Posts Tagged ‘SportDOG Brand’
Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
SportDOG Brand has awarded a $25,000 grant to a conservation program created by Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. The conservation groups’ “Youth Pollinator Habitat Program” was created to help pollinating species thrive, and the grant funds will be used to launch five new pollinator projects in 2014. These projects will also provide education opportunities for local youth and community groups.
The grant was part of the SportDOG Conservation Fund’s second annual Future Forward Fund contest in which conservation groups submit project summaries for grant consideration. From a starting field of dozens of entries, a panel narrowed the contenders to six finalists, each of whom submitted videos outlining their projects. The sporting community then voted for the most- deserving projects, with the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever pollinator program earning the most votes.
A runner-up grant of $5,000 went to the Ashland County (Ohio) Pheasants Forever chapter to be used for habitat-improvement equipment purchases.
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
We held the organization’s 10th National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic last weekend. More than 21,000 people (and hundreds of bird dogs) attended the event. For three days, Milwaukee was the epicenter of the upland world. Here are eleven things that struck me as I think about this year’s Pheasant Fest.
1) Upland Enthusiasm. As Mark Twain once said, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Twain’s words hold true for recent predictions forecasting the demise of our cherished upland bird hunting traditions. While there is no doubt we’re in a habitat war for the ages, millions of folks love the uplands. In fact, Pheasants Forever’s membership has never been larger, there is technological growth in our industry (see SportDOG Brand or Garmin’s new dog products), bird dog breeds are increasing in popularity, and the locavore movement is exposing new people to wild upland meats. Add upland conservation’s benefits to America’s water quality, pollinator plight, and prairie ecosystems, and you can count me as a glass half-full optimist who sees an exciting future for upland bird hunters.
2) Midway Goes All the Way. Larry and Brenda Potterfield, owners and founders of MidwayUSA, have proven time and again their commitment to getting the next generation involved in hunting. This year, they made a remarkable $950,000 donation to Pheasants Forever’s youth programs.
3) Cheers to Milwaukee. Wisconsin is a state that embraces beer, sausage and their hunting traditions, and we found the market knowledgeable and embracing of our conservation message.
4) 28 Gauges Going Gangbusters. Seems I’m not the only bird hunter with a crush on 28 gauge shotguns. There were more 28s on the show floor than ever before – from CZ to Franchi and Beretta to Connecticut. A wingshooter has lots of choices these days in smaller bores.
5) Lee & Tiffany Crushed It. The Lakosky’s may be known for their deer hunting escapades on Outdoor Channel, but they were a huge hit with the bird hunting community at Pheasant Fest. In fact, their shed hunting seminar with Tom Dokken was a standing room only log jam of people on Saturday afternoon. I was most impressed with how genuinely nice the Lakosky’s were to me and every fan they encountered at Pheasant Fest.
6) Goodbye Perennia. While perusing the awesome shotguns in the Beretta truck, I was informed their gorgeous Perennia model over/under shotgun had been discontinued. So, if you find one of the remaining Perennias on a sporting goods rack somewhere, scoop it up.
7) The Pied Piper of Hunting Locavores. The James Beard award winning food blogger, Hank Shaw, has been a part of the Wild Game Cooking Stage the last three Pheasant Fests and his audiences continue to grow. While in Milwaukee, I also had the chance to join Hank and David Draper, Field & Stream’s The Wild Chef, at the chef’s table of Hinterland which included an epic nine-course marathon of bison heart, quail and elk loin. It was a dinner I’ll remember forever.
8) Gaga for Griffons. As pointed out on our Pheasant Blog, (Ten Bird Dog Breed Popularity Trends), the wirehaired pointing griffon is a bird dog breed on the rise. Pheasant Fest was a great example of that trend with lots of griffons on the show floor and in the bird dog parade.
9) Test your Litter. My friend, Brian Lynn, the Gun Dogs blogger for Outdoor Life, is working for a new company called Paw Print Genetics. Staffed by expert geneticists, the folks at Paw Print can test your potential sire and dam before a litter is ever conceived. This simple testing helps prevent inherited diseases and subsequent heartache.
10) Sling Shot. After months of Twitter conversation, I was excited to meet the friendly folks behind the Upland Sling. More importantly, I look forward to checking out their new bird hunting sling come fall 2014.
11) The Politics of Conservation. Last year, Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken spoke during Pheasant Fest in Minnesota. This year, Republican Representative Paul Ryan took the microphone in Wisconsin. While not, because of our tax exempt status, affiliated with any political party, Pheasants Forever does lobby for conservation issues. In an effort to work with legislators on these issues, wherever Pheasant Fest is located, we invite local elected officials to participate in our event. The good news is that both Minnesota and Wisconsin’s politicians spoke from a background of bird hunting, which helps make our case for conservation, regardless of political affiliation.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for our official announcement of the location for National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2015.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
With the online voting period complete, it was announced this week that a proposed Pheasants Forever upland habitat project took in the most votes in SportDOG Brand’s Future Forward Fund Contest, thereby winning the $25,000 grand prize grant.
— SportDOG (@SportDOGBrand) November 18, 2013
The $25,000 grant will allow five youth pollinator habitat projects to take place in 2014.
Next in the voting and earning a $5,000 grant was the Ashland County (Ohio) Pheasants Forever chapter, which will use its new funding to purchase equipment to continue managing and improving upland wildlife habitat in northeast Ohio.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
Three Pheasants Forever projects are among the six finalists in SportDOG Brand’s Future Forward Fund grant contest. Vote once a day now through November 14th and help your favorite PF upland project take home the $25,000 grant prize! The three Pheasants Forever entries include:
Friday, August 9th, 2013
Two months into the force fetching process with “Sprig,” my year-and-a-half old English cocker spaniel, I ran into the proverbial wall. A particularly grueling session had shaken my confidence and left me wondering if I could do it. A couple indoor sessions were a bit noisy - look up the ear pinch force fetch method – so my apartment neighbors were likely wondering about my condition as well.
So I called Tony Roettger, the professional dog trainer who leads the weekly training group I’m part of. “You’re almost there,” he reassured me, “We still have half the summer to work this out. You’ve come this far, so now it’s time to finish it off.” The next few field sessions didn’t yield any progress, but I did see signs of a coming breakthrough during weekly drills. Small signs, but signs nonetheless.
Last week in the training field, “Sprig” found the planted pigeon and flushed it. On the report, she marked the falling bird and raced over to it. There was no pulling at feathers, no playing and no butter-mouthing as there’d been countless times before. No, this time Sprig dutifully picked up the bird and raised her head, trying to pinpoint my location. When she spotted me through the tall grass, she raced over and sat down right at my feet, handing her prize over on command. No whistle, no words until “Drop.” She knew what she was supposed to do, and appeared to have plenty of fun doing it. After well-deserved pats on the head, she leapt into my arms. Breakthrough!
“That’s why I love training dogs,” Roettger said as we exited the field, “Many days it feels like you’re beating your head against a wall, but then you have days like this and it’s all worth it.” To “prove it,” Sprig followed up by going four-for-four on bird retrieves during the next run. Heck, maybe I’ll have her steady to wing and shot yet this year…
Now it’s your turn. In the comments section, share your greatest bird dog training success. What issue did you overcome? What technique(s) did you institute to prevail? These moments happen at every level, so whether your experience was with a puppy, an intermediate dog, a field veteran or a master hunter, please share in the comments section. Three (3) readers will be randomly selected to win a SportDOG four-pack which includes one canister of each – SportDOG Brand Hip/Joint Supplements, SportDOG Brand Digestive Enzymes, SportDOG Brand Hydration Supplements and SportDOG Brand Performance Vitamins.