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Thread: looking for a little guidance

  1. #1

    Default looking for a little guidance

    Hello everyone! My name is Phil and I am new to the forum as well as bird hunting. I've been reading tons of info all over the place and found myself landing here as it seems like a very helpful place to talk to more experienced folks.
    I am here to ask for a little guidance in the way of whether or not I should try my hand in raising some birds up for training my future bird dog. I have access to an unlimited supply of ringneck dove that seems to be everywhere at my in-laws farm and are very easy to catch. I was curious tho as to whether I should also raise up a different type of game bird like a chukar or pheasant to help with my dog training. I have enough land to do it and it peaks my interest as it seems like it would be something I'd enjoy doing. Being new to bird hunting and bird dogs, I plan to have the help of a trainer and the breeder I'm getting the dog from has plans to help me in the training as well. The reason I'd most like to have my own birds is so I can get as involved in training the dog as possible. Am I getting way too ahead of myself or is this something I could enjoy while training up a pup?

    PS-I'm at least 6 months away from actually getting my new pup so I'm trying to plan ahead and see if I should get into raising some birds with what feels like enough time to prep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    TX Panhandle
    Posts
    1,772

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    Welcome to the forum! I'm sure someone will come along that can help with your question. My son raises birds so I cheat and use him...
    JMc
    Fritch, TX

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Welcome Phil,
    I will throw in my 2 cents as someone who has been down the path you are inquiring about. You did not indicate where you are located. I ask this for several reasons. Climate, access to both preserves and wild bird populations and what birds you intend to hunt ?

    With this being your first dog my suggestion is to start out small and simple. Rearing birds and keeping them healthy and flight ready takes time and effort. Your Dove population will only help you with a young pup to get it excited about birds in general. Using one to flop around for the pup to chase and think about pointing is great but only very early on. At a few months old you will want to move on or face bad habits from messing with non upland reality. Plus there are much greater priorities at this point.
    My short answer is to yes absolutely introduce your new pup at home to a dove/pigeon at first but then make a small cage to buy and keep just 6 or so birds that allow you to work your pup for a week or two at a time. Then if you have a preserve setting close by introduce Pheasant, quail etc that way.
    With a new pup it is great to introduce birds but the first months you will get more out of your dog from basic non bird 101 training and good field manners and skill work than putting a lot of birds in front of a young dog.
    It is critical that you only introduce a skill that the dog is ready for and understands or you may create confusion. Every veteran bird hunter can tell you about watching some guy's young quail dog that's been taken out west to hunt Ringnecks and spends the trip going crazy and running birds three counties away. The pup must understand what is expected.
    As you progress and time/interest and skill level grows you may want to consider a larger set up depending on your acreage. In my case a full size Call back/Johnny house has been great fun to have for Bobwhites.

    An old timer told me one time. " Just because your toddler likes to throw a ball doesn't mean he's ready to have a bat".

    Hope this helps a bit and best of luck with your pup.

  4. #4

    Default

    Sorry I left that out. I live in Colorado and hope to hunt pheasant, quail, and chukar along with any other upland bird I might be unaware of. Not really into ducks mostly because I'm not a fan of the taste.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Loveland, Colo
    Posts
    4,320

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    You can raise Quail as the are a little better to train with as they are a little less mobile or sit better for your pup. Chukar seem to throw off a stronger scent but can and will run a bit more. Pheasants will work fine if that is all you can find, although you have to be a little cautious with spurs and them running without sitting. There are techniques to slow down the runners. I would start with quail and then move on to the others as your pup gets older and wiser. If you can find a place to purchase 4 week old quail it will save you money and time instead of trying to raise them as day olds. Same with the other birds as well. Good luck!!

    "When you come to a fork in the road, take it" YOGI

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Manhattan, KS
    Posts
    2,900

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    A few homing pigeons are nearly a must for training a young pointing dog in my opinion. That and a launcher or two.
    Steve

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Pa
    Posts
    1,576

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    Keep in mind the game bird regulations in your area. In my area I can't shoot quail at anytime throughout the year. I can't carry a long gun at any time if I'm training on quail. Chukar are a different story and can be shot year round.

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