Spinning birds for plantingI have heard there is a way to plant a game bird by spinning it so it will stay put for a period of time. I have a source for pheasants and would like to try this out on my dog. I have hunted over her and she shows great natural instincts. Just haven't come across any birds. Thought this might be a way of proofing the dog.
There certainly are ways to put birds down so that they (usually) stay put. You can even put them to sleep if you want. But first, think about if that is what you really want. The harder you put a bird down (harder in terms of the bird being less awake and aware), the less likely it is to flush and the more likely the dog can and will catch it if so inclined. A bad thing if you have a young pointing dog.
That being said, let's look at a couple ways to put a bird down. You mentioned spinning a bird. You can hold a pheasant in your hand, and move your arm in big circles until the bird is woozy (look at his head when you're done spinning him, you'll see it sway back and forth). Then throw him backwards (tail first) into some good cover, and chances are he'll stay, at least for a while. Pheasants tend to be less cooperative than quail or pigeons, but it will work. If you want him to stay for even longer, hold him on his back, tuck his head under a wing and hold it there while you pump his legs in and out. He will go to sleep if you do this. Then carefully place him down on his back in some cover and go get your dog.
If you can get some quail, you can plant them very easily. Just hold them with their head between your first two fingers, shake your hand back and forth a few seconds, then throw them in backwards. They tend to stay better than pheasant, and flush pretty well.
A few other things to keep in mind as you plant birds. Pay attention to the wind. If you walk into the wind and plant birds, in the same direction you are going to release your dog, your dog can just follow your scent right from one bird to the next. You may want to circle around and plant them. Also consider gloves while planting. This keeps some human scent off the birds. I don't always wear them as I think pen-raised birds are already pretty obvious to the dogs, but something to think about.
And finally, something else to consider at least occasionally: if your training area is pretty large and you have some room to yourself, you can release the birds to flight, and then hunt them up after giving them some time to settle. It gives the dog a more realistic experience, opposed to planted birds
Good luck, and good hunting.
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