Posts Tagged ‘Red Setter’

Dog of the Day: “Red Baron”

Monday, May 19th, 2014


“Red Baron” is Andrew Barthel’s golden retriever/red setter mix, whom Barthel describes as an “upland hunting beast.”

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: Red Setters Ring in New Year

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013


Pheasants Forever member Jeffrey Stalberger and his Red setters, “Callie” and “Ernie,” closed out Minnesota’s 2012-2013 pheasant hunting season and celebrated a holiday with a New Year’s Day rooster.

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

Is your Bird Dog’s Nose in the Air or on the Ground?

Friday, March 9th, 2012

I recently joined Pheasants Forever co-worker Rehan Nana on a visit to Berg Brothers Setters.   Rehan, with his heart set on finding a pup from a red setter litter, and the Berg Brothers having a famous reputation for their hunting lines of both English and red setters, made for a natural match.  To Rehan’s credit, he wanted to complete the due diligence of examining the expected litter’s dam and sire in hunting action.  With a day of bird dog talk on deck, I eagerly accepted the invitation to tag along for the observation.


To my great pleasure, I learned an absolute ton about bird dog training and breeding during the afternoon’s proceedings.  However, one observation left me babbling for days after the visit.


As I observed the sire, “Slim,” elegantly work the field in search of a planted quail, I realized the dog held its nose in the air the entire time.  This was in stark contrast to my own German shorthaired pointer’s nose to the ground, then to the wind, then back to the ground, method of searching for bird scent.  While I’ve hunted with a myriad of bird dogs over the years, including a wide variety of setters, I typically am focused on my own shorthair’s progress in the field.  Consequently, watching Slim with complete and sole focus, I was startled by the difference in scenting style.


“Nose to the ground appears in bird dogs with hound in the breed, like your shorthair,” explained Ben Berg.  “The nose in the air is what makes a setter so special.  That scent cone is more dispersed in the air than it is on the ground, so an excellent wind-scenting bird dog should have a bigger scent cone than a dog that scents the ground alone.”

This jewel of wisdom opened my eyes and my understanding to why so many ruffed grouse hunting traditionalists favor setters.  A dog with a wider scent cone would logically bump far less ruffed grouse, a naturally skittish bird.  Conversely, a bird dog that uses the ground scent to track roosters prone to running, as well as tough-to-kill winged roosters would have obvious advantages.


As I listened, the female red setter, “Belle,” scented the ground where Slim had earlier pointed a quail.  “Most of us bird hunters love to chase all the birds of the uplands,” Scott Berg explained, “so the magic in finding an exceptional bird dog is completing the due diligence like Rehan to find the selectively bred litter that’s going to produce your best chances for the magic.”


Scott offered this list of five key questions for puppy buyers hoping to find that magical bird dog:


1) How many females does the breeder evaluate to find a female suitable for breeding?  Producing the best of any breed is by definition a numbers game.  The more highly selective the process, the better the result.  In other words, evaluating five females for every one that is kept of breeding is better than two.

2) How was the stud dog chosen?  Stud dogs should be chosen on an even more selective basis given breeders have access via stud fees to a variety of top dogs.  The essence of this question is “how wide was the search to find the ideal stud?”

3) Are the parents trained to an advanced level?  (steady to wing & shot / stop to flush / honoring)  While hunters may not require their dogs to be trained to advanced level, breeders should train all potential breeding candidates to this level.  The process and end result provides better insight in terms of whether the prospect is suitable for breeding in terms of natural ability, trainability and intelligence.

4) Do they hunt and/or train on a variety of wild birds?  Observing the dog in a variety of different types of cover, handling several species of wild birds is a great process for evaluating breeding candidates.

5) Can the breeder provide references of hunters with needs/preferences the same as the prospective buyer?  For starters it’s a good indication if the breeder understands the buyer’s preferences.  Ask for 10 names without contact information.  Pick three names at random and ask the breeder to provide contact information.  Any breeder can come up with three satisfied buyers.  This helps to provide a more random sample.


Follow this link to learn more about Berg Brothers Setters.


In my opinion, this list is a gold mine of litter selection advice.  As I reflect on my observation of the difference in Slim’s scenting versus my shorthair’s scenting, it seems ludicrous that I hadn’t noticed such a stark difference before.  However, I don’t think I’m that out of the ordinary.  I believe most of us categorize bird dogs by the way they react when they encounter bird scent rather than categorizing them by the way they search for bird scent.  My shorthair being more similar to a setter by reacting in a point when scent is encountered; however, in the search for that scent my shorthair is more akin to a Labrador with its nose more often focused on the ground trail.


So my question is this: Did you already know that certain breeds focus on the scent in the air, while other bird dog breeds focus their attention to scent on the ground?  What breed of bird dog do you have and where is its nose primarily focused?


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

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.