And off we go once more.

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
The partridge season is under way and today is my first day out picking up this season and only 49 more to go! I approach it with my usual feeling of anticipation but this year it is combined with more than a touch of trepidation.

I am bringing out a new dog to join the team. 16 months old English springer who is full of enthusiasm as most of the breed are. A very tall and long young dog who would give many a greyhound a run for his money. Once he settles down I think he will be a good picking up dog. He already shows signs of being a real hedgerow specialist.

I will have to tread carefully and not to let him do too much today.
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
I can relax now. Young Juneau performed extremely well for his first day. Found & retreived two partridges and worked very hard. There are a lot of hares on this estate and I've been a bit concerned about him chasing. We pushed up four and while he had a little gallop after three of them I was able to stop him quickly. The fourth one jumped right under our feet and a stern word stopped Juneau in his tracks.

So, all in all a satisfactory start to the season. Far too hot though.
 

corto maltese

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
1,350
Location
Provence, France
Bob, please keep us informed as to how young Juneau gets on as the season progresses.
I'm not a hunting man now, to my regret, it's complicated but I really do miss that interaction with my environment.
One day, ...maybe !
I've recently lost my dog after 16 years, it's far to soon but my thoughts are a wandering.
I've been googling sprockers when feeling low.
I've never had a trained hunting dog but from what I've read it's sounds like a great partnership/exchange, something I'd like to get involved in one day, ... Maybe !
I'm looking forward to hearing all about your trials and tribulations ;)
Thanks Bob.
 
Last edited:

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
Bob, please keep us informed as to how young Juneau gets on as the season progresses.
I'm not a hunting man now, to my regret, it's complicated but I really do miss that interaction with my environment.
One day, ...maybe !
I've recently lost my dog after 16 years, it's far to soon but my thoughts are a wandering.
I've been googling sprockers when feeling low.
I've never had a trained hunting dog but from what I've read it's sounds like a great partnership/exchange, something I'd like to get involved in one day, ... Maybe !
I'm looking forward to hearing all about your trials and tribulations ;)
Thanks Bob.
I'll try to keep you updated for sure. Juneau is the 7th ESS I have brought into the shooting field and in many respect he has been the most difficult to train. Not only that, I had to leave him with a river keeper friend together with the other three ESS I have for 7 weeks this summer while my wife and I were away.

We returned with about 5 weeks to go before Day 1 so you can readily understand my feeling a bit apprehensive this morning.

We did very little on the first drive other than let the team have a bit of a run over the ground to stretch their legs. Drive 2 was serious work and Juneau worked well and responded to the whistle exactly as he should. the senior dog, Toby, picked two and Number 2 dog Sarsen also picked 2. I was very pleased when Juneau popped out of the hedge and delivered his first. It took Sarsen three days to pick his first partridge as a young dog and he has become a picking up dog anyone would be proud to have.

There really is no bond quite like that between a man and his working dog. It is pure magic.
 

corto maltese

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2014
Messages
1,350
Location
Provence, France
I've only ever had one experience of having a working dog "look after me"
I was lucky enough to be invited to a driven pheasent shoot when I was younger. I was lent an older female ess called Pip, a day I'll never forget, I've not forgotten her name after all these years. She picked up the two I downed without needing to be told and spent all morning at my feet at my post criticising my skills with her eyes !
In the afternoon we had a walk through/rough shoot, more of the style that I was used to. That was something else, I've always rough shot on my own but that interaction with a dog, moving in front of me, flushing out, turning round to make sure the inexperienced amatuer was keeping up, doing his part in her team, filled me with joy, another dimension to my shooting pleasure, it felt bl**y good. That dog was brilliant, she flushed me the only hare I've taken and a woodcock.
I've never forgotten that, it was probably the high light of my short shooting life and now I am dog less and ruminating I can't help but keep revisiting that day.
I do like the look of and nice things I'm reading about sprockers.
I don't shoot here in France, it's not the same vibe, I have a lot of shooting freinds here but I'd rather not spend time in the field with them, it's just not the same mentality as back home. That's sounds terribly snobbish but I'm not and it's not. I used to shoot alone in my own rented wood, here it's a free for all and no land is private, I like to shoot alone, or with four legged company !
So even if I took a working dog and didn't shoot, I'm sure I could stimulate her enough to take pleasure in a long walk, going fishing and playing.
Don't you think ?
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
!
So even if I took a working dog and didn't shoot, I'm sure I could stimulate her enough to take pleasure in a long walk, going fishing and playing.
Don't you think ?
I thoroughly enjoy walking with my dogs, & let's face it, I do a hell of a lot of it as they need to be out twice a day. So that's about 40 minutes in the morning and an hour or more in the afternoon.

BUT, and it's a very big BUT, there is no kick like seeing your young dog doing his first retreive; or any of them finding that pheasant that everyone had given up as lost; or sending the selected dog out 3 or 400 metres for that fast running cock pheasant; or watching the dog work out just where that wounded partridge is in that dense cover. Those are the moments we remember for ever.

My first picking up dog was a black flatcoat. I still remember his best ever retrieve that brought the whole shoot to a standstill while everyone, guns, beaters and all stopped to watch & the head keeper on what was a very big and prestigious shoot said it was the best he had ever seen. The dog was buried there several years later.

Walking with the dogs is great, but working with them as a partnership brings a whole new meaning to dog ownership.
 

liphook

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
326
Good luck with your season and new dog Bob:thumbs: We've been out on the moors for a month now. One big driven day on th 12th with all the bells and whistles for the owners, followed by 2 gun teams over pointers. Our lowland shoots have yet to start but are eagerly awaited
 

speytime

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
6,372
Location
West Lothian Scotland
Stories from the beating...
I used to go to the Pheasant beating around Edinburgh and Dumfries and Galloway, one time at a beat just outside Edinburgh a dog goes charging of out of control, the keeper shouts whoever owns the dog is going home, a reply comes back well you had better leave its your dog ��

Al
 

JCP

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
2,794
Location
Dorset Wilts Borders & Baja
September Partridge time.We too are away Bob.Have a look at Shotaway Films on YouTube.I lost my best ESS pal Kip in 2017.I have worked three dogs in past seasons but as the years piled on I was down to one and he was a star.I am of that age now where having second thoughts about taking on another working dog but I have some wonderful memories from over 40 years of working companions in the field.Never say never but have think twice and seriously.Highly recommend the experience to anyone with the overriding factor being take the time and do it right.In most cases I have witnessed many owners need training much more than the dogs.:eek:mg:.

Best JP
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
Second day yesterday and once again the sun shone and it was far too warm even for September partridges. Juneau found 2 on the first drive and then brought in his first wounded partridge on the second. Big step forward.

He does like to show off a bit when he thinks he's done well. Lots of wriggling which is quite funny.
 

Paul_B

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
2,805
Location
South Yorkshire
Stories from the beating...
I used to go to the Pheasant beating around Edinburgh and Dumfries and Galloway, one time at a beat just outside Edinburgh a dog goes charging of out of control, the keeper shouts whoever owns the dog is going home, a reply comes back well you had better leave its your dog ��

Al
This reminds me of a chap I know, he'd got the best dog in the world and he told everyone how good a dog this Kear was and how much it cost etc
At the end of the shoot someone asked who had the posh dog with the double barreled name as he was fed up of hearing it.
So what's the name someone asks, Kear Comehere he answered.
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
I cannot be more delighted tonight after a day like today. Juneau is rapidly becoming a real star in the making. His first pick up this morning was a wounded partridge that I didn't know was there, but that is the point of sweeping the ground. Retrieved nicely. Thereafter for the next two drives he picked dead birds and runners and at one time was ahead of his two senior dogs by some margin.

After the third drive he was obvious tiring in the heat so I left him in the X Trail for the 4th and then he had a good break over the lunch period.

After luch we just had the one drive which was a mercy because by that time we were up around 26 degrees and working over recently cultivated ground which was hard enough for me to walk let alone the dogs but he still pulled off some good work on both runners and dead birds.

Roll on the autumn because if he can do that sort of work in the heat and with b*gger all scent then I await the cooler, damper weather to come with bated breath.
 

lukewarm

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
324
Location
Way out West
What do your shoots have Robert , Greys or Frenchies?.
Good news on the youngster , onwards & upwards :thumbs:
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
French partridge and pheasants. Very few English in this part of the country mores the pity.
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
Disaster has struck. Juneau and Sarsen have both come down with kennel cough and it is almost certain that Toby will follow suit. That's 10 days out - 4 or more likely 5 picking up days down. SH*T happens.
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
8,412
Location
Wiltshire
For some odd reason both Juneau and Sarsen recovered very quickly due to dosing with Metacam and Honey & lemon cough linctus! Neither of the other two got it which is a miracle. So we ended up missing 2 days instead of the 5 or more expected.

Since then we have started on the pheasants as well as partridges and Juneau continues to blossom. At just under 18 months old he is streets ahead of any other dog I have brought into the shooting field at the same age.

The chap who has his father and brother was picking up today. The father is a big dog and his brother could be his double if he was black & white instead of liver & white. Nice dog but Juneau was first in line when they handed out picking up brains that is for sure.

First drive this morning in the wind & rain shooting into a big wood. I had barely gone ten yards through the trees when Juneau was back with a wounded pheasant followed by Toby with a dead one. Another ten yards and Juneau was back with another wounded bird and then a dead one. Ended up that out of the 8 birds I picked that drive Juneau found 5 of them, Toby 2 and Sarsen 1.

Full bellies and fast asleep now.
 

Latest posts

Top