Spring Training on Woodcocks

LANCE 2 (2)

Appalachian bird hunters can extend their season another month if they are content with practicing a “catch and release” form of hunting. Working your dogs on returning woodcocks without a gun is a great way to get exercise for you and your dog, and extend training time of a young dog on wild birds. Woodcocks are usually found in West Virginia lowlands after February 20, (weather dependent)¬†while hunters are still seeking grouse the last of the season. These are males heading north from their wintering grounds and will not stop until reaching their desired breeding grounds. They perform a courtship display each morning and evening from the time they leave their wintering area. This is a display you must see, if you haven’t. It is advisable to cut off all training by the end of March to avoid causing damage to nests, even though it is legal to run dogs year round in some states.

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