Early Season Dog Training

Posted On: September 28, 2015 BY Delamere

     While Dove hunting on a state wildlife area a few weeks ago, Louis and I stumbled upon a small covey of Bobwhite quail.  Quail used to be one of the staple wildlife species around here, but due to depredation, farming practices and habitat changes, the covey’s are few and far between these days.  I don’t intend to hunt this covey, but immediately was excited about the possibility of letting my dog work these birds.
     I had Saturday off with no commitments and the weather was a bit overcast.  It was a perfect day to take Rye out to the fields.  I invited my friend Josh and his Springer Spaniel “Tana” to join us since we often hunt together.

Rye didn’t stop all morning. Part of the reason this is the only picture she made it into.

    Both dogs were rearing to go, maybe a bit confused about the the lack of shotguns, but otherwise excited. The cover was extremely thick and green, but with a light mist of rain it was comfortable for all of us.  Once Rye started working the heavy cover it didn’t take her long to begin finding singles.  She false pointed a few times, but again: thick, green cover and wild birds.  I was happy with her progress since this was really just to reacquaint with the E-collar and play with wild birds.  Shortly after the first bird flew, Tana jumped a bird with little fuss or trouble.  We ended up moving 3-4 birds, but didn’t push them too hard and could hear other birds calling in different places around the field.
     Tana and Rye managed to find a few burrs.  Tana made sure Josh had something to do while he watched the Notre Dame game Saturday afternoon.  Joking aside, this is one of the neatest little Springers to hunt over.  She is extremely well behaved and is a pleasure to hunt with.

        After Rye had her fun, Josh took some time to launch dummies for Tana to retrieve.  It is a ton of fun to watch these two work together and gave me a good situation to work with Rye. I thought I took a few more pictures of Rye, but she was in such deep cover most of the time and working so fast I guess I forgot.

Water Break

    Here are a few of the items I find indispensable for training and hunting.  All of these are in the shop.  The first item Billy Gerwin got me using when I bought Rye was a 10 and 20 foot check cord.  Rye literally grew up with attached to a check cord in some fashion or another.  It is probably the single most important training tool I have.
     I started using a Sportdog 1825 collar at the beginning of last season.  It has really been a pleasure to use.  Billy Gerwin helped me learn to use it more effectively.  The 1825 remote is simple and user friendly, but does not sacrifice any of the tools a serious dog man needs.  If you have multiple dogs, you can add multiple collars to the same system.  I attach a traditional brass bell to the collar to help me “keep an eye” on Rye when I can’t see her. 
    The short lead in the foreground is a handy tool when you need total control of a dog or just a quick handle to get a dog back into the crate.  It doesn’t take up much space in a your vest so you won’t forget it. 

     We also have plenty of books to help you choose, train, or reminisce your favorite bird dog and great days in the field.  Stop by anytime for a bit of advice or gear for the upcoming season.

   * Despite the bad luck we had with dove fields this year, the upland fields at Shags Run turned out nicely and we are looking forward to another year of bird hunting.  Contact Billy Gerwin and 513-200-1846 if you are interested in booking hunts.





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