Dog's First Hunt

scottheitkamp

New member
Hello. I am a first time hunting dog owner, and I have a 1.2 year old golden retriever. I got him from a hunting bloodline, and I can tell that he is a natural when it comes to being in a field. I have been training him myself, with the guidance of some experienced bird dog owners. I am getting ready to take him out on his first official hunt tomorrow.
We have been walking fields all summer long, and one of his main issues right now is walking too close to me. I suppose it is better than being too far out in front, but I'm wondering if there are any tips or tricks to getting him into that prime 20-25 yards range in front of me (he stays about 10 yards right now).

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks everyone!
 

UplandHntr

Active member
I've had a couple of field goldens. My suggestion is to wait till he hits some hot bird scent and then you'll wish you never started this thread.����
 
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Kismet

UPH Guru
Uplandhunter wasn't kidding. Nothing sparks a bird dog like birds. Walking in a field with its master is nice, but the scent of a game bird stirs an atavistic avalanche and lights go on all throughout the dog's brain. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and bird dogs gotta hunt.

It will be wonderful. Trust us.

Have fun.

:thumbsup:
 

scottheitkamp

New member
Oh I apologize to uplandhunter. I thought there was sarcasm there. My fault. Thanks for the replies. I’m excited to get started with him in the morning. Now just have to get him on some birds 👍🏼
 

A5 Sweet 16

Member
I'm with the others. Put the dog on birds a few times & then get back to us. We'd love to here about your experience. It's amazing to watch the synapses start firing once a dog realizes there are birds in the grass.
 

Dakotazeb

Active member
He's still young and inexperienced. Let him do his thing this first season, it's a learning experience. I have a feeling that once he has had some bird contacts that his range will increase. In fact, your problem may be keeping him in close enough, especially when he hits some hot scent. Good luck and enjoy!
 
He's still young and inexperienced. Let him do his thing this first season, it's a learning experience. I have a feeling that once he has had some bird contacts that his range will increase. In fact, your problem may be keeping him in close enough, especially when he hits some hot scent. Good luck and enjoy!
X2! I'm going through the same thing...if you get her on birds it'll be a hold different game before the season is over.
 

UplandHntr

Active member
I've had a couple of field goldens. My suggestion is to wait till he hits some hot bird scent and then you'll wish you never started this thread.����
I fat fingered my original response which made the message useless. Lets see some pics of your Golden!
 

jonnyB

Active member
You might try training your dog at a preserve with planted birds - a great way to duplicate the hunt experience. You'll have a very charged dog!
 

hunter94

Active member
You might try training your dog at a preserve with planted birds - a great way to duplicate the hunt experience. You'll have a very charged dog!
the closest i would ever let my dog get to a planted or pen raised bird would be a pigeon in a launcher.....wild birds are the way to go.
 

jonnyB

Active member
I've seen trainers using chuckers, pigeons and hen pheasants quite effectively.... Sure worked with my past three dogs.

Have never tried the launcher...
 
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westksbowhunter

Active member
the closest i would ever let my dog get to a planted or pen raised bird would be a pigeon in a launcher.....wild birds are the way to go.
Actually pen raised and planted birds are the way to go when introducing a young puppy to birds. Especially a shackled or clipped wing bird. It is safe for the dog and puts the trainer in control. A retriever can't pick up a bird in a launcher. You can't force fetch on wild birds either. Training and hunting are quite different.
 

jonnyB

Active member
Thanks, W.KS. You clearly stated the whole rationale for using a control setting, for training...thanks! Obviously, trying to train while you're hunting doesn't work well. Using a preserve worked extremely well for me...those that hunt with me can attest to the dog's intensity and prey-drive!
 

westksbowhunter

Active member
Thanks, W.KS. You clearly stated the whole rationale for using a control setting, for training...thanks! Obviously, trying to train while you're hunting doesn't work well. Using a preserve worked extremely well for me...those that hunt with me can attest to the dog's intensity and prey-drive!
Some people can't distinguish between the 2. The best way to get a dog to quarter is through quartering drills using a couple of helpers and using a combination of dummies and planted pigeons. Chasing wild birds in a hunting situation is not the way to develop prey drive. Training with planted birds where the dog gets a snort full then gets a shackled pigeon in his mouth is. They have to taste those birds. Once this is accomplished taking the dog hunting is easy.
 

bobman

New member
My concern would be gun introduction

I would let him find and flush and chase birds before I shot over him

Get him bird crazy with lots of encouragement and atta boys so he’s actively seeking pheasants

Then when he’s fired up chasing one he flushed shoot it for him so he sees it fall just one shot no boom boom boom

If you miss let it fly off and just do the attaboys and go find another bird

Once he connects the boom with a bird falling you will be on your way

Also forget trying to teach quartering just follow him
Around and catch up to him when he gets birdy
 
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