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Author Topic: which birds for training quail,pheasant or chuckar?  (Read 6332 times)
bellesdad
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« on: September 12, 2007, 04:44:46 PM »

WHICH BIRDS ARE BETTER FOR DOG TRAINING? I JOINED A HUNTING CLUB WHICH RELEASES BIRDS AND THEY GIVE YOU A CHOICE OF BIRDS TO BE RELEASED IN YOURE PRIVATE AREA? I MAINLY JOINED SO I HAVE A PLACE WITH BIRDS TO TRAIN MY DOG SINCE I LIVE IN A PLACE WHERE BIRDS ARE HARD TO COME BY. I HAVE SOME BOBS TO TRAIN WITH BUT I HEARD SOME BIRDS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS BECAUSE OF SCENT. MY DOG IS NEW TO LIVE AND FRESH KILLED BIRDS. ANY HELP WOULD BE APRECIATED.THANKS
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schultz
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2007, 10:14:40 PM »

I think a lot depends on the age of your dog and how much bird exposure the dog/pup has had.
You also did not mention whether you have a pointing breed or a flushing breed.

For young pups I would recommend quail. Something small enought that the pup is not going to get wing beaten but active enough for your pup to have it's interested peaked.
 
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 11:59:19 PM »

That is a little like asking which breed of dog is best, it depends somewhat on exactly what you are trying to accomplish at a given point in training.

  I have, and sell many more Quail than Chukar, and don't raise Pheasant.  But generally, Chukars are better, followed closely by hen Pheasant.

  Two exceptions, size, as stated by Shultz, and poorly conditioned, or tame Quail.

  To me, the chance of a pup catching a weak flyer is by far the worst risk.  The likelihood that your club has well conditioned Quail is probably less than 50/50.  For training a young dog, I want to know where the bird is planted, and prefer to have them in launchers, until I know the dog is ready.  If they simply release birds into your "area" there is plenty chance the pup might barge in, flush the bird, and chase, maybe catch, it before you know what's happening.  Or even catch one on the ground.

  With a bird you have planted, or placed in a launcher, you know where the dog is likely to hit the sent cone, and can be prepared to react to whatever training opportunity, arises.  In a launcher, nearly any adult Quail will work, fine.

  Most people don't expose a pup to live birds, much, until they are plenty big enough to handle Chukars.  Getting thrashed by a bird is usually from wounded Pheasant, or maybe Chukar, if the pup is small.

  I have a Brittany who's first wild bird was a Turkey.  He got thrashed pretty good, then went back and got a hold with the good wing pinned to the birds body.  (Before I get stoned to death, for lying, I'll mention that this was a young, fall Turkey, and weighed about 10 pounds).  He then tore through the grass, like a maniac, until he found another to point.  If your young dog tangles with a strong wounded cock Pheasant, he may either react this way, or quit you cold.  It's not worth the gamble, if you can avoid it.  Another big problem with cock Pheasant is running.  The breeder, and trainer of my first bird dog warned strongly against hunting a dog on wild Pheasant the first season.  They can cause a young dog to crowd birds, flushing Quail, or Grouse.  Also flushing $500 to $1000 worth of training in a single hunt.

  Quail do not put off as much scent, but if your dog has a nose, he can find them, fine.  Heavier scented birds can be a help when you get to the point of teaching her to stop at first scent (more correctly, first body scent).

  The very best of the best birds for training is probably wild Bobwhites, but few have access to enough to do the job, well.
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WHITNEYPLU
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 12:58:19 AM »

We do not sell bobs as flight conditioned right now but my dad raises them at his place for his use. Here is what he does to keep them "wild".

1. He has 2- 200' x 100' flight pen that he rotates every other year. He lets the ragweed and other natural cover grow up and does not mow it that whole year before he places the birds in it. This way they have the cover there and feed that they will find wild on his land.

2. He feeds and waterers only at night using a red light flashlight. Each feeder is located on the side of  the pen and can be filled without enetering the pen. In these he feeds them a wildbird seed blend that they will encounter once released<milo, sunflower seeds, maze,corn etc.> The waterers are automatic bell type waterers, so other than cleaning them when needed he does not have to enter the pen.

3. They are located well beyond sight of the house so that they do not get use to people coming and going, and the only shelter they get is from the vegatation and tree limbs inside the pen.

4. During the brooding the first 4 weeks he keeps them with very little contact and feeds and waterers at night also.

When releasing he simply releases by opening the doors and leaving them open for a week to 10 days. The stragglers then are simply herded out the doors after this time when he brings in his tractor and mows and disc the pen. Then the pen is seeded with winter rye or wheat so that they can have a fighting chance thru the first winter. Even doing this he expects a 60% loss of all thats released the first season. Bad years have seen a 80% loss due to drought and predators. This year hopefully will be a great year due to all the rain here in the Texas hill country. As we pheasant and Chukars never seem to stay around during the winter we are pretty much stuck with just using bobs so this is what I prefer in this area as they stay year after year. 1000 quail equals about 100 to 200 harvested from us, 300 to 400 that do not make it to the next years breeding season due to predators, drought, and neighbors cashing in. A good racoon, fire ant and varmit hunting program is a must for all who releases them for restocking purposes. He also gets a little money from this thru a Ag insintive program for restocking, which requires them to be raised to atleast 8 weeks of age. Maybe this post will help a little.
Dusty
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wildergamebirds
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 01:15:32 AM »

Sorry I didn't remember you had a Lab.  Size of bird is not a factor.  I would suspect that a flushing dog would be more likely to catch a poorly conditioned bird.  Even with a big Lab, when it comes to cock pheasant, I'd suggest 1. "use enough gun"  2. Shot for the head.  3.  Don't take long shots.

  Few would think there was a lot of similarity between Brittanys, and Labs.  They are both prone to Childish moments, especially before age three.  That was part of the "bird tossing" thing.  They both love to retrieve naturally, while it is fun.  The busier you keep her, the less she will play around, but don't wear her out.  For what it's worth, I don't use chew toys to play fetch.  I do use a small retrieving dummy in the house, and take it only from my left side, just like in the field.  A dog should retrieve dummies, TV remotes, and birds.  They should chew chew toys, their food, and maybe the neighbors cat.  Don't confuse things, too much.

  Whatever retrieve training method you use, never skip around from step 3, to step 5, to step 2.  Never proceed until a step is mastered.  And pick one method, and use it.  I would suggest giving her another year, encouraging her natural retrieve.  This is never easy, we are an instant gratification society.  (It's no easier for me).  If the trained retrieve method in the link is the same one used, and promoted by Dobbs, it is the next best thing to natural.  The "forced fetch" is different.  Sure, you may get a "retrieving machine", but a lot of dogs fold up under the pressure.  Plus, would you rather have a "99% of the time" dog that retrieves grudgingly, or one that retrieves 90-95% of the time, with a smile you can see behind a Canada Goose?
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 01:29:46 AM by wildergamebirds » Logged

When nuts are outlawed, only outlaws will have nuts, look at France.
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