Upland Nation
Ten more bird hunting questions: strategies, tactics, dog choice, habitat and more

Ten more bird hunting questions: strategies, tactics, dog choice, habitat and more

January 19, 2021

Steve Shurtleff poses ten questions to Scott about everything a relatively-new bird hunter might want to know: from best breed for a first dog owner, shot size and gun choice, habitat types and bird behaviors.

We re-live some epic moments in the field, talk youth hunting, how to hunt without a dog, and how to find publicly-accessible land. Your own hunts are covered in our "Monday Morning Debrief," a new use for your e-collar "tone" function, and a lesson in how being nice might get you onto hard-to-find public land.

... and it's all brought to you by:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Ten listener questions: on bird hunting, gun dogs, firearms and life!

Ten listener questions: on bird hunting, gun dogs, firearms and life!

January 12, 2021

(Just kidding on that last one) but we cover a raft of topics posed by listener Wayne Harvat, no slouch himself as a breeder-trainer of Epagneul Bretons. Wayne asks me about everything from choke tube choice to dog training, to hunting tactics.

We talk strategy, dog care, various bird species' behavior ... and a little of everything else including introducing young dogs to gunfire. E-collar use and when to keep your hand off the red button is also on Wayne's list.

Everyone learned something - on both sides of the control board - and so will you. (If you want to ask your own ten questions, drop me a line here.)

“Handle It” addresses sunglasses and their potential effect on your dog's ability to understand commands, and the public access segment lists some places to go in Kansas for a first time public-land hunter ... and it's all brought to you by:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Sharptail primer: hunting “America’s bird” … how, where, when, and why

Sharptail primer: hunting “America’s bird” … how, where, when, and why

January 5, 2021

I'll cover their history, our heritage, places to go and how to hunt them. From Gen. George Armstrong Custer to Theodore Roosevelt National Grassland I’ll give you starting points, some guide-tested unorthodox tactics, and explain as best I can how “America’s bird” thinks and behaves.

We'll cover prime habitat and hunting in a circle, using dogs as blinds, where to go in South Dakota (and other states); I’ll give you a jump-start on chasing these fascinating, native birds. Best dog breeds, equipment and shotgun recommendations, too!

“Handle It” covers the dilemma of hunting two dogs simultaneously – the up and downside. I’ll suggest a ruffed grouse hunt in the Northeast Kingdom, and it's all brought to you by:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

What YOU think, want to know, what you do and why …

What YOU think, want to know, what you do and why …

December 29, 2020

We take a deep dive into YOU and your fellow hunters from our social media topics and questions to my annual Upland Nation Index survey. What's important to you?

From introducing a pup to gunfire, to how COVID-19 has affected your hunting, to our favorite dog breeds, what we do in our free time, and what we plan to buy this year. We'll get a look at the most important issues we face, what we want to learn, and why.

"Handle It" covers a new "cue" to help your dog respond to commands being pioneered by the Monks of New Skete; "This Land is Your Land" looks at Goodland, Kansas' walk-in hunting opportunities, and it's all brought to you by:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Make a new bird hunter: here’s how, from the experts … and why it’s critical.

Make a new bird hunter: here’s how, from the experts … and why it’s critical.

December 22, 2020

Marissa Jensen and Colby Kerber of Pheasants Forever share their expertise on turning your friends and family into fellow hunters - from identifying hot prospects to sustaining their interest. What motivates newbies, typical objections, great "entry points" for a discussion about hunting are all covered.  We get an update on the progress their own initiatives are making in this area, and most importantly, we learn how important it is to create new hunters - for the habitat and the sport.

There's a dog handling tip on timing of commands - what to watch for - plus the reader poll on what type of shotgun you're buying next. Our public access segment looks to Central Washington for a valley quail spot.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

55 years of quail hunting and research … if you don’t learn something, you need to turn up the volume!

55 years of quail hunting and research … if you don’t learn something, you need to turn up the volume!

December 15, 2020

Dale Rollins, Ph.D. has spent his entire adult life pursuing quail ... 55 years of hunting, study, dogs and research, much of that time accompanied by his "Betters," a unique cross of Brittany and English Setter he co-developed. He is the executive director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Foundation, where he leads efforts to improve habitat and determine the limiting factors affecting bobwhite populations ... from disease to weather to predation.

Dale will share the Foundation's data, offer tips and suggestions on quail behavior and how to improve your hunting for them as a result. From a bob's daily schedule, to hunting strategy and tactics, he's got thousands of coveys of experience. He'll talk dog training and how to work most effectively with bird dogs in the field, and explain why he loves his "Better" dogs. Bonus: Dr. Rollins also has extensive experience with blue quail and we'll talk about how to hunt those elusive critters too. Learn more about the Foundation's efforts, and tap into their vast resources, here.

In the "Handle It" segment, I talk about how to stick birds once pointed, and "This Land is Your Land" touches on a western Kansas community with something for everyone, including your spouse!

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Drive south! Snowbird hunting destinations … and hunters’ hacks to make life easy for you and your bird dog

Drive south! Snowbird hunting destinations … and hunters’ hacks to make life easy for you and your bird dog

December 8, 2020

If you're not already, many of you (and me) will soon be sick and tired of cold temperatures and snow and ice. If you're lucky, you can migrate south. I've got some suggestions on general destinations for bird hunting where the ground is clear and a light jacket might be just enough. (It's heavy on the West because that's where I go) but there should be a starting point for almost everyone.

There's also a dozen or so tips and tricks I've picked up from pro guides, seasoned hunters and dog handlers ... plus a few of my own that could save you time, money, and aggravation. From water storage to travel hacks, you might learn something of use on your next hunting trip.

I'll also offer an alternative to pricey dog boots, too, in the "Handle It" segment.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

HO HO HO! The annual gift guide for bird hunters and their dogs with a special appearance by Santa Claus

HO HO HO! The annual gift guide for bird hunters and their dogs with a special appearance by Santa Claus

December 1, 2020

I'm outlining the things I use that would make great gifts no matter what you celebrate: Christmas, Hanukah, Festivus or the solstice. Any size budget, for hunters with two or four legs, every one of these would make a wonderful addition - under the tree or in a stocking that's been hung with care.

Naught or nice, the list includes everyone and has been checked twice - you're on it. Have your spouse listen too - just in case! And what you and your fellow hunters think are the most critical factors affecting our sport.

Plus, more practical gifts: a guerilla tactic for hard-hunted public ground, and advice for those who own hard keepers who won't eat after a hunt.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's performance dog food with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Who doesn’t need a laugh? You might find one here as I answer some listener questions with tongue planted firmly in cheek

Who doesn’t need a laugh? You might find one here as I answer some listener questions with tongue planted firmly in cheek

November 24, 2020

Lighten up! Or at least try to with this (hopefully) funny take on some of the questions I get. But seriously, you'll also get some new spots to visit when the snow flies, how hand signals can confuse your dog, and your hunting reports too.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Shotgun buying and selling from an insider, gun care, shooting advice from a champion, bird hunting tips and hunting dog care

Shotgun buying and selling from an insider, gun care, shooting advice from a champion, bird hunting tips and hunting dog care

November 17, 2020

Shooting advice from a champion, and how to buy a new or used shotgun ... just some of the topics we'll hit on when I interview John Fournier, g.m. at Pacific Sporting Arms.

John talks high-end and low-end guns, shopping tips, red flags, shopping protocols and what differentiates good from bad shotguns. We'll also cover the care and feeding of our hunting guns, why grease is better than oil (sometimes), cleaning misconceptions, common problems and how to avoid them.

The "Handle It" dog-care segment focuses on strategic feeding; "This Land is Your Land" offers road trip advice and routines so everyone arrives rested and ready to hunt.

 

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner kennel.

Valley quail primer: where, when, how and why to hunt them from a 30-year career chasing the little buggers!

Valley quail primer: where, when, how and why to hunt them from a 30-year career chasing the little buggers!

November 10, 2020

Inspired by a recent trip, I'd like to share some insights into these little magic-makers. Lore, legend, techniques and tactics, plus where to find them. Often a bonus bird when chasing chukars, they are often the salvation for footsore hunters an dogs on the third day of a long hunt, requiring less climbing and more opportunity.

Plus, some starting points to chase them throughout the west, and taking care of your dog's pads so he's ready to roll the next day.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Better bird hunting photos - your buddy and your dog will thank you; find mountain quail, check his pads

Better bird hunting photos - your buddy and your dog will thank you; find mountain quail, check his pads

November 3, 2020

Renowned hunting and fishing photographer Brian Grossenbacher joins me this week, sharing insider tips and secrets from shooting sporting photography around the world. Hair-raising stories from the jungle, inspiring dogs, and beautiful places are the stuff of his life and this podcast.

If you're looking for one tip to make better images on your next hunt, Brian has a bunch. He also shares his secret for world-class dog photos - heck, even I can do some of them! From lighting to composition to staying safe when you're armed with a camera and everyone else has shotguns, this podcast is full of ideas and suggestions that will make your hunts memorable long into the future - because of the great pictures you took!

If you're looking for an alternative to the "tailgate body pile," Brian has some ideas. Plus, I'll direct you to the best public mountain quail hunting in the west, and explain why taking care of your dog's pads is critical - and how to do it.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on most purchases over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Required listening: 40 years of bird hunting advice from a pro outfitter, public-access hunting, and tailgate exam, part 1

Required listening: 40 years of bird hunting advice from a pro outfitter, public-access hunting, and tailgate exam, part 1

October 27, 2020

Steve "Grouseman" Grossman offers 40 years of hitting it hard ... ringnecks, prairie grouse, ruffies, dog training, and even some advice on being a good client of a pro guide. Orvis-endorsed wingshooting outfitter and proprietor of The Grouse Lodge and Wild Prairie Lodge, he logs hundreds of hunting miles in the woods and grasslands every year.

If you don't learn something today, you need to turn up the volume!

We'll cover critical habitat and strategies to find birds in each, birds' evasive behaviors, how to work better with your own or a guide's dog, shooting tips and tricks.

Even guide tipping protocol is covered in this extensive interview that also includes ensuring peak performance with care and feeding hard-working dogs, how to introduce a collar bell to your dog, faux pas we commit on a guided hunt, and how to hit grouse in the thick stuff.

Scott and Steve collaborate on aspects of a "tailgate exam" for your dog, Scott shares a walk-in destination in Montana, and we look at photos of your favorite hunting spots.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

 

Wild food: simple tips, ideas, suggestions and cautions to ensure a feast, not a flop.

Wild food: simple tips, ideas, suggestions and cautions to ensure a feast, not a flop.

October 20, 2020

Wild food is: the culmination of a hunt; a celebration of our natural world; a way to introduce non-hunters to our sport; a sensual experience. Jennie Nguyen-Wheatley and husband Rick Wheatley are passionate about taking us from field to feast. They share their knowledge at their blog, and this week, with all of us!

We'll talk wild bird and public-access hunting, why it resonates with them, then jump right into the stuff you can use this season: care of game after the shot, "hanging," storage in fridge or freezer to ensure the highest quality dining experience. Then, simple ways to dazzle your friends and family with easy dishes - often simply substituting game birds for other meats.

We also cover cooking do's and don'ts, essential cooking gear and spices, and easy ways to avoid "gamey" and "fishy" tasting game bird dishes.

Hey! Stop drooling!

We also cover a walk-in sharptail hunting spot; and suggestions on influencing your dog's search pattern.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Dog-training monks and revelations about e-collars - a new paradigm for bird dog trainers

Dog-training monks and revelations about e-collars - a new paradigm for bird dog trainers

October 13, 2020

The Monks of New Skete revolutionized dog training with their million-selling books The Art of Raising a Puppy, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, and Let Dogs Be Dogs. Their newest book is The Art of Training Your Dog: How to Gently Teach Good Behavior Using an E-Collar. Co-authored with Marc Goldberg, it may take hunting dog training to the next level. The insightful way the monks are using e-collars will change your thinking - for the better.

I have the first and only interview in the bird-dog world, with authors Brother Christopher and Marc Goldberg. The book debuted last week, and is now available wherever books are sold.

We'll also cover everything from how a dog thinks, week-by-week "lessons," why dogs do what they do, critical commands and what we should all do - and not do - when training.

There's a suggestion for walk-in public hunting in Central Kansas, too.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

The nationwide effort to boost pheasant numbers; hunting tips and tactics from an expert

The nationwide effort to boost pheasant numbers; hunting tips and tactics from an expert

October 6, 2020

The National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan has existed since 2016 ... administered by Pheasants Forever and coordinator Scott Taylor, Ph.D. So, how's it working? Scott reports on the current status of the plan, wins and losses, challenges to its implementation, and what's in store for the future of this mega-project.

But Scott also knows pheasants inside and out, and offers advice and suggestions on bird behavior, good and lesser-known habitat types we should explore, how to hunt hard-pressured ground, tactics and strategies to help you become a better hunter.

There's also a public-access tip for late season, and hard-won advice on what you train your dog for and why.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and how bird hunters fit in … challenges to the Great American Outdoors Act

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and how bird hunters fit in … challenges to the Great American Outdoors Act

September 29, 2020

Threats to the recently-enacted Great American Outdoors Act and how they would affect wild bird hunters ... just one of the topics as I interview Land Tawney, president & CEO of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, one of our newest conservation groups. We dig into the Act, how it will benefit bird hunters, why it was such a watershed for public lands, and the access it will provide hunters to new and existing publicly-owned lands.

We talk about the fast-growing group, their goals, accomplishments, challenges, how "experienced" hunters are informally mentoring younger members, and why bird hunters fit the "backcountry" definition.

There's also some public-access suggestions for Northeastern grouse hunters, and a real-life reason to use your hands for good, not discipline, on your dog.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Hunting hacks and saving a buck … your suggestions, and time-tested ideas from thousands of miles on the road

Hunting hacks and saving a buck … your suggestions, and time-tested ideas from thousands of miles on the road

September 22, 2020

Keep more money in your wallet for the important stuff: ammo, dog food, fuel, beer! Our Facebook friends, hunting buddies and my own recollections are on the table, with the goal of saving you money this weekend.

You'll get tips for travel, lodging, gear, and hunting hacks that might save you enough for an extra trip. Plus, the first step toward a successful "tailgate inspection," and the one thing we probably neglect when it comes to staying safe in the field.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

50 hunting travel tips from 30 years in 26 states hunting public land and lodges

50 hunting travel tips from 30 years in 26 states hunting public land and lodges

September 15, 2020

30 years, public land, wild birds, lodges and walk-in hunting in 26 states ... I've learned a bit about traveling for a hunt, and share much of it here. From organizing gear, to dog care and feeding, to finding public access, let me save you from frustration, make things more productive and fun.

From getting along in hunting country, what to take and why, where to "air" your dogs, and how being a nice guy in a country store might pay off ... it's all in this podcast. There are easily 50 tips that will come in handy for you or your dog ... or your hunting friend.

Plus, the gear I carry in my vest for my dog; and how to drive considerately in the country.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping for your Gunner Kennel.

Gun Dog columnist on getting your dog across the training “finish line,” hunting strategies and must-take gear

Gun Dog columnist on getting your dog across the training “finish line,” hunting strategies and must-take gear

September 8, 2020

Gun Dog magazine columnist, pro dog trainer, avid hunter, and now novelist, Dave Carty has a lot to say. Getting your dog across the training finish line, to favorite dog breeds and bird species, must-have gear, why big runners aren't the be-all and end-all, he's got considered opinions based on decades of experience.

Dave's new novel, Leaves on Frozen Ground, is making waves in the world of fiction, and while it's not about bird hunting, it does feature a few dogs here and there. It's available here.

Dave has an announcement to make as well, that will be of interest to everyone who's read his magazine column ... or will read his novel! Plus, some late-season warmer publicly-accessible destinations to hunt when your own state's season is closed, all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; Happy Jack, FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

30 years of chukar hunting: tips and tactics, where to go, and more. Plus, why doesn’t my dog come back to me?

30 years of chukar hunting: tips and tactics, where to go, and more. Plus, why doesn’t my dog come back to me?

September 1, 2020

Every time I talk about chukars ... in magazines, on TV, or social media, people are intrigued. So, it's about time to drill down deep on alectoris chukar: habitat, strategies & tactics, where to hunt, dogs, culture, history. If you've ever thought about pursuing the devil bird, here's your introduction.

Cautions, hard-won advice, suggestions on shooting and dog care, what to bring and how to find them are also covered, based on my experience in five different states hunting the wildest birds in the wildest places over 30 years.

You'll also get some starting points for your own chukar odyssey, and help with getting your dog to recall better.

It's all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Spaniels! Training, e-collar use, the evolution and diversion … Jerry Ray Cacchio, Gun Dog columnist. And a challenge to wild bird hunters.

Spaniels! Training, e-collar use, the evolution and diversion … Jerry Ray Cacchio, Gun Dog columnist. And a challenge to wild bird hunters.

August 25, 2020

Everything you wanted to know about hunting cocker spaniels ... and much more. From insights into the devolution of old-school hunt clubs, to his experience with Richard Wolters, Hall of Famer Jerry Ray Cacchio has opinions and observations. Gun Dog magazine columnist, consultant, trainer, judge, hunter, Cacchio gives us advice on picking a dog, conformation, subtle differences between Springers and cockers, aspects of flusher training and how it's different for spaniels versus retrievers and pointers.

Critical gear, essential commands, the biggest mistakes we make, how to plant birds for flushers, and why most of us mis-use an e-collar on the little dogs are all part-and-parcel of Jerry's unique perspective.

Plus, a wild-bird-hunting challenge, all brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

New e-collar product - before it’s out, how-to tips, bird dog training advice, walk-in hunting spot from pro trainer Pete Fischer of Dogtra

New e-collar product - before it’s out, how-to tips, bird dog training advice, walk-in hunting spot from pro trainer Pete Fischer of Dogtra

August 18, 2020

Pete Fischer of Dogtra is our guest, with an innovative solution to a common problem ... we get a first look. Plus, the right and wrong way to use e-collars, from battery charging to timing, fitting to the right power setting. Also, a few ways to use those "other" capabilities on the transmitter and receiver.

Pete talks dog training's common problems for young and experienced dogs - and humans, essential commands, our biggest training mistakes, and why testing programs are of value to anyone with a dog.

Our public-access feature explores a North Dakota sharptail hunting spot.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Gunner Kennels’ founder talks safety, dog training, hunting … plus a new publicly-accessible chukar spot

Gunner Kennels’ founder talks safety, dog training, hunting … plus a new publicly-accessible chukar spot

August 13, 2020

The backstory on "Man's Best Kennels," is just the beginning. From duck hunting, to dog training, to the care and feeding, literally, of our canine companions, Addison Edmonds will share his hard-won experience. A self-described "weekend warrior" in the marsh and field, his experiences with Gunner the Lab are helpful to any dog owner.

And what guy wouldn't want to name his company after his dog? We'll dig into the new products and innovative thinking behind the world's toughest dog crates.

Plus, "This Land is Your Land" puts you in an Idaho chukar spot.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

A bird hunting hit man … Idaho sharptail destination … do face masks confuse your dog?

A bird hunting hit man … Idaho sharptail destination … do face masks confuse your dog?

August 4, 2020

You know him as the editor emeritus of Gun Dog magazine, but Rick Van Etten has an alter ego: novelist. And his new novel's protagonist has one too: murder-for-hire, when he's not bird hunting. This new book has something for everyone: dog lovers, hunters, mystery fans. Get the full story here, plus advice on helping your older gun dog, from an expert.

 

The "Handle It" segment asks if mandated face masks confuse your dog ... our public access feature targets Idaho sharptailed grouse. And there's a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

 

All brought to you by these sponsors:

 

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

What bird hunters - and their dogs - should put in their mouth and why, fitness tips for both of us!

What bird hunters - and their dogs - should put in their mouth and why, fitness tips for both of us!

July 23, 2020

Former pro football player, strength and conditioning coach, hunter, Lab owner, Mark Paulsen now devotes his considerable energy to WildernessAthlete.com. His supplements and other products were originally conceived to help hunters perform better under the stresses they encountered in the field.

Now, he's helping our four-footed friends achieve peak performance, too. From hydration to nutrition, exercise to performance psychology, Mark has advice of all types for those of us who put one foot in front of the other in pursuit of game birds - and bird dogs.

We cover the two critical exercises for bird hunters, timing of supplements and what to look for in nutritional products, how they work, how you and your dog can better recover for a second-day hunt.

Plus, "This Land is Your Land" helps you narrow down your chukar-hunting search, and in the "Handle It" segment, how where you train is as important as what you train, and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Chukar dogs, hunting strategies and tactics, training, breeding and picking puppies … from a pro wirehair breeder/trainer

Chukar dogs, hunting strategies and tactics, training, breeding and picking puppies … from a pro wirehair breeder/trainer

July 16, 2020

Kelly Jobes of Bone Point Kennels has been breeding, training, testing and hunting German Wirehaired Pointers for two decades, living the chukar hunting life even longer! His hard-earned advice will help you become a better hunter no matter what kind of bird you're chasing.

From puppy care and socialization to physical fitness for the both of you, shooting tips, and where to start your chukar hunt, Kelly knows of what he speaks. Save yourself time, effort, frustration and energy with some of his tips.

Plus, when to give a command or praise and why, and travel tips that could help you keep your dog "found" and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping on your Gunner Kennel.

 

Industry insider takes us to school on the firearms business, his hunting passion, and the state of the business

Industry insider takes us to school on the firearms business, his hunting passion, and the state of the business

July 9, 2020

Andy McCormick, executive vice president of marketing and sales at Legacy Sports brings us up to speed on why the firearms business is booming - and what might change that. Tips on buying, trends, what's hot in shotgun gauges and styles ... all from a guy with 40 years' experience in the industry.

Legacy's brands include Pointer shotguns and Howa rifles, among others.

We also talk hunting dogs and valley quail, the most common gun-care problem his warranty department gets, and how the current virus and political situation might affect our hunting season.

Plus, why sunglasses might put a kibosh on your dog training success, public-access hunting in New Mexico and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Puppy season! Commiseration, advice, inspiration from callers and pro breeders.

Puppy season! Commiseration, advice, inspiration from callers and pro breeders.

July 2, 2020

Your calls on the joys, trials and tribulations of a new hunting partner ... from feeding and training, to care and of course PUPPY BREATH.

I'll talk with first-time puppy owners, seasoned veterans, pro breeders, and get some positive, upbeat stories from owners of cuddly, cute Weimaraners, Setters, spaniels, shorthairs and even a Lab cross!

Plus advice on jump-starting your dog-training regimen, planning your public-land, DIY hunt, and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping on your Gunner Kennel.

Our “tailgate obsession,” who really pays for wildlife conservation, Himalayan snowcock

Our “tailgate obsession,” who really pays for wildlife conservation, Himalayan snowcock

June 25, 2020

Brian Koch is the founder of UltimateUpland.com, a website dedicated to upland hunting and even some philosophical matters related to dogs, birds, hunters, and conservation. He'll share his thoughts on a variety of topics, some of which need sayin' even if they're not quite PC. WARNING: If you're an REI member, bird watcher or fan of birdie body piles, prepare to be butt-hurt.

Plus, a short primer on snowcock hunting, some fitness advice, and as always, a public-access "catalog" of lesser-know spots, advice on dog training and simulating game bird behavior with your pigeons, and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and free shipping on your Gunner Kennel.

What’s in my bird hunting vest? “Don’t leave home without it” is more than an advertising catchphrase

What’s in my bird hunting vest? “Don’t leave home without it” is more than an advertising catchphrase

June 18, 2020

In this edition of the bird hunting podcast, I go pocket-by-pocket through my own hunting vest. Somewhere in that mess is something you forgot, wish you had, gotta get, or never thought to bring. Take it all, and 1) you'll soon be in better shape because it's heavy; 2) you'll hunt harder, longer, safer, and so will your dog.

From ammo to zippers and everything in between, here's the stuff I take on every hunt ... and why. Plus, some of the hard-earned lessons on why I bring that gear now, and wish I had in years past.

Plus, a public-access hunting spot or two in Texas, advice on thinking like a dog to train better, and of course, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Bird hunting conundrums: Lost dogs - find ‘em; new hunters - find ‘em, too

Bird hunting conundrums: Lost dogs - find ‘em; new hunters - find ‘em, too

June 11, 2020

I'll address two of the most-discussed topics I hear from YOU, offering tips and advice from hard-won personal experience and experts who've been there and done that. From a hasty search for your dog, to preventive tactics you can use to keep your hunting buddy found ... some tried-and-true methods are outlined.

New hunters are critical to the survival of the sport ... and the resource. Find out why, then let's talk about how to identify and recruit newcomers. (Hint: the best prospects are just like you.) Many of you already take a newcomer hunting every season, so thank you. For those who don't - yet - here are some ways to make it easy and fun for both parties.

In the "This Land is Your Land" segment, learn a few ways to save money on public-access, D-I-Y road trips. And in the "Handle It" segment, learn why pointing and steadiness is only instinctive for a moment ... then it's your responsibility!

All brought to you by these sponsors:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

12 public-access tips and strategies from 30 years of exploring … I’m sharing my sorta-secrets!

12 public-access tips and strategies from 30 years of exploring … I’m sharing my sorta-secrets!

June 4, 2020

Actually, they're probably someone else's secrets, but I wrote them down and live by them. In 30 years, hunting 26 states for wild birds, I've learned a helluva lot about finding and utilizing private ground open to hunters and publicly-owned land. If you're a do-it-yourself hunter, you might find a tip or two of use. If you're just getting started, this information might shorten your learning curve.

From timing to tactics, how-to and where-to, I'm sharing some hard-earned lessons and answering a few questions from listeners, too. I'll give you my top 12 strategies, list some states worth the drive for their publicly-accessible ground, and hopefully, provide encouragement to new and experienced hunters.

And in the "Handle It" segment, learn why acoustics are to blame for your dog's "disobedience."

All brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Bird hunting magazines: how they’re made and why. Editor Jake Smith takes us behind the presses at Pointing Dog Journal and Retriever Journal.

Bird hunting magazines: how they’re made and why. Editor Jake Smith takes us behind the presses at Pointing Dog Journal and Retriever Journal.

May 28, 2020

From how stories and images get chosen, to what readers want from their magazines, editor Jake Smith takes us deep into the world of sporting magazines. Plus, a preview of the next issue of Pointing Dog Journal.

Jake's wildlife background and journalism experience combine to provide us with hunting tips and advice, too. Plus great stories, insights into dogs and people, public access suggestions and dog training strategies.

Interested enough to subscribe? Go here for PDJ or here for Retriever Journal.

All brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Author Charle Fergus: “Rough Shooting Dog” and more … on why we hunt, and a murder mystery starring a bird hunter

Author Charle Fergus: “Rough Shooting Dog” and more … on why we hunt, and a murder mystery starring a bird hunter

May 21, 2020

Insightful, introspective and prompter-of-deep thoughts in us, Fergus has written some of the most memorable books in the genre. Titles include A Rough Shooting Dog, A Hunter's Book of Days, The Upland Equation, and Gun Dog Breeds: A Guide to Spaniels, Retrievers and Pointing Dogs. Charles was book editor for Shooting Sportsman magazine as well.

But Fergus also writes books about wildlife and nature, and his deep appreciation for all things outdoors show in every word he writes ... including his newest book A Stranger Here Below, a murder mystery set in the 1830s. The protagonist is a sheriff and a grouse hunter, and his dilemma is shaped not only by crimes but classic shotguns, dogs, and birds among other things.

We talk about writing, how dogs and birds affected him and his writing, and how a deeper working knowledge of the wild world could benefit all of us. He picks his favorite bird hunting book, shares some stories, and may just change your way of thinking about bird hunting and dogs.

Plus, my own tip on public land access, a hard-earned lesson in yard training, gear discounts and a chance to win a Pointer shotgun. All brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

 

 

Bird dog training and performance: Are you overtraining? How to get the most from your dog in the yard and the field.

Bird dog training and performance: Are you overtraining? How to get the most from your dog in the yard and the field.

May 14, 2020

Author of the classic book Absolutely Positively Gundog Training, Robert Milner talks philosophy and practical applications of his minimalist-positive-science based approach to training.

Milner founded Wildrose Kennels, "retired," then founded www.duckhillkennels.com, where he trains British Labradors in ways you may not know about yet or even agree with! A student of "horse whisperer" Ray Hunt, Milner talks about the right number of training days per week and times per day to get maximum performance from your dog. He outlines why "punishment" or "correction" are superfluous if you read your dog well and reward the expected behavior, and what types of reward work.

Creating neural pathways that create "right" behaviors, from the very start, ignoring misbehavior, and how B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning research can be applied to dogs ... all are part of a wide-ranging discussion that only scratches the surface.

Milner gives us mini-lessons in recall, retrieve, and steadiness to wing-shot-fall, suggests the one most important command, and offers solutions to the problems his clients' dogs have most often.

Milner was a pioneer in importing British-style Labradors to the U.S., and he'll also outline how those dogs differ from American-style retrievers, and how English field trials work.

Plus, my own tip on a slightly-different way to look at public land access and information, a hard-earned lesson in yard training, gear discounts and a chance to win a Pointer shotgun. All brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Bird hunting podcast: flushers vs. pointers … the “debate” begins - all in good fun!

Bird hunting podcast: flushers vs. pointers … the “debate” begins - all in good fun!

May 7, 2020

What’s your fave? Callers and Facebook commenters extol the virtues of their favorite hunting dog style. From pointing-and flushing - Labs to staunch shorthairs, you love your dogs and we’ll find out why. We celebrate our relationship with our hunting dogs every podcast, but this podcast is particularly close to the heart for all of us.

Is it the mystery and magic of a quivering point? The rollicking excitement of a hard-charging field-bred cocker? Or both, paired, working as a team?

Ebullience, hunting range, personality … are females more “biddable” that males? Is the energy level different from breed to breed or flusher to pointer? Training tips from a Canadian pro and her take on the “debate.” And how you should “never give a dog a chance to fail.”

Plus: Why you should keep your young dog from jumping up or down … the effects on “growth plates.”

You also get dog training tips, another publicly-accessible place to hunt, gear discounts and a chance to win a Pointer shotgun. And it's all brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Bird dog training and chukar hunting tips from a pro: Jeff Funke of Three Devils Kennel

Bird dog training and chukar hunting tips from a pro: Jeff Funke of Three Devils Kennel

April 30, 2020

On this bird hunting podcast, wisdom and insights from a breeder/trainer with 30 years’ experience. Jeff Funke of Three Devils Kennel of Nampa, Idaho, is my wirehair supplier, for good reason. His dogs are biddable, birdy, and beautiful. A chukar hunting fanatic, Funke has firm beliefs, interesting training strategies and a world of expertise on the hunting side.

A test judge, clinician, and successful breeder of champion dogs, Jeff answers question on picking a pup, what you should and shouldn’t do with that young dog, he gives us background on a number of dog training/testing groups he’s been deeply involved in, and tells the backstory on why some of the principle founders of NAVHDA formed another group.

Why a new “federation?” And another “alliance?” What are the benefits of each? Jeff offers up his own three “golden rules” that form a great hunting dog … why resilience is the key to puppy development and formal training, and how to breed/pick good versatile hunting dogs. He outlines the difference between training a field-trial dog and a hunting dog … and how wild birds train the dog.

Jeff also offers chukar hunting strategies and tactics, including some that will surprise you that flaunt the conventional wisdom on these “devil birds.”

You also get dog training tips, another publicly-accessible place to hunt, gear discounts and a chance to win a Pointer shotgun. And it's all brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10 (plus sale prices on many collar-transmitter bundles); win a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel. May 1-4, you also get $75 off your new Gunner!

Pro bird hunting guide Mark Nissen on all things grouse, dogs … and a few woodcock, too!

Pro bird hunting guide Mark Nissen on all things grouse, dogs … and a few woodcock, too!

April 23, 2020

Orvis wingshooting guide of the year for 2018, Mark Nissen of Classic Bird Hunts guides hunters in Wisconsin for ruffed grouse and woodcock, then travels to Arizona for quail and doves when the snow flies. Fifty years in the woods, 40 of them guiding, he knows a bit about the sport, the dogs, and how to help you become a better hunter.

We discuss everything from puppy's most important early lessons to safety in the woods. Strategy and tactics for both bird species from a guide's perspective, beeper-versus-bell, must-take stuff you probably forgot, and shooting tips for those pesky trunks and branches.

Mark also helps us train our dogs for all types of birds, provides insights on working with a pro guide, tipping etiquette and (drum roll, please) ... a great woodcock recipe.

You also get dog training tips, another publicly-accessible place to hunt, gear discounts and a chance to win a Pointer shotgun. And it's all brought to you by these sponsors - check out their deals:

Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10; wing a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Bird hunting podcast: What do you admire about your hunting dog?

Bird hunting podcast: What do you admire about your hunting dog?

April 16, 2020

You'll be surprised at the attributes callers cite when they tell me what they love about their dogs. From heart and drive to that special bond between human and animal, I'll bet you can relate.

Intensity? Sure. But many callers say their dog keeps them young, fit, and in stitches sometimes! Facebook messages are just as creative: mischief and comic relief, to loyalty and single-mindedness in the field. Does your dog have an on-off switch too?

Some of your friends might be on this week. Check the list: Marc Reeves, James Fritz, Matt Templeton, Ken Welsh, Jeremy Slate Smith, Mike Siebert, Linda Seick, Jim Brehm, Lance Larson, Ludell Heaton, Mark Kimbrough, Joe Omundson, Ken Welsh, Bobby Westbrook, Michael Deegan, Bob Clayton, Seth Rauch and Steve Maus all weigh in on their dogs and why they love them.

You'll also get exclusive tips on public-access, advice on pups and old dogs, breed info from insiders, a hunting dog care tip (save some money), discounts on gear, and the chance to win a shotgun.

It's all brought to you by Cabela's, Sage & Braker Mercantile, Electronic Shooters Protection, Dogtra, Dr. Tim's performance dog food; FindBirdHuntingSpots.com and Gunner Kennels.

Take advantage of great deals from many of our sponsors: 10% off and free shipping on any purchase over $200 at Dogtra with the code SLUN10; wing a Pointer shotgun at FindBirdHuntingSpots.com; 30% off your first order from Dr. Tim's with the code UPLANDNATION; and financing on your Gunner Kennel.

Upland bird hunting podcast: Side-by-side vs. over-under, the virtues of a pump gun … and the advantages of a semi-auto.

Upland bird hunting podcast: Side-by-side vs. over-under, the virtues of a pump gun … and the advantages of a semi-auto.

April 9, 2020

Callers share their love of shotguns ... and take us to school on the fine points. No rivalry is more rampant than this one, unless you talk pointers vs. flushers! If you're partial to a double gun, you may change your mind (I doubt it!). But you will understand the passion each aficionado has for their style.

Not only will you learn why you love your gun(s) and your friends love theirs, you'll get helpful tips on caring for your shotgun. Learn about chokes, cast-off, gun fit, and all the intangible stuff that makes guns an extension of our psyche. From grandpa's heirloom Purdey, to the most efficient Italian semi-auto, you'll get an education on the why's and wherefore's of shotguns.

Some of the stories will remind you of your own ... fathers bestowing vintage guns on sons, first birds by daughters, great dogs and wonderful friends long-gone. Take out your (unloaded) gun and listen along with callers and Facebook messagers who shared their memories and advice on shooting, ammo choices, gun fit, and gun care.

Plus, gear discounts, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun, dog training advice and Scott's bucket-list public access destination for this fall.

The Upland Nation podcast is brought to you by @cabelas @sageandbraker @espamerica @drtims and @dogtra

Keeping things positive in these wacky times: bird hunting podcast covers your favorite bird species and why - calls, messages, and opinions

Keeping things positive in these wacky times: bird hunting podcast covers your favorite bird species and why - calls, messages, and opinions

April 2, 2020

We will be hunting this fall!

Inspiration and motivation from callers and Facebook messagers comes this week in the form of passion for a favorite bird species. Find out why they love their sharpies, timberdoodles, chickens and ditch parrots ... among others ... and learn something to help you this fall.

Out of some fascinating conversations came tips and techniques, hunting strategies, family traditions and touching stories of multi-generational hunts and childhood memories. Plus, what we can learn from some of the old-timers about hunting dogless, learning how birds and dogs think, and what defines a "good hunt."

Funny stories, how to stage-manage a large party pheasant drive, and finding woodcock habitat are also part of the discussion as we look downrange to the coming hunting season.

Hey @Don Mraz, @David Brebner, @DSunDet, @Gary Forrest, @John Pivetta, @Brandon Murphy, @Celia Rausch, and @Billy Turner ... you're on the show this week!

Plus, gear deals from Dogtra (10% off plus free shipping with code SLUN10), Gunner Kennels (finance your purchase), and Dr. Tim's dog food (30% off first order with code UPLANDNATION).

Also brought to you Cabela's, Sage & Braker gun care, ESP hearing protection, and FindBirdHuntingSpots.com.

BREAKING NEWS: Ruffed Grouse Society restructuring and it’s implications for birds, members, and the conservation community as a whole

BREAKING NEWS: Ruffed Grouse Society restructuring and it’s implications for birds, members, and the conservation community as a whole

April 1, 2020

In this special edition, the organization's CEO Ben Jones joins me for an exclusive interview outlining the reasons for a massive revamping of the group's business model.

A model for every group? Jones says there are fundamental economic realities exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis that his group has addressed in sweeping actions including layoffs, new hires, and cost-savings, but primarily in a new way of funding the organization. Their approach to "entrepreneurial conservation" may prompt other organizations to look at what RGS and sister group American Woodcock Society are doing:

Replacing biologists with foresters adept at timber marketing as well as biology; utilizing the forest as a cash source; becoming more adaptable and nimble to meet the needs of both the resource and the organization's mission ... pulling ruffed grouse and woodcock back from the brink of endangered or threatened species designations.

The long-term objectives, Jones says, will be exponentially greater acreage under conservation management, a financially-stable RGS/AWS, and larger membership base ... while redoubling the group's commitment to science and member service.

We WILL be hunting this fall! Callers share their favorite bird hunting states and why you should go there.

We WILL be hunting this fall! Callers share their favorite bird hunting states and why you should go there.

March 26, 2020

Stay positive. Be optimistic. Plan ahead. We will beat this thing.

In the spirit of sportsmanship, our callers share their favorite bird hunting states ... from bird species, to terrain, to scenery, challenges, and the people who make visiting so fun.

Passions are many, and you'll hear them all in my continuing effort to stay focused on the future, when we are all free again to pursue our sport ... with our friends, family, and our dogs.

Thanks to all the callers who kept things upbeat and encouraging - personal stories about friendship, dogs, family and nostalgia that will keep us going until the leash is unclipped and we're in the field again.

You'll also get gear discounts, a chance to win a shotgun, dog-care tip, and strategies on planning your public-access hunting trips.

Bird dog podcast: “shelter in place” doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your dog! How to cope with the “new normal.”

Bird dog podcast: “shelter in place” doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your dog! How to cope with the “new normal.”

March 20, 2020

Your calls on ideas for these wacky times ... from training tips to gear, motivation to encouragement.

An update on news that affects bird hunters and dog owners, a way to help victims of the Nashville tornadoes, too.

Improve your shooting and your dog's skills ... no matter what kind of challenges you face during these trying times. Plus gear you can make, a buckaroo's tip on negotiating the most challenging aspect of public-land access ... barbed-wire gates!

Gear and dog food discounts, too!

Special Edition: Coronavirus - effects on our sport and our dogs

Special Edition: Coronavirus - effects on our sport and our dogs

March 16, 2020

While everything is changing on an hourly basis, here are some things to know, now.

What should we do? Avoid? How do we protect ourselves from a virus that may have come from a Chinese live-animal market?

Is my dog food safe? Can my dog infect my family? Vice-versa?

What about my field trial - cancelled? Conventions and sportsmen's shows?

How do we protect our dogs? Are there risks in using training birds?

What about gear? Should we be worried about our new Italian shotgun now on order? What about components sourced overseas?

I've done some digging and have up-to-the-hour information from industry insiders, public health experts, and others ... in hopes of bringing a bit of sanity to a crazy issue. Hope it helps!

Bird hunting podcast covers all things PUPPY

Bird hunting podcast covers all things PUPPY

March 12, 2020

Got a pup? Want a pup? Need a pup? Selling, buying? Or do you just need some encouragement and sympathy?

Your calls are the star of this podcast! This edition of the Upland Nation bird hunting podcast covers it all. Behavior, tricks and tips, advice from those still cleaning up after puppies. Listeners call in with questions and a ton of hard-won advice you can use today.

Reading body language, what goes through a pup's mind and how to use that knowledge, critical commands, things they should learn early, how to socialize a pup. How much and how to discipline? How much praise, and for what? Why LOVE is an important factor.

Why the most important thing you might do is ... nothing.

How trust impacts a puppy's development, long-range goals and how to reach them.

And it's all from experienced pro's and those agonizing - right now - over their first pup.

Plus, a public-access spot for your next season, an important dog-training tool, discounts and deals, and the chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

Bird hunting podcast digs deep into CRP: PF/QF’s Dave Nomsen on why we fund it, how it helps us, what we can do to get more acres.

Bird hunting podcast digs deep into CRP: PF/QF’s Dave Nomsen on why we fund it, how it helps us, what we can do to get more acres.

March 5, 2020

If you hunt "walk-in" land, you're likely hunting CRP ground. On this upland bird hunting podcast, I interview an expert in the subject, one of Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s longest tenured staff members, Dave Nomsen. Dave is the recipient of the George Bird Grinnell Memorial Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation, a former university professor, and a prime mover on PF/QF’s conservation initiatives.

Nomsen is now Pheasants Forever's director in South Dakota following more than two decades as the organization's vice president of government affairs.

Dave takes us to school on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and related policy matters with acronyms like CREP, VPA-HIP and others. These federally-funded programs are paid by your tax dollars, and in many ways benefit upland hunters: new habitat, directly. Access to private ground, indirectly. CRP acres grow game birds, songbirds, pollinators, big game, and conserve soil and clean water.

Among the many questions Dave answers: Why should we taxpayers fund CRP when farmers and ranchers get the paychecks? How much are we paying, and why? How can game birds take advantage of the habitat we help fund?

Dave will bring us up to speed on the program’s status today – in the midst of a re-enrollment period. He’ll make it relevant to upland bird hunters, what we can do now to positively affect that re-enrollment and policy in general. If you’ve wondered why CRP ground can be hayed or burned, plowed or disked, he’ll explain.

CRP is a gigantic federal spending program ($2 billion) and a massive game bird factory. Is it worth the investment? You decide after this primer on the biggest conservation program that taxpayers fund.

Plus discounts on gear, a chance to win a shotgun, a public access tip (Scott’s second-favorite state for wild birds), and advice for puppy owners from your friends and Upland Nation listeners. Everything you want, nothing you don’t want.

Upland bird hunting podcast focuses on dog food: controversy, fact, what’s good and what’s not with the founder of dogfoodadvisor.com

Upland bird hunting podcast focuses on dog food: controversy, fact, what’s good and what’s not with the founder of dogfoodadvisor.com

February 27, 2020

Grain free tempest in a teapot? Why is corn in a carnivore's food? Dr. Mike Sagman, founder of the definitive site dogfoodadvisor.com will answer all your questions. Clear, unbiased evaluations of dog food are the goal, and Mike has seen it all, rating food on his website since 2008.

What government agency monitors dog food, and what do they regulate? The problem with calcium in a puppy food, difference between meats and "meat meals." How dog food is made, why not all "byproducts" aren't bad ... what to look for on a dog food label - it's all right here.

Why all those wacky ingredients from quail eggs to blueberries? And which ingredients you should avoid at all costs. The importance of rotating feed, and how manufacturers try to pull the wool over your eyes with "ingredient splitting." What nutrients are really, truly "essential," and the dubious value of carbohydrates in dog food.

You will be a better-informed dog owner and your dog will be safer and healthier when you're done listening!

Plus product discounts, a chance to win a shotgun, one of Scott's top-three states to hunt public land and why, and a dog handling tip that could get you another chance at a wing-clipped bird ... all in this episode!

Upland bird hunting podcast: NAVHDA founding father Ed Bailey on all things dogs

Upland bird hunting podcast: NAVHDA founding father Ed Bailey on all things dogs

February 20, 2020

There from Day One, Dr. Ed Bailey is one of the three original founder-members of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. In addition to his memories of that group's origins, we'll be treated to his unique insights into puppies and how to pick them, including the critical fifth week and what we should be doing then.

We'll cover behavioral problems including aggression and shyness, our biggest training mistakes and how to introduce the forced retrieve. "Reading" your dog, do's and don'ts for trainers are also covered.

Also a columnist for Gun Dog magazine, Ed is a hunter, scientist and dog trainer and what he's learned is invaluable to everyone who owns and trains dogs. We'll hit on the most common questions he answers in the column and some less-common training tips.

You'll also get a new public access hunting spot in Nebraska, discounts on gear, a chance to win a Pointer shotgun.

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