By: Marcia Hoff
Prois Staff Member
The summertime is when bird hunters start dreaming about the upcoming season. We anticipate those crisp mornings that warm up into pleasant afternoons in the field. But let’s not get so caught up in our thoughts that we forget to prepare! The summer is the perfect time to tune up your shooting, your bird dog, and your fitness.
Nothing is worse than sinking a wad of cash into the hunt of a lifetime, getting an amazing opportunity, and then missing the shot because you haven’t used that new gun, or are just plain old rusty. Why not take the time to take a lesson, do some sporting clays, or at least a 5 stand? I am fortunate to be able to do a little shooting on my own property, but facilities are readily available throughout the country, so get practicing. It might not guarantee that you will make every shot, but at least you will not be kicking yourself for not being prepared!
Get your dog out! A dog that was trained last year will not maintain the same level without some reminders. Hit the public lands, plant a few birds, throw some dummies, do your yard and table work. Figure out where your dog struggles and ask some experts about training techniques. Join a NAVHDA chapter or a retriever club. There are tons of options, just take the first step before stepping into your dream hunt.
Lastly, get yourself and your dog in shape. Without this important part you will waste time and money getting to places and then running out of energy before you get to the destination. Or even worse you could easily sustain a trip ending injury! It is easy to work on fitness when you have dogs to run. Throw some weight into a backpack and take them for a walk. Don’t forget water for yourself and the dogs. It does double duty as hydration and extra weight to carry. Think about what demands you will make on your body during your hunt, and be sure to do the same or more ahead of time.
So use that old boy scout motto of always being prepared. Of course, for me that means sporting my Prois while prepping. The Pradlann vest works great for warm weather training just as well it does for bird hunting. And I love my Tintri and Danu wear for this time of year. Pair that with any of the ball caps and you have a winning warm weather combination for summer work!
Prep on my friends!