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Thread: Last shoot of the season?

  1. #1
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    Last shoot of the season?

    I am always a little hesitant to blogg about taking Sam shooting as I know there are many people who have very strong views about shooting. However, there are lots of dogs out there whose main purpose is hunting in one form or another. So it is not an area I feel we should ignore on DogWalkBloggs but I still won't be posting any blood and snotters pictures

    That said Sam is not one of those hunting dogs but she does enjoy a morning out shooting. She gets very excited when I start to get the gear together. In some ways this is a surprise as I would have thought a shooting trip is one of the least exiting days out she has with me. Most of it is spent sitting by the side of me at the edge of a field.



    As you can see not high octane exciting stuff.

    Here is a panorama from my seat. This is an 180 degree shot so that explains the weird perspective. My friend John is in the camo suit and for my sins I am dressed the same



    Dog people will argue all day about the pros and cons of different training methods, diet etc. If you want to start a fight in a shooting forum then the need for camouflage or not, hide building etc is the topic to get them going When I started I built a hide / blind with poles and camo netting. I wove natural material into this and made a good job of it. It took a little time but worked well. It was a bit of a pain if you literally had to "up sticks" and move during the day. Now after trying a few different options we now use a couple of sneaky suits. These are lightweight mesh suits that take up no room and go over your normal clothes. We wear these and sit on a couple of seats either on the hedge line or as in this case the fence line as per exhibit A



    Do you feel like a plonker, absolutely. Does it work, yes. Is it much less hassle than building a hide, yes. Is it easier to make changes and move location than a hide, yes but still you do feel daft dressed as a bush. The good thing is you just pull the suit on when you sit down to shoot and pull it of again when you are finished. You are not wearing it in the car on the drive home.

    For a while I had a small piece of camo material that I would put over Sam, like a blanket but I have found that the sight of a dog seems to have no effect of the crows and pigeons I am asked to shoot. So Sam is now spared the shame of camo, although I am tempted to rig up a sneaky suit for her just to spread the shame.

    As I say most of the day is just sitting about for Sam. She does get to stretch her legs a bit when we adjust the decoys or the like. The decoys are the artificial birds you see in this picture. The bush on the right is John again



    Sometimes she gets a bit of a longer walk if one of us goes of to stretch our legs or to have something to eat. You can eat where you are sitting but there is something about eating with ear defenders on that I just don't like so I tend to wander of a bit of a distance and take them off so I can eat properly.



    So as I say it is a surprise that Sam is as keen on these days out as it is not a lot of exploring. I also find it amazing how she is so used to the sound of a shotgun now. She can quite happily curl up and go to sleep while you are shooting away right next to her. Either that or she will just be cozied up next to you watching the world go by.



    But as I alluded to in the thread title this may be her last shooting trip for the year. I shoot at the farmers request to protect his crops. I also get to eat the pigeon and the crows go to feed John's ferrets. The last of the barley is being harvested right now. While you can legally shoot all year round to keep the numbers down for when the crops are in the ground we tend to only be shooting when they are actually in the ground. So till next year it may be only clay pigeon shooting trips Sam goes on. And for those it does not matter what we wear
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  2. #2
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    Jun 2013
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    Some nice pics there. Interesting to see such wide open ground for shooting. Reminds me a bit of dove-shoots back home in west Texas. Here, we're almost always in thick brush and/or forest - makes it tricky sometimes even to shoulder your gun when a bird goes up.

    Are there laws as to the use of lead vs. non-toxic shot over there?

    We can use lead here, except for Migratory Birds (ducks, geese, woodcock, doves). For those we must use non-toxic shot - expensive & sometimes hard to find in the size you want.

    You are quite right about the Great Camo Debate...... I do wear it during Fall grouse or turkey hunts, but I'm never really convinced, coz during deer and moose season, even if you're only after birds, we must wear a minimum of 400 sq. inches of blaze orange, including headwear. So, at those times we are HIGHLY visible, and it never seems to have any effect on the successs rate on birds. Dunno....all a bit confusing really....


  3. #3
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    It is wide open but probably not as big as it seems due to the panoramic picture.

    The lead laws are different between Scotland and England. In Scotland you cannot use lead if the shot will fall or may fall into wetlands. So you can shoot duck with lead over a field but would need to use steel or the like to shoot crows over a pond or marsh. In England it is species specific so you need to use steel for duck etc but not crows and pigeon.

    I think the Scottish version makes more sense. I cannot see the benefit of me shooting over a field with lead all day then putting a steel cartridge in for a passing duck.

    Without opening the camo tin of worms too wide I think that the colour-blindness of animals means it is really the pattern and the outline that helps rather than the colours. I know that for a dog orange, purple and green are all the same colour so a blaze orange jacket would blend into the grass for a dog.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  4. #4
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    Totally missed this blogg (again!!!). Didn't know you were a pigeon man, is that pump action yours? How many shots? I only have a shotty licence so its only a 3shot semi for me!
    Will have to get out again after they have finished shooting their pheasants so it will be 1st of February!
    Impressed with Sam's laid back response to the shooting, Finn still wants to go and pick up every time I shoot!
    Now to the real question, how many did you get? My best day was over 50 but was only able to pick up 49

  5. #5
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    Yes the pump action is mine. It is only a three shot as well. I can't see the advantage of a bigger magazine.

    My season is quite short as the farmer only wants me shooting for a couple of months. He is worried about complaints from the adjoining RSPB reserve.

    My biggest bag in a day was about 75 but only about 24 pigeons in that. The rest are corvids. It is really the corvids that the farmer wants reducing but the pigeons come in too and are my reward for the pot. The crows etc go to my fiends ferrets so not wasted.

    I do need to work on getting Sam to retrieve birds but as it is mostly crows I am a bit wary as I have heard that pricked birds will peck at a dogs eyes when picked up.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    I have heard that pricked birds will peck at a dogs eyes when picked up.
    They may well do but then again, you only have to improve your aim or only pull the trigger when you're sure of a clean kill....


    Using a rottie as a gundog really would be something to write home about ......
    Properly trained, a man can become a dog's best friend.

  7. #7
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    With a shotgun you can never be certain of a clean kill due to the pattern of shot. It is always possible to have a pigeon shaped hole in the pattern of the pellets or a blank spot in the kill zone. Of course we should be shooting within our skill level to ensure the game is cleanly killed but it can't be guaranteed. That is part of the reason gundogs are used to ensure fallen birds are retrieved quickly and humanly dispatched.

    Since getting Sam I have actually heard about quite a few Rotty gundogs. Seems it is not as rare as I thought.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  8. #8
    another shooting enthusiast here too , been shooting for over 47 years now , had quite a few dogs in my time too , from JR,Terriers to various gundogs ,Springers x2 ,Labrador, Border terrier cross (one of the best gundogs I ever had) and Lurcher and now a whippet , whippet goes nuts everytime I get a gun out races up the garden to the car , lurcher I could only use with .22 rimfire moderated or air rifle ,usually with lamp or when ferreting or bushing with terrier .
    I use to do a lot of Wildfowling but stopped about 20 years ago now , the law in Wales allowed use of lead shot then but does not now in wetland areas or coastal/ tidal grounds .
    I have lots of shooting photos (none of which I regard as gruesome ) but some do show quarry species , some ferreting and some showing the dogs but my biggest regret is I do not have any of my dogs working (mainly because I was busy with the gun) I have them in my memories though .
    Will try and find some of my dogs over the years but a lot are on film and I do not have a scanner .
    Got quite a few of my guns over the years too .

  9. #9
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    I've really not put the work into making Sam a proper working dog. She is capable but I don't shoot enough to get her very good at it. She is doing okay at scurries now as I posted in another blogg.
    http://www.dogwalkbloggs.com/showthr...-to-mediocrity
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    I've really not put the work into making Sam a proper working dog. She is capable but I don't shoot enough to get her very good at it. She is doing okay at scurries now as I posted in another blogg.
    http://www.dogwalkbloggs.com/showthr...-to-mediocrity
    The terrier called Jazz (shown on beach WSM with Iolo) had no interest in working with the gun until after her 2nd birthday I had almost given up , but she
    became one of the best gundogs I have ever had plus faithful to the last , I had almost given up hope of her working though before that .

  11. #11
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    Sam is fine with the sound of the gun. I don't think I could ever get her to hunt now but it would not be a big problem to get her retrieving game. I just need to put a bit of work in.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly View Post
    Sam is fine with the sound of the gun. I don't think I could ever get her to hunt now but it would not be a big problem to get her retrieving game. I just need to put a bit of work in.
    Doesn't matter really does it as she looks a great companion , my Labrador was a great retriever but useless hunter ,a good hunting dog is a great game getter when bushing though .

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