Do Gun Dogs Have an Innate "Autumn" Clock?

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As the days shorten and the nights and days cool here in central Minnesota, I’ve noticed my springer, “Hunter,” is more fired up than usual over the usual cues such as going out, training or any movement I make toward the door.
 
I enjoy his increased enthusiasm. Last season was a breakout year for Hunter as far as finding birds and retrieving them. Recently, I’ve stepped up the refresher course using a check cord and tossing a retrieving dummy made of two fresh pheasant wings (I’m eating up 2011’s last birds). Hunter is in the groove and ready roll…and so am I.
 
I’m not sure if he reacts to the coming autumn because of an innate sense or because he knows from past experience that the hunting time is approaching. What do you think?

-Mark Herwig is editor of the Pheasants Forever Journal and Quail Forever Journal. Email Mark at mherwig@pheasantsforever.org.‚Äč