Best Time to start hunting training - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Best Time to start hunting training

Having coveted a Vizsla for more than a decade I have finally got my little girl Holly.
Holly is going to hunt deer with me on weekends (when I can get out) by stalking and to be a family pet during the week. She is 16 weeks old.
I want to know when would be the best time to start her training out in the field?. Am I correct to assume about 9 months would be a good time to start
At the moment we’ve started basic obedience training (sit, heel, drop etc) which she astounds me how quickly she can pick this up
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 11:27 PM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Reggie

I've never trained a Vizsla to hunt deer. (I actually trained them to the exact opposite, and not hunt deer.) I've trained a few to hunt birds and their training begins as soon as I get them home.
I'll hide wings and such under the couch and chairs and let them "discover" them on their own. I'll roll up a wing and tail in a sock and we play retrieve games. Real short retrieves. I then drag the wing on the floor and hide it and watch them follow the trail through the living room. During this phase I also begin to very gently begin the "whoa" process.
My first Vizsla competed in his first derby at 9 months old, a NAVHDA trial at 14 months old and was hunting with me one year after I got him. The others have been the same when I started them as puppies. I see no reason to believe that Holly won't be able to pick up the game, so to speak.
I've never hunted deer personally, but I have used my dogs to follow a blood trail for guys that lost them in the deep cover a few times.

I see no reason that a piece of untanned, uncured deer hide can't take the place of the wing. Maybe hit it with a little oil from the scent gland. I'd start her now and just make everything a big zero pressure game. All fun and praise.

You'll never beat a lesson into a dog, you just beat desire out.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Thanks Gunnr
I'm waiting for delivery of a book by Guy Wallace titled "Training dogs for woodland deer stalking" which I think he advocates such training with air dried hide. which presents me with the problem getting my hands on some skin to at least start training. I should point out that I reside in Australia and the species of deer we hunt is Sambar deer which are fairly elusive, even other hunters are reluctant to part with it once they have some Holly grew up with her brothers and sisters playing with this hide but the breeder ran out of it. I think i'm in for alot of trial and error unless i can get a sample
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:27 AM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

I would recommend taking a look at http://versatiledogs.com/forum/, they tend to have people that use dogs to hunt fur.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 10:33 AM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Reggie

Is it legal to train her on live deer in Australia? Here in the US many states have restrictions on training your dog in Wildlife Management areas in the off season. If you have no such restrictions where you're at. I'd try to get her to an area that has the deer and let her find herself.

I know that to train mine not to course deer, I get them into the forest and take them across active deer lanes. As soon as they start to follow the lane, I correct them. I think the opposite would work. Bring Holly across active lanes and let her follow her nose.

Are Vizsla's typically used to stalk deer? I Had one that used to run them like a rabbit. An adult Vizsla can hold it's own with a deer for speed through cover. If he could get close enough, he'd try to take them down. I about broke my shoulder breaking him of the habit of running deer. It still hurts when I think about it.

You'll never beat a lesson into a dog, you just beat desire out.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Hi Gunnr

Yeah its legal to hunt/train all year round with a maximum of two gun dogs on this species of deer, although in the warmer months snakes can be worry. There is no problem in finding area to hunt in.

I think your right I’ll get her out covering deer habitat cutting game trails correcting and praising as we go. Choosing to shoot if she puts one up is another question, I don’t think she’ll like the roar of a 30’06 just yet.

Vizslas are very popular in deer hunting circles here I think not only from their outstanding hunting abilities but also from the point that they can seamlessly go from hunting dog on a weekend to loved family pet during the week. Typically hunters use German Shorthair and Wirehair pointers and Vizsla’s
Gun dogs for the use of hunting Sambar deer are used to point and flush the deer but not to attack or harm in any way the deer. In practice though I think I would prefer that she only point so I suppose that comes down to training and control
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 05:45 PM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Hi Reggie,
I'm also from Aus. and hunt deer only with a Brittany/Breton (I hang around because I am considering a Vizsla next time around).
I never hunted my pup till she was 1 year old, as I just didn't have the confidence to let her go and I was also concerned about the risk of injury to a still developing pup.
Be prepared for some hunts to focus soley on the dog, carry the gun if you wish but be prepared to spend more time on commanding/directing the dog than actually looking for deer. Once you have control (which can be hard in SAmbar habitat as it is so friggin thick) relax and hunt like you've bever hunted before.
I started hunting my girl this season at the start of March and have hunted every wekend since, she's is 3 this month and is really starting to hit her straps, give her time and good luck with the V.
Q: safe to assume you are from Vic, which part?
Cheers,
Waldo
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Hi Waldo
Thanks for the reply
I'm from down the latrobe valley
Thinking I should just take her out for a couple of hours at a time every now and then for this year only.
I going to start her in obedience class this week just to socialize her as I've been doing this by myself.

Cheers
Reggie
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-23-2010, 08:47 PM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Reggie,
My V is 5. I have used her for stalking Feral Hogs for the last two years, but she is trained to ignor Deer. The hog hunting came natural just from experience. I started keeping her with me as a catch dog on Turkey hunts three years ago after I lost a wounded Turkey on a Spring hunt. Texas is one of the few states this is legal. I do shoot a lot of hogs during Spring Turkey season and after a couple down with her at my side, she just took the lead and figured out what I was wanting of her. Or really she trained me you might say and I worked it to a hunting style I could utilize. It has not effected our other hunting. I can tell from the way she acts when we are downwind of a hog and just call her off or heel her and move on if that is not the target of the day.

How old for Deer? I don't know. But I would not start any training for it until most bird hunt training is done and after some hunting experience. That is unless Deer stalking is going to be the primary hunting you will do. And with early training or hunting you don't want to be in a position that she can break or chase deer without you being in control. My first dedicated hog hunts with mine, the dog was on a lead and you better believe she wanted to chase them on sight.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 07:33 AM
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Re: Best Time to start hunting training

Hi Reggie,

I use my V for pointing deer in NZ (when I have time). There is a photo of her in the galley sitting beside the first deer we shot with her (a fallow). Normally I am hunting for red deer in very thick bush. So I have spent a lot of time training her to stay within about 3m of me at all times (otherwise you can't see her). For almost every spoken command I also have a hand signal. You can't talk to the dog much when you are bush stalking. Its a real buzz when the dog is locked up, hackles raised and you can't see or smell what she is seeing but you know it is there. Also I have zero tolerance for chasing. I never encourage it unless it is after a toy or ball. Chasing any animal is out. You don't want your precious V getting gored by a stag or chasing off your animal before you get to see it. Commands I use alot are CLOSE (3m), HEEL, WAIT, SIT, DOWN, FIND IT, WHERE IS IT. Play lots of hide and seek games with the dog to get it interested in finding things. You want to develop a high prey drive in the dog.

If you have time then start clapping your hands and make the dog DOWN. Then move on to a cap gun. Pratice this everyday until it is routine. When you move up to centerfire rifles the idea is that after you fire the dog DOWN's. That way if it is a hilar shot and the deer bolts 30m before dropping the dog is safely watching, not chasing after it.

Keeping the dog within a 3m radius is the biggest challenge. You have to work on this all the time until it is just 2nd nature. When she was about 18 months old I introduced an E-collar to reinforce this but now I hardly use it or if I do it is just set on vibrate. I also have a command called FRONT where she can range out front freely. Normally she will only go about 30m and then either stop and look back or return.

Tails are also good for training the dog for deer scent as there is a gland in the tail. If you can't get one from a mate then you may be able to buy these from a deer processing facility if there is one nearby.

If you have a well trained deer dog, everyone will love it as you will have developed a real quiet sort of communication with your dog. It will appear very well trained.

Hope I've given you some good pointers. I have some good magazine info on this training if you want it
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