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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got myself volunteered to shoot hand thrown live ducks for the local bird dog training trials, all the volunteer shooters don't resign up because they aren't used to shooting 300 rounds a day . ODFW mandates a hunting license and duck tag and steel loads ( club supplies shells ) to shoot cage raised ducks so much for regulating wildlife . Has anyone else done this and what should I expect ? Jay
 

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I've shot in AKC senior/master hunt tests and field trials for pointing dogs. Best part is that I get to see all the other dogs and handlers work and gauge where our dogs are in comparison to them. Its a lot of pressure though. Kinda like an all day shoot-off. You're not suppose to miss ! I feel honored to be asked. (Good thing the folks don't ask to see my average card !)
 

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I shot it one time here in Idaho and when asked to do it again I declined. It is a pretty lame sport in my opinion. I do enjoy the dogs working but killing the ducks in that manner was practically inhumane and not fun at all
 

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I've been a 'gun' a couple of times ... the dog-work is fantastic ... IF you can see much of it.

Your job is to drop the bird, and the handlers prefer 40yds instead of 20.

Depending ... if you can get a good cripple on a few, so there can be some long blind retrieves, you'll have a permanent job.

Bob
 

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The responses you have recieved to this point seem to address pointer or spaniel trials.
I believe you are being asked to shoot at a non slip retirever trial or hunt test, if that is the case do it it is fun if you like to shoot. Hand thrown ducks or ones out of a winger are not a piece of cake to hit them in the same fall zone consistantly. Shoot an open choked gun, I use an 870 with a skeet choke so an IC would probably work. Unless they do things different,you will shoot between 50 and 75 birds per day and less on the last day of a trial or test as some dogs have been eliminated. Really efficient judges and well run crews combined with tests with teeth can usually only handle up to max fifty dogs in a day.
This answer comes from 25 years experience handling,judging, and co chair gun captain at the 99 Master Nationals.
 

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Anyone know where I can sign up to do this in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area. Sounds like a great few days out in the field with good people and dogs. Probably pick up some good field tips as well.

Thanks,

Christopher Monaco
 

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I have also shot hand thrown ducks for retriever trials. I agree with the two comments that it isn't fun, it isn't sporting, you are an executioner under a LOT of pressure, and it isn't nearly as easy as you would think. There really should be two gunners, a primary and a back up.

Planted birds in front of pointers or flushers is a lot more fun. I've done enough of both that I will be fine if they never ask me again to do the duck executing again. You do get to see a lot of great retriever work. Don't take an expensive or fancy gun.
 

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I have also done this many times and we always utilized two guns. It’s a long day and no, it is not fun for long. I have also shot many hand thrown pheasant, they are more challenging in every aspect. Ever try to get one pheasant out of a box of ten or twelve.

It is not meant to be fun for the shooter! You are there to provide a service, a needed service. Testing the dogs is simulating a hunt, not any other way to do it then using birds. Not every bird thrown during the test is thrown live. Each and every successful dog will receive at least one live bird that hopefully, will be successfully shot and killed for them to retrieve. Watching the dogs hunt is what it all about. A well trained retriever evolves a lot of work and dedication, but come Duck season its all worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your responses , it sounds like what I thought . I love dogs and watching them work ,working dogs need to do thier job so I'll do my job the best I can so the dog can do thier best, but this probally won't be fun . By the way Thor is my 8 year old German Sheperd and best friend his job is to take care of my wife when I'm not around . Thank you JAY
 
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