Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby LuvMyLab » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:25 am

Looking for opinions..

Do you find that a dog looking out of a boat blind flares mallards?

I have a fairly large splashwell and my dog like to either sit or lie down there and watch for birds. I usually have her covered up with the quickset camo so just her head is out of the blind.

Is this a bad idea?
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:57 am

My lab is partly visible because his awareness and enjoyment of the experience adds to my own. I love hearing his enthusiasm as he softly whimpers when he spots birds in the distance, sometimes even alerting me to their presence. I can't say that a visible dog never causes birds to flare. Many of those who do insist it doesn't matter simply wants that to be the case but can't make the claim with absolute certainty. I make the same argument with camo vs. blued guns. In both cases ducks decoy enough times that I do not worry about the cause when they sometimes don't. I just try to have as much of my set-up blend in to the surroundings as I can and, above all, keep myself and my dog still. Ducks see alot of things but, like most game, movement most gets their attention.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Rick Hall » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:16 am

LuvMyLab wrote:Looking for opinions..

Do you find that a dog looking out of a boat blind flares mallards?

I have a fairly large splashwell and my dog like to either sit or lie down there and watch for birds. I usually have her covered up with the quickset camo so just her head is out of the blind.

Is this a bad idea?


No.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Stish85 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:07 pm

From my experience especially over water ducks and geese really don't seem to be bothered by dogs. I can't tell you how many times I have had birds drop in when my dog is wondering the shoreline or swimming in the blocks.

Now I should add that doesn't mean I don't keep my dog in the blind. But when it's slow a lot of times I let her wonder a bit.

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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby LuvMyLab » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:58 pm

Thanks for the input, I will let her sit there and see how we do :)
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby greenster » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:02 pm

Nah... Let em swim around and make some waves.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:38 pm

Luvmylad ,have you ever heard of a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, look them up on Wikipedia, then make your decision , I think you will end up letting the dog watch after reading it
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Stish85 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:57 pm

My dog gets really antsie if she can't see what's going on. Once she can see over the decoys she will sit still as long as I want her to.

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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:43 am

Things that remind them of the last however many places that erupted in gunfire flare birds. Whether it's an anxious hunter's smiling face, a blind that looks like a blind or a dog that's obviously that, birds that have had the course are going to be leery of it.

Dogs swimming or even running around in the decoys can attract distant birds because they apparently appear like birds, themselves, from that distance. But let close incoming birds that were ready to land with a swimming dog see it climb up on the shore or a dog ramp, and they're probably going to haul arse if they've been under the gun much. And we see much the same field hunting: Pup running back to us with a retrieve is very likely to turn distant game our way, but if birds arrive before he's settled back in, apparently landing with us, and they catch him standing, pressured birds are apt to be bumped by the dog that reminds them of dogs with guns. (How tolling dogs get brought into these discussions beats me, because that is a hide and seek game, with the toller appearing and disappearing, that catches the curiosity of distant birds rafted on the water and slowly draws them closer over time, as their curiosity mounts and they gain confidence that the toller can't harm them.)

It's been my experience that it's best to have the dog where it can mark most falls but to also keep it largely concealed, or at least not sitting out in the open where they're most apt to remind birds of scenes that shot at them. So while I'm good with Pup sitting up where that's needed to see out of its cover, I'll want him laying down and perhaps be covered up with something more natural appearing if he still contrasts with his background.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Justin Weber » Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:09 pm

Go look up Boykin Toller dogs. Might not be the exact name but I have heard of guides up in Canada using these dogs to run around the shoreline to attract birds when the action gets slow. Its obviously doesn't awnser the question but its interesting.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby LuvMyLab » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:48 pm

Thank you folks!

My dogs lie or sit in the splash well of my alaskan with camo material over top and just thier head sticking out.

As far as tolling dogs, I don't believe they use these on educated mallards, they are used for pulling in sea ducks (divers) which are less weary and decoy easier anyways (this is just my experience)

I really appreciate the input, thanks again!
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:51 pm

LuvMyLab wrote:As far as tolling dogs, I don't believe they use these on educated mallards, they are used for pulling in sea ducks (divers) which are less weary and decoy easier anyways (this is just my experience).


The Brits used to kill a lot of puddlers in giant net traps called "decoys" with the aid of dogs used as tollers. But, like tollers, they were used to slowly lure sitting ducks into the decoy by appearing and disappearing behind blinds to catch the ducks' attention and raise their curiosity. Takes a lot of such teasing and a long time to work, and it is nothing at all like luring airborne birds to the guns.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby Sclf » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:15 pm

Stish85 wrote:My dog gets really antsie if she can't see what's going on. Once she can see over the decoys she will sit still as long as I want her to.

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I have also found this to be the truth! I have a member of our lease who hides his dog for pretty much the entire hunt then just sends it after cripples at the end. I think it's crazy.
Also remember, a dog that can see what's going on will mark downed birds much better.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby quanah labs » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:02 pm

The main reason I even started duck hunting was because I wanted to hunt with a dog! The thought of her not being able to watch the action would take all the fun out of the sport. I love it when she sees a flock in the distance and locks onto them, stops panting, and starts wagging her tail. You can almost hear her saying under her breath, come on come on come on, just a little closer.

I'm too new at this sport to have the experience needed to honestly say how many birds flare because they see my dogs face sticking out of the blind, but its certainly not enough to keep her so hidden she misses out on all the fun. For me duck hunting is freaking hard, getting up early, cold water, long dark hikes with 100lbs of dekes on your back, muddy everywhere and on everything, hell if you took the joy out of watching my girl get excited about working birds I'd just as soon turn off the alarm and role over.
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Re: Hide dog in boat or let them watch?

Postby cwsmith » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:55 pm

Stish85 wrote:My dog gets really antsie if she can't see what's going on. Once she can see over the decoys she will sit still as long as I want her to.


Hey… if I was hunting and couldn't see over the decoys I'd be getting pretty antsy too! It's good to let well behaved dogs see what's going on out there if possible. More enjoyable for them for sure! :smile:
13-14 Season

40 mallards
14 GWT
13 pin
10 spoony
10 buff
9 wigeon
8 rgnk
6 woodie
6 gad
5 barrow's ge
3 merg
3 ruddy
2 l scaup
1 g scaup
1 comm ge
1 can
TOTAL DUCKS = 132

77 canada
4 snow
2 speck
TOTAL GEESE = 83

TOTAL WATERFOWL = 215
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