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The First of Many/ Opening Day of Illinois Dove Hunting 2014

Opening Day of Dove season is always a day we look forward to. It is an opportunity for us to get out and get some shooting under our belt before waterfowl. Another major reason why we take advantage of Dove Season is to get the dogs conditioned for the season.

There is nothing like them being out in the field. Training during the off-season is definitely a good thing as it helps them stay in shape, however getting them into the field helps them adapt.

This year was especially important for Lincoln. The training started as soon as we picked him up and will continue for many years to come; however this weekend we were able to see just how he was understanding it.

The worst part of the morning was the agonizing wait of the daily draw. It would have been a huge let down to not get drawn in after the anticipation of getting Lincoln into the field. After waiting for what seemed like FOREVER, we were second to last to get picked.
Banner, Illinois

Thus begun our trek to the field. Immediately upon exiting the car, Lincoln looked like a kid on Christmas morning. He was jumping around, hyper as always. Being a puppy! Things calmed down as we got to the spot and started to set up the decoys. Lincoln was following along, wondering what everything was. It was pure enjoyment watching how he was experiencing everything.

We thought the most difficult part was going to be to keep him at a heel throughout the day. However, on this particular day it seemed as if this hyper puppy took a turn. He sat at a heel only wandering a few steps off when curiosity struck him.

It was a slow day in the Dove fields. We only saw, maybe about 5 doves. However, Lincoln was able to watch the action and get used to what it is like to be hunting dog.

Overall, we learned that Lincoln is doing great on his obedience training however, he needs to work on retrieving. But, we know that this will all come with time. This hunt was more about making it fun for Lincoln and getting him out to experience the field and what hunting is about.

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As Always, Remember to Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe!