August 17, 2011
Gun Dog Video Footage From a Past Era
By Chad Love
Like most bird hunters, I am a sucker for vintage bird-hunting and/or gun-dog-related items, especially classic film footage. So when I recently stumbled across this clip of gundog training and upland hunting on YouTube, I had to share. It's a 10 minute clip that's obviously an old movie short, but it doesn't give any clues about when or where it was made or who is featured in it. What it does, however, is offer a fascinating glimpse into the Halcyon days of American bird-hunting culture, when the likes of Corey Ford, Havilah Babcock, Robert Ruark and Nash Buckingham ruled the feature well at publications like Field & Stream, with nary a pierced septum, tattooed forehead or fist-pumping brobra to be found anywhere.
It's a little long, but well worth watching for anyone interested in the historical aspects of gundog training. And yes, I have to admit, the soundtrack does tend to put you to sleep. As I was watching it, however, I noticed something at the very end of the clip, at the 9:48 mark to be exact, that looked awfully familiar. I thought, "I've seen that pointer somewhere before" and after a couple minutes wracking my brain, it hit me. Last year I wrote a Field Notes blog about a New York artist who had incorporated video clips of pointing dogs into one of his exhibits. I had always wondered what film the artist had used in his exhibit. Well, take a look at the picture of that pointer and then compare it to the pointer at the 9:48 mark of the video. Mystery solved. It's the same dog.
I still don't know anything about the film clip's origins, but at least now I know I'm not the only who thinks it's pretty cool. Anyone have any idea when or where the film was made?