Hooked on field training

10 Feb

Our introduction to the world of hunting upland game came during the new year holiday of 2011.  We were invited to join some vizsla friends for a 3 day trip to Rend Lake, Illinois for some pheasant hunting.  Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into!

In preparation for the expedition, we purchased what we thought were field clothes, ordered field collars for the dogs, and packed up.  As we were driving to the lodge, Ben asked me what all the excitement was with regards to hunting.  My naive answer was something like “Well, best I can tell it involves walking around in the freezing cold wearing a very unflattering shade of orange.”  [Note, I’m still not a fan of wearing blaze orange but obviously understand the importance of being visible for safety reasons.]

Anyway, we hit the field for the first time with 4 experienced hunters, 1 field champion, and 3 master hunters… WOW!  After the first 10 minutes, the field champion struck a hard point and didn’t move.  She didn’t even blink!  It was amazing!  Her owner stepped in the flush the bird, shot the bird, and then it was retrieved perfectly to hand.  This field champion was so exuberant in the field it was magnificent to watch!  We were hooked!  A little later in the morning, the same field champion went on point again and both the dogs in the field with her honored in the most spectacular way.  I was floored!  I couldn’t believe that 2 high-energy vizslas stopped hard to honor a fellow hunter who found a bird.  This was (and still is) amazing!

Now, we spend our weekends training our vizslas and ourselves to hunt upland game.  We buy Valentine’s gifts of bird launchers and anniversary gifts of e-collars!  Even my new pajama pants have bird dogs and pheasants on them… we are totally loving every minute of this.

For those who haven’t seen a vizsla work a field in search for birds, it is truly something else!  I couldn’t truly appreciate it until I saw it for myself.  It is safe to say, I’m bird dog crazy!

Happy weekend!


3 Responses to “Hooked on field training”

  1. Anna February 10, 2012 at 9:34 AM #

    Whoooo welcome to the world of hunting with your dog! I do it mainly because I love watching her hunt, and how much she loves it. Luna lives to hunt anything, whether we’re out hiking or actually hunting she notices everything that moves. We have almost finished her training and actually are working on the honoring you speak of. She is not one of those rare “natural backers” where they naturally stop to point the other dog. She wants the birds! So it has been a little tuff to teach her to let the other dog get them. She has her JH title, and we are almost done with her training to start entering her for Senior, but I have a feeling it will have to wait till fall as the Hunt Test season is almost over here. Her mother is a MH, her uncle is nearly an MH with 3 more legs to go… her grandma is almost a MH too. ANd I think she has as much drive if not more in the field than some of them, so I really need to do her justice and finish her training
    How lucky you are to have friends who invite you to go hunt! WIsh we lived closer to hunting areas, it is a bit hard over on the east coast to find places to go.
    Looking forward to hearing more about your progress in the field. It is so fun to watch them put things together in the field.

  2. 2browndawgs February 11, 2012 at 7:41 AM #

    I bet it was amazing to hunt with a field champion. Takes a lot of training and a special dog to achieve that title.

  3. Hawk aka BrownDog February 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM #

    Hi Y’all,

    Been a long time since anyone in this family went hunting. Best poor Hawk gets to do is retrieve bumpers. He gets to hunt birds for me to photograph. Not a great life for a Chessie.

    We train sometimes with a friend who trains pointers, but have never been out with vizslas.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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