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Trying to think of an interesting topic, and with a fair number of "new" partners that come and see me each season (many with plans for 2007), I thought it would be an interesting discussion.


There are a number of folks I hunt with each season that I have never hunted with before. Each time I go afield with some one I have never hunted with before, it takes a certain amount of time for each of us to adjust to the others method's.

I tend to walk a fine line based on past knowledge of this person, as to how much coaching I do (dont want to offend anyone).

My ideal partner is some one who walks at the same pace as I. I think there is a reason I am most successful when I hunt with Deuce22, Kush, Hevi, and my cousin Dan. We all walk the same pace, we dont talk much because we know what the other person is thinking. Example, we come to a pinch in cover, we all tend to adjust, turn, move with out having to verbalize it. Dont forget either, we have hunted a lot of spots together for a number of years too and that has to be a factor.

When hunting with a new partner, I also have to make decisions on how I am going to handle my dogs, I hunt with a father son team a fair amount, and the son walks slower (shorter legs), so I tend to use Hilde, and I really ask her to slow down her pace. This is me adjusting to my partners, some times I expect them to adjust to me.

Then there are some partners that I seem to be on page one with, the first time we go afield. Natty Bumpo is an example, I have hunted with Rod about 6 times, there was very little adjustment, we just seemed to click. I would say most people with good knowledge of the sport, by about the third time I out, I know their moves, and they know mine, and we can get down to business.

So on average how long do you think it takes you and a new partner to become a team rather then two guys walking through the covers together?
 

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That is a really good Queston . I had it once with my dad but not in the last few years. my best friend and I hunt well but he moves at to fast of pace for me. as do any pointer hunter / I like to cover the area slower and keep the dog in gun range. I do enjoy some soft conversation while hunting
 

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An interesting topic, Fritz. And finding new partners and a good fit comes to everyone of us given time. Sometimes tho it kinda reminds me of that Clint Eastwood Movie, quoted above.:lol:

Growing up, it was a given we'd be hunting with family: Dad, Uncles, Cousins and Brothers. Later my best partner was (and still is) my son. But nowadays he has a growing family and a very demanding job, so sporting days in the woods or on the lake together are all too few. And hopefully one day a grandson or two will want to tag along after the dogs.

Now there are lots of guys who are great fun at a ballgame or around a water cooler at the office. Or chatting over the backyard fence. But that doesn't make them good hunting partners. So here are some of the things I value most in a hunting partner.

1. Safety- I teach Hunter Safety classes a couple of times a year. So I dont feel the need to be giving "remedial education" when in the grouse woods or explaining the "daylight rule" when shooting over my dogs. This is a dealbreaker for me. I'll throw in here that Fritz Heller is a very safe guy around guns, in the wood or on the range. A pleasure to be around.

2. Woodsmanship- Its nice to hunt with someone who knows his way around the woods, is savvy about getting into position around hot coverts and hot dogs. And is QUIET in the woods. Its amazing how some guys slip thru the woods like an indian and others sound like a D-9 Cat all the time.

3. Sportsmanship- Guys either have it or they dont (game law violations, ground slucing, poachin on your shots or "claiming birds" they didnt kill.)

4. Dogs- I like to hunt with real "dog guys". Mostly the kind that didnt start yesterday. And I like all kinds of birddogs, even setters. Some of my best friends keep shags. :lol: But puuulleassse could ya' train 'ol feather fetcher BEFORE we go hunting?? And not go running thru the woods blasting on a whistle and yelling yr head off every 15 seconds.:rant: And then the grouse hunt becomes a lost dog hunt. Or the pooch that tries to eat every bird it can get his mouth on.

I'll be interested to see how other guys handle some of the "issues" that come up on a bird hunt with new partners.

Natty B.
 

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I generally try not to hunt with anyone that I don't know. I can honestly say that everyone I hunt with is a friend. Please respect my coverts and we are assured that the friendship will be a long one

For me beyond overall safety, the most important concerns are whether the individual is a true sportsman, woodsman and a steward of the land.

It is basically a formality...... as I think in upland hunters and fly fisherman there is a certain inherent respect for fragile resources. Maybe it is just my upland snobbishness, or a naive assumption?

I don't care how fast or slow you move. I am out in the woods first and foremost for my dog to find and handle birds, secondly for the camaraderie, and last but not least to get a few birds as table fare. I don't like to run through the woods like I am at a trial, or like Charles Bronson in Death Hunt. If my dog is on point I like for us to get to him safely and efficiently.

We will cover a lot of ground and I will get tired of walking long before my dog will. With that being said..... I like being out all day so please plan on putting in some time. My only other rule- Don't interact with my dog unless I ask you to.
 

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I really enjoy going hunting with others but once there almost always "hunt alone." You take the east side of the two track, cut around the marsh. I'll take the west side, hunt over the ridge and meet you in about an hour along the river." Want to socialize? Do it on the ride up, the ride down or over some burgers and a few beers at the bar at days end. High fences make for good neighbors.

Ruger1
 

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Ruger1 said:
I really enjoy going hunting with others but once there almost always "hunt alone." You take the east side of the two track, cut around the marsh. I'll take the west side, hunt over the ridge and meet you in about an hour along the river."

Thats a good point as well. I was thinking about someone who is dog-less. If they have their own dog I am most likely going to suggest that we hunt like you mentioned above. I don't like to experiment with dog combinations for the first time in the grouse woods.....
 

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I too mostly hunt alone. Don't take many birds, partially because I follow a "daylight-and-then-some" rule. My first GSP liked to go airborne when I first started out hunting, and I was always afraid of an accident, so I wait, generally, or just pass, oftentimes.

I do like hunting with my son in law, when we can find time to get together. I'm left-handed and he's right-handed, so the safety aspects work out very nicely. Plus he's excellent in the woods, and teaches me things every time out.
 

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While its nice to hunt with an old hand that understands the game, I would hope all of you would consider taking at least one youngster or new-to-hunting lady along on at least one of your trips. I had the great good fortune of having two young men arrow their first deer on my property last year. I also had a young fella and his dad shoot their first pheasants hunting over my labradors. I can truly say that in over 30 years of hunting those were some of my most rewarding experiences. I already have a young lady lined up for this years bow hunt and I'm looking for a couple kids for the pheasant hunt. Do yourself and your sport a favor and take a kid or one of the ladies hunting. You wont regret it.
 

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Birddog8487 said:
Do yourself and your sport a favor and take a kid or one of the ladies hunting. You wont regret it.
I will never forget the look on my 11 yr old sons face when he shot his first phesant over our GSP with a solid point. Now if I can get the wife to give it a try.......she might like it!!

I would take a kid hunting anytime.
 

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Ruger1 said:
I really enjoy going hunting with others but once there almost always "hunt alone." You take the east side of the two track, cut around the marsh. I'll take the west side, hunt over the ridge and meet you in about an hour along the river." Want to socialize? Do it on the ride up, the ride down or over some burgers and a few beers at the bar at days end. High fences make for good neighbors.

Ruger1
That's why Ruger1 a.k.a. Superposed1 hunt so well together. We are both relaxed and enjoy working our dogs and sharing the victories and the misses at the end of the hunt.

I can honestly say that I really don't enjoy hunting with others too much. Some people hack at their dogs too much or worse yet hack at mine. I also get annoyed when I am hunting and my dogs are the only ones down and guys will say "Bring your dogs this way" or "lets hunt over here" or my most hated "call your dogs in, they are way too far out there". My dogs know more about good bird cover than anyone I hunt with expect Ruger1. I get annoyed to no end by this.

That's why I enjoy riding to hunting and fishing spots with people but, really enjoy parting our ways.
 

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Tujax said:
I will never forget the look on my 11 yr old sons face when he shot his first phesant over our GSP with a solid point.
I still remember both of my Boys shooting their first pheasants like it was yesterday. I remember the dogs that flushed the birds and I remember the spot we were hunting.

I dont mind going with new partners if I know them first and get a feeling for what they will be like in the field. I don't want to go with the Rambo type or guys that have never had that dog out of the yard before that day in the field. Nothing worse in my book than listening to him/her scream their dogs name all day long.

In my book safety is first. Please dont crank off five rounds on a wild flushed bird thats 100 yards away. Don't bring up the gun and aim at a bird on the ground :eek: and please unload your gun when your in camp.

Second is I just enjoy being out in the field or woods for the enjoyment of being with family and friends and a couple of good dogs, not just to kill something. If your there to kill everything that moves, ummm I'll call you.

Last is I'm there to flush a few birds, watch some nice dog work, remember the tough shots made and easy ones missed, to watch my boys growing up and of course a nice cold beer and a hot bowl of Chili at the end of the day.
 
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