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: At the right time in a pups development
: lots/lots of wild birds can make training so
: much easier. I have 3 pups now at 18 months
: that were walked into Huns last winter every
: day I had the opportunity to on the farm and
: had them hunting hard for them and pointing
: them by 7 months old. This year I could not
: get out till late at the beginning of Sept
: when the chicken had started to bunch up but
: could get the pups into 30-70 birds in a 45
: min run off horse. By the end of Sept I
: could get off my horse and walk towards the
: find till the birds flushed with out saying
: anything. Wild birds make bird dogs but you
: need lots this year we had a good
As you know, those pups will be better dogs for your efforts and glad to hear how your bird numbers were enough for good exposure. I am heading for South Texas with puppies myself. This year, the further south you go (level with mid-Mexico as it is), the more wild bobwhites it seems. Hearing about 30-40 coveys per day is routine.
These pups are around 7-8 months old now from three different litters. They will only get about a week of this exposure due to my need to come back home for field trials.
Right now, I have two that are hunting for birds and running the country pretty well. One that is a fireball but doesn't know why. Two that are staying in front of the horse or machine but not particularly interested in any kind of hunting yet and one that is just along for the ride so to speak. All this pup is doing is keying off the other dogs.
This trip to S TX should help sort them all out and hoping light bulbs come on for the four wannabes and the two more precocious prospects really get fired up. As has been stated by you and many others, you cannot replace wild bird exposure for young dogs and the more birds the better. I just do not know of a better way. It is why we go north in the summer and try and find pheasants in early fall and pray for the birds in Texas and other places to reach good numbers.
Yee Haw for 2014-15!