Regardless of whether it is an individual hunt, or if a group of colleagues and friends are out for some sport, Missouri duck hunting will be far more enjoyable when done using a well-trained dog. For it is the dog that really does much of the "heavy lifting", while the shooters focus on enjoying the thrill of the hunt. It is that thrill that really brings most people out for a shoot and not the arduous task of searching, locating and retrieving the bird.
When out on a duck hunting trip, especially if you are alone, a well-trained hunting dog not only acts as your dependable personal valet or maid, fetching and retrieving the downed birds for you, but can also be an excellent travelling companion, listening to you speak your mind out loud while never daring to interrupt. In many instances, even mainstream medical professionals consider that (being able to talk and be listened to) of great therapeutic value.
And just as one does during other sporting activity, duck hunting provides the ideal setting for much needed exercise. For the hunter to scout his or her prey, set the decoys to get the best shot at the decoying birds, it requires stealth and physical movement which results in a great workout for joints, muscles and limbs. But the hunter is also concerned about not over taxing himself while out on the hunt, especially if the hunting area is extensive and spread out. And that's where a well-trained hunting dog plays a vital role.
By travelling over long distances, often through overgrowth, bushes and leaping over fallen trees, swamps and through large bodies of water bodies and skilfully locating and retrieving birds that the shooter kills, a well trained dog serves his master or mistress well. If the hunter is already tired from walking during the shoot, locating and retrieving the kill will leave him even more exhausted. And any sport that causes exhaustion, as opposed to a healthy work out, will soon become a chore rather than a pleasurable thing.
Taking a well-trained dog along on a duck hunting trip is as much of a mental and physical thrill for the dog as it is for the hunter. During the hunt, not only is the hunter-retriever bond cemented even further, but the dog's training is reinforced while at the same time he/she gets much needed exercise in the great outdoors. At the end of the day, the dog gets to do what he/she loves best, while giving the hunter all the more time to hone his or her hunting skills.