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Grouse, Pheasants and Old Glass
We worked our way through the ancient apple orchard without flushing a single grouse. The cool October morning was giving way to the warmth of the sun, as my female English springer spaniel "Bess" and I climbed over a rock wall and stepped into a field of overgrown broom straw and fescue grass. The sun warmed my face and I stopped for a moment to enjoy the sensation. Rising steam from my shirt collar began to fog my glasses. Removing them, I wiped away the sweat from my brow, whistled to "Bess" and continued along through the field. (Continue)

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Woodcock Memories
As late September days become shorter and cool evenings awaken to vibrant blue skies with sugar maples beginning to blush crimson and as the beeches turn to gold, my spirit seems to be revitalized once more. Maybe it is a calling somewhere deep in my primeval memory to prepare for the coming winter. Or maybe it is because I am acutely aware of the approaching hunting season, of the adventures which lie ahead and the beauty of nature that awaits outside the confines of my four walls. Autumn, after all, is a glorious season and a time of reflection.(Continue)

The Value of Steadiness
I must admit to having many fond memories of days spent hunting over dogs unsteady to wing and shot. Yet, I cannot deny that I am a strong proponent of training dogs for steadiness. In presenting my case, I must assert that a dog cannot be considered truly finished unless it has mastered this ability.(Continue)

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Shooting Preserves
Shooting preserves offer wingshooters and gundog owners many advantages; like the chance to pursue game birds well before and long after the regular gunning seasons. In heavily populated areas, they also allow hunters to escape the crowds, but their best benefit could be for your dog.(Continue)

Training Tips for the Weekend Warrior
Would like to see an article about teaching quartering with no assistants? Also, maybe incorporate how to get a dog to turn "down the course" when quartering and not backwards towards the handler. Also, maybe on how to get a dog that is a little sticky to range out a little farther. My young little ball of fire sometimes goes behind me in our quartering training. I am having trouble with a young pup that is doing some of these things.(Continue)

The 16 Gauge-- It is Deja Vu All Over Again, Baby!
Don Zitz had it right when he said: "If we started from scratch to reinvent the ideal shotgun shell - - it would end up looking a lot like the 16 gauge." Phoenix-like, the 16 gauge has risen above 50 years of benign neglect and corporate rejection to regain its rightful place as America's premier upland game gun. (Continue)


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Knowing the Basics for the Field
Since it is that time of year and many folks now have added a new future hunting partner to their clan, I thought that I would take this opportunity to touch on some of the basics and some of the subconscious training that a professional trainer does when dealing with a very young spaniel during the introductory stage to field work.(Continue)

Self Backing
Having your dog back or honor another dog’s point is important if you hunt with more than one dog or with other hunters and their dogs. Most bird dogs have a natural inclination to back that will quickly show itself, especially if a pup is run with a seasoned dog. If a dog points, it can learn to honor. Pointing and honoring really go hand and hand, but they originate from two different senses. Pointing is done mostly by scent (although some dogs learn to sight point) and is more instinctive than honoring, which is done by sight. The best way to help a dog develop its instinct to back is to expose it to other dogs on point.(Continue)