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mccuha

woodcock

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mccuha

I've gotten to wondering about something. Since my post about my young dog bumping birds. I have been hunting a lot of woodcock lately thanks to us finally having a winter in the US and pushing them southward. Anyway. My setter pointed the first woodcock she found about a week and half ago. Since then she has not pointed any. She has bumped every one she has come in contact with. She has not even acted like she smells them. Now I have shot some when she backed another dog and went and found the dead bird and brought it to me.  Has any of you guys that have a lot of experience with woodcock hunting ever seen a dog that has trouble smelling them. Is this an acquired smell? Checked yesterday and she is solid and handled quail perfectly.

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Mike Connally

Yep. Pretty normal. It’s not that they don’t smell them, they just don’t smell like game to them. Do a search here on UJ. You will see several discussions on this. Keep trying. When the light comes on, it stays on. 

I remember my Britt Whiskey when the light came on in Michigan. You could see it in her eyes. She kind of gave me that look that said “oh, you mean these things?”  

Fine after that. 

I think Cooter just went through this. 

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vabirddog

When she bumps them, set her back and whoa her there and kick around before releasing her. she will get the message. Strange that she didn't get it when retrieving but live from dead are different to them.

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Gunsmoke

Kill one or two for her so she knows,yup supposed to hunt these stinky things

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mccuha
2 hours ago, vabirddog said:

When she bumps them, set her back and whoa her there and kick around before releasing her. she will get the message. Strange that she didn't get it when retrieving but live from dead are different to them.

that's being done every time. Just like if she bumped any other game bird. 

 

I'm just wondering if this is very common with pointing dogs to not smell them and point them right away.

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To The Point

Similar to other responses above, I've seen this with a couple of my dogs over the years but it generally just takes a handful of contacts for them to "get it."  More common is for a dog to refuse to retrieve a shoot woodcock than to not point them in my experience.  Don't lose faith - she'll come around.

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Brad Eden

Excerpt from an article I had published in Game & Fish magazine:

 

Much has been written about the difficulty dogs can have in finding an  “air washed woodcock.” Whatever pungent aroma prompted the flush or point will sometimes mysteriously dissipate between the time the shot swarm arrives and the bird hits the ground. I have had reliable retrieving dogs literally step on a dead woodcock, unable to smell it.

 

Woodcock are a strange bird many ways , and some dogs won't pick them up or will only retrieve them reluctantly. What is also interesting is my dogs will not eat cooked Woodcock but will gobble down grouse scraps. Again, a different kind of Upland game bird.

 

But, as far as dogs not being able to actually find Point or flush Woodcock, I can only say my flushers seem to be able to smell them, and its easy to discern they are on WC ground scent, not grouse, by the way they spin and weave, echoing the be-bopping of a traveling WC.... before they find and flush. They will also stop on a dime, throw nose in the air, and plunge off a trail or into the tangle and up pops a WC.  That's not to say they don't miss some. Maybe a WC that isn't pointed or flushed had recently flown and landed in that spot, leaving little scent. 
 

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Cooter Brown

The real problem starts when the dog encounters a woodcock carrying its young.

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Ben Hong
11 minutes ago, Cooter Brown said:

The real problem starts when the dog encounters a woodcock carrying its young.

With their feet or under their wings on miniature racks?

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BirdBrain
7 hours ago, mccuha said:

Has any of you guys that have a lot of experience with woodcock hunting ever seen a dog that has trouble smelling them. Is this an acquired smell? Checked yesterday and she is solid and handled quail perfectly.

 

My old lab flushed woodcock the first time he came in contact with them.  Somehow he knew they were game.  He was a bad woodcock dog though.  He really struggled when multiple birds were in the area.  My current griff has been sniffing out woodcock since he was a little puppy.  Last year as a 1 year old, he pointed more than 150, and that's not counting multiple birds from a single point.  I didn't keep count this year, but I'd guess it was about the same, but under tougher conditions.  I'm mentioning all of that because he still bumps birds, and has sometimes even run right past one bird only to lock up and point one several yards away.  It seems that either some birds give off little scent, or all the scent in the air combines, making pinpointing a location difficult.  And flight birds that have survived the gauntlet can be very skiddish, running and flushing wild.  They're not the birds I read about that are great for a young dog because they are easy to find and sit tight for a point.  So it may be your dog smells them and knows they are there, but not exactly where and is still learning to read the tea leaves and put it all together.   It's only been a week and a half, I think he just needs time to figure things out.

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Cooter Brown
2 hours ago, Ben Hong said:

With their feet or under their wings on miniature racks?

That's just silly and makes a mockery of science.

 

They use fern leaves to swaddle the little things and hold onto that.

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Brad Eden

Those of us living above the Mason Dixon line and Canada encounter nesting Woodcock hens and their chicks. Those below that line just shoot the poor vacationing timberdoodles, and they think Woodcock perch on branches. Many of us up north in their breeding grounds have been startled by a fat hen WC doing short hop flights, and we swear it looks like there is a chick between the hens legs. It's happened to me and I rubbed my eyes with mouth agape. It's like seeing a Sasquatch and we tend to keep it to ourselves so we aren't mocked and ridiculed like those over on the Patriots/Brady/Bellichek Topic. I'm not saying it happens, but until you've seen it, you don't know what its like seeing things. :$

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Ben Hong

Brad, I used to have a couple of real geezer woodcocking buds who avers the very same and I silently nod in agreement. I just don't say one way or t'other!

 

About ten years ago we had a "lively" discussion here about identifying the sex of the woodcock in flight. I believe that I said that I could correctly do so 65% of the time. Waaaalll I was called everything but a white man! There were so many personal recommendations of ophthalmologists flung my way that it made me believe that the eye doctors were having trouble surviving. I know that if I were brought up a hot blooded southerner from Cooter Brown's Georgian environs, I would have myself a good ole wang dang doodle almost every time I logged in!

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Mike Connally
5 hours ago, Ben Hong said:

Brad, I used to have a couple of real geezer woodcocking buds who avers the very same and I silently nod in agreement. I just don't say one way or t'other!

 

About ten years ago we had a "lively" discussion here about identifying the sex of the woodcock in flight. I believe that I said that I could correctly do so 65% of the time. Waaaalll I was called everything but a white man! There were so many personal recommendations of ophthalmologists flung my way that it made me believe that the eye doctors were having trouble surviving. I know that if I were brought up a hot blooded southerner from Cooter Brown's Georgian environs, I would have myself a good ole wang dang doodle almost every time I logged in!

I had to look that up.  

 

To a pitch a wang dang doodle is to have a good old fashioned Saturday night filled with drunken revelry, which may include but is not limited to fighting, dancing, singing and the like.

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Brad Eden

I understand Ben...Woodcock hens are visibly larger than males. Depending on the type of flush or flight a person can make an educated guess as to whether it's a smaller bodied and shorter beaked male or a blimpy hen. If its carrying a chick between its legs you can be reasonably certain its a hen...

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