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About Flairball

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    Born Hunter

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    Boston, Ma.

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  1. Flairball


    Bonus woodcock. The woodcock are starting to migrate north again, over here. It’s not uncommon to see a couple when out training or running the dogs. Never thought I’d see one in the middle of the city, surrounded by high rise buildings. This woodcock killed itself by flying into the glass roll up doors of the firehouse. It seems the woodcock flew in to the fire house when the doors were up, and then decided to try to make its failed escape after the doors were down. We are situated in the ground floor of a very large high rise, and the doors are quite large.
  2. Took an hour out of my day to take the dogs for a walk around some fields, woods, and hedgerows. It was time well spent. The dogs are working well together, and my older dog (on the right) made a fantastic retrieve, swimming through some very heavy flooded cover for a hard pricked bird.
  3. Flairball

    Gwp as a waterfowling dog

    Yeah. Like a litter of Labs. Or maybe Chessies.
  4. Flairball


    The last 3 years I’ve shot with friends in Yorkshire. I’ve seen quite a few woodcock on shoot days, but I’ve yet to connect with one. This year I am coming over earlier, so I doubt I’ll see any, but I’m sure the shooting will be just as fun.
  5. Flairball

    Syndicate rules

    He took your money, he owes you an explanation. And your money back. And,..can the shoot captain decide this on his own, or must it be brought up with the rest of the members? I’ve always understood (maybe wrongly) that the shoot captain is the guy in charge of organizing, and holds some authority, but not ultimate authority.
  6. Flairball


    The woodcock season and migration runs a little differently, here. They are on the move, now. By mid-Nov they will be gone, having moved further south to their wintering grounds. The last two days I have gotten in to them good. Tough to kill, living in the really thick, young saplings, but fun to try. We moved 48 yesterday and today. I managed to put 4 in the bag.
  7. Finally got a day when I could spend some time really getting after some birds. I made the mistake of running them together for a bit, so my bitch became very competitive and broke on the first bird. A shake and a talking to sorted that out, and she followed up by making a fantastic long blind retrieve on a bird on another bird the pup flushed while she was out on a marked retrieve. I elected not to send the pup because he wasn’t as steady as he should have been.
  8. Flairball

    Gwp as a waterfowling dog

    GWP is a versatile dog, but the fowling aspect of its versatility is not what it was bred to do as its first job. It is a dog that was bred to point and retrieve game, both feather and fur, and retrieve from water when needed. As well as blood trail. I think you should think about what you will use the dog for 80% of the time. If you will spend most of your time shooting ducks and geese, you’ll be better off with a Lab. A GWP wants to run. I think a Lab could, with some training and exposure, become a proficient fox flusher. Training to scent track (Fox scent), and to retrieve fur (Fox fur) could be the ticket.
  9. Flairball

    Pup eating fox poop

    Sounds like you might need to recruit some help from here to get rid of some foxes.
  10. Too bad the grouse have been suffering, but glad to hear days are being cancelled (glad in the people aren’t being greedy sense), and the resource managed properly. Red grouse shooting is one of the things I’d most like to one day, be it over dogs or driven (which I’ll probably never be able to afford).
  11. Flairball

    Aye yeoman/no3 good with steel?

    I’m not gonna say you’ll be good, nor don’t do it, but why not skip the steel and shoot bismuth? Bismuth performs better, is not terribly expensive, can be found with fibre wads, and the new upland loads are slower and lower pressure. The slower low pressure loads should be fine for that gun and are sufficient to kill fowl (remember, the high speed fowl loads came about as a result of steel being lighter than lead). The slower loads will be easier on the shoulder than high speed steel, too. You should be able to kill ducks with #5 shot out to 40 yards. Anyway, good luck and have fun
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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