Need a Gun Dog for a Day?

#1Gunner

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Need a gun dog for a day? Willing to trade some duck hunting intel for fly fishing or gun dog training intel? Read on. My 6 y.o. black lab is fully trained for duck hunting and is looking for his first taste of real action. I trained him myself since he was 8 weeks old using a series of Sport Dog sponsored YouTube videos, a lot of time, and a lot of patience. To be honest it kills me that I've never taken him duck hunting, or been duck hunting myself for that matter. I just always appreciated the level of obedience and the companionship of a well trained waterfowl dog. He takes commands in the field/water like a hunting champion and I can't wait to finally see the years of training be put to use.

I come from a family of anglers, not hunters, so when it comes to hunting I've had to do all the leg work myself. It's been a slow process so some mentorship would be much appreciated. I'm not looking for any of your duck hunting secrets... just some good people who have all the really expensive gear I can't afford and are willing to share some knowledge. In return, my dog will fetch all the ducks you can shoot.
 

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First off... Welcome aboard! Next, in what general area do ya wish to hunt?
 

HNTFSH

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Need a gun dog for a day? Willing to trade some duck hunting intel for fly fishing or gun dog training intel? Read on. My 6 y.o. black lab is fully trained for duck hunting and is looking for his first taste of real action. I trained him myself since he was 8 weeks old using a series of Sport Dog sponsored YouTube videos, a lot of time, and a lot of patience. To be honest it kills me that I've never taken him duck hunting, or been duck hunting myself for that matter. I just always appreciated the level of obedience and the companionship of a well trained waterfowl dog. He takes commands in the field/water like a hunting champion and I can't wait to finally see the years of training be put to use.

I come from a family of anglers, not hunters, so when it comes to hunting I've had to do all the leg work myself. It's been a slow process so some mentorship would be much appreciated. I'm not looking for any of your duck hunting secrets... just some good people who have all the really expensive gear I can't afford and are willing to share some knowledge. In return, my dog will fetch all the ducks you can shoot.
Curious post. You have a 6 year old Lab trained to be a waterfowl retriever yet you've never hunted waterfowl and trained using utubes.

No criticism here, just interesting. How did you train with birds, live flyers, multiple guns, working birds over dekes, etc?
 

#1Gunner

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Curious post. You have a 6 year old Lab trained to be a waterfowl retriever yet you've never hunted waterfowl and trained using utubes.

No criticism here, just interesting. How did you train with birds, live flyers, multiple guns, working birds over dekes, etc?
I realize how it sounds and expected some skepticism from the group, so no hurt feelings here. I'm sure there are plenty of kinks to work out in the scenarios you mentioned. We haven't done much training with birds, and no ducks yet. I've only used duck scent on bumpers/dummy launchers, and when I shoot a bonus grouse while bow hunting I'll bring one home and let him retrieve it a few times. Multiple guns and birds over dekes doesn't seem like it should be a problem. I force him on blinds and do poison birds all the time on land and in water with no issues. I am curious how he would respond in a live flyer scenario, that seems like the biggest wild card to me. He's a quick learner though... I taught him how to fetch beers out of the fridge in about 15 minutes which has come in very handy haha.

Just like everything else we've worked on, success either comes naturally, or else I need to figure out a way to break things down into baby steps. Once he makes the association to accomplish the task at hand, its game on. That said, I've learned that setting your dog up for success is key. I image he would be pretty damn confused if there were multiple shooters, multiple dogs, and a bunch of live flyers right off the bat. I also thought he would be confused on how to open a refrigerator door, so sometimes he surprises me. I assure you he has dumb days too, and sometimes it seems like I'm not even working with the same dog. When that happens I find its best to just keep him excited, don't overcorrect, and hope his brain is working the next day.
 

HNTFSH

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At the risk of sounding preachy (because I appreciate guys who are really trying hard to train a good dog of any kind) you either need to find a training group in HRC or AKC hunt tests and get the dog (and you) experience there AND/OR find a buddy, get your licenses and let him shoot (birds or not - mock set-ups) while you handle to dog. Take bumpers, have a thrower hidden, etc.

Opening the fridge for beers is fine but you've got a lot of gaps after 6 years.

If you HAD a spot for birds, guys would be happy to join and spend their time both helping you and the dog and repaid by a decent hunt. But at this point you and the dog are liabilities. Might be some retired guys with land, clubs, etc. that will bite but I wouldn't.

Have seen several Hunt Test dogs at senior level + who were owned by non hunters (never hunted the dog) and they're all excited until they actually saw their dog in a real hunting situation.
 

#1Gunner

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At the risk of sounding preachy (because I appreciate guys who are really trying hard to train a good dog of any kind) you either need to find a training group in HRC or AKC hunt tests and get the dog (and you) experience there AND/OR find a buddy, get your licenses and let him shoot (birds or not - mock set-ups) while you handle to dog. Take bumpers, have a thrower hidden, etc.

Opening the fridge for beers is fine but you've got a lot of gaps after 6 years.

If you HAD a spot for birds, guys would be happy to join and spend their time both helping you and the dog and repaid by a decent hunt. But at this point you and the dog are liabilities. Might be some retired guys with land, clubs, etc. that will bite but I wouldn't.

Have seen several Hunt Test dogs at senior level + who were owned by non hunters (never hunted the dog) and they're all excited until they actually saw their dog in a real hunting situation.
I appreciate the feedback and will take your advice into consideration. I agree, participating in some hunt tests sounds beneficial. I'm actually going out tomorrow morning with a couple friends that I didn't know were into waterfowl until recently. Apparently they were willing to take on the liability...idiots! ;)

I'll try and post a video if possible or report the results.
 

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