Posts Tagged ‘Lab’

Dog of the Day: “Remington”

Monday, February 3rd, 2014


“Remington,” Kodee Wignall’s two-year-old Lab, retrieved this rooster pheasant on opening day.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Hadgie”

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013


“Hadgie,” Steve Hutchins’ 10-year-old field veteran Lab, basked in the November sun after retrieving a limit of roosters in southwest North Dakota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Hailey”

Monday, July 29th, 2013


“Hailey” is Jeff Maas’ three-year-old Lab. “She lives to chase birds out in northeast Colorado,” Maas says.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Sadie”

Monday, May 20th, 2013


Alan Boisen’s Lab, “Sadie,” rousted up these roosters on a morning pheasant hunt in Goodhue County in southeast Minnesota.

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Dog of the Day: “Sopie”

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


Jack Dillon’s Lab, “Sophie,” worked up this rooster in South Dakota. “We’ve traveled to central S.D. the last two years and have gotten into pheasants and sharptails on both trips,” he says, “We may live in New Jersey, but Sophie definitely excels as an upland dog rather than a duck dog.”

Have your own bird dog photo you’d like to share? Email it to Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor, at

Pheasants Forever Puppy Power

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Pheasants Forever employees, from left, Rehan Nana with “Annie” the red setter, Brian Blair and “Jag” the English cream retriever, Ron Leathers and “Keeva” the golden retriever and Andrew Vavra with “Sprig” the English cocker (owned by PF’s Anthony Hauck). Photo by Mark Herwig / Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever’s national office in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is experiencing a puppy explosion.

The national office staff, as you would rightly expect, is keeping up the pheasant hunting tradition big time. My co-workers are hunters and dog men. They are leading by example at a time when many around the country are not replacing their dogs and giving up on hunting.

When these guys hear pheasant populations are down, they don’t throw in the towel, no, they just get more field power, more four-legged oomph to roust out those roosters that have survived man’s insatiable appetite for grain and protein, nature’s cold winter, wet springs and other habitat calamities.

Pheasants Forever national office employees who have thrown down the gauntlet against those rowdy roosters with new dog power this year include Ben Streitz, Pheasants Forever Director of Special Markets, and his athletic black Lab, “Pepper”; Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever Vice President of Marketing and his good looking German shorthaired  pointer, “Izzy”; Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever Public Relations Specialist, and his rambunctious red setter pup, “Annie”; Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever Online Editor, and his little English cocker spaniel, “Sprig”; Ron Leathers, Pheasants Forever Director of Public Finance, and his golden retriever, “Keeva”; and Brain Blair with his English cream retriever, “Jag.”

You’ll see this new crop of retrievers, flushers and pointers will be in the fields this autumn. Did you get a new puppy this year? If so, send your photo(s) to – we may run it online or in the Pheasants Forever Journal.

The Nomad is written by Mark Herwig, Editor of the Pheasants Forever Journal and Quail Forever Journal. Email Mark at

How powerful is Your Bird Dog’s Nose?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

I think Trammell (my GSP) is smelling a rooster right now!

I read a CBS news story this morning reporting on a scientific research study performed in Germany determining dogs (2 German shepherds, 1 Lab, and 1 Australian shepherd) have the ability to sniff out lung cancer in people.  According to the study, these cancer sniffing dogs diagnosed lung cancer with 71 percent accuracy simply by sniffing the breath of 500 participants. 


It seems dogs have the ability to identify abnormalities in the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of the exhaled breaths of people with cancer and other diseases that create changes in a person’s respired VOCs.  The report indicated dogs have also been effectively used to identify other forms of cancer, as well as diabetes.  From therapy dogs to seeing-eye dogs to cancer detectors, dogs continue to earn the title of “man’s best friend.” 


As a bird hunter, I’ve witnessed the unbelievable power of a bird dog’s nose in spite of wind, snow or exertion.  I’ve always wondered what a pheasant, quail or grouse smells like to my pup and the different sizes of scent cones each bird leaves behind.  I’ve also marveled at the connection between a bird dog’s nose and their tail; there must be a nerve in bird dogs directly linking the nose to the tail’s wag!


So my question for you today relates back to your bird dog’s sniffer.  Has your pup ever displayed extraordinary nose-abilities?


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

Reading your Dog’s Getting Birdy “Tells”

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

I typically have a shotgun in hand rather than a camera when Tram makes one of her birdy "tells." Consequently, here's an action photo of Trammell in search of a birdy scent.

Successful poker players often talk about identifying opposing player’s “tells” in route to victory.  Some card players can’t look others in the eye when they’ve got a good hand, or they start tapping their fingers on the table when they’re bluffing.  Baseball pitchers are known to have similar “tells.”  I can remember one pitcher from high school who would only grunt when delivering a curve ball.  Fastball = no grunt.  Curve = grunt.  I hit pretty well off that guy.

I believe a parallel can be drawn between successful hunter and dog teams.  Without the ability to talk, the hunter is left to interpret the pup’s body language in the field to determine what that dog’s nose is communicating to the rest of its body.  Most of us refer to this interchange of scent to body language as a dog getting “birdy.” 

While there are common traits consistent across bird dogs, I believe each birdy dog’s tells are as unique as batting stances in the Hall of Fame.  In my opinion, the basic birdy dog indicators are a pup’s tail, ears, eyes and pace.  The key to being a successful hunter over your bird dog is honing in on how your dog’s tail, ears, eyes and pace behave when your pup’s hot after a bird. 

My shorthair has a couple of surefire tells.  The biggest indicator for me is the pace at which her tail wags left to right.  The faster it goes, the surer she is to be on a bird’s trail.  Contrastingly, as soon as she believes she’s located it, her tail and the rest of her body goes “rock solid” into a point and her ears are pricked at attention.  In essence, the more statuesque she is, the more certain she has the bird pinned in the cover somewhere in front of her nose.  As long as I’m not behind her, she’ll also make eye contact with me; making sure I see her and know she’s got one located.  While I don’t know if pro dog trainers would encourage or discourage this eye contact, I absolutely get a rush out of the interchange.  To me, it galvanizes the passing of the baton from her job to mine as the shooter. 

While Trammell’s tail and eye contact tells aren’t unique to her, she does have another tell that I’ve yet to witness in anyone else’s bird dog.  When Tram is hot on the trail of a running rooster, but she simply can’t locate it after an extended chase, she’ll let out a whine.  When I hear that whine, I pick up the pace as fast as I safely can with shotgun in hand, because based on past experience that whine tells me she’s on the scent of a wily old rooster that is going to flush before he ever lets her get close on a point.

When it comes to pace as a tell, my buddy Matt Kucharski’s Lab, Lucy, provides my best example.  There is no doubt a dog’s chasing speed picks up as it zeros in on a rooster.  Matt’s Lucy is no exception.  As the scent grows in intensity, so does Lucy’s horse power, until Lucy finally zeros in on a rooster pinned under grass.  At that point, Lucy stops, looks up to locate Matt, and then immediately pounces on the clump of grass concealing the bird. 

What is your dog’s surefire “tell” when on a bird?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

My First Bird Dog – What I’m Looking For

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The search for the right breed continues...

A few years ago, I fully expected that when I got my first bird dog, it’d be a German shorthaired pointer or a Lab; a GSP because it’s what I’d grown up with, or a Lab because, well, you really can’t beat a good Lab. But I’m a bit more open minded these days. Or confused.

Being on assignment for Pheasants Forever and hunting with at least a dozen different breeds (that I can remember) gave me plenty more to think about. There’s also a future Mrs. Hauck in the picture now, meaning “My First Bird Dog” also means “Our First Bird Dog,” and that means she has some say in the matter.

Together, Kaily (she’s the future Mrs.) and I jotted down a list of factors to help narrow down our breed search:

  • We’re apartment dwellers. Thanks to the NRA American Hunter’s Kyle Wintersteen for his blog post Five Bird Dog’s For Today’s Suburbs. We’re trending toward a smaller dog.
  • Ringnecks, naturally, top my favorites list, but I want a dog capable of hunting other upland birds and waterfowl. I told Kaily this is what she wants too.
  • I’ll bet someday I’ll have a pointing dog, but that day won’t be the day I get my first dog. Retrievers and flushers, please move to the front of the line.
  • Hair. Despite having an abundance of it herself, the soon-to-be Mrs. does not want long hair on her dog. This, regrettably, eliminated the Golden Retriever from my wish list.
  • Maybe we’ve seen one overweight, suburban Lab too many. Maybe we’re just suffering from Lab overload. Maybe it’s as simple as we want to be different. Whatever the reason, the Lab’s stock is dropping on our list. Are we crazy?
  • Standard Poodle has been crossed off. It was never on the list, but just making sure.

That’s where the process of elimination currently stands. What breed is it looking like to you?

Previous: Introducing “My First Bird Dog”

Up Next: Path Goes Through Pheasant Fest

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

AKC’s 28 Sporting Breeds and Their Owners

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Despite their beauty, I don't know anyone personally that owns a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIVE DOG FOOD

The American Kennel Club counts 28 different breeds in the sporting dog category.  I was curious how many different breeds I could connect with people I know.  So here goes it; the 28 sporting breeds according to AKC and the first person that pops into my head as owning that particular breed.

1. American Water Spaniel: Not a single person comes to mind.  Starting slow out of the gates.

2. Boykin Spaniel: Joe Duggan, Pheasants Forever’s VP of Corporate Relations.

3. Brittany: My mom & dad.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Chad Love, Quail Forever blogger.

5. Clumber Spaniel: Shale Nyberg, volunteer with Minnesota Valley PF Chapter

6. Cocker Spaniel: A swing and a miss.

7. Curly Coated Retriever: I don’t believe I know any curly owners.

8. English Cocker Spaniel: It’s not my place to break the news, but stay tuned for an announcement from a fellow PF blogger related to this breed in the coming months.

9. English Setter: John Edstrom, Pheasants Forever’s merchandise buyer.

10. English Springer Spaniel: Mark Herwig, Pheasants Forever’s Journal editor.

11. Field Spaniel: Drawing a blank.

12. Flat Coated Retriever: Diane Lueck, Pheasants Forever National Board Member.

13. German Shorthaired Pointer: This one is easy . . . ME!

14. German Wirehaired Pointer: Mark Reinert, McLeod County (MN) Chapter of Pheasants Forever.

15. Golden Retriever: My buddy & radio partner, “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand.

16. Gordon Setter: Another fellow radio buddy, Mike “Cold Front” Kurre is in between Gordon Setters at the moment.

17. Irish Red & White Setters: A blank.

18. Irish Setter: Rick Van Etten, editor of Gun Dog magazine.

19. Irish Water Spaniel: Nada.

20. Labrador Retriever: Well, let’s see . . . there is Rick, Eric, Matt, Ron, Brad & Andrew that all come to mind immediately.

21. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: I can’t say as I know anyone that owns one of these beauties.  If I was a duck hunter, these babies would be at the top of my list.

22. Pointer: Rich Wissink, Pheasants Forever’s Youth Programs Coordinator.

23. Spinone Italiano: I used to live down the street from one, but that’s as close as it’s gotten.

24. Sussex Spaniel: To be honest, I’d never heard of this breed till reading it on the website moments ago.  Anyone ever hunted behind a Sussex?

25. Vizsla: David Bue, Pheasants Forever’s VP of Development has a pair.

26. Weimaraner: Janine Kohn, Pheasants Forever’s Education Specialist.

27. Welsh Springer Spaniel: Another goose egg.

28. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon: Although I don’t currently have any direct connections to a “Griff,” Andrew & I are in a race to be the first to own one in the PF/QF offices. 

So there you have it.  Of the 28 sporting breeds recognized by AKC, I have direct links to 16, which leaves 12 voids.  I was actually surprised not to find Munsterlanders (small or large) on AKC’s sporting list.  Anyone know the story of AKC and Munsterlanders?

So, how many of the 28 breeds on this list can you connect to an owner?

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.