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Gun Dogs

  • April 22, 2014

    Retrievers: Train Your Dog for the Diving Duck

    1

    By Michael R. Shea


    Photo by Bill Buckley

    The last phase in Cabela’s pro staffer Jennifer Broome’s three-month retriever-training plan is called the Diving Duck—in which you’ll be working with a live bird. “Some people may not like the idea of live-bird training,” says Broome. “But this one pen-raised duck may ensure hundreds of successful and ethical retrieves.” If you don’t have a local gamebird breeder, a nearby dog trainer should be able to point you in the right direction. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 31, 2014

    How to Cure a Gun-Shy Puppy

    4

    By Jerome B. Robinson


    Photo by Dan Saelinger

    When puppies are surprised by loud noises, they may become shy for life. Prevent this by teaching yours that violent sounds mean something good is about to happen. Here’s how:

    Step 1: Ding the Dinner Dish. This may scare him, but he will immediately overcome his initial fear as he dives into his bowl. Move on to step 2 when he starts wagging his tail at the sound. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 24, 2014

    How to Train a Bird Dog in Your Living Room

    1

    By David DiBenedetto


    Photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wildside

    Not too long ago many trainers believed that bringing a young gun dog in the house would ruin its nose and its passion for the field. Thankfully, that notion has since been shot down. Mike Stewart of Wild Rose Kennels in Oxford, Miss., understands that most gun dogs spend the majority of their life at the foot of the easy chair. Here are his rules to ensure your four-legged hunting partner amounts to more than a warm-blooded couch cushion. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 19, 2014

    How to Get Your Dog in Hunting Shape During the Off-Season

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    By Slaton L. White


    Photo by Bill Buckley

    Though waterfowl season is months away, you need to think now about a training regimen for your dog. As a diehard waterfowler, Total Outdoorsman Challenge competitor Scot Marcin knows all about keeping a retriever in shape. “You’re asking the dog to sit with you in a blind when it’s 20 degrees and jump into icy water to retrieve. He’s got to be in shape to do that,” Marcin says. Here are tips designed to ensure your dog is ready to hunt when you are. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 18, 2014

    Upland Bird Hunting Tip: Keep Your Pup on Point

    0

    By Phil Bourjaily


    Illustration by Harry Bates

    Pups don’t always point with the intensity of an older dog. A point with a flagging tail and a puzzled expression is still probably a point. Walk in front of the dog without delaying. Don’t run—it’s not safe and it can spook birds—but don’t tiptoe either. Rather than approach from directly behind, come in from three or four steps to the side. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 13, 2014

    Dog Training: Turn Your Beagle into a Rabbit-Hunting Machine

    2

    By Colin Kearns


    Photo by Mark Palas

    Sticktoittiveness. That’s the characteristic Scott Wilson looks for in a beagle pup. For instance, if there’s a piece of food that’s not easily reachable, he wants a pup that won’t give up trying to get it. “I all that sticktoittiveness,” says Wilson, who’s been training and breeding beagles—including 14 field champions—for 21 years. Once Wilson has found the right pup, here’s how he trains him. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 4, 2014

    Turn Your Dog into a Turbo Retriever with Backyard Obedience Drills

    3

    By Michael R. Shea


    Photo by Denver Bryan/Images on the Wildside

    Want a turbo retriever this fall? Start training now. Whether you’re working with a pup or a gray-muzzled veteran in need of a refresher, Cabela’s pro staffer Jennifer Broome has a three-month spring plan to turn your hunting partner into a bird machine. “Trying to train a dog during hunting season is like teaching a bunch of guys accounting in a strip club,” Broome says. “Too many distractions.” This month—our first installment in a three-part series—she stresses foundation building with a backyard obedience course that drills go, come, and stop. [ Read Full Post ]

  • March 4, 2014

    Bird Dog Guide: Smaller Is Better?

    By Tom Davis

    The late Bill Tarrant, who was once called the “poet laureate of dogdom,” had a soft place in his heart for the smaller breeds. He called them vest-pocket dogs and admired their lively spirit and work ethic. Here’s a look at five such breeds, any one of which would make a good hunting companion.

    English Cocker Spaniel:


    Photo by Rick Adair [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 18, 2014

    Train Your Bird Dog How to Find Sheds

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    By Scott Bestul


    Photo by Lee Thomas Kjos/The Raw Spirit

    One of the biggest challenges in shed-antler hunting is simply covering enough ground to find the bone. But according to renowned Minnesota gun-dog guru Tom Dokken, I own the solution—and he's sprawled out on my living-room floor chewing a slipper. Dokken has spent the last several years perfecting a training regimen that can turn just about any dog into a shed hound. My golden retriever, Lucky, may have spent his last idle winter.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • February 7, 2014

    Spring Training: How to Keep Your Gun Dog Fit for Next Fall

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    By David DiBenedetto


    Photo by Dusan Smetana

    Bird season may be seven months away, but according to Steve Snell, owner of Gun Dog Supply in Starkville, Miss., this is not the time to let your dog turn into a couch fixture. “One of the biggest mistakes amateur trainers make is letting their dogs get out of shape in the off-season,” says Snell. “It’s not fair to the dog and can be dangerous.” Here are a few tricks to keep your hunting partner in field shape long after the guns are put away. [ Read Full Post ]

  • January 2, 2014

    How to Protect Your Hunting Dog From Hypothermia

    2

    By Tom Davis


    Photo by Bill Buckley

    Frigid winter weather is tough on hunters, but it's tough on their hunting companions too. Here's how to keep your gun dog safe when the mercury plummets.

    Look Close
    Shawn Wayment, a vet and bird hunter from Sedalia, Colo., says that any dog body temp below 100 degrees constitutes hypothermia. The symptoms of mild hypothermia (90 to 99 degrees) include panting and raised hair. At the moderate level (82 to 90 degrees), breathing grows shallow and the dog becomes disoriented. If severe (82 degrees or below), the dog will be unresponsive and in danger of death.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • December 26, 2013

    Heart of Dixie: A Traditional Alabama Deer Hunt

    9

    By Jeff Hull


    Photos by Peter Bohler

    About 25 yards behind me is the Bald Cypress Sink, a completely flat pool of water beneath an unbroken coating of luminous green duckweed. Cypress trees rise from the water, their craggy fingertips draped in frosty veils of Spanish moss. Fangs of cypress knees jut from the mud. I'll hear anything running through there. On the other three sides I'm surrounded by a mixed hardwood forest this early January day in Alabama, and only the beech trees still hold leaves, so I have decent fields of fire.

    I'm awaiting the arrival of a deer, preferably a big buck scared witless by one of the two packs of hounds the Millwood Hunt Club has loosed in this 2,400 acres of pine and hardwood forest in Hale County, Ala. My old friend, Wade Brannon, has lured me here from Montana for one of the five or six drives the club organizes annually. Wade had ordered me to stay within 25 yards of where he dropped me off. There are about 75 guns in the field today, we're loaded with buckshot, and it's important to know where everybody is.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 21, 2013

    Video: The Toughest Duck Dog You’ll See All Day

    By Michael R. Shea

    Everyone knows Quebecers are tough, but get a load of their dogs.

    This video — which first went up in 2011 but is new to me, and probably you — made the rounds last week on one of the popular duck hunting forums. You can’t help but be impressed by this yellow lab. The French at the end of video is the name of a Quebec kennel and breeder called Chenil de la Riviere Blanche, or “white river kennel.”

    As someone who hunts sea ducks in the Atlantic through a good piece of December and January, I’ve had dogs in bad water, but I always hunt from a boat. (The biggest concern there is dogs getting tangled in decoy lines and we often won’t send a dog until the bird has floated clear from the rig.) [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 21, 2013

    How I Hunt: Tony Vandemore on Dogs, Duck Habitat, and Teal Sandwiches

    1

    By Colin Kearns


    Photo by Michael Sugrue

    A lot of my best childhood memories are from the blind. My dad, uncles, and grandfather were taking me with them when I was still in diapers. I remember one of those early hunts, when I was a little older, I was freezing cold. But I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want them to not take me the next time.

    A lot of my best childhood memories are from the blind. My dad, uncles, and grandfather were taking me with them when I was still in diapers. I remember one of those early hunts, when I was a little older, I was freezing cold. But I wasn't going to say anything because I didn't want them to not take me the next time.

    Gramps wouldn't let me blow a duck call in the blind until I knew what I was doing. So I used to go around practicing nonstop—in the car, in the shower, lying in bed at night, you name it. I'll never forget that first time. There was this flock of birds coming, but they were kind of sketchy, and Gramps told me, "Come on. Get on 'em." After that, I had this feeling: Man, I'm a duck hunter now. I'm one of the guys. [ Read Full Post ]

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