What age did you start

Any other gundog related questions, problems, etc.
Aimeetess
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Re: What age did you start

Post by Aimeetess » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:44 am

ips wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:50 pm
16 months on small syndicate shoot, 20-40 bird days.
:lol:
That really did make me laugh! I've had dogs since I was tiny, collies. I got into the 'shooting world' at around 18, as the boyfriends dad had land they ran a pheasant shoot, clay days etc and he use to bring me along to watch!

CockerCanuck
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Re: What age did you start

Post by CockerCanuck » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:38 pm

I am really enjoying this thread. It is amazing how we have come from such different places to be here with the common interest in gundogs. I posted that I have been around them my whole life, with my father’s, dogs, but was not specific about my own first dog. This would have been almost exactly fifty years ago.

I grew up on an isolated farm about 8 miles from the village where I went to school. So, taking part in team sports and social activity was difficult. However, I was surrounded by great shooting and fishing opportunities and I immersed myself in these as far back as I can remember. I had an Uncle who I hero worshiped; he was a lumberman, trapper and seasonally ran a hunting and fishing lodge. It mostly catered to American sportsmen coming for their “Canadian Wilderness” hunting and fishing adventures. The fall hunt was primarily for white tail deer but also black bear and alternate years moose were in season. The hunting was on huge tracks of land. My Uncle hunted 4000 acres of endless woodland, lakes streams and beaver ponds. With all this terrain, and only about a dozen hunters, hounds were used to seek out game and keep it moving. Hunters were then stationed along the natural travel routes and “pinch points” between lakes and in valleys. It was exciting stuff to be stationed along a well-used game trail with singing hounds coming your way.

These dogs were a pretty rough bunch. Walkers, Blueticks, Beagles, Redbones, Plottes, and mixtures of these and other breeds. They were not socialized and certainly not pets. Sadly, in those days they were also expendable. They would take 10-12 in to camp each season but at the end of the season cull that down to about half of the best performers who would be kept for the following year.

When I was about 12 or 13 my Uncle arrived at our farm after the deer season to visit my father. He called me over to his car and opened the trunk (boot). Inside was a funny looking cross-eyed lemon and yellow little hound. He was a Beagle/Basset mix. My Uncle said his name was Leroy and he was for me if I wanted him. He had been given a chance at the hunt camp but failed miserably. My Uncle said he was friendly, hunted close and had a beautiful voice but would not stop running rabbits and hares. He was slated for the cull but at the last minute my Uncle decided I was old enough for a rabbit dog.

Whenever I step into a winter woods I still think of Leroy. I was just at the age when a boy wants to get out and do things on his own. Every Saturday in fall and winter my mother would pack me a lunch in a backpack and a tea billy. I would get the old bolt action .410 shotgun my father cut the stock down for me and we would head off into the woods for the day, In winter on snowshoes. There were a few cottontail rabbits, more snowshoe hares and along the edge of farm fields European hares. When Leroy hit a hot scent, he would erupt in the most beautiful deep yodel for such a small dog. I would rush to get ahead of him or a good vantage point to try and get a shot when they circled There was a lot more running than shooting but I loved it. At lunch I would burrow down out of the wind in a snowdrift and make a small fire and melt some snow for tea in the billy. Leroy would curl up by the fire and pull the snow from between the pads of his feet.

To this day these are some of the happiest memories of my life. Thanks Leroy!

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ips
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Re: What age did you start

Post by ips » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:54 pm

Brilliant read CC, you should write a book my friend.
👍
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

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trekmoor
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Re: What age did you start

Post by trekmoor » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:12 pm

CockerCanuck wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:38 pm
I am really enjoying this thread. It is amazing how we have come from such different places to be here with the common interest in gundogs. I posted that I have been around them my whole life, with my father’s, dogs, but was not specific about my own first dog. This would have been almost exactly fifty years ago.

I grew up on an isolated farm about 8 miles from the village where I went to school. So, taking part in team sports and social activity was difficult. However, I was surrounded by great shooting and fishing opportunities and I immersed myself in these as far back as I can remember. I had an Uncle who I hero worshiped; he was a lumberman, trapper and seasonally ran a hunting and fishing lodge. It mostly catered to American sportsmen coming for their “Canadian Wilderness” hunting and fishing adventures. The fall hunt was primarily for white tail deer but also black bear and alternate years moose were in season. The hunting was on huge tracks of land. My Uncle hunted 4000 acres of endless woodland, lakes streams and beaver ponds. With all this terrain, and only about a dozen hunters, hounds were used to seek out game and keep it moving. Hunters were then stationed along the natural travel routes and “pinch points” between lakes and in valleys. It was exciting stuff to be stationed along a well-used game trail with singing hounds coming your way.

These dogs were a pretty rough bunch. Walkers, Blueticks, Beagles, Redbones, Plottes, and mixtures of these and other breeds. They were not socialized and certainly not pets. Sadly, in those days they were also expendable. They would take 10-12 in to camp each season but at the end of the season cull that down to about half of the best performers who would be kept for the following year.

When I was about 12 or 13 my Uncle arrived at our farm after the deer season to visit my father. He called me over to his car and opened the trunk (boot). Inside was a funny looking cross-eyed lemon and yellow little hound. He was a Beagle/Basset mix. My Uncle said his name was Leroy and he was for me if I wanted him. He had been given a chance at the hunt camp but failed miserably. My Uncle said he was friendly, hunted close and had a beautiful voice but would not stop running rabbits and hares. He was slated for the cull but at the last minute my Uncle decided I was old enough for a rabbit dog.

Whenever I step into a winter woods I still think of Leroy. I was just at the age when a boy wants to get out and do things on his own. Every Saturday in fall and winter my mother would pack me a lunch in a backpack and a tea billy. I would get the old bolt action .410 shotgun my father cut the stock down for me and we would head off into the woods for the day, In winter on snowshoes. There were a few cottontail rabbits, more snowshoe hares and along the edge of farm fields European hares. When Leroy hit a hot scent, he would erupt in the most beautiful deep yodel for such a small dog. I would rush to get ahead of him or a good vantage point to try and get a shot when they circled There was a lot more running than shooting but I loved it. At lunch I would burrow down out of the wind in a snowdrift and make a small fire and melt some snow for tea in the billy. Leroy would curl up by the fire and pull the snow from between the pads of his feet.

To this day these are some of the happiest memories of my life. Thanks Leroy!
That sounds really good to me C.C. . One of my regrets with dogs is that I've never been able to sit on top of a hill , swig whisky and listen to "hound music" down below in the woods. I can easily picture myself doing that with the stars wheeling up above .

I'm an auld romantic ! :lol:

Wullie
If at first you don't succeed .....find out if there is a booby prize !
-----------------------------------------------------
Don't do what doesn't work - do what does.
.

Jelinga
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Re: What age did you start

Post by Jelinga » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:24 pm

I didn't know gun dogs or shooting existed! I had a Collie/Springer bought for 30/- from a pet shop, I had felt sorry for it!. Fourteen years later she had osteosarcoma and I was in the vet's waiting room, when a young woman came in, bought a bottle of medication and went out again. The receptionist said the lady had a lovely little of Chocolate Pointers. My dog was dead 10 days later, I tried the dogs' homes, no dogs available and then OH said, get one of those pups. I went to see them and chose the smallest and the ugliest, the only one who had climbed the stairs! I happened to be in the library and saw a book with a GSP on the cover and realised that the dog I was going to buy was a gun dog. The owner of the sire of the bitch ran some gun dog classes and at the grand age of 47 I was hooked and have been hooked ever since. Inga was a solid liver GSP and a great character, I only wish I had her now, knowing so much more about dogs. I had four more over the years and then 11 years ago, changed to Labs. I went over some fields at the weekend which I had't visited since I had the GSPs and I really missed seeing them hunt, not the same with a Lab.

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ips
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Re: What age did you start

Post by ips » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:57 pm

Jelinga wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:24 pm
I didn't know gun dogs or shooting existed! I had a Collie/Springer bought for 30/- from a pet shop, I had felt sorry for it!. Fourteen years later she had osteosarcoma and I was in the vet's waiting room, when a young woman came in, bought a bottle of medication and went out again. The receptionist said the lady had a lovely little of Chocolate Pointers. My dog was dead 10 days later, I tried the dogs' homes, no dogs available and then OH said, get one of those pups. I went to see them and chose the smallest and the ugliest, the only one who had climbed the stairs! I happened to be in the library and saw a book with a GSP on the cover and realised that the dog I was going to buy was a gun dog. The owner of the sire of the bitch ran some gun dog classes and at the grand age of 47 I was hooked and have been hooked ever since. Inga was a solid liver GSP and a great character, I only wish I had her now, knowing so much more about dogs. I had four more over the years and then 11 years ago, changed to Labs. I went over some fields at the weekend which I had't visited since I had the GSPs and I really missed seeing them hunt, not the same with a Lab.
Not just me that came into the game late then, other than I never had any dog until 51 yrs old. God I wish I had got into it earlier so many years wasted shooting un edible clay things ☹
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

Dartmoordog
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Re: What age did you start

Post by Dartmoordog » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 am

So many nice stories and anecdotes, and really great to hear people getting into shooting and gundogs later in life.

If I am honest I hate winter really, but thank god I have shooting, dogs and rugby to get me through those bleak months. I spent the vast majority of my life working outdoors on Dartmoor as a Water Bailiff, when you could bank up hours during the busier period and take chunks of time off in the winter......Shooting! I also stalk Deer and fish.

Canada sounds life my kind of heaven. 👍 Even with those cold winters 😳
Be careful what you say about my wife or kids, be VERY careful what you say about my gundogs.

CockerCanuck
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Re: What age did you start

Post by CockerCanuck » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:06 am

"Canada sounds life my kind of heaven. 👍 Even with those cold winters 😳"

Perhaps but I am also envious of your history and traditions and the amount of game your dogs get to work. I can hunt here several hours and only move a bird or two.

Naj
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Re: What age did you start

Post by Naj » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Thanks for some great reminisces. :-D

I used to follow beagles many years ago and there’s nothing finer than to hear a pack in full cry on the scent of a hare. I reckon I’d happily join Wullie swigging whisky while listening to hounds. :lol:

CC, I started the opposite way to you, having to go beating and picking-up out of necessity because I didn’t have a deal of roughshooting. It was fun at the time but now I’m lucky enough (?) just to shoot over my own dogs and like you have to work hard for every head, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. :-D

Naj

Nickheref
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Re: What age did you start

Post by Nickheref » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:01 am

Dartmoordog wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:55 am

If I am honest I hate winter really,
One of the things I really love about fieldsports/outdoor life is that there is always something to look forward to, that is just about to start. Whilst we are coming to the end of the "shooting season" I am just preparing for February and hunting my dogs on rabbits on land I cannot go on in the season proper as I would be disturbing pheasants, a really good wind down for the dogs and a chance to put a few things that have slipped right again! Plus if it ever stops raining and the rivers calm down the end of the grayling season! :-D

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