Posts Tagged ‘English springer spaniel’

Dog of the Day: “Cosmo”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Cosmo

Pheasants Forever member Steven Bode, from Omaha, Nebraska, and his English springer spaniel, “Cosmo,” pursue pheasants around Omaha and also travel to hunt near Kennebec, South Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Indi”

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Indi

Mike Shetka’s English springer spaniel, “Indi,” made nice retrieves on two late season Minnesota roosters taken by Shetka and friend Glen Fladeboe.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

They Don’t Point, but Flushers Have Their Bird Cues Too

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Photo courtesy David Hendee

Just as pointing dogs signal birds, flushers have ways of notifying hunters that birds are in the area. Photo courtesy David Hendee

I really like the lead time a pointing dog gives for shooting upland birds. I owned Brittanys for 10 years and have hunted with friends’ pointers all my life. A point gives you time to change up from stalking mode to shooting mode. It’s a big advantage over fast-flying game birds.

But, I’ve owned flushing dogs most my hunting life. There are many ways a flusher will cue it’s near a bird. My late English springer spaniel, “Wolf,” would “porpoise” into the air and yip if he was close to a bird. He also ran faster and held his nose more to the ground when on a hot trail. In addition to pace, many other flushing dog owners keep their eyes keyed on dogs’ tails, as the more it wags, the birdy-er that dog is.

Wolf hunted with pointers so much, in fact, that he started “flash” pointing himself as he got older. In case you don’t know, a flash point is just that, a quick point before the dog once again breaks into running pursuit of a bird. Even a flash point is helpful in telling me to get ready for a flush and shot – and it improved my kill rate. My current springer, now six-years-old, has yet to flash point – we’ll see.

Not that I’d ever say a flusher is better than a pointer or vice versa; it’s really a matter of personal hunting style and how you’re geared. I just prefer the faster pace of hunting a flusher provides. I love the more dynamic, unbroken flow of following a flusher and the added challenge of having to quickly stop and make a shot in one, unbroken action. When it works, to me, there’s nothing like it in the hunting world.

If you have a flushing dog, what are the birdy cues?

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

Dogs of the Day: “Missy” and “Ruby”

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Missy

Jason Hundt’s English springer spaniels, “Missy” and “Ruby” worked these roosters up on a successful snowy Wisconsin pheasant hunt.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Mazey”

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Mazey

It’s been a cold December 2013 in South Dakota, but that hasn’t slowed down Mazey Loo Who, Tom Wollman’s English springer spaniel. “Negative 17 degrees caught me off guard a couple of weekends ago and turned my Benelli M2 into a single shot,” the Sioux Falls resident said, but while the gun was running cold, Mazey was running hot.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Molly”

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Molly

“Molly,” an English springer spaniel, has been described by hunting partners as a “dog on Mt. Dew” because of her drive. “Like most flushers, she doesn’t stop,” says owner Jeff Martin, a Pheasants Forever member since 2008. Now six-years-old, “Molly” flushed and retrieved these roosters on a November 2013 pheasant hunt in South Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Mollie”

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Mollie

“Mollie” is Brad Carpenter’s nine-year-old English springer spaniel, one of four springers he’s raised and trained. “They all hunt together as my team,” Carpenter, from Pickrell, Nebraska, says, “Mollie likes to protect her birds.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

Dog of the Day: “Jake”

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Jake

“Jake,” Jeff MeyerAan’s English springer spaniel, worked up this rooster in the pheasant fields of South Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.

The Gun Dog Lifestyle

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

“Hunter” on a solid retrieve after flushing a rooster in range. Photo by Todd Sauers / Pheasants Forever

“Hunter” on a solid retrieve after flushing a rooster in range. Photo by Todd Sauers / Pheasants Forever

“Hunter,” my English springer spaniel, has ramped up it up as the weather changes here in Minnesota. Our cool weather has him sniffing around more intently, moving faster when off-lead, looking around more, keying in on sounds and movement.

At over six-years-old, Hunter is entering that period in a dog’s life that is prime time. He’s fit, an experienced hunter and knows it, that is, he’s confident and ready roll for the upcoming upland hunting seasons.

My gun dog philosophy reads thus: every interaction with my dog is an opportunity for training. When I walk take him out first thing in the morning, its “Hunter sit” so I can put his lead on. While canoeing a nearby lake, its “hoka hey” when I see a duck. Hunter knows that’s my signal for “game sighted.” He looks around and whimpers. I keep an e-collar on Hunter while on the lake to keep him from chasing waterfowl, but also as a reminder that I’m in control and I expect him to behave. It also keeps him from chasing game at a time it’s not allowed.  Sure, I let him make a few bounds in their direction for fun, but then it’s back to discipline.

When we see a rabbit in the yard it’s “no bird” and I turn him. When a deer ran in front of us while on my land near Duluth in northern Minnesota this summer, it was “no bird” and we turned. A bit later, we heard a noise in the brush and it was “get ‘em up” and Hunter bounded off on the prowl.

On our bike rides (I run him 2-3 days per week), its “sit” while putting on the lead. Sometimes I’ll walk around the corner, out of sight, to tighten up his obedience. Then it’s” heel” as we walk to and fro, then “sit and stay,” as I walk away, and walk back. If he breaks, we do it over until he doesn’t.

I carry a pistol on my land sometimes and pop it off to gin Hunter up. He doubles his speed and intensity working the brush as an experienced gun dog should. At home, I make Hunters sit, then hide a retrieving dummy somewhere inside the house. Then, I give the command “fetch” and off he goes on the hunt. He must bring the dummy to hand and hold it until told to release. If he doesn’t, we do it over until he does. If he can’t find the dummy, it’s an opportunity to train him on blind retrieves. I sit him by me, point in the direction of the bird and its “back,” his command for blind retrieving. He knows then the ‘bird’ is in that direction and he won’t give up until he finds it.

Hunter is a hunting dog and I treat him as such. While dove hunting, the training continues (dove hunting is a great opportunity to sharpen a dog for the hunting seasons that follow). Dove hunting is mostly a retrieving experience for Hunter, but I do use him to flush birds in stubble and standing crops (where I get permission), being cautious not to overheat him. Especially early seasons, I keep an e-collar on him until I’m sure he’s tightened up his behavior, but for most of the recent seasons, I don’t even put it on him. He knows what I expect of him.

Gun dog ownership is not a part time hobby, but a lifestyle lived and enjoyed every day for both parties involved. Our dogs want to be a part of our lives, not a toy to be set aside when we’re done playing with it. That goes for training too. Train them yourself and you will be that much closer, that much better a team afield.

I think when our gun dogs are family, they know it and respond accordingly, more likely to please at home and afield. This is prime time for Hunter and I can’t wait for the next few years hunting with him.

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

Dog of the Day: “Rocky”

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Rocky

“Rocky Balboa” is Jim McGannon’s English springer spaniel. A Pheasants Forever member from Golden, Colorado, McGannon’s friend Brian Kerns captured this shot on a pheasant hunt last year in the Dakotas.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at ahauck@pheasantsforever.org.