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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, I have a question (and girls too if y'all wanna weigh in
.) I want to hunt with a friend who has never hunted with rabbit dogs before, but I am concerned about my dog, specifically him getting injured or worse by a shotgun. For the folks who take inexperienced or new rabbit hunters with the dogs, what safety mechanisms do you employ to ensure your dogs don't get hurt? I was thinking about asking the guy to stay with me for the first few trips so he can get used to hunting with the dog. Advice is appreciated!
 

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I put bells on my dogs when hunting with newbies, also stress that there is to be no jump shooting at all, and unless they are given the go ahead wait to shoot for 2nd sighting. This way you are sure all dogs are in the chase. In addition I wouldn't hesitate to stay close enough to keep an eye on them until I was comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I only have one dog so I always know all dogs are in the chase
but great tips! I have a bell and I really should put it on him, even when it's just me going. As a curiosity do you also apply the above limitations to yourself? I generally will shoot on the first sighting (and in rare circumstances a jump) and I'm just wondering how many times is typical to let the rabbit come back.
 

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no jump shooting, dogs are belled, Bring new hunters out in snow... They can see the game much better and usually see how close the dogs are. Cover righ now is very thick and difficult to see the bunnies..Late season much better visibility!!
 

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When I take people new to hunting over dogs out (both kids and adults) I usually preposition them and stay with them. We will talk while the chase is happening- they always have questions, I'll attempt to explain what the rabbit is doing, we will talk dogs, maybe just B-S, ect. Most of the time I'll end up pointing the rabbit out to them, and in doing so give them the go ahead.

Basic rules as stated above, no jump shooting, identify your target -movement isn't enough to warrant a shot, typically I tell people to let the first "shootable" rabbit go, so they know what to look for (what a rabbit looks like), and so they can watch behavior.

Making people pass on the first rabbit has been a very important step for me in introducing new hunters to hunting over dogs. It let's me know THEY know what to shoot at, and I think gives us both more confidence in the hunt.
 

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I usually won't leave a rookies side. Taking inexperienced folks bobcat hunting is nerve racking especially running a brindle bob tail dog on them. My dogs are like my family and I make that very clear before we go to the woods. All advice given above is a good idea, with cats it is a little different because most people I take have never laid eyes on one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I laid eyes on one just a few hours ago coming back from another powerplant. Almost hit it in the road, crossed right in front of me! Off topic, I know, but I was shocked to say the least!
 

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no jump shooting.
you have to shoot at rabbit, it must be seen.
don't kill my dog.

my dog is pretty mouthy and medium speed so there has never been a problem.
 

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All good advice above. I like to hunt with bells.

I ask all new hunters in our party to yell rabbit on the first pass and then dog.

We never jump shoot. We usually allow for one circle and we stress positive identification of target. If you are not sure the dog will tell you. Waugh!
 

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This might be stupid to some but I take a lot of kids for there first time hunting over dogs so I put an orange vest on my dog.
 

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psychobeagle12 said:
I was thinking about asking the guy to stay with me for the first few trips so he can get used to hunting with the dog.
This point is a good one!!! If they have never hunted with a dog, then they don't know what to expect. Also, no jump shooting rabbits.
 

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No jump shooting, always use a bell, (even hunting alone, ) and wait for snow to take a new guy. You know the guy, so it is up to you to know whether he can be trusted tostand by himself, or not. If not, then I probably wouldn't be out with him holding a gun anyway!
 
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