Protecting Your Bird Dog?
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    Protecting Your Bird Dog?

    Hey guys - I know some of you have bird dogs for hunting upland game or ducks.

    How concerned are you about wild predators attacking your dog while hunting, and what do you do to prevent it?



    I hunt a lot of wild country, not much in farmland. Like yesterday, Mav was hunting off leash, running, enjoying, working to find birds where there weren't any. I've hunted that same area for mule deer & elk.

    There are wolves, coyotes, mountain lion, bobcat, and black bear in that vicinity. Yesterday when a coyote sounded off, only a couple of hundred yards away, I put the leash back on Maverick to keep him from going after the coyote.

    A few years ago I was working Clark on some wild chukar in a nearby canyon before season. He was so intent on the birds that he didn't notice the large black bear about 200 yards above us! The bear clearly had seen us. I put the leash on Clark before he could go running after the bear. Would he? I don't know. Fortunately he never even noticed the bear!

    I have a shock collar I put on Mav anytime I might have him off-leash. He's good about coming when I call, and getting better, but if he gets more than about 100 yards away, I give him a quick beep with the collar. That normally works. Only time to time have I had to actually zap him. That brings him running back to me for sure! Normally he just comes when I call.

    I almost always have pepper spray and a decent handgun with me. Of course a shotgun while bird hunting.

    What do you guys do to keep your dog from getting attacked by wild predators?

    Thanks, Guy
    Maineiac and Gareth Holland like this.

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    Sidewinder
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    I should wait for those who have first hand experience with this, but an article in a magazine some years ago reported a wolf pack attack on hunting dogs in a Western state. The dogs were injured and one was left with gut exposed. One of the hunters was an ex Army medic and observed that the dog would recover and that he had treated worse wounds in combat. Other dogs had bites and bloody wounds. The dogs were shocked by the attack and the hunters were alarmed at a threat to themselves. The story made me think about how things have changed with the reintroduction of wolves, mountain lions, and the spread of the less dangerous coyotes everywhere. Our pioneer ancestors must be shaking their heads.

    In the past I worried only about bears and rattlesnakes.

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    Esteemed Sharpshooter
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    We have our share here to lions, yotes sneaky snakes, & hogs they will hurt you or dogs very fast.
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    What this country needs is a department of common sense! The tree of liberty would be a great place for hang mans ropes!
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    Gun Wizard
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    Remember that often the dogs serve as the first line of warning to ourselves. And the dogs will often bear the brunt of the situation simply because they are out front "beating the bushes".

    I think one of the best things you can do is to train the dog to alert you to non-target predatory species in the woods... Easier said than done I know... But the last thing you want is the dog going headfirst into a wolf or coyote pack without barking or alerting you.... or worse - running them straight back into you without warning. It's very important to keep some distance between yourself and the "Big nasty" so you have a chance to identify it and get your guns ready...

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    Sidewinder
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    After having a close enounter with my dog and a very angry boar... luckily my boy wasn't hurt, but it was much closer than I would have liked. I invested in some protective gear for the pup. It's basically a cut resistant vest that covers his chest, belly, and throat. It's made for dogs that track wild boars, but it works equally good for unexpected close encounters. I figure I'll give him the ability to take a few shots, in the hope that he can disengage, or I can get myself into the fight. If I'm bird hunting or squirrel hunting, I always carry a side arm in a flap holster on my hip (if legal). I find a good side arm is as good dissuading 4 legged predators as it is 2 legged ones.

    Here's the site that I got my dog's gear from. https://hogdoggear.com/collections/cut-vests. They are reasonably priced.
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    jml
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    i have a cabin in michigans UP, we have wolves, coyotes, black bears, and cougars. neighbor has a picture of a cougar on his game camera this fall. i have a bell on my dog anytime he is outside. last year we saw a wolf and i called the DNR wolf biologist and he said bird dogs are close to hunters and they haven't had any trouble with bird dogs. he said hound hunters was a different story and there barking on trail was an act of aggression to wolves with young. he also said running a bell on your dog helps. we are 8/10 of a mile back on a two track in the woods so it dosen't take long to loose visual contact of your dog. the brittany i have now is not a big runner but the one i had before could keep up with any field trial dog.

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    Have Maverick fitted for a lightweight kevlar vest. Florida hog hunters vest up their good dogs to reduce the vet bills.
    You could learn to sew up your dog in the field, as well. Know any veterinarians?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgriffin1988 View Post
    Have Maverick fitted for a lightweight kevlar vest. Florida hog hunters vest up their good dogs to reduce the vet bills.
    You could learn to sew up your dog in the field, as well. Know any veterinarians?
    Actually I do. Our sons were in Scouts together, we used to cycle, hike & kayak together. I could reach out to him for guidance on a good doggie first aid kit, and perhaps some skills too. Good idea! Thanks.

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    Marlin Marksman
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    Guy, the only advise I can give from this side of the pond (we don't have the predators you have) it to train him to a stop whistle this is the referees thunder type whistle. The idea being to make a dog stop and or sit, when you have stopped him i.e. chasing he can then be recalled to you and safety. It is easer to stop a dog doing 1 thing before getting him to do another. Gar.
    M700, gunscrewguy, northmn and 1 others like this.

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    Gun Wizard
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    Super glue might work better in the field than trying to sew then up. Some medics in Nam used the stuff. I worry about the issue some as my little dog likes to follow the tractor when i put up wood, but most predators are rather scared of us and take off. Don' see all that many from the tractor or 4 wheeler. Had a bear come into the yard and my Golden retriever and rat yapped at it and it started up a tree but came down and took off. Rat terrier felt he was pretty tough after that. I have heard of small dogs taken by coyotes, but through the years, so far have not had any issues with the larger dogs. Most predators do not want to get into a fracas where they might get injured. Again, around here, coyotes are a main target and do not like human contact. A good collar might be in order also. I used to put a vest on my dogs while pheasant hunting to protect them from the grass and burrs and other stuff they had to go through to kick up pheasant. That is another issue in itself. Also my retrievers had flotation vests when hunting in cold weather. The cold water was said to have had effects on retrievers over time.

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