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Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt #7226377 07/16/18 10:27 PM
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Blake Peterson Offline OP
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Hey guys, excuse my ignorance please... But I am from South Louisiana and grew up duck hunting and duck hunting only as far as birds go. I have a 2.5yr old Boykin Spaniel that is trained for waterfowl but I am moving to West Texas this fall for work and wanted to give upland hunting a shot. But considering I don't know anything about quail or pheasant hunting, I had a couple questions....

What should I work on with the dog before going on a hunt? - She is a seasoned level retriever

From what I've seen online, they have some public hunting access near Midland (where I'm moving) for blue quail. Would this be okay to start or would pheasant be better to start with?

Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7226417 07/16/18 11:15 PM
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Just take it hunting. A lot depends on its range.


Quail hunting is like walking into, and out of a beautiful painting all day long. Gene Hill


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Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7226438 07/16/18 11:37 PM
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Your Boykin will probably make a great flushing dog so keep him/her close. Close being shotgun range.


There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE
Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7226643 07/17/18 02:10 AM
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If your blue quail hunting in Southeastern New Mexico public your dog is only going to be hunting dead and retrieving anyway if the cover is as sparse as it has been the last few years. The bird are wild and the shots are long. I only had a few pointed birds last year when we could find areas with enough cover to slow them down a little bit. Donít be afraid to shoot them on the ground when you first spot a covey running through the sand.They hold better after you bust them a few times.Theyíre the wildest blues Iíve ever hunted, and I only go on opening weekend. All you need is a dead bird dog, a 12ga with a full choke and a heavy load of #6ís. Also, wear your track shoes.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7226678 07/17/18 02:45 AM
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teach him "whoa" ---------------- more important than anything else.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7227026 07/17/18 03:30 PM
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Thank y'all. I did look into teaching Whoa and read up on the Hunt Smith method.... However, she was forced to water on continuous pressure and I feel like that would be a nightmare of confusion for her if I now want her to stop on continuous pressure. I may be wrong in thinking this, but as of now she knows continuous means she better get going.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7227729 07/18/18 01:56 AM
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Blake. High level retrieving skills require a great deal of training and control. Upland hunting is mostly instinctive, but the dogs conditioning is of much more importance. Take the Boykin hunting and use your whistle and the hand signals it already knows from retriever work to keep it within shotgun range. Be consistent and shoot some birds for it. It will quickly pick up on what you want. Until it does, go by yourself. With either pheasant or blues, your success will be much better when you and your flushing dog are in sync enough to hunt in silence. Both birds are runners. The cover you hunt blues in make them much more difficult to approach. A keen nosed, bird savvy, pointing dog that can stand his birds from long distance, and relocate with them as they run, is better suited to deal with blues. Pheasant on the other hand are tailor made for a flushing dog. The more freelance your Boykin has, the more it will love upland hunting. As a retriever guy, you may need to take a step back to free it up and let it hunt.


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Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7228918 07/19/18 01:44 AM
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Forgive me, but I am confused that there is talk in this thread about whoa training a flushing dog. Why do guys do that?

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7229183 07/19/18 11:09 AM
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Thank you Smokey. I was thinking about going to a preserve or something with pen raised bob whites just to introduce her to everything. I realize they are not the same as a wild bird, but I figured its at least the same concept of hunting for her.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Lalo] #7229185 07/19/18 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted By: Lalo
Forgive me, but I am confused that there is talk in this thread about whoa training a flushing dog. Why do guys do that?


I was thinking if she got to the far end of her working area then got on a running bird, I would have no chance in hell to catch up to them without sprinting with a loaded gun... So I figured I could whoa her if she started getting birdy a little far out and close the gap between us. I did talk to a few guys yesterday that guide for a living and was told that a sit whistle is what they use for flushers and a whoa for their pointers. My main concern with a sit whistle was that she would turn around and lose sight of the bird, but was told that she should figure out the difference between a whistle on a mark and a whistle on a running bird, in no time.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7229394 07/19/18 03:04 PM
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Instead of whoa training, I think I would go with a remote sit.



Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7229397 07/19/18 03:07 PM
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We've got a couple of Boykin's that we use for dove hunting and also take them on a long weekend quail hunt each year. We mainly use them for retrieving down birds behind other quail dogs. However we do get a point out of them every once in awhile. Bottom line is put them around birds and see how they react.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: kindall] #7229465 07/19/18 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: kindall
Instead of whoa training, I think I would go with a remote sit.

She has a solid whistle sit, so that's probably what I'm gonna do instead of teaching a new command to stop.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: texas wetlands] #7229469 07/19/18 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted By: texas wetlands
We've got a couple of Boykin's that we use for dove hunting and also take them on a long weekend quail hunt each year. We mainly use them for retrieving down birds behind other quail dogs. However we do get a point out of them every once in awhile. Bottom line is put them around birds and see how they react.


That's the plan this season! We will both be learning something new, so it'll probably just be the two of us for a while.

Re: Training duck dog (spaniel) to upland hunt [Re: Blake Peterson] #7230681 07/20/18 04:13 PM
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Your flushing dog will catch pen raised quail. They are often a bit sticky to flush. Pigeons will likely work better to train with.

Last edited by Smokey Bear; 07/20/18 04:17 PM.

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