Here's the scenario, I'm looking for some advice. My wife has 2 English setters. We just got married 3 weeks ago, so now I have 2 English Setters. I've been around them a lot since she's had them, but we haven't lived together until now so I never had enough consistent time to train them to hunt, and there's also the fact that I've never trained a dog before. The male is 5 years old and the female is 3. They both have good natural pointing instincts, and both are very sharp on scents and smells (we live in the woods so they are always after something).
The male is outside the majority of the time, he hates to be inside and is always running around the yard, boundless energy really. He will retrieve toys if he's in the mood, but he's more interested in just running around. He doesn't flinch at all from gunshots.
The female is pretty clingy and follows us around in the house all the time. She's better with retrieving and is playful and energetic if you intiate it, but if not, she is kind of lazy and wants to be next to you and petted. She gets scared from gunshots, and pretty much any inadimate object in the house, if you move it (ex: moving a box or chair across the room). However, if she hears or smells anything, she'll go tearing right outside, they've even chased off bears before.
So the question is, are they too old to start? Where would I start? Of course I'd like to hunt with both dogs, but if I had to pick one to train I'd probably go with the male.
Neither one has been around other dogs much(except each other), and they have a large area to run free (invisible fence), but they know the boundaries and haven't crossed the fence in years. My concern is if I took them out somewhere else, they'd just take off into the woods exploring and chasing scents.
Thanks for any advice, I've felt for years I'm wasting their potential and would love to get in the field.