Sunday, 28 April 2013

12 months training pays off

Firstly, apologies to those who were following this blog as I have been neglecting posting anything for some time. I won't go into the reasons why, except for part of it, which was to spend some time on training both Astro and Zsa Zsa to hunt Deer with me. The time we have spent has paid off with us taking 2 Deer with the bow and 1 with the Rifle in the past 3 weeks. The hardest part of the training task, was reigning in little Zsa Zsa's hunting enthusiasm. She is a hard charger and teaching her to not only range closer, but also to hold point has been a challenge. Of course, when she broke point, it gave Astro the green light too and we had double trouble. However, lots of training has ended up producing two of the most amazing Deer dogs I have had the pleasure of working with. While they can still get better, for a 2 and 3 year old, they are brilliant.

Today, we had a good friend and former Australian field trials champion trainer out hunting with us. He was very impressed with the way both Astro and Zsa Zsa worked. Although he favours the GSP, as his national championship dog was a GSP, he had to admit that Astro was a brilliant hunting partner. As a matter of fact, the Sambar Doe we took this morning, was all Astro's doing. He pointed it, not Zsa Zsa. So cudos to the Vizsla breed on today's hunt. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how incredible these two dogs will be by the time they really mature. I can picture both being incredibly solid Deer hunting dogs by the ages of 4 or 5. 

We worked very hard to get to where we are now, but it truly has been worth every moment we have spent achieving it. Watching these two pointers pick up the scent, circle around to find the wind in their faces and age the scent and gain a direction of travel is something to be in awe of. I have had to learn to trust them implicitly now, as they have shown me to be a fool many times. So now, if they tell me to "Go this way" I go that way. They are much better at this Deer hunting caper than I am. 

This is the Sambar Doe we took today. She was a very big girl of maybe 3 or 4 years of age and around 120-130kgs. She had been in a very good paddock and was fat and healthy. 

We split the spoils between us and both ended up with about 30kgs of fresh Venison for the freezer. It's aging for a couple of days, so once done, I'll post some pics of what culinary delights we create with it. The pups are asleep and have been since 5pm, after gorging themselves on the spoils of their hard work all afternoon. They each got two hocks each, as well as some prime cuts to eat. Little Zsa Zsa looks like a beach ball right now and I doubt they will need to be fed till tomorrow night.

I will now make every endeavour to keep this blog up to date and share the amazing adventures of Astro and Zsa Zsa's hunts. 


  1. Glad to have you back blogging your adventures in the bush. Pukka's Promise by Ted Kerasote is a book I am reading now. Ted is training his new pup to hunt big game with elk being the game of choice.

    How you hunt in Australia and how we hunt here in the U.S. is an interesting comparison.

    Looking forward to following your pups continuing education.

    1. I would be interested to hear what you see as the differences in hunting in the U.S. and hunting here in Oz Rod? I know there is greater acceptance of hunting in the U.S. than here in Oz, but what other differences have you noted?

  2. Congrats! Nice to see all your hard word finally has paid off. I bet the pups were thrilled. :D

  3. Thanks Ashley. The pups are getting used to it now, but yes, it's still exciting for them to take a Deer. They have helped take three or four now. I think Three Sambar and a Red Deer in total. This was however their first one under a gun. A large gun at that. We probably rushed that a little, as although we had done some gun training, this was under a large calibre rifle which is a lot louder than they have been used to in training. But, they never even flinched. So perhaps they were more ready for it than I had thought.