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10 hours ago, macca2017 said:

You should be proud of what you have achieved with Ted. 

I think with any dog and owner, its the pleasure you get working together and not what other people think about your dog or you that matters, if you are both not perfect as long as the people who you are shooting with are happy with you and your dog being there its fine.

Far too much criticism and snobbery in the gundog world and I've heard lots of stories about dodgy trialing judges. I love watching Spaniels hunt cover, watched clips of trial championships and those dogs are real hunting machines, but no dog could keep that pace up all day on a rough shoot or beating. Its about getting pleasure working with your dog whether that's trialing, rough shooting, beating or your dog sitting with you on your peg.  

I have get in few days formal driven shooting each season, but don't take my spaniel, not enough for her to do and she would get frustrated sat at the peg, plus all the waiting around.

We have a small walk one stand one syndicate plus a small rough shoot/flight pond, this is where I love working her and we both enjoy  a relaxed atmosphere where bird count at the end of the day is secondary. 

 


Excellent post mate fully agree with that :) 

 

All the sit to flush, shot and fall stuff is nice but I know plenty people who don’t bother with it and are happy with their dogs. 

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9 hours ago, London Best said:

Ted the spaniel sounds worth his weight in gold.

 
But I wonder if Lloyd realises just how priceless that productive bit of rough shooting is? Look after that place.


As I said before mate, horses for courses. 
 

I bet someone who is a hard core beater would not want my dog. All that sit to flush and shot stuff is pointless if your not shooting over the dog or wanting to trial. 
 

I know a lot of folk are happy with a dog that will hunt hard and give them the odd shot or they can take it beating and not worry about it chasing game etc. 
 

 

 

Very lucky to have access to ground with game on it and glad I took the new job that I did. I now work evenings, weekends and nights, it’s long old shifts sometimes but plenty of time off during daylight hours has done wonders for my ability to go out shooting :) 

 

 

I left the dogs at home today and had a little walk around the local farm with a mate and his cocker. It’s not highly polished but it hunts cover really well, and is warms his lap at night in his cottage. Him and his wife love it and their other cocker to bits :) 

 

I shot an absolutely cracking high pigeon coming over the top of the woods. His cocker was steady to shot and even retrieved the bird back to us when found. 
 

Nice little stretch or the legs :) and nice confidence boost with my 20 bore. 

 

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Only now getting 5 minutes to type up the day as am working 1645 - 0915 tomorrow morning and its been chaotic with work.

 

Yesterday I worked the evening shift, 1645 to 0045 and could have done with the lie in this morning but up at 0630 to get dog ready and out, I knew he wanted to get out hunting. 

 

We met up with the shoot lads in the morning, and I found out I had a mutual friend with one of the guns which was nice and I knew one of the beaters from some dog training stuff from before so that was nice to catch up n all. I was there on invite from a friend I made on a training day who is also interested in having well trained dogs and aims to trial his as well. 

 

I have to say it was a bit of a day of ups and downs. We started in the farm yard stood about (socially distanced) where one woman with a labrador had also brought along a farm collie by the looks of things. It started poorly with this collie going up to this lads labrador and snarling in the labs face. The owner called the lab away several times and he ignored the collie who just kept following and pestering him. At this point if it had been my dog I would have given the collie a bloody big whack over the head with my beating stick, but the owner just oblivious to her dog looked the other way until the collie had a proper pop at the lab, only for the lab to almost body slam the collie into the ground and put it in it's place. Fair play to the lab I said and give him a pat. Only then did the collie/lab woman run over saying "Oh don't kick him!" and put the collie back in her truck! 

I should have seen this as a slight sign on things to come maybe ... 

 

 

Drive one we had to push down a big cover crop. We were supposed to hold the line, but lab woman, and her daughter with another lab were on my right. We started off the line only for both women's labs to pretty much run forward in a straight line about 50-60 yards without hunting any crop, followed by both women power walking up the crop trying to keep up with their dogs. Ted quarted slowly as told up the crop in front of me, he didn't get any flushes in the first half, but as we got further on he started to connect with birds, one flush, then two, next thing more. He sat to flush and waited each time, and in the end had flushed about 7-8 birds out of the crop, all of them flying over the guns. Some being shot and some being missed. We got out of the crop and were asked to pushed down a bit of hedge so I clicked him in and he flushed 2 more birds over the guns which I saw them drop, so nice little bit to finish. I called him in and stuck the lead on before he went wrong then.

 

The next drive we all lined up and were asked to push along a woodland with a thick hedge along the bottom of it. Just as we were about to start I looked up to see one of the beaters cockers had gone self-employed and was already working through the woods about 30-40 yards ahead of us. Me and the other lad worked through this wood but it was a bit of a waste of time as this other blokes dog had already cleared it all, whilst he walked about shouting his dogs name wondering where it had gone. 

 

We stopped for a bit of a break then in an old farm building and had a glass of port, which was appreciated, and had a bit of crack with the guns and some of the lads which was good crack. The lab woman's dog (the lab this time) proceeded to snarl in the face of a spaniel, although to be fair to the lab woman she had it on the lead at her side, and I blamed the spaniel for this as the bloody thing kept going over and pestering her dog. The owner of the spaniel seemed obliviously and remarked finding it amusing how untrainable his dog was. He said it was far to hard to try and shoot and control the dog at the same time. I asked him "have you tried keeping it on the lead?" ... he said "oh yes, he pulled a fence post out of the ground once out on the ducks!" ... apparently his dog had picked at least 15 birds on that drive... as we were finishing up the untrained spaniel was spotted running out of the farm building with a nice hen bird he had stolen from the game hangers... 

 

 

Anyways... on we went, we walked down a hedge row on the way to the next drive and were informed that a runner had been lost in the hedge along the way. I worked Ted along the hedge and my mate worked his and he must have hit the scent as he was driving around inside some proper thick brambles, but didn't find the bird. Turned out another blokes dog had found it to be fair to him about another 20 yards ahead. 

 

Off we went towards the next drive and crossed into a new field, three blokes and their dogs walked forward through several patches of long grass and cover working away, we came up behind them and Ted dived into a patch of cover that they had all gone past, where Ted suddently flushed a hen bird, followed by a bloody massive Hare!! I'm not sure Ted has seen a hare before (that I know about :lol: ) and he ignored the stop and gave it a good run for it's money a good 70-80 yards before it slipped under a fence. I wasn't too worried and just managed to catch up with him, walked him back calmly to where he should have stopped and blew the stop whilst whilst staring him in the eyes. I didn't bother with any harsh telling off. I am aware they can all go wrong at times and even the best can run in now and then. 

 

I clicked Ted off again and he worked up pushing out these patches of cover again and again working really well. The hare must have given him some vigour lol.

 

We pushed through to the end of the cover and I called him in to heal. He sat at my side and we were alongside the guns now. They had a load of dogs running through the pens ahead so I just sat with him off lead on heal whilst loads of birds were being flushed over us and flying past being shot at (not many were shot). I saw one bird hit well and expected we might get a nice retrieve only to hear screaming and hollaring and looking up to see Lab woman's lab coming down the field at 100mph chasing the bird that was just shot, it ran down the field, messed about with the bird and then just ran off without it. I think two or three other dogs also ran in and one of them collected it. Lab woman then arrived chasing the dog shouting how it simply must come only, only by the time she got to the dog, it had gone past her and proceeded to run to the other end of the field chasing a different bird. 

After a good 10+ minutes of exercise of her jogging up and down the field trying to catch this dog she finally got it back and put in on the lead (where it should have remained in my opinion), only for her to walk on about 20-30 yards and let it off the lead again ... 

 

The gun that was far out to my left had managed to miss 4-5 birds that came across him. He then asked me at the end "Did you manage to pick any of my birds?" ... I'm not sure why he asked this as I don't think he hit a single one... I simply said "I think that labrador might have picked them for you". ...

 

Walking over to the next drive we crossed to the other side of the wood only for Ted to find a downed bird in the grass as we were walking over. He picked it up and delivered it to my hand, very much alive, I dispatched it quickly and stuck it in my game bag. My mate said that he saw one of the other dogs had picked it, but abandoned it and gone chasing after another bird... but he hadn't marked where it had been dropped. Lucky Ted found it as we were walking over. 

 

 

The next drive we were asked if we could push along the boundary me and my mate, as they had a few walking guns walking up a nice field. My friend and I pushed our dogs into cover along a river and Ted went very well working through the cover as he went. Despite asking us if we could work our dogs for the walking guns (because they would stay in range) no one else asked the others to keep their dogs on a lead, so the untrained spaniel from earlier and a HWV that the owner had told me was a brilliant hunter and natural pointer just ran ahead about 70+ yards and flushed a load of birds out of range. We just ignored this and me and my mate worked up the river keeping our dogs tight. Ted got a good flush out of cover which flew forward and was shot by the guns. Ted and my mates dog both sat to flush and stayed steady to the shot and fall, only to sit there and watch about 7-8 dogs charging down the field and all racing one another to try and get to the bird first. The untrained spaniel from earlier made it there first (owing to having a significant head start I think) and then proceeded to come back to his owner, only to run around him about 30+ times, refusing to come in and deliver the bird. After a while the dog got bored, dropped the bird and ran off out of the owners sight whilst he searched for the bird in the long grass. 

 

My mate was getting a bit fed up of this by this point but I said its FAR more tempting for the dog have get a flush and have to sit there whilst 7-8 other dogs chase the bird whilst they remain steady than it is to sit and watch 1 dog pick a retireve in front of them, so supposed you have to take the good with the bad and make the best of every situation and opportunity. 

 

The next drive we were pushing through woodland, We started off and I pushed Ted into cover, he worked up and didn't get any hard contact flushes but there was a bit of scent about. He did pull on me a little bit (as he often does it heavy woodland, as I think he knows I can't get out after him so easily), but overall worked ok. At one point he sat to gunshot as a bird went overhead that had been flushed from a hot further up, and when I went to click him off he ran off about 40-50 yards ahead up the wood, I think to go and look for the bird. I didn't bother to tell him off for this, as I believe this is just from his usual training, 95% of his experience so far has been training for trial type stuff and rough shooting, he is used to flush, sit, bang and retrieve on command, so to get him out flushing bird after bird with loads of shots going off without him running in is I think a big ask of him. He is getting better and better the more I take him out so I just growled at him a bit and recalled him and just carried on hunting. 

 

We then got to the end of the drive and I think we had done 4 drives, it was now around 1pm and time to stop for lunch. A pair of guns had to walk up to the yard for the supplies and aksed if me and my mate wanted to work the dog up this huge cover field, I quartered Ted up the field which I video'd at the end. He didn't get anything at the start but at the end got 2 good contact flushes, sat to both that went away with no shots and called away and carried on hunting. My my on the other side got 3 flushes, one of which was dropped and he got a nice retrieve. My mate reckoned that 5 minutes was better than the rest of the entire day :lol: 

 

 

 

They were planning to do 2 more drives but I had to get off for work as I am doing the all nighter tonight so I thanked them very much for having me and made my way home. 

 

 

 

Despite a few incidents, I still really enjoyed myself. Ted worked really well and despite him giving that hare a good run for it's money and pulling off in the woods once he didn't do much wrong. I know they can all go wrong from time to time but I thought he was pretty damn good to be on the shoot and set a good standard. 

 

I would go back as it's still good experience and as I said, even your dog sat whilst other dogs are running wild is experience and much more tempting than sitting at a trial or whatever, so I will make a good experience / situation of it. 

 

I beleive they finished the day on about 60 birds in the bag, which I think is a fairly decent bag. I think if they told 1 or 2 people to either keep their dogs on a lead or not bring them if unwilling to do so they could have 80+ bird days as a lot of birds were flushed in the total wrong direction etc. but they didn't seem that worried about it as long as they all got a bit of shooting, which is fair enough I suppose eh. Not everyone wants to put in a lot of work, time and money to get their dog up to certain standards and as long as they are happy with them then fair enough I suppose. 

 

I will try to post the video of Ted hunting up the cover crop, he's not flying or anything but going alright considering he'd been out running straight for a good 3-4 hours at that point and we were heading home :) 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lloyd not read rest of your thread but  you done really well judging by the vid and write up above. A bit behind you with my training of pip but we are getting there. Pip gets a gentle tug on the ear when she gets ahead of herself firm believer of 8 second rule and congratulate the positives. She too had a hare coursing moment last time out but did call off second attempt!!! Heading towards the wood we were about to beat back the other way !!!!

my problem at the moment is retrieve with dummy - text book. Bird or wings on dummy starts messing about but reasonably sure we will get it bottomed she is much worse when getting tired so hopefully as she builds stamina for working this will improve.

I love watching a cocker working especially one as focused on the job as yours WELL DONE

 

Agriv8

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11 hours ago, Agriv8 said:

Lloyd not read rest of your thread but  you done really well judging by the vid and write up above. A bit behind you with my training of pip but we are getting there. Pip gets a gentle tug on the ear when she gets ahead of herself firm believer of 8 second rule and congratulate the positives. She too had a hare coursing moment last time out but did call off second attempt!!! Heading towards the wood we were about to beat back the other way !!!!

my problem at the moment is retrieve with dummy - text book. Bird or wings on dummy starts messing about but reasonably sure we will get it bottomed she is much worse when getting tired so hopefully as she builds stamina for working this will improve.

I love watching a cocker working especially one as focused on the job as yours WELL DONE

 

Agriv8



What dog is Pip? You’ll get there in the end mate just have to think about the problem and work through it :) 

 

Ted is a springer but I will get a cocker at some point :) if I can find the right breeding I like. I have some in mind and know a few people for when I want one :) 

 

Plan for rest of this season just get out and try and shoot some more birds over Ted and then work him next year and see if we get a run in a novice trial :) 

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19 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:



What dog is Pip? You’ll get there in the end mate just have to think about the problem and work through it  

 

Ted is a springer but I will get a cocker at some point  if I can find the right breeding I like. I have some in mind and know a few people for when I want one  

 

Plan for rest of this season just get out and try and shoot some more birds over Ted and then work him next year and see if we get a run in a novice trial  

pip is a sprocker yep we are getting there both learning so like anything in life every day a school day. 
will try and get a vid on our next outing and a bit of a report.

Regrds Agriv8 

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3 minutes ago, Agriv8 said:

pip is a sprocker yep we are getting there both learning so like anything in life every day a school day. 
will try and get a vid on our next outing and a bit of a report.

Regrds Agriv8 


Would love to see her :) 

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Went for a run yesterday down the woods. 
 

Ran the pup at first hunting some balls in light cover and using some adapted snap caps to fire shotgun primers for the young dog which he was absolutely fine with. 
 

Then I swapped over and got Ted out. 

A little hunt up through a ditch and some hedges with nothing, following by a flush going away which we left. 
 

Hunted on and Ted got another flush, sat to flush, I swung through with my dog training rough and ready side by side and dropped it on the first shot. 
 

Told Ted to get out and out he went, picked the bird and retrieved back into my hand. 
 

Finished then and took him back to the car and gave the two dogs a run about in the field before heading home. Not bad, 1 bird for 1 shot. 
 

Nice little hour out and about. 
 

 

 

 

I am up very early tomorrow morning to drive up North a bit as one of the Gundog clubs I’m in needed guns to shoot in an open spaniel trial. 
 

Be a good opportunity to shoot over some top class dogs and see how they compare to my dogs as well. I am hoping to see some real quality. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a write up of my day out shooting an an open springer trial last week: 

 

It must be almost a weeks ago now but I have only just had time to sit down and write it up... 

 

Saturday 19th December - Mid Wales Open Springer held in Cheshire. A few last minute changes due to Covid and judges and guns unable to attend so there was a slot available. I messages the secretary and spend all afternoon juggling shifts at work and managed to secure the day time off so booked in as a last minute gun to shoot walked up at the trial.

 

Up early on the morning and drove up to Cheshire - 2 hours 15 min run. I arrived at the trial and it was good to be greeted by a few lads I met this last 2 years at tests and similar events. 

Met the shoot captain, the other guns who had shot at a lot of trials before (thank god) and a good bit of banter was followed by us setting up and off we went. 

 

The trial was held in mature woodland, with the woodland floor almost entirely covered with green bramble, and later on bracken ferns. We started with the dogs hunting and they dived straight into the bramble, bashing around inside no bother at all. That's that sort of horrible bramble that you get all tangled up in. I know my dog wouldn't dive into this flat out without being hot on scent so this was impressive to see, and was very different than shooting walked up in the cover crops. 

 

We hunted on and a few birds were flushed but they were running ahead rather than sitting tight and a lot of birds were getting up far out making for tough shooting when also behind woodland trees, bushes etc. A few dogs came and went but every single dog there was hunting like hell inside that cover it was something else to watch, really powerful animals. 

 

Finally a few birds started to sit tight and as we hunted up I managed to drop a bird going away which was picked and retrieved back to the handler. We hunted on further and a group of 3 got up and I dropped 1 into thick cover, which the handler picked and finished his run. 
 

Several birds flushed out of the wood and were dropped by the gun on the edge of the woodland, Arthur. 

 

Some of the dogs were the full package but I did notice that a fair few of them didn't handle amazingly, weren't that sharp on the stop whistle, and needed a lot of work on the retrieve, what they all did however was absolutely smash the hell out of the cover, ever dog there. Clearly I should be more concerned about getting the dog to hunt like a demon and sort a bit of handling later on by the looks of it! 

 

Towards the end of the trial a few birds got up, and a cracking flush was made on a woodcock, the dog sat to flush and I managed to drop the bird on the second shot. I was asked by the judge to keep the mark on the bird because the dog on the other side had just failed on a retireve and our dog who seemed to have marked the woodcock was taken over to try as a blind on the other side, I real shame I thought as I think he should have been sent for the marked woodcock he just flushed and had shot over him, but there we go I'm no judge. 

 

Both dogs failed to find the bird on the other side, but when brought back the dog on my side did get out and find the woodcock I shot, which tried to run when the dog arrived but was picked and delivered to hand. A fantastic retrieve considering it became a blind after the dog was taken away and brought back. 

We were told by the shoot owners wife just after this that we weren't supposed to shoot the woodcock on this shoot  ... but it would have been good if she mentioned that at the start of the trial ... 

 

We finished up with a Helmsway dog running, which was a real world class animal. The dog looked like he was attacking cover for dear life!! He charged and dived through the air into one lot of cover, only for a bird to erupt out. I raised the gun but it was another woodcock so just lifted the gun back up as the shoot owners wife started shouting "Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"  ... I had already lifted the gun before she even noticed and just give her a nod and she laughed. 

 

 

We finished the trial with Helmsway Hoodlum running off against Whiznic Weetabix. All 4 guns got together at the end and the 4 of us picked those 2 dogs are the top dogs before the judges ever called them up. 

They were called up for a run off and Whiznic Weetabix just managed to pip the win after a real long run off. 

 

 

 

A cracking experience to see and learn from, and gives me some aims for training the pup that is coming along. I shall not be worrying about a lot of handling etc until the dog is really flying I am hoping as without that awesome hunting drive it's a bit of a waste of time... 

 

My older springer Ted would have hunted some of that woodland (especially when on scent) but would not have flown through that thick cover and bramble like those dogs did on the day, they really were a different league of animal. 

 

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24 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

What a great report and a joy to read, just like I was there.  Looks like you have a good wuffer there Lloyd.

Nothing quite beats that sort of shooting. Days to remember.


Didn’t run my dog mate, I think he would be lucky to win a novice on a good day but the open dogs were a different league of animal. 
 

I am off shooting with Ted however on Tuesday on a semi driven / walked up shoot with chance of pheasant, rabbit and woodcock :) 

 

Then on Wednesday we are off for a beat one, shoot one Woodcock shoot down by Exeter should all go to plan :) 

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