Posts Tagged ‘Tom Davis’
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
Any help for a German shorthaired pointer owner that can’t tire out his 4-year-old?
-Todd McMillan via Pheasants Forever’s Facebook page
If the dog’s literally bouncing off the walls, it could be that he has a hyperactive thyroid. He needs to take the dog to his vet and have blood drawn for a work-up to determine if that’s the case. If so, the condition can be controlled with medication.
If that’s NOT the issue (and assuming the vet can find no other medical reason for it), all I can suggest is exercising the dog as frequently and vigorously as possible to try to take the “edge” off. Other than that, I’m afraid he’ll just have to learn to accommodate the dog’s idiosyncrasies and live with them as best he can. You gotta dance with who brung you, and all that. Most of us would rather have a dog with too much energy than too little!
-Tom Davis pens the “Gun Dogs” column for each issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation
If you have a bird dog-related question – training, nutrition, hunting or other – send it to Pheasants Forever via the contact information below.
Monday, June 11th, 2012
Get ready for a fun tour of the best public spots to pheasant hunt, the nation’s top pheasant destinations, an early hunting forecast and much more!
Pheasants Forever Journal’s Pheasant Hunting Preview issue has evolved into the pheasant season’s opening shot, providing our members an exclusive heads up on the coming season.
The issue, which is unlike the year’s other four issues in that it focuses almost exclusively on pheasant hunting, opens with a forecast of nesting conditions in the nation’s top pheasant states – a portend of what you’ll see when you turn the dogs loose come October.
Then, check out gun dog columnist Tom Davis’ unique “barrel” training method to get your gun dog ready for fall, a pheasant hunt planning piece by veteran wingshooter Ron Spomer and shooting columnist John Taylor’s great stories on the truth about pheasant ammo and improving your shooting using instinct.
Next, we give you our “Top 25 Pheasant Hunting Destinations” around the country. This piece garnered a lot of attention on our website and from the cities mentioned. Then we stir things up a bit with some point/counterpoints by the experts on what gun and dog is best for pheasant hunting. (What do you think?)
As if that’s not enough to get you pumped up, we bring you color diagrams of the six best pheasant hunting approaches for two hunters. Try these techniques out at some of the best Pheasants Forever-enhanced habitats around the country detailed in the story “Publicly Speaking – PF Public Hunting Hot Spots.” To wrap it all up, we have a great story by professional chef Hank Shaw on preparing a pheasant “shore lunch” afield.
The Pheasant Hunting Preview issue includes the new Pheasants Forever MarketPlace featuring all the new upland gear for the year, and a story on all the new merchandise that will be available at PF chapter banquets around the country this fall (and by the way, it’s all “Made in the U.S.A.!”). Finally, the issue includes the new Goods & Services section for the year where you can check out private pheasant hunting lodges, hunting gear, gun dog breeders, habitat planting equipment and more. Enjoy.
Monday, October 3rd, 2011
There is some great advice in the upcoming Winter Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal (mailed Oct. 26) for the pheasant hunter, including:
- Pheasants Forever’s “Gun Dogs” writer Tom Davis, out of Green Bay, Wisconsin, penned a great piece for us on late season hunting, but his advice applies to any time of year. One simple tip: Don’t approach public areas from the parking lot like everybody else. You’ll find out the proper “how to” from Tom in a couple weeks.
- Frequent Pheasants Forever shooting contributor John Taylor will provide some good tips on coated ammo, what it’s good for and what it’s not.
- Idaho writer and outdoor celeb Ron Spomer gives a rare, detailed look at wing shooting in Argentina. (One thought: Don’t bring a .28 gauge.)
- Look for our first “Wild Game Cooking” special section. Hey, cooking is getting bigger all the time, and far be it for us to miss a fun trend. The pictures alone will have you drooling.
- On the conservation side, check out Dave Smith’s inside look at where the country’s marquee upland habitat effort, the Conservation Reserve Program, is heading.
As I do each fall, I’ll be visiting and hunting upland birds with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters in west central Minnesota, western Iowa, central Kansas, central Texas, far southwest Nebraska, eastern North Dakota and a unique Pheasants Forever project on the south end of South Dakota’s Black Hills. We’ve told you how pheasant numbers are down this year, but don’t count out our chapter’s ability to find the birds anyway. I’m hoping for a good year.
The Winter Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal is only for current Pheasants Forever members. Expired or non-members have until October 15 to join Pheasants Forever and ensure they receive it. To check on your membership status, call Pheasants Forever toll free at (877) 773-2070.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
While the search for the breed winds down (more on that soon), there are plenty of other considerations in preparation for bird dog number one: gear and equipment, lining up veterinary care, living quarters, schedules, brushing up on obedience and training techniques – it’s a lot more than just plopping down some greenbacks and bringing the cutie home. And it can seem a wee bit overwhelming. So while at a Purina (Pheasants Forever’s Official Dog Food) media event recently, I asked the gun dog experts in attendance (I was the odd man out) for the single best piece of advice they could impart upon any first-time bird dog owner:
Man’s Best Shrink
“The best piece of advice I can give for the first-time bird dog owner is that your new dog is not just a pet and hunting companion: He or she is also the cheapest, most effective therapist you could ever hope to find. In fact, your new dog is the Swiss army knife of emotional support. Lost your job? The dog understands. Girlfriend ran off with your best friend? The dog understands. No matter how bad things get, if you have a dog, then your life is never as much of a mess as you think it is. They’ll never judge, they’ll never criticize and they’ll never leave you. And they’ll never mind that you always drink all the beer. What, I ask, is better than that?”
- Chad Love writes for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever as well as Field & Stream’s “Man’s Best Friend” gundog blog. He has a Chessie, a young English setter, and says, though his wife doesn’t know, there will be a new pup next spring.
Bank on the Basics, Part I
“When training, pay close attention to the fundamentals, they are key to a solid foundation and bases for advanced work towards the wonderful rewards of an obedient and productive hunting partner.”
-Bob West is the Director of the Purina’s Sporting Dog Group. He’s also put more than 100 titles on dogs during his 40-plus years as a professional dog trainer. In other words, he’s trained dogs longer than I’ve been alive.
This is Fun, Right?
“Lighten up! Don’t become obsessed with letter-perfect performance, and don’t be afraid to cut your dog a little slack during training sessions and in the field. Remember, this is supposed to be fun, for both you and your dog.”
-Rick Van Etten is the Editor of Gun Dog Magazine and has owned Irish setters since before they went out of style.
Bank on the Basics, Part II
“Retriever owners need control and that comes from basic obedience. Too many overlook the importance of sit/stay, heel and here, focusing instead on aspects of force fetch, handling and other advanced concepts. If you can stop your dog with a sit whistle and recall it under any circumstance, then at the very least you’ll have a dog that will put birds up within range.”
-Brian Lynn and his black Lab, Kona, cross a few time zones each fall in search of birds and material for the Gun Dogs blog at Outdoor Life.
This is Fun, Right? Part II
“My advice to first-time gun dog owners would be to stop worrying so much and just make it fun. So many beginners read a book or two, or maybe attend a seminar, and they get all caught up in thinking they HAVE to do things a certain way, hit certain benchmarks, etc. Then when things don’t go exactly according to the blueprint (which they almost never do) they fret, stress out, put more pressure on the dog than it’s capable of handling…You get the picture. In short: Take it slow, take it easy, and keep it fun for both of you.”
-Tom Davis, among his many contributions, writes the “Gun Dog” column for the Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation. If a sporting dog or outdoor publication hasn’t showcased his work, shame on them.
Get Used to Gunfire…The Right Way
“I’ve been in business as a trainer since January and I’ve had five clients bring me gun-shy dogs. I’ve fixed two out of four, and number five is here now. Obviously this is a problem. Here’s my advice: Don’t take your puppy to a trap shoot to ‘get him used to gunfire.’ Instead, introduce him to gun fire beginning with the blank gun, and make sure birds are involved. Find and join a training group (one way to find one is to go to www.akc.org, go to “events” and check hunt tests and/or field trials for your breed, and contact the host club secretary) For this very important step, you’re best bet is to enlist the help of an experienced person or training group.”
-Lisa Price is Pennsylvania-based pro trainer and field-trialer. She loves working her German shorthaired pointers and her good sense of humor.
Breed Matters to You
“When you select a breed, carefully consider how that upland dog or retriever fits your situation. As a novice trainer, it’s wise to pick a breed that takes to training well. For me, a female golden retriever fit my training and hunting needs, as well as fulfilling my desire for a great family pet.”
-Paul Wait is the new Editor at Delta Waterfowl and is beholden to a 15-month-old golden retriever
Previous “My First Bird Dog” posts
Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Over the holiday weekend, I caught up on some reading. An article in the most recent issue of The Pointing Dog Journal particularly caught my attention. The piece titled “My Bucket List” was written by Tom Davis, also a contributor to the Pheasants Forever Journal. As the name implies, Tom writes about the hunting adventures he’d like to have before he passes on. It was an interesting read and likely follows thoughts many of us have this time of year as we review our calendars, health, and dog power for the coming autumn. I wrote a similar blog post a year ago titled “My Bird Hunting Bucket List.”
However, what really grabbed my attention was Tom’s tally of the wild upland game bird species shot over his bird dog. Turns out, this sort of “Bird Dog Life List” is fairly common. A couple of guys; Joseph A. Augustine (English Setters) and the renowned Ben O. Williams (Brittany) have even penned bird dog hunting books on the topic. The consensus is twenty different North American upland game birds constitute a “Grand Slam.”
So as I look toward my own German shorthaired pointer’s fourth season, I have taken inventory on Trammell’s own bird hunting life list. Here is Tram’s current tally: a) species I successfully shot over her point, b) the year it occurred and c) the state in which it took place.
- Ruffed Grouse, 2007, Michigan
- Pheasant, 2007, Minnesota
- Timberdoodle, 2007, Michigan
- Hungarian Partridge, 2008, Montana
- Sharp-tailed Grouse, 2008, Montana
In some respects, I look at that list and feel guilty. There’s the greater prairie chicken I missed in South Dakota’s Fort Pierre Grasslands last year. And there’s the doggy plane ticket to Georgia I couldn’t afford preventing bobwhite quail from hitting her list.
On the other hand, three seasons with Tram have been the best three seasons of my hunting career. And if you consider the dozens of states and subspecies necessary to reach double digits, a guy could go broke chasing this list. Plus, I’ll be in the Fort Pierre Grasslands in three weeks and I smell redemption. Come to think of it, I’ll be in Nebraska (bobwhite quail) and Kansas (lesser prairie chickens) in November too. Hunting season is here and things are looking up!
In the comment section below, post the following: a) your dog’s breed, b) your dog’s name, c) your dog’s age, and d) how many birds on his/her life list so far?