A really good huntin' dog is about like a good wife, a true companion that makes life more pleasant. A knotheaded one can make life a pain. It's a lot easier to get shed of the dog.
 

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A really good huntin' dog is about like a good wife, a true companion that makes life more pleasant. A knotheaded one can make life a pain. It's a lot easier to get shed of the dog.
I think the #1 factor is training. Get a puppy and put in the time training your pup for the first year. You'll have the rest of the dogs life too enjoy the best hunting buddy in the world.

I've hunted with dozens of guys with dogs and without fail the "Knotheads" are a direct result of NO EFFORT on the owners part. I really haven't seen a bad/stupid dog, but I have seen lots of dogs that simply had no effort put into their training.
 

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When I lived out West, you'd never find chukar without a good dog; quail was maybe 50-50, but the dog made it a lot easier (and more fun as a result)
 

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I had one really good Lab almost 40 yrs back when I averaged 300 ducks & who knows how many doves in a season. Good sense & lots of experience made a very good dog. Almost never lost a bird. Then a couple of knotheads & I quit Labs. Still got the 1st wife. She'd say I'm still in training.
 

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Being around a dog that seems to be coming out of its skin because it knows there is a duck or goose down behind those cattails and wants to retrieve it. Or, hearing the rate of sniffing increase because we're on a fresh pile of pheasant sent, then notice it finally deciding on the direction to the bird.
I can now keep my pasty white face down while calling because I can just watch my dog's eyes to know where birds are and what they are doing. I can also feel pretty good knowing that of the birds in that field, we found our share.
BUT, this is a year round commitment in time and money for a few days of actual bird hunting. And my wife has the nerve to say, "You're going hunting again?"
 
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