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snow white

Picking up

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I was on a shoot today one of the guns shot a runner one of the picker uppers just stood the with his two labs and watched this bird get up and run like hell and belive me it could run i told my missis to put our dog on it after a long chase she came back with it.

Our dog brought it back to my missis who dispashed it next thing this bloke is shouting we pick up after drive i had a right go at him after the drive was over about letting wounded birds suffer.

My argument with him was how about if your dogs did not get it that poor bird would get in a hedge and die a slow death.

Was i right or wrong

 

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If picking up always try to pick runners without causing any distraction to the gun line, some pickers up stand too close which does not give them space to deal with runners.

 

You were correct in your actions...………… in my opinion 

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What gets me also some of the pickers want put there dogs in rough areas and they only pick up birds that are dead in the field i had the samething saturday a woman standing behind me said i have picked up your birds my missis said that she had not i put my dog in and picked another 3 birds.

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Yup Never had a dead bird run off rather pick the 2-3 runners a drive than be one of the arms full brigade,

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There will be a convention on shoots which dictates whether picking up is done during a drive or not. Just find out which it is.

Some pickers up are very precious about their roles and their dogs. Try to ignore that but don’t get too competitive.

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Know the feeling Tony... was asked on a shoot recently to stay out of sight of the guns - all day! Very ‘us and them’...

and only pick up after the whistle had gone. 

Wont be attending there again. 

Wounded birds need dispatching as soon as possible. 

You were in the right mate. 

Edited by WelshAndy

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I leave dead birds in the field anyone can pick them ,use the dog on the runners during drive. But I do tell the gun infront of me the plan and sometimes they ask to leave  easy picks for their peg dog 

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I think you were right to pick it. If an anti had seen a wounded bird left for any length of time, what excuses would we have. None in my opinion. Definitely the right thing to do

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You were absolutely right. Shoots that do not permit the picking of runners should not be operating and likewise guns that do not like it should not be shooting. We owe it to our quarry to dispatch as quickly as is reasonably possible. Just my opinion.

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Absolutely correct.  I am also a bit against personally picking any birds behind me as for the pickers up that is their day. Yesterday we did have one tremendous drive and there was a fair few birds to pick, stone dead out in the open and I did help out and pick and carry a few back to the game cart .   Have been on one or two days where you have the 'field trialler' and they treat the day as a training day for there dog ... not on.  Yesterday there was a young dog out on it's first full day and we purposely left and  pointed birds out for it's owner to have acrack at and the dog did marvelously.  I admire it when after the horn goes, pickers up just appear out of the herbage and look across at guns to see if they have birds down, or will enquire as yesterday, if the partridge I dropped just in the wood has been picked.  She knew every bird shot at our end of the line and said she had picked two runners. That's professionalism and how it should be.

 

Edited by Walker570

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I might need to don my steel helmet with this response, however I dont believe as a picker-up you are free to do what you want on a shoot day. It is (in my view) down to the shoot owner / Team Capt or Keeper to decided how the picking-up line operates. I pick-up on both a commercial and a private shoot alternatively throughout the season and both have the rule of no picking of runners during the drive. The reason being safety. If you have a dog or its owner wandering around chasing a pricked bird behind the line, the Guns lose track of where they can safely take a shot behind, which can lead to a disaster. You only need 3 or 4 runners on the ground during a drive with dogs in hot pursuit and pandemonium becomes the order of the day.

Ignoring the ethics of wounded birds for a moment, if you dont like the ground rules, find yourself another shoot. As for comments that "shoots like this should not be operating", I can only say you have a very restricted knowledge of driven game shooting and picking up. He who pays the piper, calls the tune !

Secondly, there are a number of dog-training books around written by highly experienced gun-dog authors that state categorically that a dog should not be sent for a runner while the bird is in sight. The runner should be allowed to get out of sight before putting the dog on to the scent. Letting the dog get into the habit of chasing a runner by sight will lead to it chasing and grabbing every tired bird that it encounters 300 or 400 yrds behind the line instead of following the ground or air scent.

 

Edited by JJsDad

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JJsDad

In my view no steel helmet should be required in response to your post. 

Different shoots have different rules. 

I have seen dogs sent for runners during a drive by both pickers up and guns and chaos has sometimes been the result. One of the better video contributors to this forum used to send his dog for running pheasants during drives and the dog became very unsteady having previously been well trained. He soon stopped the practice. 

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No need for your steel helmet JJ as I agree with you almost completely.  For me it is all down to the situation at the time and the decision should be that of the Picker Up. 

I have seen guns let their dogs go during a drive and then they are swinging around trying to take the bird but not considering where their gun is pointing.  In the opening case the dog was controlled by a non shooter and we don't know the exact situation, impossible to describe in writing but I do like to see wounded birds retrieved as soon as possible. If the Picker Up can't direct and control the dog sufficiently then it should not be sent and this applies to anyone accompanying a gun. 

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No firm rule here. I pickup three days a week. It depends what the shoot has told the picker up and the terrain. If a gun has a dog I am usually told not to pickup until the gun has done his bit. If that means sending his dog during the drive that is his prerogative. Equally it is possible the runner heads into the next drive and sending a dog would screw that up. In such case pricked birds are picked when that drive is carried out. I would add that if I can pick runners during a drive I do so within that shoots rules.

neither gun or picker up is wrong. Neither should be criticising the other!

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I think you did the right thing however as others have said the picker up may have been following instructions. It can be hard to get a chance to pick up so you have to play by the estates rules when given the chance as keepers talk and you might get a bad reputation if your doing your own thing. 

The shoot I pick up on leaves us to use our brains and decide what needs picked up during the drives and what can be left until the whistle.

All the beaters clean up round the guns and I tend to be 200-300 yards back looking for runners.

 

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1 hour ago, Nmb said:

I think you did the right thing however as others have said the picker up may have been following instructions. It can be hard to get a chance to pick up so you have to play by the estates rules when given the chance as keepers talk and you might get a bad reputation if your doing your own thing. 

The shoot I pick up on leaves us to use our brains and decide what needs picked up during the drives and what can be left until the whistle.

All the beaters clean up round the guns and I tend to be 200-300 yards back looking for runners.

 

100%

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Had a word with pickers up today and mentioned this to them. They all agreed it was instructions of the day, but none would send a dog after running game. 

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Was on a shoot today and was talking to the other guns and the picker uppers and thay all agreed that i wss right its not right to leave a wounded bird to die in the edge or under a bush.

I dont care i will put one of my dogs on a runner and if the estate dont like it thats there bad luck as i will not be going back to see that happen to any bird.

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41 minutes ago, snow white said:

Was on a shoot today and was talking to the other guns and the picker uppers and thay all agreed that i wss right its not right to leave a wounded bird to die in the edge or under a bush.

I dont care i will put one of my dogs on a runner and if the estate dont like it thats there bad luck as i will not be going back to see that happen to any bird.

Each to their own. I didn't say it was right to leave a wounded bird, and none of the pickers up I talked to would do that; I was just passing on what they had told me.  It's the 'keepers livelihood and on shoot days what he says goes. 

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On the shoot on monday it was not the keepers or the estate owners idear thay totalie agreed with me it was just this one picker up he as been there years and nobody till monday had the balls to say anythink to him he kept his distance for me all day.

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On 21/12/2018 at 19:06, snow white said:

Was on a shoot today and was talking to the other guns and the picker uppers and thay all agreed that i wss right its not right to leave a wounded bird to die in the edge or under a bush.

I dont care i will put one of my dogs on a runner and if the estate dont like it thats there bad luck as i will not be going back to see that happen to any bird.

 

Really ther eis no righ/wrong answer and just because it worked this time doesn't man it was the correct thing to do or waitng till drive was over would of gave u the same result.

No offence snow white but u have no idea if that bird would be picked or not!! There may have been a picker up out of sight covering that hedge or the picker up may sweep that hedge back into somewhere else (possibly that hedge even lead to the next drive and pickers had been told to steer well clear?)

I have no idea but definately not as black and white as u make out

Wot would of happened if ur dog came back empty?? While that picker uper is watching where ur dog is coursing a bird too how many other birds has he missed watching shot/pricked??

U also obivously don't shoot pick up any driven grouse as no bird will be picked bafore the drive finishes and ther eit really is a safety issue

With deerstalking best practice for certain  (poorer)shots is to leave them for 4-6 hrs before u follow up with a trained tracking dog as the chances of finding it rise massively rather than following it up straight away and just pushing it further away

 

I know some old pickers/keepers that actually prefered to leave running birds in some circumstances as when they find cover they tend to sit tight the adrenaline wears off and are easier picked.

Not sure i entirely agree with it but they were vary experienced and new there stuff.

 

Generally i tend to please my self on most shoots i go too and use a bit of common sense, normally i'm far enough back not to affect the guns either way. Really depends on the available cover close by and where bird will likely end up

Really dogs running throu the drive shouldn't really affect safety as long as no ground game/foxes shot. Althou i know of a pickers lab knocking 1 of the guns of his feet twice during a drive, lab feel of the steep banking behibd the gub who was on a wee flat bit.

 

But i will say sending a dog duing the drive is a very quick way to ruin a young dog esp if birds landing all around it, very easy for dogs to switch irds and spit them out even seen runners spat out as a dead birds has landed directly infront of it.

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