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How to get more out of your flyers.
    Written by Michelle Linnane

  As birds get more and more expensive and harder to get I look at ways to make them last longer.  One thing I like to do is once I shoot the flyers is keep them separate from the other birds. We use them again in our next set up and do a mock flyer.

Setup like you are going to kill another flyer
 But the one difference is I set up the dead bird station like we are going to shoot flyers again, which means they are at least two people  at the mock flyer station. We use popper guns and a manual bird thrower.  I have gunners each standing and holding the shot gun, they release the thrower and shoulder the gun like they needed to kill the bird. If we are in a field we can use live shot in I have one person just nick the birds so feathers come off and the dog act just like they just go another flyer. This works with ducks and pigeons but you might not want to nick the pheasants as they don't just get blown apart.

 Use a bird dryer when training
 What really kills  your birds is using them in the water, a couple times in and they are water soaked they sink. Since we have been using a bird dryer when we train we really noticed a difference on how long our birds last. When I go home I have a separate bird dryer out in the garage and keep a fan on them for a few hours what a
difference it makes. Then I re-freeze them immediately and in the summer I don't take them out until I am ready to leave for training. The best thing to do with birds to get them cool as soon as possible and it makes a big difference.

 Before I throw away a bird
 You can ask anybody who has ever trained with me knows,  I don't throw out a bird until they are  absolutely, positively can not be used any more. Once a bird can not be used anymore I will pluck the bird and use it for scent on my blinds. I might have some flyer boxes out there and then pluck a bird and have the feathers go behind
the flyer guns. Very often when they shoot a flyer in the trial the feathers will get carried by the wind and go behind the flyer station. Then they run a blind behind the flyer guns. By plucking the birds that can not be used any more I am getting scent that I normally only get when I shoot birds or run a trial.

 I might  run a blind over top the line to a 3 marks, crossing the line to the three marks with the blind. I generally pluck 2 or 3 birds when I do this. I don't always have a big training group and my dog don't get enough scent work. So  I do this stuff to try and simulate a trial of 50 or 60 dogs running the marks and then doing blinds through
the scent of that many retrieves.

Michelle Linnane
2616 State Rt 162
Esperance NY 12066
518-488-8489 Day 

518-868-4566 Night



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