I started hunting with my dad when I was 11. I carried the single shot .410 for a while but wasn’t allowed any shells. There was a lot to learn about being a bird hunter. One thing my father developed in me was my sense of direction. It was my job to keep up with the truck. I had to be able to locate it no matter where we were at any time. I was quizzed on a regular basis. I’m not sure how many times he was looking directly at the truck when he would ask me where it was. It took a while to get good at it. He taught me to keep the … [Read more...] about Where’s the Truck? Games to Play with your Kid While Hunting
I grew up quail hunting on public and private land in Mississippi. The majority of my hunting was on International Paper land. In the 1980s you could buy a permit that allowed access to thousands of acres of timberland. IP was cutting timber for paper so their harvest rotation was pretty quick. Once it was clear cut, they would roller chop it, burn it and replant it in pines. The burning and the soil disturbance created the quail habitat. A good cutover was tough hunting but the quail lived there for at least three years. If the soil was poor … [Read more...] about Every Trip Hunt a New Piece of Ground
I grew up running two at a time. I’m not sure if this came from our field trial background or if it was the normal thing my dad did prior to me starting to hunt. Maybe it was from the two of us hunting together and we were each responsible for keeping track of “our” dog. This was back in the day before tracking collars and it was long before we ran beepers. We used bells to keep up with a moving dog and you had to know where he was last if you wanted to find him on point. These kids have it so easy with their fancy GPS tracking units!! In a … [Read more...] about How Many Bird Dogs Do You Run at the Same Time?
Mississippi can get a really nice woodcock migration. I expect there are more opportunities in the Magnolia State for bird hunters to find them especially on public ground vs quail. I grew up hunting them as an add on bird to quail but today it’s more like quail is the add on bird if you time it right. Our woodcock season runs from mid December to the end of January. Woodcock are migratory and controlled by the feds just like duck and dove. Back in my college days, I was hunting a WMA not to far from MSU. I had found a covey of quail and was … [Read more...] about Woodcock Migration
A theory that we developed many years ago for any upland hunting that involves walking is “if you are comfortable standing at the truck, you will be hot in the field.” I'm a fan of layers and my hunting vest is set up to carry the top layers as it warms up. We also tend to make 1 to 1 1/2 hour rounds so we adjust as it warms up. It’s amazing that I can start days bundled up tight and end them hunting in a T-shirt. Starting with temperatures in the 20s and ending in the high 60s is the norm, especially in Texas. I have tested this … [Read more...] about If You’re Comfortable at the Truck You’ll be Hot in the Field
We sell a bunch of first aid kits. When I say a bunch, I’m not playing with you. It’s a bunch. There’s a reason for it. Being a hunting dog is a dangerous profession. Just a short list of issues that can happen (and many that have happened to me) include heat stroke, hypothermia, torn pads, cuts of all kinds including ears, tongues, and bloody tails. Thorns and cactus issues in feet, eyes and legs - most are easy fixes but a few will have you rushing to the vet. Skin tears might be the most common issue for me - I’d love to know a … [Read more...] about Bird Dogs Have a Dangerous Profession