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Meet My First Hunting Dog

“Sprig” has taken a liking to dog-friendly hotels. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

A few weeks back, after another so-so performance at our local training group, I asked the pro trainer if I should even take “Sprig” out in the field. “Heck yes!” he said, “She’s quartering and flushing and the retrieve will come, and we can work on that next spring. You have yourself a hunting dog. Go hunting!”

You don’t have to tell me that twice, or Sprig either. We’ve been hunting our way through the early upland seasons in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana, driving too much, eating too poorly (okay, just me) and finding enough birds along the way to keep us coming back for more. We still have a world of work to do as a hunting unit, but she’s impressed me with her drive and her eye for birdy cover – she’s developing into the little pistol I hoped she would.

As referenced earlier, while she’s performed reasonably well with dummies, Sprig hasn’t put the pieces of the field retrieve together, and I’m hoping things click as she hunts more and has more birds shot over her.

But for now, I’m a happy hunter with a tired dog, and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone…except maybe Sprig. Move over!

I’ll be wrapping up the My First Bird Dog series next weekend following the Minnesota pheasant opener and Sprig’s first pheasant hunt.

Read more in the “My First Bird Dog” series here.

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.org and follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

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4 Responses to “Meet My First Hunting Dog”

  1. Trevor says:

    Good luck on opener. Always fun to have a new dog you two will do great im sure. Im sure the retrieves will come with time. Great name for the dog as well.

  2. DINGER says:

    Anthony, don’t worry about the size, it’s the heart. I have a little Golden Retriever and she might be small, but she is wild for Rudy
    and his sisters.

  3. Nick says:

    My Boykin is 35 pounds and he is a machine. No one can believe how much he just goes and goes. He doesn’t even want water in between fields. Many will rest their dogs every so often…not him, he won’t have it! Love to see you got a cocker…get ready to hunt, because if he is like mine, you’ll have a hard time keeping up!

  4. Dana Hauck says:



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