Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about upland bird hunting is that one needs a dog to be successful…fortunately nothing could be further from the truth. While we do not disagree at all that watching a good hunting dog work is a truly a thing of beauty and have plans of our own to buy one in the future, it is a shame that many potential entrants to our sport are discouraged by this perceived ‘barrier to entry.’
One can be highly successful afield without a good hunting dog by adhering to some simple guidelines: 1) Learn to recognize habitat that is suitable for your game of choice (e.g. food sources, water, preferred shelter/roosting sites, etc); 2) Be willing to play the role of bird dog by busting brush and walking up birds on your own (and finding downed birds of course); 4) Do your research and build a portfolio of ‘birdy’ looking covers in your area; and most importantly 5) Embrace all things dedicated to the preservation of upland habitat.
The point is just to get out there…you’ll enjoy yourself with or without a good hunting dog.
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