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lenny7

Grouse Hunting with a puppy?

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I have a 5.5 month old lab that just finished up a 2 week bird & gun intro at a nearby kennel. He's nuts about birds and is doing very well. His OB is very good (for a pup) with no distraction. With distractions...well we're working on that.

I was thinking about taking him up grouse hunting either this weekend or next, however a recently talked to a guy who grouse hunts quite a bit and he cautioned me about taking a young pup up there that hasn't been collar conditioned. He said it's too easy to loose track of your dog and if he goes after a flying bird, he may lose track of me. he suggested waiting until next year when he was collar conditioned and his OB was better.

I haven't grouse hunted in over 20 years and this is my first dog so I'm fairly ignorant about taking a dog with me. Any thoughts?

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Thats pretty young. Took mine grouse first time last fall. It was all new to him. Think he got on some deer scent and ran over the hill, had e-collar on him, but it didnt stop him. Found him 2 hours later walking down the road as I was heading home. I thought he was a goner , very fortunate. He's more trained now and listens to me better.

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Buy a check cord 50 feet long and get the pup in the woods. I just bought another 6 month old setter this weekend and I will be running her everyday in the woods. Keep the the training sessions short (30 min) at first and then slowly increase the time as the dog matures. Dont expect to much from the dog. Remember its still a puppy.

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I have had my pup out since he was 3 1/2 months old grouse hunting with me. I have just had to keep an extra close eye on him. When he takes off after grouse sent, I take after it with him. He normally comes when called or at least stops so I can catch up to him. He did loose track of me a couple times and I would call or blow the whistle when I could still see him and he would run a different way thinking he was comming to me. From that I could definatly see the dog becoming disoriented easily when young.

I am still glad I took him out since he got a lot of bird contacts and seems to be putting it together. I think you would be fine as long as you keep a watchful eye on him..by next weekend the ground cover should be gone and most of the leaves so it will be a lot easier to keep track of the pup. I would maybe wait until the cover opens up and then get him out there and some birds in his mouth! grin

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Thanks for the input. I'm taking him to a game farm Wednesday to shoot some birds over him for the first time (for me anyway...trainer has already done that) and we'll see how he does. If he decides to take off in the open field, I probably won't take him grouse hunting, but if he's somewhat controllable, maybe I will. Perhaps start out slowly just by hanging out in the woods, and eventually heading down the trails.

Maybe I'll check out Gander Mountain on the way up and see if I can find a blaze dog vest for him to help me keep an eye on him.

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Take him grouse hunting and don't think twice about it.

Do you own a whistle? That is more of a need at this point than a collar. Blow the whistle and he shall return.

One other thing, DON"T PANIC if he does decide to get deeper in the woods to the point where you can not hear him. Remember, the dog does have a very good nose. As that nose allows him to find birds, it will also allow him to find you.

One thing that I do every time we are out, when she gets deeper and deeper in the woods I immediately stop walking and listen. Listen for the flush and then slowly walk in. Now it is your turn to help/reward the dog by shooting his prey.

GOOD LUCK & HAVE FUN!!!!

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I picked up the blaze orange vest for my choclate lab and it came in very handy. For one if there are other hunters out there it makes the pup more visable. There were 2 times we were out in front of the shack and he wondered off a bit but the vest made him stand out like a beacon. I would deffinitley invest the $10 to keep your pup safe and visable.

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Well I did bring Kody and my 10 year old son out grouse hunting last Sunday, but not for very long and we didn't see any grouse. We were up near Greenwood lake near the gunflint trail. It was further north than I originally planned but after seeing a forecast of rain, I took my friend up on his offer to let me use his cabin.

We got out for just 3 hours before the rain was too much for my son. Rain doesn't bother me but I don't want to turn my son off from hunting.

I pulled over where a narrow trail left the gravel road, got set up and started walking. We didn't see any birds, but we did see a porcupine, moose tracks, and wolf scat, and that kept my boy very interested. Thankfully I saw the porky before my dog did and was able to get him leashed up before he ran into a mouthful of pain.

Kody kept close enough to me that I never had to call him back. A couple times he caught the scent of something and we waited him out but nothing became of it. I did get him a blaze orange vest and a bell.

I don't know why the heck I haven't hunted grouse in over 20 years. The worst case is that you get a great walk in the woods. Best case is you down a few birds. It's a can't lose proposition. I'll have to do some reading up on it though, or tag along with someone who knows what they're doing and where to go because I was flying blind.

I can't wait to go again. On the way back to the cabin we saw a cow moose and two calves.

IMG_6050a.jpg

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