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Ulvy

Can a great grouse dog be great on woodcock?

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Ulvy

I’m curious for those of you who’ve had or seen great grouse dogs, are they just as good on woodcock? I am asking because I’ve noticed that B. Spiller mentions this several times in some of his writings. I only have two seasons under my belt with my dog, so I’m a newbie, really have no knowledge base and am wondering why this would be? 

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Uplander

LOL!  Fraught with danger....

 

My dogs, which I like to think have been “great grouse dogs” have had field days with woodcock....

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caleb

I think woodcock are about the easiest possible birds for a dog.  I can't imagine a great grouse dog that wouldn't be a fine woodcock dog, unless it just decided that woodcock were beneath its dignity.

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Up North
3 minutes ago, caleb said:

I think woodcock are about the easiest possible birds for a dog.  I can't imagine a great grouse dog that wouldn't be a fine woodcock dog, unless it just decided that woodcock were beneath its dignity.

Lol, and they are!

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Ulvy
7 minutes ago, caleb said:

I think woodcock are about the easiest possible birds for a dog.  I can't imagine a great grouse dog that wouldn't be a fine woodcock dog, unless it just decided that woodcock were beneath its dignity.

So this is why I am asking the question, why would Mr. Spiller so firmly believe this? Presumably someone who has shot thousands of grouse.......

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Don Steese

What was it that BS so firmly believed? That a great grouse dog could or could not be a great woodcock dog? In my experience great woodcock dogs are pretty common, great grouse dogs...not so much. 

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Ulvy
35 minutes ago, Don Steese said:

What was it that BS so firmly believed? That a great grouse dog could or could not be a great woodcock dog? In my experience great woodcock dogs are pretty common, great grouse dogs...not so much. 

 

“I believe, by the fact that no truly great grouse dog is equally good on woodcock. He is born a specialist.” B.Spiller Grouse Feathers Again

 

 

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Don Steese

It is not for us mere mortals to question Mr. Spiller, so I guess the question should be considered answered. 

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Ben Hong

I personally would not feed a dog that would not, could not point any game bird unless it was a flusher.

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George Foster

Without knowing I would say Mr. Spiller was saying that most any bird dog will be good on woodcock but only some or a few will excel on Ruffed Grouse.  Those dogs that did or do are "Specialists" or in other words a "Very Special Dog".

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max2

To the o/p my observations have told me yes to your question.  I would like to ad this (IMO) Grouse make a grouse dog .

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Brad Eden
27 minutes ago, George Foster said:

Without knowing I would say Mr. Spiller was saying that most any bird dog will be good on woodcock but only some or a few will excel on Ruffed Grouse.  Those dogs that did or do are "Specialists" or in other words a "Very Special Dog".

 

^this^

 

So, the title asks: Can a great grouse dog be great on woodcock? I can't answer that exact question because I'm sure it's about pointing dogs and I've run flushing dogs for over 30 years on grouse and Woodcock. I have heard say that the components in the specialness of a great grouse pointing dog can compromise its performance on Woodcock. (i have hunted grouse and Woodcock over a slew of pointing dogs so can form an educated and non-biased opinion. I think.)

 

I will say. A truly great grouse pointing birddog is worth its weight in gold or more. Woodcock can make a mediocre birddog look like its great. That's why many "grouse hunters" are actually closet Woodcock hunters. 

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ScottGrush

I take Spiller's quote more literally and agree with him that a great grouse dog will not be a great wc dog.

A great grouse dog will run a completely different search pattern than will a dog seeking out wc. 

Ground application will limit contacts on wc so much so that the dog would never be seen as a "great" wc dog. Sure the dog would point wc but with limited at bats he would never be considered great. 

I have seen two maybe three great grouse dogs in my life and none of them had many wc shot over them. They simply came to ignore  if not blink woodcock when they encountered them. 

They were inadvertently trained without formal training that timberdoodles were not part of the game we play. They were ruffed grouse specialists. 

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dogrunner

I think so, otherwise coverdogs would not win if they just blew past wc only to go find grouse. They have to be Great on both. 

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Tony Moore

my two best grouse dogs, one being a pointer, and one a flusher, ignored Woodcock completely.

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