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A Tribute To The Versatile Breeds

 
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Baron
Junior
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Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 54

PostPosted: 11/07/03, 6:04 pm    Post subject: A Tribute To The Versatile Breeds Reply with quote

Three weeks ago I was hunting birds out west in a variety of conditions and types of cover. When we hunted pheasants in CRP fields and in the heavy cover along ditches and creeks, the dogs worked at close to moderate ranges. When we hunted sharptails and Huns on the open prairies, the dogs opened up and hunted at ranges of 100 – 400+ yards. And, when we jump shot ducks from potholes, we would leave the dogs either in the truck or on a down command, sneak up on the ponds, shoot a couple of ducks (if we were lucky), then bring the dogs up to make blind retrieves on the downed birds.

Last weekend, back at home in MI, I hunted ducks in the morning for a few hours with the dogs sitting quietly in the blind. We got 5 ducks and alternated retrieves with the dogs. Later in the day, we hunted ruffed grouse, and the dogs instinctively shortened their range to about 50 – 60 yards to handle the thick cover. We moved 4 birds (the dogs pointed 3), but, unfortunately, no one managed to bag one.

With all the different types of hunting opportunities available to hunters in the US, I want a dog that is capable of handling just about anything. That is why I love the versatile breeds (GWPs, GSPs, Weims, etc.). They have the ability to “shift gears” and adjust their hunting style to suite a variety of game and conditions. They may not be the best at anything, but they’re pretty good at just about everything!

Hope you all are having a great hunting season!
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Keith
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Joined: 27 Dec 2002
Posts: 163

PostPosted: 11/10/03, 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After spending several seasons with both labs and wirehairs a few things become obvious. Wirehairs can compete with labs duck hunting in all but the most extreme conditions but labs contribute nothing to a quail hunt and to be honest are in the way. I just finished another opening weekend quail hunt with 2 wirehairs and a lab (and I have hunted with several labs). My wirehairs found all the birds and got all but one of the retrieves. The lab was way out of his element and it showed. I also like the wirehairs tracking abilities. I have one dog that is a better tracker than the other and she can really find the quail.
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Baron
Junior
Junior


Joined: 30 May 2003
Posts: 54

PostPosted: 11/11/03, 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no doubt in my mind that a good GWP will easily out shine a Lab when it comes to versatility. This is not a slam against Labs. When it comes to retrieving from water in rough, cold, extreme conditions, a good Lab is hard to beat (unless, of course, you have a Chessie). They are more specialized and do a great job at what they were bred for. However, if you want to hunt upland birds, rabbits, and need a dog that can track, as well as handle hunting waterfowl in more moderate conditions, even a good Lab will end up taking a back seat to a good GWP.
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