Well how should I start? Got a red fox lab at the ISE in the bay area, Cali.. back at the end of last duck season. He was 6 weeks old and the best looking dude in the litter.
I just graduted college and had time off, not having a job I had a great opportunity to take him out almost everyday for ob training. Flash forward a few months ..once we got the ob down It took about 5 trips to the waterfront by my house to get him confident enough to start swimming, after that he was hooked on dock diving and making retrieves.
Come september I brought him out a few times for dove season and got some shooting under his belt, he wasnt gun shy at all! He even got to witness a few downed doves but really had no idea what the hell he was supposed to do haha. Anyways Every saturday I forced him to watch OLN hunting shows!
Opening day 2009-2010 duck season down in Los Banos, thousands of guns firing off scared the crap out of him. It was like going into a warzone with all the gun fire, he freaked out and wouldnt come and sit at the blind and kept trying to run off he was so scared but eventually calmed down when the shooting stopped. We were in a bad area, thank God, because we only shot two ducks that day and he didnt really get a chance to put what we had been working on prior to the season and the dead duck on the water. Second weekend of the season we were up in our blind in the rice fields, again the shots being fired kinda freaked him out, but when we shot our guns he didnt flinch. He was doing his thing, running out to the duck and playing with it, stepping on it, hoilding it under water, but not bringing it right back to us. Then later in the day We shot a pair of sprig, and goddamnit I didnt have my camera ready. He runs out straight to the birds brings em back to us without hesitation and we were just so freaking happy! After he put 2 and 2 together it was like he had been hunting for 5 years already! Here are his very first rice field hunt results!
The hunting wasnt very good this year for us(duck numbers wise), it was mainly a learning experience for our pup. All in all I guess it went really great in the sense that we had a new dog and got to shoot a couple birds here and there. He was making long retrives, ducking his head under water chasing teal, he even fetched a few snows and specs! I have so much more to say about how awesome of a year it was for us to see our new hunting partner grow up and learn the tricks of the trade but I would sit here and write a 10 pager. Now thats hes a year old and has a good grasp on what his job entails, I cant wait for next year!!!!