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Thread: Ptarmigan shape 2012!!

  1. #1
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Ptarmigan shape 2012!!

    What is everyone doing to get ready???

  2. #2
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    Keeping the dogs and I in shape for the hunt. I road my dogs a lot, and let them swim as often as possible. I'll start up-ing their rations a bit pretty soon as well. We are ready!

    Jim

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    Stepping up the training pace with Roscoe, meaning I'm doing the amount and level of work I should have been doing right after snow melt. Started using scented bumpers and doing more water work. (Read that started doing ANY water work.) Looking for a source for a real bird or two-no luck there.

  4. #4
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Buy 16ga shells :-)

    Jim, may I ask what is your roading routine?
    Do you set miles per day? Miles per hour? minutes or hours per run? Do you use resistance?

    I learned from a vet that running side hills and uneven ground is important. The side torso muscles do not benefit so much from the flat running and they are just as important a group of muscles for good health.

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    Burke,

    I'm a 16 gauge hoarder, so I might be set for life. But you never know, so I was perusing the shops today and checking out 16 gauge (and 28 ga.) offerings.

    On roading the dogs...I'm once again quite fortunate to live where I do. I load up my dogs and head a short distance from home for the Corps of Engineers flood dike that runs along the Tanana River from behind the Intl Airport all the way out to North Pole. It's simply a one rig wide gravel and dirt two-track up on top of the dike with a dirt road that's not much wider down below on the town side. Twenty years ago I ran it with the dogs, but age and a very bad right knee in need of replacement cause me to use my Jeep instead nowadays. I've trained the dogs how it's okay to stay up on the dike in front of me, that if they want to run up and down the sidehill and through the willow brush and such along the river side of the dike, and not down on the road below, that they're good to go. The river is actually a significant distance from the dike. Early in each dog's life I correct them for going off the wrong, or dangerous side, although, little traffic actually uses the dirt road below, especially the times I use it. I go early in the morning, and/or late in the evening. I also train them to check back in with me if they get too far ahead. They quickly learn the drill and remain honest, except for 7 year old Rudy who will occasionally disappear into the grouse woods off to the one side of the dike for long and scary intervals. We occasionally find ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse and willow ptarmigan. Up till about 10 years ago I hunted the area and did exceptionally well on willow ptarmigan in winter. Too many people around these days and most of the sharptails have moved away and it's no longer legal to hunt some of the best areas anyway, but it does provide some fun bird contacts and wild bird training for my dogs. I adjust the speed from a lope for a mile or two, to a sprint for a short distance, some more loping, and then I just let the dogs go at their own speed and go off and investigate the brush, or sip from a pond or puddle in hot weather. I make sure to run them even on very hot days, watching each dog closely, just to get them used to that. These dogs really know the drill! They know that I'm likely going to stop for a coffee at the drive-in on the way out, and that each will be given a snack from a cute little gal. And they know that after their run, which is usually 3 to 4 miles as the Jeep drives, but longer for the dogs due to their sidehill adventures, if it's warm out they are going to get to jump in a nice deep little pond and swim around and cool off.


    My dogs stay in good shape, get fed well, and their feet get real tough from the amount of running they do on the dirt, gravel, woods terrain. And I carry along a camera and long lens to photograph the dogs, fox, ducks, eagles, osprey, swans, ruffed and sharptailed grouse, and ptarmigan. As you can imagine, when the ptarmigan are in the area for the winter, sometimes the run is interrupted for some long pointing-training sessions, as well as photography.

    It's dark and cold here in the Interior region, but it's heaven most of the year for my dogs and me! And let's not even get into the fabulous dry fly fishing for grayling on the Chena!

    Jim

  6. #6
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Keeping my snow machines covered until winter!

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    I try to train my dog twice aweek as possible at a trainers kennel and walk her each day as I can with traveling here lately. I am looking forward to my pup's first year hunting and mine in the Interior.

  8. #8
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Just working out like a champ in the gym and letting my wife train and take Nitro to the hunt test. Since he passed his hunt test last weekend this will be my first year hunting with a certified bird dog. I'm extremely proud of both of them and very grateful for her to put the time in training him.

    I'm set to be back in AK in perfect time around 13ish of Aug (give or take a week or two).

  9. #9
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim McCann View Post
    Burke,

    I'm a 16 gauge hoarder, so I might be set for life. But you never know, so I was perusing the shops today and checking out 16 gauge (and 28 ga.) offerings.

    On roading the dogs...I'm once again quite fortunate to live where I do. I load up my dogs and head a short distance from home for the Corps of Engineers flood dike that runs along the Tanana River from behind the Intl Airport all the way out to North Pole. It's simply a one rig wide gravel and dirt two-track up on top of the dike with a dirt road that's not much wider down below on the town side. Twenty years ago I ran it with the dogs, but age and a very bad right knee in need of replacement cause me to use my Jeep instead nowadays. I've trained the dogs how it's okay to stay up on the dike in front of me, that if they want to run up and down the sidehill and through the willow brush and such along the river side of the dike, and not down on the road below, that they're good to go. The river is actually a significant distance from the dike. Early in each dog's life I correct them for going off the wrong, or dangerous side, although, little traffic actually uses the dirt road below, especially the times I use it. I go early in the morning, and/or late in the evening. I also train them to check back in with me if they get too far ahead. They quickly learn the drill and remain honest, except for 7 year old Rudy who will occasionally disappear into the grouse woods off to the one side of the dike for long and scary intervals. We occasionally find ruffed and sharp-tailed grouse and willow ptarmigan. Up till about 10 years ago I hunted the area and did exceptionally well on willow ptarmigan in winter. Too many people around these days and most of the sharptails have moved away and it's no longer legal to hunt some of the best areas anyway, but it does provide some fun bird contacts and wild bird training for my dogs. I adjust the speed from a lope for a mile or two, to a sprint for a short distance, some more loping, and then I just let the dogs go at their own speed and go off and investigate the brush, or sip from a pond or puddle in hot weather. I make sure to run them even on very hot days, watching each dog closely, just to get them used to that. These dogs really know the drill! They know that I'm likely going to stop for a coffee at the drive-in on the way out, and that each will be given a snack from a cute little gal. And they know that after their run, which is usually 3 to 4 miles as the Jeep drives, but longer for the dogs due to their sidehill adventures, if it's warm out they are going to get to jump in a nice deep little pond and swim around and cool off.


    My dogs stay in good shape, get fed well, and their feet get real tough from the amount of running they do on the dirt, gravel, woods terrain. And I carry along a camera and long lens to photograph the dogs, fox, ducks, eagles, osprey, swans, ruffed and sharptailed grouse, and ptarmigan. As you can imagine, when the ptarmigan are in the area for the winter, sometimes the run is interrupted for some long pointing-training sessions, as well as photography.

    It's dark and cold here in the Interior region, but it's heaven most of the year for my dogs and me! And let's not even get into the fabulous dry fly fishing for grayling on the Chena!

    Jim

    Thanks Jim, For the outline. I am always looking to learn how others do it and maybe incorporate something to make a better way

  10. #10
    Member PG13's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I'm in about my worst shape physically but I'm playing it smart at home so there will be less resistance to me me disappearing more often beginning Aug 10!

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