PON­DER­ING THE FU­TURE OF SOME BRIL­LIANT PUPS

Sunday Territorian - - LIFESTYLE - -THE KOONDROOK KID

JUST as an im­pres­sion­able wide-eyed young­ster watches their fa­ther ef­fort­lessly stroke high geese from the sky — so it goes that the young Labrador pup fol­lows its birthright. I sit with a smile on my face know­ing what the fu­ture holds for one of my four-week-old Labs, with barely the nee­dle-like milk teeth erupt­ing, the pup picks up a wing gen­tly mouthing it, naïve to the fact that in times to come this ac­tion will be­come such a joy for the pup and han­dler, yes the gun­dog re­triever in­stinct is an in­grained trait to the Labrador that for hun­ters who wish to em­bark on a mem­o­rable jour­ney of hunt­ing trips, the Labrador is a hard one to pass up. The Labrador is prob­a­bly one of the most pop­u­lar gun­dogs in the world and for good rea­son — it’s a quick learner, co­op­er­a­tive, great with chil­dren as a house­hold pet and still able to per­form re­triev­ing du­ties when called upon. It will work be­fore the gun, flush­ing and re­triev­ing on quail, pheas­ant, foxes and rab­bits, it will work as a non-slip re­triever on pheas­ant drives, and in goose de­coy spreads.

The Labrador is a no frills dog, solid in chest with a mod­er­ate stop, able to sus­tain a high work rate due to a keen sense of smell and shows no pref­er­ence whether re­triev­ing over land or water, it sports the “ot­ter tail” and wa­ter­tight main­te­nance free coat.

There is much con­jec­ture where the lab came from, how­ever for my­self that’s for the purists, the mod­ern lab that we en­joy, came from Eng­land, as did oth­ers such as rab­bits and foxes.

In sum­ming up the Lab; it is a medium to large re­triever at home on quail, geese, duck, rab­bit, fox and pheas­ant, is able to flush, push and re­trieve game, with a bid­dable per­son­al­ity striv­ing to gain praise from its han­dler; the Labrador will do me.

As I sit and watch nine Lab pups com­pete for at­ten­tion and dom­i­nance in the pack, I re­flect on what the fu­ture may hold for them: I won­der which ones I will hunt with in the com­ing years?

The NT Field and Game range is open for prac­tice from 9am till noon this morn­ing, while weekly Friday night prac­tice con­tin­ues at Micket Creek Shoot­ing Com­plex, Brandt Rd, Knuckey La­goon. There are now two grounds with the to­ken sys­tem in op­er­a­tion. The ranges will be open from 3pm on Fri­days for those who plan ahead and pre pur­chase ammo and to­kens. The sales desk nor­mally opens at 5pm. The next com­pe­ti­tion is a 75 tar­get Sim­u­lated Field event on Sun­day, Septem­ber 17.

Join Field and Game, www.fga.net.au Join SSAA, www.ssaa.org.au Join Aus­tralian Deer As­so­ci­a­tion www.aust­deer.asn.au Like NT Field and Game on Face­book. Email: nt­fiel­dandgame@gmail.com Or fn­flodge1@big­pond.com

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