FT dogs not such good hunters

Vernal Pike
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Near the lake

FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Vernal Pike » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:45 pm

Observation written by Brad Harter.

http://www.fieldtrialpointers.net/amesbirds.html


I've been away from the computer but have enjoyed reading all of the comments concerning the bird situation at Ames. Many of you have touched on what I feel is a multitude simple to have just one or two factors that we could alter but the big picture isn't that easy. Allow me to throw in a few comments! When I first started video taping the National in 88, my guess would indicate that there were 3 to 4 times a many birds as there are today. I don't believe anyone denies this. There were woods coveys and ditch coveys and running coveys even then, but there also were a number of coveys that behaved much better for the dogs. When Bud pointed his 10 coveys in 1990, only a couple of those coveys tried to elude him by running or lifting early and he handled them expertly. In 89 old Rebel had more running birds and he was a pro at handling them. The point is that many dogs found the birds that were not masters at escape and the bird encounter numbers were much higher than today. Unproductives were also lower in number on a percentage basis. The big question is: What has happened? The answer is complex yet also somewhat simple in my opinion.
#1. Avian predators increased by nearly 800%
#2. Ground nesting predators like skunks have also increased though there isn't hard data to know exactly by how much.
#3. We haven't had a great nesting season for years, weather playing a big factor.
#4. What we now have learned to be prime habitat was slowly disappearing from far too much of the plantation. This was gradual and not easily seen, some of it due to invading species and some related to natural succession. In 1998 the plantation took aggressive steps to turn this around and have spent big bucks making great strides.
#5. Wild birds over most of the south were in decline and less people preparing their dogs for Ames had great places to work their dogs on wild birds, southern Bobs to be exact. Handling prairie chicken or huns or chukar isn't the same! A few handlers like Larry Huffman and Tom Honecker and Robin, Lefty and Rick Furney had more opportunity to do this "wild bird" training. Guess who has been winning lately?

Now to the question of are there birds still there and what does it take to find them? I've had a great opportunity to see and video some things I'd like to share with you all. I probably should put this all together in some form of tape but I doubt if it would sell well enough to recover my cost. Before the telemetry studies started we were baffled why dogs had failed to point most of the birds that had been seen on the course area right prior to the trial. The assumption was the activity of the trial, all the people & noise, had driven the birds off the course and deep into the woods. I believed that! It made sense. So here is what we did. On the morning course, before the first road crossing we had only pointed a covey twice during the entire two weeks of running. We didn't know if it was the same covey or not, they had been located about 400 yards apart. Keep in mind this is on the breakaway and on the average only takes the dogs and handlers about 6 to 9 minutes to roll through this section. It's a loop to the left coming back across Bufford-Ellington Road and then heading for the Morgan Swamp. The plantation personnel felt there were four coveys in that section but we had only recorded two finds in there in two weeks. Since that time the course has been altered to allow for more time to make that loop. This was an attempt to keep the dogs in that area longer. They still blow through rather fast but keep in mind it's part of the breakaway and these are all-age dogs. Now for the rest of the story in Paul Harvey terms. After the trial on a sunny warm Sat. morning at 10:00 A.M. we ran an experiment. Keep in mind we had just completed two weeks of running on Fri. Saturday was very sunny, blue bird day and supposed to be bad for birds in that area and it was late in the morning, the ideal time had pasted. We turned two local meat dogs loose and followed them horseback. Who was there? A local bird hunter, Chip Pantall, Bubba Spencer, the local Game Warden, Dr. Carlisle, Kay Carlisle, their two boys, myself and Tina Romine. For all practical purposes the dogs were not really even handled, we just rode the course and let them do their thing. It took us nearly a half hour to get to that first rode crossing because we pointed 5 coveys, one more than Rick thought was there. One covey was out feeding, four were in the thickets. Why so long? We shot a bird from each covey to see what they had been eating. So yes, birds have been shot on Ames! We didn't hurt the population. Each covey had 12 to 15 birds in it and one covey may have had nearly 20. No, we weren't running a field trial and the dogs we had down didn't know how to take an edge and never made a big showy cast to the front. We simply rode the course and let them alone to do what they had been doing in West Tn. all season. We went other places on the course that same day with the same dogs and a few others. Same thing happened except we found fewer birds in the middle of the day. That was probably when Mr. Ames and his friend took lunch. Bird finding may not be all that different after all. It was soon after that day that the telemetry studies began. I've filmed much of that work after the trials and what is on tape would amaze all of you. Can birds sit so tight a dog can jump over them before smelling them? You bet! I can prove it on tape. Can you walk through birds twice before they flush? Will birds hear people coming and run more than 400 yards to the middle of a swamp? Will birds go in a hollow log or up under tree roots? Can we ride within 30 feet of a covey three straight days and never know they were there? Are some birds more likely to run every time they are approached? Thanks to the telemetry studies so many of you are against, we now know answers to these questions. They are all on priceless hours of video tape. Does any of this mean are dogs are not as good? No way!! WE HAVE GREAT DOGS AND GREAT HANDLERS! Is finding and handling wild birds at Ames or Whippoorwill or Cedaroak getting harder? You decide! I have! Brad Harter

User avatar
Big bloc
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:36 am
Location: Inman,kansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Big bloc » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:51 pm

WOW?
Never ever tease a gundog. Build rapport

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:00 pm

Your title is not the observation of the author, it is your uneducated, biased opinion. You need to work on your reading skills.

mnaj_springer
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1251
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:10 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by mnaj_springer » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:29 pm

Vernal Pike... It seems like the majority of your posts are meant to stir up controversy with no practical substance.
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Ms. Cage
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 5:01 pm
Location: Hibbing, Mn. 55746

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Ms. Cage » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:13 pm

I like the article. After 26 yrs. of filming the man should have formed an opinion. Some might not like his opinion. Spend 26 yrs filming and studying then come up with your own opinion. Do some trial dogs simply out run their nose?

RyanDoolittle
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:32 pm

You guys know the winners are usually the dogs that spend the summer on the prairies chasing...... wild Prairie chickens.

User avatar
Higgins
Rank: Champion
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:23 pm
Location: Yerington, NV

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Higgins » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:07 pm

No controversy here. The local "meat dogs" found the birds that the field trial dogs could not. Read it again.

Bird hunting and field trials are different and require dogs with different talents.


Brad Higgins
http://www.HigginsGundogs.com

Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette

Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog's point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.
Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.

User avatar
Griffonpoint
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:38 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Griffonpoint » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:29 pm

Ms. Cage wrote:I like the article. After 26 yrs. of filming the man should have formed an opinion. Some might not like his opinion. Spend 26 yrs filming and studying then come up with your own opinion. Do some trial dogs simply out run their nose?
Can't disagree with this.

twistedoak
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:13 am
Location: phila penn

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by twistedoak » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:53 am

maybe the birds are conditioned to dealing with trial dogs?
when slower dogs with a different skill set came through the birds go to tactics didn't work so well.

conversely maybe birds that grow used to slower running dogs would not fair well with trial dogs.
the birds will always be a variable in any comparison because they will always adapt to "their" individual threat.

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2440
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by shags » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:07 am

Are the meat dogs attended by a party of 50+ horseback riders?

Vernal Pike
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Near the lake

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Vernal Pike » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:35 am

It's hard for people to accept that the world is round when they're convinced it's flat.

User avatar
bonasa
Rank: Master Hunter
Posts: 281
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:01 pm
Location: New England

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by bonasa » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:58 am

Is this a nature vs. nurture thread? Contempt for trials thread? Or simply a trolling thread? You decide, I certainly have!

Quailcommando
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:07 am
Location: FL

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Quailcommando » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:07 am

Two different environments showed two different results kind of hard to make such a statement after a half witted experiment! To hold any kind of weight you need to mirror everything the FT dogs faced with your meat dogs and you did not do that.

User avatar
whatsnext
Rank: Champion
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: bourbonnais il

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by whatsnext » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:22 am

The op is just a fanboy trying to ride on his mentor's coattail's trying to prove that field trial dogs are no good runoffs.

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:53 am

Vernal Pike wrote:Observation written by Brad Harter.

http://www.fieldtrialpointers.net/amesbirds.html




#1. Avian predators increased by nearly 80%.

Does any of this mean are dogs are not as good? No way!! WE HAVE GREAT DOGS AND GREAT HANDLERS! Is finding and handling wild birds at Ames or Whippoorwill or Cedaroak getting harder? You decide! I have! Brad Harter
Brad Harter is a long time personal friend, you are misconstruing his statements. We can debate the value of field trial dogs, but you cannot cite one of their biggest proponents to prove your points without his conclusions (see above).

I could not find a date of publication, but suspect it is 12 - 13 years old, prior to the pen bird releases, things continue to change at Ames, so must the observation.

Neil

twistedoak
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:13 am
Location: phila penn

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by twistedoak » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:54 am

what I actually take from the OP is that slower working dogs are more productive then big runners .

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:11 am

twistedoak wrote:what I actually take from the OP is that slower working dogs are more productive then big runners .
If by productive you mean they will find a high percentage of the birds on the ground they cover, then yes; the slower they go the more thoroughly they can search. By that measure a brace of Clumber spaniel would be the most productive of all. Or a couple 8 year old boys.

If, however you declare productive as finding the most birds in the shortest time, the FT dogs win. The scarcer the birds the more certain the outcome.

User avatar
whatsnext
Rank: Champion
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: bourbonnais il

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by whatsnext » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:12 am

twistedoak wrote:what I actually take from the OP is that slower working dogs are more productive then big runners .
What did the op ACTUALLY say?

User avatar
gundogguy
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 966
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:22 pm
Location: southern Michiganistan

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by gundogguy » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:20 am

This thread is wrongly titled. Should be "Pointing breed FT dogs not such good hunters"
I'm 100% in favor of LGBT - Liberty, Guns, Bacon and Trump.

User avatar
Higgins
Rank: Champion
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:23 pm
Location: Yerington, NV

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Higgins » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:24 am

I agree that field trial dogs are the best at what they do. They have been bred and trained to be big running, stylish competitive dogs. I agree with Brad's statement: "Does any of this mean are dogs are not as good? No way!! WE HAVE GREAT DOGS AND GREAT HANDLERS! Is finding and handling wild birds at Ames or Whippoorwill or Cedaroak getting harder? You decide! I have! Brad Harter"

As I have said in the past, I believe comparing "meat dogs" to field trial dogs is like comparing apples to oranges. I think most would agree. How about this, when we're discussing the differences, let's call the field trial dogs "competitive field trial pointing breed dogs" and the best of the "meat dogs" we'll call them, "highly skilled, rough shooting (not field trial), pointing breed meat dogs". I like it! Problem solved.

I agree with your comment Gundogguy. We need to be specific when discussing the different types of dogs, breeds, trials and hunting sports.

Brad Higgins
http://www.HigginsGundogs.com

Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette

Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog's point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.
Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.
Last edited by Higgins on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

mnaj_springer
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 1251
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:10 pm
Location: Northern Minnesota

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by mnaj_springer » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:48 am

gundogguy wrote:This thread is wrongly titled. Should be "Pointing breed FT dogs not such good hunters"
Agree!
“Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
― Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

rinker
Rank: 4X Champion
Posts: 666
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:01 am

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by rinker » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:56 am

If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs.

User avatar
Higgins
Rank: Champion
Posts: 330
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:23 pm
Location: Yerington, NV

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Higgins » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:08 am

rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs.
Exactly! I could not have said it better. Good post.

Brad Higgins
http://www.HigginsGundogs.com

Higgins Gundogs hunting etiquette

Dogs: Stay in touch and handle well. Always honor another dog's point, be steady when necessary and manage the birds for the gun.
Handlers: Be silent in the hunt. Allow the dog the freedom to do his work. Nurture the natural retrieve.

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:27 am

Actually if you will watch them hunt close on a relocation, you will see that all you have to do is get off the horse.

I don't know which dogs they used that day, so can't tell the pedigree; but Chip is a respected field trials trial judge and Bubba won the Purina Amateur All-Age Dog of the Year in 2014. These guys did not prove what some of you think.

Ms. Cage
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 5:01 pm
Location: Hibbing, Mn. 55746

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Ms. Cage » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:31 am

rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs
Could it be that long ago Americans were BS'd into thinking that the best meat dogs came from horse back FT blood. For years we've had a game that gauged the best bird dogs yet had nothing to do with hunting. It's been stated how many times on this thread that trials ain't hunting and hunting dogs are not trial dog.

RyanDoolittle
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:42 am

rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs.
What do you mean "if", Gary Lester does that with alot of his dogs including his National Champion Lesters Snow Watch. Oh by the way he also foot hunts this dog.

Ms. Cage
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 5:01 pm
Location: Hibbing, Mn. 55746

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Ms. Cage » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:56 am

RyanDoolittle wrote:What do you mean "if", Gary Lester does that with alot of his dogs including his National Champion Lesters Snow Watch. Oh by the way he also foot hunts this dog.
I'm willing to bet this is the exception. Sure there are the trial dogs that hunt and hunting dogs that trial.. Would you call a dog that hunts wild birds 3,4 times a yr. a hunting dog? Many hunting dogs do that in a weeks time. Week in week out during season.

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:12 pm

Think what you will, I am just not going to debate the ability of field trial pointing dogs. I flat don't care.

I am telling you the author and all those involved are friends, and all value All-Age dogs for their great ability. Anything you take away after reading it other than that is opposed to their beliefs.

User avatar
Griffonpoint
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:38 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Griffonpoint » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:14 pm

Ms. Cage wrote:
rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs
Could it be that long ago Americans were BS'd into thinking that the best meat dogs came from horse back FT blood. For years we've had a game that gauged the best bird dogs yet had nothing to do with hunting. It's been stated how many times on this thread that trials ain't hunting and hunting dogs are not trial dog.
More common sense from this poster.

shags
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2440
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:57 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by shags » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:25 pm

Griffonpoint wrote:
Ms. Cage wrote:
rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs
Could it be that long ago Americans were BS'd into thinking that the best meat dogs came from horse back FT blood. For years we've had a game that gauged the best bird dogs yet had nothing to do with hunting. It's been stated how many times on this thread that trials ain't hunting and hunting dogs are not trial dog.
More common sense from this poster.
If you're BSed into anything, that's your own fault. If you don't like trial dogs or their lines, buy elsewhere and be happy.

Dirty Dawger
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:48 am

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Dirty Dawger » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:35 pm

I guess it's because I am new to this forum.....
I enjoyed the OPs offering and saw no biased or hard and fast conclusive deductions what-so-ever. It was an interesting read and no more. Now perhaps there is a history from the OP and some of the respondents - again - that I'm not familiar with but is there something controversial in his post that I missed?
Times have changed. What actually wins a field trial has also changed somewhat. Our dogs have evolved (I like to think) and our understanding of their capabilities has changed. Habitat has changed. Birds and bird numbers have changed and too rarely for the better.
When I started out as a woodcock hunter, it was not unusual to take a series of pics from a variety of angles of the woodcock with the dog in the background, etc. Today, a large majority of our woodcock run like crazy! My friend explained it this way, "All the dumb woodcock that just sat there got shot!" Woodcock have evolved - this I know first hand. Trial dogs are not expected to perform like foot handled gun dogs and vise versa.
OK, perhaps someone can tell me why the vociferous comments about nothing more than someone's observations?

Trekmoor
GDF Junkie
Posts: 1876
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:09 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Trekmoor » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:55 pm

We don't have horseback trials here but we do have field trial dogs and "ordinary" shooting dogs. Quite often the ordinary shooting dogs are dogs that have been sold as having not enough range and pace by field trailers to blokes that just go shooting. The dogs used by "ordinary shooting men" are usually either exactly the same breeding or just one generation removed from field trial breeding, they just weren't hard enough going to be field trial winners .....or they have different trainers who train them differently to the field trial dogs.
Is the same not the case in America ?

If I was a gundog I think I'd prefer to be owned by an "ordinary shooting man." I'd probably get more work to do and less hassle from my owner as I did it ! :lol:

Bill T.
The older I get, the better I was !

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:57 pm

Ms. Cage wrote:
rinker wrote:If you took a dog that was entered in the National Championship, and bird hunted him from foot in West Tennessee for a few weeks, he would begin to dig in to the woods and thickets and find every bird available also. I know nothing about the two 'meat dogs' that they used for their experiment, but I would be willing to bet that if you took a look at a pedigree for those two dogs, that within a generation or two back you would begin to find big running field trial dogs
Could it be that long ago Americans were BS'd into thinking that the best meat dogs came from horse back FT blood. For years we've had a game that gauged the best bird dogs yet had nothing to do with hunting. It's been stated how many times on this thread that trials ain't hunting and hunting dogs are not trial dog.
Dirty,

One of us needs to work on our reading skills. The above seems offensive, much beyond mere observations. How do you read it?

P.S. I have seen the same from Woodcock. The biology experts tell me we are wrong, that it takes thousands of years for evolution to have any effect. All I know is the little suckers started running about 15 years ago.

RayGubernat
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3191
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Central DE

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RayGubernat » Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:57 pm

These kinds of "debates" really crack me up.

A dog that is toodling along at a fast walk will scent more birds than a dog that is running at warp speed. NO SH!T SHERLOCK!

A dog that is allowed to wherever it wishes will find more birds than a dog that must keep to the front of a handler, even when the handler changes direction 90 degrees...or more. AGAIN...NO SH!T SHERLOCK!

A dog that is allowed to ALWAYS run and hunt on the correct side of the wind and which is allowed to dig in to cover will find more birds than a dog that must run the edge that the handler puts it on and not dig in appreciably, but stay out on the edge. Once again N>>>S>>>S!!

Field trials are a game of extremes. The dogs are pushed to the extreme, because they have a certain prescribed time limit in which to show what they can do that is better, faster, classier than the other competitors. They are deliberately pushed to the limits of their physical ability so that it can be shown, within the time constraints, which of the dogs has the most grit, the most endurance and more heart that the rest of the competitors.

The average field trial competitor, that runs in front of a horse for an hourkije a raped ape, could have been trained to hunt all day for a walking hunter. I will go one step further. The average field trial dog that has been trained to run in front of a horse for an hour CAN be conditioned to hunt in front of a walking hunter all day.

The average hunting dog, that is trained and conditioned to hunt in front of a hunter all day cannot be trained and conditioned to run competitively in front of a horse for an hour.

That is why field trial dogs that could not cut it competitively are actively sought after by folks who hunt hard and long and often.

The quail thing is similarly simple. Years ago, quail gathered in a ring and sat tight. for a dog's point...for a half hour if that is what it took. That is why they wee called "gentleman bob". Well..."Gentleman Bob" is all but extinct. Quail today run...right out from under a dog's point. Quail today flush wild...right into the nastiest gnarliest hunk of swamp or bramble tangle they can fly to. They are MUCH more difficult for a dog to handle.

Done.

RayG

User avatar
Becassier
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:37 pm
Location: Southeastern Michigan

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Becassier » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:26 pm

Neil wrote: P.S. I have seen the same from Woodcock. The biology experts tell me we are wrong, that it takes thousands of years for evolution to have any effect. All I know is the little suckers started running about 15 years ago.
"All the dumb woodcock that just sat there got shot!" Woodcock have evolved - this I know first hand. Trial dogs are not expected to perform like foot handled gun dogs and vise versa.
OK, perhaps someone can tell me why the vociferous comments about nothing more than someone's observations?"

Habitat improvement with such groups as Woodcock Limited and RGS have had a major effect. Habitat improvement has an effect on mortality, equals more birds that you encounter over 1 1/2 of age; 15 years ago you encountered more juveniles now you encounter more adults.

www.woodcocklimited.org
http://www.aspenridgekennels.com
Facebook; Aspen Ridge Kennels, Braque du Bourbonnais ~ Upland Hunters, Woodcock Michigan

RyanDoolittle
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:32 pm

Ms. Cage wrote:
RyanDoolittle wrote:What do you mean "if", Gary Lester does that with alot of his dogs including his National Champion Lesters Snow Watch. Oh by the way he also foot hunts this dog.
I'm willing to bet this is the exception. Sure there are the trial dogs that hunt and hunting dogs that trial.. Would you call a dog that hunts wild birds 3,4 times a yr. a hunting dog? Many hunting dogs do that in a weeks time. Week in week out during season.

It is funny when the arguement of FT vs huting dogs come up this is a common arguement but any other time its that most people only have time to hunt maybe half a dozen times during season. I think you would be surprised just how many trial dogs are hunted and how many are out on wild birds while most people are enjoying the summer. This is why trial wash outs make such good hunting dogs.

However any dog that can handle wild birds I would consider a dog worth huntin over whether he gets out once a year or 365 times a year.

The other thing a trial dog can do that a "hunting dog" cant is cover ground. A "Trial dog" will cover the same amount of ground that one time out than a "hunting" dog would that week. I believe a VDawger said it best when he stumbled across a trial while out looking for huns. He said he was surprised how well the dogs handled even at their range and how they covered ground in 30 minutes where it would take him and his "hunting dog" would in 2 hours. More ground covered means more chance at finding game.

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:10 pm

Becassier wrote:
Neil wrote: P.S. I have seen the same from Woodcock. The biology experts tell me we are wrong, that it takes thousands of years for evolution to have any effect. All I know is the little suckers started running about 15 years ago.
"All the dumb woodcock that just sat there got shot!" Woodcock have evolved - this I know first hand. Trial dogs are not expected to perform like foot handled gun dogs and vise versa.
OK, perhaps someone can tell me why the vociferous comments about nothing more than someone's observations?"

Habitat improvement with such groups as Woodcock Limited and RGS have had a major effect. Habitat improvement has an effect on mortality, equals more birds that you encounter over 1 1/2 of age; 15 years ago you encountered more juveniles now you encounter more adults.

http://www.woodcocklimited.org
I will start another thread to discuss the wonderful Woodcock, I would like to learn; but not at the expense of this thread.

twistedoak
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:13 am
Location: phila penn

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by twistedoak » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:28 pm

I guess the red herring in this whole argument to me is ,
what good does it do to cover a lot of ground quick if your missing birds?

User avatar
mtlhdr
Rank: Master Hunter
Posts: 265
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:32 am
Location: NorCal

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by mtlhdr » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:30 pm

Kinda like what good is covering a small piece of ground thoroughly if there are no birds on it...

h&t
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 6:00 pm
Location: ON, Canada

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by h&t » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:54 pm

IMO, the article is about birds behavior and benefits of telemetry, not FT vs meat dogs. JMO


OT
The biology experts tell me we are wrong, that it takes thousands of years for evolution to have any effect.

BTW, hunters have been saying the same thing about pheasants.
I personally know some hunters who have been hunting for 50 years and they do say, more and more birds run, as supposedly the flying birds are taken out of the gene pool.

Now for the evolution. No need to wait thousands of years. BBC made a documentary, Russians bred minks (I think) and they chose the ones that were friendly to people, not aggressive. In 30 years IIRC they had 2 strains - the regular one, typical wild animal that would take your finger off if you touched it. The second - kuddly as a house cat. Achieved by selective breeding, nothing else.

I will start another thread to discuss the wonderful Woodcock, I would like to learn; but not at the expense of this thread.
sing me up.

Ouzel
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:52 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Ouzel » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:29 pm

mtlhdr wrote:Kinda like what good is covering a small piece of ground thoroughly if there are no birds on it...
Exactly. More to the point: sadly, even a meat dog can't find quail in the Midwest/South any more.

User avatar
Griffonpoint
Rank: Just A Pup
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:38 pm
Location: Nevada

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Griffonpoint » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:35 pm

Trekmoor wrote:We don't have horseback trials here but we do have field trial dogs and "ordinary" shooting dogs. Quite often the ordinary shooting dogs are dogs that have been sold as having not enough range and pace by field trailers to blokes that just go shooting. The dogs used by "ordinary shooting men" are usually either exactly the same breeding or just one generation removed from field trial breeding, they just weren't hard enough going to be field trial winners .....or they have different trainers who train them differently to the field trial dogs.
Is the same not the case in America ?

If I was a gundog I think I'd prefer to be owned by an "ordinary shooting man." I'd probably get more work to do and less hassle from my owner as I did it ! :lol:

Bill T.
Yes, Bill. It's the case here too. I've known a lot of guys who found 'Field Trial drop outs' through rescue groups. These dogs were abandoned by their respective trainers/breeders because they couldn't take the pressure and/or didn't have enough leg. I used to pick up young dogs from a breeder/trainer in California who washed out between 5 and 40 FT Pointers at a time. He would let PRO (Pointer Rescue Organization) know that they could put the word out that if the dogs weren't gone by the end of the weekend, he would be dropping them at the local Animal Control station. The ones that I took were the worst cases of softness and insecurity. But with a slow and gentle hand and plenty of socialization, they came around and made excellent Rough Shooting dogs for walking hunters.

I agree, I'd rather be a dog owned by an ordinary shooting man for the most part too, lol. :lol:

RyanDoolittle
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:40 pm

twistedoak wrote:I guess the red herring in this whole argument to me is ,
what good does it do to cover a lot of ground quick if your missing birds?

I think what it comes down to is the country and birds you hunt. That being said a smart dog will start to dig if they dont find birds on the edges. It happens in trials all the time and it happens while out hunting. This is why those old dogs seems to always be into birds. Its because they know if they arent on the edge its time to dig or of thy are in the thick and not producing its time to get on an edge.

User avatar
Chukar12
GDF Junkie
Posts: 2051
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 pm
Location: Northern California

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Chukar12 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:06 pm

The credibility of people is terribly fragile when you see beyond their internet persona and bravado. I cannot speak as intelligibly for those East of the Rockies and certainly not for those across the Atlantic. However, some of these "experts" west of the rockies that would espouse their expertise are pretending to have more wild bird knowledge and experience than they have. It isn't enough for them to sell experience as behavioralists and I have seen them do good things with pot lickers, enough to make their Subaru driving clients happy with their dog park bird club dogs. Noble purpose for sure. However their knowledge of trial dogs is nil...I can't remember seeing our proclaimed experts at one ever. Further, I know for sure that the wild bird exposure is limited and recent. Ask to see the 4X4 chained up in the snow, expansive landscape shots, and don't believe in the panoramic valley quail pictures... Forty pointers surrenderd at a time indeed... Post the breeder/trainers name I will ask he or she... Believe the videos and pictures you see of dogs on flat ground, and of planted birds on little rocky lumps... They tell the story and for those who know the difference it would be amusing if it hadn't gotten so ridiculous.

Neil
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3187
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:46 pm
Location: Central Arkansas

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Neil » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:35 pm

40 washouts at a time? I call BS. I know a lot of pros, and none work hard enough to weed out 40 dogs at a time. Think about it.

twistedoak
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 9:13 am
Location: phila penn

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by twistedoak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:18 am

Ouzel wrote:
mtlhdr wrote:Kinda like what good is covering a small piece of ground thoroughly if there are no birds on it...
Exactly. More to the point: sadly, even a meat dog can't find quail in the Midwest/South any more.
well the hunter with a slow working dog would at least know for sure their wasn't any birds in the areas covered ,
but the big running hunter will never know for sure...

JKP
Rank: 5X Champion
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:14 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by JKP » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:53 am

Now to the question of are there birds still there and what does it take to find them?
Any hunter worth his salt KNOWS where birds will be found. You don't need a dog a mile in front of the gun. How far are quail going to be from the basics?...food, water and cover? Even out west in the chukar hills, experienced hunters who spend 40-60 days/yr will readily admit that a hard working smart 200 yd dog is all that is needed. I have hunted AZ to ND starting in 1994, have had all types of dogs on the ground in front of me, and...boot lickers aside...there are some dogs that are just in front of game more often than others and it has nothing to do with how far they run.

Do FT dogs make good hunting dogs?....ABSOLUTELY!!! Does every FT dog make a good hunting dog...ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! So what do we expect?

RyanDoolittle
Rank: Senior Hunter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:39 pm

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RyanDoolittle » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:56 am

twistedoak wrote:
Ouzel wrote:
mtlhdr wrote:Kinda like what good is covering a small piece of ground thoroughly if there are no birds on it...
Exactly. More to the point: sadly, even a meat dog can't find quail in the Midwest/South any more.
well the hunter with a slow working dog would at least know for sure their wasn't any birds in the areas covered ,
but the big running hunter will never know for sure...

So you would rather have your dog waste time and energy looking in areas where birds are not?

RayGubernat
GDF Junkie
Posts: 3191
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:47 am
Location: Central DE

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:31 am

twistedoak wrote:
Ouzel wrote:
mtlhdr wrote:Kinda like what good is covering a small piece of ground thoroughly if there are no birds on it...
Exactly. More to the point: sadly, even a meat dog can't find quail in the Midwest/South any more.
well the hunter with a slow working dog would at least know for sure their wasn't any birds in the areas covered ,
but the big running hunter will never know for sure...
Actually...Yes they will. Most of the time anyway.

A good dog will run just as far and as fast as it can. That means(to me)...if the dog is running in front of a horse it is a quarter to a half mile out in front...going hard. Because a mounted hunter/handler can operate very effectively with a dog at those distances.

It ALSO means(to me) that if the dog is in front of a walking hunter with a gun, it is out there going hard at a distance where the hunter and dog can work together, which, depending on the terrain and the comfotrt level of the hunter... could be under 100yards and out to 400 yds.

If someone is convinced that they MUST have an eyeball on their dog AT ALL TIMES, they will never be comfortable with a dog that is operating at the edge of their vision. If someone is convinced that, for them to get a shot, the dog must always be within gun range, they will never be comfortable with a dog that ranges beyond fifty yards or so.

I have no problem with any of that...hunt the way you want, have the kind of dog you want. Be happy with what you choose to hunt over. But if that is how you choose to hunt, please be aware that your dog, if it is a good dog, is very likely capable of so much more than you are allowing it to do. We, the human part of the hunting team, are almost always the limiting factor in the equation.

I certainly am.

I routinely foot hunt, on relatively small preserves, with dogs that are capable of running for an hour in front of a horse...and occasionally coming home with a ribbon. My dogs pull it in as much as I need them to when we are foot hunting. I may not pull my dogs in as close as some and I may not allow my dogs to run bigger than others would...but I do what works for us, as a team. That is what is important. I'm 66 years old and not as quick on my feet as I used to be, so my dogs have to hunt a little more attentively and hold point a little longer than they used to when I could double time it through a plowed field. Now I walk...and they gotta hang in there.

A good dog will dial it up, down or even sideways...whatever it takes to hunt effectively...that day... with its master. It will pull itself in and hunt close when its master is legging it through a hunk of woods and stretch it out when the woods breaks into an open field...because it CAN and SHOULD. The dog that hunts an open field the same way as it hunts in the woods is not hunting as effectively as it could be. You gotta know that.

RayG

Dirty Dawger
Rank: Junior Hunter
Posts: 88
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:48 am

Re: FT dogs not such good hunters

Post by Dirty Dawger » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:53 am

I "successfully" trialed my dogs (strictly horseback - NY, OH, CT, WI, GA, MI, Ontario) and hunted them in dense woodcock and grouse cover on foot HOWEVER they learned the difference.
I was much younger. I didn't have a family. Bird numbers were healthier, etc. etc.
I will be forever grateful for what trialing has brought to me in experience, seeing large numbers of dogs on any given weekend and learning what the definition of a truly wonderful bird dog is.
Now, back to the OPs contribution, I found it entertaining and nothing more. I don't feel the need to defend trial vs hunt, quail vs woodcock or anything else. I can DISECT any snippet of the OPs text and find controversy, if I was that way inclined.
That's why I said what I said.
I will admit, bringing the conversation vociferousness up a notch can make it more spicy, I guess?
Dang those woodcock!! I had no idea I was over 1000 years old! Where did the time fly? Where are my meds?!?!?!?
Biologists can say what they want but I still recall finding my setter standing and after a futile attempt at flushing saying to my buddy, "Get ready!!! It must be a grouse!!" I would send her on for a relocate and she would nail it again. I then flushed a woodcock! I thought the grouse crossed the path of a woodcock but when this behavior kept repeating itself, there was no longer any doubt. Woodcock run and they run and they run. Gotta love wild bird hunting!
Field trials are a testing ground for developing both trialers AND competent gun dogs. My gun dogs will always have FT breeding. At least I KNOW what I'm starting out with to the best of our ability. No...it's not a guarantee but then again next to death and taxes, what is?

Post Reply