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Thread: What do you do if you don't have a hunting dog

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Default What do you do if you don't have a hunting dog

    So I have a dog that is deathly afraid of gunshots, so she's more of home body versus a hunting dog. My wife says I can't get another dog until this was passes away. So what do you do when you don't have a dog with you and your hunting over water? Last year I used a cheap inflatable boat, but it popped a few times. I am looking for better solutions for this upcoming year.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    I hunt from a boat so its not an issue. The gets really handy when a bird falls in the grass and muck that the boat and I can't get into.

    There are methods to work a dog out of being gun shy. It takes a lot of time and the dog has to have a lot of drive to work. If the dog has little drive, then it will always struggle in training.

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    Could the reason be?

    I had a father-in-law that had a dog that would not go hunting with him. Knowing how bad of a shot he was I think the dog was afraid of getting shot.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I made myself a version of one of these. I didn't hunt any deep water this year so didn't get a chance to try it out.
    I have used a regular fishing lure on a rod and reel in the past to hook the ducks and it worked fairly well in open water.
    I just hunted shallow ponds this year where I could get out with my chest waders and retrieve them.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TexasBoy;1359766]So I have a dog that is deathly afraid of gunshots, so she's more of home body versus a hunting dog. My wife says I can't get another dog until this was passes away. So what do you do when you don't have a dog with you and your hunting over water? Last year I used a cheap inflatable boat, but it popped a few times. I am looking for better solutions for this upcoming year.[/QUOTE)

    I have no dog so often bring a rod and reel. I tie a castable size appropriate sinker on the end of the line. About two feet up from that I tie a Big treble hook. A foot above that I put on a fair size bobber. A foot above the bobber I put another big treble hook. When you cast it out the bobber will show the relationship between your hooks and the duck. As you drag the bobber up to the duck the treble hanging above it (the treble closest to you) will usually hang up on the duck. If not, the bobber will ride over the duck and the second treble will have a chance with the weight of the sinker behind it. I've snagged alot of ducks this way, although I really do try to set up where I can drop them onshore.
    As I've said before, my dog's name is 'Daiwa'.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Get wet.. or don't shoot
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    Before i got my boy last winter, I just made sure i could get to them before i shot. It's fairly simple with decoying birds. The two reasons i got a dog are for those birds in the water i can't wade too, and for the ones that drop in the edge of the spread in the grass. I lost more birds in the grass the last two years here than i felt was exceptable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBoy View Post
    So I have a dog that is deathly afraid of gunshots, so she's more of home body versus a hunting dog. My wife says I can't get another dog until this was passes away. So what do you do when you don't have a dog with you and your hunting over water? Last year I used a cheap inflatable boat, but it popped a few times. I am looking for better solutions for this upcoming year.
    I have dogs and boats so it's a non-issue but I always thought a belly boat and waders would have application.
    Don
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    Take your wife to go watch a field trial or hunt test this summer. Once she sees what sporting dogs are capable of she might change her mind about a second dog.

    Without a dog you will lose many birds. You can reduce the number of lost birds slightly by shooting premium ammo that has a higher chance of killing them stone dead before they hit the water or cover. Also, like has been posted, your choice of location will influence your recovery rate. Man has little chance of finding a wounded bird on the move in heavy cover. Heavy cover (flooded grass) is where the birds are many times.

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    Member TexasBoy's Avatar
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    Where I hunted last year was marshy area where there was smaller bodies of water, no big lakes or anything and the water was all chest deep or so, however the ground beneath the water was like quicksand and I didn't want to drown by trying to wade out to far. So I bought a inflatable boat, but those things pop so easily, I will bring a fishing pole from now on, I was wondering if thwres any hard mesh I can buy for the bottom of the boat to help it against abrasions.

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    If I didn't have my dog, as *****y and ill mannered as she is, i would not go duckhunting. I've gotten so spoiled from haveing a dog in the blind for company, and to help me, i would just quit duck hunting. At least for a few minutes. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    For sea ducks I hunt on a windward shore, and for hunting sea ducks in a channel I shoot only those that swing over land. Remember pick land marks where you think birds will fall either to set you on the right direction or other reference points to give you distance the bird falls. Good luck.
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Hunted shallow water when i didnt have a dog.
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    If I didn't have my dog, as *****y and ill mannered as she is, i would not go duckhunting. I've gotten so spoiled from haveing a dog in the blind for company, and to help me, i would just quit duck hunting. At least for a few minutes. Bud
    Gotta agree with Bud on this one. A BIG part of waterfowl hunting for many of us is the partnership between us and our dogs. Without a dog there are going to be a lot of cripples that get away. No way that can be avoided unless you are hunting in a cut rice field (not too common in this neck of the woods). Even then unless you are fairly fast will manage to either hide so well you can't find them or run off. We have hunted the flats across the inlet, the ANC Coastal Reserve, PWS, Cold Bay, Dutch Harbor, flooded and dry rice field in California, stubble fields in Texas, coastal flats inTexas etc. IMHO none of those locations would be suitable for hunting without a dog. My wife also told me that three dogs was two too many. But I've yet to meet the woman who can resist a puppy. As long as you or your kids clean up the mess and replace the chewed up shoes you'll be just fine...
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I hunted the Kenai flats last year without a dog and didn't have any trouble recovering birds even cripples.
    Sure a well trained dog would have been nice but wasn't neccessary in the shallow ponds of the flats.
    For many of us who are not die hard duck hunters but do like to get a few duck meals each year a bird dog is a big expense and a lot of work.
    Especially when a guy might only hunt ducks 3 or 4 times a season.
    If you pick your spots and only hunt areas you feel you can safely recover the birds then I don't feel a dog is absolutley neccessary.
    Sure it might limit where you can hunt but the expense and time required for purchase and training a bird dog is a lot.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    I hunted the Kenai flats last year without a dog and didn't have any trouble recovering birds even cripples.
    Sure a well trained dog would have been nice but wasn't neccessary in the shallow ponds of the flats.
    For many of us who are not die hard duck hunters but do like to get a few duck meals each year a bird dog is a big expense and a lot of work.
    Especially when a guy might only hunt ducks 3 or 4 times a season.
    If you pick your spots and only hunt areas you feel you can safely recover the birds then I don't feel a dog is absolutley neccessary.
    Sure it might limit where you can hunt but the expense and time required for purchase and training a bird dog is a lot.
    Well you must be a much better shot and be able to mark birds much better then we can. Don't think I've ever been on a hunt when we didn't have a few cripples that we would have never found if it weren't for a well trained dog. The biggest advantage of a dog is that they can smell the birds-none of my hunting partners seem to have that ability although they do smell after a few days at the duck shack. Yes it does take time and a bit of money but that's true about almost anything that is worth doing. And I haven't found many things in this world that gives me more pleasure than the look in my labs eyes when she seeing ducks coming into our spread.
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriIron View Post
    Well you must be a much better shot and be able to mark birds much better then we can. Don't think I've ever been on a hunt when we didn't have a few cripples that we would have never found if it weren't for a well trained dog. The biggest advantage of a dog is that they can smell the birds-none of my hunting partners seem to have that ability although they do smell after a few days at the duck shack. Yes it does take time and a bit of money but that's true about almost anything that is worth doing. And I haven't found many things in this world that gives me more pleasure than the look in my labs eyes when she seeing ducks coming into our spread.
    I was hunting small ponds on the flats that had low grass all around them and was easily able to walk around the ponds to find cripples.
    It worked where I was at. It may not work where you hunt but it did for me where I was hunting.
    I even picked up a couple of cripples from some guys on the next pond over that landed on the pond I was hunting but never took off like the rest of the flock.
    I walked around to where they landed looked close and found them rather quickly and had to finish the one off as it took off swimming away.The other one was just laying there. Your hunting areas may be significantly different. This is just what worked for me where I hunted this year.
    I think it's great you guys love your bird dogs. They are not feasible for everyone though.
    IMHO I don't feel just because someone doesn't own a bird dog ,whatever the reason, that they cannot in some fashion enjoy waterfowl hunting.
    I have many other things to do with my time and money then buy and train a bird dog. I will still hunt waterfowl and teach my stepson the same.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Get another dog and train it up, you only live once.

    Show her the *puppy and explain how you need it for safety and conservation purposes. A dog really does complete the package if you are serious about waterfowl, sure you can get by without one, but everything improves with. More birds over the spread since hes out and back, and more birds recovered, no matter how well you can find ducks.

    Or

    show her the plans for the duck boat you need to build since you dont have a retriever. The space, materials, tools needed, fiberglass resin, oh an outboard it'll be great, its like 150hrs or so to build, or 300 whatever... and where should I park it. the garage will work for this.

    You know...compromise,

    * this will turn into a proper dog with kibble training and time, but is easier to get past the goalie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmik View Post
    Get another dog and train it up, you only live once.

    Show her the *puppy and explain how you need it for safety and conservation purposes. A dog really does complete the package if you are serious about waterfowl, sure you can get by without one, but everything improves with. More birds over the spread since hes out and back, and more birds recovered, no matter how well you can find ducks.

    Or

    show her the plans for the duck boat you need to build since you dont have a retriever. The space, materials, tools needed, fiberglass resin, oh an outboard it'll be great, its like 150hrs or so to build, or 300 whatever... and where should I park it. the garage will work for this.

    You know...compromise,

    * this will turn into a proper dog with kibble training and time, but is easier to get past the goalie.
    Agreed. The simple fact of the matter is that there will be more cripples left in the field if you hunt without a retriever. Doesn't matter where you hunt or how good you are at marking, running after them and finding them-the birds will either hide (sometimes almost in plain sight) or they will run or they may dive under. Either way there is no two legged hunter in the world that can smell better or run down a duck better than even an average retriever. And as they gents on this forum will gladly tell you, none of us own average retrievers....
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

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    I have a couple hunting partners with dogs and it is a huge advantage. I have been in the exact same position as the OP every October for the last many years, we have a dog, and I have mentioned getting a retriever and shes not too interested.

    I have hunted waterfowl every season for the last 25 years, and have not owned a my own retriever and have done pretty well. Over the last few years up here I have made do with every set up imaginable, from waders, float tube n fins, kayak (which can get quite sporty in jan), and now a 14' Duckhunter, but every October I wish I had a dog.

    This season I took my son out for the first time to a very open, very shallow tidal cove where I chase mallards. A walk in spot, I retrieve everything in waders without issue. This first trip out we sat in the rain for an hour, and when he was almost at the limit of sitting still I had four mallards come in, fired my two shots and the exclamation point shot. Hit two, winged both and watched both flap with the offshore wind until they hit the water about 20-25yds away from me, and both proceded to quack and flap out into the bay. I could not wade out fast enough before they made it the 40 or so yds were it drops off. I hated explaining that to my boy, and I know the eagles probably had both within an hour, but still a crappy feeling.


    That night I was getting a dog for next October. done deal, wife is PISSED. but if you read my first reply I am trying this technique and will report back soon, my pup is due to be shipped up on the 29th. Slowly warming up to the texted puppy pics.

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