Now is the time to use scents when training your bird dogs. First, find yourself a roadkill pheasant. Save the tail and wings. These natural smells and feathers will make playing games with your dog great fun. If you prefer Huns, or grouse, roadkill is legal to pick up in Montana.
Use some cord or rubber bands to attach the fresh scented feathers to a retrieving dummy. You can add liquid or stick scent to the wings or tails to enhance the wild bird smell.
Take the pup for a walk and hide the scented toy. Now recall the dog and allow them to “Hunt them up!” This game is so much fun for the pups. Allow them to bring the find back each time and “Drop”. Don’t let the dog see where you hid the bird. Use the right scent for the right cover. Pheasant scent works best near pheasant habitat, not in grouse cover.
Remember it is important to use short commands when hunting. Long sentences will not be understood. Connect the command to the dog’s name. Ex. “Mag, dead bird”. The more you repeat the task, the better the dog will hunt. Command “Sit, stay, whoa, come, etc.” Remember, hunting is supposed to be fun.
Routine exercise is also a good idea to improve the dog’s endurance. Always carry water for you and the dog. Using a squirt style bottle is a good way to hydrate the dog. If your dog is older and gets sore or cramps after a big day, try using a half of a Carprofen, doggy aspirin, before or after the exercise.
For more Montana Grant, point him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.