Just a quick note here.....
Our Opening day was this past Wed. and I took Booker out despite some reservations based on the scenario. We had three shooters and it had potential of being strictly a Giant Canada hunt. My reservations were that I had only been training him on wings and some limited shots from a gun and one gun at that. So I was going to separate from the other hunters and limit his exposure to any chaos.
Well long story, short he did excellent for his age and experience!!!!! My first goose I got and that he had an opportunity to retrieve was a bannded one too....how can it be any better!!!!! He didn't see it fall so I went out part way with him. Once he spotted it he went after it right away and initially checked it out like a pup would. Then he picked up by the butt end and retrieved it to hand.
Midway through the hunt I reconnected with my Dad and friend and continued the hunt. We ended up with our limit (24 geese) and 3 ducks. Booker had an opportunity to retrieve probably about 10 geese or more and did so very well for his first time. Three out of four wounded/broken wing honkers he chased down and either held them until I got there initially or retrieved them. I was amazed by his 'no fear' approach to these birds as how do you simulate an adult goose that is injured and trying to fly/run away?
We ended the morning with a double to fill our limit and he went for the the longest bird that was probably 150 to 175 yards away and didn't come back with it at the start but went back after it when I started to go out with him. I think it was just the distance thing that threw him off and perhaps the double. He brought it back no problem and then went for the second bird.
All in all if he keeps up what he is doing now, without a doubt he will be one of my best dogs ever!! The bonus is that he loves all the action and he is a workaholic!!! He doesn't want to quit and it's easy to quit early in training and have him wanting more.
I will send pics. of Opening day when I get around to it. I am always slow at transferring them over from the camera to computer.