Bumping grouse

The ruffed grouse is the wariest of the species hunted by bird dogs, the wisest and hardest to handle.
~ Henry P. Davis, Training Your Own Bird Dog, 1948

To provide the ideal ruffed grouse shooting opportunity, a pointing dog should engage the grouse so the bird doesn’t move. Bumping grouse occurs when a dog gets too close and causes the bird to flush. It’s one of the most common training problems I hear about from clients and friends.

One reason is simply the difficulty of the quarry. An occasional bump is part of grouse hunting; but if your dog bumps more than it points, something else might be going on.

Listed below are common causes and tips for improvement and correction.

→ Cover and weather conditions.
In the early part of the season especially, the cover can be thick and conditions can be warm and dry. Both make scenting extremely difficult for less-experienced dogs and challenging for veteran grouse dogs.
Tip:  The hunter can’t do anything about this one. Wait until conditions improve.

→   Lack of experience.
Rare is the dog that will exhibit a natural ability to point grouse with just a few contacts. Most bird dogs need repeated exposure over several seasons.
Tip:  This is easy. Hunt more.

→   Lack of training.
The dog doesn’t know it’s supposed to stop and point.
Tip:  The dog needs to be trained to stop on WHOA.

→   Seeing grouse on the ground.
Dogs invariably see grouse on the ground and sometimes the temptation is just too much.
Tip:  Reinforce WHOA and steadiness training with a visible bird on the ground.

→   Over-exposure to planted birds.
A dog can get quite close to a planted bird before it stops to point. Grouse are just the opposite and will flush if a dog gets too close.
Tip:  Stay away from the game farm for awhile and provide more exposure to grouse.

→   Genetics.
The dog lacks the ability to find and point grouse due to a bad nose, inadequate pointing instincts or physical limitations.
Tip:  Thoroughly check out the breeders and breeding of your next puppy. Make sure the sire and dam—and previous generations—are proven grouse dogs.

→   Stuff happens.
Even an experienced grouse dog with a bold, confident attitude will sometimes bump a grouse.
Tip:  Exercise patience and move on.

 

Comments

A day in the life of Quinny, a puppy, in her new home.

Play with Brody.

Chill with new pal, Packer the Brittany.

Nap time!

 

Good stuff about puppies

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A pointing dog’s first hunting season
Bird and gun introduction
Early development of puppies
How to correct a dog
How to pet a dog
How to pick a puppy
Patience and puppies
Picking puppies: the unimportance of picking order
Puppies and fireworks
Puppy buying mistakes
Raising puppies at Northwoods Bird Dogs
The pointing instinct
Training puppies on a stakeout chain

Good stuff from previous posts

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Finer points on...

A brace of bird dogs
Accuracy of location
Bird finding
How to flush grouse and woodcock
Hunting pattern
Range
Running grouse
Scenting ability
Speed and scenting
To point a bird, first a dog has to find it
Using grouse dogs on pheasants

Training

A bump or a knock
Backing point
Bird dog basics:  hunt, handle, point birds
Bumping grouse
Electronic training collars...a little perspective
How to correct a dog
How to pet a dog
Patience and puppies
The pointing instinct
Transition to wild birds
Unproductive points
WHOA and NO

Breeding

Dogs, not averages, matter in breeding
Evaluating litters
Pointers of Northwoods Bird Dogs
Proper conformation
The tail of a bird dog

Health

Bird dogs and hidden traps
Feeding bird dogs
Feeding for ideal body condition
First aid kit for bird dogs
Get your dog ready for the season
Hazards in the grouse woods
How to maintain a good weight for your dog
Quick lesson on poisoning and how to induce vomiting
Tick-borne diseases in dogs

 IN LOVING MEMORY

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NORTHWOODS DIOR

Strideaway

Sandy Oaks Art

Dave Kolter Intarsia

 

 

 

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