Hunting with a crowd?

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Hunting with a crowd?

Post by porochi » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:08 am

I bought my GSP last January just before pheasant season ended so only got in a few hunts. My usual upland hunts consist of traveling to Western Kansas with a large group of friends and hunting vast CRP tracts, sometimes full sections. I've been doing this for years but never with my own dog. This year I'll have my dog and frankly, I'm very reluctant to hunt him with a big group for fear he'll get shot. Most guys I've hunted with for years and they're safe and responsible but each year there's new faces.

Problem is this group has access to some great private ground and I enjoy the camaraderie. Leaving my dog home would be like leaving my shotgun behind. And it's hard to hunt an ocean of CRP with just me and 1 dog. We usually spread out and cover the ground in several sweeps with at least 4 dogs, sometimes more. There's never been an accident. Maybe I'm too paranoid. Do you guys hunt in groups like this, sometimes a dozen or more and multiple dogs? Is that even advisable with a new dog? The few hunts I've gone on with him have been just me and 1 or 2 others and maybe 1 or 2 other dogs. He tended to "pack" up with the other dogs at times and followed them around more than me, we just need more time hunting together, so I'm really looking forward to this fall but my hunts have been traditionally with this group and on their land. Going solo means public land, which definitely has its drawbacks. I'm old friends with these landowners and they have some very productive property. Right now I'm leaning towards leaving my dog behind when I hunt with these guys but that's going to be oh so hard to do when the time comes.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by Featherfinder » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:30 am

I hunt wild birds with 1 other friend. Why?
Because as I told my son after his friend took 5 buddies to my son's private spot, "It's harder to find a true hunting buddy than a wife."
Every time you add one hunter to the group, your odds drop significantly. JMO
That excludes family hunts with grandpa, brothers/sisters, son's etc., of course.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by porochi » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:45 pm

This group is my ticket to some great private spots. In fact, I hardly ever hunt without this group. But now that I have my own dog I'm extraordinarily fearful that the new guy in the group, and there's always at least one, won't be experienced, or careful, and will shoot my dog. A couple guys in this group have had that happen to them. I'm probably just going to leave my dog behind when I hunt with this group and only bring him out when I'm alone or with 1 or 2 others, hunting KS WIHA probably, as I can't access this private land on my own. But it'll be awfully tempting not to bring him along to help us work the miles of CRP that we annually walk. Some of those fields stretch to the horizon, we'll hit double sections of CRP, over 1200 acres at a time, it's daunting even with a large group and several dogs. If I can get him to hang just with me I'd feel better about bringing him but the few times I've hunted him so far, if there's other dogs, he tends to range with them and abandon me. We're working on that but just haven't had the opportunity yet to hunt much, as I got him just a few days before last season ended. Part of me thinks it might be good for him to work such vast tracts with other dogs and hunters but the other part says no way!

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by mask » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:32 pm

One of the best ways to screw up a young dog is to hunt in a large group and there is plenty of reasons for this statement. Perhaps you can take your dog off a good ways from others in the crp. Be honest with your buddies and let them know how you feel and things will work out. I hunt alone a lot and at times with one or two others who hunt by my rules and there is never a problem. Take your dog and have a good and safe hunt.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by Gordon Guy » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:06 pm

There are generally multiple hunts during the same day, so Leave the dog in the truck when you go with the group. Then at times during that day under belief that you're training your dog go in a different direction then the group. They should understand the idea of getting a young dog started.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by birddogger2 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:30 pm

You have a young, inexperienced dog.

Hunting with a crowd and a bunch of strange dogs is a very good way to have a young, inexperienced dog learn lots of bad things.

I wouldn't worry too much about the dog getting shot since pheasants typically fly pretty well. The only thing is if someone tries to ground sluice a running bird...the odds of getting a dog shot go waaaay up.

I personally wouldn't hunt with a crowd with a young, inexperienced dog.


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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by Trekmoor » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:52 am

I've done hunting with a big group of people and multiple dogs several times. After a couple of goes at this during the second one of which the guy on my right and down hill from me "accidentally" shot my hat right off my head :roll:. I insisted on being the end man in the line every time …..or I just didn't go with them at all !

This was also better for my dog , I only had what was going on off to one side of me to worry about then ! I kept my dog under very tight control whenever it went towards the other hunters and the other dogs. It worked fairly well but I never did become comfortable with that sort of hunting. I'd rather get fewer opportunities to shoot but know that my dog and I were far less likely to get shot.

The sort of hunt you described sounds very like what we call "beaters day" on this side of the pond. During one of these days anything from 6 to a dozen men with guns plus all their dogs go walking in a "line" through fields and woods and several of them will be desperate to fire off their guns ! Unless the line is very well controlled by someone in charge and unless everyone present has been subjected to a very strongly worded warning about gun safety before the hunt/walk up actually begins an "accident" could easily happen.

Personally I'd rather go somewhere where there is less game and less people and less dogs and less chance of an "accident."

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by isonychia » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:35 pm

I have a hard enough time hunting with one other person, let alone more than that. It isn't hunting to me if there is a group. That is personal preference of course, but to me the whole thing about hunting is to get away from all of the idiots of the world, my friends included (this leaves one idiot and a couple of dogs :-))That being said, I have helped out a few people with their dogs in the past and the two that I gave up on pretty quickly were group hunters that just refused to hunt solo with their young pups and spend time NOT shooting the flushers... This doesn't even account for the dog's competing with each other.

IMHO, go find some lesser quality public access and get good with public land. Public land hunting is the most American thing going anymore and it is at risk and taking losses every day, make the most of it, it is good.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by rinker » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:31 am

Go on the hunt and take your dog. Leave the dog in camp during the group hunt. At the end of the day when everyone is done, go back out with your dog alone and hunt for an hour or so. Next year the dog may be ready for the group hunt.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by gonehuntin' » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:37 am

I hate groups and will never hunt in one again. Guys yelling, everyone shooting at the same bird as it gets up, retrievers stealing pointers birds and busting the pointers birds........No Thanks.

Now, if that group ran ALL pointing dog's it might be another story, but really, I like hunting alone or with one other.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by Sharon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:54 pm

Only hunted with 3 people ONCE - the other guy shot my Dad's dog ( beagle close behind a rabbit). Never again.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by Timewise65 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:33 am

I have three field trained Goldens and I would never hunt them in a group of hunters that I did not personally know and have hunted with them before.

My experience in those situations is that people that are not very experienced hunters and/or have worked with dogs while hunting, tend to shoot low, with little or no horizon...which is a good way to lose a dog! Many newer hunters are also not 'muzzle conscious' which is a danger to all. In that situation I want to focus on my own safety and not be worried about watching my dogs.

I am going to a group hunt like you are talking about in Western Kansas later this year and I will not have my dogs....

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by averageguy » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:17 pm

I do not go bird hunting without my dog and I do not hunt in large groups ever. The private land opportunity sounds far too wonderful to pass up. I would go on the trip and take my dog, explain to the group that I am training a young dog and need to hunt by myself, my dog and perhaps one other hunter only. I would be quick to offer to hunt in fields behind the group after they have already hunted it that day. It is quite easy to go into a CRP field the size you describe and get excellent action after a large group has gone through it as there is no way they will put up all the birds in the field. I have hunted large CRP fields alone with just my dog with great success for a long time now. Hunt silently into the wind and follow your dog to the birds. Watch the dog at all times and be ready to hustle on up on its points as well as work the angles to help get a rooster pinned down long enough to pressure a flush.

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Re: Hunting with a crowd?

Post by PartsGuy » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:52 am

As a long time deer hunter, the one thing that appeals to me the most and what got me back to bird hunting is the fact I can spend time in the woods with my best hunting friends I could ask for ( my hunting dogs )
I enjoy walking in the woods and letting them explore and find new things. I could care less about how many birds I shoot or how many a year I get. the one thing that matters to me is not to let them down if they put up a bird. with that said I choose who I may take with me to hunt and I use that time very wisely because time is very valuable to me.

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