Best cover type for pointing dogs

Elksniper

New member
As we get closer to the late season but currently minimal snow, what cover types does everyone prefer for pointers? Cattails? Tall bluestem? Woody cover? Brome? CRP type grass? Foodplots? Others?
 

remy3424

Well-known member
The type of cover where the birds are...hunt where you can find them. Woody cover might have the least amount of understory and brome is often tough too, from my experience. I wouldn't change the cover I hunt, no matter what breed of dog I had. Get out as much as possible and let that dog find you some birds!
 

birddude

Well-known member
That depends on the time of day and the weather. Among other things.
Scenting conditions and weather somewhat determine what I will hunt. I'm hunting put and take birds this week in huge weed patches with mowed strips 20 to 60 yards apart. It's been dry here and at 60 degrees with sun and no breeze those weed patches are brutal for a dog. So, I don't encourage my dogs to hunt them, I just cover more ground and hunt the edges. If there was a snow on I'd be on those weeds like a fat kid on a candy bar!!
 

Miforester

Well-known member
I tend to try them all and trust the dogs will find them. Many spots have multiple cover types in one parcel so i put the dogs down and go. Tend to focus on edges along picked crops.
 

AtTheMurph

Active member
Never liked hunting my pointers in cattails. Dog goes in, goes on point and now what? Could be frozen, could be 3 feet of muck, could be anything.

But we all need to make sacrifices.
 

Miforester

Well-known member
Never liked hunting my pointers in cattails. Dog goes in, goes on point and now what? Could be frozen, could be 3 feet of muck, could be anything.

But we all need to make sacrifices.
Yep have waded out to my britt on point in cattails, onlybto flush a hen.......that is hunting.
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
I do a lot of tree hunting, and deep coulees, deep cuts around crops, crick bottoms,edges, ponds, lakes.
 

Drew

Active member
Out west it's Kochia, cattails and Russian olive thickets. Pheasants and quail hold so tight in Kochia that without a good dog you won't ever see them.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
With my Brittany I prefer to hunt CRP that is about knee high so I can watch my dog work. However, that isn't always available or where the birds are.
 

carptom1

Well-known member
So in the wintertime the birds in the north definitely relate to the cattails. The effectiveness of a pointer in cattails definitely depends on the density, size and height. You can’t hunt some, but good flushers were created for cattails.
 

Elksniper

New member
I have a big shorthair and he’s happy to plow through cattails like a bulldozer. What I struggle with is if I should stand there while he works and wait for him to lock a bird down? Or should I try and keep up with him? It seems like when we hunt cattails with birds in them, they’ll be boiling out all over the place but very few birds get pointed.
 

remy3424

Well-known member
Yup, nothing better
But I have never encountered knee high cover that held an abundance of birds, but agree it would be the best cover for a pointer (or any other breed) to hunt and retrieve in. Here, the only grass that seems to stay knee high is brome, the native grasses that most CRP is planted to seem to be waist to head high. This year, being exceptionally dry, the switch grass was only around waist high, so it was easier to hunt this year...for the hunter and hound. Dry climates must have more of the knee high grasses, that we don't see in Iowa. As locations/climates change, the habitat changes and the methods of hunting changes. I sure wouldn't hunt knee-high brome if native stands of grass were available.
 

BRITTMAN

Well-known member
I have killed a lot of birds in grass that is far shorter than knee high. I believe birds likely move quickly through this grass because they need to remain "crouched" to remain hidden. It is a transition area ... if my dogs get ahead and are moving back at me ... the birds get pinned.
 
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Goosemaster

Well-known member
I have a big shorthair and he’s happy to plow through cattails like a bulldozer. What I struggle with is if I should stand there while he works and wait for him to lock a bird down? Or should I try and keep up with him? It seems like when we hunt cattails with birds in them, they’ll be boiling out all over the place but very few birds get pointed.
Try to keep up imo.
 
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