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Are we learning yet? Uncle Bob?

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    First off, hands up who got the Terminator 2 lines?😁

    Yesterday me and Soph had another go on the maize, hoping for a better hit to cartridge ratio than last week. 

    We set up on the corner of a small copse, with grass to my right and maize front and left. I had crow shell and full bodied flock decoys on the grass and onto the edge of the maize, then pigeon decoys; shells, 2 Dippas and one floater silosock working very well in the fairly brisk wind, out in the maize. I was back to my 12 bore this week with 28grm 7.5s. Nearly every pigeon that came over, hit the deck nicely with most crows following suit though I still had some silly misses that elude me as to why. To be honest most shots bordered on the easy side rather than challenging, but I was happy with 9 blacks and 12 woodies, oh and one squirrel, though disappointed when the day was cut short by two muck spreaders turning up and setting to, covering the field with dung

     So where does the learning bit come in? It was with Sophie (though every outing is a learning one for me) I found that if I kept her in the hide much longer before sending her out to retrieve the shot woodies, she did a far quicker, cleaner pick up. Before this I was sending her out immediately and I think with some birds not fully dead and the excitement and displaying a keeness to do good, she would always "snuffle" a lot of feathers off before eventually retrieving it to my hand. She marked some birds, remembering some time later where a bird was, even one that landed over a hedge in the trees behind us, only hearing it hit the ground. She has also learnt my setting up sequence. On this particular perm, I can drive to my chosen hide position. Soph wanders around checking out the area whilst I unload the truck, set up the decoy pattern, build the hide etc then she will lie down beside the hide whilst I get back in the truck and drive it 50 yards away to its parking position. I give her no commands, she worked this out for herself. One would expect her to try and get back in the truck or run after me, thinking she was being left behind, but no, she knows I'll be straight back and waits patiently. You gotta love an intelligent dog, one that loves life and one that teaches her teacher new things as well. 

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    Few things in life compare to the company of a Dog that loves to be with, and work, with you - anyone who shoots throughout their life without at least trying the complete feeling of unity and euphoria of a good Dogs companionship is losing out on an amazing experience.

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