When do you start running your dogs?

In Iowa, public land is closed to dogs until July 15. I completely agree with this, and would never intentionally run my dogs where I thought they could disturb a nesting hen. I am really itching to get my dogs out on some ground where they can flush a few birds in the coming weeks, and was wondering if July 15th was a good rule of thumb to use, or should I wait longer (on private ground that is). Just looking for any other input or past experiences anyone else has!
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
So your dogs are flushers? I don't take my springer out until Sept. usually. My thoughts are if he came upon those little running chicks in the grass, he'd catch most of them. Pointers...probably not such a big deal.
 

Wolfchief

Active member
It might be useful to define "running". For me and my dog, it means taking him out to a rural area with ditches ponds and weeds, tossing into those his duck dummy or maybe a frozen rooster or mallard I've kept for the occasion, and observing his retrieves, noting what stumps him (so far very little) and making sure he has access to fresh water or the pond or creek. We do a lot of jump shooting so it helps for me to position my Lab next to me and then toss the dummy across the ditch into the weeds on the opposite bank. Then I watch him find it. I always have water available in this oppressively hot weather we've been having. Also, I start as early in the morning as I can get around. 6:15-6:30 is a favorite time because it's still relatively cool then. So far so good.
 
Here in WI, the DNR has set aside some areas for year round dog training. Nice for keeping the dog conditioned. Also have a couple local areas with water that are dog friendly. Get out early in the day before the heat!
 

Nikko dog

New member
So your dogs are flushers? I don't take my springer out until Sept. usually. My thoughts are if he came upon those little running chicks in the grass, he'd catch most of them. Pointers...probably not such a big deal.
we were going to head to Nebraska this long weekend for some reservoir fishing and exercise the dogs some until i read this post. I wouldn't want to have the girls disrupt or kill any pheasant or quail chicks.
so we went to Wyoming instead to do some trout fishing and hiking. ends up we stumbled into the blue grouse mother land! Funny thing was that we ran into more than a few clutches of mother and chicks. The girls (both brittanys) only pointed the adult and never was interested or scented the chicks. It makes me believe that upland chicks.. or at least blue grouse chicks....like deer fawn or elk calf have no scent and that’s part of their DNA to stay alive.
I’ve not taken the girls to exercise in Phez / quail in chick season before so I don’t know how they would act.
anyway...I thought it was interesting since my dogs will locate / point most anything that moves...but not these blues grouse chicks.
all of the chicks could fly....not very well...but enough to get up into a tree.
to respond to sweet 16 pointer vs flusher comment. My dogs do point. But they’re not professionally trained. If something runs they turn flusher and chaser and if they can catch it they will!
just curious if other people out exercising their dogs in Phez / quail country have had a simailar experience?
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
"...we ran into more than a few clutches of mother and chicks. The girls (both brittanys) only pointed the adult and never was interested or scented the chicks."
If I'm right that these situations included momma bird w/ a few chicks nearby in a small area, how do you know your dogs didn't smell the chicks??
 

Nikko dog

New member
If I'm right that these situations included momma bird w/ a few chicks nearby in a small area, how do you know your dogs didn't smell the chicks??
Because the adult the dogs pointed would flush up into a tree and then the chicks would flush one by one up into trees. If they had a scent I’m fairly sure they would have been in the dogs mouth. The mother would make a big act with clucking from the tree...but the girls have located many birds after the first one flushes.
it was just a thought and wondered if any others had a similar experience.
good thing is that I would call them off after a flush so no chicks were harmed.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Because the adult the dogs pointed would flush up into a tree and then the chicks would flush one by one up into trees. If they had a scent I’m fairly sure they would have been in the dogs mouth. The mother would make a big act with clucking from the tree...but the girls have located many birds after the first one flushes.
it was just a thought and wondered if any others had a similar experience.
good thing is that I would call them off after a flush so no chicks were harmed.
Interesting. I'm not at all saying you're wrong here; just saying what I bet my dog would do in that situation. Bird flies up into a tree & sits there & clucks at my dog. Baby birds still hidden in the grass. My dog may SMELL the baby birds, but no way would he care about them. He would probably make a couple attempts to climb the tree, bark at it, whine like crazy, & beg me to shoot the bird out of the tree. Until that bird in the tree was in his possession, he wouldn't care about scent in the grass. I think.
 

Nikko dog

New member
Interesting. I'm not at all saying you're wrong here; just saying what I bet my dog would do in that situation. Bird flies up into a tree & sits there & clucks at my dog. Baby birds still hidden in the grass. My dog may SMELL the baby birds, but no way would he care about them. He would probably make a couple attempts to climb the tree, bark at it, whine like crazy, & beg me to shoot the bird out of the tree. Until that bird in the tree was in his possession, he wouldn't care about scent in the grass. I think.
Okay. I’ve been out the last couple of weekends hunting blue grouse.
we’ve taken four, two adults and two juveniles. The adult birds were pointed and retrieved. The juveniles were flushed and when they hit the ground the dogs ran over them a few times before they located it. I’m fairly certain that blue grouse chicks / juveniles don’t have scent in order to elude predators. Before you say it…my dogs can smell a three year old kibble under a pile of rocks!😂
Just thought this was interesting and if it applies to other upland species.
 
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