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Thread: 1st dog you hunted over

  1. #1
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    Default 1st dog you hunted over

    I was 14 when I first got a chance to hunt ducks. The first 2 years I shot 1/2 and 1/3 of a duck. Yep, shared the honors with one other friend on the first, and 2 friends on the second. Those first several years we were our own dog. We slogged, waded, paddled, and sweated to find the birds we shot. Funny thing, we never got smart enough to try and shoot birds where they were easy to get to.
    When I was 19, an older friend, the man who started me duck hunting, ended up with a "borrowed" yellow lab named Rusty. His owner could not hunt, and wanted Rusty to get out some during the season.
    That dog could hunt. Golly, I still think back to watching him work. He was steady, marked well, and could really dig the ducks out of the grass and swamp. He figured out tough problems like ducks skulking away pretty much on his own.
    That weekend Rusty and I became close friends. I would take him back out in the boat when everybody else was resting, and we would walk the grass flats and hunt non-stop all day. The next summer, even though I had my first lab pup, I asked Ray if we would be able to borrow Rusty again.
    Opening day found us out in the flats with Rusty by our side as well as my 3 1/2 month old pup. 30 years later I still remember those 2 years of hunting ducks with Rusty. I think he is a big part of why I am so hooked on hunting dogs, and labs in particular.
    What is your first memory of hunting with a dog?

  2. #2

    Default Gone but not forgotten

    Oh man. I'm not suppose to let anyone see my sensitive side.

    Buster was my first lab. We explored Alaska together. Back then I use to do a lot of hiking trips and he got to tag along. In fact he went with me everywhere. He would even go to work with me. I used to work as an A&P out at Lake Hood. He'd lay on top of the floats or chase the ducks while I worked on the planes.
    Naturally of course I got into Bird hunting and eventually waterfowl. He was a natural at it. Sometimes I'd go duck hunting and leave with birds and never fire a shot. He'd pick up ducks that other hunters couldn't find. I knew then the value of hunting with a trained retriever.
    I can remember shooting at a group of birds and I wouldn't see anything go down. He'd be there beggin to be sent. I was curious so I sent him. He would come back with a bird. I learned to always trust your dog. Many, many times he has done that. I would send him anyway and he never failed to come back with a bird. A few times I remember he would haul off a long distance from me. He'd root them out.
    I believe I learned more from him than what I taught him.
    He was very forgiving for all the mistakes that I made.

    Buster,
    You are missed, but not forgotten.

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    Default gotta have a soft side

    WL, any trainer without a soft side is not worth a tinkers diddly. Good story, great "picture".
    That 3 month old pup made some retrieves that2nd year with Rusty, but then that is the next thread on "the second dog you ever shot over".

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    Member Bear Necessities's Avatar
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    Default Will never forget him

    You guys are bringing back good memories. I did have some beagles when I was younger, but my first bird dog was a German Shorthaired Pointer. It is a good thing that he had some ability, because I did not know what I was doing. I did work with him just about every night. One day while out training, I shot at a pheasant. I did not see it wiggle and no feathers fell. The dog was long gone chasing the bird. He would not come back and I was not in a good mood after all that training. He disappeared into the woods maybe a quarter of a mile down the road. At least it was in the direction that I needed to go to get home. I loaded up the truck and was thinking of the trouble that that dog was in. As I reached the woods he came out with that pheasant in his mouth and his tail wagging. That is one of the several time that he taught me to believe in my dog. I read some where that you love your first bird dog the most, but you screw him up the worst (that sure was true for me). Even though we had very few pheasants in Michigan I was hooked and will always have a bird/retriever type of dog.

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    Default bear

    I'd like to hear more about that pointer, but first, tell me about the very first dog of any type you hunted anything with. I don't care if it was a terrier or Russian wolfhound. I don't care if you were carrying a BB gun while hunting horned toads with the farm yard mongrel. I think all hunting dogs are cool.
    If your first dog was a beagle, I am envious. I have never hunted over one (yet) and had a chance to listen to them sing. Maybe someday one of you will give me that opportunity.

  6. #6
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default German Sheppard

    Though it was before my time behind the shotgun, as a youngster we had the most amazing German Sheppard one could imagine. My dad took her upland bird hunting a lot (Eastern Oregon) and she could track them down better than most. I recall one particular trip where we crossed paths with another couple of hunters that had a couple high-dollar "bird dogs" of some type with them, though I can't remember what they were at all. My dad, his hunting partner, and these guys stopped and talked for a bit. Our German Sheppard sat at my dad's heel the whole time and didn't move a muscle, intently staring over at a thicket. Those guys, while bragging about their top-notch hunting dogs, had to constantly correct their dogs to get them to stick by. After a few minutes' pleasantries, they departed.

    They walked off a little bit but still within earshot when my dad verbally cut our German Sheppard loose and she darted forward a couple dozen yards into some shrubs and kicked up some birds and the guys quickly dropped a couple. The others hunters, who had passed that area on their way over, looked back in astonishment for a moment, then continued away quickly. Dad could read that dog and knew she had a bearing on some birds as they came up to that spot, but the dog was 110% obedient and would do nothing without dad's permission. He laughed about the other guys and their "bird dogs" walking right by that spot for years afterward.

    While good at tracking and flushing, she was a bit "heavy jawed" on retrieving and didn't particularly want to give up the birds when she came back with them. She was never "formally" trained for bird hunting and pretty much picked it up by going out with dad.

    That dog was 1 year older than me and I can still remember the night she was put down, crippled from hip dysplasia, when I was a boy of 13. But she had a long and wonderful life, most of it in Oregon and the last few years in Alaska. I never met another German Sheppard that could hold a candle to her. My dad raised 2 more German Sheppards after her, both males, and the two of them together weren't half as smart as she was.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  7. #7
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    Default Daisy Mae

    Daisy Mae was my Grandfather's beagle. She was the first dog I ever hunted over. I grew up in Vermont and I can remember my Grandpa saying "Lets go to the woods and listen to Daisy Mae sing", and sing she did. Some times we would go with my Grandfather's friend Zeb and his beagle (forgot the name) but those days will be in my memory forever, two good hounds doing their thing, singing and bringing rabbits around in circles. I remember hunting with the .410/22 over under. ( I bought one of those guns at a gun show a few years ago just because of the memories) I do not remember a lot about my childhood, but I do remember hunting and fishing with Grampy Perley.
    Thanks Gramp, RIP

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    Default little slow so here's another

    I was going to keep this as a 1st dog thread, but never figured there are only 4 people in the world ever had a 1st dog hunt.
    She was born in May 78 and I chose her because she was so darned determined to get a bone away from her dam. She won, and she was only 8 weeks old. I named her Ebony.
    Sept 1 that year found us on "galaxy" island with Rusty and a couple of other guys. She had seen lots of retrieving, but no birds. The first bird I hit I was able to wade to as Rusty was busy on the other side. I laid my shotgun down and played with Ebony for a few moments until she was beside herself with wanting that duck.
    Later in the hunt I walked that little black pup through the grass to kick up ducks. Up out of a pothole jumped a drake mallard and I dumped it on the far side. She had seen the whole thing, and off she went with the lumbering gate of a puppy not yet used to its size. A perfect water retrieve. She ran around that little pond and never got a toenail wet.
    Into the grass she went, tail wagging and eager. I lost sight of her, but after a bit heard growling. A moment later here she came, backward, tugging and growling at that mallard as it hung up in the saw grass. She was not giving up. She finally got turned around, grabbed that big bird by the wing, and proudly brought it back the long way around that pond. She was 3 1/2 months old on her first real hunting retrieve.
    I hunted over her for 12 great years. There are more birds I remember, but none more vivid than that. Every man ever owned a dog has a favorite. This little black dog was mine. I was blessed with my first being the best.

  9. #9
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    Default

    The first dog I ever hunted over were my grand uncle's beagles. Back in Ohio my grandfather started us with rabbit hunting. I used to use a single shot .410 then graduated to a single shot 20 gauge and finally a pump 20 gauge. There's a lot of good memories assiociated with those hunts. My first hunting dog was a German Shorthair but that's another story.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Jiggs! I was about 13 when we got him. He was a 2 year old liver and white Springer Spaniel. He was the best dog and friend a kid could ever have.

    He went everywhere with me. He was a natural on ducks, grouse and chukars.

    He died when I was is 'Nam. Since then we've had 4 other Springers, what a great breed.

    kingfisherktn

  11. #11

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    This brings back the memories!! When I was in high school, a friend that I hunted with called one afternoon and asked if I wanted a lab puppy for $5.00. We'd been throwing sticks on rope and going in ourselves after ducks to this point. It seems that a man had a female from top field trial lines who had sent her back somewhere to be bred to a "National Champion" yellow. He wanted a yellow in the worst way. His black ***** gave him 12 black puppies and he was upset and mad. He just wanted them gone and was giving them away for $5.00. No papers of course, but we didn't care.

    We didn't know anything about training, but I threw sticks for him and fetched them back to me. Over the years, he learned from watching me, when it was time to pick up the deks, I walked out and started dragging them back, he would do the same until one day I looked at he and said "deks" and he went and brought them all in for me. He did that until he died at 15.

  12. #12

    Default

    There is no edit button or am I missing something? I see the delete in my post. Sorry about that, I've always been told it is appropriate and proper to refer to female dogs by that term. You can see it any AKC publication when gender is stated. Just refering to the dam of the litter. Is that term allowed here? or is that banned too?

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    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Jeb

    I was 14 when we bought my first Springer. Like mentioned before, he followed me around everywhere, did everything, hunted like it was nobody's business. Gave me more than anyone or anything ever has....
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Archer, I think you had my dog. grin

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    Member AKArcher's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Archer, I think you had my dog. grin
    ... do you mean the dog that would rather sleep in the travel kennel the night before a hunt than sleep in his permanent "hound hotel"? Do you mean the dog that cried like you were cutting his toes off if you had to leave him in the truck for one drive to give him a break from the heat? Do you mean the one that would sit on your foot and wag his "stub" until you finally gave him the release command? Well if so...maybe my Jeb was your Jiggs in a second life. *Getting a little teary-eyed* No wonder they have been dubbed "mans best friend".
    When all else fails...ask your old-man.


    AKArcher

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    Default wait a minute

    You mean my lab was not the only "screamer" when left in the truck? Maybe not the only dog that would be fast asleep on the drive there, but when you turned down the last gravel road or driveway would come awake bouncing off the windows?
    Great stories. Tell me more about those dogs. Tell me more about being a kid with a constant shadow wherever you went. Tell me more about watching those beagles sing and chase rabbits right past you (and you missing). Tell me about picking briers and thorns out of those floppy springer ears after a good days hunt.
    I missed out on the boy and hunting dog years. Yes, we had dogs, but not hunters. The dog I grew up with could have been though. She was a lot smarter than a skinny kid ever thought about being. Faithful, tough, honest, protector, playmate, and friend all describe her.

  17. #17
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKArcher View Post
    ... do you mean the dog that would rather sleep in the travel kennel the night before a hunt than sleep in his permanent "hound hotel"? Do you mean the dog that cried like you were cutting his toes off if you had to leave him in the truck for one drive to give him a break from the heat? Do you mean the one that would sit on your foot and wag his "stub" until you finally gave him the release command? Well if so...maybe my Jeb was your Jiggs in a second life. *Getting a little teary-eyed* No wonder they have been dubbed "mans best friend".

    That's Jiggs!

  18. #18
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak River Rat View Post
    You mean my lab was not the only "screamer" when left in the truck? Maybe not the only dog that would be fast asleep on the drive there, but when you turned down the last gravel road or driveway would come awake bouncing off the windows?
    Great stories. Tell me more about those dogs. Tell me more about being a kid with a constant shadow wherever you went. Tell me more about watching those beagles sing and chase rabbits right past you (and you missing). Tell me about picking briers and thorns out of those floppy springer ears after a good days hunt.
    I missed out on the boy and hunting dog years. Yes, we had dogs, but not hunters. The dog I grew up with could have been though. She was a lot smarter than a skinny kid ever thought about being. Faithful, tough, honest, protector, playmate, and friend all describe her.
    We took him Chukar hunting in E. Oregon and he picked up paws (& ears) full of small round thorny things (?) about the size of a large pea. They got packed in between his toes where it had to be down-right miserable but he wouldn't quit hunting till you physically had to hold him down and cut out the hair between the toes with scissors to get those things (?) out. Let him up and he'd take right off again and end up with the same results.

    teary eyed!

    kingfisherktn

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey king, I'm originally from Pendleton, though we moved to AK when I was only 10. I went back to visit the area briefly last summer. Still looks pretty much the same, lots of wide open spaces, with a few more buildings in the towns. Are you from that area or were you just on a hunt down there?

    I can remember a lot of ground squirrel hunting from my youth. Back in the early 70s there used to be a formal blackpowder ground squirrel hunt at the IZ ranch that my family went to every year. What a blast. Good memories that are still quite clear.

    You're right on dogs being man's best friends. My dog memories are the few that can bring a tear to eye. They are the most faithful and selfless friends a guy will ever know.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  20. #20
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Joat: I grew up in Rockaway, just north of Tillamook. We'd go over there just for the hunting. It's been 10-15 years since I was in the area. Good memories though.

    kingfisherktn

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