Man's Best Friend

mans best friend

Obedience

Since heavy grass and cover is where you'll find most birds, a well-trained hunting dog can be an invaluable tool for the pheasant enthusiast. The breed of dog isn't important, as long as the dog is obedient, works close and listens. Nothing is more frustrating than hunting with a dog that runs too far ahead, flushing birds out of range. The three most important things to remember when training a pup are: be patient, be consistent, and use repetition. The best hunting dogs learn by doing things over and over again.

Also, don't overdo it. Pups are like young children—they have short attention spans. Spending too much time training in one session does not work and you could lose ground training. Quality training is more important than quantity.

Experience

Another important element of hunting dog training is developing experience. The proper introduction to birds (using a wing or dead bird) is essential and doing this when they are as young as possible to develop their natural instincts is best. From there, most everything else can be learned and there are many good training books and resources available. Remember, practice and consistency are key.

Edge

Hunt your dog into the wind when making a pheasant push to give your dog the edge on the birds scent. It is also a good idea to take your dog out to a local game preserve or field prior to their first hunt of the season as a refresher course and remind them what their job is.

Hydration

Don’t forget to keep your dog hydrated during the hunt, even on a cool day as this is vital. Consider carrying a bottle of water in your vest or jacket and have a gallon of water in your pickup along with a bowl for ease of drinking.

Maps

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Resources