We live for the anticipation that builds with each step in an upland field, knowing that at any moment a rooster might rise. We never tire of the sound of a flush—a wild alarm that stops the heart for a split second before muscle memory takes over and the shotgun comes to the shoulder. We take pleasure in the mix of gun smoke and stray feathers wafting in the air after a good shot. More than anything, though, we simply love watching the dogs work—flushing, pointing, and when we’ve done our job, retrieving.
Few hunters have seen more good dogs at work than Brian Grossenbacher, who has been documenting upland hunts all over the world for 10 years. “Without a doubt, my favorite part of photographing hunting dogs is their athleticism and tireless enthusiasm,” says Grossenbacher, who captured every image in this story. Looking back through his photos, Grossenbacher smiles when he recalls the distinct personalities of each dog, but adds that every one shares a single quality in common: a full-hearted passion for hunting. “They are so dedicated to the sport we love,” he says, “and so excited just to be there and to pursue what they’ve been put on this earth to pursue.”