Last trip of the season.....

BeirlSetters

New member
Just returned home from 10 days over xmas/new years. The hunting was much better this trip than out Thanksgiving trip. We were able to get into multiple groups of birds over the course of 10 days of hunting. Our best day on public ground we seen 250+ birds, which was after the snow/wind event last week. Birds really grouped up fast after the conditions changed. It was good to see the big groups of hens that weren't there on our first trip. The dog work this trip was exceptional with the older dogs handling the conditions and birds like normal. The most impressive part of the week was the exposure some of my young dogs experienced and their performance had a big smile on my face by weeks end. Birds were very jumpy which I contribute to the increased amount of hunters we seen the second half of the week. We hunted mainly public ground with the exception of the last day that we hunted some friends private ground an d it didn't disappoint. It was some of the best hunting/ dog work we seen all week. Well this season is a wrap and hopefully spring nesting conditions will be optimal for a good crop of birds next year. I wish everyone the best in the new year!View attachment 8966View attachment 8967View attachment 8969View attachment 8970View attachment 8971CH]
 

A5 Sweet 16

New member
Awesome pics! Looks like you & your floppy-eared little buddies had a super time! Thanks for sharing!
How many dogs did you bring with you?
 

BeirlSetters

New member
Riley is my 9 month old Gordon setter female. She is going to be a Rockstar from what I am seeing. Pointing, relocating, honoring and retrieving like she is crazy already. Not a big runner and works close just like my English setters do. I did a lot of research to find the lines I wanted. It took almost 6 months before I found what I wanted, glad I did the research.
 

BeirlSetters

New member
I brought all of them. That total is 14. I have 12 that run from old to young (1 year old). Then I have two males one English and one Gordon roughly 6 months old that got some exposure but weren't hunted hard. I have learned you can never have enough dogs in SD especially during a 10 day run. I have been there down to my last dog wondering what would happen if something went wrong. I tend to rotate dogs by the day so they are fresh over the whole hunt.
 

BeirlSetters

New member
Chad, what breed is Riley?
Riley is my 9 month old Gordon setter female. She is going to be a Rockstar from what I am seeing. Pointing, relocating, honoring and retrieving like she is crazy already. Not a big runner and works close just like my English setters do. I did a lot of research to find the lines I wanted. It took almost 6 months before I found what I wanted, glad I did the research.
 

BeirlSetters

New member
Awesome pics! Looks like you & your floppy-eared little buddies had a super time! Thanks for sharing!
How many dogs did you bring with you?

I brought all of them. That total is 14. I have 12 that run from old to young (1 year old). Then I have two males one English and one Gordon roughly 6 months old that got some exposure but weren't hunted hard. I have learned you can never have enough dogs in SD especially during a 10 day run. I have been there down to my last dog wondering what would happen if something went wrong. I tend to rotate dogs by the day so they are fresh over the whole hunt.
 

BeirlSetters

New member
A5,

That would be a interesting question to use for a poll. I look at it as I want to use all my resources(dogs). They all hunt a little different based on the situation we are in. They all compliment each other if I run a group as well. The most I had on the ground at once this year was 5.

Our ruffled grouse population at home in WI was terrible this year. SD gives dogs volume of contact which normally can make a huge difference in their development. I run pups as young as six months if they can handle it. I am a firm believer that the earlier the exposure the better it is. Also the young pups pick up so much from the older dogs. I know running young with old is a divided conversation with guys but I believe in it.
 

A5 Sweet 16

New member
5?!!? Where's your sense of adventure?! lol. Next year shoot for double digits at least.
But I'm with you, the more birds a dog is exposed to, the better, which is why my goal is to hunt my dogs 25 times a season. Lo & behold, they figure out pheasants. But 2 springers at a time is more than nerve wracking enough for me. One good one is about all my brain can handle.
 

UplandHntr

Active member
Wow what a difference a storm makes. I was shedding clothes on my last trip out there in mid Dec. just never seem to hit it right.
Chad, there were plenty of ruffies in N WI this past Fall. 👍🏻
 

BeirlSetters

New member
Wow what a difference a storm makes. I was shedding clothes on my last trip out there in mid Dec. just never seem to hit it right.
Chad, there were plenty of ruffies in N WI this past Fall. 👍🏻
The first part of the week we hunted in a long sleeve shirt and vest WED-FRI was a very different story with the weather that rolled through the area- winter gear for sure! But by last weekend it was back a long sleeve shirt hunting in 6" of snow and the birds were grouped.

We got into grouse and woodcock this fall just not like in previous years. A lot of birds this year we did get were very small birds, late hatch. Between the spring and having snow into may and then relentless rains early it didn't help the overall numbers in my area in WI. Now they are contributing west nile to the lower numbers with finding it in grouse in the UP of MI. I don't know if this really is a thing but they are talking about it. We got our contacts without a doubt just didn't seem like past years. Did I get into the woods as much as I would of liked, no not by any means. Laying concrete and building new kennels late summer into fall consumed a lot of time.
 

PTM

New member
Those look like some awesome dogs, I hunted with Quailhound’s Setter and was truly impressed with it, how does the Gordon hunt in a similar fashion? Both my neighbors have Gordon’s, looks like you and your dogs were killing it in South Dakota, nice work, good times!
 

BeirlSetters

New member
Those look like some awesome dogs, I hunted with Quailhound’s Setter and was truly impressed with it, how does the Gordon hunt in a similar fashion? Both my neighbors have Gordon’s, looks like you and your dogs were killing it in South Dakota, nice work, good times!
Second trip was a good time. A lot of miles walked but we found birds which makes walking all them miles worth it. My female Gordan Riley hunts extremely well for her age- just shy of a year old. I have raised English setters for 20+ years and finally moved into the country and said I would own a Gordan when I made that move, so I bought two instead of one, go figure. It was concerning getting into Gordans because I knew nothing about them, but finding the right pups after months of research has a big smile on my face now. I am quite impressed with the breed and especially Riley. She fits right into the mix and the only difference I see is her color now.
 
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jackrabbit

New member
I don't mean this as a knock to you and your 14 dogs, but as an opportunity for me to learn different hunting styles/techniques. Hopefully I can phrase this questions correctly.

If your goal is to get as many bird contacts as possible, but you rotate dogs each day, and have 14 of them. Wouldn't you rather have fewer dogs that get more time on the ground to increase their bird contacts than more dogs that each get less time on the ground?

I am content with my 1 dog and his ability to hunt 3-4 day stretches in SD and getting bird contact from 10am - sunset. If I were to take him on a trip but only run him 1 or 2 days of the trip and keep him kenneled for the remainder of the days, I feel like I would be doing him a disservice and not getting him the quality bird exposure needed?

In my mind, 2-3 dogs would probably be perfect and having the ability to rotate them through fields, let one rest, have a backup plan incase one gets injured, etc. What is the reasoning behind 14? Again, no wrong answer - I just want to educate myself. My guess is your answer is you simply love birddogs, watching them work, training them, raising them, etc. - which if I had the time, money, resources, etc. I'd probably enjoy that as well!
 

BeirlSetters

New member
I don't mean this as a knock to you and your 14 dogs, but as an opportunity for me to learn different hunting styles/techniques. Hopefully I can phrase this questions correctly.

If your goal is to get as many bird contacts as possible, but you rotate dogs each day, and have 14 of them. Wouldn't you rather have fewer dogs that get more time on the ground to increase their bird contacts than more dogs that each get less time on the ground?

I am content with my 1 dog and his ability to hunt 3-4 day stretches in SD and getting bird contact from 10am - sunset. If I were to take him on a trip but only run him 1 or 2 days of the trip and keep him kenneled for the remainder of the days, I feel like I would be doing him a disservice and not getting him the quality bird exposure needed?

In my mind, 2-3 dogs would probably be perfect and having the ability to rotate them through fields, let one rest, have a backup plan incase one gets injured, etc. What is the reasoning behind 14? Again, no wrong answer - I just want to educate myself. My guess is your answer is you simply love birddogs, watching them work, training them, raising them, etc. - which if I had the time, money, resources, etc. I'd probably enjoy that as well!

Well back home I have a real job that pays the bills. My wife runs our dog business day to day and I work the dogs to see what they have for abilities. We currently have 14 dogs in various stages of development. 2 are retired at 11 & 12 years old and hunt some, I have one female due for pups mid month that I didn't hunt, then I have various dogs in the range of 6 months to 8 years old.

I want all my dogs to hunt first, pass their health clearances, and then be brought into the breeding program if it works out that way after 2 years old. I own a house in SD and have the kennels setup to handle the dogs so I bring them all and decide day by day which dogs to work based on the what dog I feel needs more exposure and the terrain we will be hunting. Even rotating this volume of dogs they get a ton more exposure than they would back home even after training on quail and running the grouse/woodcock woods back home. All our dogs are like our kids/family and I would feel quilty not taking them to SD and leaving them home in WI. They all deserve to be there and experience SD after working and training all summer long. The program works and we have made a pretty good name for ourselves over the years by following it. Hope this answers your question? And last I love everything birddog and couldn't imagine my life without them, there is nothing more rewarding than watching the light switch go off with a young dog. I am sure a lot of others can relate to this.
 
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