Deke, DU's newest addition, is now 11 months old and in his third stage of training with Mike Stewart at Wildrose Kennels in Oxford, Miss.
After training in fast-paced Arkansas rivers earlier this spring, Deke is headed for the cold, swift waters and reservoirs of Colorado. Going to the mountains for the summer will provide a cooler climate and prevent heat exhaustion for both dog and trainer so they can continue to focus on Deke's final training levels.
Out west, Deke will learn to retrieve in two different environments: willow marshes and sage brush. According to Stewart, Deke is going to have many adventures when the journey begins at the end of the month.
Deke has one more level of training before he is able to hunt in late September. To date, Deke's training has focused on dog blinds, using decoys and multiple retrieves in water and on land. These are all fundamentals Deke will need in the field when he joins the DU TV crew this coming fall. He will continue to work on these exercises in Colorado. Also, as many of you know from our last update, Deke is not wasting any time: he already has retrieved his first duck!
"Deke is a fast and stylish dog who is picking up the skills quickly," explained Stewart.
Stewart is excited about the opportunity to continue training Deke in the cool climate of Colorado, which will allow for a more rigorous schedule than the sweltering Mississippi heat. Stay tuned to www.ducks.org to see what kind of obstacles Deke encounters on his trip out west as he fine tunes his retrieving skills this summer.