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Week 2 on the prairie


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Scott Berg

The first week had several memorable walks.  At times we were treated to double digit finds in one walk.  We should have taken more pics of dogs pointing and we don’t take many tailgate pics.  The young dogs all got run every day and now as we get in to week 2 they are producing a lot of well-handled contacts. Pretty great first week with really impressive dog work from the experienced dogs and an encouraging showing in the first week for the pups (9 total)

 

Week 2 – Day 1 (Saturday)  Temps forecasted to hit 90 so we Time to were in the field at sunrise.  Wind was howling pretty early on n the morning which made the birds act a little odd.  Some were really wild others held very tight.  It was time to start giving the pups some early shifts or running them with an adult.  Ella (8 moths) had a nice day.  She ran in the 3rd brace of the day and had 2 nice covey finds on huns and a pair of Sharptail.  It was really windy and as I walked right into the covey they hung high in the air right in front of me.  I was looking up at about a 45 degree angle.  


Sunday – Billy ran in the second brace and made a thoroughly impressed us.  He made a statement with 8 very nicely handled finds.    Billy will be a year old next week.  He is looking like our next stud dog.

 

Monday (today)  Billy again who was the star.  Five finds with the manners of a 4 year old from a dog that has not had his first birthday yet.  Gracie also had a really nice run.  She showed the pup I ran with her how to hunt the prairie.  She had three really stellar finds in about 40 minutes in the last brace.  Her first find came on a beautiful cast along a ride at about 250 yards.  Bang she swaps ends into the wind and I eased on over taking a pup (Annie) along with me.  She backs reliably and once she was in place, I flushed the covey.  Here is where it gets interesting.  I already had two birds in the truck.  I flush the covey and shoot one.  As I am waiting for Grace to bring it to me another bird tries to flush and can’t fly.  There is no chance I hit this bird with the first shot,  It was 8-10 seconds after the original flush.  What do you do?  Do you take the bird? I unloaded and walked back along the way picking up a couple more nice finds.
 

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Really like the looks of your dogs.  I have no experience with prairie grouse or huns, but last year I flushed a covey of quail and saw one running.  Put the dogs on it as I was sure they could bring it to hand.  They did not.  I flushed this covey two more times and the cripple was still there both times.  The second time he flew about 10 yards and the second time he flew about 100 yards (late in the season and the covey flew out of sight).   

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Great looking pup there Scott. How far along are the young dogs you're describing? Are they just staunch at this point or are they steady to any degree?

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Scott Berg
22 hours ago, juneboy1 said:

Romeo hits the ground running tomorrow. I'll give you an update.

 We have his brother with on this trip and he finds lots of birds.  Still needs some tweeking on bird manners.  We have had to pass up quite a few shots so as to not encourage poor manners.

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Scott Berg
9 hours ago, snood said:

Great looking pup there Scott. How far along are the young dogs you're describing? Are they just staunch at this point or are they steady to any degree?

 

Definitions tend to vary for staunch / steady.  We are here to evaluate and develop pups as opposed to formally train.  Our approach is pretty simple.  If the dog holds the covey, pair or bird until we get in front and flush the bird(s) ... we shoot a bird to reward the dog.  If the dog does anything that promotes the bird flushing, we don't shoot.  We had quite a few today with pups that we did not want to reward.  Of course, we will correct 2nd year dogs that we are breaking steady to wing and shot but we let the birds do the training where pups are concerned.

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2 hours ago, Scott Berg said:

 

Definitions tend to vary for staunch / steady.  We are here to evaluate and develop pups as opposed to formally train.  Our approach is pretty simple.  If the dog holds the covey, pair or bird until we get in front and flush the bird(s) ... we shoot a bird to reward the dog.  If the dog does anything that promotes the bird flushing, we don't shoot.  We had quite a few today with pups that we did not want to reward.  Of course, we will correct 2nd year dogs that we are breaking steady to wing and shot but we let the birds do the training where pups are concerned.

Thanks Scott. I appreciate the response, makes sense. Sounds like an ideal setting to develop young dogs. Good luck on the remainder of the trip.

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