Flushing retrievers rule – At least according to PF’s Gun Dog writer, PDJ/RJ editor!
I enjoyed Tom Davis’s Gun Dog column for the upcoming Summer issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal (out at the end of April) so much that I wanted to share some of it with our loyal blog readers. As a springer man, I must say I agree with Smith. But as I pointed out to Davis, I’ve hunted over many awesome pointers. Here it is:
“My friend Steve Smith, the editor-in-chief of both Pointing Dog Journal and Retriever Journal and one of the most respected figures in the mingled worlds of bird dogs and wingshooting, is probably better-qualified to speak to this than anyone I know. I asked Steve if he’d share some of his thoughts on this topic and, as usual, his reply cuts straight to the heart of things:
“I’ve written and said more times than I can recall that when it comes to bird hunting, all of this is supposed to be fun. But it’s also true that men don’t trifle with their sport. Bird hunting isn’t what we do – it’s who we are.
“So let’s talk about fun. If your idea of a good time is a German shorthair pointing, relocating, pointing, relocating all the way down a fencerow or creek bed with typical Teutonic thoroughness until the runner runs out of running room, then that is the dog for you, and that is your version of the sport. I’ve done it and have to remind myself to breathe.
“If you thrill to a pointer or setter blasting through the CRP for a hundred yards and then screeching into a pretzel point on a rooster that thought he’d wait there while the dog cruised right on by, then that’s how you should hunt. My pointers and setters have all sent shivers down my spine doing that very thing.
“If the shorthair never does catch up with the running rooster, so be it; if the pointer or setter does the screeching thing too close to the bird and it takes wing, well, it happens.
“But if someone said to me, ‘Mr. Smith, here are five 12-gauge shotshells, and there is an eighty-acre patch of grass. If you do not return within two hours with three rooster pheasants, we will pull the fingernails off your grandchildren,’ then I take the shells, load my double, and whistle up Murphy, my Lab. Fun in hunting takes many forms; but when the weather closes in, the birds are scarce and spooky, and you are deadly serious about the whole enterprise, nothing puts birds in the bag like a flushing retriever. Nothing.”
I tend to agree with Steve—but I have a hunch there are plenty of readers out there who take strenuous issue with this opinion. The debate rages on…”
Tar and feathers anyone?
9 Responses to “Flushing retrievers rule – At least according to PF’s Gun Dog writer, PDJ/RJ editor!”| |
Leave a Reply