I dropped my English Setter off at the trainer the other day. When we got her three years ago she was a fully finished dog so this training is mostly for fitness. Like most people I live in the ‘burbs and beyond the daily walks there isn’t too much of a chance to get in some bigger off leash workouts and with the high grouse drumming counts this spring I wanted to make sure she was in shape right at the start of the season.
In talking with Jerry Kolter, breeder / trainer / trialer, we decided to go with a combination of free running and atv roading. Jerry had Tina the first six years and used her as one of his string when he did guided ruffed grouse hunts so he his familiar with Tina and how she can best be brought into full fitness. On the plus side Tina weighed 4 pounds less than she did last summer and I think is in better shape to start with.
Now that the dog is rounding into shape what about the weak link in the team? Yeah, that would be me. I’ve been riding my bike but due to work travel, weird illnesses, wet weather and a lack of motivation I’ve ridden only about one half of what I had in last summer. To make up for it I’ve been trying to eat better ( 2 brats instead of 3, the small basket of onion rings instead of the large.. it’s all relative ). Lift some weights. I was finding my arms were getting tired just from shooting three rounds of trap. I even did my first run in over five years today. This is all a far cry from the days when I was fairly fit and never gave a thought to having to get into shape for the hunting season.
One of the things driving the desire to get in better shape is that I have some high school neighbor boys who want to hunt and after seeing them come home from their football two-a-days I know I have to pick it up so they don’t leave me huffing and puffing.
So there you go, the dog is working out, I’m working out and now all we need is for the seasons to start, the weather to play nice, and rest will be up to the hunting gods.
Northwoods Bird Dogs
Northwoods Bird Dogs
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