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molliesmaster

Dog power Required?

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High Mtn Hunter

If the focus is pheasants, a long trip is very doable with just one dog assuming you are hunting good quality ground and make the most of your opportunities.  I’ve done a lot of pheasant focus two - three week trips with just one dog with some off days worked in as we changed locations.
 

if prairie birds are part of the mix, then I think you’ll feel underdogged after a few days.  With Sharps and Huns, the country and ground covered is so much bigger than pheasant hunting ground.

 

if you are chasing Chuckars, you might feel underdogged after one day, or as soon as you ge out o the truck and get a look at the country you’ll be hunting :)

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tut

I have one pup and she's in good non-pro bird dog shape.  Keep her weight down and take her on long walks on paved roads to toughen up the feet.  I can generally hunt her about 5 hours a day split between morning and evening.  I think she is good for the above for 3 days and then normally we will have a bad weather day (rain/heat/whatever) somewhere during the week which is both a down day for the dog and the hunter.   I'm at the age where I would rather have easy day for both of us then push things and have a dog run into the ground that might cost me a couple days of hunting.  I'm a big weather watcher and cover inspector.  Ice changes everything for hunting, as does snow that melts and then refreezes.   The other thing is a bloody tail can turn into a bloody stump if your not careful during extreme cold and wind.   I do think some breeds are just physically tougher.  Continental dogs are tough suckers.  They can take a licking and keep on ticking.   PS.  Big believer in pre-Covid times of taking a long break for lunch and giving the dog time to relax and recharge her batteries.  I think hunting a dog for 4 or 5 hours straight in a morning is tough stuff.   We do a lot of cover hoping and that's pretty easy for a dog.  Might have 3 mini-hunts in one morning for maybe 3 hours of hunting over a 5 hour period of time.  I think that really helps the dogs and gives a chance to inspect new covers while the pup is getting a break. 

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Quig

Related, sometimes a small cover gets skipped by a big group or someone running multiple dogs

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Jim Vander
2 hours ago, Quig said:

Related, sometimes a small cover gets skipped by a big group or someone running multiple dogs

I love me those little corners!

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barna

One dog is enough as long as the dog is not sidelined because of injury.  I use to hunt mine 5 to 6 hrs a day 7 or 8 day a week in their prime, they get tired by the end but were still finding birds. In my case I had to boot 2 of my dogs after the second day, the pads were in shape but they just hit the ground too hard and nothing I could do about that. The third was a very light footed dog so he never had pad issues.  You will know by the second day which dog you have and if you need boots.  I made the booties out of duct tape, in case the dogs loose one I can make one on the spot. I also have the Lewis dog boots but only used them once in NE where the sand burs were plentiful. I never had issues in SD with sand burrs.

 

Get your research done properly, select the area you want to hunt and have plan B and C, you will see other hunters on public land, if your spot is taken then move to the next.  Expect to hunt public land the entire time, unless you have connections, finding permission is difficult unless you pay a trespass fee and even then the ground may already be spoken for.     

 

This is the link to the SD hunting atlas, print out the pages of the areas you want to hunt.    

https://gfpga.sd.gov/hunting/areas/maps/default.aspx 

Look at the pheasant density map and the available hunting area, you will notice that the best pheasant density has the fewest public land parcels. Pick the middle ground, OK bird numbers but lots of public land.  If you are hunting state land non-tox is a must so stock up on the appropriate amo.  With steel you have to go heavier, #4 steel is close to #6 lead, Bismuth is more expensive but patterns similar to lead.

 

Since this is your first trip to SD it is mostly going to be a learning experience, when you go back the following year, and you will (trust me) you will know a lot more.  Nothing beats actual boots on the ground.  Oh and take a good set of rubber boots if you are going to hunt pot holes.  Beware of the badger holes, difficult to see in heavy cover, especially if you are hot footing after your dog trailing a runner. I lost my leg many times by stepping in one of those,  only by the grace of god I didn’t break a leg.  

 

Good luck,

 

Barna  

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Kansas
On 9/14/2020 at 7:52 PM, ryanr said:

One other thing I would recommend is bringing a container of Glycocharge to add to your dog's food after the day's hunt. I first used this on my Maine trip and it really helped a lot (along with dog in prime shape.) I think it really aids recovery especially with the demands placed on a solo dog.

I tried this last year on a 5 day hunt in the Dakotas w/my Drahthaar.  I’m a firm believer in it. She hunted hard all 5 days and never missed a beat and that included a porcupine encounter. 

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bmeador
On 9/14/2020 at 8:52 PM, ryanr said:

One other thing I would recommend is bringing a container of Glycocharge to add to your dog's food after the day's hunt. I first used this on my Maine trip and it really helped a lot (along with dog in prime shape.) I think it really aids recovery especially with the demands placed on a solo dog.

My pail is on its way!!!

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Don Steese

Prior to this year I'd have said one is ok and two is plenty. I'm currently rethinking that.

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mccuha

If I were strictly hunting around home and not out west for an extended time I'd say 2 are the perfect no.  I know my G pa had at all times any where from 2-4 as long as I could remember.  West is a different game. As long as I can get around fine and continue to hunt out west I want have any less than 4 dogs( as best as I can help without any unforeseen tragedy ) but my ultimate goal is to keep 6 healthy dogs all the time.  6 to me IMO is the perfect no.  The reason I like 6 is I like to hunt 2 dogs at all times. But if one is injured I can still hunt 6-8 hrs a day without wearing the dogs out.

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