THought to help the sport grow

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hunterw/newhobby
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THought to help the sport grow

Post by hunterw/newhobby » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:40 pm

Hello all,
Today I started mulling over an idea I have to help the decreasing population of upland hunters increase by a few new members. (just shooting this out there as an idea and am looking for some feedback) I am a midwesterner in my late twenties and got a late start to my hunting hobby. I have now developed a love for this hobby but realize the average age of the participants keeps increasing, which eventually will become bad for business. So I started to think what I could do to help.

The first (short term most of the time) idea that came to mind was take a kid hunting...I do that as often as possible, but my opinion is unless they are exposed to hunting early and often then it will become a short term phase and not a life long hobby.

My idea (genius or dumb, feel free to choose) is the following. My female GSP will be coming into heat in the next 3-4 months. I would then try and find a breeder/ kennel/ someone willing to let me breed to their male at a very discounted (free ideally) rate. This could be a donation from the person or a trade for a pick of a puppy, regardless, no cost to myself and in turn the puppy purchase price could be minimal. Once the puppies have arrived, actively search teenagers/ young adults who would love to get outside and train dogs but don't have the financial resources to buy a top breed puppy from a kennel/ breeder (my female isn't royally bred but has 9 FC's in her 3 generation pedigree). I would take care of all the vet work and feeding until they pick up their pup. The price of the pups would be my cost (vet/food/supplies) divided by the number of pups. This way they would be purchasing a serviceable gun dog at a very inexpensive price ( guessing below $75). Taking a kid hunting is one thing but giving him a tool to hunt with that they have worked with for hours and love, in my opinion, would severely increase the number of hunters that chase birds like ourselves regularly in the future.

I work with middle school students on a daily basis and the desire is there to hunt but the finances aren't. (I had the same problem when I was growing up) Please feel free to give me any CONSTRUCTIVE ideas that might improve my little brain child. This is just in the thought stage but hopefully, with wife approval, this idea will come to life and young people can feel the rush like I got this week when my dog pointed and retrieved her first two quail. I would also encourage you to think of new ways to bring people, not just kids, into our great hobby.
Sincerely
Ross
ps this is pretty deep thinking for me so insert funny/ smart a@# comment now

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topher40
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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by topher40 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:55 pm

Ross your a retard!! lol You asked for the smat@SS comments so I thought I would get it out of the way from the start! :wink: I think your intentions are great but there are some things to consider. Parental involvement, which would lead to financial commitment by the parents, time to hunt, ground to hunt (which is hard enough for anyone to find let alone a kid), training knowledge, mentors, transportation, etc. If you wanted to work on this and get it off the ground it sounds like a GREAT idea, I always encourage kids to put down the PS3 or Wii and get out so give me a call and I would be willing to help in anyway I can. There are TONS of obstacles and with enough involvement and dedication, MAYBE, we can overcome! We could also get some organizations like QU and QF involved, and I have a few connections there to....... :wink:
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Calisdad
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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by Calisdad » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:13 pm

Ross its sounds like your kind of thinking out loud so I'll toss in my 2 cents:

1. Find the kids BEFORE you breed the dog. It's realy sad to see a well bred dog go to a not so good home and although at 8 weeks they are really cute at 4 months you will almost give them away. DAMHIK

2. Come up with a predetermined approved or no breed contract. Again, What's to stop Mikey from breeding his new pointer with a Malamute.

3. Come up with a group training program. You are going to have 8 guys/gals who will need advice and could use the support they can find in a group, plus staying in touch with all the pups would be a reward in its own.

4. Is there a scout or 4H program you could tap into?

Good luck with it. It could be very rewarding. If I had a female I don't think I would put her through the strain. Don't underestimate pet care costs.
BTW- I think hunting aptitude isn't age specific. I started in my 20's and have been active ever since.

regards-
C-dad

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Brushbustin Sporting Dogs
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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by Brushbustin Sporting Dogs » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:39 am

You make some good points about the future of our sport. The future does look bleek. About selling cheap puppies keep in mind that the price of a puppy is the cheap part of owning that dog. I don't sell puppies cheap as lots of people will buy a cheap dog because its cheap. Where people that are willing to spend money out more thought into the purchase. That's just a thought that I had.
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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by MommaTurbo » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:46 am

Space to keep a dog is also a problem for a lot of kids wanting to get into the sport. A lot of "city kids" would love the chance to be able to afford a dog to hunt, but have no where to keep it or have parents that wont let them have a dog. Like someone else said, see if you can utilize 4-H and start a program. You may end up footing the bill for the care of the dog(s) and probably have to keep them at your place, but that way the kids can come work with the dogs and hunt with them without having to find a place to keep them. It kind of defeats the purpose of caring for an animal, but at least they have the chance to get out and start growing the love of the sport!

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by FLocker » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:03 pm

I was a pretty terrible dog owner at 12-14, so i'd have some reservations about putiing a gun dog with a lot of "go" in really ineperienced hands. Plus the costs involved in keeping a dog healthy and happy can get really out of hand.

Here is an idea. Find trainers who would be willing to host "interns" to help in training client dogs. They would get a superivsed taste of the successes and challenges of training gun dogs. YOUR role could be to drive these young urban acheivers to and from the participating kennels, which are usually off the beaten path.

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by ezzy333 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:32 pm

I like your basic idea but I do think you need to make the kids earn a dog and not just give them one. I would try to set it up where the kids would come to your place and care for one of your dogs and be responsible for one particular dog including taking it hunting with you. If they enjoy this activity then and only then let them work towards getting a dog of their own which you could give them as payment for the time and effort they have put forward at your place.

4-H has a dog training program already that you might tap into. They work on obediencw and agility already and maybe you could expand that to include some field work.

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by mountaindogs » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:56 pm

I have many comments on this, but your heart is in the reight place.

My first thought is that I believe the decline of hunting lies in economy and land first. 50 years ago you could grab your dog, your gun and go out to lots and lots of public land and the cost was that of caring for (and feeding) your gun and dog. Now, in my area, there is no free land. Nowhere to hunt that is not a hunt club or private land with a lease fee. It's several hundred dollars a day to go and while people who LOVE it already will find the money to make a few trips a year, most who have never hunted are not going to try a new hobby that is that pricey.

There are so so so so many people who already have a love dogs, saying that they just cannot afford to hunt, and that would be my worry. How when and where are they going to hunt with the dog, train on birds, etc. It's pricey and there's more to it than the dog.

You are not alone in wanting to solve this. Several well known breeders have given away one puppy to a youth and helped them along throughout the training and development. But a whole litter seems like a big resposibilty for you when/if the families have financial trouble, and can not affor the training, health care, etc. as the dog grows. Training for a bird dog is pricey. Even and especially doing it yourself requires a place and birds.

I will watch and see what others say. If I had the money I'd buy land and start a "youth hunt club" or something like the YMCA was but outdoor :oops: and build that way.

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by wems2371 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:25 am

How about getting your dogs and yourself involved with the "No child left indoors" program?

http://www.pheasantsforever.org/page/1/education.jsp

I like your basic idea but I do think you need to make the kids earn a dog and not just give them one. I would try to set it up where the kids would come to your place and care for one of your dogs and be responsible for one particular dog including taking it hunting with you. If they enjoy this activity then and only then let them work towards getting a dog of their own which you could give them as payment for the time and effort they have put forward at your place.
I like Ezzy's idea too.

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by Duane M » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:23 pm

mountaindogs wrote:IMy first thought is that I believe the decline of hunting lies in economy and land first. 50 years ago you could grab your dog, your gun and go out to lots and lots of public land and the cost was that of caring for (and feeding) your gun and dog. Now, in my area, there is no free land. Nowhere to hunt that is not a hunt club or private land with a lease fee. It's several hundred dollars a day to go and while people who LOVE it already will find the money to make a few trips a year, most who have never hunted are not going to try a new hobby that is that pricey.
I will watch and see what others say. If I had the money I'd buy land and start a "youth hunt club" or something like the YMCA was but outdoor :oops: and build that way.
That is the single biggest issue I have seen the last decade. At my seminars I do that is always an issue brought up after the formal seminar, every time it is brought up. Using myself as an example 20 years back I had over 6000 acres within an hours drive, 10 years ago that was down to half that, today it is around 180 acres, just big enough for training. Between developers, cattle operations and leasing I have lost everything. Now it's a three hour each way drive for decent bird hunting, many folks cant afford that time and many sure cant afford that much gas. We see a proliferation of preserves popping up, some on lands that people used to actually hunt wild birds on, and we now instead of a person having their own dogs they use the guides dogs to hunt pen raised poultry and act like it's the real deal. Sad state of affairs with no reversal in sight I fear.

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dugger13
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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by dugger13 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:22 pm

i think your intentions are good, but you are mixing 2 topics here. The decline of hunting as a hobby, and training gun dogs. I would start with just take kids hunting. I really like the http://www.pheasantsforever.org/page/1/education.jsp

I have never heard of that but it looks pretty cool. I don't think their is a need to bring dog breeding into this.

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by Duane M » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:11 pm

How am I mixing anything? Without the lands for kids to hunt wild birds on we have no wild bird hunting, or am I missing a way to hunt. I am not worried about training grounds I know guys with just a couple dozen who make pretty passable dogs every year on em. So tell me again how I am mixing issues and how the loss of hunting lands has not caused at least a good part of the decline. You read the post I wrote? If so how did you get I was even remotely talking breeding dogs? :roll: :roll:

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by wems2371 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:36 pm

DuaneM, I can't speak for Dugger--but I think he was commenting on the orginal post that started the thread. :wink:

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Re: THought to help the sport grow

Post by Ditch__Parrot » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:14 am

FLocker wrote:I was a pretty terrible dog owner at 12-14, so i'd have some reservations about putiing a gun dog with a lot of "go" in really ineperienced hands. Plus the costs involved in keeping a dog healthy and happy can get really out of hand.

Here is an idea. Find trainers who would be willing to host "interns" to help in training client dogs. They would get a superivsed taste of the successes and challenges of training gun dogs. YOUR role could be to drive these young urban acheivers to and from the participating kennels, which are usually off the beaten path.
I've seen several people suggest giving away pups to kids to get them into the sport. Never really sounded like a great idea. This idea of Flocker's though sounds like a good one. Get them exposure to the dogs and what it takes to care for them, train them and the joys that come with it. If they want it, they'll figure out a way to earn it.
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