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This isn't a hunting story, but I just wanted to share:

A buddy invited my g/f and I to shoot at his gun club today.
We started the day with some skeet shooting and I actually hit a few with my 25 shells....I've never fired a shotgun before today so I was pretty happy about that.

Although, I realized just how tough bird hunting would be. We were firing target shells, which to my surprise have a much, MUCH smaller punch than proper shells.
We went down to the rifle range to shoot some slugs, and man oh man did my shoulder take a beating! We finished the day off with some #2 magnums and I have a whole new respect for guys that can hit birds all day long with a shotgun.

The little lady wasn't too interested in bruising her shoulder, but she shot the **** out of her targets with a ruger 10/22 and a 1911 .22 8)

My buddy has a nice collection, so we also got to fire his brand new Sig p220 .45, S&W M&P 9mm, and my favorite, an AR-15!

Mischa is just fine with a starter pistol, but I could see her getting freaked out beyond repair after hearing 1 blast from a 12 gauge...
We didn't bring her with us, and our trainer is adamant about slowly gun breaking dogs. I'm sure it will be a long slow process to get her use to it.
I'm not planning on hunting any time soon, but I would like to give it a try someday.
 

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Sounds like a noisy day on the gun range.

Never shot a shotgun before 18 months ago after doing my hunter safety class.

I really like my 20 gauge over and under for hunting. I made sure I had a professional get Bailey used to the shotgun before I did. We did that at around 6 months old.

Chloe, my 4 year old female Vizsla was completely screwed up by me going out with friends and their 12 gauges and their Lab. She is still gun shy. Never got over it.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com

Bailey now gets excited when I carry the shotgun to the Jeep. He thinks: BIRDS!!!!!!

Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, it was a loud day for sure.

I've been invited to a couple different hunts this fall. I thought it would be an excellent idea, but now I'm not so sure. I'd love to expose her to a real hunt but she's only a year and a half so there's plenty of time for that.
She has plenty of fun training and at the tests, so I'll stick with those settings until she's fully gun broke.

How much exposure to gun shots did it take for Bailey to be ok with it?
I suppose every dog will be different.

I think it's really cool when dogs get excited at the site of a gun....so happy to work!
 

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My former brother-in-law used to say "Let's go hunt 'em up!" and the dogs would go crazy!! He was an avid hunter (obviously).

Some old family friends used to participate in field trials with their coonhounds when I was a kid. The prizes were called "First Tree, Second Tree," etc. The prize money was BIG, even for back then, in the 1960's. I remember that they had a dog named Mortgage Lifter, and he was! He bought them a brand new car, once, too. I do remember thinking what a beautiful dog he was, but then, I have always loved dogs.

p.s. Those family friends also had an entire room of their house devoted to trophies their dogs had won! It was impressive.
 

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How much exposure to gun shots did it take for Bailey to be ok with it?
It wasn't the number of times, but the timing of introducing the sound to things positive. And for a bird dog, nothing better than birds to do the trick. He was good with the sound the first day. That is were the veteran bird dog man or woman is your best mentor. Attended a seminar yesterday "Demystifying hunt tests and field trials."
[urlhttp://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/07/vizsla-hunt-and-field-trail-training.html][/url]
One of the comments was to find yourself a mentor. They are out there and many of them are members of the clubs to help younger bird dog owners, like me (in experience not age), to learn the sport and give tips. A paid professional sometimes is the best because he is good enough to make a living at it. Old saying, "Free advice often has as much value as you paid for."

In NAVHDA Natural Hunting Abilities Test, one of the things they judge is a dog's reaction to the shot. Not all dogs accept the noise as well as others.

Mswhiipple, your coon hound story reminds me of "Where the Red Fern Grows." Never read the book, but Disney did a movie version that was quite good. The Redbone Coon hound looks very much like a Vizsla with a black nose. In the movie, even more so.

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/04/where-red-fern-grows.html

Happy trails and trials,

Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #6
redbirddog said:
How much exposure to gun shots did it take for Bailey to be ok with it?
It wasn't the number of times, but the timing of introducing the sound to things positive. And for a bird dog, nothing better than birds to do the trick. He was good with the sound the first day. That is were the veteran bird dog man or woman is your best mentor. Attended a seminar yesterday "Demystifying hunt tests and field trials."
[urlhttp://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2011/07/vizsla-hunt-and-field-trail-training.html][/url]
One of the comments was to find yourself a mentor. They are out there and many of them are members of the clubs to help younger bird dog owners, like me (in experience not age), to learn the sport and give tips. A paid professional sometimes is the best because he is good enough to make a living at it. Old saying, "Free advice often has as much value as you paid for."
Yeah, the timing of the shot is definitely the most important. The only time Mischa has heard gun shots(starters pistol) has been after she points for us, and the bird has been flushed, so only when she's really in the zone, chasing down a bird. Her reaction to shot has always been no reaction at all.
We've only just started working on "woah" after the bird has been flushed, so we're a ways away on everything.

I agree about the mentor as well...
We hired a trainer and we are really pleased with her methods. It's been a very positive experience for us and Mischa.
I'm impressed that it only took Bailey one day.
Mischa is fine with thunder and fireworks, but random noises spook her fairly often. lol she's a pansy! So we have to be careful not to push too far too soon.
 

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I am president of our local club. Thursday nights is trap league night. When cider was a puppy she loved riding in the truck. At about 10 weeks I drove her into the club during league night with the windows up to mute the sound. I parked and played with her a bit. She was familiar with the club property already (not during shooting) and wanted out. I let her out on a leash and kept her in the far corner of the parking lot and many friends came over and socialized with her. My kids stayed with her while I shot a round and then we left. All the while shotgun noise is going.

It worked extremely well, she loves the site of a gun and knows it means good things for her.
 

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Listen to your trainer. Slow and steady introduction is the key to success.
The ideal situation to expose the dog to gun fire is to have a field full of quail popping up everywhere, and the dog going bonkers with other dogs. The starter pistol is discharged behind the back at each flush. The shotgun is introduced the same way. Fired away from the dog for the first few sessions.
The "better" shotgun to start out with is a lightly loaded 20 gauge autoloader. Some of the discharge gasses must be ported to work the slide mechanism, ergo the "perceived" muzzle blast is attenuated somewhat.
Keep Mischa away from the center fire rifles and "Anti Aircraft" Magnum Shotgun loads. Unless you intend to hunt ducks and geese with her, a lightly loaded 12 gauge with #6 shot is the most she should be exposed too.
I use a 28ga. Winchester O/U and it's more than loud enough.
 

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We had a Redbone Coonhound before Sunny. Fancy was her name. :) We were so sad when we lost her. She was 14. Fancy always got smiles from her bark whenever we traveled somewhere.

My son is an avid coonhunter but mostly uses Walkers now.

I prefer my uber talented butterfly chaser.....Sunny Sunshine.
 
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