Dave, Merry christmas and Happy/ Healthy New Year! Have never had the pleasuer of hunting with a Vizula or a spaniel. I've had 4 labradors, all of them have loved to please and hunted hard. Each of us that hunts with a four legged friend has our favorite and mine is the lab. Not as stubborn has a Chessy ( based on the ones I've see) and more agressive than the Goldens thatI've had the pleasuer of hunting over.
I hunted and guided for years with my springer spaniels for upland game. Hard to imagine hutning with out a dog, let alone a springer. I learned early on to NEVER criticize another person's dog or breed... a well trained dog is a pleasure to behold. So now that I have stopped hunting what do I have... a standard poodle. Great house dog, wonderful companion and watch dog, but not good for much else. She thinks that the bunny rabbits that eat our lawn are her best friends. Have a Happy Holiday! Fred
We just got back from a SD pheasant hunt. The group we went with has been going for 25 years, and have NEVER brought dogs. My son and I brought our Drahthaars and another guy brought his lab. The group quickly saw that the dogs do all the work, produce closer shots, and retrieve all the birds. We estimated the dogs found 6-8 birds a day that they would normally lose. These were shot birds that blockers could not find. We hunted 5 days, and there were 11 of us. Thats a total of 30-40 birds for the week, saved by the dogs. We limited out every day, thanks to the dogs.
Every bird dog that I've owned has found a special place in my heart. They may not be the best that I had or hunted behind but they were still special to me. I fortunately have never had anyone of them lack enthusiasm for the chase. They have all been special enough to me (or spoiled) to be able to ride upfront in the pickup cab. When loading they look as though they wouldn't get stopped before crashing into the opposite side. Right now I have a pathetic mess of a pup who's crashed out hard beside me. He's known as Herco and is a German Wirehair. He's on about his 7th or 8th straight day of hunting roosties and I think its starting to get to him alittle. But what_the_he(), he deserves his rest and he's darn sure earned it
On the last day of our 5 day hunt, I had my Drahthaar healed beside me, ready to hit our last field. When I gave the command to "Hunt'em up", he looked up at me like "Are you kidding, I'm wore out!". But he gave it all he had, and we got our last 5 birds. He's only 2. He matured and got alot of experience on that hunt. It's a blast to watch them grow up. Next year we're bringing all 4 dogs and rotate them.
Stonewall, the only Boykin that I ever hunted with was very aggresive. It also ate the sleeve off my sweatshirt. Luckily, I wasn't wearing it. I had heard the water spaniels could be that way. Is it really a true characteristic of the breed?
My most favorit hunting dog is the one that is living with me at the time. She is a Great Springer Spanial named Maggie. She will hunt anything I want to,birds, ducks, coon, squirl, what ever. Not just a super hunting dog but a great companion. She also smiles. Keep shootin
The absolute worst thing about a great dog is that we have them for such a very short time. It breaks my heart when it is time for them to go.
I've had three over the years. The first was a Brittany I bought when I had my first job out of graduate school, in SW Michigan in the mid 70s. That first winter we house-sat for a retired farmer who traveled to Florida every winter. They had 170 acres that was a paradise for pheasants and quail, and Cindy got lots of action on them from when she was a pup. If I crippled one she would track it down and bring it back even if it ran a couple of hundred yards through waist high cover, but if I killed it dead it was my responsibility - she was going to find another live one. And if it involved water, forget it - she didn't do water.
The second was a Chesapeake I got when I moved to Idaho. Abby wasn't quite polished enough to excel at field trials (my fault), but she easily passed her Senior Hunter and did a couple of legs on her Master. She was good on pheasants and grouse, and terrific on waterfowl. There were no weather conditions that could phase her.
My third was a Labrador out of the very best Field Trial lines. Bounce never quite made it to the top levels, although he was qualified All-Age. I couldn't quite get him through tough water blinds, and his trainer couldn't get him to do the toughest water marks in the Opens. He never got into upland game when he was young, so wasn't too good on pheasants and grouse (didn't know what he was looking for), but he was death on waterfowl. There was a section of the Snake River I used to hunt that few others did. If they knocked a bird down in the water, the current would sweep it away before most dogs could get to it. Bounce almost always returned with the bird. I had to put him down about five years ago, and I'm still not over it.
Perhaps I'll get another pup when I retire in a couple of years. I know bird hunting just isn't fun without a good dog.
Mt daughter's young English Setter has been getting a fair amount of hunting time and continues to amaze me. Two weeks ago I found her on point and when I could not produce a bird, I released her. She turned to her right and made a large circle in order to cut off the bird she knew had run out from in front of her. She cutn it off, pointed it again and I flushed and shot it.
Last week, she pointed a Quail which, after a few seconds got up and ran. This time she saw it run and instead of chasing it, she relocated, pinning the Quail between herself and me. I walked in, flushed and shot it.
She has not been taught any of these maneuvers. She has learned them from experience. I had been toying with steadying her to wing and shot but I am now re-thinking this as I am now more of a hunter than a field trialer.
I also have a Super male which is litter mate to her Dam. I am thinking of breeding them this Spring. It would be a great line breeding of 2 fine field dogs which have great recent trial blood in their pedigees as well.
Last week we hunted with a Field Champion retriever. She actually did retrieve a few birds when the Setters, Pointer and Viszla allowed her to. Other that that, she couldn't find her ass in a dark closet with all four paws.
I think the man you were referring to was Dennis Burjan from Two Rivers, NJ.
I have had several American Water Spaniels and they are as east of a dog to train for hunting as probably exist-- kind of like a good springer spaniel but a little lower key
Pointing dogs- really these french brits are about as easy to train pointing dog that exist
If you are a dedicated waterfowl guy and only the longest marks of 200 yards and more and the blind retrieves will do- a good lab out of proven stock ( a bad lab is no better and maybe worse than some of the multi purpose dogs)
hunting from horseback or jeep requires large running pointing dogs- in that case I would say pointers out of good stock
Copper, ya gotta love those Viszla's, cause they sure love you. Our first was named Lady also, learned right away why they call them "velcro dogs."<br> This is a picture of our 6 year old, Fasza, hungarian for bitch or bitcher. Fits her to a T, she was the troublemaker, instigator in her litter but is every bit a velcro dog. Better not roughhouse with the grandkids though, she's right there to defend them. Oh, she does hunt a few roosters too!
My black and white English Springer Spaniel, Maggie. Wanted to hunt from dawn to dusk and beyond. Would work mulitiflora rose till he back was bare. Into brush piles to flush quail, jump a rabbit and wait for the shot. Flushed over 30 pheasants her first opening day. Quirks, sure. Would not pick up a bird but would catch, shake, and then sit guarding them. Probably from my shooting doves when she was seven months old. Guarded my kids, caught bass, and one time when my buddy and I were ice fishing and knocking the 'gills dead, watched us all afternoon on the ice. When we were ready to pick up and go in, we could find no fish. Gene, my buddy, hooked another, pulled it off the hook and stuck in head down in the snow. Maggie watched the tail flicker and when it quit, walked over, picked it up, crunched it a few times and swallowed it.
What a dog. I lost her a month after I lost my dad. Bad year--79-80. Great dad, great dog.