DECOYING WITH A DOG.
| I have yet to explain why and how the birds are induced to go the necessary distance under the net to find themselves in such an unpleasant dilemma.|
The actual decoying or luring of the fowl up a pipe, and well under its net, is achieved by two methods only. Though the means used are quite distinct, they both tend to the same end, and that end, by the way, is the tail end of a pipe.
The wished-for result is brought about by either dogging or feeding, as Decoymen call it, or both systems combined; that is by using a dog, or else by the use of food, such as wheat, oats, or barley.
| A dog is brought into play to attract the fowl far enough up the pipe to enable the Decoyman to cut off their retreat back again to the pond.|
Here I will digress a little, and say it is pretty well known how curious birds, and especially wildfowl, are.
They are likewise great braggarts.
So are sheep and other animals.
So are cattle and geese.
If a dog chases sheep, cattle, or geese, they run from him in alarm; should he hesitate or turn tail, they in their turn go after him. This they will do, with every expression of courage, as well as of defiance.
Anything that appears strange or unusual in their eyes is a great attraction to a bird or animal, and in this consists their curiosity. I have seen tame Decoy ducks almost peck a fox curled up asleep, or seemingly' so, on the bank of a Decoy.
So with the wild ducks, if they see a dog hopping about near them, now close by, now lost to view, their curiosity and excitement cannot hold them. They must follow to know more about it, and so they do too, necks craned and eyes brightly inquisitive.
Their courage and curiosity last just as long as the dog retreats before them, as they think he does.