Dog Question

A state with an abundant amount of waterfowl. Share with others your New Jersey duck hunting experiences.

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Dog Question

Postby bayside » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:23 am

As a new hunter my experience is limited as to hunting with different people, thus styles. The guy who got me out has a big Lab. He always allows him free reighn while hunting. Asked him "If we need to make like statues, why let the dog make commotion?" He said the ducks like to see activity. I thought he just didn't want to discipline and I've been his guest so don't make an issue and call out BS. Until Sunday. I was out checking the status of a permanent blind we built, I took our family dog (non retriever) and standing out in the open (Dbay marsh), as I'm texting status to my buddy, the dog is running all over, I hear WHOOSH, WHOOSH, look up and a BLACK duck is trying to land directly in front of the blind {never happens during hunt :( }. I could have hit it with the phone. Is my friend correct about letting his dog run?
Thanks, rich
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Re: Dog Question

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:28 am

I’m not sure anyone can prove anything one way or another, other than offering personal anecdotes. I've heard more than my share of claims that ducks don’t pay attention to dogs, but I think part of those claims are due to it being awful inconvenient to effectively hide a dog in many situations, so it’s easier to just say it doesn't matter. I've had ducks come into the decoys while my lab was retrieving a bird, but I've also had the same thing happen when I was out of the blind for one reason or another, in plain sight. I certainly don’t use that as a reason to claim I don’t need to hide myself. I have no idea what a duck thinks a dog is, but there are wild canines, like foxes and coyotes, that prey on ducks and it just seems to me to increase your odds of success by hiding your dog, and anything else that looks like it doesn't belong.
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Re: Dog Question

Postby bayside » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:36 pm

Gunz,
I agree with your assessment but this experience made me rethink. Mostly, cause of saturday coastal, I'll be hunting with the Lab, was gonna tell him lets try keeping the dog hidden. Now not so sure. Guess I'll just keep logging observations and use best judgment. Sure was crazy seeing that blackie so close tho!
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Re: Dog Question

Postby Force Fetch » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:44 pm

I will throw my two cents in. In our area we hunt under some pretty miserable conditions neg #'s with wind and have to watch wet dogs for hypothermia and frostbite on extremities. In the field we keep our dogs in the laydown blinds with us so it is not a problem. When hunting water I usually let my dogs have a little more latitude, but they have been taught to sit on a duck call or goose call. I have had birds land before the dog settled, as said before, "who knows what ducks think."
Then again under warmer conditions my dogs stay in their blind most of the time.
A friend from South Carolina was out here hunting a few years ago with a pretty nice dog that he used for stud in his kennel. It wasn't that bad of weather, and I kept telling him to let his dog get up and move around a bit to no availe, Bear is still a damn good dog, only not a stud any more. Yep, they froze and had to come off. He really had that dog steady.
A a Jersey expat, you guys really took it hard this past couple of weeks, out prayers are with you.
Wayne
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Re: Dog Question

Postby FOWLGAL » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:50 pm

We hunt coastal and we dont let our dogs run they are either in a ground blind or in a sled if there is water. I also use tie out because I do not want them breaking and running out in front of someone shooting or scaring off the birds that are trying to land in the decoys. Had a friend that laid his gun outside his layout blind and we let the dogs loose to run around & one dog stepped on the gun while running and actually pushed the safety off and and pulled the trigger as he was running Very Scary thing, we learned our lesson quick. I think it is always best to keep them still not to many black, yellow, or brown foxes running around on the island that I hunt.

Force Fetch, one of the articles that I recently read taked about hypothermia in dogs and they recommend using a wool blanket because even if it gets wet it will still retain heat for the dogs. I bought one that I am going to cut up into 3 seperate blankets and use them for their blinds to help with heat.
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Re: Dog Question

Postby Force Fetch » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:59 pm

My buddy had down some sort of blanket. I prefer to use wool sacks folded and they make a great way to strain off water. They are the burlap sacks that they ship sheared wool in 10'x4'. They used to be my ground blinds before mfg'd ones came along. Up here the wool blankets are for me. I also haul along a bale of wheat straw when we set up blinds on the Missouri and break them down for use as the season progresses, stack enough of them together and you have a great little shelter. We take a bunch of them along with us on extended field hunts, and use them as dog shelters at night, they make great little dog houses.
Head down and Keep Swinging
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