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About Flairball

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    Born Hunter

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    Boston, Ma.

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  1. We can not shoot over a pond that has been fed, but we can spread feed up to 10 days before the season opens. I’m thinking I might spread a little something over the next couple of weeks before the season opens to get them checking in. The ducks do visit the pond and creek, but it’d be nice to get a few more on it. It’s a very quiet, secluded spot, so I think if I get some more coming in, even if the feeding stops they’re gonna like the place. Any recommendations?
  2. For better, or for worse, we do quite a few things differently here in the US. It is very rare for anyone to raise poults in an open top pen. I wish more people would. Anyway, I belong to a dog training club. We have 2 bird pens, 1 partridge and 1 pheasant, but we do not do any kind of an early release. Members grab whatever birds they need for training and head out. Being able to train on pen raised birds is a big help when training a dog. Depending on the drill many birds are fly-aways. Truth is most birds I put out are not shot in training, rather I will run a dog the next morning to try to find the birds that were flown away. Being theses are adults when released they haven’t got much survival instinct, and a number do get taken by predators. I’m trying to find ways to help with their survival. So,.... Our pens do not have anything for these pheasant to roost upon. I am planning to build some racks so they can get off the ground. It is not natural for them to stay on the ground, and I believe this is a reason the predators get them. To encourage them to roost I was planning to put about a half dozen chickens in the pen. Any thoughts on which breed of chicken would work best, or any breed I should avoid? Also, the birds are fed out of feed pans. I am planning to spread hay and put feed down on it so they begin to work for it a bit. I also plan to put hay out in a few of our hedgerows, and put some feed on the hay. I’m hoping that the released pheasant that make their way into a hedge will associate the hay with food, and being in a hedgerow, roost there in the evening. I know this isn’t a great solution, but I believe it may help. Thoughts? I have absolutely no idea what I can do to help the partridge. Any suggestions? Like I said earlier, this is a for better or for worse situation. I can only work around the system I’ve got access to, so please, I don’t need to hear about how much better the system is in the UK. Thanks.
  3. Flairball

    Should I breed my springer bitch?

    No. Breeding is something you plan, not something you just decide to do when your bitch is in season. The idea is to breed only for the betterment of the breed. That usually includes a wide search for a good stud. Love your dog. Shoot a lot of birds over her. Spoil her. But leave the breeding to others.
  4. Hypothetical question. As a means of reintroduction and/or population supplementation what percentage of pheasant would you expect to survive, and go on to breed in the wild, if released using the standard model of releasing poults via a release pen? In considering your answer/expectations let’s assume this is an appropriately sized release pen, with appropriate cover, regular feeding, regular pest control, and not shot at. Thanks
  5. Flairball

    Pup training

    The weather has been quite mild, spring like, so I’ve been able to get in some training with the dogs. At 7 months old Bailey is coming along nicely. If his training stays on course he may well see his first trial in the fall. Here are a couple short vids.
  6. Flairball

    struggling to keep weight on my springer spaniel

    Doing great, Les. Thanks. Hope you are well.
  7. Flairball

    struggling to keep weight on my springer spaniel

    Pour a bottle of beer in the kibble. The beer keeps me fat, might work with a springer.
  8. We all know its not just about the shooting. A day of shooting in the countryside is about so much more. Sometimes more important than the shooting. Part 3, the Sticky Toffee Massacre
  9. There are a lot of work-arounds. So, I have no keeper if skills, so I will be learning on the fly. This kind of keepering just doesn’t happen in the states, so our neighbors will not be “keepering”. We will be feeding, so hopefully our grass will be the greenest. We use a lot of partridge for dog training. Many are not shot. It has been our experience that those partridge hang around and survive for 3-4 months, which is encouraging. As for the skill level of the other guns? Well, let’s just say I want to provide opportunities. What they do with them,...? The bag limits I quoted are daily bag limits. I think 25-35% would be great. Being we are trying to put together a small start up shoot I think we’d all be happy if we only shot a few birds each day as long as we were seeing birds flying.
  10. I live in the US, and a friend and I are trying to put together a small shoot. I need a little input. We are thinking of putting together a mixed bag shoot, 6-8 guns, shooting 2-3 days. This would be a mini-driven type of shoot with 4-6 drives. The main issues revolve around property size, and bag size. Most of the potential properties are between 100-200 acres. These would have some woods, fields, and hedges. Most likely the birds would be driven from the hedges, and some of the crops in the fields. I think this could work for a small shoot. The issue of how many birds to release is a bit tougher to figure because game laws are different here. We’ve got bag limits which we can’t go over. We can’t shoot more than 2 pheasant per gun, which would be 12-16 pheasant. We can also shoot 4 partridge (Chukar) per gun, which puts us at 24-32 partridge, which is why I would like to organize a mixed bag shoot. I doubt that we would ever shoot a bag of 36- 48 birds, but that’d make for a nice day. So, taking in to account that we will lose birds once they are on the ground, how many pheasant and partridge would you recommend we release for our small shoot?
  11. Flairball

    Season in review- updated.

    I must have messed up the links. I’ll try to fix it.
  12. I've had a very fulfilling shooting season, but I haven't shared much of it here. I have, updated my blog, however, so here are a couple of links to my season in review. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3- coming soon.
  13. Flairball

    First goose

    Thanks, Les. I had a great time, and I am looking forward to shooting with you again next year.
  14. Flairball

    Lab x pointer

    I was thinking more about improvement of breed, either pointer or Lab. Don’t really see how this could help. Wouldn’t know what Genes or traits would transfer to the pups, so could end up with a dog that neither points, nor retrieves. But, what would it do on a grouse moor that continental pointing breed, or even a setter couldn’t do? There are lots of dog breeds out there, and I think probably one for whatever one needs.
  15. Flairball

    First goose

    Got out on the geese, today. I was fortunate enough to receive an invite from a gentleman from Leeds who knows a thing or two about goose shooting. It was a beautiful morning, and despite being under gunned only having a 20g with me, I was still able to shoot my first Greylag. Thank Les.