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With a Spaniel on different hunts

First hunt

So, your Spaniel is fully prepared for hunting. The first hunting trip is a crucial moment in the life of a young dog. Remember that on this day, game production for you should not be the main goal, even if it was the long-awaited opening of the hunt. The main focus is on the dog.

I do not recommend starting with spring hunting, where the dog does not work, but only is near the owner and serves to feed downed woodcocks. Although the temptation is great: if you took a puppy from the autumn litter, then in April it will already reach the “hunting” age. But, alas, the Spaniel has not yet passed the school of nataski on the bird in the field, and therefore it is better that the first hunt is associated with the prey of the bird, worked by himself.

So, the best time is the opening of the summer-autumn season. I can’t understand why some hunting organizations allow “early” (that is, 2 weeks before the General opening) hunting with cops and spaniels only for certified dogs – is this not the most convenient time to hunt with first-class dogs? In the meadows there are a lot of hollows, quail and snipe – what is not expanse for a young Spaniel!

Usually, the hunt opens with the morning dawn, and most hunters will not miss the morning dawn, but it is better not to take a Spaniel on it, who got to hunt for the first time in his life: a lot of people, shots are thundering everywhere, hot, and even scaring an untrained dog, and a lot of distractions, including other dogs. If you live in a village, leave the Spaniel at home, and after the cannonade subsides, go back for it and start a normal hunt, preferably in a hollow or other swamp-meadow game. Of course, everything depends on the grounds, and for a well-trained Spaniel, it does not matter which hunt will be the first. The first shot is desirable to do only for sure and, like the next, only on the bird, worked by a Spaniel, and not on noise or accidentally bumped into you. In the excitement of the Spaniel, most likely, will not pay attention to the loud sound of the shot, and there is almost no danger of frightening the dog with it.

The first exit should not be too long and tedious, even if there was a lot of game. Three birds taken from under a Spaniel for 2-3 hours of hunting is an excellent result to start with. Do not forget about commands, do not run headlong, race with the dog, to the bird that fell after the shot, control its obedience. If you are a very temperamental hunter, ask your friend to perform the role of an arrow, and go without a gun, strictly controlling the dog. Otherwise, your passion can ruin all the painstaking previous work, and the Spaniel will begin to drive all living things to the horizon, wanting to quickly smell the shot bird and quickly hold it in its mouth.

And now – about hunting with a Spaniel for different game.

On a hollow tree
Although classical hunting with a Spaniel on the duck and the corncrake, the majority of specialistov rightly prefer to snipe. The Spaniel, unlike the cops, does not make a stand, but works short, within the shot, and so emphatically that an experienced hunter knows when to expect the bird to take off. Among the three types of Royal marsh weevils, the hollow tree is the most tempting trophy, and not only because of its relatively large size – the Spaniel’s work on the hollow tree is sometimes one of the most beautiful. The lack of stand is a Spaniel does not detract from the beauty of the work itself, according to some legaladvice. Of course, there are sculptural, fading in place with a bent leg, but specialistov manner of work dog spectacular “candle”, a rotating propeller, the tail, indicating the degree of closeness of a bird, finally, a picture liner, throw, and lift the noisy birds give no less emotional stress than a job setter for legisation. And here I fully agree with what the famous hunting writer-naturalist Vitaly Bianchi wrote half a century ago, who kept spaniels all his life: “This is why I did not keep police dogs, dogs with a stand: it seemed unfair to me, shackling the bird with fear of the toothy beast frozen over it, not hurrying to go to the place Where it was hiding, and, ordering the dog to lift it on the wing, coolly shoot it on takeoff. I preferred spaniels… only searching for a bird with their senses and helping it escape from the hunter rather than the hunter shooting it.” It may look a little naive, but the fact remains that the harder the prey, the more expensive it is for the hunter.

But back to the hollow tree. Hunting for it is especially good at the beginning of the season – in the first half of August and even at the end of July. If the summer is rainy, the hollow tree is delayed until September, but usually after August 20, you will rarely see it. I will also say that the main August prey is young people with females. Adult males after mating is still some time kept in the area of currents, but in early August, together fly away on the distant African wintering grounds. Before that, they roam the land for some time, forming summer precipitation. That is why in the old days, when hunting was opened from Petrov’s day (July 12), hunting for duplicates, in the words of S. T. Aksakov, was “fabulously successful” (remember The dupelinoy hunt of Levin and Oblonsky in the novel “Anna Karenina” – it was in July).

Autumn flight of hollows does not happen everywhere, in places of their reproduction, but only in some especially forage lands at this time for a hollow tree. The peak of the flight falls on Natalya day (September 8), capturing the Indian summer (September 14 to 21). A dry summer accelerates the departure of hollows, and in dry autumn they are always few.

It is better to go out early in the morning for a duplex hunt, without waiting, as it is customary to write in hunting directories, “when the dew dries”. In the summer heat to come to the meadow we still in the dark and wait for dawn: as soon as you can shoot down, you must start looking great snipe, as in this weather they early, even before sunrise fly to the shield. Spaniel usually run against the wind, but it does not matter if it is not: the desired smell of the bird, he will find the bottom. The main attention is paid to ensuring that your assistant does not move away from you more than 30-40 meters. As soon as it starts pausing, it will work with its tail and you will understand that the bird is nearby, come as close as possible to the dog.

Before the rise of the bird, the dog makes an eyeliner, changing the course; some spaniels bark, as if warning the hunter that game is near. Jump – and now the long-awaited swamp king takes off with the characteristic sound of wings peculiar to only one hollow tree! An experienced Spaniel will remain in place, only following the bird with his eyes. You let go of a hollow tree for 20-30 meters – it’s easy to shoot it, but sometimes there is too much excitement (it’s a hollow tree!) leads to unfortunate mistakes even the most experienced hunters. If it is inconvenient to shoot, it is better to refrain from shooting at all: the hollow tree usually sits nearby, in front of the hunter, but the fired one can fly far away, hiding from the field of view.

The holes are very tightly hidden: the hunter can pass near and three meters away, and the bird only snuggles closer to the ground. Dupelya love the company of their own kind, so finding one, do not hurry, circle around this place, even if in your opinion, you have already bypassed everything here. Sometimes the holes run into the tall grass on the border with the mown area of the meadow, but after a while they come out to the clear again.

Never shoot through a dog: this is not a hunt with a COP, where you can get close to it. A Spaniel can easily be hooked with a shot, especially if you use special “scattered” cartridges with raskuchnitelyami, giving a wide scree already 10 meters away. And remember: the farther you are from the dog, the greater the risk of hitting it with a shot. In any case, you can not shoot if the dog drove the dupel. Here it is necessary to stop it and punish it, then calm it down and only then continue the hunt.

For the snipe
Snipe hunting with a Spaniel has its own characteristics. Often this bird is very strict, especially on open mudflats and swamps: even the COP does not make a stand on all snipes. Among these waders, as if there are guards who break down at your approach and drag some other relatives with them. This should not confuse you – there are also birds in snipe rashes that are prone to holding their breath until the last one. Your Spaniel continues to work, and for good reason: these snipes usually break out from under his muzzle. From Spaniel requires a thorough search and, most importantly, do not run far ahead of the hunter.

Like snipe not much overgrown with grass swamps, “rusty”, with mud Windows meadow holes, partially drying up career, but in rainy years often sit in puddles among haymaking and cow pastures. If you find 2-3 snipe swamps in the meadow, you can repeat the hunt for them almost in half an hour or an hour: frightened birds often return to these places again.

Snipe, in contrast to the hollow tree, can be hunted all day even in clear weather: even in the heat they are not clogged in the support. But still in the morning hunting is more productive. The best time for snipe hunting is mid-September, the Golden days of Indian summer, when there is a mass flight of marsh weevils. If you are lucky, the hunt will be very successful. Sometimes the bandolier is not enough for half an hour of Spaniel work.

On garnering mud
Jack snipe – the third of three Royal noble marsh weevils. Hunters love it because it is the latest swamp game in the season. Long disappeared dupelya, rarely meet a single snipe, in the morning the swamp shackles the ice, but hunting with a Spaniel on the swamp game continues.

To look for a snipe as early as the twentieth of September, and sometimes early on the marshy, muddy swamps. Often such places become former duck meadow lakes and barrels as a result of long-term silting, aging and drying out. Often harshnips are found in typical snipe swamps, and in rainy years, when the flight of harshnips is more noticeable, they can be found even on rain-drenched stubble in the fields.

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