PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

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PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MASONJ » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:22 am

I AM ADOPTING MY FIRST BRITTANY SOON. HE IS 7 YEARS OLD AND TRAINED TO HUNT. IS GOING TO THE FIELD THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF HE IS TRAINED TO PHEASANT? JUST MY LUCK HE WILL ONLY BE TRAINED FOR QUAIL AND GROUSE AND THERE ISNT MUCH OF EITHER IN INDIANA!!! OR WILL HE PICK UP ON PHEASANT IF HE IS TRAINED TO THE OTHERS?

SECOND QUESTION

i SEE EVERYBODY TALK ABOUT THEIR BRITT CHASING RABBITS. HAS ANYBODY HUNTED RABBIT OVER THEIR BRITT OR AM I ASKING FOR TROUBLE? I SEE A POTENTIAL PROBLEM IN THAT MY BRITT COULD RUN RABBITS ALL DAY INSTEAD OF PHEASANT WHEN I DONT WANT HIM TOO. ONE HUNTER TOLD ME HIS BRITT HAS A DIFFERENT POINT FOR RABBIT???? ALSO DIDNT KNOW HOW WELL THEY WOULD CIRCLE A RABBIT BACK TO ME OR IF THEY WOULD POINT IT?

AND LAST. HOW MUCH OF THE HUNT IS NATURAL INSTINCT AND HOW MUCH IS TRAINING? WILL A DOG WITH GOOD INSTINCT POINT AND HOLD WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT? I HAVE HUNTED OVER OTHER PEOPLES DOGS AND SOME ARE HIGHLY TRAINED. THEY POINT, HOLD, RETRIEVE, ETC. HAVE SOFT MOUTHS, ARE WHISTLE TRAINED, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. OTHERS POINT AND HOLD AND MAYBE CATCH A LIVE BIRD WHEN IT HITS THE GROUND, HOLDING IT UNTIL YOU GO GET IT AND GIVE IT TO YOU WITH TEETH MARKS ALL OVER THE BIRD. STILL A BETTER OPTION THAN 2 PEOPLE HUNTING WITH NO DOG!!

I HAVE NEVER OWNED A BIRD DOG BUT I HAVE TAUGHT BLOODHOUNDS TO TRACK AND IT IS 90 PERCENT NATURAL ABILITY WITH THEM. DEFINITELY NOT THE SAME TRACKING WITH OTHER BREEDS. START OUT WITH A 100 YARD TRAIL AND SOME WILL TRACK 2 MILES ACROSS A RIVER AND INTO TOWN IN NO TIME. I JUST THOUGHT IF IT IS THAT MUCH NATURAL ABILITY WITH A GUN DOG THAT MAYBE GETTING A YOUNGER DOG WOULD BE BETTER.

HOWEVER AN OLDER DOG THAT IS WELL TRAINED MAY BE ABLE TO TEACH A NEW OWNER HOW TO HUNT OVER A DOG BEFORE TRYING TO DO IT ON MY OWN.
JUST STARTING OUT AND DONT WANT TO RUIN A GOOD HUNTING DOG.

THANKS
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Barb Wright » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:26 pm

Welcome MasonJ :) We're happy to have you join us. THANK YOU for adopting, and it sounds perfect, a hunting home for a hunting Brittany :)

I'm hoping some of our hunters will be stopping by and have a few answers for you....give them a few days as not everyone stops by every day.

I will throw in an answer to your last question about natural hunting INSTINCT in the Brittany.....it's probably 99.9 % . HOW the hunt is conducted depends on training.

Since you have trained dogs (Bloodhounds) that have a natural ability you will know that some of the dogs just really get it from the get-go, others a little slower and need more input/guidance/training. And there is always that 0.1% that have a short in the hard-wire. It would probably be adviseable to hook up with a professional bird dog trainer for your first few outings with your new dog. And I would certainly give the dog a few weeks with you to let his world settle before you go hunting.....newly adopted dogs have had their world turned upside down and in some cases come with insecure baggage that needs time to overcome and be left behind. I would make haste slowly, both of you will need to learn about each other, and the dog especially will need to learn the rules and regs of his new home. You should certainly work on simple obedience things as that will give you some idea about his response and sensitivity to training issues. Then, when you feel like Best Buds, get the professional bird dog trainer to help you sort through the hunt training issues....who knows, the dog may know it all and be the teacher :wink: :)
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MASONJ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:39 pm

thanks for the input. I agree completely with the comment about letting him get used to his new home first. He is gonna be my big baby first, hunting dog second

He will have plenty of time to adapt.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Cindy » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:52 pm

MASONJ wrote:He is gonna be my big baby first, hunting dog second

He will have plenty of time to adapt.

Welcome aboard!! I don't hunt nor have I ever trained one of our Britts to, but I sure am interested in the whole "natural instinct" part. Will be curious to hear about how your dog does.

Thanks for adopting and I love the fact that your dog will be your Big Baby first!! Can you post a picture of him?
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby binkus » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:39 pm

I too have wondered how much is natural and how much is trained. I have two rescued Brittanys and know very little about their backgroud. My male could very possibly have been trained to hunt. He is very selective about what type of bird he points. We have had him for years and have never hunted him. When we lived In Hawaii, I had the hardest trime walking him. Hawaii has mourning doves everywhere. It seemed every five feet he would stop and point one. I had to practically pull him around the block. However. he never even looked at the big white cranes that were also very prominent. When we were camping in PA he would always chase ducks but never point them, but on the same trip he stopped me on a hike with the most gorgeous-front of a gundog magazine point- I had ever seen. As soon as I said ok, he jumped two grouse. I always wondered if this selectivity was trainedor natural.

On the other hand :roll: Angel, my female has NEVER pointed anything. Oh she'll chase something furry if it crosses her path, but pointing birds is almost beneath her. If genetics is involved in pointing she missed the boat completely!

So, I don't have an anwer to the question but am very interested in any true hunter's answers.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Muddy Creek Britts » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:51 pm

MASONJ wrote:I AM ADOPTING MY FIRST BRITTANY SOON. HE IS 7 YEARS OLD AND TRAINED TO HUNT. IS GOING TO THE FIELD THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF HE IS TRAINED TO PHEASANT? JUST MY LUCK HE WILL ONLY BE TRAINED FOR QUAIL AND GROUSE AND THERE ISNT MUCH OF EITHER IN INDIANA!!! OR WILL HE PICK UP ON PHEASANT IF HE IS TRAINED TO THE OTHERS?


My dog aren't "trained" to hunt....they were bred to hunt. I've never trained them, except maybe trying to keep them in the same zipcode as I am. :roll: :lol: The first time a pheasant flushed, they knew what they were there for. Unless the dog was "broken" from going after certain game, I doubt you will have a problem with your pup.

MASONJ wrote:i SEE EVERYBODY TALK ABOUT THEIR BRITT CHASING RABBITS. HAS ANYBODY HUNTED RABBIT OVER THEIR BRITT OR AM I ASKING FOR TROUBLE? I SEE A POTENTIAL PROBLEM IN THAT MY BRITT COULD RUN RABBITS ALL DAY INSTEAD OF PHEASANT WHEN I DONT WANT HIM TOO. ONE HUNTER TOLD ME HIS BRITT HAS A DIFFERENT POINT FOR RABBIT???? ALSO DIDNT KNOW HOW WELL THEY WOULD CIRCLE A RABBIT BACK TO ME OR IF THEY WOULD POINT IT?


I've often thought about going rabbit hunting with my Britts. The thing I fear the most is that Beagles are fairly slow, so you have little chance of mistakingly shooting your dog. Britts can keep up with rabbits. At that speed you run the risk of shooting the dog. I think that's why Beagles are considered rabbit dogs. But, heck, I've seen people hunting pheasants with their Beagles. Equal opportunity....just know where your dog is at all times. Better to lose a rabbit than your dog.


MASONJ wrote:AND LAST. HOW MUCH OF THE HUNT IS NATURAL INSTINCT AND HOW MUCH IS TRAINING? WILL A DOG WITH GOOD INSTINCT POINT AND HOLD WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT? I HAVE HUNTED OVER OTHER PEOPLES DOGS AND SOME ARE HIGHLY TRAINED. THEY POINT, HOLD, RETRIEVE, ETC. HAVE SOFT MOUTHS, ARE WHISTLE TRAINED, THE WHOLE NINE YARDS. OTHERS POINT AND HOLD AND MAYBE CATCH A LIVE BIRD WHEN IT HITS THE GROUND, HOLDING IT UNTIL YOU GO GET IT AND GIVE IT TO YOU WITH TEETH MARKS ALL OVER THE BIRD. STILL A BETTER OPTION THAN 2 PEOPLE HUNTING WITH NO DOG!!


One dog is better than 6 people. I can't count how many times I went through a field right behind a huge dogless hunting party and got birds up, while they didn't find a thing. Point, hold, retrieve, etc. If you want those to perfection, a professional would be your best bet. Like I said, I've just taken my dogs hunting with no formal training. I know the strengths and weaknesses of each dog. Maggie hangs closer to me and does a more detailed scenting. She holds point better too. Storm is a runner, but a damn good nose still...and if I wing a bird and it runs, Storm will be right on top of it. Timber is somewhere in between the two others. None will retrieve, but I never trained them for that. That is no big deal for me....except when the bird falls into the middle of the thicket and thorns and the dogs go up and lay next to it, but make me go in to get it. :lol: One habit they do have is that if the bird moves at all, they feel the incessant need to pluck it to death, so my retrieving skills require being as fast as possible. :roll: :lol:

I guess my point is you have to weigh if you hunt with your dogs to have some ego-satisfying strive for perfection, or if you just want to go out with your dogs and enjoy seeing what Nature has instilled in them. My pups may not be by-the-book as far as professional dog trainer expectations, but they will out hunt any dog in the field that day with their determination, focus, and thoroughness. I know that at the end of the season, if I go out with my dogs and the fields are filled with other hunters with dogs and nary a shot heard, I am very confident that if there is a bird still there, my dogs will find it. That is all the ego satisfaction I need. Bird hunting behind dogs is more about the dogs than actually getting a bird anyway, that's just the bonus. JMHO.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Barb Wright » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:11 pm

binkus wrote:... I always wondered if this selectivity was trained or natural.


I think I can POSITIVELY say a lot of it is "natural"....and will present my Britt as an example. We don't hunt birds, period. So, Cassie's exposure over almost 13 years has been purely happenstance. From the very beginning at 8 weeks, and it continues today at almost 13 years old, she will point (wonderful, classic, three legged point, hold it til I am so bored I flush the birds myself) Spruce Hens (Ruffled Grouse), pheasant (even stuffed ones, good story about that), Ptarmigan, chukkar and rabbits. She ignores geese, eagles, gulls, ducks, chickens, doves, quail. Ravens she barks at and chases. She goes into predator mode with just about everything else, that is, a stealth stalk, flush, chase if possible. She once accidently flushed a flock of Ptarmigan, caught one that appeared "injured" and proceeded to eat it :lol: ..another story there :lol: Somewhere in the "wiring" she focuses on "shape", that is the only thing I can come up with.

All that said, if I hunted birds, I think I would want to know just how much "instinct" was at work, hone those "natural" skills, and train in whatever else was needed. Britts are so biddable if handled correctly, (emphasis correctly ), that I think what you want in a hunting dog is basically there in spades, just needs "tuning". So, if you take a dog that has all this huge supply of "natural" instinct, use that, train in finesse and controlled reactivity, utilize that wonderful ability to focus, then it seems a super hunting companion will result. I think a lot of it boils down to "see the dog"....recognize what you have that is the true result of good genetic ancestry, promote it, and fine tune with training.

For what it is worth :)
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby rtropeano » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:13 pm

Daisy is another example - never ever trained to do any type of hunting. We've been on walks where she was off leash and I was amazed at her ability to point and hold game. I'll be honest, I have no idea what bird or animal she was pointing because I couldn't see through the bushes and trees. Whatever it was, she was very obviously trying to tell me something was there and I should do something about it.

I never taught her that and was quite frightened that she would break point and run off - nope. I just spoke quietly and told her good girl. Then gently grabbed her collar (wanted to make sure she wasn't taking it as a correction) and leashed up.

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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MASONJ » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:41 am

I love this discussion board. Nobody is an expert but when you get 20 people all say about the same thing, it must have truth to it.. I wondered how much was natural and it looks like most of it is.

I knew tracking was for a bloodhound but teach another breed to do it and its a long process. Guess having the right dog for the right job is the key. I wouldnt bird hunt a bloodhound cause they wouldnt have a clue what to do.

I see now why the guys who have hunted for a long time tell me to get a brit. They all say their the best.

Thank you everyone for your input. If anyone knows more on the rabbit subject I am very intrigued. good point on the speed of the dog though. I talked to one guy who said his Brit pointed rabbits. Just gave him a heads up it was there.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby etyson11 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:32 pm

Since most of your questions have already been answered, I'll try to keep my response concise.

I am almost certain that their hunting ability is +95% natural and not trained.

I rescued my 8-year-old Brittany about 5 years ago when I lived in North Carolina. She had never seen or smelled a pheasant. Since moving to Colorado, I spent a couple weeks (maybe 5 or 6 times total) in the back yard with pheasant wings and scent (which you can purchase at hunting/sporting goods stores).

My Brittany has hunted EVERYTHING. She would have probably hunted pheasant just fine without the extra training, but I wanted to get her uber-excited about pheasants since that's pretty much our exclusive game bird here in Colorado.

Lastly, I have hunted rabbit with my Brittany. As with any other game, she points to where the rabbits are before I can ever see them (most of the time, I probably wouldn't have ever seen them). She has learned to just hold her point (approx. 8 - 10 yards away from the rabbit) until I fire my shot. She then approaches the rabbit and usually returns it to me. In addition to upland bird and rabbit hunting, I've taken her with me into fields near the North Carolina coast where we hunted tundra swans and geese. She did wonderfully. As for taking her into a blind for duck hunting... well, she did great as long as the water wasn't too cold. This dog is a hunting machine, albeit very spoiled.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MASONJ » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:57 pm

VERY GOOD INFO. I guess I will have to try him out on rabbit next season and see how he does. I will post pics for those who asked as soon as he gets here. Should be next week. :!:
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Jacksbuddy » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:12 am

etyson11 wrote:Since most of your questions have already been answered


Lastly, I have hunted rabbit with my Brittany. As with any other game, she points to where the rabbits are before I can ever see them (most of the time,




My dogs don't point rabbits but they will run them for short periods. My hunting partners have grown accustomed to my calling out rabbit by watching the actions of the dogs. I can't explain it here but they do act differently when they hit rabbit scent compared to bird scent. I never get a lot of rabbits throughout the course of a season, usually hunting in heavy cover and shot opportunities are limited and I am very explicit about being doggone sure where the dogs are in relationship to the rabbit when a shot is taken, I always say I reserve the right to shoot back if one of my dogs get hit. :lol: :wink:

For me hunting Britts for rabbits is more of an added bonus than a goal, if I really want to hunt rabbits I would get a Beagle. 8)
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MASONJ » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:38 pm

Thought I should post a couple pictures like i said I would. I got BEASLEY my fat little buddy home yesterday. He is quite a character and is trained to hunt well. Hoping to have a lot of fun with him real soon. Letting him adjust for now though. I cant add pictures or an avatar for some reason. I cant attach pictures Look in IOWA if you wanna see, his name is One Shot Beasley and his pic was up last I looked.

Thanks for all your input.
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby Cindy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:38 am

YEAH!!!! I checked out his picture and he's a very handsome guy. You'll have to figure out how to post pictures though - this group won't be happy until you do!!
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Re: PHEASANT AND RABBITS?

Postby MaggieRocks » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 am

What a fine looking boy he is! Congratulations, and thanks for adopting him. I'd like to say that my girls don't bother with anything other than birds, but they just recently got themselves a groundhog to play with :roll: and Maggie also killed 2 mice she found in the field! With birds, though, they are great. My husband raises quail and chukar. Every now and then, one gets out of the pen. Between the 2 girls, we always get it back. Both of them will actually pick up a live quail and bring it to DH without hurting it. (Why Maggie felt the need to kill the mice, I will never know....)

Good luck, and have fun with Beasley!
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