Saturday, September 30, 2017

My dog's better than your dog.

Remember that add on T.V. many years back. "My dog's better than your dog." That's how upland bird hunters feel about their dog or dogs. I had an opportunity to hunt with a friends dog last week and a few things happened that made me think about that jingle.

All of my dogs have always hunted together, in fact I've always used the older dogs to help train their future hunting partners. It has worked well for me and they have always learned to honor and share retrieves from each other. But with Riley's short life, Jake has never hunted with another dog. He's shared the back seat with other dogs on the way to hunts but we always head out in different directions.

A hunting partner of mine had to go on a business trip and asked if I would watch Fergus for a few days until he returned. He said he thought he'd hunt for me and gave me permission to take him on the hill with Jake and I. We had location collars so the fear of losing his dog was lessened some but I had no idea of how the two dogs would hunt together on the hill. I was about to be entertained with the thrill of hunting with two dogs once again.

From the moment we started I was in dog heaven. That's a perfect pun. Both boys headed off with noses high in search of upland birds. The first thing I noticed was the difference in range. Fergus, a Munsterlunder (hopefully spelled right), ranged a little closer than Jake and was usually in sight while Jake disappeared over the ridges. I have to admit that my aching body kind of liked the closer range but by the end of the day Jake had two more finds than Fergus. The first point was with both dogs at the same point and I had no idea who made first contact but they held in the rocks until I flushed the chukars and dropped one.
At the shot both the boys were in hot pursuit of the downed bird. Once again I was filled with anticipation of what was about to happen when the dogs got to the bird. I was pleasingly surprised as Fergus showed up with the bird in his mouth and Jake was headed for another find.
Once again the strange dog gave me a surprise. He held the bird until I took it from his mouth and praised him. I don't know what Jeff's command to drop is but that is all I could come up with. There was no chance of a cripple hitting the ground and a new chase starting. Way back when, I use to make my brittanies deliver to hand but somehow over the years I decided that wasn't quite so important and now if Jake gets the bird within a step I'm happy. I have to admit that it was especially nice since Fergus is tall and I didn't even have to bend over.

Fergus had several points, as did Jake, and a few times we couldn't come up with birds but both dogs held well until I moved to the front.
The other great compliment to Fergus was his honor. I don't know if Jake ever had a chance to honor but I never saw him honor and I also never saw him bust one of Furgus's points. Fergus had several honors and one from about 75 yards.
The hunt was a real pleasure and it brought back some fond memories of hunting with two and some times three dogs. There is nothing like walking out in front of the boys and shooting a couple of chukars and than having two dogs bringing two separate birds back to you.
By the end of the hunt I was tickled with both dogs and the way they hunted together. They both have great qualities and I hope to hunt them together again some day. I'm still interested if Jake will honor. It's usually a natural habit they have but you never know for sure until you see it. As pleasurable as it was to hunt with Fergus, my dog is still better. Why? Because he's mine.

A few side notes. Conner had his first chukar hunt with Jake and me last week and his shotgun skills or as good as ever. We found plenty of birds and it was a pleasure to have him take on some of those uphill points while I stayed back.
I am still seeing lot's of chukars but finally saw my first huns of the season. The covey had only eight birds and the one I shot seemed like it was probably a June bird. 
Look at the green up on this last picture. Very good green up for this time of the year. The birds are already scattered making it even that much funner. Good luck.


Chukarhunter50 said...

Picked up a 2 yr old small munsterlander this summer. She's a work in progress. But she hold some great points and retrieves to hand. I will admit I'm seeing birds i used to typically walk past. She is new to this game, but potential is amazing. And a great family dog too. The dog in your pics is a large munsterlander and I have heard good things about them.. Not related strangely to small munsterlaunders.

Jteasdale said...

This is funny to me I have 4 dogs and when people ask which one is the best I can not say one is better than the other because all have different styles all find birds all point birds all retrieve birds all are obedient what can I say? Pointers & shorthairs are The best.

Larry Semmens said...

Great post Larry! So fun to see the dogs work. Can hardly wait until I get to do some chukar hunting!

Kirk Moore said...

Loved the couple years running 2 dogs together.