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the US, we plant our game for a trial or hunt test. England does not. It is "beat" (chased) in.

When we go hunting in the US, we may go through a 400-acre patch of CRP grassland and see nothing. Again, we may see hundreds - the point is, you never know. Our game species can fly and live in many spots - while still being plentiful. Our game, in the US, must be tough due to adverse weather conditions: snow, rain, freezing rain, predators from above and below - as well as drought. In the US, game is true "wild" game. No one plants them or grows them... with the exception of our game farms/hunting preserves or for field trials and hunt tests. If you slam a car door during the late season, you may scare twenty-five, fifty - or even one hundred or more birds out of that field you where going to hunt. Now you go find another field to hunt.

In England, or Scotland for that matter, you go to an Estate; a place which resembles our hunting preserves. Game on an Estate is kept wild or free, compared to our caged birds at hunting preserves, but nonetheless the pheasants are still grown and fed. The birds know where to eat. The predators are shot on sight year round by a Keeper. An Estate makes money on birds - not fox. To go train dogs in England or Scotland, you get to know the Keepers of the Estate and they know where the game is and what they want to manage - or in other words, get rid of. The Keeper may have a bunch of rabbits out on a moor that he needs eradicated. He calls the dog trainers to take care of that. The Keeper saves himself the trouble of trapping them and the dog trainer gets some training time. The Keeper needs a dog to help with a rat problem on the grouse moor. He call the dog trainer to get a nasty terrier of some sort in exchange for a few days of training on the Estate.

Neither way is better or worse... just different. The time I spent in England and Scotland was just as enjoyable as time spent hunting and trialing in the states; just different. I plan on going back again and again. The people of the UK are very nice, the experience was fantastic!

Good training,
Tony Roettger

Tony Roettger

Tony Roettger of Minnesota owns and operates Roettger Ridge Kennels. He breeds, imports and trains English Cocker Spaniels and English Springer Spaniels.

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