Upland Nation
Phascinating Pheasants: a deep dive

Phascinating Pheasants: a deep dive

April 13, 2021

Some things you know, some you don’t. But you will, after listening to this special edition of the Upland Nation podcast. “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” so the saying goes. And when it comes to this bird’s origins – and especially it’s future – the more we know, the better.

It seems like every “expert” has useful insights: guides, biologists, conservation leaders, your hunting buddy. But there are many dark, unexplored corners of the bird’s origins, lifestyle, and behavior. We’ll learn how they got here, what is being done – and not done – to help them, we’ll dig into threats to them, and the threats they pose to other birds.

With luck, you’ll pick up something that makes you a better hunter, and conservationist.

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

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

Bird hunter’s hacks, tips, advice, suggestions and points to ponder

Bird hunter’s hacks, tips, advice, suggestions and points to ponder

April 6, 2021

Seventeen helpful observations from Scott's decades of stealing other people's ideas - from guides and outfitters, hunting friends, and strangers encountered in the field. These are ideas you can take for your own, share with your friends.

From dog training tips to shooting advice, hunting strategy and tactics, and even care and feeding of your dog and your human friends. Want the entire list? Go here.

Plus, using motion to help your dog understand you, and schmoozing the gatekeepers of public-access lands.

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

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

That critical first 12 weeks of puppyhood, and how they impact his entire hunting life

That critical first 12 weeks of puppyhood, and how they impact his entire hunting life

March 30, 2021

Breeder, trainer, former field-trialer Mark Fulmer of Sarahsetter Kennels outlines his rationale for a puppy training program that begins the moment a dog's eyes open. Brain training, utilizing instinct, and some operant conditioning ideas all combine to leverage the massive growth in a pup's brain in the early weeks to make a good dog great.

An unusual tool to introduce gunfire, why feeding quail to a pup builds prey drive, unique tools and gear, and a ton of insights into the why of puppy training are all part of the discussion. The "Handle It" segment covers feeding for maximum in-field stamina, and our public access feature covers a less-known South Dakota location.

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

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

Pro trainer’s insights on forest grouse, dogs, shooting and how to be a good guest

Pro trainer’s insights on forest grouse, dogs, shooting and how to be a good guest

March 23, 2021

Forest grouse ... in Montana? We've got the inside story on ruffs, blues, and dusky grouse and how to hunt them, no matter where you are. Strategy and tactics, how to handle a dog in the deep woods, bird behavior, it's all part of our discussion. Gear and habitat, bells or beepers, we'll cover it all.

The "Handle It" segment covers an oft-forgotten pro trainer attribute we can all emulate, and our public-access segment touches on the unsung state of Oklahoma and bobwhite quail.

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

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

Scalies, bird dogs and the desert - from an expert

Scalies, bird dogs and the desert - from an expert

March 16, 2021

Orvis-endorsed wingshooting guide of the year Ryan O'Shaughnessy of West Texas Quail Outfitters takes us to school on scaled quail, bird dog training, and related topics. From handling cactus to pad health, hunting strategy and tips on communicating with your own dog, Ryan has answers to your questions.

This unique bird is on many hunters' bucket list, and Ryan pursues them all season long, from a guide's - and biologist's - perspective. With 18 dogs in his personal string, he's got practical advice on how dogs learn, care and feeding, what birds can teach them, what we should avoid doing in the field and what we should always do when working with our own dogs.

We discuss your thoughts on helping the habitat, listeners share their "beauty" shots, the "Handle It" dog training segment addresses the importance of birds in developing a young dog. In our public-access feature, we'll learn a bit about recon in our public-access feature.

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

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

30 years of bird dog and hunting experience in the woods and prairies - yours for the asking!

30 years of bird dog and hunting experience in the woods and prairies - yours for the asking!

March 9, 2021

Tracey Lieske has been guiding, hunting, and training dogs for 30 years. Take advantage of his wisdom and hard-earned advice. From finding ruffed grouse to letting birds "train" dogs, he's got insights you won't find anywhere else.

Minimalist approaches to gear, command vocabulary, and creative ways to use the e-collar are all part of our discussion. What's important to ensure a sporting shot in the woods, scouting tips, and permission to get another dog are all covered in this wide-ranging discussion.

"Handle It" answers a listener question on an average dog's mileage, and our public access segment is an argument for spending money locally.

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

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

10 questions: why your mobile mapping app might fail you; force fetch and “sit”

10 questions: why your mobile mapping app might fail you; force fetch and “sit”

March 2, 2021

Listener Glenn Ainsworth asks Scott 10 questions about everything from shotgun choice to outfitting your truck, dog breeds to why great clay target shooters aren’t always great bird shooters. The answers might surprise you - especially when you learn of a fatal flaw in your mobile mapping app. Other questions that might help you including finding lodges that welcome our dogs, how to climb the chukar hills longer, why to force fetch or not. 

We touch on your own stories about sharing the hunt experience with friends and family, debate whether or not to train "sit" in pointing breeds, and learn of a new mapping tool for Nebraska hunters.

And it's all brought to you by:

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

Better shooting, better hunting: a lesson from the NSCA chief instructor

Better shooting, better hunting: a lesson from the NSCA chief instructor

February 23, 2021

Don Currie is the chief instructor for the National Sporting Clays Association, and also an avid upland bird hunter. He has a ton of advice on shooting better and how to practice on the range. From how to see a bird, to safety considerations in the field, intriguing eye exercises and not-so-basic tips, everyone will find something of use.

We'll find out what to do and not do, how to carry and mount our shotgun, and why your forward hand needs a little TLC.

I'll share a dog training new year's resolution you might want to make as well, and we'll learn about a new set of public acres in Nebraska that utilize "dirty farming" techniques.

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

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

How was your season? Callers recap theirs and remind us of ours.

How was your season? Callers recap theirs and remind us of ours.

February 16, 2021

You will re-live your own season as we recap the highs and lows, surprises and incredible dog work with four callers, another four social media commenters, and a bit of my own year.

Pups and old dogs, first hunts and last, incredible places and wondrous moments in the field - we get perspectives from throughout the nation from experts, amateurs, hard-core hunters and everyone in between. Each has something to offer in the way of planning for next season, fresh hunting tactics and strategies, finding new hunting spots, dog training and care, and appreciating the real reasons we go afield.

Plus, a public-access tip on who might tip you to the "good spots," and I answer a question from a listener in the "Handle It" segment on a pup that is, um, shy on point.

And it's all brought to you by:

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

Be a better bird hunter: shoot straighter with a gun that fits

Be a better bird hunter: shoot straighter with a gun that fits

February 9, 2021

Knock the bead off your shotgun muzzle, and other shooting advice from a pro with 40 years' experience. Instructor, fitter, hunter Brian Bilinski of Fieldsport in Traverse City, Mich. takes us back to shooting school. Avid pursuer of upland birds, he's eminently qualified to suss out our foibles, failures and foulups, steering us toward hitting more birds.

We'll also learn how important it is to fit a shotgun, and why most people are ill-fitted to their current gun. Terms, why's and wherefores of the art of gunfitting are also on the docket. Critical moves for better shots in the field, common mistakes and how to cure them, tips on buying a used gun, why we are athletes and ought to admit it, and how important a "warm up" is and why. Is it worthwhile to pattern your gun?

I'll answer a listener question on why steady to wing-shot-fall is a good goal, and we'll learn about a new online tool for Wisconsin public land hunters.

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

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

Pro bird hunting guide helps us train our dogs … hunt reports, public access, and the future of our sport

Pro bird hunting guide helps us train our dogs … hunt reports, public access, and the future of our sport

February 2, 2021

Insights and advice from someone who hunts every day, all season: pro guide and manager of Pheasant Bonanza hunt club Trent Leichleiter. Trent is in the field daily, and his dogs must perform - so, his advice on helping our own dogs to peak performance are GOLD.

From steadiness to critical commands, introducing gunfire to necessary equipment, Trent has some tips. From the dumb things we do, to what are the best rewards for compliance? What should we avoid, and what should we always do to ensure great dog work? When, and when not to, use the e-collar.

Trent offers shooting tips and etiquette advice on hunting with multiple dogs and hunters, too.

We look at the three top priorities to ensure our sport's future, as defined by your survey responses; get your hunting reports from last weekend; "Handle It" covers the best food treats, and "This Land Is Your Land" offers you a public-access tip: don't trust your mobile mapping app completely - here's why.

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

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

Sharing bird hunting spots … whose side are YOU on?

Sharing bird hunting spots … whose side are YOU on?

January 26, 2021

Where do you stand? “It depends.”

That’s the upshot of our collective reaction to sharing the good stuff with others. It depends on so many factors from friendship, to weather, to whether you’ve been burned in the past.

We talk about the ethics and etiquette, process and protocol of asking – and offering – help finding hunting spots. Callers chime in on why we should be more generous and welcoming, where to draw the line, how to “earn” your spots from a mentor or some guy on the next barstool.

We’ll talk about the magic of quid-pro-quo … address the minority of buttheads who absolutely refuse to help others in any way, shape or form. We discuss the benefits of bringing more bird hunters into the sport, and then we get to the science and art of research.

We talk about how to get good information from agency personnel from game wardens to biologists, how to get permission to hunt private ground, and how to expand your digital and on-the-ground searches.

From satellite imagery to boots-on-the-ground, what to look for and how … advice from seasoned hunters to wildlife biologist.

We get a rundown on listeners’ past weekend in the field, I’ll share a story from my last chukar hunt, “Handle it” talks about toning down your reaction to an exuberant dog … and our public-access segment previews an Arizona locale I’ll be scouting soon.

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

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

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!

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