This time of the year is a lot of fun watching the dogs finding and pointing birds. There are still lot’s of pairs scattered and available to treat your dogs to a good time. But have you considered coming in on the point in the direction that might offer you a better chance of success during the hunting season.
I believe we all have shots that give us higher percentage of success than others. My easiest shot is a left to right crosser while the toughest shot for me is the down hill straight away shot. Although it is not always possible, I try to approach my boys from the right side, hoping for the birds to flush out front of the dogs and flying to my right.
Sometimes it takes a long swing to get positioned right. There are times when I actually will take myself out of gun range in order to make the approach I want. The more you do this while training the the more the dogs understand what you are doing. Here on Grady’s point with Jake backing, I moved to Grady’s right. The birds had moved from where Grady had the strong scent to the other side of the fence and would have offered only a straight away shot but I was still in a position for a decent and safe shot.
This next video shows the way it is supposed to work. Once again, The speedster is out front while Jake is backing and making sure he does it right. I am very confident that I would have had success on this shot.
Than there is this clip where I was lazy and stayed on the road. Obviously my approach gave these huns to many avenues of escape and most were in the directions where I couldn’t get a safe shot. Safe shots will also up your shooting percentage. If you are worried about where your dog or other people are your concentration slips and you’ll probably miss. Just another reason to train on how you approach your dog for success.
Had I walked out onto the flats and approached Grady from behind and to the right, I would have had a better opportunity for a clean shot.
Now, saying that, huns and chukars react differently and inhabit a little different terrain. Chukars like the steeper hills and will usually fly downhill. They are, in my eyes, much more predictable. Huns will even fly straight uphill, even when it’s steep. That could be one reason why my success on shooting is better with chukars than huns.
Just one more excuse to tell your wife why you are taking the dogs out for a stroll. Just tell her the dogs are going to help you shoot better. I’m sure she won’t wonder how that is possible when your gun is still in the safe.