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Opening Day Puppy

Here's a photo of Trammell on the first hunt of her life. Notice that there are no birds in the bag as yet.

Yesterday afternoon at the office, fellow PFer Rick Young and I were discussing the best time to bring home a puppy if you wanted the dog ready for this fall’s hunting season.  In Rick’s opinion, folks had better be looking hard at breeders now if they are planning to be hunting over a new pup by autumn.  I’d have to agree with that assessment.

My pup, Trammell, was born in mid April of 2007.  She came home with us in early June.  So at 5 months old she hunted ruffed grouse in Michigan and at 6 months old she hunted pheasants in Minnesota.  Okay, “hunted” is an exaggeration.  She went along for a run and learned “how to hunt” from the other dogs.  However, by the end of her first season at nine months of age, she was certainly showing the signs of becoming a darned good bird dog with solid points and confident retrieves. 

Backing off the math from my experience with Trammell, I’d assess that puppies born in February would enter into the 2011 pheasant season in pretty solid form, given proper obedience training and exposure to both gunfire and live birds.

Which brings me to Pheasant Fest in Omaha this weekend; whether you are interested in pointers, retrievers or flushers, attendees will be able to check out a wide array of breeders and litters.  There will be breeds I can’t pronounce (Braque du Bourbonnais), breeds that sound like ice cream (Spinone Italiano) and the most popular breed in America (Labrador retrievers). 

So what do you think, if you could pick the perfect age to have your pup enter into his/her first hunting season, how old would that pup be on opening day?  Drop your comment below.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

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2 Responses to “Opening Day Puppy”

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pheasants Forever, Bob St.Pierre. Bob St.Pierre said: What's the perfect age for a bird dog puppy to be on opening day? http://www.pheasantblog.org/bstpierre/opening-day-puppy/ [...]

  2. Mike Serbin says:

    I agree with your assesment and have two good examples. Latest one a now 8 month old GSP. Our season for qual opens Nov 1 and him being 6 mo. old at that time I wouldn’t want them much younger. It took three outings for him to point his own bird. He actually performed a water retrieve that same day. Hunted like a veterian dog most the season with plenty of points, retrieves, and honoring very well. Next year at 1 1/2 yr old I will be expecting more of the same.

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