Wow, there is so much to consider, i think I opened up a can of worms. I guess Im gonna have to weigh the issues and go from there. Most important to me is a "friend for life". Im not into competition or have to have that perfect pointer. Thanks guys for everything, it has been a tremendous help.
I hunt upland birds about 4-5 days a week. I use pointing labs, I think that they are the total package. They will stay in range, cover ground very thoroughly, they have great noses, they point out the birds, then retrieve the shot bird. On top of all that they also are still great waterfowl dogs. I will never own another type of bird dog!
I hunt with English Pointers, but they think anywhere in the same county is in range. One fellow I hunt with uses German Wirehairs and they stay much closer (80-100yds). They retreive very well and he uses them for waterfowl as well. Great all around dogs.
check out the Large Munsterlanders, great family dogs and good birds dogs.
By breed they hunt closer the the handler then most breeds, my 6 month old runs about 150-200 FEET. which is good for me, as I tend to walk slower then most. Was with a trainer just theother day, he had two springers. When we where walking the field, his Springers tended to run further then my L.M. But that could be because mine is still a pup yet, but she was working the field hard, just not as far out as the springers.
I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I have hunted with spaniels and really like the energy that they have. English pointers are also great dogs so are german shorthair/wirehairs. I love labs , they are best all around dogs I think. But my favorite for pheasants is the Vizla also known as the hungarian pointer. These dogs have a ton of energy and they use it to run down birds. Very strong pointers . They love to hunt more than any dog I have ever seen and they try harder to please you. A trick my dad taught me is to take a wing with you when you go to pick a puppy. Put the wing in a bag and see if any of the puppies smell the wing in the bag. This will help to identify the pups with the best sense of smell. Next take the wing out and see if any respond , wave it a little put it on the floor and just watch how they interact with the wing. Dogs that are birdy will be interested in the wing. Fresh wings work the best.
I hope this helps you to find a new little friend that will lick your face and catch all the birds you drop. Good Luck
Get a border collie- they'll hunt all day and put the cows away when you get home,... then play fetch, chase the cat, wrestle with the kids, and bark at the coyotes at night. Talk about brains and energy!
I started this dog by playing fetch with a fozen roadkill quail...i praised her for showing interest and it was off to the races. She's hell on quail, but has trouble retieving pheasants.
One of the best bird dogs I ever hunted over was my uncle's german shepard. His name was Rex and thinking of that dog brings back so many fine memories from my youth that I could write a book about him. I even killed my 1st pheasant over that dog.
I've hunted over muts, raised a few german shorthair's, and hunted with black labs, and spaniel's. I don't think I've hunted with any bad dogs.....but I have hunted with some bad master's.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...