As I write this column, the upland bird hunting season is underway. Pheasant, quail and prairie grouse populations are increasing in the plains states. This is mainly due to improved habitat caused by increased rainfall.
When you have abundant rainfall, which is good for upland bird habitat, you have abundant weed growth. Many of these weeds produce a large amount of stickers/burrs. These create terrible problems for your dog as they not only stick on your dog’s body but especially on their feet. This may cause an extreme amount of pain, resulting in your dog completely shutting down. In some instances you may have to actually carry your dog out of the field!
There is a solution – DOG BOOTIES. Remember, there are dog boots and then there are DOG BOOTS. Usually, the higher the price the better the boots. I recommend you obtain them from a reputable supplier specializing in bird dog supplies and equipment. Many have online catalogues. Be sure to measure your dog’s feet per the instructions given by the manufacturer. Also, I recommend you wrap a piece of vet wrap or medical tape over the upper portion of the dog boot to prevent them from coming off during your hunt.
Once you obtain your dog boots, you will want to get your dog out in the field on some training sessions using his/her “new shoes”. Many dogs do not take to them right away, and it will take some acclimation so the dog is comfortable running. A couple of sessions should do the trick.
Now you and your dog are ready to enjoy some incredible pheasant, quail and prairie grouse hunting!
Stop by next month and we will share another tip with you.
CJ & Shawnee