Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't cheat on your dog

I was out hunting the chukars again today and came upon a situation I thought I could address and help some of the young dog owners and hunters that are coming up.
After a couple of hours of hunting I acquired a new dog. It was a GSP and a good looking one at that. When I got him to come to me he had a dog collar on but no name or number. Just the collar. It wasn't long before I heard three shots and started working that way. Sure enough the shots came from the owner of the pooch. He was a young guy and said that Savage usually didn't stay away that long. He was calling for him and informed me he had just lost a bird back on the rim rock 100 yards or so away. We took the dogs and went back and found the bird.
I mentioned to him that he might think about putting a phone number on the collar in case the dog ever got lost and he thanked me for the advice as we parted. I watched Savage and the young man hunt as they headed back towards the river. His dog was working the hillside very well. At one point I think the dog was on point but I saw a covey of birds get up wild 100 yards or so above the dog. The man was oblivious to his dog because he could hear birds chuking on the rim rock edges and that's where he was headed. Sure enough at the sound of the shots his dog sprinted down the hill from a couple of hundred yards away to what I hope was a retrieve. The was the last I saw of the two.
I'm sure most of us have been in this situation before. My advice to this guy, had he asked, would have been to explain that hunting with a dog is a team thing. Wait for your dog to get back to you and then hunt the rocks together. Don't watch your dog go one way and then hunt in another direction. Your dog may be on point and waiting for you to come and do what you are supposed to do. If you go to him and there are no birds pointed,  the birds at the rim will still be there.
In short what I'm trying to say is that let your dog know what your plans are. It's not hard to do. If you are going in one direction don't all of the sudden go another way without your dog knowing  where you are headed. Wait until he comes back to you and then change directions. That way he'll be hunting with you instead of that other guy a half mile away.


Anonymous said...

For sure for sure. Usually the dog knows better than you do anyways! ;o)

larry szurgot said...

Boy, aint that the truth. How many times have I called my dogs back to retrieve a bird where I thought it should be and he shows up with it from 100 yards away.