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#1 glenway

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 03:47 AM

I was asked to shoot ducks for the Michigan Flyways retriever club and came away with a better education and a sore shoulder.  Shot the smoothbore for just under 6 hours in front of some of the top dogs anywhere.

 

The collection of some 60+ Master level dogs was impressive and nobody got a better view of the action.

 

Here's how the competition works in a nutshell.  Once the dog is on the line, the first station flings a dead duck into the field as a blank shotshell is fired.  Dog watches and takes note.

 

Second station does the same.  Dog watches and takes note.

 

Then comes the live duck station (my turn), where live ducks are sent into the air with a huge slingshot and it's the shooter's job to knock 'em down before they fly off to freedom.  Dog watches and takes note.

 

Then, on command the dog must find all the ducks in tall alfalfa some 2-feet high and our duck in the corn stubble.  The handler or owner can only direct the dog for one of these ducks.  The dog must remember where the others are on its own.

 

Once these 3 ducks are retrieved, and while the dog is bringing back the third bird, 2 other ducks are planted in the field by workers and the handler/owner must direct the dog to the hidden birds.

 

There is a lot of pressure at our station with the live ducks (another shooter and me), because missing, or worse yet, wounding a duck that runs off messes things up.  (And, you don't want of bunch of big-money owners squawking.)  Some person would have to chase the escaping duck down and kill it; otherwise, competing dogs may pick up the scent and chase after it to parts unknown.  Fortunately, it never happened to us.

 

Between the two of us shooters, we dropped every duck. 

 

Today is day 2 of the event and the top dogs will retrieve over water and land.  No shooting for me today.  One day is enough.

 

Gun is a Browning Silver and optic is an  EOTech.  A bit difficult with the sun in the face (all morning and into the early afternoon) but I could still see the red electronic reticle. 

 

I was saddened when one of the best dogs ran the circuit flawlessly and was kicked out of the event after a perfect job.  Here's why:  Once the dog is finished, it must sit and watch the next dog.  It's called honoring.  As soon as the first station flung a duck and shot the blank, the honoring dog broke for the bird.  That's it.  Go home disqualified.  Dang shame. 

 

Bullwinkle usually shoots with me but he declined this year.  But, I had a very good shooter alongside me and we didn't disappoint.  Our pay:  a free lunch and some thank you comments as we departed.

 

 

 

 

 

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#2 kiyote

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 05:39 AM

that's pretty cool!

 

 had a black lab when a kid that was  of  that class of retriever .  my older brother used to work with  her every day.I have never since been around a hunting dog of that caliber.

 

she was something special  but still it took a lot of time and effort from my brother to get her there.


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#3 hassell

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 08:31 AM

Thanks for sharing Glen, I'm still in the training program also !!



#4 youngdon

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 10:51 AM

That's some good shooting Glen, and under pressure. I was elected as the "official gun" once at a field trial for Weimaraners. I was a bit nervous to start and CLEANLY MISSED the first two birds, luckily my partner got them. He never fired another shot as I was on target after that embarrassing few moments that seemed like it lasted way to long. they were launching chuckers from a game farm. No one else wanted them so I took all the dead birds and made dinner several times over. Like your competition there were some excellent dogs there, and watching them work was something to behold. My dog didn't make the cut unfortunately( he broke on the flush, those two steps were enough) but he and I went out and cleaned up the bobwhites they were planting for the dogs.


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Never kick a dead coyote, especially one that ain't dead when your gun is still in the kitchen. Just ask your favorite Yooper what will happen. But if its a bobcat in a 330 coni and you think he's dead,,,,,Think again.. And we know you were wearing less than your PJ's on the last one you shot !

                                                       

                                                         

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#5 hassell

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:39 PM

Some good memories right there Don.



#6 glenway

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 05:40 PM

Thanks, men.  After the lunch provided, I came home to a Thank You card left at my residence with a Cabela's gift card inside.  Dang hired gun, I am.

 

I really love watching the dogs and learning all I can while there.  With me were dog people that could explain things when I posed questions.   All good people.  The lady who took the picture above was from Connecticut and had a dog there and took her turn about the time I left.    Her only job in our group was to take dead ducks and place them in a designated spot unknown to the dog, but the handler/owner could see the stake in the ground.  Funny thing.  The dogs never seemed to key on the stake, where the bird was.  It was all ears and nose for them.  



#7 youngdon

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 09:54 AM

It’s funny how in one test we measure the dog by his or her ability to remember where the duck fell to retrieve it and in another test we have to place a stake so his human handler doesn’t have to remember where the duck is.
These dogs are amazing.

                          Tree Branch Calls

      

 

Never kick a dead coyote, especially one that ain't dead when your gun is still in the kitchen. Just ask your favorite Yooper what will happen. But if its a bobcat in a 330 coni and you think he's dead,,,,,Think again.. And we know you were wearing less than your PJ's on the last one you shot !

                                                       

                                                         

20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon !

 

If you want to be successful, Be like a postage stamp, Stick to it until you get there

 

 

RIP Chris Miller

 

 


#8 knapper

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 10:21 AM

Good one YD, we wouldn't want to hurt there knees.



#9 azpredatorhunter

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 10:27 AM

Nice Glen




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