With the warm weather rolling in, my focus is switching to dog training. Gus and I have gotten out to Mazomanie a couple of times over the last few weeks just exercising and also doing some practice on whoa and fetching. The training fields are looking good -- with the low snowfall amounts we had this winter, the grass is not completely matted down so there is ample cover for planting birds. If your dog is getting restless, now is a good time to get them out running. Also note that as of April 15th, it is illegal to run your dogs loose on DNR land (that does not include designated training areas, of course) until August 1st. With that said, spring can be a good time to get your dog some bird contacts on woodcock as they'll be coming back to their nesting grounds soon. Grouse too, of course! Just be mindful of ticks and if you're going up north, keep an eye on the DNR's Wolf Caution Areas page (the last dog depredation reported was on 9/20 but this is a year round concern).
- posted by Justin Stauffer