Best retrieve or bird recovery ?.

Kevin Burroughs

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Everybody who has hunted with their dog has a favorite story. I have more than a few but will start this off.

About 25 years ago doing a drift hunt on the river with 5 guys and 4 dogs and 3 boats. Hunting is going well and we are well over 20 birds and about half way to the take out spot, mostly woodies with mallards with 4 bonus honkers that basically killed themselves.

We had just jumped what we call the double hole and killed 3 birds and headed back to the driftboat when a late flushing Woodie came off the pond when one of the dogs flushed it. Woodie comes up over the trees and and headed anywhere but there. I come up and hit the bird and it sails to a small island about 75 yards down river and bounces on the shore. We load the boats and float down to the island and set out my dog Shadow. He gets birdy and starts hunting up this bird.

On the front of this island is a large pile of snags that has been deposited there during high water. 40 by 30 and about 10 feet high in the tallest place. Shadow tracks the bird to the pile and heads under it to retrieve his bird.

Things goes quite and then I hear a very loud growl followed by a what sounded like someone tossing a hand full of forks into a large running garbage disposal. A knife fight in a phone booth if you may. This goes on for about 2 minutes with the other dogs raising holy hell and wanting to get into the action. Things go fairly quite and Shadow backs out of the downed pile logs and brush dragging a very large and dead raccoon. He really didn't like raccoons. He runs the coon to my boat and drops the coon in and runs back to the hole he just came out of and under the junk once again. He comes out head first holding a nice drake woodie and hands it to me. He was never one to give up on a bird.

I still miss that dog with every fiber of my being. He was just simply the best.

We still drift that river, with pretty much the same crew, we are just a lot slower now.
 

#1WATERFOWLER

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Everybody who has hunted with their dog has a favorite story. I have more than a few but will start this off.

About 25 years ago doing a drift hunt on the river with 5 guys and 4 dogs and 3 boats. Hunting is going well and we are well over 20 birds and about half way to the take out spot, mostly woodies with mallards with 4 bonus honkers that basically killed themselves.

We had just jumped what we call the double hole and killed 3 birds and headed back to the driftboat when a late flushing Woodie came off the pond when one of the dogs flushed it. Woodie comes up over the trees and and headed anywhere but there. I come up and hit the bird and it sails to a small island about 75 yards down river and bounces on the shore. We load the boats and float down to the island and set out my dog Shadow. He gets birdy and starts hunting up this bird.

On the front of this island is a large pile of snags that has been deposited there during high water. 40 by 30 and about 10 feet high in the tallest place. Shadow tracks the bird to the pile and heads under it to retrieve his bird.

Things goes quite and then I hear a very loud growl followed by a what sounded like someone tossing a hand full of forks into a large running garbage disposal. A knife fight in a phone booth if you may. This goes on for about 2 minutes with the other dogs raising holy hell and wanting to get into the action. Things go fairly quite and Shadow backs out of the downed pile logs and brush dragging a very large and dead raccoon. He really didn't like raccoons. He runs the coon to my boat and drops the coon in and runs back to the hole he just came out of and under the junk once again. He comes out head first holding a nice drake woodie and hands it to me. He was never one to give up on a bird.

I still miss that dog with every fiber of my being. He was just simply the best.

We still drift that river, with pretty much the same crew, we are just a lot slower now.
That’s gotta be some kind of “double”. Good story. Thanks for sharing.
 

Kevin Burroughs

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The yellow demon vs a forty pound beaver...but that's a story best told over a two rock glass of Ron Cartavio.
I have a couple of bottles of that, I would like to hear that story.
 

thekillerofmallard

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My brother GS was a great duck dog had a nose like a GS. Haha. We knocked down 4 mallards and more were working in the fog. A hen hit right next to the rice blind she looked dead on her back one leg kicking. Again we kill 3 more and jump out of the blind to help the dog retrieve. Get back to blind look for the Hen she's gone ***. Look all round no wind blowing has to be close. Brother put dog on the sent she took off into the fog and was gone for about 15mins. To long bro starts to worry calls the dog with his whistle that will kill your ears. Finely hear the dog splashing and sure enough she has a hen mallard. Was it the one we knocked down who knows????
 

HaydenHunter

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I was hunting behind a snag out close to the face of the Clark Fork Delta in North Idaho. It was snowing hard and blowing hard. I took a pass shot at a hen mallard crossing but kind of going away. Didn't think I'd hit it until it flew across the 25 yard wide channel in front of me and then folded it's wings and was blown / fell over the trees and to the other side of the peninsula that separated me and the big lake. I grabbed the boat and Hoss, the dog in my avatar. We motored out on to the big water and the other side of the peninsula. It was a very steep bank up from the water, and the bank was covered in waist deep powdery snow. I didn't know exactly where the bird had fallen but I turned Hoss loose to roam the bank and find the bird. The image of big old Hoss churning up and across the bank, through snow taller than him, was a sight. I followed in his direction, wading through the snow. Hoss and I arrived at one particular point nearly at the same time. He had stopped and was looking down into a bird-sized crater in the snow. In the bottom lie the banded bird. That was one of the most memorable bands I have shot and I'd have never found that bird without Hoss and his ability to churn through the snow.
 

Brottboss

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I'd drawn a high number at a NVR on a Wednesday in early December many years ago.
I usually don't take blinds but the last one was available, and I was solo so I opted for the blind. Didn't want the fuss of dealing with FR that particular day, so I had this back corner all to myself.
I had some early opportunity and stoned a greenhead directly over the top. He folded tight and hit the tules 2-3' just next to the blind.
Having no dog I just kept searching every minute I could missing out on other opportunities.
I'd killed a few teal but damn that greenhead had me puzzled, I continued to look.
Around lunchtime the geese started to come down and I took my opportunities and killed a few.
My pile was growing, but damn, where's that greenhead? He's gotta be RIGHT HERE, so my search continued while more opportunities never ceased, therefore I continued shooting.
At this point I'm just about pissed. He hit right next to me, so in my quest I went through every square inch of those tules to zero avail, just couldn't find him, gone.
I grab my decoy bag and go grab all the dekes and gather my stuff.
I throw the lids on, but just look around a few more minutes and I'm like DAMN, I can't believe it, I'm gonna walk out of here damn well positive there's a dead greenhead RIGHT HERE! I just can't believe it. I'm pretty damn thorough, and just flat out of options other than returning with a weed eater and leveling the place looking for this bird. I had a hefty strap, but that bird just had me baffled, ***, this plain sucks.
I drag my dekes to the levy and leave my backpack at the blind in one last futile attempt. I'm up to my elbows at this point, going through every damn tule within arms reach of the blind, damnit.
My gun is over my shoulder, all I've gotta do is grab my backpack and head for the levy, leaving that dam bird behind. My gears were grinding, I was almost pissed because he hit so close I had to duck in order to avoid being hit, so I'd taken my eyes off him for just a split second.
All pissed off, light was getting dimmer and I'm just done, finished.
I grab my backpack to toss it on my back and good lord, there he is folded up in this tight little ball, dead as a doornail, stuffed in a small slot between the edge of the steel tank and the mud under my backpack. I found him, I was a happy dog from there on.
He was literally right next to me the whole damn time, like literally RIGHT NEXT TO ME, not 2-3', but literally right under my nose.
I guess I have a bigger nose than I'd thought.
 

Wingmaster

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2 Dogs, my Lab Remi and my Brittany Bud.

Story is in Richvale area, late 80s back when checks were closer together, and pheasants were having double hatches. The property is up against what is now LDC. Three of us start out in set-aside, Bud immediately gets into his crawl, when birds are running, he would lower himself and half crawl forward. He did this the whole time in the set-aside, as we watched birds fly and run over a check into the cut rice. We’re now in the rice with zero birds, one pass down the rice between 2 checks we limit on 9 pheasants. Bud is perfect, he quartered in front of all three of us, would slam on point, hold, leave a hen to fly off, retrieve the roosters down. Respond to the whistles. It was a hunt I wish was on film/video.

Bud also trained himself to race checks. When I hunted solo back then, if I walked perpendicular to checks, every check would find him racing out 70 yards and hunting back toward me. On the way out it was so cool to watch him scent a bird, his nose stopped and the rest of his body flying around to a stop. Miss him dearly. When he was born, he dropped into my hand. ...at the vets I cried like I've never done before.

Remi was later in life after kids getting older and pheasants about gone. This hunt was at a NVR on a nice windy day. I am on an Island when I drop a triple on ducks. Without thinking I yell fetch, he chooses the one in the tules, once the action in there gets hot I know he’s on it, out he comes – slams on a heel with the bird, but he’s sitting backward looking at the 2nd bird behind me in the water – fetch, he’s back in seconds with the second bird – now he has no clue where the 3rd bird is. I line him up, back, he retrieves the 3rd bird. His first triple retrieve, with a blind.

I am older now, without a dog, life is not the same.
 

thekillerofmallard

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