Top Field First-Aid Tips for Hunting Dogs

By Scott White, DVM, MPH
Edited by Ben W. McClelland, Ph.D.

One of Tom Smith’s many effective innovations for the Advanced Handlers Retreat was including Veterinarian Scott White’s presentations on field first-aid. White’s talks were so popular with the retreat attendees that this feature article is devoted to presenting that information to our Journal readers, along with some a profile of White, in his own words.

Bucket-List Dogs

While in veterinary school, I decided that there were two bucket-list dogs that I wanted to own and train when I had the chance. The first was a male blue heeler, or Australian Cattle Dog, with the second a male yellow Labrador from hunting lines. I got my heeler, named Dallas, from a Texas breeder in 2007. Due to a fortunate but unexpected reintroduction to hunting, I took on the task of teaching Dallas to hunt waterfowl and pheasants. The whole story is beyond this article, but would be worth telling over a bottle of wine. Dallas became an accomplished hunter and we had some great times together hunting waterfowl on Nantucket, plus a single trip to South Dakota for pheasants.

Full Limit

When I lost my greatest-pal-of-ever in June 2018, I began my search for breeders of hunting Labrador retrievers, which introduced me to Wildrose Kennels and British Labradors. I purchased Mike Stewart’s book, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, The Wildrose Way, and watched many (all?) of the online videos. Sold on his breeding programs and training philosophy, I became a member of the WR pack when I picked up WR Dune (Morgan x Gemma) from the Oxford facility in July 2019. I have trained dogs my entire life and upon reading Mike’s book, I felt comfortable jumping into training my retriever. However, I recognized that when Dune reached about 10 months of age, we would benefit from professionally based guidance and facilities to enhance his training.When I reached out to Tom Smith with questions about the Wildrose facilities and training opportunities, he immediately stated that Dune and I should attend the Basic Handlers Course at Oxford in March, and that he would like for me to present first-aid procedures as part of the following Advanced Handlers Course. I embraced this opportunity to be more deeply associated with Wildrose and I thoroughly enjoyed both experiences.

 

Personal/Professional Background

I was born and raised in Texas. Growing up, we had a mix of hunting breeds, primarily for hunting bobwhite quail. I am sure that considering our dogs as buddies and reading the James Harriot books influenced my interest in becoming a veterinarian. I graduated from Texas A&M Veterinary College in 1983 and entered the US Army Veterinary Corps, where I served for 10 years. My commitment stemmed from having an ROTC scholarship for undergraduate school and a Health Professions scholarship for veterinary school. In addition, I obtained a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health while on active duty. My assignments were in California, Japan, Boston (Harvard), and finally at the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center at Fort Detrick, MD. That assignment was my most rewarding, as I was Chief of the Epidemiology Section that provided worldwide military disease risk assessments to the Department of Defense. In addition, I was directly responsible for the Middle East and served as the disease analyst for Central Command during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. However, my first love was clinical medicine and I decided to leave the service in 1993 when my commitment expired. Since then I have practiced veterinary medicine in Maine, Rhode Island, and now Nantucket, Massachusetts, where I have a mobile veterinary practice on the island, called Home Veterinary Care.

My wife, Lynn, and I have lived on Nantucket for almost 20 years and have a house overlooking Madaket Harbor. Along with Dune, we have a 12-year-old Chow Chow named Dodger. I jokingly kid that CHOW is an acronym for Chinese Hunter Of Winged-ones, because although in the non-sporting group, Dodger has been a vicarious participant in many hunts.

 

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Experience at the Basic Handlers Retreat

Dune’s and my experiences at the retreat were awesome. Going into it, I felt that I had prepared Dune as much as possible, considering his age and my capabilities as a trainer. During the two days of training activities with guidance from the WR staff, I gained a lot of helpful knowledge and was able to see a bit of the light bulb come on for Dune. For example, being able to send him on his first water retrieves and the fly pen walks under guidance from Adam and Will were exceptional standouts. Priceless stuff.

 

Presentations at the Advanced Retreat

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Using information from Tom on the most commonly seen hunting dog injuries or situations in the field requiring first-aid—along with my personal experiences—I developed a comprehensive handout, on which I based my presentations. That handout is available as a link below and readers are welcome to refer to it for developing their own emergency kits and for reading my recommendations for treating the listed problems. Before the retreat, I knew the list of topics was very robust and that thorough coverage of all topics was probably not possible considering the 45-minute time limit for each group. That concern was validated halfway through the first presentation to the first group. With every subsequent group, I passed out the handout and asked attendees to tell me what topics they wanted me to discuss. So, in many ways, each 45-minute presentation (12 overall) was different. Yet, there were some commonly requested topics and themes that could be considered Top Tips from the Retreat and are worth sharing. Along with those, I will weave in related veterinary information extracted from my handout and the insights I learned from the presentations.

 

Common First-Aid Needs in the Field

Based on actual experiences of over 50 handlers/owners, the priority field situations that they requested I cover were lacerations (especially from barbed wire) and bandaging, vomiting procedures for ingested poisons, and emergency kit recommendations. And not to leave Adventure Dogs out, these first-aid guidelines are equally applicable to them.

 

Barbed Wire Wounds

Demo Bandaging at Wildrose

  • These are primarily linear lacerations along the legs and/or V-shaped tears along the trunk (body). As I emphasized in the sessions, these wounds are formed by forceful athletic trauma and any wound that penetrates the skin potentially forms a deeper, but unseen, pocket under the skin. Although we did not cover puncture wounds, similar problems can be created by these injuries. Clearly, dogs with injuries that penetrate the skin should stop hunting; both the laceration/tear and the potential pocket need immediate veterinary attention. As I discussed, the proper first-aid for these wounds is cleaning out debris, flushing with sterile saline, and applying temporary, but effective, bandages before going to the emergency veterinarian. The first aid goal is to create a “healthy” wound for the veterinarian to treat, and not do something that makes the wound worse.
  • My assessment at the session was that most owners/handlers do not know proper bandaging procedures. Even though first-aid bandages can be considered temporary and will be removed at the emergency clinic, proper principles and procedures should be followed so the bandage is effective and does not cause any problems. A good example is an upper leg injury that has a bandage applied that does not include the foot to keep these bandages from moving, the bandage has to be overtight, which invariably causes the foot to swell.
  • My general recommendation for field wounds is to pick out visible bulky debris and apply a hasty bandage from your Carry Kits. Your dog will wear this bandage back to the vehicle. At the vehicle, remove the hasty bandage, pick out more debris if possible, flush the wound with sterile saline, and apply a sturdier bandage that will be worn to the veterinary clinic. Remember, these bandages are temporary and do not have to be elaborate to be effective. A good example is an upper leg injury that has a bandage applied that does not include the foot to keep these bandages from moving; that type of bandage has to be over-tight, which invariably causes the foot to swell.
  • I only had time to demonstrate 1 or 2 types of bandages per session. A novel idea that I demonstrated was using a small diaper. Left intact, it can be easily folded around the paw for a foot bandage. (And, I would like to thank Mike for letting me use Deke to demonstrate that bandage for one of the groups. Deke even licked me on the ear so it couldn’t have been all that bad.) Or, by snipping the rubber leg bands, it can be flattened to cover larger leg or trunk wounds. The material/layers in the diaper provide all elements needed for the contacting components of an effective bandage. The only other supplies needed include tape, gauze, and an outer-wrap like Coflex. Plus, the small diaper easily fits into a Carry Kit and takes up even less space if vacuum packed. I strongly… and I strongly encourage(d) owners to work with their local/home veterinarian, and particularly the technicians, to gain additional hands-on guidance for the proper application of bandages.
  • I strongly emphasized that after picking out pieces of visible debris with forceps or gauze, the only direct procedure to be applied to the wound is flushing with sterile saline (which I demonstrated) when back at the vehicle. Unfortunately there are traditional products like iodine solution (Betadyne), hydrogen peroxide, and caustic powder that are in commercially available first-aid kits that either direct or incline owners to apply to open wounds. Not only are these products ineffective as a first aid procedure, they can cause adverse damage and are counterproductive for the wound.
  • Another item in many kits is a staple gun. In my opinion, unless an owner has received proper training for using a staple gun on a cut/wound, it should not be used in the field. Even with my surgical experience, I would have difficultly properly employing that device to a wound in the field. As such, I do not have a staple gun in my field emergency kit.

 

Vomiting

 

 

  • The traditional emergency method available to owners is hydrogen peroxide. Although this works most of the time, it does not always, and has a couple of potential adverse consequences. A more effective and safer method is using an apomorphine suspension dropped into the eyes under the lower eyelids. I showed each group how to use apomorphine (substituting corn starch for the drug) and suggested how to incorporate it into an emergency kit that is carried on the person into the field. Of all the problems our hunting dogs get, on-the-spot vomiting of an ingested poison is the most immediately time-sensitive. This is a procedure that needs to be performed as soon as possible after the ingestion. As of April 2019, apomorphine was no longer listed as a controlled substance by the DEA. In my opinion, it should be available for dispensing to properly trained owners/handlers for emergency field use.
  • I stressed the importance of carrying the telephone number of the Animal Poison Control Center and using the Center for guidance in each poisoning case.
  • Just as important is that unless the APCC indicates that taking the dog to an emergency veterinarian is not necessary, all poisonings should be taken to a veterinarian for urgent ancillary treatment (like activated charcoal and IV fluids), baseline laboratory testing, and/or preemptive medication.

 

Emergency Kits

 

As I alluded to earlier, I consider the commercially available emergency kits, even those listed as for hunting dogs, to generally be inadequate for the situations our hunting dogs encounter. They contain supplies that should not be used…. There are better materials and supplies available… They are missing some supplies that may be needed. As part of my handout, I list the items that are in the Carry Kits and Vehicle Kit that I put together for my own use. Again, readers are welcome to review the lists at the provided link.

 

Veterinary Contacts

  • I strongly encourage you to work with your local/home veterinarian when preparing for first aid for your hunting companions. That is where I suggest you get your supplies. The materials are better quality than those generally purchased from stores or in commercial kits. I suggest using my handout as a shopping list at your veterinarian, but feel free to modify based on your particular situation. Additionally, your local veterinarians, especially the technicians, are a valuable resource for hands-on instruction for procedures in the field especially treating wounds and applying bandages. Embrace them.
  • In addition, please be sure to contact the veterinarian(s) at your hunting destinations. Be sure you have their telephone numbers and directions to the hospital. Be absolutely sure you know which hospitals provide after-hours emergency coverage.

 

Parting Comments and Suggestions Going Forward

  • Tom Smith and I met for the first time when I picked up Dune in July, with the concept for my presentations born around September. I appreciate his sight-unseen confidence in me and I would like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to present at the Advanced Retreat.
  • Presenting veterinary medical instructions at these types of venues is a perfect value-added combination and worthy of further exploration and development. Based on my experience giving instruction at the Wildrose retreat, time was the limiting factor for proper presentation of the information. In my opinion, the best method for teaching first aid (especially wound treatment and bandaging) would be to have a half-day of large-group didactic presentations followed by small breakout groups for demonstration and hands-on practice. So, as I slide into partial retirement, I like to think of Dune as my PhD dog-training experience and companion for destination travel hunting opportunities. For example, I met Lars and Andrea from Blixt in Idaho and I think that showing up as a Picking crew is on our bucket list. To help with our future travels, Dune is definitely doing his part to learn his jobs and he even picked out his own truck for the trips—I just had to pay for it and am the designated driver. We hope to see you on the road, at more events, and particularly in the field.
     

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Notes

Contact info: scottwhitedvm@comcast.net, 508-228-8448 (land line).

 

Link to Handout: Scott White Handout

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The Yorkshire Experience

IMG_2973By Guy Billups, Wildrose Texas

To kick off the year I took a trip to Yorkshire, England the last week of January. In contrast to my previous trips to England, the itinerary did not consist of simply watching dogs compete, but actively participating by running a dog myself. The plan was to train, pick up on a driven day, be a part of a walk-up shoot, and culminate in running in the Warter Priory Trial.

Amy and Peter Bates were my fantastic and generous hosts, guiding me through a whirlwind of a week with incredible experiences planned each day. The first thing to do upon arrival was have a cup of tea and talk dog training. This particular conversation was about the commands to be used for my canine partner that week, “Chunk.” While we use “loss” to command our dogs to go on the hunt, “loss” for Chunk meant to cast to our left, “get on” was to our right and “back” was to go further away. Obviously trying to get acclimated to dog and handler was going to be hard in a few day’s time, but with a calibrated vocabulary we went out to meet the dogs and stretch legs a little bit.

The Warter Priory shoot was an incredible experience. Standing in the gun line as hundreds of birds were pushed over head, I experienced a true testament to the steadiness and calm demeanor expected from a British gundog. After what seemed like an eternal flow of birds, the horn sounded and we went to work picking birds, no shopping allowed!

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With many more days of training still ahead, Amy got a draw to run in a novice trial, so we loaded up dogs and went over to take in a day trialing. I had the great opportunity to carry game for the Judges. A fantastic experience where I got to see firsthand the obedience required of all competitors and the different types of retrieves asked of the dogs. The experience emphasized how truly well-rounded the dogs emerge from these competitions. Seven dogs were dropped for poor heel work and obedience. I watched a 3-dog eye wipe when a very nice yellow female was given an area to hunt 40 yards into the wood and 30 to 40 yards wide of where the bird was believed to have fallen. Interestingly, listening to that sequence, I couldn’t help but think how many times that exact scenario had occurred during many of my years of hunting. “Hey man, I knocked my bird down over in that direction about by that tree, can you see if your dog can find it?” It was so good to see a true hunt in a situation we have all faced, a dog finding game. Later the same dog was asked to retrieve a bird 80 yards out along a creek, where the dog would have to hold a 5-yard wide line to stay visible to the handler to make the pick. A previous attempt by another dog trying this retrieve jumped into the cover early and began flushing game, resulting in being called up. Dogs must do it all to win this event.

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Our next big experience was walk up shooting on the moors. Can I just say….WOW! Peter Bates was kind enough to bring along Hannah Winship, a fantastic dog trainer, and myself to experience this day in the field. With spaniels working hard in front of us and game plentiful, I’m not sure I stopped smiling for two days.

 

To cap off the incredible trip, my last day I was allowed to compete in a trial run and organized by Amy Bates, by kind permission of Water Priory. The day lived up to everything a trial should be. Fantastic judges, driven game, walk up game, runners, and eye wipes, everything was there for a great day. Though Chunk and I stumbled early, the retrieves were fantastic. Game was plentiful and there were excellent picks over a fence followed by a long descent down a bank. The day was truly a shooting day where the dogs happened to be under judgment to find a winner. This is still such a beautiful concept to me, judging dogs on true shoots where hunting experience and bird sense play such a huge role.

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I will conclude that I am still smiling from this trip and have enjoyed sharing the things I learned and experienced with those interested.  This will not be my last trip abroad  and I anxiously anticipate the next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020

-Arrived to rainy and cool , in Manchester and hopped on the train.

-amy bates picked me up from the York train station

-lunch at snowlandia, go over the schedule,

-take dogs out for the first time

We run 3 permanent blinds alternating, much more liberal hunt areas than I typically

Different tones on left and rights

Typically hunts back quartered

Going to be running a dog named Chunk,

Bit of reading field sports

 

 

The opportunity to carry game for judges in a Novice Field trial was incredible. Seeing first hand the level of obedience, and gamefinding ability was incredible.

 

 

 

 

Carried game for John halstead jr judging. This was a great opportunity to walk in line and observing proper judging

Heel work heel work heel work. 5 dogs actually dropped for heel work. Some that frankly surprised me the standard would be that tight

Nonetheless, next was gamefinding.

As we got down to 3 dogs the judge asked for a dog to hunt an area about 40 yards into the thicket, between two dead trees about 20 yards apart.

“There is possibly a bird between those two dead trees, we have been told one went down, it may be alive and running or dead, please send you dog in and hunt that area.”

This was so fantastic, and typical British field trial retrieve. One dog failed, but the second went in and made great work of the area and left the area a bit to find the bird.

As we narrowed to two a few more retrieves were required, after great retrieves exiting the wood and out into the field

One was dropped for running in, the others finial retrieves was out along the edge of the wood and into the stream. A challenging retrieve asking the handler to maintain control of the dog, keeping from reentering the enticing wood and holding the line to the stream. The dog would eventually fail and no winner would be awarded. A fantastic day to see a nice novice stake in action.

 

 

Walked up shooting with Paul Wright. UNBELIEVABLE!!! Spaniels flushing, heavy bracken, heavy heather! Saw heather.

Struggled a bit at first and then settled in. Pheasants, hair, woodcock, also saw grouse.

Chunk made some very nice retrieves. Older black bitch was able to pick a couple of fantastic runners. Younger dogs have to learn and experience game in cover on the chase!

 

Trial although we stumbled early, the retrieves were fantastic. Game was plentiful. Dogs feed off the intensity and excitement of the handler. Excellent picks over a fence and long, long ways down a bank

 

 

Lining-when a dog breaks down the line, go to it and reline! Then run through

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the Whistle

By Mike Stewart, Wildrose International

mike stop to whistleWhistle signals are the primary control communicator for directing any sporting dog afield, whether for hunting or adventure excursions.  Simply, whistle tones can be projected further with more clarity than voice commands so the whistle signal becomes a core skill for development in training.

First, the stop whistle. The single peep of the whistle directs a prompt stop from the dog followed by gaining their full attention. As with all early behavioral development, everything begins at heel (Wildrose Law #7, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, The Wildrose Way: 58). Later, skills are extended further into the field or water.  Initially, keep in mind that there are three forms of K-9/ handler communication:

  1. Body Language – the most influential
  2. Verbal – the least effective as dogs don’t talk
  3. Audible Tones – very meaningful in the canine world

Our training objective is to implement the whistle as a meaningful, audible tone, making it the most important of all three communicators.  Our Wildrose Way whistle assessments are designed to evaluate the understanding and importance of the whistle signal to each dog.  Consider which of the communicators is most influential from your dog’s perspective.

Take the assessments to determine if your dog is truly on the stop whistle:

Assessment I

With your dog off lead at heel, walk along at a normal pace without any change in body language, verbal command, vocal tone, a change of pace (pause) or eye contact.  Peep the whistle for stop, but you keep walking without a glance or change of gait.  Will your dog stop promptly?

If no:  Your body language is more important than the whistle. Additional training required.

If yes:  Great!  The whistle matters more than your body language.  Proceed to the next assessment.

Assessment II

Same set-up but this test uses reverse heel and recall.  Again, as above, walk with the dog at heel then begin to back away at the same pace recalling the dog as you continue to back away while facing the dog.  As you continue reverse heel, peep the stop whistle without any body language, hand signal, pause in your pace or vocal cue. Just the single peep of the whistle as you back away. Did the dog ignore your movement and stop?  Success, move to III.

Assessment III

Here we add a distraction. As in Assessment II, reverse heel, we will back away without stopping, toss a bumper to the side while peeping the whistle stop.  Even with the distraction and your movement away, the dog should obey the whistle promptly. This is the first step in teaching the upland gundog, “steady to the flush.”

These three assessments are also perfect warm up training exercises for the discipline element of the Wildrose Cyclical Training Model, (Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, The Wildrose Way: 87).

With all three assessments complete, the dog understands the importance of the stop whistle.  Time for extensions.

Note

Mike Stewart, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, The Wildrose Way. Universe Publishing: New York, 2012.

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Dogs and Art

By Joshua Quong, Little Q Ranch

Photo by Will Hereford

Photo by Will Hereford @Tombeckbe

A couple of month ago I was fortunate enough to meet a photographer who came out on his first quail hunt to snap a few photos.
The shutter of the big lens clacked speedily and I asked the fella, “are you getting any good pictures?”

 

“Everything is beautiful,” he said.

I was taken aback by his reply. Here was a fella… nay… an artist who spends his time capturing the beauty of the natural world and is now applying this term, “beautiful”, to a handful of hunters and dogs in a field looking for birds to shoot.
His observation has run through the thickets of my thoughts like a brace of bird dogs and have now locked up on point: dog folk (like photographers and painters and musicians) are artists and like traditional artists, our medium can frustrate and dishearten in our search for beauty.

The innumerable hours invested in getting a dog to “whoa” or “hold” or “trail” can be maddening. To perfect what is perfectly coded in a dog seems to be a fool’s discipline. Yet through all the cussin’ and fussin’ and beggin’ and pleadin’ the code is unlocked and our fool’s errand has become what we knew it could… beautiful.
Take for instance those who run hounds. The rabbit and coon hunter can discern and distinguish each musical note of a race or bay. And for bird dog folk it’s the visually aesthetic. Points and retrieves are where line, shape, and color meet.

The end products are works of art painted and composed on the canvas of Creation.

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Photos by Josh Quong, Dwayne Bratcher and Will Hereford

@tombeckbe
@mallardmedia
@littleqranch

 

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Wildrose Kennels: A Consistent Brand in Multiple Locations

By Dr. Ben McClelland

“Wildrose Kennels is the largest breeder, trainer, and importer of British and Irish Labradors in North and South America, specializing in its own signature brands of sporting dog—the Gentleman’s Gundog and the Adventure Dog. The company has a simple mission statement: Wildrose Kennels is dedicated to breeding and training the classic British and Irish Labrador retriever to become the perfect complement to a family’s sporting lifestyle.”

 -Mike Stewart, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training: The Wildrose Way.

Leading Wildrose Kennels for more than two decades Mike Stewart developed a unique dog-training program based on positive methods. As the business has grown over the years—more UK Labs imported, more pups born and trained, new trainers brought on board, and more and more owners attending training seminars—Stewart maintained the same canine genetic traits and temperament, the same successful training methodology, and the same high performance requirements from staff members. Business success resulted from a reliably consistent brand: a Wildrose bred and trained Labrador.

In recent years the growing company has evolved further by creating licensed kennels in new locations. Wildrose International now maintains a one-kennel concept in three regional locations: Oxford, Mississippi; Dallas, Texas; and Hillsborough, North Carolina. Now these fully operational kennels are able to serve a much wider geographical area with puppy whelping, backgrounding, boarding, and training, in addition to offering a full calendar of events for handlers and their dogs. A unique computer software program houses information on all the dogs from each facility allowing each of the kennels to glean information about specific dogs.  Each location offers experiences unique to its environs, while still maintaining product consistency.

Wildrose Kennels, Mississippi—Tom Smith

Tom Smith is the top dog at Wildrose Kennels in Oxford, Mississippi. After a stint as general manager, Smith now owns and operates the original kennel. Moreover, Smith also has partnered with the city of Wilson to bring guided quail hunts to the Arkansas Delta at The Bar W Shooting Preserve in Wilson, Arkansas.

A Note from Tom Smith:

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Tom Smith and Teddy

“My Wildrose journey began eleven and a half years ago when I met my constant companion and favorite hunting partner Dixie (Hamish x Susie). After becoming an associate trainer and acquiring the adjoining property in 2010, I was blessed to join the staff full-time as the GM in 2014 with a budding plan to become the owner in 2019. The opportunity to be a part of this amazing organization and assist in the never ending growth of the Wildrose brand along with the constant improvement of our training methods and facilities has been a dream come true.

The onsite retail store Wildrose Trading Company, offers all the training gear we use and recommend along with Wildrose logo’d apparel, drinkware and other products. We wear the Wildrose Brand proudly and its always fun to meet people while traveling who have our dogs or recognize our signature puppy.

The Wildrose Experience is unmatched with the multitude of events we host. This year we have added the Bar W Shooting Preserve in Wilson, AR. We are offering guided quail hunts in the Arkansas delta set in an historic town that pays homage to the Old South. You can visit the Tom Beckbe flagship store, see the Hampson Museum filled with artifacts from the American Indian villages in the area, browse White’s Mercantile for quirky and cute home goods and finish it off with a great meal at the Wilson Cafe. Our partners offer a myriad of opportunities for hunting, travel and fun. I encourage our clients to take advantage of these great experiences.

The passion for our dogs and clients runs deep through every person who puts on that logo every day when they come to work. The kennel has been in Oxford for 21 years and we are looking forward to another 10 years of these amazing dogs. We all have big shoes to fill following Mike and Cathy, but I know the current team we have at our three locations and our associate trainers around the country will continue the heritage that has been built. There is nothing more exhilarating than living the “Gentleman’s Gundog’ lifestyle. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to work with these amazing dogs everyday?!”

 

Wildrose Texas – Guy Billups

Since 2017 Wildrose Texas has been located just 13 miles south of downtown Dallas on a beautiful campus at the historic, 850-acre Dallas Hunting and Fishing Club on the Trinity River in Dallas County, Texas. Incorporated in 1885 the club has been continuously operated ever since making it the fourth-oldest club of its kind in the US. The dynamo running Wildrose Texas is president Guy Cameron Billups, IV.

A Note from Guy Billups:

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Guy Billups

“I wanted to take a second and update the followers on Wildrose Texas, what we have done, are doing and what’s next.

Since moving the family to Dallas, TX to live in a 1905-built cabin, we have been on quite the Wildrose Adventure. Andrew Golden and George Bridges were the first to entrust Wildrose Texas with their beloved dogs and high expectations of the Wildrose Way. A thousand or so birds and a few years later, things worked out pretty well. I also got to know Jordan Caviness, a man with Wildrose running in his veins. We got together every week for group training sessions the first 8 weeks after the kennel opened. Jamey Rosamond and a few others started joining in on these small groups and helped create the skeleton of future things to come. By the end of 2017, we had the capacity to house 30 dogs and could feel the exciting momentum building.

2018 continued to be a year of spreading the word. We trained more fantastic Wildrose labs and met so many awesome people. We brought back summer small group training sessions on a weekly basis. With the hires of John Murphy and Gunnar Hirkschind, what was a one-man operation became an excelling team enabling Kelsey and me to end the year at the British Championship, a dream come true, watching great dogs and handlers work.

As we moved into 2019 the trip to the Championship would prove an exciting venture with the opportunity to bring over the youngest competitor, FTW Ffynongain Celt, “Otto.” Adding Otto to the sires’ lineup has been very exciting. Holly also joined the team, a Murphy x Pinny female, trained by associate trainer, Craig Korff. Holly was a wonderful blessing to us and enabled our first litter in 2019, proving to carry on fantastic Wildrose genetics. As we rolled into summer 2019, the kennel reached capacity on a very regular basis, so the planning began for a facilities expansion. With the huge help of Jordan Caviness, we completed building phase two, enabling the boarding of up to 40 additional dogs. With another addition to the team in the form of Pennsylvania native, Ben Baker, more great opportunities were offered. We pilot programmed “Wildrose Texas Summer Camp,” a daycare program where older dogs in the Dallas area could tune up and maintain throughout the offseason without having to miss a night at home. With raving reviews and requests for an extension of this program, we are pleased to have Ben as the main contact for Wildrose Texas Day Camp 2020, starting in February.

Looking ahead into 2020, we are excited to have litters planned that will be delivered in Dallas. Crawfish boils, small groups monthly training sessions and other activities are planned. The Adventure Dog Rendezvous comes to Dallas, April 3-5, with fishing, watercrafting, hiking, shooting, a BBQ and much more. I also traveled to England at the end of January to spend a week training dogs with the Bates, culminating in actually competing in a field trial. Excited to report back from this.

The sun continues to shine on the Wildrose Texas Experience.”

 

Wildrose Carolinas – Kirk Parker and Steven Lucius

Wildrose Carolinas is located in Hillsborough, North Carolina, on 250 acres of wildlife habitat in Southern Caswell County. Wildrose Carolinas features a 4,000 square-foot covered building with more than 30 individual pens and a full-service healthcare center dedicated to the comfort and care of dogs in training. A recently completed guest facility includes office space, two guest rooms and an entertainment area. The site offers a wide variety of training environments including 12 ponds including a ten-acre lake, rolling topography, flooded timber, grass fields and two miles of trails and roadway. The grounds provide the abilities to train for upland, waterfowl or adventure in every type of habitat one would encounter in the field or marsh.

A Note from Kirk Parker:

kirk and gamble

Kirk Parker and Gamble

“I was first introduced to Wildrose Kennels when I read the 2009 cover-story article in Forbes magazine, “Luxe Labradors.” I liked what I read so much that I read it several times. Later, a 2012 article in Garden and Gun, “Leader of the Pack,” confirmed what I learned from the Forbes article. I was captured by what I thought was the most intuitive, thoughtful, and comprehensive approach to breeding and training dogs I had ever seen.

I grew up hunting in central Alabama and was always working with dogs, admittedly, pointing dogs at the time and it was and is today something I enjoy. I have been around dogs all my life and now I had to be a part of the Wildrose pack. I attended a workshop at a friend’s plantation in Alabama in conjunction with the Alabama Wildlife Federation — everything I had read was confirmed again. This is where I first met Mike and Cathy Stewart. Once I returned home, I exhausted the Wildrose website looking at the mating calendar and the different profiles of Sires and Dams. I wanted a fox red male and put in a deposit — the suspense began in earnest (in part because I had not yet informed my wife). A couple puppies were offered to me and due to travel and other circumstances, I could not commit to a puppy…. So, I waited some more. When I got the call from Cathy that she had a fox red male out of Red and Daisy, the time was right and I committed. I made the trip to Oxford from the Carolinas with the intent of picking a high-energy dog and as a result, his name — Gamble. And did I mention; I succeeded! I sent Gamble back for basic gundog training and then again for some more advanced and upland training. Steven Lucius trained him and did a great job. Each time, I made the drive to Oxford, I considered how nice it would be to have a Wildrose location in the Carolinas and the opportunity I believed was there from a market perspective.

I ruminated over this idea for a while and became more excited at the prospect. Early in 2017, Mike was making a trip to North Carolina for a photo shoot and I asked if I could meet him to get some help with Gamble and to ask him about the prospect of opening a Wildrose location in North Carolina, although he did not know that. And so I asked. We looked at a map and remarked at the population in the area – all he said was…”interesting.” And that was it.

Soon, I heard from Mike and he wanted to pursue this idea and so it went. Fast Forward . . . .

In August of 2017, Shawn Yates came on board and moved to Oxford where he trained and learned the Wildrose Way. In May 2018, after looking at several properties, I closed on the purchase of 260 acres of land in Southern Caswell County, north of Hillsborough, NC. Shawn and his wife, Kim, moved on site in May of 2018 and we set up a temporary location so we could train the dogs we already had entrusted to us and begin the process of building the full complement of facilities we now enjoy.

In September 2018, the kennel building was completed having 30 pens, a healthcare room, and a small equipment and feed room. In October 2018, the house in which Shawn and Kim now live was completed. Improvements were made to the property to enhance the wildlife habitat, training grounds, and access throughout the property. The Lodge was completed in November 2019. For now, our facility is complete. And we already need to expand in order to continue the legacy of great services Wildrose is known to provide. We have trained over 30 dogs, whelped 3 litters of puppies, held workshops and exhibitions in the area. Most of all, we have engaged and enjoyed developing relationships with clients, some new, some existing members of the pack who are glad to have a location in close geographic proximity.

Our property consists of 260 acres of wildlife habitat and training grounds with 12 water sources and we continue to develop it to enhance and provide even more options.

steven and archer

Steven Lucius

During the fall of 2019, Steven Lucius contacted me and said he was ready to be an owner and manifest his 12 years of learning at Wildrose Oxford. He was ready to take the next step in his Wildrose journey.  After several discussions over a couple months, we agreed for Steven to be part of Wildrose Carolinas. In January 2020, Steven became a co-owner and he and Schuyler, Steven’s wife, made the move to North Carolina. Shawn and Kim continue to provide their excellent level of service in training and caring for the dogs. I am excited to have a new partner as part of the team that will carry Wildrose Carolinas forward.

We have big plans. As you will see from the video and photos, the property is excellent and has even more potential. We plan to develop our breeding program, enhance the wildlife habitat so that we can train in authentic upland and waterfowl habitat. We will be hosting workshops oriented towards gundogs, adventure dogs and therapy dogs. In summary, we plan to develop the property and resources so that we can extend the Wildrose experience to the pack with unyielding devotion to the Wildrose Way and the excellence, which is now synonymous.”

Property Profile

260 acres located in Southern Caswell County, North of Hillsborough, NC
12 unique water sources
Waterfowl and upland habitat
3 miles of roads and trails
Abundant wildlife
40’ x 100’ kennel building with 30 pens and 8 oscillating fans
20’ x 20’ temperature controlled healthcare room and whelping area
20’ x 20’ equipment/feed room
3 bedroom home for onsite supervision at all times
2 bedroom lodge with firepit gathering area
3 RV hookups – 2 x 50 amp, 1 x 30 amp

Please come visit soon, we will be anxiously waiting…

 

Wildrose International, Mike and Cathy Stewart

Mike and boys

Mike and Cathy Stewart maintain oversight of the trio of kennels that make up Wildrose International. Having developed a manual for kennel operations and overseeing the training of the kennel staff, the Stewarts make periodic quality-control visits to assure that consistent standards are upheld throughout the business. In addition, Mike continues to market the brand, appearing at numerous sporting events and conventions. Moreover, he creates opportunities for others in the company to make appearances as well. Finally, Mike employs his dog-whisperer role, assisting trainers in resolving intractable issues some dogs experience.

As in the past, the Stewarts will split their time between their seasonal training locations in Jasper, Arkansas, and Granite, Colorado. In 2003, Wildrose purchased and began the development of the Wildrose river training facility in Northwest Arkansas with two-thirds of a mile of river along the Little Buffalo, complete with both narrow and wide river sections.  These training grounds, Wildrose of the Ozarks, offer a river-training dimension to the kennel’s training experiences. For nearly a decade the Colorado facility at Clear Creek Ranch has offered opportunities for summer mountain training at a 9,000-foot elevation, bordering as it does, the prestigious mountain trout stream Clear Creek, which was previously an Orvis-endorsed fly fishing destination.

Notes

Mike Stewart, Sporting Dog and Retriever Training: The Wildrose Way, 2012: 10.

Wingshooter Investments

Home

Related Links

Annie Johnston, “Girls, Guns, and Guy.” https://wildroseblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/girls-gundogs-and-guy/

Mike Stewart, Wildrose International, “It’s River Time.” December, 1, 2019. https://wildroseblog.wordpress.com/

 

Ben McClelland
wgbwm@olemiss.edu

Mike Stewart
Cathy@uklabs.com

Kirk Parker
kirk@uklabs.com

Steven Lucius
Steven@uklabs.com

Guy Billups
guy@uklabs.com

Tom Smith
tom@uklabs.com

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The Solutionist: Trainers of the Wildrose Way

By Mike Stewart, Wildrose International

What are the traits of a good sporting dog trainer or handler?  What skills are important to their success?  New Wildrose trainers complete an in-depth curriculum of lecture and field activities as part of becoming a trainer at our facilities. This is one of the questions asked as part of their final evaluation. This question is also relevant for handlers that are followers of the Wildrose Way.  There are four traits we seek in our trainers which are applicable to those training and handling their own dogs.

The Trainer as a Solutionist

First, the trainer is a Mechanic.  A good trainer has many mechanical methods to

mike duck hunting

photo by Katie Behnke

develop a sporting dog: drills, exercises, procedures, lessons and techniques.  Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, theWildrose Way, Wildrose DVDs, and online videos demonstrate many mechanical drills and lessons.  Hold conditioning, pull/push, diversions, switching on doubles, TDMs, intro to gunfire… all “how to” exercises which I categorize as mechanical applications.  In development or problem solving, this is the first bucket most reach for. Necessary and effective for sure, but the trainer must consider much more to be truly effective with a wide variety of situations involving different dog breeds, skill levels, aptitude and challenges a student may present.

Trainers are solutionists. When confronted with a problem in training or hunting, while thinking of an exercise that could affect the shortcomings, also consider the important question of why.  Why the failure? Why does the problem exist? Why is the dog successful? What are the dog’s key motivators? What are the contributing factors that could be the cause in performance deficiency?  Answer the why first then seek solutions.

Secondly, the trainer/handler is a Problem Solver. To guide the process, follow the Wildrose Problem Solving Matrix, Page 45 of Sporting Dog and Retriever Training, the Wildrose Way.  Any shortcomings, challenges or problems that you confront with a dog can be categorized in this simple matrix. In the search for the “why” consider:

stay training

Photo by Will Hereford

Genetics:  Like produces like.  Gun-shy parents or those vocal in the duck blind may well pass along the fault. Shyness, aggression, hard mouth, poor scenting abilities, hyperactivity, dislike of water, etc., could well be passed on through the generations.  This is the importance of knowing bloodlines, the background and heritage of the dog. Not all shortcomings arise from genetics, though.  Let’s continue to search.

Methods:  Could it be that the wrong methods are being applied to fit the situation?

  • Pushing the dog too quickly, inconsistency
  • Not reinforcing calmness in training
  • Improper introductions: gunfire, birds, water
  • Hunting too early
  • Not enough emphasis on obedience skills, patience, steadiness
  • Too many meaningless, excitable marks (over-excitement or boredom)
  • Testing above the dog’s skill level – nothing if learned through failure

Basically the trainer looks at the problem and the methods being utilized for training or exercise to see if the drills are actually contributing to the shortcomings. Remember, when you have a problem, back up two steps in your training to the familiar, Wildrose Law #19. Repeating an exercise incorrectly is actually training through repetition to do the skill incorrectly.

Relationship: Is the trainer-handler relationship with the dog that of pack leadership and is the leader exhibiting confidence while the dog is showing respect? When a Wildrose client or workshop participant has a performance challenge with a dog, surely they will be anxious to resolve the issue quickly, but before the solutionists accept and address the dogs’ issues, they will want to see the dog and handler working together.  Here we determine if the problem could be related to the handler’s poor leadership: weak communication, instability, poor pack structure, inconsistency, impatience, negative attitude, misreading the dog. Trainers consider relationship first in the diagnostic process.

mike with bird

Photo by Will Hereford

The handler needs to be seen as a stable leader with a clarity of commands. Dogs do not respect or follow unstable, angry or emotional leaders.  Do we see consistency, structure and clear boundaries for the dog?  Do we visually see and hear confident communication? Are there realist expectations, eye contact, and a handler’s tone that reflects intention?  Does the family present a poor “pack” environment with inconsistent rules for the dog?  Such inadequacies in relationship may be contributors to the problem being experienced.

Handler’s ability: Is the handler providing clear communications to the dog such as timing of corrections and rewards? Other handler faults that contribute to failures include: inconsistency in training lessons, poor handling skills – whistle and hand signals, misreading the dog’s communication, no progressive training plan, emotional or loss of temper and loud, vocal handling.

The matrix promotes reflection to search for the “why” of a behavior or failure in performance before we address corrections or mechanical solutions. First, look at yourself.

The third trait of a good sporting dog developer is to be a behaviorist.  Know how to read a dog.  Dogs don’t talk but they are always communicating.  Too often one attempts solutions to a dog’s performance without considering what the dog is perceiving or signaling.  People turn to force methods much too quickly to resolve issues: force fetch, e-collars, and spike collars, without first getting into the dog’s mindset.   Question in depth:

  • Why is the dog behaving this way?
  • Have we simplified the exercise/command for better understanding?
  • Could contributors to the undesired performance be:
    1. Immaturity?
    2. The lesson is too complicated?
    3. Is it a “can’t” or a “won’t” issue?
    4. Is there a lack of trust of the handler?
    5. Distracted or bored?
    6. Exhibiting dominance or passive behavior?
    7. Avoidance behaviors or fear factors?

Effective training involves reading the dog and learning what is being communicated.  Learn their language.

The final trait of the solutionist is to have the mindset of a teacher.  Effective trainers are teaching the dog.  Teachers follow proven, progressive curriculums.  They understand nothing is learned through failure.  They teach through repetition and consistency but never to the point of boredom.  Learning involves lessons that are developmentally appropriate and that are continuously evaluated.  Teachers present skills in small, interconnected, progressive steps not sweeping concepts.  Trainers/handlers of the Wildrose Way are communicators who teach a point, reward each success and engage the pupil.

blake

Photo by Will Hereford

The second part of teaching is that the trainer of the dog must transfer skills to the handler.  This requires a teacher’s mindset.  Nothing is achieved if the handler cannot direct and control the dog.  Again, the trainer becomes the teacher teaching the skills necessary for control, communication and handling.  The handler relationship is obviously vital to the dog’s performances.  Success requires that both become a team.  A mutual understanding in a nonverbal world. Once understood, the handler then becomes the teacher of others: the family members, fellow hunters, visitors to the home and people that will be encountered that have dogs.   Each must understand the boundaries, commands, expectations and the order of the pack mentality if the dog’s training and social balance is to remain sharp.

There is much more to a canine solutionist’s responsibility than just knowing drills, exercises, and commands.  Trainers are developed canine behaviorists, problem solvers with the mindset of a teacher, developing students in a progressive, logical, balanced way – The Wildrose Way.

 

Cathy@uklabs.com

Photos by @williamhereford and @kbehnkephotos

tombeckbe.com
@tombeckbe

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Meet the New Trainers of Wildrose: Will Zizmann & Adam Hyland

Adam Hyland

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Adam Hyland

Originally from Oxford, Mississippi, Adam is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Recreation Administration and minor in Business Administration. Adam began training dogs at the age of 12 when he got his first Labrador Retriever and reached out to Bobby Stewart of Stewart Kennels for guidance. Adam later began running in UKC hunt tests during his early years of college and began training a few dogs for the public upon request. “Training theses amazing animals has always been a passion since I first slipped a lead on my first dog,” Adam says. Adam has been working as an equine therapist for the past two and a half years while continuing his love of training dogs in his spare time. The opportunity to work for Wildrose Texas as a trainer was too good to pass up due to Adam’s passion for training dogs, as well as, his love of waterfowl and upland hunting.

 

Will Zizmann

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Will Zizmann – photo by Taylor Square Photography

Will Zizmann was born and raised in Hernando, Mississippi and moved to Oxford in 2016 to pursue his degree at Ole Miss. He started working at Wildrose in February of 2016 as a kennelman and worked his way up to a training position. Will has always had a passion for the outdoors and when he found Wildrose, he stated, “I learned Wildrose dogs are true complements to the outdoor lifestyle.” Will enjoys duck hunting and bass fishing. He graduated from Ole Miss in 2019 with degrees in Real Estate and Managerial Finance and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Will is a trainer at Wildrose Mississippi.

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That One Dog

By Glenn Pabody

If you are a lifelong dog lover, you’ve had that one dog that always stands out. The one dog that exceeds all your expectations. That dog for us was Mack.

On April 1st of 2019 I lost a friend and hunting partner of 16 years and Maryetta lost a friend and Lifetime-movie-watching, snuggle buddy. It would be easy to say nothing more and move on, but it wouldn’t be fair to not acknowledge one of God’s creatures who gave so much unconditional love to me and Maryetta. A buddy and hunting partner who willingly broke ice and swam in frigid water to pick up a downed duck or goose, or who stayed by my side in a blisteringly hot dove field waiting for that next flight of white-wing doves to come screaming through in the hopes that he’d get to pick up just one more dove before day’s end, or who was just as happy to lie next to me while I read, or tried desperately to catch that big elusive catfish in our tank.

This is Mack’s story. Maybe a little long, but he deserves this and more . . .

We named him Mack, as in truck, because as a pup he resembled that famous big-rig hood ornament. He wandered away from his littermates and into our lives at about 6 weeks of age on a wet, raw February morning in 2003. I had burned some trash in our burn barrel the night before and, as I was leaving for work at the clinic, I happened to look down and saw a steel-grey fuzz ball huddled up next to the barrel. He kind of growled a little as if to say, “I’m a big dog, buddy; don’t mess with me.” I ignored the puppy growls, dried him off, gave him a little something to eat, put him in a crate with a heat lamp in our shop, and left for work after calling Maryetta and telling her we had a very small guest staying with us.

GlennPabody1

When I came home at lunch, I let the little guy out to pee, stretch his legs a little, and get a drink of water. While we were both in the back yard, bonding by watering the grass, Maryetta called and asked how he was doing. I told her that he was just fine and we were doing the guy bonding thing. She said, “Good. I think I’ve found him a home.” I paused at that and told her that I wasn’t sure I wanted to let the little guy go ‘cause he was kind of cute. Well, you could have heard a pin drop over the phone. The reason was that Maryetta used to joke that I was a snob concerning only two things: I only shot Beretta shotguns and I trained and ran only pedigreed Lab females. I’d been training retrievers since my teens and they were always Labs, and always females. I had never trained a male, much less owned and trained a mixed-breed dog. A male mutt, no way.

Well when my bride came home from work that evening, she found Mack and me lying on the living room floor. When she laid eyes on the little guy, I knew he was staying. It was love at first sight. (Parenthetical note here: shortly before we were married, Maryetta asked me about adjusting puppies to their new home. I told her I usually let them sleep with me for a day or so, then transitioned them to a crate next to the bed, then—when potty trained—I’d let them out of the crate. She told me in no uncertain terms that if we got a pup, there would be no puppies in the bed). Fast forward to our first night with Mack and I wake up to very rapid breaths near my left ear. I roll over to see that the woman who wouldn’t allow puppies to sleep with us has Mack snuggled up next to her neck. “He was cold honey !”…)

GlennPabody2

While Mack was my hunting partner, he was also, just as importantly, “mama’s boy.” Between the end of February and August 30th he had eyes mostly for Maryetta.   He could usually be found next to her while watching a television program; he seemed to prefer cooking shows, or wandering around the property with her. We have 8 acres of trees and there always seemed to be at least one tree that needed pushing over. Maryetta would encourage him and he’d start ripping at rotting bark while Maryetta pushed on the tree. Before long the dead tree would be pushed over between their two efforts and he always seemed inordinately satisfied when the tree hit the ground. He could also be found helping mom weed the garden. Maryetta would point to something and say, “WEED !” and, bless his heart, he’d grab the offending plant, yank it up, and shake it like a terrier going after a rat!

One of his special skills involved toilet paper. While we were building our home we lived in a small rental a few miles away from our property. The bathroom was set up such that if you were sitting on the commode and needed a fresh roll of toilet paper, you couldn’t reach it where it was stored under the sink. Maryetta taught Mack to reach in and grab a roll and give it to her. Very handy when you’re in an “in extremis “ situation.  One spring day while I was training Mack in our back yard, I heard Maryetta call for him through the bathroom window. He ran into the house and came back out just a minute or so later. Maryetta later told me he ran in, thinking mom was in our bedroom, turned around saw her in the bath room, realized what was needed, reached in and fairly tossed the roll of TP at her with a look Maryetta described as, “Mom! Dad and I are training, please don’t disturb us !” God I loved that boy.

 

At that time I was on the road fairly regularly, running our Lab Vader in hunting retriever tests, so it was ideal for Maryetta to have a companion when she didn’t go with me. There was a problem though: it seemed “mom’s companion” had developed an interest in retrieving while watching me train Vader. So, I started working with Mack after I was done training Vader and he took to it like a duck to water. Because of his seemingly natural inclination to retrieve, we wondered if there was any retriever of any breed in him. We had a canine DNA test done on him, twice. Both times it came back Mastiff, Rottweiller and Chow. There was no retriever in him, anywhere. He just really liked to retrieve and in time was skilled enough to do multiple retrieves, tracking of crippled birds, and blind retrieves. So much for staying at home with mom ‘cause the big guy quickly got hooked on wingshooting and retrieving for me. Now I had to take two dogs with me when I went hunting!

 

When you’ve hunted with a partner for as long as Mack and I hunted together, there are always lots of memorable hunting stories, far too many for this recitation. There was a time in Kansas he caught a jack rabbit and got into a tug of war with a friend’s Springer Spaniel over whose rabbit it was, or the first time he attempted to pick up a Sandhill crane  and ended up dragging it back to me by the wing for 50 yards, or the time in Uvalde when he first encountered MOJO type dove decoys. We were hunting in a small field right on the edge of town and the birds were just piling in to escape from a neighboring field filled with dove hunters. This was the year the motion dove decoys first came out and everybody in our group but Mack and I had one. They were working like a charm. Despite not having one Mack and I got our limit pretty fast and walked over to retrieve for Louie, the oldest guy in our group in a remote corner of the field. He was using a MOJO decoy and 5 other folks in our group who’d limited out contributed their decoys for the morning to Louie, as well. He was positively awash in decoys! The doves must have thought the mother lode of seed was on the ground because the decoys were drawing them in like crazy. Louie shot a Ruger 28 ga. and couldn’t keep it loaded fast enough. When Mack and I got there, we picked up a few outlying birds then settled in next to Louie to pick up the remainder of his limit. As I said, I didn’t own a motion decoy so Mack had no idea what they were. Louie would knock a dove down on the far side of the decoys and Mack would plow through ‘em like a 110 pound grey furry bowling ball, at which time I’d go out, re-set the decoys only to have them knocked down again the next time a bird was dropped.  It took several more birds before Mack figured out he could get the same results by going around, rather than through, the decoy “spread.”

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The male mutt that had wandered into our lives 16 years ago turned into one of the two best dogs I’d ever trained and hunted over and he became a lifelong friend and companion. By the time he crossed over the bridge this dog, who shouldn’t have been a retriever, had picked up untold hundreds of ducks, pheasants, quail, chukar, snow geese, and Canada geese in west Texas peanut fields (boy, is that a great story), Sandhill cranes, and untold hundreds of doves for me and my hunting partners. Plus, he gave unconditional love to me and Maryetta. Keep a warm spot in the blind for me, bubba. See you on the other side.

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Wildrose Service Dogs in Action: Wildrose Bilko

Hub City Service Dogs, in partnership with Wildrose, placed Bilko, a Diabetic Alert Dog, with Christin. Listen to Christin recount the news she was given this past year and how she’s learning to overcome these obstacles with Wildrose Bilko (Scottie X Fawn) by her side. A big thank you to the Northwest Community College Nursing Department, Wildrose Service Companions and Hub City Service Dogs for making this match happen.

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Smoked Chicken Wings

kirk and gamble

Kirk Parker and Gamble

Recipe by Kirk Parker, Wildrose Carolinas
Ingredients:
6 pounds chicken wings
Rub:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon cumin
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1 Teaspoon garlic powder
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
3 Teaspoons fresh ground pepper
1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
recipe 1
Instructions:
 
Separate wings into drumettes and wings (if necessary)
Pat wings dry
recipe 2
Combine spices and olive oil to form rub
Place wings in a container, add and mix rub over chicken
Let wings with rub applied rest for at least an hour
reicpe 6
Heat smoker or grill to temperature between 225-250 degrees F
Add wood for smoke (pecan is best, but others work fine)
Place wings over indirect heat
Smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until wings reach temperature of 160 degrees F
Place directly over coals to crisp – approximately 5 minutes, each side
Remove and let rest for 10 minutes
Serve and enjoy with Ranch, Blue cheese or any type sauce you desire
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