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Location: Pocatello, ID
Joined: 09/23/2006
Posts: 51
Pheasants and dogs

Hi guys. Ive mostly been a big game hunter. This year filled my elk and deer tag early so a buddy of mine talked me into going pheasant hunting with him. I AM SO HOOKED. He has a brittany and we hunted the WMA in Idaho. The action was fast and furious. I had my limit of two in a matter of a couple of hours. My questions are: Does anyone know of any place to hunt pheasant besides the WMA (gets a bit crowded sometimes) and: My buddy uses brittanys but they seem to run to far ahead for my liking, is there any other breed that would make a good pheasant (or grouse) dog. Im not necessarily looking for a pointer or retriever specifically, just want a dog to kick up some birds for me without being two hundred yards ahead of me. Thanks guys, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Think How about a black lab?

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Pheasants and dogs

Well sir, anybirds your dog might miss, you'll walk up. I hunt pointing dogs because I really like to see them out on a string. Of course you said you limited out in a couple hours.

A couple hundred yds is awful close for me but actually unless your going to watch a dog first and shoot a few birds second, 200 yds is a good range for a pointing dog.

If you want a closer dog, you might concider an English Springer Spaniel. Just de damn sure it come's from field lines.

Someday if you want a real hoot, find someone with horses and a couple wide ranging pointers, nothing like it! Thumbs up

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Location: British Columbia
Joined: 08/27/2006
Posts: 23
Pheasants and dogs

Can't help you with hunting spots, but maybe with the dog. We always had brittanys growing up, the first one guys would come from far and wide to hunt over him, be it pheasants, ducks, geese or grouse. Naturally they don't live forever, the next 2 we had where complete idiots.

A buddy of mine has a german shorthair, awesome dog, at 2 years old was rock solid. You just never know what you are going to get, personally I still love brittanys.

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Location: Pocatello, ID
Joined: 09/23/2006
Posts: 51
Pheasants and dogs

Thanks guys for the input. Someone told me that springers have a tendency to get tempermental after a few years. I dont know. My buddys brittanys are self trained, he just let them figure it out themselves. Ive heard alot of good things about brittanys. I had a black lab mix once and took her out with me on hikes before. She would run around smelling everything but would never go out further than a 100 yards or so. Thats why I was wondering if a lab would make a good upland dog.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasants and dogs

My personal favorite is the Golden Retriever - and I am biased. I personally like a dog I can keep close ... or ... if on chukar in open terrain, can let range a bit on scent but control before they flush. They are a very sensitive dog -and if you rag or are harsh on them you can ruin them. But if gentle and patient - they are great. They are not as strong as a lab. But strong enough. I am working with our one-year old Golden presently.

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Location: British Columbia
Joined: 08/27/2006
Posts: 23
Pheasants and dogs

Where I hunt pheasants, I have seen guys with Labs in there trucks. I have never hunted over one, I have a chocolate lab and she is a great dog, kinda wished I would have been into pheasants when I got her.

I have also heard that springers can get mean as they get older.

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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 100
Pheasants and dogs

I have nunted both Springer Spaniels and Brittanys. I currently have a Brittany. My Springer would not point. He would generally work about 15 yards in front. My Brittany works totally different. She will generally stay within 50 yards of me unless on a scent. The area that I hunt has a lot of birds that run when they hear hunters approaching. I have had my dog "track" pheasant for 300 yards before they stopped and she locked on point. I have a bell and a fluorescent orange vest for my dog. This is the only way I manage to keep track of her in the cover when she goes off on a scent.

I have had many people tell me that this is not how a dog should work, but, I rarely have a hunt where my dog doesn't put up birds.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Pheasants and dogs

I have a theory ...

I have raised only Golden retrievers. My first Golden would not point - but that was fine, even perfect, for the kind of hunting I was doing (chukar and waterfowl).

The last Golden (and perhaps the current) ... as it turns out - are pointing. The only difference (besides bloodline) that I can put together is that now we have cats. I don't think cats like being flushed - thus our dogs learn to point instead.

Thoughts anyone?

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Location: Pocatello, ID
Joined: 09/23/2006
Posts: 51
Pheasants and dogs

Thanks guys. Went out today (no dog yet Cry ) and got one pheasant. Man it sure is hard "being the dog" Big smile . This spring I am definately getting a dog, just not sure which breed yet. I watched a guy work his German Shorthair today and he did good for the hunter I was watching. Again, thanks guys.

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Joined: 12/04/2006
Posts: 39
Pheasants and dogs

Best pheasant huntin is for sure in SD, I hunt in Presho which is by chamberlin all the time, one weekend, or the 5 day lin. we hunted everyday, and THOUSANDS of bird, tons of roosters, (of course we got our limit of three each /9 guys within 4 hours)
so go to SD the best pheasant huntin by far

For ur dog issue, I own 2 choc. pointing labs. U can't get better, had a brittany, but like u said always want to hunt farer up, keep with the labs, pointing labs are great campanions I PROMISE!!! u will not be sorry, or even just a lab,
I would stay away from the blacks though, know many people that own them and they are all very hyper and constantly drool, I would go for either the choc. or yellow,
u can't go wrong with them, plus they make a great family dog too!!

good luck!!

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Pheasants and dogs

Three of the most hyper labs I ever saw were two yellow's, one I owned and one chocolate a girl friend owned years ago. Chocolate is a color phase and has little to do with the outcome of the dog. I strongly suspect that were you to find them as commonly as blacks and even yellows, you'd notice the same things. The chocolate and yellow colors are not used in trials as much probally as they are in much smaller numbers. There is no reason why either could not compete. I also think the hyperness of them started many years ago when owners started asking them to do everything. Which is fine but unexceptable for a pureist, which I admit to being. Nothing marks falls and thake handling to blind falls like a lab. The Chesepeke will take weather that will put a lab to bed. The Springer Spaniel will cover ground faster than any Lab and it's speed will keep many birds from running out on you. The pointing dogs will cover much more ground than the other breeds and you will actually have to walk less for the birds.

Each breed has it's strengths and it's shortcomings. Figure out what you want in a dog, what your willing to accept and determine how much style you want. Each type excells in these area's overshadowing the other breeds bred for one thing but used for another. Then within each type are breeds that excell in that purpose. The golden and Chesepeke have not been born that can stay with a GOOD lab at the retrieving business concidering handleability, speed and style. Nor has the pointing dog been born that can stay with the GOOD English Pointer, but few people will really appreciate waht the Pointer does.

As a pointer, I have never seen a lab that had enough speed or intensity to hold a bird several hundred yards off from a hunter. And I for one believe that it does a discredit to ANY breed to promote it as something other than what it is.
I can guarentee that all dogs can retrieve, none do it like the retrieving breeds, exceptional examples not with standing. I have had some very fine retrieveing shorthairs and springer's, none were the equal of my lab's. I've watched many labs plod around looking for upland game birds, none were the equal of the spaniels. I have had exceptionally fast spaniels that were absolutely worthless if asked to preform at pointer ranges.

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