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The Single Most Important Thing I’m Bringing on the Rooster Road Trip


Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

Despite a full-size SUV full of pheasant hunting gear and nice shotguns, the most important thing coming with me on this year’s Rooster Road Trip is a piece of paper. Printed on that sheet are the phone numbers and addresses for every veterinary office in the locations of each of the five states we’ll be hunting in the next week.

Last year as a first-time dog owner, my eagerness to hunt with my own dog, combined with my novice skill level, left me woefully unprepared for a dog emergency in the field. With a full offseason to reflect – not to mention a few summertime trips to the vet – I vowed this season to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I’ve gone ahead and picked up a Sporting Dog First Aid Kit, but it’s not going to just sit in the truck. My vest pockets are now stuffed with the essentials to deal with minor issues and buy precious time if a major one arises.

And that’s where the paper in the glove box comes in. Whether it’s a slight sprain or a major cut from a barbed wire fence, the sooner you get your dog to a vet, the sooner professional treatment begins. In the vast regions of pheasant country we love to visit most, vet offices are frequently more than 30 miles from your location. Cell service is spotty. When minutes, maybe even seconds matter, you have to know where to go and who to call. We’ll be using technology to bring you the best of the Rooster Road Trip this year, but if the worst arrives, I’ll be counting on a paper trail.

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

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One Response to “The Single Most Important Thing I’m Bringing on the Rooster Road Trip”

  1. Gail Dieleman says:

    This is a really good idea! In 28 years of owning hunting dogs, I’ve needed vet service twice while on hunting trips. One of them was in my hometown in Iowa, so not a big problem. The other was in South Dakota. Fortunately, I was hunting with a native who knew where the only vet close by lived. Neither was a life or death situation, but both needed stitches to close bad cuts. Having a list of vets in the car would save valuable time and reduce the anxiety that goes along with an injury.


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