• marc posted an update in the group HGD Community 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I’d like your input to help me understand Mauser.

    We were pheasant hunting Sunday, and Mauser would find the shot birds, pick them up briefly, but drop them in place despite me kneeling down and calling him. I’d just go over and pick up the bird. Like you explain in your writings, he will fetch thrown objects – even dead pheasant, due to his prey drive, but he is unreliable fetching pheasant. After the last shot bird, he went off to work a hedgerow (he’s a smart boy!), and although out of sight, is only 75 yds away. I hear his bell, and as he’s working the hedgerow away from me, I call him around to work my other side. I called again after he did not come around, and he came bounding out with a dead cock pheasant, presenting it nicely to me. Hmmmm… when I shoot birds, he won’t fetch. When he catches or finds one on his own, he delivers it to me. What do you make of that, and how could I misunderstand what he was trying to tell me? Thanks.

    • Hello Marc. I like these easy ones. The best way to get a natural retrieve is to not ask for it. When he leaves for a retrieve, you turn around and walk the other way slowly. DON’T SAY ANYTHING! When he gets to the bird, he will look up to see where you are. If he sees you walking away, he will pick up the bird and come to you. When he is on his way, drop down on one knee, still facing away. DON’T SAY ANYTHING! He will come to you with his bird.

      When you talk to him and verbally try to encourage him to bring the bird, you are making a handling mistake. He sees that encouragement as pressure and it breaks his focus. He brings birds to you that you didn’t shoot because you did not pressure him for those. Case closed.

      Try this and let me know how it goes. Thanks for keeping in touch on our Community page.

      Higgins

      • LOL! I’m glad I didn’t make you sweat! Thanks. Now that you provided the answer I think I may have read that in your blog a while ago. I makes perfect sense. I’ll take him out tomorrow and see what happens. Film at 11.

          • Hello Marc,

            All in all, nice work. I’d like to go through it with you. First, at 34 seconds in, you swung on the bird before looking at the dog first. Rule #1, Always be looking at the dog on flush. You must be certain he is steady on the flush before looking at the bird. Only takes a split second. This is the hardest thing for us hunters to do. We want to hurry and get our eyes on the target. Slow down. There is plenty of time. Also, I would have probably walked out wide and approached the bird from the right. Would have beed easier to keep my eye on the dog at the flush.

            After you sent the dog for the retrieve the first time (39 seconds in), you walked toward him. Remember what I said. Send him, turn around and walk away. He did not bring it to you the first time because you did not walk away and wait. I like what you did then. You sent him back in and at 2:17, you walked away and waited. Out he came with the bird. Good work.

            • Thanks for the excellent debrief Brad. I shoot lefty, so approaching from the left is a better sight window for me. This is our first few times on pheasant in fields. I have been an upland ruffed grouse for my entire life (as is young Mauser). That’s where I’ve developed the “quick draw”. To me, that was actually slow! I will concentrate on paying attention to Mauser on flush. He caught a weak cock bird last week, and he’s probably thinking he can catch them without me. I still have some quail in my Johnny house at my place, and extra hay bales. Time for a “magic hay bale” lesson session. Thanks again for pointing out my errors!