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Thread: Training Pay off For Ember (gun shyness gone)

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Smile Training Pay off For Ember (gun shyness gone)

    Well, She is a bit rough on the edges and needs work with retrieving but Ember seems to be coming around. She held some good points, I think it was helpful that the snow was so deep. I wasn't sure at times if she was resting or pointing...I didn't trust her a couple times and called her off too early only to find a bird buried in the snow. We have to work on reading each other but that will come with time.
    I almost turned around a couple times thinking the snow was too deep, I also thought the ptarmigan would hold better in the fluffy snow and they did. The would surprise us both by bursting out of their snowy roosts...pretty cool. I was surprised at how far they would move under the snow before busting out....little tunnels underneath. I had to locate the first couple birds by finding where they had dove into the snow to roost. Once she got wind of the birds she would get off the tails of my snowshoes and hunt.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Those are some fantastic pictures, Burke. Thanks for sharing!

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    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Default nice pics

    Thanks for sharing the pics. Looks like you and the dog got a good workout. I can't wait till August when my pup will be ready! He's almost 6 months old now.

  4. #4

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    great looking pics! The first one is my favorite. I'm glad to hear that you and Ember resolved the issue with guy shyness. Keep those pictures coming

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    I'm glad Ms. Ember is coming around. Some dogs are just a bit slower to learn. Not as slow as some humans, but sometimes a bit slower than some other dogs.

    Man that snow is deep. I'm happy we are experiencing another snow drought year here in the Interior or I wouldn't be able to hunt as hard. Getting older is not for the weak!

    Glad things are working out for you two.

    Jim

    P.S. Here's a shot of my youngest dog, Charlie, on a recent hunt near home here in Fairbanks.



    And one of my 5 year old Brittany Rudy with one of the many ptarmigan we took that day.



    Jim

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    Jim and Burke, keep the pictures coming! You both have an eye for photography (not to mention great upland bird hunting with dogs)

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    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Nice pics Jim...Thanks for the encouragement!

    Wish WE had a snow drought for this last couple weeks of the season :0) I am on spring break right now and would like to get out again. My britt would have had a REALLY tough time in this snow. We are getting more tonight. Although the wind was howling today...that might help!?

    I am very happy with Ember's progress...she has a little catching up to do since she missed out on a lot of early field experience. I can only imagine how well she would be doing if she were introduced to birds and guns sooner and appropriately!
    She will be my first dog who did not love retrieving birds. I am going to try to capitalize on her household fetching, she loves to bring me toys. She may get better with birds, but I think the Forced Retrieve might be necessary.
    Last edited by Burke; 03-08-2010 at 23:18. Reason: add

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    Burke,

    What exactly is it that Ember does, or does not do on the retreive? Will she pick up the bird at all? If she picks it up but just doesn't bring it all the way back to you I'd work on "Hold" at home, and then command her to "Hold" after she picks up the bird and is working back toward you. Once I was near to her and she was holding the bird nicely, I'd talk softly to her, letting her know she's a "Good girl" and pet her a bit. I'd let her retain possession of that bird for a bit before I had her drop it in my hand.

    Just a thought.

    Jim

  9. #9
    Member Burke's Avatar
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    Default Jim I like your idea.

    Jim, She will go to the bird pick it up, mouth it, etc. Sometimes she will carry it around a little. I am not too worried at this point because I have had her for such a relatively short time and have not worked with her at all on retrieve. We are still getting to know each other.

    We just got another dump of snow 6" at my house, who knows how much in the mountains on top of what you saw in the photo...I think the season may be done for me here. I wanted to get her as much wild bird exposure that I could this season. I am going to start focusing on the "yard work" now (hold, whoa, heel etc.). I have introduced these concepts but not really worked them yet.

    Jim, Is your season still open? I know the end comes sooner in some places than others. We have till the end of the month.

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    Burke,

    From the sounds of it, I wouldn't worry much about that dog. I'll bet she'll be fetching 'em up soon, especially if she knows it makes you happy.

    And, yes, our ptarmigan season goes to April 30, only the daily bag limit has been decreased to 5 birds per day beginning March 1, which is plenty for me and my dogs.

    Jim

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    Member Rising_Creek's Avatar
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    Great pics. I always thought you had to go higher for Ptarmigan. Congrats!

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    Rising Creek,

    Nope! Sometimes...some years...the ptarmigan are all over downtown Fairbanks, and that would put them at somewhere around 450' above sea level. But that has a lot to do with the snow conditions and such in the high-country. Willow ptarmigan will be found lowest of the three species, then rocks, then white-tailed ptarmigan. But then nothing is constant, and wildlife, if given the opportunity, will do whatever pleases their free spirits and they will routinely defy man's rules of behavior.

    Jim

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    Very cool pics Burke & Jim,,And great looking dogs..
    Man i am jealous.. Of all the hunting Alaska has to offer Ptarmigan is pretty close to the top of must do's for me..

    Burke,, no doubt on learning to read each other,, once you learn to read your dog and trust her then it just gets better every time out..
    once again great pictures,, Id love to see some more if ya got em..

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    Slimm,

    We're all the same, wishing we could visit someplace else and do what the locals there do. In my case, I long to be back down your way again, over in Copper Basin up Mackay way, ahorseback and moving cows out of the high country. Be nice to draw an elk tag, too.

    As for ptarmigan hunting...keep in mind how Alaska is just a "frequent flier" ticket away, and the non-res small game license is only $20.00! Go for it!

    And thanks for the kind words.

    Jim

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    Hi Jim, I was just through Mackay, went over to Challis and caught some steelhead on the Salmon river,, Beautiful country..

    Your right about just having to go for it,, if i don't make it this year, 2011 is a sure deal.
    I have my sights set on spending some time over in the Rubies in Nevada trying to get me a Himalayan Snowcock this year. I have been twice in the past and haven't got one yet ,
    So i am going to put in the time this year and get that Monkey off my back..

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    Slimm,

    Challis is a nice little town. I've got friends over there. Glad you caught some metalheads!

    Jim

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