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Thoughts on Field Trials? (for those that don't)

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I would love to attend a horseback trial out on the prairie or better yet during hunting season with the same dogs and horses but I have zero desire to own that sort of dog. It wouldn’t be a good fit. 



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So. Just thinking about this trial thing.  What ratio do you see of pointers to setters on the following:

trials out west on prairie.

grouse/ wc trials.

released non wild bird trial east and in the south 


just curious and how well do they perform in each of these trials. 


Not wanting to say wich is better just a curiosity 

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Just thought about this.  I’m going to create a new topic on this question

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3 hours ago, C.J.L. said:


Back to the subject of the post, I guess that pic also says why I don't think I'd like to trail my dogs.  It's uncrowded it that photo. Just two dogs, a tree, grass, wild quail and no one for miles.  I like that the best.


Yeah I like that the best too.

Like 406dn, I spend way more time training and hunting than I do actually running at trials. 


I'm not trying to convince you, or anyone else, they should run in trials. Just throwing out some information and my perspective.

If I was forced to give up either trialing or running my dogs on wild birds by myself, it would be an easy decision. I'd give up trialing.

Luckily you don't have to pick one or the other, you can easily do both.

Much of the trial season is before and after the hunting season. 


I think one common misconception about trials is that trialers and trial dogs don't hunt and run on wild birds much.

It's like people think there is some binary thing, you are either a trialer or a hunter, but you can't possibly be both.

Most of my trialing friends run their dogs on wild birds as much as they possibly can. They train on wild birds in the off-season and hunt wild birds in season.

For me the trials provide motivation to run dogs the dogs more, get them in better shape, train them better, train myself better etc...

It provides you with feedback on where you need to improve and where your dogs are doing well, and you get to see a bunch of other good dogs that aren't necessarily in your circle of hunting buddys. That can be very enlightening. There is also the camaraderie of generally like minded people. 


Trials aren't for everyone and that's ok. For me they are just an extension of bird hunting, certainly no replacement of it.


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Shawn F

I have watched many horseback trials.  I prefer shooting dog.  I have hunted over and with many horseback shooting dogs.  The dogs that consistently win at the field trials are the dogs that also regularly perform the best hunting.  They win at field trials because they are good at the task of finding birds, stamina, and biddability.  I want a pup out of a proven field trial winner.  Proven being a multiple time winner as any one buying a lottery ticket can win once in a while, but the dogs that win above their entrance percentage are the dogs I want to focus on.

I have been in Montana for several weeks now and have been fortunate enough to train with a couple of folks.  Horrible hail storms the other day.  Have found dead dear, antelope, as well as grouse.  But the cover is lighter now.

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