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How many of you guys use your dogs to guide hunts.


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I did for a few seasons. Got to hunt some of the best property in NJ and make some money as well. The downside was that in certain situations, especially with very senior hunters, the club would plant all the birds very close together so the hunter wouldn't have to walk too much. But what happened was, as the dog was making a retrieve, she would inadvertently bump birds because they were all bunched in a tight area. This was not good for the hunter, although it was due to his condition, nor for the dogs training discipline.

So, while it was great, it can have a downside.

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The big downside that I see is your Liability as a guide.. When you take money from people for a service, you open up Liability for your actions and the actions of your clients and your dog. We live in a very litigious state and you need to protect yourself and your assets... For my fly fishing trips, I have a $2m insurance policy that covers the Fly Shop and myself...I also have the clients sign a waiver (but any good lawyer will get right by any waiver)...I do this part-time and dont make alot of money so there can be significant expense for guiding.. NJ doesnt have a registered guide program like other states... I am licensed in New York, which means I had to pass a state test and be certified in First Aid, CPR and Water Safety... In NY it is against the law to "guide" hunters or fishermen for a fee without a License... PA has the same requirements except you need to show proof of insurance...

The upside..I spend time on the water, teaching people how to fly fish, and making many friends along the way...

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I use my dogs to guide. I set the law down before we go out and the first unsafe thing that occurs the hunt is over. I have yet to end a hunt and at no time felt like myself or my dogs were in danger. Plenty of upsides. My 2 year old has probably seen more birds than most dogs will get to point in a lifetime. It is nice to get paid to put your dogs on birds!

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You're right Beaverkill, that's why I wouldn't take hunters on public land. I only went to their private property or private clubs and preserves that needed extra dog handlers. The oneness is then on the established club or preserve.


It's very different than taking a paying client out into some wilderness area to hunt and they are then your responsibility. So I guess it's really not "guiding" per say, it's more of just being a dog handler for a fee. Remember, they have the gun, I was just working the dog and carrying birds!

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I do some guiding with my dog and really enjoy it! I have never had any problems but like Blackthorn has said I lay down the law before we ever leave the parking lot. One day when I get rich I would love to do it full time. I enjoy working the dog more than shooting any day.

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Red' date=' put your availability out there to any clubs or preserves that you are close to. I put a small ad in the digest a number of years back and got a good number of calls.




Thanks good advice...:thumb_up:

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