You may recall I posted pictures of the Gordon Setter [Piper] that I picked up last summer. Well I took her out with a couple friends today to hunt Pheasants for the first time. The guy I purchased her from had taken her out a couple times and said she was a natural but he concentrated his training on the dogs that he trialed and showed. I was somewhat skeptical when I couldn't get her to head into a ditch that I'd seen some Pheasants drop into. I only went along to give the dogs some experience in the field so I wasn't shooting. Knowing the birds were running the ditch and into the field I opted to run ahead and cut them off so the guys coming behind in another truck could get a squeeze going. I was about 100yrds away when they dropped the first rooster and they missed a couple more [ note to self find friends who can shoot ]. When we got to them we let the dogs find the downed bird. Letting the dogs, Piper and 2 7month old labs, get a real good snoot full of fresh Pheasant. It was like turning on a switch with Piper. She hunted hard after that and showed what she was all about. She quartered back and forth in front of me as if I'd been training her for years. She locked on to 9 birds holding them dead in their tracks the only problem was they were all hens. The 2 pups however thought that they had died and gone to heaven to the biggest play ground imaginable [thats a story all in it's own]. Piper did lock onto a porky once and came away with 14 quills in her nose, thank god it was a small one and the quills weren't to deep. Piper sat and took the medicine as I quickly pull them out. It was truely a pleasure watching her ply her trade today. Here's Piper and a sequence of her while she locked on a hen and re-adjusted a couple times when the hen did move.
RyanGSP I carry a small soft wire brush and deal with the burrs during breaks in the action. I don't get them all but its a labour of love if you know what I mean. I would stop and deal with the ones that bothered her right away made it less distracting for her. I keep her groomed fairly well and that makes the chore a lot easier.
I hear ya I try to grab the big patches that bother my Irish as well but when we get home its right into the tub and I just cut'em out. She looks pretty chopped by the end of season but she back to normal in a couple months.
Great fun to see the new dog go to work. My young dog got educated by the roosters last Monday. The birds were running way in front of the dogs and she never did point a cock. On Saturday she finally pinned something down and I was fortunate enough to get a double.