Well maybe. If the bird handler, AKA, my loving Hubby Thom. Remembers to turn on the launcher. We went out to Nace Run early this morning to work Gunner with the new launchers and some Chukars. It was nice and cool and a very slight breeze. Perfect to find birds. I dropped Thom, the birds and launchers at the big field and then Gunner and I drove back down the road to park and get ready.
Gunner was excited already. He gets that way when his Dad comes with us. So I put Gunner in "heel" off lead and we did some drills and walked towards the field. Got to the field and I told him to find the birds. So off he went. A few yards out he caught scent of the first bird. Followed it right to the launcher. About 6-10 feet out he locked up. Great!! He was holding so I started to approach. I got about 2 feet from the launcher and he started to move. Ok...I push the button.....
nothing and Gunner creeps in. I push it again....nothing. So Gunner starts to move in to get the bird. I back up some and call him off the bird to me and Thom asks Why aren't you launching??
I'm trying but it's not working. So Thom manually released the bird. Gunner stood still and the bird flies.
We wonder what to do now. Do I release Gunner to find the other launcher or what? I tested them before we left and they were fine and I even labeled them so I wouldn't use the wrong button for the wrong releaser. So I take Gunner a bit away he is happy but slightly confused. Gunner and I got up the hill a bit so Thom can check the Launchers. Mystery solved, If you don't turn it on it will not work. So he checks the other one and turns it on.
I release Gunner and get ready. He finds the bird, points and holds. I walk up and he holds. I hit the release and he chases for about 6 feet and after I am sure he is clear I fire the 12 ga. Well, in a perfect world I could say I hit it and he retrieved but, as anyone who has ever tried to hit a small bird with a shotgun it is not easy and the shooter is not the best either. I missed and the bird got away. "no Bird" and Gunner comes back to me. We run around some more and then I did some much needed target practice. We walked back to the car. I had Thom put Gunner in a "heel " and walk back tot he car. He did well with Thom too.
So recap for Gunner today... 2 good points, 1 good flush, no reaction to shotgun (when fired at the birds or later when I did some target practice before going back to the car)
Recall was good and he "heeled" for both Thom and I no Check Cord.
Tomorrow is water day. Later today is more retrieve and release to me training.