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Should We?

Posted on Friday 19th April 2024 07:57:19 PM

Hurricane Hattie had requalified with a third place in the last qualifier of the season. Should they enter her was the question occupying her owner, Sam Slade, and handler, Mack Bain. Both were ambivalent and unsure of their judgment on the issue.

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The Master

Posted on Thursday 18th April 2024 06:44:35 PM

One of my earliest memories is the smell of the Hoppes gun oil my dad would use on his Sweet 16 Browning after a bird hunt. He and my uncles would tell stories of 30 coveys a day, of the “ditch bank birds”, those bobs that would provide great sport by scattering out down a line, giving the gunners an easy opportunity. Tales of limits by lunchtime and perfectly broke pointers and setters kept my interest high. Like a puppy, I wanted desperately to go with the men on a real bird hunt but was deemed too immature.

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All my heroes are gone

Posted on Wednesday 17th April 2024 06:40:49 PM

As we climbed out of the old Chevy truck, my nostrils were bitten by the cold Kentucky morning. I always loved the way that the cold air pierced your lungs. Such an infusion of life. The cold wrapped around me, but the warmth of excitement invigorated my soul. I had read many times in the old Field and Stream magazines about the venture I was undertaking with my uncle. I had finally made it. I had gotten the invitation to stand over his prize possessions, an old Elhew pointer and a Lewellin setter.

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A Jam Up Hunt

Posted on Tuesday 16th April 2024 08:30:27 PM

It was going to be a good day. You could feel it. My son Steven and I were hunting for woodies on our favorite beaver pond. As we put our canoe in the water the temperature hovered around freezing as a light rain begin to drizzle on us. Perfect conditions for ducks!

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My Life As A Field Trial Reporter

Posted on Monday 15th April 2024 06:52:16 PM

From 1995 until 2022 I had two professions, lawyer and pointing dog field trial reporter. The first to earn money to pay creditors and afford to indulge in the second, pursued for the pleasure it brought me.

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The Long Journey Home

Posted on Sunday 14th April 2024 05:37:43 PM

Belle’s favorite pastime time lately, was to become perfectly still, and at the most opportune time snap and catch one of the deer flies that tormented her. That’s what her life had become. She hadn’t known freedom for a year now and her spirit was weak, waning, nearly broken. She had plenty to eat, that wasn’t a problem. Brown Man brought meat scraps to her, and he kept her water clean too. But her whole world lay within the radius of the chain she was shackled to. She had grown to accept the chain, but not willingly. After a while she learned it best to not dream of home and Randall. She rested solely in the fact that Pup was growing strong, and that Brown Man was not a cruel man.

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How to Help Your Dog Learn

Posted on Saturday 6th April 2024 05:43:05 PM

When I started training retrievers professionally in 1972, I believed that dogs needed to be worked six days a week, for at least a half hour each day. If you have a big kennel, you know that’s a lot of work. After a few years and training several hundred dogs, I wound up skipping a day or two. That’s when things started to make sense.

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What expenses can kennel owners write off?

Posted on Monday 1st April 2024 09:39:58 PM

Maybe you accidentally started a dog-related business pursuing a hobby, or maybe owning a kennel has been your lifelong dream, either way, you can be sure Uncle Sam wants his fair share of your hard work. My blood always starts to boil this time of year, especially when the government reaches into my pocket and pulls out a whopping 33% of what I earned the past year. After being gouged by the IRS a few times, I've tried to do a better job of keeping up with expenses. I'd much rather invest my hard-earned money back into my business as an expense than let the government have it.

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Posted on Sunday 24th March 2024 09:12:56 AM

‘Why’, is a man question, not a dog question. Whether hate, or malice, or greed, or power, was someone’s motive for her circumstances mattered not to Belle. ‘What’ mattered to Belle. What could she do for her pup? ‘Who’ mattered also. Who could she trust, and who could she not trust? ‘Where’ mattered too. Where was she, and where was home? She sensed ‘When’ was important also, but she’d have to bide her time for now.

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The Poop Scoop

Posted on Sunday 17th March 2024 09:16:57 AM

My brace of setter drifted in and out of view. Their range was typical for their shooting dog genetics, and when I couldn’t see them my focus turned to the long skeins of Spanish moss that dripped from every cypress branch. Wind gusts pulsed the moss like a summer breeze luffs weeping willow stems. On one such I could see far ahead and Cider and Bee were on point.

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Harmony in the Field: A Symphony of Bird Dogs and Wild Birds

Posted on Saturday 2nd March 2024 06:25:43 PM

In the timeless pursuit of the perfectly honed bird dog, the age-old adage rings true: "It takes birds to make a bird dog." Yet, how often have we pondered the profound layers concealed within this saying? The interplay between a bird dog and a wild bird emerges as an intricate dance, a narrative woven by the instincts of the dog, the natural behavior of the bird, and the dichotomy between untamed wilderness and cultivated training grounds.

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The Long Journey Home

Posted on Sunday 25th February 2024 08:17:29 AM

It would have been different had Belle been at home. She would have found a safe warm spot near the hay loft. Randall would have looked in on her throughout the day, more than likely bringing her bits of leftover bacon and biscuits and making sure the pups had a clean place to be whelped. She was royalty at Bent Pine and didn’t kennel with the other dogs. She had the run of the plantation. Her favorite place to lie, be it summer or winter, was under the rail fence of the barn lot. There, she was shaded in the summer by huge spreading oak and beech trees. In the winter she was warmed by the sun shining through those same trees then leafless and unable to fend off the warm welcomed rays. She laid under the bottom rail that was positioned just right to offer a scratch to her long back whenever she chose to do so. It was perfect. The spot seemingly offered a respite, though actual work didn’t exist for Belle. Maybe she enjoyed the spot for reflection, that now, she had aplenty. From her favorite spot she could view anything approaching the main house, as well as view over a mile of cleared bottomland, a bottom that stretched eastward to the Black Warrior River and south for three miles farther than Belle could see from the rails even on a clear day.

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Positive Training Methods for Puppies – 4 Tips for Success

Posted on Sunday 18th February 2024 05:57:31 PM

Positive training methods are becoming increasingly popular and work well when your puppy is young. This training method rewards puppies for successfully completing a task. Once a puppy understands the kind of behavior that gets him a reward he’ll want to do more of it. Here are four ways to get started using positive training with your puppy.

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Six “Military” Style Methods to Outsmart Late Season Roosters

Posted on Sunday 4th February 2024 06:25:58 PM

By now late season roosters have been hunted hard, so they’re more wary. Hardened and experienced, these birds flush at greater distances at the mere sound or sight of danger. Add paranoia and the uncanny ability to become elusive and scarce when things get dicey. Veteran roosters know that slow birds of mind and wing are shot. Taking to the air is the last option as mature birds stay grounded and use their feet instead of wings to escape.

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The Basics of Clicker Training for Puppies

Posted on Monday 29th January 2024 05:34:14 PM

To become successful hunting companions, sporting breed puppies have a lot of skills to master. Clicker training is a great training method for any of the sporting breeds. The method is simple and it marks and then rewards good behavior. Every time a puppy completes a task correctly, he is conditioned with a click. The click is a unique sound that comes from a mechanical noisemaker and marks the precise moment he is doing the right thing. The mark is followed by a training treat to reinforce the correct behavior. Here’s how to use clicker training to teach three basic commands.

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