I enjoy hunting quail and a dog is absolutely required to do that – you’re just not going to find many birds without the help of a nose that is designed to find them. The Bobwhite Quail Decline is making finding and hunting bobwhite quail that much more challenging every year. All great quail hunting dogs combine two factors – good genetics and great training.
In the Spring right after I got her, I took her on a few hunts to see if she had a nose and interest in birds. I was very pleasantly surprised. She had both!
She had the ability to find quail, point them and track them. I also got lucky as I found out later. While I didn’t take out on the hunts, I did bring back some birds for her to play with. Here’s where I got lucky. While I was playing with the birds and the dog, there was shooting going on in the background so she very quickly got used to hearing gunfire. It wasn’t intentional.
Training a dog who has a natural hunting nose and technique is obviously significantly easier than working with a dog without the hunting instinct or without a gifted nose. Using dogs is certainly preferable, but it’s not essential to have a dog to raise wild quail or to hunt them.
To read the next steps in training a dog to hunt wild quail, read the follow-up post.