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Do Gun Dogs Have an Innate “Autumn” Clock?

Does “Hunter,” here with the author in North Dakota, get fired up for fall hunting because of an inborn sense? Or experience?

As the days shorten and the nights and days cool here in central Minnesota, I’ve noticed my springer, “Hunter,” is more fired up than usual over the usual cues such as going out, training or any movement I make toward the door.

I enjoy his increased enthusiasm. Last season was a breakout year for Hunter as far as finding birds and retrieving them. Recently, I’ve stepped up the refresher course using a check cord and tossing a retrieving dummy made of two fresh pheasant wings (I’m eating up 2011’s last birds). Hunter is in the groove and ready roll…and so am I.

I’m not sure if he reacts to the coming autumn because of an innate sense or because he knows from past experience that the hunting time is approaching. What do you think?

The Nomad is written by Mark Herwig, Editor of the Pheasants Forever Journal and Quail Forever Journal. Email Mark at mherwig@pheasantsforever.org.

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3 Responses to “Do Gun Dogs Have an Innate “Autumn” Clock?”

  1. dave says:

    I definitely agree. When a cold snap hits the late summer air my Shorthair gets crazy. She can tell it’s time, knows the difference between yard work training and “go time”.

  2. Irving C says:

    They know, all the clues are there, increased training, the smell of guns in the house ect..After several seasons they know!

  3. Chris Hasley says:

    Absolutely !! Last week, We woke to a 40 degreeF morning and our driveway covered in maple and oak leaves. With the combination of the crisp morning air and an inch of new fallen leaves, my black lab Levi, bolted from the back door and ran in circles, barking continuously, until he found a retrieving toy. After bringing to me, he ran towards my hunting truck and sat beside the back door. He knows what time of the year it is!


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