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Hello Guys- New member here from Ohio. I've recently become a proud owner of an American Brittany pup- she's 8 months old now and she's pointing to "whoa" and doing some retrieving. This sat I'm finally going to get her on some live quail. cant wait.
I'm hoping she will start scent pointing soon, or I may not be grouse hunting this fall after all....But she comes from a good bloodline and one of her brothers is now scent pointing as of about a month ago.

Molly is my first pointing dog- I'm super excited about getting a few grouse with her. I also have a 3-1/2 year old lab that is more a waterfowl/pheasant flushing dog (2 years ago he was awesome in ND)

Anyway- I'm tentatively planning a camping/hunting trip to Alleghany Forest in early Nov...then probably come back for thanksgiving time. I'm only 2-1/2 hours away from the Marienville area- maybe one day trips? I would suspect the amount of my trips depend on weather and success that I've had. There are a couple campsites that I've started looking at. "Red Bridge" & "Willow Bay" Near Bradford.

Is it feasible to be able to hunt- simply walking from the camps? Or would you say that everything has to be driven to?
Do these campgrounds get loaded with hunters?

Here in Ohio most of the thanksgiving day hunts are rabbit or deer...I would always duck hunt. How about PA? What are the common traditions? I mean, should I expect a huge amount of hunters in the national forest or? I realize its VERY large.

I plan on calling the PA Bureau of forestry to get tips on where the latest clear cuts where done....

Give you a bit of my grouse hunting background.... In high school we didn't know how good we had it...(1986-1990) We had a natural pocket of pheasants & grouse. The grouse spot was a deep ravine mostly facing south, with TONS of wild grapevines and small trees (cant remember the types) Small creek in the bottom.. Just about every time we went through there we would flush 2-3... I think 4-5 of us only killed 5-6 in 4 years... Havent been back there in many years- its mostly un-huntable now, amish houses have moved in.


The last time I saw a grouse was 3 years ago...5 of us were pushing a woodlot in Geauga county (yes, thanksgiving) for rabbits and whoosh! A couple guys saw it but got no shot off. I only heard it.

So, I'm anxious to put some miles on my boots and get my Ruger O/U dusted off in PA this year....hopefully the U.P. next year.
Thanks for any comments... Maybe I'll see some of you in the field sometime!
Jim
 

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BaddGrouse said:
There are a couple campsites that I've started looking at. "Red Bridge" & "Willow Bay" Near Bradford.
Is it feasible to be able to hunt- simply walking from the camps? Or would you say that everything has to be driven to?
Do these campgrounds get loaded with hunters?
While you may be able to walk to a place where you are permitted to hunt, you will probably want to drive to other places with a little better grouse cover. I've never stayed at these campgrounds, but can't imagine you will have much company there in November.

BaddGrouse said:
Here in Ohio most of the thanksgiving day hunts are rabbit or deer...I would always duck hunt. How about PA? What are the common traditions? I mean, should I expect a huge amount of hunters in the national forest or? I realize its VERY large.
Many hunters head for their "deer camps" and spend Friday/Saturday hunting squirrel, grouse and turkey while scouting for deer. You may encounter more traffic and parked vehicles Thanksgiving weekend but there will still be plenty of places to hunt grouse without any competition. As you said, the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) is quite large. My experience has been that I find more grouse hunters on the last day of the season than on any other day of the year.

Welcome to HPA and good luck with that new Brittany. Make sure you take your camera with you this weekend, then post some pics of your training session.
 

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Welcome and I'm curious: what is "pointing to whoa?"
 

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Jim, are you from portage county? There is campground in Lantz's corner called foote rest. I think they have cabins but not sure. this is between Kane and Bradford. I am from mah. county Oh. have camp in westline. I go past the campground on way to camp but will be few weeks before next trip. Small game is my choice also.
 

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Jim
I never stayed at either of those campgrounds. Call ahead and inquire about dogs. A friend of mine from North Carolina made cabin reservations a couple years ago at Parker Dam State Park. He mentioned when making the reservations that he had two dogs. They said it would be OK but they would have to stay in the truck. He was fine with that. He mentioned it again when checking in and there was confusion and he was told he would have to keep them in the truck and he woud have to park the truck at the lot down by the dam, which is 150 t0 200 yards from the cabin he wasn't happy but agreed. When I showed up a couple hours later he was repacking the truck. Two park rangers showed up and told him he could stay only if he kenneled his dogs at one of the local boarding kennels. What a cluster$%%#. Be sure to ask.

If you take 321 out of kane and follow it till you come to 59 and turn right there is a private campground not far down the road on the left. You should plan on driving from camp to hunt but it doesn't need to be far in that area.

Also keep in mind that the first three days of thanksgiving week is bear season and that is a popular area for bear.

Good luck
 

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I stayed at Willow Bay this summer. They do allow dogs. I also seen two grouse on the roads and one of them had 5 chicks with her. The campground was awesome. Campsite were spread out and the showers are clean. Only down fall is you are a good half an hour from any town so make a good check list. No cell phone service but in my mind that is a good thing. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RyanR said:
Welcome and I'm curious: what is "pointing to whoa?"
Molly is still sliding a bit to the dummies/wing we are using...Her starting point may be 3ft to 5ft away.When I say "Whoa" she locks up pretty good. I think she's doing great so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Blacksmith said:
Jim, are you from portage county? There is campground in Lantz's corner called foote rest. I think they have cabins but not sure. this is between Kane and Bradford. I am from mah. county Oh. have camp in westline. I go past the campground on way to camp but will be few weeks before next trip. Small game is my choice also.
Yes, I'm from Portage county. We are gonna use a tent..I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Everyone- thanks for the replies... I'm on a few Ohio forums but not near as much activity on the upland game area as this one..I plan on posting some pics of my little girl from this sat.

Wife and I drove over to McConnell's Mill State Park on labor day- I'm assuming that all the timber is way too mature for any decent grouse? It was only 1.5 hrs away.
 

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You will be in a decent area for camping but plan to drive a little to hunt unless you want squirrels. As for clear cut don't look for the new ones. You want 10 year old cuts. Review this site and make some calls. It is a National Forest so phone numbers within may be helpful. http://www.fs.usda.gov/land/allegheny/landmanagement
 

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BaddGrouse,
Penndraght is giving you good advise you need to get north of I80 if you want to access Pa's decent Grouse population, try up around Marianville in Parts of the National Forest, when traveling from your Ohio area.
Or get up on Rt6 and get into some of our SFL or SGL.
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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So, we had our little training session with Molly this morning and it went not-so great, I think. Maybe quail are not the best training birds? We were in a huge open field with alfalfa just starting to pop up in spots.
She pointed on the first bird nicely, but she was only a foot away and the bird flushed before I was ready and flew 80-100 yds away- Molly chased her down and flushed her again (without pointing) and it only flew 10 yds and went down,,, Molly caught it and brought it back to us- still alive.

Second bird- she again got on top of the quail and it looked like she was about to point but bird flushed, flew far away..(I did get a shot off but missed) but this time we called her back successfully.
I saw it land 100 yds away or so...I took Molly around the bird and worked back down wind and she acted very birdy and pointed beautifully in a slight curve with one front foot up. I moved in softly said "whoa" I got within 10 ft of her and I notice her head moving to the side..then Flush of bird. I couldn't shoot because Molly gave chase right after the bird and was right behind it the whole time.... so, just like last time- she catches the bird and brings it back to me.

Before you guys blast me for doing things wrong- remember, this is my first pointing dog and this was Molly's first encounter with live birds.
One thing I want to point out- I wanted to use a check cord on her to keep her under control- wife disagreed and I didn't want to argue... Molly is technically her dog so...:)
Next time we will.

Few things that I liked-
-She points on initial contact with new bird.
-She has soft mouth and may retrieve decent
Few things I didn't like-
-She's not steady to flush and instantly chases
-She's not scent pointing at all
(There was a nice south breeze and we approached on purpose from the north on all birds)
Question- Does scent pointing come with maturity of the dog or is it pulled out with effective training?

I know steady to shot is a challenge all in its self.
Any advice is welcome
 

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Well I am not a professional trainer but will say it sounds as if you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. Not trying to discourage you. I would only suggest seeking the help of an experienced trainer. Not that you cant do it entirely yourself. There are many good books on the subject. Take your time and get the fundamentals and obedience work down first. Im sure someone on here can suggest a good training book or a trainer in your area. It is easier to do it correctly than trying to undo bad habits developed. Another bit to watch for is make sure the trainer has the same views and understands what you want. I took my first dog to a man for training help for some time before I realized that he believed the dog was just a tool to be kept in the kennel until it was time to be put down to hunt. Not criticizing him, only saying we shared different beliefs and this reflected in his style of training. My dogs are indoor companions as well as hunting partners. Good luck
 

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Well, first thing is, there is no 'pointing to whoa'. She's either pointing or she's whoa'ed. Stopping the dog with the whoa command has nothing to do with developing her natural pointing instinct. I'd put the gun away also at this point, she's not ready to have birds shot over her yet.
You might want to do your live bird training sessions with pigeons or chukars rather than those pen raised quail. The quail are often very poor fliers, encourage a young dog to chase, and are all too easily caught. . . none of which is good.
Early on your efforts spent on basic obedience will serve you best. If I were you I'd get a hold of a couple good books and/or videos on the basics of training a pointing dog.
Another option is to enlist the help of a professional trainer to get her and you started. There's no shortage of those around and you'll learn as much as the dog will.
What ever way you go remember to keep it fun for the puppy. They can frustrate the heck out of you but don't let them know it.
I'm certainly no expert, just some observations from an old guy who has trained a few dogs.
 

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BaddGrouse,
It sounds like your pup is to young, try just play training with her and let her get use to running in the Grouse woods. Train her to recall and let her have fun at her age. Let her mature before doing any real training with her.
Pine Creek/Dave
Pine Creek Grouse Dog Trainers
 

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BaddGrouse said:
So, we had our little training session with Molly this morning and it went not-so great, I think. Maybe quail are not the best training birds? We were in a huge open field with alfalfa just starting to pop up in spots.
She pointed on the first bird nicely, but she was only a foot away and the bird flushed before I was ready and flew 80-100 yds away- Molly chased her down and flushed her again (without pointing) and it only flew 10 yds and went down,,, Molly caught it and brought it back to us- still alive.

Second bird- she again got on top of the quail and it looked like she was about to point but bird flushed, flew far away..(I did get a shot off but missed) but this time we called her back successfully.
I saw it land 100 yds away or so...I took Molly around the bird and worked back down wind and she acted very birdy and pointed beautifully in a slight curve with one front foot up. I moved in softly said "whoa" I got within 10 ft of her and I notice her head moving to the side..then Flush of bird. I couldn't shoot because Molly gave chase right after the bird and was right behind it the whole time.... so, just like last time- she catches the bird and brings it back to me.

Before you guys blast me for doing things wrong- remember, this is my first pointing dog and this was Molly's first encounter with live birds.
One thing I want to point out- I wanted to use a check cord on her to keep her under control- wife disagreed and I didn't want to argue... Molly is technically her dog so...:)
Next time we will.

Few things that I liked-
-She points on initial contact with new bird.
-She has soft mouth and may retrieve decent
Few things I didn't like-
-She's not steady to flush and instantly chases
-She's not scent pointing at all
(There was a nice south breeze and we approached on purpose from the north on all birds)
Question- Does scent pointing come with maturity of the dog or is it pulled out with effective training?

I know steady to shot is a challenge all in its self.
Any advice is welcome
I mean this in the nicest way. Dogs are not naturally steady to flush. It takes time, patience and repetition. The gun also needs to be put away. Dont rush things. You will be hunting with this dog for the next 10 years or so. You also need to introduce the gun properly. You dont want to create a gun shy dog. One last thing, dont shoot birds over your dog until it is holding point till flush. you are encouraging bad habits. Maybe buy the perfect start training dvds. I dont mean to sound negative. If you follow the training program and dont tAke short cuts you will have a nice hunting dog. Good luck and enjoy it! Its a lot of fun!
 

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Thanks guys...I've given up the hope of hunting with her this fall, and you all reinforced this. She's definitely not gun shy, I've already shot a .22 / .410 & 12 gauge over her... she didn't care, she was high tailing it for that bird!


I've also realized that I need to focus on her and not bring the gun... ya, those quail sure are fragile.
 

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It's obviously your choice, but If I had an 8 month old pup, I'd be taking her with me and getting her on wild birds every chance I got. There's little chance she'll catch a wild bird. As long as you don't reward her by shooting birds that she flushes, it will be a great learning experience for her.

I would not hunt both your lab and brit at the same times, but changing them out every 2 hours should be great for both of them.
 
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