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buze

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  1. You might want to see if there are any woodland or walks /not too far/ from a shoot around you. Somewhere remote with few passerby- I've found a big piece of woodland about 1/2m from a shoot that is fantastic to train, and there are the odd birds in there (I would say 1 to 3 birds in an hour walk) and lot of interesting smells, but it's NOWHERE near as exciting as being "on a shoot". I get her to walk, quarter under directions and yes sometimes she'll flush one out -- and it's rare enough that you have all the time to control the dog, do a bit of steadiness etc etc... Just an idea, I realise it's not on everyone's doorstep.
  2. So, when I put my hand on her neck gently, as she's just borderline sleeping, she'll start making 'heavy breathing' noises and gently fall asleep. Kind of like a cat purring. My wife calls it the "hand of dad" effect -- and it's really sweet -- she's done that since she was tiny pup; but I haven't seen any mention of dogs 'purring' -- she's clearly super relaxed and it's clearly a happy noise, but I never heard of it! Gratuitous pic of the victim:
  3. Perhaps you could try to do something exciting near the end of the walk -in a random place- like hide a ball, and give her a serious hunt. Basically do something surprising that is good play, rewarding, and good training. I do that with mine, and it's actually quite hard to sneak a ball out of her sight as she's really very very attentive, as she knows the rules of the play. I also encourage that as even if she wins early, it means she was paying close attention at what I was doing anyway -- and that's good behaviour. If you do the same walk, perhaps hide the odd balls one day, and have her hunt for them the following day. I know that my dog rates 'hunt' much higher than anything, including food/treats...
  4. In my case, since the car is pretty much vintage these days, the insurance wanted to write it off -- not a chance, I spent like twice the value of the car in keeping it in pristine condition, it's a bit of a 'project car'. Eventually I managed to negotiate for them NOT to write it off, and pay me "in lieu" -- note that the first quote they gave me was ridiculous, but you CAN negotiate that, I just sent them a few adverts for the same age/model car with the value I expected, and they aligned themselves.... Also, the expert first declared there wasnt anythign wrong with the chassis. So eventually I got a check in the mail, and I had to find breakers/a workshop etc to fix the car myself. Bought some 'new' parts etc, and I manage to get the whole thing done myself, including a full respray ("budget" one, and I did the prep myself!), while still being in budget. But it was a lot of work/pain... I don't know if you have that option or if it's really completely screwed... Might be worth phoning around to see if a breaker has that sort of car... Here's mine, after months of work restoring it.
  5. Well, it's not called a "DISCOVERY" for nothing, isn't it ? 😉 Had a stupid BEEEEEEP do the same with me in his Defender last year, decided to take a bend completely covered in ice at stupid speed, in his completely undrivable truck with no traction control or ABS. Saw him side for about 5 meters straight into my /stopped/ car. The BEEEEEEEEper also never fessed up, and I lost my no claim. He's a shooter too, so much for being of 'good character' for getting an SGC. He came to me afterward and wanted to shake my hand with "no hard feeling" -- I almost bit his head off there/then.
  6. Thanks for that, we are making progress in a slightly different way. Turns out we only use one kind of 'float' for water training, and I figured out she became possessive of it. She isn't with anything else, but I think we were just too keen to get a delivery to hand out of water and she became possessive, she was in fact trying to dodge us on the way back to keep the float... Since I've figured that out, I've been letting her have it. I just don't try to pick it up at all, I just walk away and she immediately tags along with her float toy... then a bit later she'll want another throw so she comes to me to give it anyway... So, it took /months/ to figure this one out, and we thought we understood her very well! She has just finished her first season too, so saturday she's back at the office! :-)
  7. I only use dubbin on leather; Good leather will just suck it up and stay waterproof for at least a season, and it'll look fantastic too. If you had used wax before you might have to remove it first, but I would never wax leather! Wax is ok on fabric, like barbour, caps etc and the suggested method of heating it works really well.
  8. I read it all! Over several days of course. I don't shoot 'high birds', I really can't afford it, since Mrs also shoot, that'd become a bit of a money pit (as it already is anyway). I'm reasonably good on 'straight' birds, but I tend not to shoot at anything curling. Basically, I'm a wuss. However I DO like math, and physics too, and one thing I like playing with is stuff like this: http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/shot-ballistics/shot-ballistics.html -- enter a few parameters, and watch what you get at various ranges. I used that tool recently to rubbish someone's arguments that 'fast' cartridges made any flippin difference in a ESP shooting context (~40yd ish) -- you can shoot SLOW cartridge and the difference in real life at 50yd is a handful of centimeters. Anyway, on topic here and 80 yarders; what's my personal opinion? Well it's a mix of both! We all agree the pattern *within 30 inches* can't possibly be enough to kill reliably, however, at 80 yards your spread pattern is *way* wider than 30 inches, probably (and here I don't use a calculator to make up this number, I actually *make it up*) more like 60 inches (?). And yes the density is a lot lower, however there's still a very high chance than in that 60 inches there are enough 'clumps' of pellets to kill something. Or at least stun it seriously, after which the gravity does it's job. Basically you have enough chance of getting a pheasant sized 'hole' in your pattern at 40 yards than having a non-hole in a pattern at 80 yards. It's just plain random. And yes, with heavier shots like #4's, 2 of them might be enough to kill or seriously stun a bird, and if you *only need a couple* then the pattern could even be a bit wider while *still* giving you a fair chance of landing a couple. This is probably the idea behind "You either kill it or miss it!" here. It's true, 2 #4s with enough energy will seriously wound a bird. While #5s or #6s might just ***** the skin. I've picked and plucked Mallards with pellets in their feathers that hadn't even reached the skin! Now I'm not saying it's nice, fair to the birds or anything like that, I don't want to really enter that argument, but *to me* YES you can raise your average of hitting birds with patterns that aren't tight enough, but you'll never do it reliably due to the increasing reliance on plain luck. In luck I say "lowest possible percentage of failure". Of course you still need to put that pattern roughly in the right spot, and regardless of the size, it's still a challenge. If, on top of this, you add the very interesting numbers you get from that calculator regarding drops and crosswinds, you realise quickly that you'd definitely NEED a 60 inches (or more) pattern to hit /anything/ at that range, as the drift and drop become of massive significance. In the Welsh hills with downdrafts/updrafts etc it's even more significant. And as a conclusion, regardless of the range/bird/gun and so on, I think that we all agree we like to kill flying stuff, but what *I* would like to see here are people who go out, kill their favourite preys, then come back and not post pattern plates, but their dinner plates with what they've shot cooked and prepared as it should be.
  9. We are very lucky to have that shoot around, they do have a lot of days, the other picker up are a very nice bunch, and the place is very easy to access, so we started pretty far from the field, and very gradually moved closer. We also do quite a few drives where she isn't picking up at all, she gets to watch... But sometime the 'action' is near us, and if it's all 'clear' of other birds (and dogs!) we can send her out. Basically we try hard to 'set her up for success' when we send her out on a retrieve, while I think the time she spends sitting watching the action is super useful for her overall steadiness. The other day a hare ran straight for us, turned 90 degrees about 5 meters from us and took off like a rocket... She sat there; ok she was trembling a bit she did stay put! :-) There is still a lot of things to learn, like sending her 'back' on a blind. If I have her and point then send her, she goes fine, but if she's at a distance and I stop her, she'll go 'back' a few meters then turn again for instructions, instead of continuing... Also, she drops stuff out of the water to shake herself, instead of waiting until I get it... But well, it all requires patience...
  10. She's a year old today, so as a treat we went to the local duck shoot to do some pickup. She's been there 3 or four time starting early september (where she was allowed like 2 super easy ones). Today was the first day she was off the lead during the drives, nice and steady, while all kind of stuff flew from the cover. She's very very very keen, but stayed put! The odd piece of cheese now and then to encourage the behaviour. She did some splendid retrieves -- on 4 occasions she could 'switch' and 'failed' only twice, which is pretty good, she's getting better, but most of the time she was absolutely awesome, came straight back, gave the bird, and 'came in' to my boot to wait for the next bird. And she had a ball. and she also picked up her first goose; an egyptian -- she had to figure out how to carry the damn thing first, so turned all around it until she found a good spot, it was quite funny to watch, she was SO proud to bring this one back! here's her on the last drive, and her with her very first pigeon, at 12 weeks old!
  11. One thing I've used once on our dog, but I've been using many times on me is... superglue! For clean cuts, it'll seal the wound and allow you to carry on trucking.. it'll eventually dissolve and leave no scar. Superglue was used during the Vietnam war to treat wounds, it's a really, really nice tool. Just press the lips of the wound together and let a steady thin strip of glue on it until it sets. Job done. Our dog had a split paw after walking on a field that had silex stones, and I cleaned it, superglued it and she was bouncing off in 2 minutes flat. A few days later there was no trace of the split cushion. https://www.realfirstaid.co.uk/superglue
  12. I piece of **** terrier attacked our pup a month ago. She's probably marked for life because of it. It was belonging to an 'angler' and attached to a 10m long line of some sort, when my wife walked on the path along the river, the piece of **** grabbed her head and wouldn't let go. My wife whacked it with her stick, poured water over it, and kicked it until it eventually let her go. LUCKILY no damage to her eye, and she's a very very brave girl so she's still OK with other dogs, but clearly she's very very careful/timid now Quite frankly if it had been me the dog in question would have been dunked in the middle of the river, or split in two.
  13. So here's Isabelle, tomorrow she's 11 months, and today she did a full day picking up (easier) birds on a ducks shoot. She did splendidly, she's getting steadier, she sat steadily while all kind of game was flushed, pheasants, partridges, a hare and so on, sometime as close to 10 meters. On the retreives she only did one 'switch' on a pretty tough case anyway, otherwise, she's been 'textbook' -- we even went finding shot ducks in the cover crop and she was quartering like a spaniel, without 20 meters or so, pouncing back on recall. She had a blast of a day! I only send her on a easy 'clear' retrieves she can't 'miss' -- even if sometime 'stuff' happens, she does LOVE going after runners tho! At about 5 months: And today: And another one to melt all your hearts :-)
  14. We went to a local duck shoot today, with Isabelle, 9.5 months old. She's always been super steady and had a few retreives on pigeons, so we thought we'd hang around at the back, let her have a good look, and perhaps pick up something if there's something easy. Turns out, on the first drive, she already picked 2 runners from the bushes, and she eventually picked up 15 birds from 3 drives! She was 'impeccable' -- she is a bit impatient when sitting around, and as yet to understand not ALL ducks are going to fall down to be picked up just yet, but she's been a little star, came right back, even when there was another bird to pick in the way. Other pickers and the keeper were fantastic and very welcoming. The other picker ups let her have some 'easy' picks too, even down to recalling their own ranging dogs. Anyway, she's knackered now.
  15. Berks/Bucks ... or Powys
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