Hedgerow hunting

gundog experts

gundog experts - Credit: Archant

QI have a young spaniel and when hunting along hedgerows he always pulls ahead and sometimes gets through the other side and a couple of times he has run off. What can I do about it?

ANICK RIDLEY replies: Hedgerows can cause all sorts of problems for young and experienced dogs alike, especially when birds run down the hedge bottom – this can cause the dog to pull ahead on the scent line. First of all whenever possible work the downwind side as this will encourage the dog to stay with you, and don’t push on too quickly. Let the dog hunt about 10 to 15 yards in front and then whistle him back to you and encourage him back into the cover – the idea is to form a “stitching pattern”. When shooting over the dogs I find it better to walk out from the hedgeline rather than staying close in. That way I can see the dog and it gives me longer to lock onto any game that is flushed.