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Bobwhite Quail, Self Training Work

 
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wiscobob
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PostPosted: 02/16/04, 5:58 pm    Post subject: Bobwhite Quail, Self Training Work Reply with quote

Ok as a novice I am getting ready to train my pup. I have read Joan Bailey’s book and it makes a lot of sense to me so thank you to all who suggested this book. My question is this.

I live in Northeastern Wisconsin (Oshkosh) I have a friend that owns a farm and he has 85 Acres that he just leaves in CRP. Meaning he doesn’t farm the field anymore and just lets it go wild in native grasses. (Gets a tax break on the land) He has agreed to let me work my pup there. I was thinking of building a "Johnny House" for Bobwhite quail so that I can work my dog on them and then hopefully have them return to the Johnny house to be released again and the dog worked on them again.

Has anyone ever done this up here? Any advice on how to do this would be much appreciated. I have read many things but I am looking for someone with actual experience. Will they recall during the summer or not until closer to fall? Any advice you all have would be helpful since I am truly a beginner.

I have read you can get a dog training license that would hopefully make this legal, I need to do more checking obviously I will make sure this is all legal.

Lastly what are all of your thoughts on scent product placed on dummies in lieu of the dead game that is talked about in Helping Gun Dogs Train Themselves? Another great thing about this property is that it has a large DNR dug scrape on it that would be great for water work. I am wondering if a hidden duck scented dummy is acceptable in leiu of a dead or wing clipped duck. Or should I get the duck?

Thanks
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KYSER
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PostPosted: 02/16/04, 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old of pup will you be working? Are there enough wild birds there that you wouldn't need recall quail? I've looked into and had some quail, built a recall pen, not a Johnny house, and while I was attempting to teach the quail how to recall they taught themselves how to go through the recall funnel backwards, did I feel stupid.
Scents on training dummies are probably not real necessary. If my dog brings me a stick I can throw it into a pile of sticks and he'll bring the same one back. The information I have, said some trainers think it causes crowding on real birds, but it was skeptical that it smelled enough like the real thing to be a problem. It advised if you were going to use it, pick a scent you dont plan on hunting with your dog. If you only hunt upland game, use duck scent. This is only what information I've read, not expierenced.
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wiscobob
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PostPosted: 02/17/04, 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyser

I am thinking I will start the work on Birds at about 3-4 Months. And no there is reall not many wild birds there. I worked my old lab over it a number of times. We have shot many mallards out of the pot-hole but have never jumped a phesant. And believe me it is great cover for birds. Just nothing there. That is why I am considering the quail so I can get her on birds three four times a week.

I have great walking areas around my house where she can run and search but again the wild bird population right here in my area is low. There are some but they are few and far between. So hopefully that explains why I am looking into the Quail thing.

Bob
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PostPosted: 02/17/04, 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might also consider pigeons. They are great birds for starting out a pup. I start my pups with a combination of birds; pigeons, pen raised quail and wild quail. I first get them into wild birds and pigeons to get their pointing instincts going good. Just taking them to a field and letting them chase anything, even rabbits and tweety birds will get them pointing. Then I use pigeons to put more polish on them. After they are good with wild quail I will sometimes put them on pen raised quail. I can get a lot of good work with these pen raised birds easier than with wild quail when I am hunting. I work on backing and retrieving to hand and teaching them to leave the dog alone that is retrieving. All easier for me with pen raised birds than with wild birds when I too am obsessed with hunting.
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PostPosted: 02/18/04, 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob,
3 or four times a week? that is to much IMO. What I think you need to do is find at least 3 different places that you can run the dog off lead. Then rotate through them in a random order each day. Then with pigeons, homers if you can have a coop, place them out in the field you are going to go to. Bring the dog in from a different direction so it won't learn too early to follow your scent to the bird. Then by rotating the fields and only putting birds out at most twice a week the dog will think that there may be a bird and search the field for one. He won't find one every time but he will search for them. Do your yard work so when the dog is in the field and finds a bird it knows all the commands already. If you can get remote launchers then you can have total control of the situation and you can put the birds out hours before you bring the dog through. Wink
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wiscobob
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PostPosted: 02/18/04, 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dennis thanks for the advice. I have lots of questions but I will try to stay focused on the thread here.
So a bird launcher is an essential piece of equipment then? Some advice on how to use a launcher would be helpful. It would be easy to combine with the Quail. And homing pidgons and a coop would not be a big problem to get set up. I would just need a source for homers. Keep the advice coming. Wish someone had some experience with keeping Quail.
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PostPosted: 02/18/04, 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why I like Lary Muellers book so much. It has been the only manual that helps you plan, care for and build johnny houses and pidgeon coops. How to find launchers on a budget. I also liked getting the puppy started at 8 weeks. Dont take this out of contects but with his program my pup had a few birds shot over him which he retieved straight back when he was around 12-14 weeks old. My pup is no phenom or even remotely steady yet but I was impressed at his natural ability at such a young age. His program has you stop bird work at 4 months old because you have already instilled the love of birds and at this stage he will start tring to do things his way. That is exactly what happend for me, my pup quit holding points and started flash pointing an pouncing. Bird work is delayed until a year old. However, he does advocate hunting them the first year, just dont expect a lot and never shoot a bird that wasnt pointed. By the way the birds were planted pidgeons, not wild birds. Even if you dont like his methods there is a lot of bird care and housing information. I built PCV launchers and a recall cage just from the photos in his book.
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PostPosted: 02/19/04, 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First I don't know who Dennis is unless you having a conversation with yourself. Shocked

A Bird launcher is not an essential piece of equipment. It is nice to have and can prevent a dog from catching birds which can set you back. I have 3 now and didn't have any when my dog was a pup.

The launcher is quite simple. When the dog points you just wait until he finally decides to try to get the bird and push the button and the bird is launched. You must first condition the dog to the sound of the launcher so that it is not afraid of it. Put a bumper that the dog really likes in it and pop it with the dog 10 yards away. Your dog will probably flinch at the sound first and then see the bumper flying. Once the bumper hits let the dog get it. Do this closer and closer until you can do it with dog two steps from the launcher. When using it in the field you need to know how close the dog is to the launcher so that the dog isn't hit by the arms as it opens. Anticipation is the key to using the launcher correctly.

I had a quail barrel for my dog and kept it on the edge of a field I had permission to use. I wouldn't do it again I would just use quail and pigeons in a launcher next time. I like pigeons cause the fly great and are easy to keep.

I know someone who has homers and he will sell you the peepers, these are the young birds who have not flown out side of the coop yet, if he has any. I will contact him in the next few days.
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PostPosted: 02/19/04, 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tom, sorry I called you by your brothers name. Let me know on the peepers, I can get a coop built and ready easily.

You said you would not use Quail again, how come? I do have a good source for Quail and from what I have read many people use this method. I get what you are saying about using the launcher to get the dog steady on point. But I thought just letting the quail fly from the coup into the field and let the dog work them would be great exposure to birds. Even if he makes mistakes, he will get rewarded for his search.

Kyser, I will buy and read Speed Train Your Own Gun Dog, thanks for the advice. I am a bit torn on the concept of how early to begin formal work with the dog. I am in agreement with alot of what Joan Bailey says about condition the dog and wait until it matures to finish it. But so many trainers start earlier. Is it all about reading the dog and figuring out what she is ready for?
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PostPosted: 02/20/04, 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't use quail again because if you don't have a lock on your entrance funnel a preditor will get your birds sooner or later. So what that means is two trips to the field. If it is at your house then no big deal but if you have to drive back out to close the door right before dark then it is a hassel. But homers fly back and 99% of the time will not get caught by the dog. Then when the dog is steady and you want to keep his interest up and reward him for not moving, you put a feril pigeon in and shoot it for him. Plus you can train stop to flush easier with pigeons than with quail and you don't loose the birds but from hawks which can be dealt with...IMO

I will do allot of things the same with my next dog but allot I will do smarter also...
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PostPosted: 02/20/04, 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wisco,
Muellers program is not formal training at 8 weeks. It is conditioning to things that will be trained later. Does any of the trainign material you have now teach the pup how to use his nose by trailing a scent in the grass to a reward? Just little fun things to do with the pup until he's about
four months old, the more serious stuff starts at a year of age.
He also warns about obiedience before bird/field work.
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PostPosted: 02/21/04, 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyser, I have read a bunch of stuff about turning on a dogs nose, drags of goodies. Use water to make a gravy in his food bowl and drip a trail of drops to where you stashed it behind a tree. I like muellers method though, and I will likely use some of that. I think I will combine alot of what is in Joan Baileys book and add in Muellers puppy training. I think I have a pretty good feel for how I want to approach it.

As I get ready for my pup the big question I have is Pigeons or Quail. Tom has me sort of sold on pigeons and a launcher. Combine that with joining a NAVHDA chapter and I think that hopefully will get my pup enough exposure to birds prior to the first hunting season.

Tom do you have any information on the peepers for me? If you want e-mail me a name and number and I will contact him directly. Let me know or I will keep looking. I have lots of sources for barn pigeons but homers would be nice. Thanks e-mail is bobjr@rjalbright.com
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