Dog Owners

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

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Dog Owners

Postby PAwingshooter » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:21 am

How cold does the temperature have to be before you leave your dog at home on a duck hunting trip? I know labs, chessies, and other dogs with heavier coats can handle much more, but I have a german shorthair pointer and I know a few other guys on here do as well. Last year was a mild winter so I didn't have any issues, and prior to moving to NJ, all my experience was upland bird hunting so I didn't have my dog swimming in water when it was cold. Just wanted to get some advice on when you decide to leave the dog at home.

I've heard people say the dog won't go in the water when it's too cold, I'm pretty confident that if my dog sees a bird go down, he's taking off regardless.
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Re: Dog Owners

Postby infantry86 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:03 am

Good question! I would be interested to hear some expert opinions as well. I just got an avery vest for my GSP but am wondering how cold they can really handle even with warming equipment. If you have a nice blind set up you could always bring a small portable propane heater so it keeps them warm while waiting on the ducks.
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Re: Dog Owners

Postby duk_hunter155 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:11 pm

pa **** ****. The most important thing to do when hunting a shorthair or other pointing dog is to get yourself a a big old wool army blanket and make sure after he comes out of the water he sits or lies on it. Wool the miracle fiber retains heat even when it's wet. Dukes body will warm up the blanket and keep him fine. Compare that to sitting or laying on the bow of an aluminum duck boat. If he tolerates it throw a separate wool blanket over him he cam hunt all day that way shaking yes but warm none the less. That coupled with a tight fitting neoprene dog vest is all he needs. You will notice when you take the vest off him he will be completely dry under the vest. Bob I have both a vest and a blanket for you to have for duke.
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Re: Dog Owners

Postby canderso » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:01 pm

I hunt with a small (40-44lb) female English Setter. She has a fantastic desire to retrieve. As such I use her for duck hunting. I hunt the Coastal Zone and South Zone. We do a fair amount of work for diver ducks when the water is cold. I have never had a problem with her making a retrievein cold water. Like your dog, she sees the bird and is keyed up waiting for the go ahead.

I do, however, have a problem watching her shake and shiver after the retrive. I use a towel to dry her immediately following the retrieve. I then have 2 wool army blankets. One to lay on and one to be wrapped up in. She wears a fitted neoprene vest. I agree she is warm as toast and relatively drry under the vest in short order. She will let me completely cover her, head and all, with the blanket. When she has warmed back up, she pokes her head out.

I was thinking of trying a portable propane heater in the boat this season. Haven't decided just yet.

I was also looking at one of those pressure sensitive mats that heat up to about 105-110F. They can run on battery. I was thinking of setting up a deep cell battery in the boat that would warm the pad for a day of hunting and then just be recharged at night.

In the end though, I decided to put money down on a Chessie pup. Yeah, that was probably the most cost effective thing to do :biggrin: Still plan to take the Setter though. I can't leave her at home!
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