The great March tune-up

The maize being cut here in NZ is always a good indicator that it’s time to dust off that bird dog on the porch and get some birds in before the season. If you have been a considerate and ethical hunter, you have kept your dog off birds from September whilst the hens are laying and rearing young. Bird dogs can be murderous this time of year, scaring hens off eggs and scattering poults. I find it astounding to hear of people who dog birds all through the year – often from people in the dog sports scene who frankly should know better. Let’s face it, if your dog needs birds all year to keep him sharp, he’s probably not as good as you think he is. Summer is for fishing!

I took a few very unfit dogs for a blow out this week. Incidentally my shooting friend Petar Gramov was doing the same in Auckland and sent me this photo of His dog, ‘Aki’ getting his March test and tune, in some dune country. Aki is from the renowned Kilsheelan kennel, same place as our Enzo.

It’s a busy time of year, often our Pointer and Setter Club trials coincide with the Roar (red deer rutting period) which is a huge conflict for me. Then it’s straight into our gamebird shooting season for 4 months. The best months of the year…

I hope everyone has a safe roar, remember if you can’t identify the sex and age of a deer, you haven’t visually identified as non-human at all, and you should never pull the trigger on movement or noise only. Too many accidents of late, all put down to hunter error. After that I wish everyone a bountiful and enjoyable gamebird season for man and dog alike, hopefully shared with friends and family. Hot barrels everyone!

(c) photos shamelessly stolen without permission from Pete

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