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#6986539 - 12/07/17 08:10 AM "Hunt it up" command...
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 28524
Loc: Lake X
You guys use it? When I give my dog a "hunt it up", she is free to go where ever to find dead bird, it's normally when I don't know where exactly it is.. I used it with my other lab, and use it with my new lab too, her first hunting season. But this morning I tried a training drill for the first time, I got the ideas from Shecrappiekilla. Put my dog where she could not see me, took a dead duck, with a rope drug duck on the ground up wind about 40 yards in field with high weeds, and hid duck under some weeds. Got my dog, gave her a "dead bird", normally she is ready for a "back" to follow, but this time she got a "hunt it up". Off she went like a ball of fire she is, it was fun to watch her track it down, use her nose and find it. Can't wait to do more of this. I have already had a few wounded birds get away this year, and I noticed when hunting my dog not using her nose, but running around "looking" for the dead bird, so I think this drill will help a lot, train her to use her nose.

#6986582 - 12/07/17 08:37 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
reeltexan Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 3539
Loc: Ovilla - TEXAS

I do sometimes. If we're going to cover a big area for quail.
I used to give my Brit a "Get 'em up" command to flush dove that would land in the middle of a sunflower or grain field. He would flush 'em, some would fly my way.

All my dogs know that it means to put the pedal to the medal.

I use "dead bird" for retrieving.

"Count that day lost whose low, descending sun
Is not, in part, obscured by powder from my gun"
B. Spiller

#6986587 - 12/07/17 08:39 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
Ol_Yeller Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 1026
Loc: Palo Pinto
I use "Dead Bird" and used the same rope drug dead bird for training. Started that when he was only a couple months old. He is a high strung hell bent Lab and dead bird helps him to settle in to a hunt mode. "Dead Bird" means hunt whether it's dead or alive. I took him to Wyoming this year to chase some grouse and used the dead bird command to get him out and quartering. He did great and got a clue after busting up the 1st bird.

Good idea and a good looking pup you've got.
"Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."

#6986593 - 12/07/17 08:43 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
BradyBuck Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/18/07
Posts: 6091
Loc: Abilene, TX
I have in the past used it when looking for a bird I did not see exactly where it fell. Dogs usually just picked it up over time what it meant.

With my current dog I'm very focused on testing right now so I do not encourage "hunting" per say on a blind.

It's a flaw I believe in our current hunt testing system. As it is now you must have control of your dog all the way to the pinpoint location of the bird.

After we get our HRCH I'll be doing a lot more actual training for real hunting scenarios like you described.

We are going to start Upland Training after the HRCH so I'll probably use the "Hunt it up" command as a release to go hunt and find the birds.

Most likely do as you described, plant some birds and say " Hunt it up". She'll pick it up quick I'm sure.!

Edited by BradyBuck (12/07/17 08:43 AM)

#6986610 - 12/07/17 08:53 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: BradyBuck]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 28524
Loc: Lake X
Originally Posted By: BradyBuck
It's a flaw I believe in our current hunt testing system. As it is now you must have control of your dog all the way to the pinpoint location of the bird.

Thanks for posting that because it was a question I have always had. When hunting, I normally cast my dog and get her in the area then give her a "hunt it up", she knows she is in the vicinity, which many times I'm not real sure where the bird is, and a wounded bird can quickly start moving.

#6986673 - 12/07/17 09:27 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
passthru Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 11278
Loc: Saginaw, Tx
I use it. I'm not hunt testing my dog though. There are some things I would have to clean up if I did.
I work hard, drink a little and hunt when I can.
NRA Life Member

#6986834 - 12/07/17 10:34 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
Avian Assassins Offline

Registered: 10/30/15
Posts: 56
I use it too just a different phrase. I use "find it" just lets em know that they are to look on their own when I get them in the general area of a bird that I cant see or that I'm not exactly sure where it fell. I care nothing about field trials, just hunting. Nothing against them, I just don't do them. Everything I teach my young dogs is hunting based.

#6986934 - 12/07/17 11:25 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
Sniper John Offline

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 16873
Loc: North Texas
My dog is not a retriever per se, but I hunt him as a retriever some days, pointer others and he is titled in both. I use "high-on" rolled into one word instead of "hunt em up". I have no command for a dead bird. High-on would be a catch all, release to hunt, to amp up the hunt, to continue a search for a dead bird. I prefer to tap him on the back of the head if by me.

A retrieve is usually a tap on the head, but I have gone to "OK" if I feel I must be verbal. A blind retrieve, I usually treat no different than a marked one. Real hunting I want to send him and be done with him till he is back at my side with the game. If he does not see it, he knows to run down wind, find the scent cone or track, find the bird, or start casing out on his own till he does. But again, I'm hunting Vizslas, not a traditional retriever. I start training my dogs to track with puppy games at only weeks old by laying scent trails with a hot dog on a string for them. I saw him once cheat a pointer test by tracking the bird planter's steps instead of scenting for the birds.

If things do get tough I can cast him over, back, here but without stopping. I don't stop him to sit and cast which has got him a no pass in a junior retriever test when I was told to handle, but hunting comes first and it's how I hunt. If he is having trouble, he will usually look my way for the visual cast without me whistling and calling it out. Though not intentional, I do use the verbal command "Near" if I see him run over a bird or just upwind of a down bird in earshot. It was something I taught Blind Blaze for retrieving and Dash picked it up so I went with it. It has come in quite handy. Sounds like my "near" is kinda what Guy is using "hunt it up" for.

In real hunting I am trying to train myself away from as many verbal commands as possible, use more hand signals, let the dog do more self thinking or problem solving on his own, And if I must use commands I want them to be one syllable or short words. "Leave it" for example is now a "Aaak" grunt if I do my part right. I used to use way too many commands too often and the whistle too much. It took about three different Pointing and NAVHDA judges telling me things like get rid of the whistle, put duck tape on my mouth, and your dog got a maximum score despite you, for me to get it. And the whistle if I must, is strictly for waterfowl hunts now. After hunting with several dogs in my life, It's been hard to make the change.

#6987027 - 12/07/17 12:25 PM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
Blanco Offline

Registered: 12/29/10
Posts: 964
Loc: Ft.Worth
With Springers its the "Traditional English" way
The Engilsh use "Get On" as their hunt command. I still use it

My dog gives me the bird!

#6987040 - 12/07/17 12:33 PM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
bill oxner Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 48909
Loc: Katy-Fulshear
I start them as a pup with hotdog training. My command is hunt dead. I use the command everyday with treats.
Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill

#6988238 - 12/08/17 09:01 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
Sweese Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/03/15
Posts: 309
Loc: North Texas
I usually use "hunt it up" to start quartering and "dead bird" for a dead bird (w/back cast on a blind, or hunting dead in the uplands)

Be sure to put on tall rubber boots when setting up a track. Otherwise, they will get savvy and just follow your scent path to the bird.

Photographer Afield

#6988355 - 12/08/17 10:05 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
kdub Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 7687
Loc: In the yak
I used to hide birds and sayhunt it up to train my dog to use his nose. It works well for me.

#6989253 - 12/08/17 09:07 PM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]

What sniper said.

I had a field trial lab, blah, blah, blah.

He was trained as a remote control dog and was good at it.

He was my best buddy and lived with me for 17 years.

I swore off owning another dog when he passed. (His ashes are in my truck and he still rides with me everyday, God rest his sole.)

Fast forward 4 years. ( Thanks to my wife and daughters.)

I now have a versatile hunting dog and after reading up on the versatile hunting dogs and what the NAVHDA UT test requirements are.

I have now discovered, it is best to keep your mouth shut and throw away the whistle.

Let your pup figure it out, "on its own". Period!

I have taught:

Her name.
Good Girl.

And that's about it, she knew how to do the rest, I just give her the opportunity.


You will have the greatest hunting dog and best companion you ever owned, if you allow them to use their own natural born hunting instincts without, direction from you.

The more you let them figure it out on their own and use their brain and nose, the smarter your dog will be.

I teach my dog to succeed each and everyday that we train.

You will soon see your dogs confidence blow up, if you just let them succeed.

#6989291 - 12/08/17 09:51 PM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: Guy]
scalebuster Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 3417
There’s a lot of reading in these posts. If I want my dogs to find a dead bird, I say “Dead bird” and they find it.

#6989429 - 12/09/17 05:19 AM Re: "Hunt it up" command... [Re: ]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 28524
Loc: Lake X
There are 2 extremes, one is control your dog all the way to the bird, the other is no whistle or casting at all, letting the dog run around and find every bird on their own. I'm taking a balanced team approach with my dog, finding that right balance is key, as with everything in life.

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