Nitro's first day hunting
I finally got a chance to take nitro out for a little hunting. I planned on hiking into a spot about 5 miles in and setting up camp. As we were walking along I hear the familiar chuckle of a ptarmigan and see Nitro pointing at a bird in the wide open, not 5 ft away from him. I gave him the sit command and of course the bird took off. I hadn't even loaded my shotgun yet but I tried to pump aNitro first retrieve.jpg shell into the chamber a get off a quick shot but in the rush of things I shot a good foot behind the bird. Nitro gave me the most disappointed look Nitro's first hunt.jpgI have ever seen. In training- a bird always fell at the shot (maybe i should have missed a few times in our drills).
I took off my pack and decided we should hunt some nearby willows. Nitro started acting birdy and went straight into a big patch of willows. Several ptarmigan flew out and I folded one cleanly. I heeled Nitro and gave him the dead bird command and pointed to where the bird fell. Nitro ran over and picked up the bird and raced back to the heel position. I told him to hold and then give, he gave me bird and went back to hunting like he had done it his whole life. I was so proud!! We haven't done any live bird training at all and he did everything perfect.
We kept hunting in the rain and Nitro jumped several different flocks of ptarmigan. We ended up with 4 before it was time to set up camp. Nitro retrieved the other 3 birds perfectly and brought them all right back to me. It rained all night and we slept good except Nitro had a little gas and one dream were he woke me up by barking in his sleep. I thought it was a bear but nitro's eyes were still closed.
The next morning right off the bat I sent Nitro into a huge patch of willows and birds flew out in all directions. I got a little carried away and shot a triple. I thought oh no a brand new pup and I shoot a triple over 6ft tall willows. I heeled him and send in to find the birds. He found the first one in record time and brought it back. I sent him in for the second one and he brought it right back. I sent him in for the third bird and he kept working back and fourth trying to find it. He was starting to get a little too far out so I tried to call him back but he kept going further. I was getting mad that he wasn't listening to me and I was about to hit his "hearing aid" when I heard his little bell coming back. Sure enough he had the third bird in his mouth and brought it back just as proud as he could be. I guess it ran after it went down and I should learn to trust the dog.
We ended up taking 2 more before we decided to head back. I was extremely happy with Nitro. We need a little more work with hand signals and he likes to chase low flying birds. When I give him sit and then over he would sometimes only go 5 yards into the brush but I'm sure he will good by the end of the season. He will be 1 on Sept 11th so we have plenty of time to work with him.
Special thanks to Baron for helping my wife and I get started in our training.
Here's one more pic. This spot is on no name mt over by whatchcallit river so please don't blast the spot out to everybody if you reconize it. Thanks
Sound like a proud papa, Lol
I have a spitting image chocolate lab, myself -- though he is much older -- pushing 12 years now. You must have been beside yourself, tickled to death over Nitro's performance! It is good when it all comes together -- most dogs with hunt in them are far smarter than we realize -- 'til they are in their element and actually hunting and can really show their talents. Looks like Nitro is a natural and now he is training you on a few things.
Great !! That's awesome. Glad you guys are working as a team. That's what this sport is all about. You provide for him and he provides for you. You are his coach .... and his training( and yours) has really just begun.
I think this may be my favorite story (other than my own) of the year. What fun to hunt with your dog. I had to laugh about Lab gas in the tent. Oh my, can they get stinky. I'm surprised you did not have nightmares.
Way to go, and best of luck to the both of you.