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Ethical or unethical?

I have been debating on taking my dog out to a field, where I know there are some birds, to get her use to hunting again this year. I don't hunt this spot because there are not a lot of birds here, but it is public land. I would be walking without a gun, just practicing the calls and getting the dog into a groove again.

Is it unethical for me to do this knowing someone somewhere will want to hunt this field come opener?

Is it bad to hunt a dog in a field with birds when you are not shooting any of them?

Is it bad to hunt a dog in a field where there are NO birds?
 

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I'm not so sure it's legal to do that in ND (presuming you live in ND), if it entails purposely screwing with wild birds. There's nothing wrong or illegal with setting up training scenarios with bumpers on public land, though. I do this quite often...

As far as live flier off season work, I raise my own chukars for training. All a person needs is a free permit from the state. They are considered non-game birds, like pigeons. Take them out, plant them in privately owned land, then hunt them up. The hold fairly tight, flush nicely, and are one of the best table birds around after the shot & retrieve. This is completely legal any time of the year and great training under controlled conditions...
 

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Another thing I highly recommend are periodic trips to a shooting preserve for pheasants, In fact, all my pups get a trip to a preserve at 12-14 months to give them a taste of hunting & their future job, under tightly controlled conditions. Even after they are Finished and have a season under their belts, my dogs get a couple trips to a preserve yearly.

It's not only great training for the dog, but great training for you as it's handler. It's also just plain fun and you have makings of several fine pheasant meals at the end of the day.

The shooting preserves I use are very cost effective, particularly when I take into consideration travel & lodging costs to drive down to Valley City and hunt south of the Interstate for a weekend for a max possession limit of 6 birds...

To get ready for waterfowl season, I"ll set up a hunting scenario on private land complete with blinds and a decoy spread. With a helper down range to thrown Dokkens and handle the ecollar transmitter, I call in "birds" and shoot them with 12 guage poppers for the dogs to mark & retrieve.

A dog that breaks from it's blind is a common problem after a year's lay off. If a dog breaks from it's blind during this training, the helper is instructed to nick or page it, depending on the dog...

With a scenario like this we can work on multiple marks, blinds, handling, handling two dogs (which I sometimes do), the training possibilities are nearly endless and extremely valuable...
 
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