Fall for Bird Dog Trainers
Fall is a special time for bird dog trainers. It a season full of preparation and anticipation. As cooler weather rolls in we get a little extra pep in our step and an added twinkle in our eyes knowing that hunting season is approaching.
Our preparation begins months before the opening day of hunting season. Training needs to be completed for the younger dogs, trained dogs need tuneups and need to get physically ready for season. There is a lot to be done!
Here at RSK, Laurie Back has been roading our guide string, getting them physically fit after their lazy days of summer. Being in good physical shape will not only help them perform for us during our hunts but also help prevent injuries. She groups dogs together according to length of stride, desire to pull, and physical fitness level. Our Ranger and four-wheeler are both equiped with roading rigs so that Laurie can take four dogs out at a time. She watches the dogs closely, pushing them to do their best, and monitoring them so they do not over exhert themselves. Slowly and surely all of our dogs have been getting in good physical condition for a season of wild bird hunts. They will be rearing to go for our first hunt in November!
While Laurie has been busy in the athletic department, Jake Edwards and I have been working with the last basic training class of the year. Jake is an Advanced Level Certified Trainer and owner of Jacob Mark Kennels in Kentucky. He completed his certification with us this summer. Jake has been busy building new kennel facility, creating a new website, and building his training business to a new level. He was kind enough to come back and work with us this fall as we finish up this class. Unfortunately, Jake will be leaving RSK later this week and heading north to get his string of dogs some experience on wild pheasants. (Learn more about Jake and his facility by clicking here and visiting his new website.)
Things have been busy here, but all ears have been tuned to catch updates on Ronnie's sojourn to Montana. Every year we gather a group of dogs to attend our Wild Bird Excursion, which is a month long training program on the prairies of Montana. We believe that the ultimate service that we offer our clients are our trips to work on wild birds. All of the training culminates in those valuable months. Travel, wild birds, more time on the ground hunting, and experience on different types of wild birds come together in the best hunting preparation possible.
Good friends of ours graciously allow us to work on three of their privately owned ranches. Each ranch is a gem on its own and offers a different scenario for the dogs. Workouts there often look like they should be the feature pictures in a bird dog magazine, but there's always a less glamorous side to the story. Take a look at the rig Ronnie works out of...
Just ahead of more wet weather Ronnie pulled out of the main ranch and is now on his way home. He says he feels good about his workouts and the dog's experiences. Some of the dogs that were onboard with him have been regular attendees on these wild bird excursions. Needless to say those are the dogs that got focused early on and really began to produce. The younger dogs usually take a little longer. Everyone had plenty of time on the ground and opportunity to learn how to work wild birds. Overall, Ronnie feels very good about the dog's progress over the course of the month. Covey sizes were down a little, but the average number of bird contacts were good. He did see more pheasant than last year. He is also happy to report there were no porcupine or rattlesnake contacts! All in all it was a good trip for everyone.
The next few days will be busy ones as we send home the dogs from Ronnie's trip. A little after that we'll be transitioning the August Basic Class over to their owners and sending them home. We will be eagerly waiting to hear how all of the dogs do, while we are packing our own bags, loading our dogs and heading to Texas to guide hunts and work dogs on wild bobwhites. It is a great time to be a dog trainer! We'll keep you posted on how our season progresses!
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