Yeah, I admit it, I have shot a lot better than I did in the dove field on Labor Day weekend. We had tons of birds in our field 10 days before, then the remnants of tropical storm dropped a couple of inches of rain in the area and dropped the temperature 10 degrees. I could almost feel the birds heading south.
Anyway, I didn’t kill a limit either opening day or Labor Day, but I probably never had a chance. One thing I did get was a chance to see some fine dog work from my son’s two Labs. Buckshot, the 7-year-old patriarch, made all the money spent on his training look worthwhile. His 2-year-old son, Boone, did some great work on his first hunt.
I bring up the dog work, because I grew up hunting quail behind good pointers and setters in middle Georgia. I met a top-notch quail hunter in North Carolina about 20 years ago. He kept top-drawer pointers and setters, and I hunted with him two or three times a year and appreciated how great his dogs were. My uncle from Georgia even brought a couple of pointers up for him to break and get ready for the red clay piney woods.
So this all leads to something, right? Yep. Toward the back of our October magazine, there’s something new. This issue debuts a column on hunting dogs entitled “All Dogs Go to Heaven.” It will run six months a year; the other six months, the “Head for the Mountains” column that Bob Satterwhite wrote before he retired this year, will return with a different author.
The hunting dogs column is being written by Pat Robertson, a veteran outdoor writer who cut his teeth as outdoor editor of The State newspaper in Columbia, SC. He is a life-long rabbit hunter who has trained field-trial champion beagles along with his wife, Jan, and he has judged more than 100 beagle field trials, but he’s not a one-trick pony.
“There is nothing prettier than a quail dog on point, a Boykin at work in a dove field or a Lab making a retrieve in the duck marsh,” he said. “And there is a special feeling of excitement to see a pack of hounds hot on the trial of a wily fox or a coon dog baying his success at the tree his quarry scaled after a long chase on a moonlit night.”
We hope plenty readers share his sentiments and enjoy his insights on the world of sporting dogs.