How to Build Retrieving Confidence
My Dad encouraged me to hunt yet he did not so my mentors became my Uncles and Cousins. I started pheasant hunting in 1993 and since then have been heading out west mostly to North Dakota or Pelee Island in Canada.
My current go to guide dog is a 3 year old male Drahthaar named Coors. Also rising prospect is a 1 year old female Deutsch Drahthaar named Wigs.
Go to gear is Filson strap vest. At least 15 years old. Ripped and ugly but reliable. Oak Creek leather braided whistle lanyard that was a gift. Also like Filson and Dan’s bibs. No chaps and no brush pants. If cant wear jeans or khakis it has to be bibs.
Why I Guide
I guide because of the dogs. It allows me to get them out and use them for what they’re bred for. It also helps channel and hone their skills in a relatively controlled environment where I can focus on the dog work.
I enjoy guiding at Pine Hill for the human interaction. The pre-hunt rituals, prepping of gear, excitement of the dogs and the interplay in the field between the hunters.
Probably my favorite is the post hunt camaraderie. Either as a participant or spectator. Reliving shots made and missed are always more spectacular than real life and partaking in tailgate beers as tired dogs lay at our feet.
My favorite birds to hunt are the Sharptail Grouse and dry field Mallard ducks which is why I favor the Drahthaar. I can easily transition from one style of hunting to another.
Gun Dog Tip
Bird hunting advice: Never brag about your dog or shooting until after the hunt.