Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If you want access to members only forums on HSO, you will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member. 😀

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
pheasantpro10

First Hunting Trip!!

Recommended Posts

Could I get your hunting advise for a new puppy on his first hunt. My lab is now 3 months old and retrieving pretty good now but I'm concerned about the gun fire.I have shot a cap gun the last few nights around him as he retrieves and doesn't flinch one bit. Do you guy's think that's good or should I step up to .22 then .410? What are your thoughts.. Thanks in advance. My son has all his stuff layed out ready for opener😀 This is his first year! Good luck to all who hit the fields. Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now wait a minute!! A THREE month old Lab and you are expecting him to go out and perform? Of course he is retrieving at that age.....it's bred into him. He doesn't have a clue WHY he is doing it. Ha Ha!

If the dog has shown no nervousness when you shoot a cap gun or .22 he may be fine. But BEFORE you take him hunting try something a little louder right when you throw a dummy for him. If he ignores that you may be fine.

Do NOT expect a lot from this little dog...he is going to be wound up like a top and will simply run wild.

It's great to have a new pup and to watch the first hunt but 3-months is awfully young. Just take it easy....watch him...don't expect miracles and who knows....he may just find a bird and run right out and grab it when you knock it down.

Have fun....sounds like it's going to be a great opener for you and your son and your new pal.

Easy. Patience. Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two grown retrievers, one golden one lab. As I type this I have a black lab female laying at my feet. She is 12 weeks old tomorrow aka about 3 months old, she weighs about 16 pounds and is a very nice puppy. I am going up north the next two weekends to the cabin and she's coming with to hang out with us and we are going to work on some longer range shooting around her to get her acclimated etc. She has no shot at doing what you are thinking and I don't mean to be harsh.

It's great you and your son are fired up for the season but just bring the pup with and let it be...a pup. Hopefully you'll shoot a rooster or two and let him play with the bird a bit and have some fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely understand he's not going to be out ahead zig zagging in front of us, I was just wanting your input on shooting around him. I figured he'd be right at my ankles for most of the time just wanted to bring him with just wasn't sure if he's to young or wait till next year. Thanks for your comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you are starting off on the right foot with the cap gun. Now go to something like a .22 or larger pistol. My bet is that he ignores them IF you fire them as you toss a dummy.

I don't want to rain on your parade but three months is awful young for that little guy. I guess we all have our ideas about that and I HAVE hunted with five and six month old Labs and had a great time....but was not expecting much and got more and was overjoyed by it.

I'm guessing serious dog guys will come right out and tell you it's too young. But like everything else that can depend on the dog. If it was me I would not do it. But I totally understand your enthusiasm to get the dog and your son out there in the field.

Try some more shooting around and behind him and if he ignores it at least you know you will not make him gunshy in the field.

Have fun. It's always a great day when you DO decide to hunt the dog. I well recall the first day with my late girl Annie; a preserve owner and I took her out at five months. She worked a bird, he dropped it in heavy stuff and then we stood there waiting and waiting and out of the tall stuff and leaping over the short stuff came that little girl dog with that bird in her mouth and we both stood there with mouths open and eyes misted watching her, ears flying and eyes all lit up as she brought in her first bird. I don't know who was more proud....Annie, me or my pal the shooter! Ha Ha Ha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I appreciate all the info, and what a awesome story!! Maybe I'll just keep working on his retrieving and maybe hit a game farm in the spring. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could I get your hunting advise for a new puppy on his first hunt. My lab is now 3 months old and retrieving pretty good now but I'm concerned about the gun fire.I have shot a cap gun the last few nights around him as he retrieves and doesn't flinch one bit. Do you guy's think that's good or should I step up to .22 then .410? What are your thoughts.. Thanks in advance. My son has all his stuff layed out ready for opener😀 This is his first year! Good luck to all who hit the fields. Thanks again

My lab was 5-6 months old for our first hunt. He did really well, but I kept the hunts short.

He also was acclimated to shooting by accident. I brought him to Game Fair. I didn't know that Tom Knapp was shooting right next to where we were standing. He was doing his trick where he'd throw up 9-10 clays and shoot them all. Well, let's just say that Tom Knapp broke in my dog to shotgun fire! Not many can say that!!! It ended up working out just fine. I was lucky...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you do if he starts to show fright around your gunfire STOP! There's a big difference from a single cap gun fire and .22 shot and a volley of shot gun fire. Go slow and hope all of you have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just took my 5 month old out this past weekend to a game farm. It was amazing watching him work. Don't wait till spring but dec jan would work. I bought a couple of chuckers a month ago to work w my pup and I think that helps a ton too. Then you get to dictate the trail etc. good luck and enjoy the pup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For gunshot acclimation, I had someone hold my pup about 50 yards away, shot a .22 as I threw dummy, let him retrieve, then repeated step as I closed the gap by 10 yards per time until the gap was closed completely. Then I repeated the process with a 20 ga, then a 12, making sure he didnt get flinchy as i went. Seemed to work well. At that age, he will likely be more hassle then help, so be patient. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Expectations of the young pup should be low, but that certainly doesnt mean they cannot do very very well.

My last dog was 3 months old ON opening day of pheasant season. I was just hoping I didnt have to carry him in the game bag all day. I was eager to hit the field with a buddy who had a lab that was trained to the tune of several thousand dollars so again, zero expectations for my little pup.

The first area we hunted was pretty small made up of mostly small ditches so we split up.

Well, my 3 month old pup pointed 23 birds (different birds) in the first hour. I shot two and though the retrieves certainly needed some work, that little 3 month old that I was worried about carrying in the game bag all day sure impressed.

Dont set your expectations too high and you might be pheasantly surprised! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely understand he's not going to be out ahead zig zagging in front of us, I was just wanting your input on shooting around him. I figured he'd be right at my ankles for most of the time just wanted to bring him with just wasn't sure if he's to young or wait till next year. Thanks for your comments.

One thing I hate is a dog that wants to follow me thru the tough stuff, tall grass, cattails, etc. The best way to teach that is to get them out in the field too young, they tire easily, the next thing you know they're following you. Then as they get older and the going gets tough, hey its easier to follow the master thru the tough going - NOT!! I want my dogs out front unless I've told them to heel.

Keep your hunts short and when they think they're going to follow you, kennel them up into the back of the truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO 3 months is too young, in field trials a puppy is under 2 yrs old.3 months is an infant. Continue with training this year, hunt next year. I personally hunt with and have trialed 3 field bred springers and never hunted with them until 6 mo old. Training with gun fire starts at 8 wks with clip wing pigeons. Each pup is different , some progress much faster and can handle that close gunfire, some need more patience. Good luck whatever you decide!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies... I think I'm just gonna keep working with him and maybe if we don't have a ton of snow in December I might take a little trip and see what happens. Really appreciate everyone's advise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WAY to young, the Neg. way out way the positives that can come from hunting a 12 week old puppy, honestly won't hunt them until they are over a year old, and that is even a stretch. Bring him along let him hang out, ect. but keep him in the truck during the hunt..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sure some of the concerns are learning bad habits, getting gun shy by a large volume of close range shots, following people through the thick stuff instead of making their own way.

I am not a professional trainer/breeder by any means, but I think if you go about it with an ounce of common sense you will do more good than harm a pup by taking them out.

Obviously you cannot head straight to the cattails or have any expectation of hunting the entire day.

Take your time, watch how the pup is handling the added work, the situations they get into and roll from there.

Like I said, my last pup had his 3 month birthday on the openning of pheasant season years ago. He turned into a great dog, no issues or bad habits.

Every single one of my dogs that I have trained have been hunting before they were 1. I remember one pup that at the beginning of the season he wouldnt range out in front of me, but I got him to go between my buddy and I. By the end of the season we each shot over 25 birds that season over him.

I would say taking a pup into a duck blind or duck hunting when they are very young may be a mistake, but pheasant hunting I really dont see it that way in my experience. Its always worked out for me and Im not that lucky of a person. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sure some of the concerns are learning bad habits, getting gun shy by a large volume of close range shots, following people through the thick stuff instead of making their own way.

I am not a professional trainer/breeder by any means, but I think if you go about it with an ounce of common sense you will do more good than harm a pup by taking them out.

Obviously you cannot head straight to the cattails or have any expectation of hunting the entire day.

Take your time, watch how the pup is handling the added work, the situations they get into and roll from there.

Like I said, my last pup had his 3 month birthday on the openning of pheasant season years ago. He turned into a great dog, no issues or bad habits.

Every single one of my dogs that I have trained have been hunting before they were 1. I remember one pup that at the beginning of the season he wouldnt range out in front of me, but I got him to go between my buddy and I. By the end of the season we each shot over 25 birds that season over him.

I would say taking a pup into a duck blind or duck hunting when they are very young may be a mistake, but pheasant hunting I really dont see it that way in my experience. Its always worked out for me and Im not that lucky of a person. :-)

I couldn't agree more. I to, am no professional trainer. I have always had labs and I would take them out before they were a year old. I didn't expect much, and to me that's the important factor and difference of opinion. I'm ok with my dog making mistakes. My dogs have always been good hunters, but I always keep in mind that they are not robots. To me I have more fun watching them, then filling my game bag. Im sure many would disagree with me, but I say take him out for a couple hours and let him run around, just don't expect to much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One concern for me would be this. Most hunters have had skunk and raccoon encounters with their dogs,an adult or at least physically more mature dog can protect itself,a little 3 mo old pup would get its rear end kicked thus making a good experience a negative. There is a very prominent springer breeder in northern Minnesota who doesn't even send their pups home until I believe 12 weeks because that 8-12 weeks is such a crucial learning age. Anything negative during this time can have lasting consequences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The NEG at this age is Gun fire with a large group, a crippled rooster, getting lost ect. let them be what they are at 12 weeks PUPPY'S.. Do a solid job on the basics and consentrate on next year.......

I know most people won't do this but I can at least say I tried.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×