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August 2nd, 2012 by

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  1. Karen Rynearson, Shawn Dunlap Nierstheimer and 226 others like this.
  2. Kpw Lee very impressive product
  3. Tina Perron Pretty cool!
  4. Jason Waterhouse Can the alpha track our exisiting dc-30 and dc-40 collars?
  5. Shane Geno It said in the vidio that they do not track the dc collers
  6. Gun Dog Supply Yeah… The ALPHA is NOT compatible any other Garmin Astro or Tri-tronics collars. We wouldn’t have the faster 2.5 second update rate AND we wouldn’t have the 20-dog expandability if the ALPHA was backwards compatible with any other systems.
  7. Jason Waterhouse That kinda stinks in a way.I have 7 DC-30 collars and 1 DC-40 Wish I could track them with the alpha.Thanks for the info.
  8.  
  9. Fully Loaded English Kennels Well I guess the 320 I just bought will be my new back up system
  10. Shane Geno What is the price of the alpha with three collers through gun dog supply?
  11. Fully Loaded English Kennels But will UKC allow you to use it in a hunt? They banned the Tek 1 unit in comp hunts.
  12. Juan Pena will previous models without the training attachment be phased out?
  13. Gun Dog Supply I don’t believe so. Garmin is a GPS company first.
  14. Steve Horton I’ll be interested when they add a beeper.
  15. Georgia Hunter We’ve had ours for 2 seasons, awesome for big running dogs. It will save a dog from getting lost and the owner from a nervous breakdown!!
  16. Steve Snell ‎Shane Geno the 3 dog set up is $1399.97 http://www.gundogsupply.com/garmin-tri-tronics-alpha-3-dog-system.html
  17. Garmin ALPHA 3-Dog
  18. www.gundogsupply.comGarmin ALPHA 3-Dog. Comes With: 1 Alpha 100 handheld Rechargeable li-ion pack …See More
  19. Steve Snell ‎Steve Horton – I don’t see a beeper getting added – there just isn’t enough room. Some folks want it but I’m not sure it is possible.
  20. Cheryl Applebaum Oh no… something ELSE we will drool over! :O
  21. Freeman Hardin Ok, now my $600.00 Astro with the extra $200.00 collar is now obsolete!!
  22. Corey Ellegood Defntly getting me one of these for my hunting dog since he’s new to hunting can’t wait!!!
  23. Brad Preas Garmin needs to work the kinks out of their existing products instead of trying to continue develop new gear. They are alienating customers! I own the 320 with dc 40′s and it is great when it is working but I am not overly impressed with it. Thank goodness i kept my Wildlife box and Johnson collars!
  24. Gun Dog Supply ‎Freeman — Not obsolete! :) It’s like buying any technology, the moment you buy it you know the next model is already in development.
  25. William Harper ‎@brad you’re unit is burned up.
  26. John Robert Williamson Can a burned up unit be fixed?
  27. Sharon Maynard Watson I think this is a very good idea.
  28. Sharon Maynard Watson You can get a vet to put a tracking device just under the skin. And it is a tracking device.
  29. Gun Dog Supply MIcrochipping dogs is a good idea, but you have to be pretty close to that chip to read it. Would be nice if THOSE things had a “nine mile” range. — Rob
  30. Lynn Garrett-Stephens You have to actually scan the chip to read a number, then call that particular chip company for the owner info. You can’t GPS track your dogs.
  31. Lynn Garrett-Stephens I should add, you can track with a collar, but not with the microchip the vet administers…

 

July 31st, 2012 by

New Garmin Alpha GPS Collar + E-Collar (Tri-tronics)

 

Good discussions here
 
 
When Garmin bought the Tri-tronics dog training collar company, we knew a GPS + Ecollar was in the works, we just didn’t know when. Now announcing the state-of-the-art Garmin Alpha. You can track and train your dog on the same screen from a single hand held unit. You can track your friends’ handhelds, know when your dog is out of gun range, see your dog is running too big before he gets too far and more. The Garmin Alpha is expandable up to 20 dog and uses a touch screen instead of multi-dog toggle switches. Each dogs’ setting are customizable and easily accessible. There is a rescue mode and longer battery life to ensure no more lost dogs and a 2.5 second update rate means you’ll know twice as fast when your dog is in birds or treeing prey.

July 31st, 2012 by

New Garmin Alpha GPS Collar + E-Collar (Tri-tronics)

 

Good discussions here
 
 
 

July 26th, 2012 by

New Video

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May 17th, 2011 by

Wednesday, 9/22/10 Ft. Pierre National Grasslands

Wednesday, September 22nd.

I came to Pierre last night.  I had a really hard time finding a hotel room because there’s a couple of conventions in town. I ended up staying in Fort Pierre, which is across the river from Pierre.  I prefer it because it’s smaller and closer to the Ft. Pierre National Grasslands.

I woke up before sunrise to a light rain. I started getting my gear together and then it really started coming down. Instead of exercising dogs in the rain, I waited a bit and the rain slowed up a little bit.  I got everybody exercised and loaded back up in the truck. I finished getting my gear in the truck and I headed toward the grassland. The rain started coming down again.

I rode down to the highway and hung out to kill some time. I went to a nearby gas station on the South end of the grassland and to get a cup of coffee. When I got back into my truck, we had a major hailstorm come through.  I sat that out in the parking lot hoping my truck would not get to damaged.  Finally, the storm blew through and I spent the next couple hours driving and scouting the grassland.

I’ve never been on this grassland before and I needed to spend some time figuring out where parts of it were and to get a feel for the map and the roads.

I found a spot that looked good and took a round with Click and Bu.  I was pleased with Bu.  She did much better and ran a little bigger.  We had one sharptail get up on us wild.  That was all we saw.  I took another round after that with Sage and Stud. Sage false-pointed a bunch, and Stud ran pretty well, but he got away from me a couple times.

I wanted to run a few puppies before lunch.  I ran Apple first and was real pleased. She didn’t find anything, but she ran pretty well.  She’s got a lot of go in her and is a real classy and fancy pup.  I think she’s going to turn out real nice.

I ran Merle after that.  I was real concerned after going Merle on foot.  So far, he’s been way too much dog to hunt on foot.  I ran him on horseback yesterday and he stayed with us. That’s a little easier for a big running dog.  When you are on horseback, you can see the dog further out and he can’t also see you better since you are so much higher off the ground.

I’m pretty pleased how he ran today. He stayed with me.  He went with me.  He hunted.  The few times that he got out of sight he wasn’t gone for long, and he came back to check in.  He was quartering really well and hunting objectives and doing a really nice job.

He had a real nice point on a pheasant.  He locked up just as pretty as you please and stood there.  The bird got up and flew and he stood there. It is not pheasant season, but I shot in the air after she was long gone.  It was a hen, so we would have shot her during the season, but I did fire a gun just to get the gunshot in. He stood there steady to wing and shot.

The biggest disappointment of the day, hands down, was Mac.  I turned him out and he did not handle or listen.  He made about a 900 yard cast running a straight line, chasing cows.  I am going to take some of the fault because I put him into a pasture that had some cows in it.
He’s been cooped up for about two weeks, and it was his first time on the ground.  But he did not show me anything that I’m interested in.  We’ll try him again tomorrow and see if we can’t come up with something a little better.

I got everybody out on the chain gang.  I stopped at a spot on the grassland at a little parking area, and I got everybody out and got them cleaned up.  I got to use my power washer again.
Apple keeps getting car sick.  I’m going to have to give her a day off from food.  Mac is a little runny, too, so he’s going to take a day off.  I’m not sure how much they were getting fed while they were being kenneled, but I’m overfeeding them, I guess. We’re going to back down on both of them for a day or so.

Over all it was not a great day.  I saw a few birds.  Saw a lot of pheasants; lot more pheasants than I would have guessed in this part of the world, but they are definitely around the crops.

I like the grassland as far as the way it’s laid out.  It’s big and it’s real open, easy running, easy walking.  I did not see a lot of birds today, but I think weather played a role in that.  I also don’t think I was hunting in exactly the most ideal spots.
The roads are a little gushy from all the rain, so I’m a little limited as to where I can take my truck.  And that’s going to play a pretty big role this week.  They are expecting more rain tonight and tomorrow. I don’t think it’s going to get any better.

Steve Snell

May 4th, 2011 by

North Dakota – September 21st


Tuesday, September 21st.

I spent last night in Bismarck, North Dakota.  I got up this morning and headed down to Flasher, where I met up with pro bird dog trainer –  J.C. Turner.  J.C. has been working Cash and Merle for the last 10 weeks on wild Sharptail Grouse, young pheasants, and a bunch of Hungarian Partridge.

The main reason I came this far north was to pick up these dogs and to see them run before we head back south.

We met up at his camp house.  He already had the dogs and horses loaded up in his trailer.  We drove from there to one of his training grounds so I could see the progress my dogs had made over the summer.

I am nowhere near a horseman, and I proved that once again this morning.  The first horse that J. C. started me on didn’t work out for me, so he switched me to another one.  This horse and I did better. I’m in a lot better shape than I was the last time I rode, and that makes a really big difference.  I also didn’t have to jump off this year, so that’s always positive.

We ran Merle first. He has made a lot of progress.  I am real happy with how he turned out.

To quote Mr. JC, “He’s a whooole lot of animal.”  Merle’s a really well bred dog.  His sire is Phantom’s Wizard and his mother is a full sister with to “Whippoorwill Wild Agin” –  winner of the 2008 National Championship at Ames Plantation.

Merle has always been a big, fast running dog.  He might be more than I want as far as for a foot dog.  He just really lacked wild bird experience.  He also had a bad habit of over running birds.  He spent a good bit of the summer learning to slow down and use his nose.

I was pretty pleased with his range today.  He stayed in with us pretty well and he hunted hard.  He found a lot of birds. 10 finds on the first round.  On a couple of points there were 20 to 30 birds.

He stood steady to wing and shot on most with just a couple of minor corrections.  He did a bang-up job.  I was really happy with his work. I may have me a real nice one here.

Next we ran Mr. Cash. Cash is a two year old English Pointer. His grandsire is Erin’s Southern Justice and his mother is a really well bred Elhew female.  I got him from Clarence Gamble, Great Basin Kennels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cash is one of my favorite dogs.  I bought him based strictly off his looks and his great grandfather.  Erin’s Southern Justice’s sire is Bly Spymaster. Bly Spymaster is Em’s sire.

I just wanted another black and white dog with some Bly Spymaster in him.

I was happy with how he ran and he looks like he’s carved out of stone.  Really muscled up and stylish.

The first three or four finds that he had didn’t work out real well.  He knew the birds were there, he just couldn’t pin them down.  Some of it was wind issues and some of it was confidence issues.  He wasn’t looking real good and J.C. wasn’t real pleased with him.

I had been getting real good reports on him all summer, so I was not that concerned.   We ended up running him just a little bit longer to see if we could get him to calm down and do his job.  We ran up a little planted feed strip and he had a real nice point.  J. C. went up to flush and three pheasants came flying out of the cover.  Cash stood there for them, steady to wing and shot.

We worked him a little bit longer down one side of a cover patch to the end.  Down the other side was a stand of corn, with a weedy patch that was probably 75 feet wide.

Cash locked up pretty as you please, looking like a million bucks. Stretched out – big and tall.

We rode up to him and J.C. got off his horse.  Birds started getting up everywhere.  Cash was right in the middle of at least 12 young pheasants. He stood there the whole time and watched them fly off.  Shot the gun, he stood there. It was a perfect find. He looked real nice.

We worked him back down that edge.  He had two more finds and did a real good job on both.  We got down to the end of the corn right at the road and he locked up again.  He must of had 40 birds between him and the road edge. All of a sudden birds just started boiling out of the cover.  He stood there for every one of them.  He had one bird pinned hard and we had to walk that one up, but the rest of them were just going everywhere.

I’m real happy with how that round turned out.

J.C. ran a couple of his field trial dogs.  I got a chance to see a couple of nice big running dogs. They both did really well.

I had a good time speaking with him.  This is the first year Mr. Turner has worked dogs for me, and I was real pleased with how they both turned out.  I’ll be using him again.
He’s in North Dakota for a little over 10 weeks.  That’s a long time on the prairie for a dog.  They get a lot of exposure to wild birds and that’s a key factor in training a dog

Even if you have a lot of opportunity to hunt wild birds, having them summer in the Dakotas is a pretty good investment.  In the summertime, I don’t work my dogs because it’s too hot in Mississippi.  So the young dogs are just sitting in the kennel.

I try to get all my dogs at least one summer on the prairie. It’s a good way to get a dog a lot of wild bird contacts.  That’s just something you can’t train with pigeons or pen-raised quail and then expect them to be able to handle wild birds in the fall

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply

May 3rd, 2011 by

South Dakota – Monday 9/20/10

It’s Monday, September 20th.
I stayed in Fort Pierre, SD last night and got a chance to go by the ranger station for the Pierre National Grassland.  I’ve been wanting to hunt the grassland for years and just haven’t been able to work it out.
I stopped at the main station to get a little information and talk to the folks that run it.  They were really nice and helpful.  I was able to purchase a few maps and ask about bird numbers and best places to start.  I also picked up maps for two other South Dakota grasslands—the Grand River/Cedar River, which is on the South Dakota/North Dakota border. The other one is Buffalo Gap, which is a little further west, off of I-90.  If I have enough free time I want to check out all three of those.  I don’t know if I’ll get that done this week or not, but I’ll have the maps if I need them.  You can get those online or you can order them by mail.  I’ve done both.  But while I was there, I figured I’d go ahead and snag them and have them in my possession.
I also ran into some hunters this morning while gassing up my truck that were all the way from New York State.  They had come over on some personal business, but decided they were going to hunt The Pierre Grassland while they were here.   They had some really pretty English Setters.  We had a good chat.
I got the dogs exercised this morning using the chain gang.  I am a gigantic fan of now.  We have used them most of my life, but for some reason I never liked setting them up on the road.  I’m not really sure why. I can take care of 8 to 12 dogs by myself much faster using a chain gang.  It’s quick, easy and it gives the dogs more time to take care of their business.
It’s  becoming more and more common that I travel by myself and have a large number of dogs with me.  Using a chain gang makes it all possible.
I’ve got six with me right now, which is not a large number, but it’s a lot easier just to chain them out and take care of all my sorting business.  It gives them a good bit more time out of the truck, which I’ve noticed Bu seems to need.  She requires more time than I’m willing to give her when I’m walking her.  If I chain her out, I can give her 15-20 minutes, it works out for me better.
I got all my regular ID dog collars switched out today, which is something I meant to do before I left town.
I had a couple of dogs that looked like I did not switch their collars out last year.  I normally switch out dog collars at least once a year.  Based on the condition of some of these collars, they had to be two years old.  I was pleased with how the majority of them held up.
The ID plate on Sage’s collar was coming lose.  I am not sure if he did that from pulling on chain gang.  I’ve got to look into that.  The rivets were stressed.
I’ve got a couple of dogs that are too thin.  I’ve got to work on that some.  Mac and Apple need about five pounds on each of them.  They’re just a little skinner than I prefer.
Stud is looking better but still needs a little bit more weight.  Sage is a little on the skinny side.  I’m a big believer of keeping them lean in the summer, but I may have pushed it a little far on a couple of these.  I’ll be interested to see what kind of shape Cash and Merle are in when I pick them up in the morning.
I’m headed north to Flasher, North Dakota. I  have a couple dogs that spent the summer with birddog trainer J.C. Turner.  They’ve been in North Dakota since early July.   A good 10 weeks.  I have been  getting real good reports on both of them.  We’re going to run them in the morning and see how they look.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
It’s a real pretty day today.  It’s 58 and overcast and a little windy.  I am going to try and hunt some this afternoon when I get to North Dakota.  I’ve got an opportunity to go to a couple different spots.
I’ve also got to pick up a new walk-in Atlas.  The “walk in” program in North Dakota is called PLOTS.  That stands for Private Land Open to Sportsmen.
I’ve got one of last year’s maps, but you can’t trust them from year to year.  The ground can come in and go out depending on if the land owner renews his contract. You’ve got to update your maps every year and watch the signs real close.
Both South Dakota and North Dakota do a really good job of marking the public areas.  There is an enormous amount of public land in this part of the world.  Millions of acres of public hunting land available including national grasslands, state lands, walk-in areas, and conservation areas all for the price of a hunting license.
It takes a lot of leg work to find the best spots.  You’ve gotta do your research and drive some miles.  Just because there is land available doesn’t mean it’s all great hunting land.  It’s hit and miss, and it takes a lot of work to find the great spots.  They do call it hunting for a reason.
I’m mainly going to treat today as a travel day, but I’d like to get at least a couple dogs on the ground if I can.

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

April 26th, 2011 by

Kansas September 19th, 2010 Sunday morning.

September 19th, 2010  Sunday morning.

We took the first round with Boo and Ted’s dog Lulu.  I was real pleased with Lulu.  She’s an eight month old puppy out of Wizard and Saffron, which is the same breeding as Apple.

She runs really big, but very deliberate. She’s not just running, she’s hunting.  I like to see that in a young dog.  I think Ted’s got him a real nice one. I will enjoy seeing her progress over the next year or two.

I was a little disappointed in Boo.  She’s staying real close to me.  She made a couple of nice casts, but overall she just sort of pitter-pattered around me.  I think a different dog on the ground might help her. I think getting her into a few birds would also help.

We had some chickens get up way out in front of us. It didn’t get her attention.  It was a nice walk but it’s gotten warmer.  It’s 52 degrees and still overcast with a little moisture in the air.

It’s a nice day to run a couple of bird dogs.

We’re going to stop down the road and turn out a couple more out before I head north.

—————–

To finished up the second day, we ran four dogs on the final round.  We ran Dottie and Vegas, who belong to Ted, and then we ran Click and Sage.  I was pretty pleased with all of them.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had four dogs on the ground at the same time.  It was relatively open, hilly country, but everybody covered it pretty well.

Click had a real nice race.  He did have a point, but there was nothing there.  It was across a fence on some private ground.  I had to put my gun down and cross the fence.

Later, he got into a covey of quail but did not work them from the right side of the wind. He was down in a gully and I couldn’t see him.  I saw the birds flush and then saw him come out.  So that was disappointing, but he got around some birds, so that was good to see.

I had a good time in Kansas.  I didn’t do very well on the bird count, but that’s OK.  The weather was nice and I enjoyed seeing everybody.  Had a couple nice long walks.  I got to see a little bit from four of my dogs.

We are now headed North to Winner, South Dakota.  Mac and Apple spent a good chunk of the summer with Dan Hendrickson of Phantom Kennels in South Dakota working on Sharptails and pheasants.  To save me a trip over to Texas to pick them up, I boarded them at a local kennel.  I am going to run up there and pick them up and then make plans after that.

Right now we’re a little footloose and fancy free.  I’ve got a meeting in Flasher, North Dakota on Tuesday, but beyond that we’re open.  We’ll do a little scouting in South Dakota and see what comes up.

April 4th, 2011 by

Starting Day Two 9/19/2010

It’s Sunday morning.  I got up about 5:30, and we were on the road around 6:30.  Headed over to hunt some more Kansas walk in ground.
There’s a fine line in dogs between the healthy weight of a bird dog and a little too thin.  I’ve been working on an article about feeding dogs and what you are supposed to do to maintain proper weight.  Most folks tend to let their dogs get fat in the off season.  I lower the amount of food that my dogs get in the off season since they are not as active and don’t burn as many calories in warmer weather.  I guess over the last month I have just let them deteriorate a little more than I should have and shame on me for that.
If I had to pick between fat and thin, I’ll take thin, but I’m not happy with this.
We are going to up their food in take a little more than normal.  That will be tricky on the road. If you drastically increase the amount of food over night, you will get some serious stomach issues.
If I do it gradually they should not have any issues.
We’ll also be adding a couple things.  There’s one or two supplements that I want to try out.  I generally don’t use a lot of supplements, vitamins, or anything along those lines.  Feeding the best dog food you can afford is the better way to go. There are a couple digestive aids that we’ve been looking at, and a new performance enhancer that I want to try out.  So it might be a good time to learn a little bit about that.
It is 50 degrees at 6:40.  Sunrise is about 7:15.  So not a giant rush.  We are going to take it kind of easy today, put in maybe a half day.
Then I have a six hour drive to add on top of this, so I don’t want to overdo it too much.  I’ve got to pick up a couple of puppies in South Dakota and then head north.  It should be a good day.

Steve

April 1st, 2011 by

First day of hunting of the 2010-2011 season

Well, first day of upland bird hunting.  I’ve been on a couple of goose hunts, but today was the first day we got the hounds out and chased after some upland game.
We are in North Central, Kansas chasing prairie chickens.  We are up here with Ted and John and a couple of their buddies.  I got in around 10:30 or 11 this morning and finally hooked up with them.  They hunted this morning and I caught up with them at lunch.
After lunch we went out and ran Click and Dottie.  I’m real happy with how both of them did.
Dottie is doing real well.  She just had a little surgery and she is showing no signs of that slowing her down.  Click had a real nice run on a big chunk of land. He covered it really well.  We had a little bit of bird work; not exactly what I was looking for, but they did OK.
Scenting conditions were good, but the wind was blowing about 30 miles an hour.  The temperature was real nice.  It was low 60’s and overcast.  I actually got to run dogs the rest of the afternoon and got everybody on the ground for a little bit.
I ran Sage and Stud together.  I’m real pleased with Stud.  He ran big, but he turned easy. I was actually able to back down on his stimulation setting on his collar after the first couple of corrections.  I noticed he really was not fighting me, so we backed him down.
He is the only dog that I have that uses the high stimulation collar on the SportDOG Remote Training Collars.   One of the things that I like about the Sport Dog 1825 and the Sport Dog 1225 is that not only do you have variable intensity settings at the transmitter, you also have a variable collar.  It’s the only one of its kind.
Dogtra has a similar function on its Dogtra 3500 unit that allows you the option of making a universal change on the transmitter between low and high stimulation.  The difference here is that I’m able to change only Stud’s collar so that when I give him a correction, he gets a different stimulation on the same number than the other dog does that is wearing a medium stim coll
ar.
So that’s  unique in the e-collar market.  What you do with that is you have three different stimulation settings at the collar. You have a low stim, a medium stim, and then a high stim.  It comes out of the box on the medium stim.  Medium Stim is going to work for 90% of the dogs out there.  There will be a few dogs that need less and a few dogs that need more.
Stud is one of those dogs that just requires an enormous amount of stimulation.  We switched him up to the high stim collar last year.  Four to 5 was normal for him last year.  Sometimes it would take a 5 out of a possible 8 to get him to turn.  That’s a lot of stimulation, but he’s just a really tough, hardheaded dog.  The stimulation just doesn’t bother him.
Last year I backed him down, and it was more like a high stim 3 or a 4 toward the end of the season.
Today, I started on a high stim 3, and I noticed that he was reacting to it very quickly, so we backed down to a 2 and it worked great.
I’m pretty excited to see that.  He’s very interested in being with me and going the direction that I’m going.  I had a couple of situations where he would turn and be heading in the right direction, and something would catch his attention and move back.
He’s one of my Astro dogs.  I watch him on the map on the Garmin Astro, and I turn him when I have to.  What I love about the map on the Garmin Astro is that when he makes the turn, I can actually see it, and I can see him coming back to me.
It’s not uncommon for him to make 400 yard casts. 400 yards is a little much for a foot dog.  He’s really a horseback dog, but I hunt him off foot.  He likes to make 400 yard casts.  I am more of a 250 yard kind of guy.
He’s my biggest running dog right now.  The combination of being able to turn him with a collar and being able to watch him with the Astro works really well.  Considering that we haven’t done much in the off season, I was pleased with where he was at the end of the year last year.  It looks like we may just be able to pick right up and start again.
So everybody looked good.  The weather was nice.  We didn’t get into a lot of birds, but we got a little bit of bird work.  It was just a good start to the year.  I’m real excited about it.  It looks like we’re going to have a nice chilly morning.  We’re going to hunt here about half a day and the head north.  I’m looking forward to it.
400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759
For customer service call 1-800-624-6378

March 30th, 2011 by

Kansas 9/17/10

9/17/2010

We made it to Blackwell, Oklahoma last night, and I am now in North Central Oklahoma.  We are headed into Kansas and have about three hours left on this part of the trip.  We are going to stop in North Central Kansas and chase some prairie chickens for a day or two.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. Of the four dogs that are in the truck, three of them are very experienced.  Click, Sage, and Stud have pretty much traveled everywhere I’ve gone.  The only exception to that is Boo.
Boo is still challenging me as far as understanding what we’re trying to do here.  She doesn’t understand our stops, and what I expect her to do when we stop, and the kind of speed that we travel at, but I’m hoping she will get a better feel for that this year.
I have high hopes for Boo.  She showed me a lot of promise in the off season, and I think she has a wonderful nose, but she does not currently travel well. I would like to see that improved if she is going to stay on the A-team main slot.  I’ve got too many dogs to put up with one that creates a lot of trouble.
The only exception to that would be if they find an enormous amount of birds.  It’s amazing what I will tolerate for a really talented dog.

It looks like it’s going to be pretty hot today.  The high is going to be in the 80’s.  I doubt I will hunt today.  I got a late start yesterday and I probably won’t get up there until 11, 11:30 in the morning.  And based off what the weatherman is saying, it’s going to be way too hot to run dogs.

It’s good to be back in Kansas.  I haven’t hunted Kansas in probably four or five years.  Nothing against this great upland bird state. I’ve always enjoyed hunting in Kansas.  Kansas has solid bird numbers most years and it has an insane amount public and walk in land.

Kansas just doesn’t fit my schedule real well.  It’s too hot early season, and by the time they open quail and pheasant, Texas is in full swing.

I’m generally in South Dakota in the middle of November, and it just  gets overlooked.  I wouldn’t mind hunting some more of it and based on the early reports I have seen, this should be a really good upland year for Kansas.

I drove a little different route on the way up just so I could see Southern Kansas and parts of Oklahoma that I haven’t been to in the last four or five years.  It’s also nice to see some new country.

I’m looking forward to a short break before we head to South Dakota.

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

February 10th, 2011 by

Another Snow Day…..


Yet another “Snow Day” in Starkville.  This is our 4th day this year to get a major amount of snow and ice for this area.  We got close to 5 inches at the house last night and a few areas west and north of us got a little more.

If I had wanted to have this kind of weather, I would have moved north.  We just are not set up to deal with it.  We don’t have the road equipment and our people have no idea how to drive in it.

You can’t just go at full speed and expect not to hit an icy patch when you get in the shady areas.

School was canceled again and this time they got it right.  The roads were very bad even at 10am when they would normally start a “delayed” opening.  The problem now is that our school year will have to be extended to make up for the time missed.

I don’t mind that so much, but all they are doing is adding days to the year.  It’s not like they are going to really move things around and “learn” anything on these make up days.  It’s the law that they go a certain number of days.  Nobody is really concerned that they “learn” anything on those days.

David was the only one that made it in close to our normal start time.  Last night we had planned to get to the warehouse at 10 am.  I got here a little after 9 and I sent out a text to everyone to hold off until the roads could clear up a little more.  A couple of the girls that live close made in at 10.

I hit two patches on the state highway that I drive into Starkville that caused me to slide.  I took another highway to avoid a a major bridge but it had very little traffic and you could not even see the lines.

Once the sun came out things got better quick.  We had the folks that could make it in show up around 12 and we ended up having a typical day for this time of year.

I spent a good chunk of the day pulling orders and a spent a little time processing.  It felt like a episode of “Under Cover Boss.”  There was a time when I did it all.  Every box that went out the door, I had either picked or processed.  That was a long, long time ago and my skills are not what they once were.

Lucky for me (and my customers) we have a new system that should catch picking errors.  The staff caught all of mine (I hope) and they let me know about it.  Our warehouse is not for the weak willed.  It’s a bit like blood in the water with Great White sharks. If you screw up the ragging can be hard to take.  I can’t really say much since I’ll give as good as I get.

It was a good day to see how things have changed in the way we process.  Toward the end of last year we completely changed our method for processing orders.  I was not happy with our average error rate ( 1.2% for 2010 ) and I wanted something that would get it below 1%.

We implemented the new system the first week of January and went full force on it mid month.

Our new system uses scanners and bar codes to check orders.  It also cuts the number of folks handling a box from 3 or 4 down to 2.  The new system also identifies the two folks so when a mistake happens, we will know who did it.

It still has a few holes in it but I think we are headed in the right direction.  Most of our January numbers looked good and I am waiting  on February to be done so we can see a full month of processing and find all the holes.

I did spend a chunk of the day asking folks “why are we doing it this way?”  I didn’t always like the answer I got.  We change things so often that it’s hard to keep up with the reason.

Over the next couple of months, I am going to spend a bunch of time back there to resolve some of the issues that I see.

It’s a bit of a new world and the volume of orders that we are handling require a new level of detail.  I expect things to move at a certain speed.  I also expect them to be accurate.

Every time.

That takes a lot of over sight and direction.  That means time in the trenches, packing boxes.

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply

February 9th, 2011 by

How Many Dogs are the Right Number for My Hunting String?

I have too many dogs.  I have written about this before but I really didn’t address it with myself at the time that it happened.  This blog post is really more for me than it is for you but I have to write down so I’ll do it here and see what comes out of it.

Right now I have 16 dogs.  The breakdown of these are 11 pointing dogs that are still hunting, 1 lab that is used for Dove, Duck and Pheasants, 1 pet cocker spaniel and 3 retired pointing dogs (1 english pointer and 2 brittanys.)

It’s rare for me to actually get rid of a dog.  I’m not really sure I ever have really.  I sold one of my younger pups to a buddy of mine, but ended up buying him back a few years later.

I have room for this many dogs and I can afford to keep them.  The question is do I have time to properly train and condition this many.

The other question is how many dogs do I REALLY need on my hunting string?  I think the correct number is 8 active pointing dogs and one lab. That gives me 4 braces in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.  That’s a full day but it is doable when the weather is right.

I can also easily travel with 8 by myself.  Anything over that is more than I really want to deal with on the road.

So if I go that route, who gets cut from the team?

Click, Sage and Stud are in.  Cash, Merle and Brandy are also locked in.  That leaves 5 dogs to fill 2 spots.

Bu, Mac, Apple, Izzy and Axl.

Bu is the dog we found a few years back that had gotten off a chain gang and was lost in Texas.

I like several things about her.   She has an amazing nose but lacks the speed of my other dogs.  She would fit someone that prefers a slower paced dog.  I have put a good bit of time and money into her and she is steady to wing and shot.  Her retrieving needs some work but she likes to find dead birds.

Mac is a half brother to Stud, Click, Merle and Apple.  He is showing a bunch of promise and I think he fits my program as well as any of the five I am looking at cutting.  My only concern with him is that he is very head strong.  While that isn’t normally an issue, I already have a couple of bull headed dogs and I’m not sure I want more.   The other side of this is that he showed more promise as a young dog than any I have ever had.

Apple is a half sister to Stud, Click, Merle and Mac.  She also fits in my system really well and is one of the classiest young dogs I have ever owned.  She is a keeper, but she would also be pretty easy to move.  I have had a couple of offers on her already.

Izzy is out of National Champion Lester’s Snowatch.  She is a birdy dog and I love watching her run.  She shows some signs of being the kind of dog that could replace Em as my number one dog.  I don’t really know how do describe it but there is a certain personality trait that my better bird dogs have shared.  They tend to not really care about other dogs and have a aloof nature about them that I don’t see in many dogs. They also tend to be very fond of me while ignoring other people.  I will have a hard time letting her go.

Axl is a granddaughter to Nation Champion Funseeker’s Rebel.  She has the typical Funseeker look – tall and leggy.  She has an awesome nose and is doing really well on pen birds.  She needs some time on wild birds.  My only concern with her is that she isn’t going to run as big as I prefer.  At this point I am a little up in the air on her.  No question that she will not make a horse back dog but I seldom hunt off horseback and having a few close dogs would not be the end of the world.

If I had to make a decision right now, I would keep Mac and Izzy to round out my 8.

This little exercise has helped me get my thoughts in line, but I still don’t know if I want to let these dogs go.

End of the season really isn’t the best time to sell dogs.  The smart move would be to work them in the spring and summer and make my choice closer to next season.

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply

February 8th, 2011 by

Lack of Physical Conditioning in my Bird Dogs

I had the chance to go down to South Georgia to run my bird dogs last week on one of the many quail plantations in that area.  South Georgia and North Florida are one of the last regions in the Southeast United States that still have large areas that hold wild quail.

The large tracts of land are managed exclusively for quail hunting and show what you can do with habitat if you are willing to put a lot of hard work and even more money into having a huntable population of wild quail.

The first day we were there, we attended a horse back shooting dog championship.  It was the last day of the trial and they were finishing up the Derby (dogs under the age of 2) stakes.

I have not attended a bird dog field trial in years.  I ran in a good many when I was a teenager and enjoyed them but I got away from them and directed all of my efforts toward hunting after I started college.

One of the biggest reasons that I stopped running in our local trials was because they used only pen raised birds.  There was not a large enough population of wild birds in Mississippi to run a trail on them and I really didn’t enjoy working on pen birds.

I really don’t have time to trial these days between running Gun Dog Supply and time with my wife and kids and all the hunting I do with my dogs, but I could see myself getting back into it some time down the road.

I think I would only be interested in running in trials that used wild birds.  It’s something for me to think about at some point.
————————————

I was reading a  message board article about why some folks Field Trial their dogs and why folks don’t.   It was more about the barriers to new folks getting into the sport.  Click here
http://gundogforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=27414

What I found most interesting about it was the “kennel blind” conversation.  I think I may have some issues there with my dogs.

I was real disappointed how my dogs performed on the days we ran them in Georgia.  I have good dogs.  They are not great and I know that but they are good.  I run with a good many bird hunters and my dogs are as good as most that I see.

The issue for me is that I need to see a higher level of competition from time to time to keep me on my toes.

What I really think is that my dogs are not in the physical condition that they need to be in to hunt at the level that I want.  That is not so much a lack of talent as it is a lack of effort on my part.

I was very surprised how quickly my dogs got winded in the heat.  It wasn’t freaky hot but it was warm.  My dogs seldom run off horseback but they do from time to time.  They were giving out in 10 to 15 minutes and were getting beaten to the birds every time.

I hunt a bunch compared to most folks but my season starts in September and runs to beginning of March.  The issue is that I can have weeks of downtime in there where my dogs are just sitting in the kennel doing nothing.

This year in Texas, I had similar results.  My dogs did fine if the weather was ok but on the warm days, they just didn’t have much left in the tank.

I have gotten in the bad habit of letting them “get in shape” during hunting season.  This isn’t really a smart way to spend my time.

What my dogs are going to require is an off season “roading” program.  There are also going to need some weekly roading (3 times a week) during the off times that I have in between hunting trips.

Roading dogs is a bit of a mystery to many of our customers and I be putting together an article on it pretty soon and we may also throw in some video.  I grew up exercising my dogs in roading harnesses and it works better than any other kind of physical activity to get them in shape and develop “wind” or stamina.

Click here to see my favorite roading harness

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

December 31st, 2010 by

1/8/2010 – 1/10/2010 Aspermont and Midland Texas

Part 2 of my notes from the 2009 – 2010 Hunting Season

1/8/2010 Aspermont, Texas


It’s 17 degrees. There is very little wind or I would be back at the hotel.  I love to quail hunt but I’m just not that tough.

My first round was with Sage and Click.  Sage had a nice find on a small group of bobs. Click backed. Both dogs were steady to wing.

We headed back to the truck.  I put the rest of the group on the chain gang to air them out.  I travel with 8 to 12 dogs at one time.  Without the chain gang, I would spend all my time walking dogs.

Next I ran Apple, Mac and Izzy. All three pups did really well. Apple made a 600 yard cast and came back. Izzy made a 350 yard cast and came back. All three ranged out but kept up with me.  Mac works a little closer but runs well for a foot dog.

Mac pointed and held his first covey of Bobs. I flushed the covey.  It was a really nice group of 25 to 30 birds.

We went after the singles. Mac, Apple and Izzy all found and busted singles.  It’s always fun to see the light turn on when they find wild birds.

I ran Brandy by herself.  She found a covey of bobs and busted them. She ran pretty well considering how little I have worked her. Time to fix that.

The only issue is that I have with her is that she is running behind me a bit.   I really do not like a bird dog that spends any amount of time behind me.  She’s also a little out of shape.

Ran Cash. He did well for a few minutes but than he left the country.  He has a bunch of run in him and I have to get it under control if he is going to be a foot dog.

I went back to the truck to go pick him up. He went on point multiple times but I am not sure he was actually finding birds.

Once I caught up with him we did some ecollar work on turning. He did much better

I finished up the day with Stud.  He ran well considering how long it’s been since I have run him. The last trip for him was Nebraska.

He still takes a lot of stim. I have to set my 1825 collar on the high collar setting and then it takes at least a 4 to turn him. After a few corrections he seems to stay in the area and hunt for you.

He did go on point but gave it up before I got to him.

I spent the rest of the time checking a few areas that I need to hunt next month.

I fed everyone and put them on the stakeout chain and then drove to Midland.

1/9/2010 Midland

25 degrees. sunny with a  5mph wind.  It’s a little chilly but not bad. Nice weather for quail hunting.  I am always amazed at how “hot” it can be in this part of the world even with temps below 50 degrees.  There is something about the sun in West Texas.  It just seems to burn brighter here.

Ran Sage and Click. Nice pairing.  I enjoy running these two dogs together.  They give me very little trouble and they hunt well together. I didn’t have to yell or use my whistle once.

We ran into lots of scent and a few points but no birds.

Turned out Mac, Apple and Izzy. They all took off down the road. Finally turned at about 350 yards.  All three finally came in and hunted. They stayed with us and turned well.

Mac found his second covey of quail. His first covey of blues and held them. He then found and bumped two singles. That makes him two for two. He might just be worth feeding in the off season.

Izzy runs really big but she turns back and hunts with us. I did not have to look for her during the round.  Apple really likes her birds. She will also runs pretty wide for a pup.

Over all I am very pleased with all three of them.

Ran Cash next. He is still running a little big but he will turn when you tell him. I walked into some birds but couldn’t get him on the right side of the wind to find them.

Ran Stud. He did a nice job. Pointed a couple of times but no birds. Really pleased how he has held up with no work this fall. He should have a good couple of hunts before the end of quail season.

Ran Sage and Brandy. Area looked good and both dogs were doing well.

All of a sudden Brady’s DC 30 Astro collar stopped working.  She was about 150 yards out and it lost the signal. There were no cover issues and the ground was pretty flat between me and her.

She came back by but my hand held system didn’t pick up her collar. I kicked myself for not grabbing her drag line.

She made a big cast and it took a very long 5 minutes for her to come back by. I spent that time trying to figure out what I would tell Sam and Kathy if she got lost.

When she came around I caught her check cord and brought her in. The collar was completely dead. No idea why. It should be fully charged from last night.

This will be one for the Garmin engineers to figure out. Very odd. We just have not had many issues out of the DC 30.

Ran Cash with Click. If I can get the kinks worked out this will make a nice brace.
Got into 3 coveys of blues. Click pointed two of them. Cash busted all three.

He is handling better and running with me.

1/10/2010 Midland

25 degrees and Sunny.

Brandy and Sage. Nice round but no birds. I like the cover but no sign of birds.

Brandy ran well. I put a Tracker collar on her as back up to the Garmin Astro.  I seldom run a back up tracking collar any more but this dog belongs to my 11 year old son and I’m not taking any chances with her.

I really like the k9 Comfort drag line over a regular check cord.  This particular material does really well and since it is a hi viz orange, it is easy to see in the grass.  It also does not pick up any burrs and it is water proof.

Ran Izzy and Apple together. Both handled well for pups. Apple found a single and I saw the covey get up in front of us. We went to them and both dogs scented birds and flash pointed before busting them.

I really like these pups. These two will run big but they both handle and check back in.

Ran Mac and Click. I figured it was time to move Mac up to the big leagues.  He is finding birds and wanting to hold them.

About 200 yards from the truck Click rolled into a covey. He relocated twice and then I saw two birds get up way out in front.  We headed toward them. There was some thick cover in front of us and I figured there might be a few birds hold up in it.

What happened next made the whole trip worth it. Click pointing singles. Mac pointing singles. It was perfect.

Mac found as many birds as Click. One time Mac was on point and Click came in to back.  I cussed myself for leaving my camera in the truck.

We had points on 10 birds and nice dog work all around. Mac is ready to move ahead in his training. He reminds me of Click as a pup. This round makes Mac 3 for 3 on this trip. No other dog on the truck can match that record.

Ran Sage and Cash. Cash ran well. Sage got birdy and worked a covey over 150 yards into the wind.  Cash came in and busted them. Went to the singles. Worked Cash on whoa a bit. Sage got to the singles and pointed.

Brought Cash in got him stopped. Bird flushed and I killed the bird. Sage found it and brought it to me.

I tossed the bird back into some cover and let Cash find it and hold it in his mouth. He likes them but has not put it all together yet. He is thinking about them but he needs more bird contacts.  This just isn’t a great year to have a bunch of young dogs.  We don’t have the number of birds to make the training easy.

Ran Stud. Handled well. Made a 380 yard cast and locked up. Held the covey until I got there. Had them pointed at about 50 yards. Steady to wing. He lived up to his name today.  Considering how frustrated I have been with him since I bought him, things are starting to change.  He is learning how I want him to work and he is coming around to my way of doing things.

December 27th, 2010 by

Quail Hunting – Midland, TX 12/5/2009 – 12/7/2009

Part 1 of my notes from the 2009 – 2010 hunting season

Midland 12/5/2009

Hunting this week with Ted.  Made our first round with the little old ladies bird dog.  Em is 12 and Dottie is 9.  This pair of English Pointers can still out hunt all the young guns that know too little and run too fast.  They have both really slowed down but they do a nice job and are fun to hunt together.

We found two coveys and killed two birds. Really bad shooting with lots of opportunity to for both of us to look bad.

There was still some trace snow on the ground in the shady areas.  We could see blue quail bird tracks in the snow as we went after the singles.

Next we ran Click and Vegas. Click had a real nice find on a covey of Blues. We killed a couple of birds from the singles.

Our third round was Sage and Richard. They worked well together but I generally prefer a bigger running dog than I get from this pair. One of my favorite combinations  is to run a big running pointer and a medium range GSP.  Sage and Richard both make great foot dogs but it’s seldom that either gets out more than 200 yards.

Sage had a nice covey find.

That afternoon we went to North East pasture. No birds but the cover looks great.

Found a few more coveys in the last couple of rounds.  There are this year birds but not like the last couple of years.

Midland 12/6/2009

Today we hunted from the Quail Buggy.

Ran Em and Dottie first. No birds during the first round.  I find that Blue Quail tend to get moving a little later in the day than Bobs.  I have a habit of starting my day early and prefer to be on the ground around 30 minutes after sunrise but I find that does not work as well with blues as it normally does with Bobs.

Our second round was Click and Richard. Click found one covey. We got 6 birds.  Nice singles work from both dogs.

Our third round was Sage and Vegas. Sage found one covey. We didn’t do any good on them.

We decided to try Em and Dottie again. Em found real nice covey. Both dogs found singles and we killed 4 birds.

We ran Click and Richard back to truck. No birds on that round so we broke for lunch.

The first round after lunch was Sage and Vegas.  We found one covey and Ted killed one bird

Next we ran Merle and Dottie. Merle ran really well but did not find any birds.

Next was Sage and Vegas.  We found 3 coveys but only killed 2 birds.  That happens with Blues….

We tried Merle and Dottie again. We dropped Merle right to the location that the last covey landed to see if he could find some singles.   He busted a single and went with it. Dottie pointed a single.

Merle came back and ended up right in the middle of the covey. Got him to stop for a second or two.  We have a lot of work to do with him in the Spring and Summer.

We ran Click and Richard again. Click had another really nice find. Killed one bird. Click found him and retrieved. He was also steady to wing and shot.

Ted noticed that Clicks urine was a dark rust color. We brought him
in to the after hours emergency vet clinic to get him checked out.

All is good.

Midland 12/7/2009

Cold, damp and foggy. Yesterday was hot but today it is about as cold as I prefer for quail hunting.

Ted headed north to avoid a winter storm so I am scouting and running pups.  I “hunt” a good bit by myself nowadays but I find that I seldom shoot anything when it’s just me.  I tend to work my younger dogs when I am alone.  I only kill birds for them when they have reached a certain point and need to be finished up or when they do a particularly good job on a covey.

I am using google maps on my iPhone to find the right roads. It really works well.  The advantage to using a aerial photo over a standard topo map is that you can see the private roads that don’t show up on normal mapping software.

A good chunk of this particular lease has plenty of oil well roads on it but there is no map.  It ALL looks the same and getting around on it has been really challenging.

Once I started using the maps on my Iphone, it all came together.  It really helps that I can also see my location on the map as I move around.  It has made learning this lease very easy.

Em and I took the first round. She likes to go first and I don’t mind. It’s rare that it’s just me and her out together. We had a nice round. She stayed in with me really well  the majority of the time except for a couple of big casts.

We hunted the South East pasture. The cover in this area is some of the best I have seen. It’s a nice mix of broom weed ragweed bunch grass. Brushy cover and mesquite.

While Em was on a big cast, I walked up a nice covey of Bobs. It is rare to see them on this lease.  Over the last 3 years, I have only ran into 3 bobwhite coveys in Midland.

I ran Cash and Merle and then Sage and Richard from the buggy. Cash and Merle ran well but did not get into birds.

Sage had a real nice find and we did some dog training. Richard needs some work on staying steady.

The temperature has kept on dropping and now it’s too cold to hunt from the buggy.   There is ice forming on the bushes and my gun is also covered in ice.  I really don’t need to flush birds in this kind of weather.

On my way out I ran into two road coveys. I worked cash on the second one but did not go after the singles.

August 30th, 2010 by

Salt Water and Remote Dog training Collars

Hi Steve,
I recently bought the SportDOG Field Trainer SD-400S for tougher/stubborn dogs. I am very pleased with the collar and my dog has made a lot of progress. I am taking him to the beach in a few weeks for vacation and was wondering if the salt water would damage the collar.  I know that it is waterproof, however I didn”t find any information about whether or not the salt would cause damage. He is not a swimmer and I highly doubt he will jump in the ocean but the water will get splashed on the collar. If you could give me any information on this matter I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time and have a nice day.
SC
—–
SC,
Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  Saltwater will not be a problem with dog training collars.
We do recommend that you rinse the collar off with fresh water  every time you take
it off of him to get the salt off of it.
Be sure to watch your hardware on the collar if you are going to be in salt water on a regular basis.  Long term exposure can cause rust on the metal of the collar strap.
It should not be a big issue with such a short period of time.
Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.
Thanks,
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

August 27th, 2010 by

Time to get your Rattlesnake Vaccine

Be careful where you walk!

I have hunted out west for 20 plus years.  My encounters with rattlesnakes have been few and far between.

Some of that has been luck and some of that has been from avoiding places that snakes prefer to hang out.  I also don’t run my dogs when it gets really really hot.  If the temperature goes over 70 degrees, I head for the truck.

Early season is the time when I have the biggest chance of running into snakes.

A few years back, I started getting my dogs vaccinated with the Rattlesnake Vaccine from Red Rock Biologics.

This vaccine is designed to protect dogs from the bite of the Western Diamondback.  Because of similarities in venom, it offers some protection against other snakes including  the  Prairie, Great Basin, Northern and Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes, Sidewinder, Timber Rattlesnake, Massasauga and the Copperhead. The Red Rock vaccine provides some       protection against the Eastern Diamondback.

I have yet to have a chance to test this vaccine in the field and I hope I never do.  I have seen dogs that had been vaccinated and how they responded after getting bit.  It’s pretty amazing how well they did compared to unvaccinated dogs.

Snake bites are very serious and I highly recommend that you get your dog to the vet ASAP after a bite.  The biggest advantage that I see in the vaccine is that it gives me time.  It isn’t uncommon for me to be 60 to 100 miles from the closest vet when I am out hunting.  Getting a dog to the truck and to a vet in time can be a big issue.

The first time a dog is vaccinated, it requires an initial vaccine and then a booster one month later.  After that one you can do it once a year.  I time mine based on when we will be hunting.  The vaccine works best for the first six months or so.

Dogs that have more exposure throughout the year may require additional boosters.

Like any other vaccination, I recommend that you consult your vet.  You can get more info on Red Rock Biologics on their Rattlesnake FAQ.

Steve Snell

August 26th, 2010 by

Leatherman on Rizzoli and Isles

Tonight on the Cop / Medical Examiner buddy show Rizzoli and Isles we got to see another use of the leatherman products that I’ll leave to someone else.

Rizzoli the cop tells Isles the medical examiner that she needs her to perform an autopsy in the field instead of at her lab.

Isles’ sarcastic response is “sure Jane, just get me a leatherman and some Duct tape and I’m all good to go.”

Shoot – all she needed beyond that would be some zip ties and it would be the guys trifecta to fix anything….

Steve Snell

August 25th, 2010 by

Life without my Leatherman?

I could not do it.  Maybe it wouldn’t be worth doing it.  Either way, I have no plans of finding out.

I am a hard guy to shop for.  I normally don’t like many products and the ones that I do like, I am not going to wait around for someone else to buy them for me.

A few years back my brother got me a Leatherman multi-tool for my birthday.  I had never carried a multitool with me before and I wasn’t 100% sure that it was the right piece of gear for me.  Looking back, I am not real sure how I made it
though the day without it. He got me the Leatherman Juice Xe6  in Thunder Purple

It  features a

  • Clip Point Knife
  • Serrated Knife
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 3 sizes of Flat head Screwdriver
  • 1 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Scissors
  • Wood/Metal File
  • Saw
  • Bottle Opener
  • Can Opener
  • Awl
  • Corkscrew with Assist
  • Lanyard Ring

My Leatherman Juice Xe6 has a stainless stell body with outside-accessible Tools and Knives.  With some of the Leatherman tools, you have to open the pliers to get to the tools on the inside.  I prefer one that allows you access to the tools on the outside.

I have beat this one up pretty bad.  It gets used everyday.  I have even used it as a hammer from time to time….I am tough on my gear. Leatherman backs them with a 25 year warranty.

My only complaint is that it didn’t hold it’s color very well.  After a few years, the Thunder Purple has worn off.  Keep in mind that I keep mine in my front right pocket and it rubs against two sets of keys and my money clip.

One of the main things that I use my Leatherman for is removing cactus, porcupine quills and other fun objects that get stuck in my bird dogs when they are out in the field.  I used to carry a knife and a pair of needle nose pliers for doing these things.

Having the Leatherman Juice has allowed me the option of only having one tool in the field. We like them so much that we now sell them at Gun Dog Supply.  Click here to see our selection of  Leatherman multitools knives and flashlights .

Just to show off how useful my Leatherman Multitool can be, I am going to keep up with all the times I use it and see what sort of list I can make.

Just yesterday, I used it at least to remove the contact points from an old containment system collar for a customer that needed her strap replaced. And today, I used my Serrated Knife blade to open a knuckle  bone for my puppy english pointer Axl.

More to come…

Steve Snell

July 20th, 2010 by

Looking for Longer Prongs for a Training Collar

Hello . I am looking for longer prongs for a training collar.  Do you sell them without the collar?

————

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  We do sell the long replacement probes for all the major brands of remote training collars.

Here are links to the brands we carry

Proper collar fit on your dog’s neck is really important to get a consistent stimulation from your remote dog training collar.

I think one of the biggest issues we see with new folks using a training collar is how they put the collar on their dog. Most folks don’t put a dog training collar on tight enough on their dog’s neck to insure good skin contact.  (Rob: How do you do this?)

Without good skin contact, your corrections are going to be intermittent at best assuming that your dog will feel them at all. Most folks are concerned that having the collar on the dog too tight will some how hurt the dog or it will be uncomfortable.  This is not the case.

You can actually cause more damage with a loose collar. The probes moving around on the dogs neck can cause more irritation than a tight collar will over time.  Time being the biggest issue here.

Remote training collars, containment fences and bark collars are NOT designed to be worn more than 10 to 12 hours a day. Keep in mind that this is only an average.  Some dogs can have a collar with probes on for longer periods of time and some dogs will have neck issues in less time.  It varies with the dog.  It’s very important to keep a close eye on your dog’s neck when you first start using any kind of training collar on them and see how they react.

For the most sensitive dogs, we offer the extended contact point pads and comfort adapters. The idea behind these products is that it spreads out the area of the contact interface. This allows for less pressure on the dog’s neck, thus less irritation.

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

July 19th, 2010 by

Adding another Collar to my Tri-Tronics System

Steve,

I purchased a Tri-Tronics G3 Sport Basic and I love it!!!  I use it with my 95 lb Lab. This remote collar is an amazing training tool.  If I understand this correctly, I can use up to three collars with this one hand held remote?  The other dog I want to train with it is a ten pound terrier.  Is there a smaller collar that will work with the G3 Sport Basic?

Jim
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Jim

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  Glad to hear the Sport Basic has worked well for you.

You can add up to three collars with that transmitter.

Tri-Tronics now has the smaller “Sport Junior” collar. The Junior is smaller than the standard EXP collar.  It gets less range and uses a user replaceable 3 volt battery.  While you can use it on any size dog, we recommend it for folks that have dogs in the 8 to 12 pound range.

Here we have a side shot of both Tri-tronics collars next to each other

Here are the instructions to add your extra collar / receiver

1. Install strap of the desired color on the new collar and charge new receiver for two hours.


2. Set transmitter dog selection switch to the color of the strap.


3. Set transmitter intensity dial to a number, not a letter.


4. Turn the collar on.


5. Press and hold collar on/off button, then press and hold a “continuous” transmitter button. Hold both buttons down for about 5 seconds – until you hear two quick beeps (ignore the long beep that sounds right away). Release both buttons.


6. The collar will now be set to match your transmitter, and will be turned off.


7. Check for a successful match by turning the collar back on and pressing a “continuous” transmitter button. The collar light will turn on. If you are not planning to use the unit now, turn the collar off after testing.

Note for Classic 70 G3 EXP or Trashbreaker G3 EXP: When adding a receiver for dogs 1 – 3, use the button that matches the strap color and place the dog selection switch in the UP position. When adding a receiver for dogs 4 – 6, use the button inside the colored circle that matches the strap color and place the dog selection switch in the DOWN position.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

May 13th, 2010 by

Snake in my Pigeon House

Yesterday morning we went out to shoot a new video for the Autobacker at my kennel.  We set up a bunch of pigeons in bird launchers and worked 3 different pups to show multiple dogs at different levels of training using the backer.

Everything went pretty well and we will have the finished video up later. 

Around 7pm, I went down to the pen to make sure all the birds had come back and to lock up the Varmint guard.

While counting birds, I noticed some thing odd in one of the pigeon boxes.  It took me a couple of seconds to realise that it was a really, really big snake.

I not really afraid of snakes but I have a very healthy respect for them and I don’t mess with them unless I have no other choice.

I went up to the house to get a hoe and a rake to pull him out. 

The boxes in my pigeon house are removable so I was able to pull the box out and drop it on the floor of my pigeon coop and get a good look at him.

He was a good bit bigger than I originally thought and it was obvious that he had eaten either a bunch of eggs or one of my younger birds.

It took me a bit to make sure he was not poisonous and get him in a position to pull him out of the house.

The good thing about him eating so much is that he was not interested in moving too fast and didn’t put up much of a fight.  The one thing I know about snakes is that they can really move fast.  I pulled him out of the house and let him make a break for it.

Now I have to figure out how he got in and stop that from happening again.  I’ll also be real careful the next time I reach in to catch a bird.

This is been a really “Snaky Spring” for us at the snell house.  Between me and Sammy, we have run across 5 so far….

Steve Snell

May 7th, 2010 by

Email Question – How Many Dogs Can You Track with the Garmin Astro?

Steve,
I recently spoke to a distributor with intent to purchase the Garmin Astroand he told me that my hunting party could only use (1) hand help gps unit to track up to 10 different dogs.  This concerns me.  I wanted the ability for all 4 of my hunting buddies to be able to track all of the dogs.  Was the distributor telling the truth????
 
 M. S.
—————————————————————–

M,

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  The Astro handheld can track up to 10 dogs.  If you and your guys are only running 10 dogs at one time, you can all track each others dogs.  You can use an unlimited number of Handheld Astro Receivers to track these dogs. 

The Astro DC 30 Collar is like a small radio station.  As long as you know the channel it is broadcasting on and you are in range, you can pick it up.

If you run more than 10 dogs you would not be able to track them all at one time from the same unit.

If you run less than 10 dogs, you can all track from your hand held and still have room to add more dogs at any time.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

March 19th, 2010 by

The Whoa Post

The Whoa Post is by far my favorite part of the Ronnie Smith Seminar. It is an
amazing way to teach a dog to whoa or sit.

I told several folks today about the first time I saw the whoa post in
action in it’s current form. I grew up using the “Delmar Smith Method”
for teaching whoa. It was similar but it used a leather pinch collar around
the neck instead of a half hitch around the dogs flank.

The reason the Smith’s changed it over to the flank was because of
improvements in Ecollar technology. When the stimulation levels got
low and you could raise them as needed it changed the way you could
use them. That allowed them to use the collar on the flank.

The idea behind the Whoa post is that you have a stationary object
with a rope attached to it with a snap. You have your dog on a
checkcord. You bring the dog to the rope and run it between the
dogs back legs. You tie a half hitch around his waste and attach the
snap to the D ring on the dogs collar.

This makes a Point of Contact at the dogs flank. When you pull tight
on the lead checkcord the dog gets stimulation at the flank. He has no
where to go. He is stuck between you and the stationary object. He can
fight it all he wants, but as long as you hold on, your dog is going to
stand still.

Most dogs fight it at first, but quickly learn that the fastest way
out is to stop the second they feel stimulation at the flank.

Once you have repeated this drill 30 to 50 times depending on the dog,
you can move on to the ecollar around the flank.

It allows you to stop a dog dead in his tracks at any distance. Once
you have this down, you can take the chase from a dog and get him
steady on his game. After that, you can get him steady to wing, shot
and dead fall. These are major parts of developing a fully trained
hunting dog.

The first time I saw this technique in action was at a Rick Smith
Seminar that I attended in 2002 in Pleasanton, TX. It was my first
seminar since I was 14.

Rick was getting ready to start the Whoa Post and needed a dog that
did not know what whoa was and had never stopped for anything. I had
the perfect dog for him.

Ruby was out of my Em dog and Shadow’s Mark. She had more go than she
knew what to do with and I had done very little work with her at the
time. She had no idea how to stop or any good reason why you would
want to stop.

Rick put her on the post and worked her through the basics. He then
moved her past that and had her understanding the “concept” and
stopping as soon as she felt the smallest amount of pressure at her
flank.

He then moved her to an ecollar around her waist. He worked her out to
a check cord toward a bird in a remote release trap. Once she got the
scent and went on point, he stimed her around her flank. She stopped
and held point. He then flushed the bird and stimed her again. She
stood steady to wing.

The next part really amazed me. He walked away and left her standing
there. Rick came back over to where we were sitting and talked a bit
more about what he had done and how to go about training your dog this
way.

I really didn’t hear much of what he said because I was watching Ruby
the whole time.

There she was standing still 75 yards away from anyone. She had never
done this before and she had nothing holding her back. At any point
she could break and run. She had no tracking collar on her and I would
have no way to find her if she did break. My only hope was that Rick
knew everyone in the county and somebody would find my dog.

To make matters worse, about a thousand black birds started flying
over her. Wave after wave of birds started to blacken out the sky. She
watched them all, standing completely still with all four feet planted
firmly on the ground.

I know for a fact that most folks at the seminar thought she was a
plant. A fully trained dog that was brought in to show folks how
talented Rick was and how effective his training would be on their
dogs.

I knew that this particular dog had no idea what she was doing. It was
the Whoa Post – not the dog.

Rick finished up his talking and walked out to my pup. He grabbed her
check cord and quartered her off like it a regular day and she had
done it a thousand times.

Now we were not finished. I had to work her on the post and get her to
fully understand the concepts and move her to the flank. It worked
really fast.

I use this method on all my dogs now and it works like a charm.

Click here to read part one of Rick’s “Whoa Post Redux” and here for “Whoa Post Redux – Part 2″

Steve

Gun Dog Supply

March 17th, 2010 by

When Do I Start Training My Puppy?

When Do I Start Training My Puppy?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “when do I start training my puppy?”  The answer really seems to surprise most folks. 

You start training the first time you pick him up.  What?  That can’t be.  Yep, it sure is.

Every time you touch your dog some form of “training” is going on.  Now it might not be “good training” but it is training.  Every interaction with your dog will result in him learning something.  Every time you do something with him or let him “get away” with a behavior he learns what he can and can’t do.

One of the best examples of this was shown to me by Rick Smith.

Rick always tells the story of the first time most folks pick up their puppy.   The pup wiggles and squirms trying to get away.  Most folks will tend to immediately put the pup down and let him go play.  Now you have “trained” your pup. He has learned that all he has to do is wiggle and wiggle and you will give in. To get what pup wants, he just has to put in a little effort and you will cave.

What you should do in this situation is apply a little pressure.  Lightly squeeze pup close to your chest and restrain him until he stops wiggling.  Once he is calm, place him on the ground.

You must wait until he stops moving, no matter how it takes.  It seldom takes more than a couple of seconds.  Now pup has learned that when you place your hands on him he needs to be still.  This is TRAINING.

A still dog is required in all forms of training no matter the breed or what you do with him.  We need it for basic grooming, first aid, giving medication, vet visits and sitting at the park.  It’s required for pointing dogs while pointing or backing, retrievers in the duck blind and flushing dogs that are steady to wing. It makes a big difference when you are putting on dog boots, dog vests, e-collars and tracking collars.
 
Every time you put your hands on your dog, you want him to be still.  Little did you know that you have now taught your 8 week old brand new puppy that this isn’t required.  He has learned that all he has to do is put in a little effort and you will cave.

This same concept applies to every other interaction you have with your dog for the rest of his life.  When you put him into a situation where he has a choice to comply or not, if he picks to not and you let him get away with it, you have trained him.

The original question of “when do I start training my puppy?” is where most of our customer’s “dog issues” begin.  They don’t understand why they have a 85 pound lab that likes to jump on people and knock them down.  How did this happen?  Well, they let the 8 week old pup jump on them.  It’s cute and there is no harm done.  Sure, that isn’t a problem, but you are training your pup that this is acceptable behavior.  You have no one to blame but yourself when he knocks your little old lady neighbor over and breaks her hip.

My rule with pups is that we don’t allow them to get away with things as a puppy that we don’t want them doing as full grown dogs.  It’s a pretty simple rule but you have to make a few decisions up front and stick to them. 

 Now some folks might take part of this the wrong way.  I’ll give an example.  I expect my retriever to be steady in the blind.  That means he will wait to go on a retrieve when I send him not before. 

We don’t start pups out this way.  I don’t expect my pup to be steady the first time we throw him a bumper.  I want him to break at a young age.  I’ll teach him not to once we make sure his drive is solid and we get past bird and gun introductions.

I just don’t let him wiggle his way out of things or jump on people because it’s cute.

Steve Snell

March 15th, 2010 by

Last day in Texas – Another Torn ACL

The last day of the Texas hunting season we started early to get the right light for taking pictures.  Rob prefers that magical hour right after the sun pops over the horizon and that means we have to be on the ground before sun up.  I have to get out there early so I can prep my gear and get my dogs exercised.

I don’t like to put out a stake out chain at the hotel at 6am out of respect for the other hotel guests that are still asleep.  Nothing like the sound of a sledge hammer to wake you up in the morning.  I seldom have barking issues at the hotel because I make sure any of my barkers are wearing bark collars.  I can’t stand having to get up at 3am because a cat decides to cruise by my truck and gets the crew worked up.

I started using the chain gang more this year since I made more trips to Texas on my own.  I doubt I will go back to walking dogs since I can do this SO much faster.  I can exercise 12 dogs in about 20 minutes.  That’s start to finish and it includes clean up and poop scooping time.  I couldn’t do that with two or three guys helping me.  It also allows more time on the ground per dog.

We got all the dogs settled and started the first round.  I ran Em, Click and Sage.  Em prefers to go first and Sage and Click are my “pretty” dogs.  They take better pictures and Rob wanted to finish up a few specific shots. 

I knew 5 minutes out of the truck that I had a problem.  Em was having a leg issue.  She had ran well the two days before and overall she had a pretty nice season.  She may look her age but she can still run. 

She had recovered well from her torn ACL from last summer.  The TPLO surgery had really fixed the issue and I was real pleased with her progress. 

I could tell from the way she was holding her leg that she had screwed up the repair job.  My guess was that one of the plates had come lose or worse.  I called her in and took her back to the truck. 

She did not appear to be in any pain so once we got her settled, we moved on to another spot to finish running dogs. 

Once we got back to Starkville, I took her in to my vet to have him look at it and see what had happened.  He called me back that morning to tell me that the hurt leg was not the one she had messed up last summer but her other leg.  She had torn her other ACL.

I guess in hind sight, it’s a good thing that the repaired leg held up.  I had just forgotten which leg it was that was hurt last year.

My vet gave me my options but I really didn’t need to spend a bunch of time thinking about it.  Em is the reason I bird hunt today and really the reason that I am running Gun Dog Supply.  She was my third bird dog.  I got my first one Dee, when I was 9.  My next was a duaghter of hers names Babe.  My dad bought Em when I was 28.  She quickly became my dog.

 At some point, I’ll spend more time writing about her, but needless to say, I’ll do what ever it takes to make her time left here comfortable.

I could not be happier with the way she responded to her first TPLO surgery, so I had little or no doubt that this one would also go well.  It’s never easy to make this kind of decision on a dog her age, but I felt pretty comfortable that it would work out.

I had my vet set up the appointment in Birmingham and we headed there two days later.  I had them check her and no question it needed to be repaired.  I left her over night and came back to pick her up the next day. 

The Doctors were real pleased with how it went and I thought she looked better than the last time.

Now we begin the two weeks of little or no movement and the daily regiment of pills.  She also has to wear the stylish Elizabethan collar that keeps her from chewing  out the staples.  Last time I gave her some time with out the collar but I was pushing my luck and I don’t need to do that this time.  She will wear it unless I am with her.

I set her up a new smaller dog run in the garage.  This way she is close to me and does not have to deal with the other dogs.  She can stay in the crate in the house at night and come to the office with me on most days.

She hates taking pills.  I have always been good at getting pills dog a dog, but I think if she had any teeth left, I would have lost a finger by now.  Only a few more days left of pills and less than a week until we get the staples taken out.  We will both be much happier after that is done.

Then it’s on to physical rehab.  It will be good for both of us. 

I’ll right more in the near future about the TPLO surgery and using a roading harness to keep your dogs in shape during the off season.

Steve Snell

March 12th, 2010 by

Mississippi Quail Hunting Youth Event

Last Saturday I attended my first Quail Forever Youth Quail Hunt.  It was one of the most positive things I have been a part of to help support the future of hunting in general.

These youth hunts were supported by funding from the 2009 Youth Participation Initiative Program of the MDWFP and from the generous support of
our two event hosts, Millbrook Plantation and Prairie Wildlife Preserve.

Mississippi Quail Hunting Youth Event was sponsored by the Golden Triangle Chapter of Quail Forever in cooperation with The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Mississippi State University Extension Service.

These youth quail hunts were developed to introduce young hunters and their parents to quail hunting, quail management and conservation.

The objective was to introduce quail hunting to kids that may have hunted before, but have not had the opportunity to bird hunt.  The long term goal is that some of them will maintain an interest in quail habitat management and upland bird hunting.

The first hunt was at Millbrook Plantation in Stonewall, MS on February 27, 2010 and the second hunt was at Prairie Wildlife Preserve in West Point on Saturday, March 6, 2010.

These two quail shooting preserves were selected because they have realistic habitat settings and practice sound upland wildlife management.

The Mississippi Quail Hunting Youth Events taught the principles of hunting and firearms safety, particularly as it pertains to upland bird hunting.  Habitat management was taught based on the the daily life needs of a bobwhite quail throughout the year.

Other activities included wing-shooting practice (clay targets), field dressing quail, quail biology and a prescribed burn demonstration.

Youth participants also had the opportunity to watch bird dogs work and participate in a real quail hunt.

I missed the first event since I was quail hunting in Texas but I made sure I was around for the second one.  It was really nice to see kids that had never had the chance to quail get to experience it.

I thought hunts went very well and were well received by all participants.  Special thanks go out to all the volunteers that made it possible.

The Youth Participation Initiative Program is a great idea. In it’s first year, MDWFP was able to fund 24 YPI applications.  In total, nearly $900,000 was requested with over 1 million dollars in matching monetary. This program has helped highlight a great deal of interest and concern for youth outreach and recruitment when it comes to getting Mississippi’s youth back into the woods and on the water.

Contact  Justin Thayer,  MDWFP Youth Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator at (601) 432-2014 for more information.

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

March 10th, 2010 by

You Have to Have Birds

You have to have birds to train a bird dog.  There is no way around it.  This doesn’t mean you have to have them yourself but your dog has to be trained on live birds if you are going to have a hunting dog worth his salt. 

Not everyone has a place to raise them and keep them.  If you don’t, you’ll need to find either a dog training club, professional dog trainer, or a shooting preserve where you can keep birds or buy them as needed. 

If you DO have a place to keep birds then you need proper housing for them. 

If you are handy with a hammer and saw, you can build your own.  We sell plans for a pigeon loft.  It’s a pretty easy design and will fit in most backyards.

We have also have plans for one of the nicest quail recall or “Johnny Houses” that I have every seen.  The Phantom Quail Kennel is the Taj Mahal of recall pens.  I don’t have one yet, but I will someday soon.

If you are not handy with a hammer – like me – then you can get out your wallet out and have one built. 

If you want to get a really, really nice one built then check out W.L. Jaggers Quailty Pigeon Lofts & Recall Pens.

W.L. is a bird dog man and makes a mighty nice bird pen.  I have seen several of his in the field and they are well worth the price tag.  The cool thing too is that he can ship you one almost anywhere.

Here are a few images of his work.  Check out his site for more info. 

You have to have birds to train a bird dog.

Steve SnellGun Dog Supply

March 8th, 2010 by

Customer Expectations….

Last year I went up to the Internet Retailer Show in Boston.  I was hoping to find a few cool things and then watch my big brother speak at the Yahoo! Store SEO Merchant Summit.

We stayed at a pretty high-end hotel with an insanely well trained staff.  It went way beyond the little touches.

For example, every time I called down stairs they would answer the phone ” Hello, Mr Snell how may we assist you?”   Lucky for them Rob and I have the same last name.  It was neat to watch it.  I am a bit of a Customer Service junkie and I like to find folks that are good at it.

I also like to find the holes.

The moment it all fell apart was 4:20 am the morning we left.  I got my wake up call on time and I even got the backup call they recommended since my call was at 4 am.

When I called down to the front desk to arrange for a cab to the airport I got no answer. It took 4 calls to the front desk to get someone on the phone. Once I did she was perfect just like every other time.

It placed an odd moment in an otherwise very “high level service” experience.  I also was impressed at the greetings we got from the staff on our way out at the early hour.

My expectation of service was raised by the hotel and I was quite annoyed when they dropped the ball.  It was really out of place.

It brought up two emails that I got earlier that week that I think require at least some examination.

The first customer started out his email with the sentence. “I doubt there is little chance this email will actually get to Steve Snell but…..”  He went on to ask some questions about the differences between the Tri-tronics Sport Basic G3and the SportDOG 1825 that I use. Most of his questions where based on the use of vibration and training.

I once answered the majority of the emails. Well, that’s not totally true. When my father was alive, he did a big part of them.

Later I brought in folks to do the easy ones.  Tracking numbers and basic questions.

Today we have 5 folks that over see email plus me. We get a bunch and I expect them to be answered quickly.

I do still see every email and every answer. I still answer my share (even some of the easy ones) and sometimes I’ll add additional info emails if I feel our answer needs some clarification.

Email is one of the biggest ways we interact with our customers and it’s important.  We are nowhere as good at it as I would like to be, but I think we do a good job.

The other email came from a customer that had some issues with an automatic waterer he had just received in the mail.

Based on his multiple emails and the level of detail in his email there was no question he had put in the effort to get the product to work. It was a dud product.  It happens.

My issue was that he  felt he was “getting ripped off.”

I am always amazed how folks expect to get screwed in business transaction. Sometimes it’s the first thing they run to without ever giving us the chance to make it right.

I have to be real careful how I deal with these folks because I sometimes take their reaction the wrong way.

Our family has been in the mail order business for 37 years. We have not done it by ripping folks off.  Our goal is to sell a high quality product and give a high level of service. Before and after the sale.

Does it always work out?  I wish.

Mistakes happen. Defective products happen. Sometimes things out of our control make the buying experience less than pleasant.

All I want is a chance to make it right. If we can, we will.  It’s not real common in today’s market, but it is how we run our company.

I emailed the customer (midnight on a Friday while I was 1000 miles away from the warehouse) just to let him know we would correct the issue to his satisfaction.

He was pleased (and a little surprised) that we responded at all…..

Steve Snell – Gun Dog Supply

March 5th, 2010 by

One of My Favorite Gun Cleaning Products – Clenzoil

I am not much of a gun guy.  I have a few and once I find one I love, I tend to stick with it. 

I’m also not the best at taking care of them.  I clean my guns at least once a year even if they don’t need it…..

OK, I’m really not that bad, but it isn’t my strong suit.  That’s why I use Clenzoil.  It’s a all around great gun cleaning product.  What I really love about it is that it works great on metal, wood and leather.  I can clean my entire gun with one product. It’s also a cleaner, lubricant and metal protector.  That cuts down on the number of things I have to carry with me.

I first read about Clenzoil in an Quail Unlimited article by Bill Hanus.

It sounded so good, I had to give it a try.  It’s easy to use and does a great job.

Here are a few places you can buy Clenzoil

Optics Planet

Cabela’s

Clenzoil

Steve Snell

March 4th, 2010 by

2010 National Bird Dog Champion – In The Shadow

Congratulation to “In The Shadow” for winning the 2010 National Bird Dog Championship at the Ames Plantation. 

“In The Shadow” (call name – Buster) is owned by Carl Bowman of Louisville, KY.   He is  handled by Robin Gates and was scouted by  Robin’s son Hunter Gates.

  Buster ran his brace on 2/11/2010 and had 10 finds.

Click here to read about his winning brace and here for the Brace by Brace Synopsis.

Photos from the trial are here and you can read newspaper articles from the NY Times, Commercial Appeal and WHNT.

March 3rd, 2010 by

Welcome to the Jungle

I picked up my last new puppy for a while……I swear….no more.  Not until these are all trained.

Axl is the grandaughter of 2007 National Champion Funseeker’s Rebel 

She is out out a Funseeker’s Rebel Joe and a daughter of CH Sir Lancelot Phantom’s Shakira

I got to see both dogs run last summer in South Dakota and was so impressed I had to have one for myself.  I wish I had picked up a direct son or daughter before Funseeker’s Rebel pasted away.

Axl is as bold of a pup as I have seen in a long time.  I expect her to make a really nice bird dog.  

This gives me dogs out of the last three National Champions.  Should be interesting. 

For those of you that don’t know, she is named after Axl Rose of the rock band Guns n Roses. 

 I named my Lester’s Snowatch pup “Izzy” after guitarist Izzy Stradlin.   I’m not that big of a fan, but they really had cool names.

I guess that means the next pup will be “Slash”…..when I get my next pup…..four or five years from now……I swear….

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

March 2nd, 2010 by

Just because it fits in your carry on bag…..

I fly as little as possible.  I actually like to fly but the hassle of getting through the airport and dealing with the other folks that fly makes it a daunting task. 

If I can drive it I will. 14 hours from Starkville is my cutoff.  I find that I can’t do more than that in a day and be worth much the next few days.

One of the joys of flying out of this part of the world is that you can’t get a direct flight any where.  Everything has a connection.  Nothing better than flying from Starkville to Atlanta, waiting an hour and then flying back over Mississippi to get to the west coast. 

If you want to fly west, you have to drive to Jackson or Memphis.  That’s a couple of hours there and back.  It really adds to the trip.

14 hours is my cutoff point so Boston was way out side of that since it’s 21 hours from Starkville.

This morning at 5am I had another example of the reason that some folks just should not fly.

The line to security was insane.  We get up to security and folks are running stuff through the x ray machine.  The guy in front of me has a mallet in his carry on bag.

I am not talking about a little hammer. This monster was at least a foot and a half long. It looked a little like ”Mjolner” the hammer of Thor- the Norse God of Thunder.

Needless to say, the TSA folks freaked.

Steve Snell

www.gundogsupply.com
1-800-624-6378

March 1st, 2010 by

The End of Quail Season

We just wrapped up the 2009 – 2010 Texas Quail Season.  I still have to post all my notes from the year.  I’ll get that done in the next week or so.

It was my longest bird season ever.  I started it in August in South Dakota and ran until the end of February.

We hunted South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

That covered Sharptail Grouse, Huns, Pheasants, Bobwhite Quail, Blue Quail and too many species of ducks and geese to name.

It was a mediocre year at best.  We had good bird numbers up north, but the weather and the late corn harvest made getting to them tough.

Our Quail numbers were better than most of Texas based on folks that I talked to throughout the year, but they were pretty bad.  It was one of those years that makes us appreciate the good years.

The good news is that the parts of Texas that I hunt have gotten winter rains.  This year we had mud in Texas.  That’s pretty rare.  All the stock tanks are full and there should be plenty of greens and cover.

Quail can bounce back at a staggering rate when everything lines up right.  If we ever get a repeat of the 2007 – 2008 season, I might just spend the whole season in Texas.

I was real pleased with the progress of my main dogs.  Click, Stud and Sage had a good year.

Stud really found his groove. He understands now how I hunt and what I want from him.  It took a little longer than it should have, but most of that was my fault.

I have a hard time believing Click is only 3.  This was his fourth hunting season and he really took off this year.

What I like about down years is that it really shows you the talent level of your dogs.  Any dog can find birds in a boom year.  It’s the bust years that tell you want you want to know.

Em held up better then I expected after her TPLO surgery but she may have made her last trip.  12 is pretty old for an English Pointer.  Keep in mind I said the same thing about her last year….and the year before.  She will get to go as long as she wants.

Now, it’s puppy time.  I have 6 dogs under 1 1/2 years old.  Cash and Brandy are behind where I want them but I can fix that pretty quick.  Mac is way ahead of where he should be.  Izzy, Apple and Axl are right on target.

Steve Snell

February 26th, 2010 by

Quail Hunting – Last week of the 2008-2009 season

2/19/2009  Aspermont, TX

Last trip of the 2008 – 2009 bird hunting season.  Texas starts on the last Saturday of October and runs to the last Sunday of February. 

I made this trip with our head buyer, Jonathan.  Jonathan owns a female German Shorthair named “Chick”.

She gets to go with me more than Jonathan does (since she doesn’t mind riding in the dog trailer) but every once in a while we take him along with us.

We headed over to my Aspermont lease first.  The drive to Midland is pick much for one haul, so I like to head to Aspermont first.  We run dogs there a day or two and then head southwest.

While Midland has mainly Blues with a few Bobs, Aspermont has Bobs with a few Blues. 

We get many more of your traditional “covey rises” at Aspermont and the birds don’t run any where as much.  It is a little more relaxed.

We first ran Em and Chick.  Chick found one covey and  two singles.

Next we ran Click and Richard. Both ran well but we didn’t find any birds.  Johnny walked up two singles.

The next brace was Sage and Stud. They found 6 coveys total. Sage found three of them and Stud found two.  The last group got up wild. 

Sage did a real nice job on his coveys. He also had 2 singles.

Stud ran well. When he streched out he found two coveys. Held both until we got to him. Very Em like….

Ran Chick and Richard on the hill close to camp. We have really bad sandspurs in this area and we had to boot the dogs.

The Ruff Wear Dog Boots did a good job but the socks did not work for me.  I could not get them to stay in place.  I may try either vet wrap or wrist bands for the dogs that have rubbing issues.

Richard found 1 covey. He also nice job on finding a winged bird.

We ran Sage by himself  north of 448. No birds.  Early afternoon it got to hot to hunt and we called it a day.  We packed the truck and headed southwest.

2/20/2009 Midland

Ran Em and Chick first morning.  Em found a nice covey. Both dogs found singles and worked them well. Killed 1 bird.  Walked up 3 more coveys.  It was very windy and the dogs were having major issues locating birds.

Ran Sage and Click next.  Click had a nice find. Killed one bird.

Ran Stud and Richard.  Both did great. Stud had 3 covey points and 4 singles.  Richard had 2 coveys and 4 singles. Killed 6 birds.

 

2/21/2009 Midland

Ran Em and Chick. Wind was blowing about 35 mph. Really had no plan of seeing anything so we checked a new spot.

4 coveys later and 11 birds in the bag we headed back to the truck.  Both dogs pointed nultiple coveys and singles. The found all our dead birds and did a really nice job.  Chick is doing really well for a dog with very little experience.  She has a lot of natual ability and is a good overall bird dog.  Our GSP’s  come from Wildrose German Shorthaired Pointers and I have been really pleased with all of them.

Stud had a really good day with mutiple finds on coveys and singles.  He needs some work on ”steady to shot” and “steady to kill”  issues but he is finding birds.  I can fix his manners in the spring.

Richard and Sage also had a really nice round.  It was a really good day.

2/22/2009  Midland

Last day of the 2008 – 2009 season.

Ran Em and Chick. Em made a 800 yard cast and went on point. By the time we got there the birds had moved.

She relocated and found them again. We killed 2 on the rise. She picked up one. Good way to end the season with her.

Richard and Click have hurt feet and are done for this trip.  The sand has been tough on them this year.

We made the last round with Sage and Stud.  Sage found 1 covey. Stud found 2. Both did really well.

We had a really good season.  It was nothing like 2007 – 2008 as far as number of birds, but it was easily in my top 5 of all time.

We ended on a high note with this trip.  I have a bunch of training to do in the off season and I am ready to get it going.

Steve Snell

www.gundogsupply.com
1-800-624-6378

February 25th, 2010 by

2009 Midland Texas

I have a couple of quick posts to finish up the 2008 – 2009 Quail Season.  I’ll knock them out so I can get to my 2009 – 2010 boird hunting notes in the next couple of weeks.

1/23 Midland

I came over early before meeting up with the SportDOG boys.  I spent the day hunting with in the Quail Buggy.

We found 7 coveys.  While I was originally not a big fan of hunting out of a vehicle, I have changed my take on it after doing it a few times.

There are a couple of really big advantages, especially if you hunt with really young dogs still in training, or if you like to run older dogs.

I do both.   The advantage with young dogs is that you can put them on the ground for how ever long it takes.  Once they get the bird contacts that they need, you can put them up.  It might take 10 minutes.  It might take an hour.

Once you have had success, you are much better off to get them up and let them think about it.  If you have to leave them on the ground while you are headed back to the truck, you stand the chance of them screwing up something or running into a bad situation where the training falls apart.

Since you had success and put them up, you also have the opportunity of running themn again once the other dogs have been on the ground.  It’s win – win.

The advantage for older dogs is similar.  Em is 12 now.  She still loves it and still finds as many birds as the next dog, but she just can’t go as long.  I can run her for 30 minutes and put her up.  I can run her multiple times of the day and give her long breaks between.  If I feel she has had enough, we load her in the buggy and let her relax.  It’s hard to take short rounds when you are hunting on foot.  The buggy fixes this problem.

I also hunt in the heat.   The buggy lets me carry more water and rotate dogs faster.  It’s a big advantage it certain parts of the world.

1/24/2009 Midland

Hunting with L and S.  Kiled 21 birds. Lost count on the number of coveys.  Everyone had a good day.

1/25/2009 Midland

Bad hot today.   Ran Em and Richard first.  No birds.   Ran Click and Sage.  Found 3 coveys of blues.

1/26/2009  Midland

Hunted South East section for the first time.  Found 5 coveys.  I was really pleased with the size of the coveys especially for this time of year.

 

2/10/2009-2/13/2009 – Midland

 It was me, my brother and Sam.  It had been years since the three of us had traveled together and we had a blast.  Rob came out to shoot photos for the website and do a few product videos.

 Click here to see all the pictures.

It was a good week for the dogs and we actually got a bunch of work done.
Steve Snell

February 24th, 2010 by

Quail Hunting – Aspermont, TX 1-21 to 1-22-2009

1/21/2009  Aspermont, TX

Hunted for the first time with longtime firends and suppliers Chuck and Blanche Johnson.  The Johnsons own  Wilderness Adventures Press where we get many of our books including the popular and really handy Wingshooter Guides.

Chuck and Blanche have also written a mighty fine cook book – Savor Wild Game Cookbook  and Training The Versatile Hunting Dog – a guide for training and bringing out the  natural abilities, desire, search, pointing, and tracking in the versatile breeds.

Chuck also writes the Versatile Dog column for the Pointing Dog Journal.  You can read about his trip to Texas in the November December 2009 issue.

Chuck brought two of his fine German wirehaired pointers.  It was their first trip to hunt Texas Bobs.  I was very pleased with how they ran and handled their birds.  

The first day out was pretty typical Texas.  Hot and Dry.  We were only able to make a few rounds and did not move any birds.  It was my first “shut out” of the season.

We headed back to town and will try again tomorrow.

1/22/2009 Aspermont

Ran Em and one of Chuck’s GWPs. Em really needs a couple of  days off.  She  hurt her foot and I had to carry her back to the truck.  She just turned 11 and is really starting to show her age.

We ran Richard and Click. Richard found two coveys. Click got to back a couple of times.

Richard did a really nice job.  I think many of  his issues in the past whave been from a  lack of maturity. He still has a way to go, but he will make a fine bird dog.

Ran Stud and Sage.  Sage found one covey.  I killed one bird on the rise.  Stud found it and retrieved to hand.

Stud ran much better.  I really love the new SportDog 1825 high stim collar.  It’s the only collar I have found so far that will get Stud’s attention.  The thing I have to be most careful about is making sure I reset the collar back to medium before I put it on another one of my dogs.  It’s really easy to switch it back and forth between settings.

I worked Roxy on a few blind setups just to keep her sharp and then ran the pups.  The heat finished another day early for us. 

That’s just part of bird hunting in Texas.

Steve Snell

February 23rd, 2010 by

Home Alone – The Doggy Version

A few days before Christmas,  my family went out to the movies.  You would think it would
be a simple operation, but it’s more like moving a small army.

I took the kids to see “Avatar” and Kathy went with her folks to see “The
Blindside.”

 After getting out of the movie I checked my phone to see
if I had any messages.

I had several from our alarm company.  When I got them on the phone
they told me that the alarm had gone off and the sheriff department
had been dispatched.

I called the Sheriff Department to see if anything bad had happened.

They said the back sliding door was open when they got there but
everything seemed fine and they locked up.

I immediately knew I had a major problem.  Brandy and Lucy were in the
backyard when we left for the movies.  Lucy knows how to open the
backdoor if you don’t lock it.  My guess is that one of the kids put
her out and forgot to lock the door.

She opened the door after we left and set off the alarm.  When the police
got there, either the dogs were upstairs or since they were already inside
the officers figured they should be there and left them inside.

Lucy isn’t really an issue.  She is not a chewer anymore and behaves
pretty well.

Brandy is another story.  She just turned a year old and loves to
shred anything she can.  She is about as high drive of an animal that
I have ever owned.

I just knew what I would get home to…..every Christmas present torn
open, the Christmas tree dragged across the house.  Stuffed animals
ripped into small pieces, every Santa figurine of my wife’s in small,
spit covered hunks, and several dead small pets (snake, rat and
bearded dragon were in the house unprotected from the Brandy tornado)

Much to my surprise, there was very little damage.  They had dragged a
bunch of stuffed animals out from under one of the beds.  They also
found a bag of food for the rat that was too tasty to pass up.

Not a single Christmas present or decoration was touched.  Hard to
believe.  Maybe Brandy is coming around as she gets older….or it
could have just been a Christmas Miracle.

Steve Snell

February 22nd, 2010 by

Cross Compatible Remote Dog training Collars

One of the biggest issues that we have had for years in multi dog systems is the size of the reciever / collar  electronics for folks that have multiple dogs of different sizes.

The issue that we run into is folks that have a 90 pound Labrador and a 15 terrier.  They want to be able to work both dogs at the same time from one hand held transmitter but they feel that they need a different size collar for their two dogs.

Some folks feel that a “standard” size ecollar is way too big for a dog under 20 pounds.  This really isn’t the case, but it is important that folks feel comfortable that the collar their dog is wearing is not too much weight for their dog.

The other concern that we run into is that folks feel that the size of the actual electronics relates to the “power” of the stimulation levels.  The bigger concern here is that a “bigger” collar would be two strong for a small dog.  The assumption is that the size of the dog has something to do with the required level of stimulation that a dog needs or can handle.

This really isn’t the case.  Some of the smallest dogs require much higher levels of stimulation and some of the largest dogs need very low levels to get the desired reaction.

It has nothing to do with the size of the dog.  That’s why we always recommend that you start low and work your way up with stimulation levels on your ecollar to find the right level for you dog.  You just can’t tell what’s needed based off the size or temperament of the dog.

While all this is easy to explain, folks still want an appropriate sized ecollar for their dog.  That’s where the Cross Compatible units come into play.

We first got this option from the folks at SportDOG way back in 2004.  The 1800 series systems, 800 systems and the 400 series systems are “cross compatible.”   This means you can buy an 1800 Sporthunter system and add the 400 / 800 extra collar if you have a smaller dog.

You can also add the 1800 Add a Dog collar to a 400 or 800 tranmitter if you want the smaller tranmitter but need a little more range.

Tri-Tronics joined the party last year with the introduction of the Sport Junior collar.   The Junior collar is the same size as the Tri-Tronics Bark Limter and will fit on dogs down to around 8 pounds.  The other features of the Junior are that it uses a replaceable 3 volt battery and has built in safty lights that you can operate remotely from some Tri-Tronics Transmitters.

The Sport Junior collar can be added to any of the current Tri-Tronics Sport or Field & Pro Units if you want a smaller addtional collar for your little dog.   The Junior collar and transmitter also work with any of the older G2 systems.

You can also pair the Junior collar with any of the replacement transmitters that we sell and make your own uniqe system.  We did this already with our Basic Junior.   

We now also have this option from DT Systems since they have introduced their line of expandible systems for 2010.  The Micro IDT Plus and the H2O Plus allow you to add additional collars at any time and they also allow you to mix and match collar sizes if you need a smaller collar or a bigger collar.  Both expandible collars now work with either transmitter.

Right now, Dogtra is the only major ecollar company that has big dog collars and small dog collars but does not have an expandible or cross compatible option.

Knowing which systems you can mix and match can be a bit confusing.  If you want to setup a system to fit the different sizes of your pack of hounds, let us know and we can help you get what you need.

Steve

Gun Dog Supply

February 19th, 2010 by

The CP 33 Buffer Program

I was told this morning that I might be spending a little too much
time chasing birds and not enough time “blogging” about chasing
birds…….(Hey, Rob!)


I really wanted to be in Texas this week but a few business things and
family things kept me home.  I took time to run up to a hunting lease
in North Mississippi that I have been on for the last couple of years.

This particular lease is going under a major habitat restoration for
quail using the Conservation Reserve Program: CP33-Habitat Buffers for
Upland Birds.  CP 33 is a field boarder program that creates upland
bird habitat using the marginal areas around crop fields.

Click here read more about the CP33 – Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds

CP33 buffers are 30- to 120-foot buffers established in native warm-season grasses  on  row crop fields. Incentives, annual rental rates, and cost-shares are paid to the land owner for enrollment in this Conservation Reserve Program (CRP.)

CP 33 may be the only hope for the return of huntable quail
populations on private land in the Southeastern states.  

Buffers are good for farmers, land owners, all wildlife (not just ground nesting birds) and the environment.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supplyhttp://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378
FAX 1-662-324-6011

February 18th, 2010 by

New Pups in the Field

This morning I ran  Mac, Apple and Izzy.  All three pups are coming
along really well and showing signs of turning into classy bird dogs.

Mac is out of Phantom’s Wizard  and Phantom’s Southern Sky

Wiz is the sire of several of our dogs including Click, Stud and Merle.

Apple is also out of Wizard and Phantom’s Saffron

Izzy may just be the best bred female I have ever had in my kennel.

Her sire is 2009 National Champion Lester’s Snowatch.

Her dam is Phantom’s Wild Chick

Wild Chick is a full sister to 2008 National Champion Whippoorwill Wild Agin

All three are finding and pointing birds and holding them pretty well for their age.


Mac is the most natural bird dog I think I have ever seen.  He seems to really understand birds and how to find them.  What has really impressed me about him is that he has found wild birds in both Texas and Georgia.  These are very different scent back grounds and it normally takes grown dogs time to adjust to the change.

It’s going to be a really busy this spring getting them ready for the fall.

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supplyhttp://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378
FAX 1-662-324-6011

February 17th, 2010 by

Quail Hunting 1/20/2009 Midland, Tx

1/20/2009  Midland, Texas – Hunting Notes

First we ran Em and  Preston’s  young German Shorthair “Penny”

Em found 3 coveys and about 10 singles and small groups of birds. Penny found one covey and a single.   6 birds killed. Lost one  These seem like pretty low numbers for the amount of birds we found, but anyone that has hunted blues knows how tough they are to kill.

We had really nice weather and dog work.

Next we ran Stud and Richard.  We found either 2 coveys or one really big one.  Sometimes with Blues it’s hard to tell.  Running little buggers.

Richard had a nice point. Stud also had a couple of good finds.
Killed 6 birds.
Click and Katy. Found 2 coveys. Couple of nice points. Killed 7 birds. 

Ran the pups – Merle and Cash . Both did much better about going with us and running to the front. Both are turning and coming better. Flushed one single with Cash

Merle runs a little bigger than Click.

Steve Snell
www.gundogsupply.com
1-800-624-6378

February 16th, 2010 by

How’s the Leather Being Prepared Tonight?

I am a little overstocked on dogs.  I have 10 runs at my kennel and 14 dogs that stay there the majority of the time.

That means we have a few dogs that have room mates. 

I really don’t like to kennel dogs together, but I do it sometimes.  I really need to add a few runs if I am going to keep this many dogs.

I got to the kennel last night to find that Apple had chewed off Mac’s leather collar.  Here’s all that was left.

I’ll be seeing the rest of of again soon but in a slightly digested format.

I guess it could have been worse.  At least they didn’t eat the metal too.

It’s my fault.  I like using leather collars but they taste better than nylon or coated nylon.

It reminds me of a situation that happened to my dad pack in the early 1980′s.  He had just purchased his first bark collar.  Back then bark collars were pretty expensive.  If my memory is correct, he spent around $300 on it.  Keep in mind that that was $300 in 1980 dollars.

The first night he put it on a dog in a kennel run with another dog.  It seemed to work really well since there was no barking that night.

He woke up to find that the reason there was no barking was because the kennel mate had chewed the collar strap off the dog and the two of them spent the night destroying his $300 bark collar. 

There was little left.  It was a hard lesson learned.  Much easier for me to replace my $15 leather collar.

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

February 15th, 2010 by

The Four Major Parts of an Ecollar….That Matter to the Customer

While there are hundreds of parts and electronic components that go into making a remote dog training collar, only four really matter to the customer.  I can feel the engineers shaking their heads as I write this….

Let’s go under the assumption that you are buying a well made, high quality system.  We expect it to work.

The four parts that determine how the customer feels about the ecollar are the parts that he interacts with on a daily basis.

 #1 The Collar On/Off Button

Everytime you use your remote training collar, you have to turn it on.  The collar on/off button must be easy to use but not so easy that it can be turned on or off by it self.  You want it to to big enough and easy to get to, but not in the way.  You want it to have a good “feel” and designed so you know you actually turned the collar on or off.

The more bad button designs I see makes me prefer a magnetic on/off switch.  They are easy to use and easy to waterproof, but the general public doesn’t seem to like them as much. 

#2 The Collar Strap and Buckle

This one drives the manufacturers a little crazy.  Yep – this is the part that you use next.  Having a high quality strap that is easy to correctly put the ecollar on the dog is a major issue.  It’s also a pretty inexpensive thing for the manufacturer to deal with if they think it’s important.

If the strap is too stiff or the buckle is hard to use, this causes customer frustration.  It can also make it difficult to put the ecollar on the dog correctly.  That can cause performance issues. 

The other issue is the quality of the strap material.  What’s it made out of and how long is it going to hold up.  Nothing worse than a cheap strap that falls apart a year or two after you start using it.  Collar straps are easy to replace on most systems, but it isn’t something most folks want to deal with after spending a couple of hundred bucks on a remote collar.

 #3 Transmitter Buttons

The next part that gets the most interaction is the buttons on the transmitter.  Buttons need to be easy to access but not easy to accidentally set off.  Buttons need to be big enough to use with gloves on. 

Buttons need to have the correct “give.”  When you push it, you need to know it.  There are few things worse than a “squishy” transmitter button.  A “squishy” button moves around as you touch it.  It can be activated from different angles and it is not consistant.

 #4 Transmitter Dials

Last but not least, is the transmitter dial.  The dial is what allows you to raise and lower the stimulation level on your ecollar.

Dials should be big enough that you can  get to them.  Nothing worse than a thin dial that doesn’t have any “meat” to it. 

If your dial has detents or clicks then they should be very consistant.  When you move up or down a level you need to “know” that you have moved a level.  There should be no question about what level you are on. 

I prefer dials that have a rubber coating on them so they are easy to use no matter the weather conditions.  Non coated dial can get hard to use when it’s wet.

These are the four parts that I look at first when I evaluate a remote dog training collar.  If you have a product that doesn’t hit three or four of these issues then it isn’t going to get a good review from us or our customers.

Steve Snell

February 12th, 2010 by

Quail Hunting 1/19/09 Midland, Texas

1/19/09  Midland, Texas

Hot,  dry and windy.  Not exactly the perfect conditions for quail hunting but pretty common in West Texas.

Ran Em and Roxy. Found two coveys of Blue Quail.  Killed four birds.

Ran Click and Sage on a road covey. Found another group of birds in the field.

Sage had 2 nice points. Killed one bird. He was steady to wing and shot but not kill.  His desire to retrieve can get the best of him at times.

Ran Richard and Stud on another road covey.  Richard got on the wrong side of the birds and never smelled them.

Stud is still a problem. He does not seem to understand the way I need him to hunt.  It is a constant struggle to keep him in foot range,

Ran the puppies Merle and Cash together. I won’t make that mistake again any time soon.  Both will be big runners and need a bunch of control added to them.

Steve Snell

www.gundogsupply.com
1-800-624-6378

February 11th, 2010 by

2010 National Bird Dog Championship

The 2010 National Bird Dog Championship has started at the Ames Plantation located in Grand Junction, TN.

This is the “Superbowl” of Birddog Field Trials.  The Ames Plantation is the  home of the National Field Trial Championship for All-Age Bird Dogs.

The Ames Plantation website has a section that gives daily updates and photos so those of us that can’t be there can keep up with the daily results.

Click here for a list of the dogs nominated for the trial

Click here for the Brace by Brace Synopsis and here for daily photo updates

February 10th, 2010 by

Curing My Addiction to the Garmin Astro

I am addicted to my Garmin Astro.

This may seem like an odd subject to discuss from someone that sells the Garmin Astro, but it is an issue that I have and I need to work it out.

The Garmin Astro changed the way I hunt.  It allows me to run dogs in places that I would not have before it came out.  It lets me keep up with more dogs at a time.

The Garmin Astro lets me buy bigger running dogs and not worry about them.  It removed an enormous amount of stress from my hunting.  Before it you never knew once that dog went over the hill if you would ever see him again. 

It’s one of my favorite dog devices that we sell and I am addicted to it.

Now some folks might not see this as a bad thing, but I have some concerns about it.

I grew up running bird dogs with bells.  I was well trained in the art of locating a dog on point that was making no sound at all.  The trick here was knowing the last place you heard the bell and how long it had been since you last heard the bell. 

This was a skill that you really had to practice to be good at and I was pretty darn good at it.

Once we started hunting Texas, we changed over to running dog beepers.  The advantage with beepers was that you could tell if the dogs were running on on point since the beeper made a different sound once the dog stopped moving.

This was better than bells but it only worked if you could hear the beeper.  The wind in Texas really made that an issue.  I also never really liked the listening to beepers when I hunted.  It really ruined the experience.  Nothing like the sound of a garbage truck backing up while you are out in the field.

After losing one of our dogs for about four days one trip, we moved to Dog Tracking Collars.  Tracking dogs by telemetry was much better than beepers or bells but it was hard a hard skill to master and I never was great at it.  I could always find my dog no matter the range, but I was never 100% comfortable with the art of dog tracking with telemetry.

Garmin fixed all these issues with the Astro.  It was perfect.  It told you where your dog was and what he was doing.  You could track multiple dogs over a pretty standard bird dog range.  It was silent and dead on accurate.  The Garmin Astro was everything I wanted in a tracking system.

This is a good thing? Right?

Well, yes and no.  It’s a great thing and I’ll never run a dog without a GPS tracking system (until something better comes along) but it has destroyed my ability to locate a dog without it.  I don’t blame the Astro for this.  I have just come to rely on it too much.  It’s my crutch.  It works too well.

I have lost the skill to “know” where my dogs are without some kind of electronic help.  I don’t have to keep up with their location like I did before. The Garmin Astro works too well….

I am going to fix this.  I will spend more time keeping up with the location of my dog and not jump to my hand held unit every time my dogs are out of site.  It will take some practice and self control, but I will get my dog location skills back.

The Garmin Astro works too well….

Steve

Gun Dog Supply

February 8th, 2010 by

Using the Word “Tickle” to Describe Stimulation from Ecollars

I find it funny when some ecollar manufacturers use the word tickle when they talk about how your dog feels stimulation.

“Tickle your Dog” to stop your barking problem is pretty common.

I have felt stimulation off of every brand of collar we sell. I never thought it tickled.
Now that doesn’t mean that all stimulation is or has to be painful. It isn’t. It just doesn’t tickle. 

“Tap Your Dog” would a much better description of what we are doing with low level stimulation.

We use it as a cue or a tap on the shoulder that says “Hey.”  ”Remember how you are trained to behave in this situation.”

The goal is to refocus the dog.  Dogs are very much in the moment.  No matter if that moment is barking, chasing or not coming when called.   Directing him to the outcome that you need to happen “no matter what” in any given situation.

Making sure that the dog understands what you expect and the required outcome is the goal.  That’s why it’s called “dog training”

Stimulation doesn’t “tickle” but it also doesn’t have to hurt.  

Steve Snell

www.gundogsupply.com
1-800-624-6378

November 27th, 2009 by

Keeping your Dog Off the Couch…and out the Flower Beds

Hey, Steve

What product do you suggest I try to keep my 6 year old dog off our good couches…thanks
======================================================

Howdy – Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.

I would recommend that you look at the Zone system from Innotek and Petsafe

Rock Zone

Petsafe Pawz Away Indoor Pet-Proof Barriers (formerly Innotek The Zone) is similar to a dog containment system, but instead of keeping him contained IN an area, it keeps him OUT of an area.

Place the disk near a doorway and your dog can’t enter the room.  Put it under a couch and he can come in the room but not jump on the couch.

Get the Outdoor Rock version  and keep him out of your flower beds (or better yet keep him out of your spouse’s flower beds!)


What’s really cool is that you can combine most of these systems to fit your needs.
Pet Safe Outdoor Pawz Away is Compatible with

The Petsafe Outdoor barrier systems are compatible with these other systems:

Innotek / PetSafe IUC  containment systems
Innotek / PetSafe znd-1200 Zone Indoor Barrier System

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

November 26th, 2009 by

Lost in the world…..

Somewhere between North Dakota and Thanksgiving, I stopped blogging (and working out and eating carbs…)

We have hunted a bunch – Montana, South Dakota and Texas so far.  Including Nebraska and North Dakota and Mississippi that takes us to 6 states for the year.

That meets my obligation as a founding member of the North American Nomadic Birdhunter’s Association…..

I also have 3 new pointer pups and one more on the way out of a son of Funseeker’s Rebel.  It’s going to be a busy Spring.

September 27th, 2009 by

9/21/2009 Dog Training in North Dakota

V ND horse Cold

9/21 North Dakota

Today was the first decent weather we have had on this trip. It would have been perfect if the wind had not been blowing 40 miles per hour.
Cold and overcast. I was wearing a sweatshirt under my jacket.

V ND Mr H

We started the day with some basic horse lessons for me. Mr. Herman is a cowboy from the word go. He gave me a really good lesson on what to do and what not to allow the horse to get away with when you are riding.  Horses are really new to me but I want to learn all I can. I have spent more time in a saddle this year than ever before and I am getting better. I have a long way to go.

V ND Blue Duck

We started the morning with Cash and Merle. Cash hunted very close and did a good job. Merle wanted to see what was in the next county and went there quickly.  He made a really nice All Age cast and was hunting toward the front.  He is going to be a big running dog that will find a bunch of birds. He has a really big motor.

He ended up getting way ahead of us because my horse “Blue Duck” had some issues getting across a creek.  Mr. Herman had to come in and work him through it.
I stayed in and worked Cash while Larry and Vernon went up to get Merle back on course.  He came in and hunted well for the rest of the round.

Next we ran a puppy prospect of Larry’s, Richard the GSP and Brandy.

Larry’s pointer is a big running dog out of 2008 National Champion Whippoorwill Wild Agin. Brandy and Richard did their best to keep up.

V ND dog truck

Richard had the best round as far as finds went. He was steady to wing and shot on multiple groups of pheasants. Larry’s dog ran the best. He’ll do well in the future.

Brandy can flat cover some ground for a little bird dog. She busted a few pheasants in a corn field and was gone.  We picked her up later and she had found a porcupine to play with. We got to remove about 20 quills. I hope she has learned her lesson.

While we were picking up Brandy, Larry got a bunch of work done with his derby and with Vernon’s GSP.  The birds had moved down into the creek edge to get out of the wind.

Next we ran Stud. He did a nice job and handled well with a few strong reminders. He may be the toughest bird dog I have ever owned.

He’s also a big part of why I moved to the SportDOG 1825. The previous system I used was not strong enough to stop him.  He would grit his teeth and blow me off.  I have never had that experience before.  Most of my bird dogs don’t take more than a 1 or a 2 to get them to stop any unwanted behavior.

V ND Dog grass

We headed home as the wind picked up more.  We went to Bismark for some supplies after lunch.
Headed home tomorrow. – Steve

September 26th, 2009 by

9/20/2009 Dog Training in North Dakota

9/20 North Dakota

We headed up to North Dakota for a few days of working off horseback with my good friend Larry Garner of Spalding Fly Predator fame.

Ran Cash, Merle and a dog of Larry’s also named Cash.

Working bird dogs off horseback is something that all folks should get to do from time to time.  I am not much of a horseman but I am learning.I was on a young horse named “Blue Duck.”  He did real well until it all fell apart and I ended up on the ground. I landed in a soft spot and my only major injury is a busted lip.  It wasn’t the first time I have ended up on the ground and I doubt it will be the last.  Finding a good soft spot to hit the ground is the trick…..

V ND Blood

Looks like he got spooked by the large water bottle I had on the back of my saddle. It was new for him and he didn’t like it.

We got back on and finished the round. Merle ran really big and did a good job.

V ND Horse

I was pleased with Cash but he did not move any birds.  I really like how he hunts.  He’s all business.

We ran Brandy next. She is going to be a really big runner.  We were in some thick CRP grass and she had to hop to keep up.  That really didn’t hold her back.  She still covered a bunch of ground and ran a nice “Shooting Dog” race.

We ran Click with another one of Larry’s pointer puppies. Both did well.

We then ran a nice derby dog of Larry’s and Sage. Sage had two nice finds and backed Larry’s dog on two nice finds also.

V ND L dog

We then headed home for lunch and a nap.

Later that afternoon we worked pups off the road edges for a bit. Got a little done with the labs.  We didn’t see the number of birds I had hoped for but there was a front blowing in and I think that had them on the move.

We found another Prairie Rattler on the road that had been hit by a truck.

ND Rattler

Looks like the weather should be good for Monday. – Steve

September 25th, 2009 by

9/19/2009 Hunting Prairie Birds in Nebraska

V NB S & T

9/19 Nebraska

We got in one last round for the sand hills. Same results as before. I am not really sure what went wrong but all the early reports had the area looking good. Ted has been coming here 30 years and he had never seen this few birds.

V NB More 3

V NB 3 guys

Nebraska and most of the states in this area are doing research on Sharptails and Prairie Chickens.  Part of the research requires you to save a wing from each bird and fill out some information about your hunt. It’s a reasonable thing to do and I think most folks that hunt the prairie birds appreciate that something is being done for them.

NB Sign

The issue that I have is with the idiot that cleans his birds at the roadside by the collection area and then leaves the guts, feathers, feet, head and wings for everyone to see. I do not understand this kind of behavior. I see it all the time and not just from birdhunters. Deer hunters do it also.

NB Guts1

There is a very active anti hunter community, there is also a very active pro hunter community.  You will never convince either side that the other has any valid points.  I’m OK with that fact.

The issue is the folks in the middle.  The vast majority of folks out there don’t have real strong feelings one way or another.

When hunters show this kind of disrespect to the game we hunt and to the land and the other non hunters that also enjoy that land, we add to the ranks of the antihunters.

This kind of  idiotic act helps the people that are fighting to end your way of life. When hunters act with this level of disrespect, we get what we deserve.

Steve Snell

www.gundogsupply.com

September 24th, 2009 by

Sand Spurs in Nebraska

We ran into some Sand Spurs on our trip to Nebraska.  They were pretty spotty but I was glad I had dog boots with me.  These things really hurt.  I took a few pictures for folks to see what we are talking about.  It’s a rare dog that can run in areas covered with Sand Spurs without dog boots.

September 24th, 2009 by

9/18/09 Hunitng Prairie Birds in Nebraska

V NB Ted and B

9/18 Nebraska -

Ran the same dog sets  as the first day but we didn’t make as big of a round with Em.  She didn’t show any issues from the long first day.
We had a really slow first round. No points and we only saw one bird flush wild way out in the distance.

Em ran well. I will be interested to see how she does later in the season. Both of us have to come to terms with the fact that she is 11 years old and she can’t run like she could at a younger age.  I think it’s been harder on her than me.  The biggest problem is that I have yet to find the dog that will step up and take her place.  It will be interesting to see who can fill this void.

It’s the only bad thing about dogs. They don’t live as long as they should.  It’s pretty important to enjoy the limited time that we have with them.

V NB EM

We ran the four broke dogs next. It was really hilly and we had a hard time keeping Stud in range.  Richard had a really nice find on a flock of Sharptail Grouse. Sage and Click came in to back. The dogs did perfect but we could not get there in time.

Two birds flushed and the rest of the flock followed. The dogs remained steady. While we worked the dogs, Stud made a 700 yard cast and got out of range.

We headed west and continued to work the hills. Stud was still working an area but could not seem to figure out how to get back to us.

V NB Sage

ND Catus on my boot

The advantage of running the Garmin Astro is that I knew exactly where he was the whole time. I could tell that he was trying to get back to where he thought we were but could not seem to catch up.  Unlike the first year I had him, Stud isn’t just running as far as possible in a straight line. He is doing his best to hunt with me and find birds. I just have to make sure that I put him into situations where he can do well.

The Sandhills made that pretty tough since the hills made it really tough to see each other. Over all I was pleased with how he did.

V NB SWS Dogs

Sage and the Porcupine

Sage is the only dog I have ever had to remove porcupine quills from him. He found his first one in North Dakota two years ago and his second one today.
He had about 20 quills in his face and all but one came out easily. He had one in his gums that I had to pull out with my Leatherman pliers.

I made the mistake of putting my shotgun on the ground to help Sage. When I picked it up it was covered in sand. Unlike Texas, you just can’t put a gun on the ground in the Sand Hills.  It wouldn’t close so I was done shooting until I could get back to my truck and clean it out.

As we circled back and headed to the truck, we went to the area that Stud was hunting. We found him with little effort and got him going the right way.

With in a few minutes of getting back with us, Stud locked up on point. Sage, Click and Richard came in to back. Before we could get in shooting range a couple of Sharptails flushed. All the dogs remained steady to wing.

I went down the hill to get in front of the dogs to release them. Everyone else stayed up on the ridge.  I stopped to take a few pictures. After I was finished with my photos, a grouse flushed about 2 feet in front of me. I stood there like an idiot with an unloaded gun full of sand.

The dogs remained steady and the guys got a good laugh at my expense so it was worthwhile.

Pups

We ran Cash and Merle next.  The goal was to see how far they had come since going to South Dakota for the summer.  Both dogs handled really well and hunted the entire time they were on the ground.  I was real pleased with how much progress they have made.

Merle cooling off in the water

Merle cooling off in the water

Next we ran Brandy and Mishka.  Both hunted closer than I prefer but I think we can stretch them out with a few bird contacts.  Brandy made a couple of nice casts toward the end.

V NB Brandy

I am headed to Montana later this year and I only have one slot left open in the truck.  I expect based on what I saw today that Merle will fill that spot.  Cash ran almost as well but he is not as far along on his whoa training.

V NB Merle

We finished  up and headed back to town.  I called the folks at K-9 Kondo to see if we could come by and see their warehouse.  We have been selling the K-9 Kondo and Dog Den Dog Houses for years but I had never met Joe or Judy.  I’ll do a post on it later.

We are going to run dogs in the morning and then head north.  – Steve

September 23rd, 2009 by

9/17/09 Hunting Prairie Birds in Nebraska

9/17  Nebraska

First day hunting prairie birds.  This is also my first hunt in the state of Nebraska.  We started our hunt in the Nebraska National Forest.  It is called the “Sand Hills”

NB main sign

Prairie Birds include both the Sharptail Grouse and the Prairie Chicken.  Unlike the Chukar, Pheasant, and the Hungarian Partridge, the Sharptails and the Prairie Chickens are naive birds.

Ran Em with Ted’s dogs. She did really well. It was her first time out since her TPLO operation.  She ran well and paced herself. She covered the ground and got birdy a few times but did not find anything.  I left her on the ground longer than I should have but she has not shown any problems so far. I will not make the same mistake tomorrow.

V NB1

Ted’s dogs Dottie and Vegas had a nice point on a group and Ted killed one bird.  We had a few get up wild but didn’t go any good with them.

This is really tough country to hunt. Sand Hills is correct. It’s up and down and the ground is loose. Walking on the sand isn’t as bad as I expected but the hills are tough. You can’t get in a big hurry.  It’s a bit like boot camp for the bird hunter.  If you really want to see what kind of shape you are in for the upcoming hunting season, come out here and walk the Sand Hills for a few days.

V NB3

NB sandhills

We ran Sage, Click, Stud and Richard. I have never had all of them on the ground at the same time. They did pretty well. Vernon kept up with Click and Richard.  I ran Sage and Stud.  Stud really stretched out. He’s running big but he’s turning when I tell him to and he’s checking in a bit on his own.

No birds but Stud found some birds way out they were gone before we could get to him.  Sage got birdy a few times but could not come up with them.

NB Stud on Point

We were done at 11. It was too hot to  keep running dogs.

On the drive out Ted stopped to watch a 5 foot Prairie Rattler cross the road.  One of the issues that you can run into bird hunting this time of the year is rattle snakes.  We do what we can to avoid them but when it’s hot they will be out moving around.

I wear snake protection for myself and and I get my dogs the Rattle Snake Vaccine from Red Rock Biologics.  It’s something I strongly recommend for folks that hunt in the west.  I have not had a dog bit yet, but I know folks that have and the vaccine has made a big difference in saving their dogs.

We drove up north to see some other Federal lands. We got to see a few ducks, geese and 4 Tundra Swans

Vernon found a good flat spot to run a few blind retrieves with Roxy and Max.

We called it a day and regrouped for tomorrow.

Steve Snell

September 19th, 2009 by

Gun Dog Supply Photo Shoot

We do photo shoots on a regular basis to get unique product shots and to show our gear on multiple breeds of hunting dogs.

This particular shoot we were getting shots of the Garmin AstroTri-tronics EXP receiver, DT Systems Bird Launchers, and the Dokken Dead Fowl Trainers.

These pictures where taken by my oldest son, Sam, while his Uncle Rob was taking the product shots that you see on our website.

Sam was pretty pleased when some of his shots were picked over his Uncle’s to appear on Gun Dog Supply – Steve

September 18th, 2009 by

Blue Quail Loafing in the Afternoon

We started hunting in Texas sometime around 1991 or 1992.  It took us a while to learn the ins and outs of it and we had to shift the way we did some things because of the differences between the way Mississippi Quail behaved and the way Texas Bobs played the game.  After a few years it all made sense and I spent the next 10 years hunting Bobs in Texas with my father.

I always heard the horrors of “Blue Quail.”  I couldn’t find a single quail hunter who liked them.  They ran; They would ruin a good bird dog.  They didn’t hold in a covey like Bobs.  They didn’t play fair.  Like most folks, I believed what was said and I stayed as far away from them as possible.  I spent most of my time around Childress, Texas.  In the 10 years I Quail hunted there I saw one covey of Blues.

In 2003 I went on a Horseback hunt around Gail, TX.  They had a mix of Bobs and Blues in that part of the state.

Everything I had been told about blues was true, except for the part about ruining a bird dog.  If anything, they force your dog to work at a much higher level.

Since then I spend as much time as I can hunting Blues.  Everything else is just something to do while I wait for Quail Season to open and the weather to get cool enough to hunt out west.

Here are some pictures I took one afternoon of a covey loafing in the shade around an oil well.

bq1

bq2

bq3

bq4

bq5

September 17th, 2009 by

More on Gun Shy Dogs…..

Hi Steve, I was reading your article on gun shy dogs. I thought it was pretty much right on. I have trained for many years myself, both pointing dogs and retrievers, field trial dogs and gundogs. I am a nut when it comes to genetics and I do have one question for you. In your article you said that some dogs are more prone to being gun shy but it is not a genetic flaw. How can they be more prone without it being a genetic flaw? In my experience with years of training and breeding that almost everything to do with any animal or person for that matter is genetic. If I am missing the boat on this please explain about being prone and not genetic. I appreciate it.
PR
PR,

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply. I appreciate you taking the time to email me.

I might need to add to the gun shy article a little.  My experience where a dog might be “prone to being gun shy”, but not genetic, is one that has not been properly socialized and exposed to the many sights, sounds and experiences of the world.  This would be a lack of a proper environment and proper “raising” and the fault of the handler not the dog or the genes. 

I call these dogs “spooky” but I would not call it a genetic flaw.  A personal example is one of my pointers.  Ruby came out of a litter that we raised and I kept one of the pups.  She was very bold and had an enormous amount of time spent with her and loads of experience as a pup.  Around the time that she turned one, I got a call from a man that had purchased two litter mates to Ruby – Patch and Dot. He was not happy with them from a Field Trial standpoint and just wanted to let me know that he was selling them.  I was so happy with Ruby that I bought her two sisters back from him.

It was pretty obvious that neither one of them had been handled much. Both were “hand shy” and very “standoffish.”   I expect that they spent most of their first year in a kennel run with little or no human contact.  I do not know if they had any kind of gun introduction so I started at square one with both.  Both worked out fine but I had to go really slow because of their lack of “worldly experience” that I require and put in a young dog.

Had I gone about shooting over them too close or too fast or without the correct association (birds), I expect that they both could have been “gun shy.”

So here are three dogs from the same litter but from different environments.  I don’t see where “genes” play a role in “gun shy” dogs.
Now, I do agree that some litters might be “spookier” than others and that could be genes but if they are raised correctly and introduced to the world and guns correctly, they should not have a problem.
Another major thing to keep in mind here is that a good breeder will do a bunch of these things with his dogs.  I am real picky about who I get my dogs from because you can do a bunch with them in the first 8 to 10 weeks.  Some guys are just breeding pups and don’t spend any time with them.
I don’t raise dogs right now, (too many kids and too much work at the office) but when we did we introduced our pups to birds, water, cover, guns, trucks, duck calls, and anything else we could come up with. It takes time but it pays off.
Now if I had to guess, you are one of the guys that DOES all of the correct things with a pup and it is second nature to you.  Since you are raising them in the best possible environment, getting the best genes is the way to have the best dogs.  The raising isn’t an issue.
I find an amazingly large number of folks that have no idea HOW to raise a pup and they miss a lot of things.  Then at some point they take pup out to “see if he’s gunshy.”  They fire off 4 or 5 – 12 guage rounds when pup is close by.  It scares him to death and he heads for the hills.  “That pup must be gunshy…”
It really comes down to a slow and proper introduction with the correct association.  I want my dogs to LOVE guns.  It makes everything easier.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

September 16th, 2009 by

New Pups

Last month we added two new pups to the Gun Dog Supply Pro Staff.

“Mac” and “Apple” are English Pointers and are the half brother and half sister to Click, Stud, and Merle. All 5 dogs share the same sire – Phantom’s Wizard.

I have really enjoyed having them around the kennel. This is the first time since the last litter we raised that I have had multiple young dogs at the same time. I think it’s a better way for me to train.

Both dogs have very different personalities. Apple is going to be a big running independent dog. Mac looks like he will be a little more focused on me and will not run as big. I expect he will still cover some ground but not like Apple.

The important thing to do with pups is exposure to the world that you expect them to live and work in.

So far Mac and Apple have been exposed to other dogs, goats, horses, riding in the dog truck, going to the vet, going to the office, my kids, living in the kennel, crossing water, ponds, heavy cover, 4 wheelers, lawnmowers, pigeons, quail and we have started on gunfire.

After we get the basic bird introduction done we start to add basic gunfire. I do this with a little Daisy Pop gun. It makes a sound when you cock it and a “pop” when you fire it.

Using this gun gets them used to the site of a gun in my hands as we walk out in the field. Some dogs never see a shotgun in the hands of their owner until they go to the field on opening day. This can lead to a big problem.

We go out in my bird field every day to see the world. We work on coming when called, turning on command, and going in the direction that I am going.

We also play the dog version of “hide and seek”. Every time they get stretched out from me, I hide behind a tree. After a few minutes, they start to wonder where I went. As they double back to find me, I get down on their level and give them lots of praise.

I love big running dogs, but I want them to hunt for me and check in from time to time.

September 15th, 2009 by

How I Put Lewis Dog Boots on my Bird Dogs

Dog boots can be a really important piece of gear to carry with you in the field.  They are especially important if you travel to hunt.  I have seen places that you could hunt without boots one year and then turn around the next year and the exact same spot is so full of sand spurs that it shuts down even the toughest of bird dogs.  Many trips have been ruined because hunters didn’t carry the right gear to protect their dogs feet.
We have used the Lewis Vented Dog Boots for years in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Dakotas on our bird dogs.
They are perfect for protecting your dog’s feet from sand burrs, rocks, sand burn, and gravel.  They can also be used to protect and injured foot or sore pad.  I have been able to hunt with a dog that had torn pads before by putting their boots on.  It makes a big difference.
The Lewis boots are made of tire tread rubber with a tread on the sole for increased traction.
The Lewis boots  are one of my favorite choices of dogs boots because
they hold up really well especially in sandy conditions.
Make sure you measure correctly.  I would prefer the boots to be a little big than too small.
They aren’t easy to put on or take off.
First cut the back tab of the front boots so it sits below his carpal pad.  You do not need to cut the back boots.
We keep them on the feet with duct tape.  It is very important to  use high quality duct tape only.  This is not a product you want to go cheap on.
I use pieces that are around 6 or 7 inches long depending on the size of the dog.
We put a band of tape around the dogs ankle sticky side out.  This tape sticks to the inside of the boot.  Place it so 75% of the tape will be inside the boot and 25% will be above the boot.
Then put the boot on the dog.
Next  wrap one piece around the outside of the boot so that 75% is on the boot and 25% is above the boot stuck to the sticky side of the first piece of tape.
dog boot7
dog boot8
dog bootstall1
dog bootstall2
We haven’t found a dog boot yet that will turn prickly pear cactus
needles. We have added several layers of duct tape around each nylon or
rubber dog boot while hunting in prickly pear country.  It’s amazing what cactus spines can go through.

These boots will stop all of the sand spurs.  Most dogs have to learn to avoid the cactus.

 

At the end of the day I carefully cut the tape at the side seam with a pair of scissors.  I cut both the inner piece of tape and the out piece of tape at the same time.  The  boot will easily pop right off the foot now.

Under no circumstances should you leave boots on your dog over night.  It’s very important t check your dogs feet for any rubbing from the boot or from any damage that the boot may have covered up in the field.  Cactus can go through the boot and break off where you can’t see it inside the boot.

Dogs “sweat”out of their feet and it’s important that they have plenty of air on their feet.

After you have checked the dog, remove all the tape from the boots.

The last thing to do is carefully check the inside of the boot for any hidden pieces of cactus.  Go real slow.  It hurts if you find one the hard way. – Steve

September 14th, 2009 by

Treats for Training

Treats for training.

Today I spoke with a lady having issues with her dogs while off leash at the local dog park. This is a pretty common call for us since most “trained” dogs don’t hold up in high distraction situations.

Come to find out her dog had been clicker trained with treat rewards.

Clicker training works. It works a little too well If you ask me but it seldom holds up in high prey drive animals.

It does not fit the way their brains work and it isn’t going to get the attention of a dog that has any thing more interesting going on around him.

The idea behind how we use ecollars is to communicate with the dog. This can be with stimulation, vibration or tone. We also use the ecollar to correct the dog in situations where he chooses to ignore learned verbal commands.

The mistake that folks make when using food as a reward is that it isn’t always something that all dogs care about all the time.

I do think it’s important to reward your dog for doing the correct things.

The reward comes in the form of praise and love.

Steve Snell

September 14th, 2009 by

Quail House Plans Thwarted By Predator Possum…..Film at 11

predator lurks.JPG

A few weeks back my oldest son, Sam, found me and said we had a problem in our Johnny House.  A Johnny House is where our pen raised quail live.

It’s designed so we can release a few and turn our young dogs out for some bird dog training.  After we are done the birds will “recall” back to the house to be with the rest of the covey.  The birds reenter the house through a quail funnel.

The problem with a normal quail funnel is that other critters can come in also.  To keep this from happening, you can have a unit that has a has a door or you can get the Predator Proof Funnel by Quail Restoration Technologies.

I use the Predator Proof Funnel.  It’s expensive, but it works really well.  The quail funnel is on springs.  The idea behind it is that if anything that weighs more than a quail tries to climb up in the funnel, the funnel lowers into a box and blocks the critter from entering your Quail house.

So….how did Mr. Possum get into my Johnny House?  Well, I screwed up.

I use sand in the bottom of my Johnny House.  It works really well for collecting the droppings and drying them out.  It make clean up pretty easy.  The issue is that I let a bunch of sand build up around the bottom of the funnel.  The sand blocked the funnels ability to lower when the possum climbed up.

IMG_1957.JPG

The PPF also comes with a door that you can slide in place when you are not using your birds.  I neglected to put it in place.

It was midsummer and I had very few birds left in the house, but there was no reason for it to happen.  Keeping your gear clean and functioning is always the best way to go.  I won’t let it happen again.

Getting Mr. Possum out of my pen was a bit of an adventure also.  He really didn’t want to go, but we convinced him that it was the best thing for him to do.

- Steve

September 13th, 2009 by

Millet in the swamp

I broadcast about 50 pounds of Japanese Millet on the mud flats of our water control structure that we have at the farm for ducks.

I waited a little later than I would prefer but I am real pleased with the results so far.

The biggest concern is if we will have the right weather to get it to seed out before duck season. It takes around 90 days.

If we have our typical fall weather it should work out.

I am still having trouble getting all the water drained. We may have to add another pipe to the other end of this duck hole.

That’s a project for next spring. – Steve

September 11th, 2009 by

Day 4 part 2

After a good nap, I took Em on her walk. We roaded another mile and a half. Few things build muscle like a work out in a roading harness.

After that I took Brandy on a quick run. We headed out to a long food plot that is up on the hill close to the house.

We flushed a few dove but no pheasants.   At the end of the row, Brandy locked up on point. She held it for about 10 seconds and then busted in. Nothing came out and she started running in a big cast.

At about 200 yards she found a big rooster pheasant and put him in the air. She chased him as far as she could.

While she was running she found a hen pheasant and put her in the air. After that she was gone. Good thing I had my Astro on her. I went to her and picked her up. No question she will make a bird dog.

September 10th, 2009 by

Day 4 – South Dakota

Wildlife in the am

We left before sun up and headed about 50 miles north. Our goal was to find a higher number of pheasants for the younger dogs.

It’s hard to explain the leg up you can give a young dog by dropping them smack dab in the middle of dozens and dozens of wild birds. You just can’t get this kind of experience in many parts of the country.

On the drive up we got to see a wide range of wildlife. We saw pheasants, sharptails, whitetail deer, mule deer, coyotes and raccoons.

It was a cool, clear morning. We would be able to get everyone worked before it heated up.

We ran a couple of young dogs that needed some bird contacts. We flushed around 100 birds and made a real difference in both dogs.

We ran multiple braces and put up birds on every round. Sage had two nice points and Stud had a nice find on two pheasants.

We ran Richard again but he didn’t find any birds. He is a bit behind because he isn’t in hunting shape yet.

We ran Brandy off horseback. She had never been around a horse so it took a bit for her to get comfortable. The
Funseeker’s Rebel pup that Dan was running helped her range out a good bit. She didn’t find any birds but she ran well and kept up with me for the most part.

September 9th, 2009 by

Day 3 – South Dakota

Friday 8/28

We finally got a really cool, cloudy morning. Unfortunately, we also had a 20 mph wind. I’ll take that over the heat.

We ran Cash and Merle first. I was much happier with how they both ran compared to the first day. Both dogs handled well and covered the ground. They were working together well.

We made a big loop in a large CRP field. Merle busted open a flock of 10 sharptails and both dogs chased as far as they could. I expect we will see some nice bird work out of these two soon.

We ran several of Dan’s dogs next with similar results. We were not finding a bunch of birds, but we were seeing birds every round. The scenting conditions were not the best.

We ran Sage. He handled well but had no finds.

We had a real nice showing on a Calico’s Thrillogy female.

We also had a nice brace with Click and Will – a Wipporwill Wild Agin pup.

We got them into a nice flock that stayed on the property after the first flush. We worked these birds a couple of times.

During one of the braces, I was running one of Dan’s dogs and I had an equipment issue. The dog I was running was going the wrong way so I went to turn her with my SportDOG 1825. I got no reaction. I raised the level multiple times until I was at the top but she would not turn.

We galloped the horses toward her and finally got her going the correct way.

I got off my horse to check the collar and see why she didn’t feel it. The collar was not turned on.

Before we ran this brace I was showing some of the features on the SD 1825 to Dan and I had turned the collar off. I neglected to turn it back on when I put it on the dog.

Back at the office, we call that “operator error.”

Always check your ecollar before you put it on your dog to make sure it is on and that the transmitter and the collar are matched up.

After that the sun came out and it got bad hot again.

Time to head back in and wait for cooler weather.

Around 6 pm the clouds came back and the cooler air came in.

I roaded Em 1 1/2 miles. She is getting stronger every day.

Around 7 we took Brandy out and found a few groups of young pheasants getting gravel on the road side. She got to chase a few as they flushed. It really lit her fire.

September 8th, 2009 by

Day 2 South Dakota part 2

Went into town to use the web connection at the local library. Only have 859 emails to dig through.

Bought gas, ice and bread. Came back to the house and took a quick nap.

Around 5:30 I ran Boo and Brandy together. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.

Boo had no interest in her but Brandy kept at her for a bit. After a few minutes she went back to hunting.

Both dogs ran well and turned with me. I am real pleased with how they are both handling.

Brandy made a real wide cast and then started running away at a good clip. It took me a second to see the jack rabbit she was chasing.

I tried to turn her but it didn’t work out. My Garmin Astro showed her at 750 yards.

Boo and I went toward her and finally got her to turn back in our direction. She came in and hunted with us the rest of the way back to the truck.

Roaded Em for 1 mile. She’s pretty mad that she has to stay in the truck while other dogs get to hunt.

We drove out to check a few spots for tomorrow. We saw a good many birds getting gravel on the back roads.

I also saw my first badger. I tried to get a picture but he ran back in a hole before I could get him in focus.

September 7th, 2009 by

Day 2 – South Dakota

Thursday August 27th

Started again right before sunrise. We moved to some large alfalfa fields that had some grass and hills around them.

The first brace of dogs ran up a giant flock of sharptails and sent them out of the county.

The next group of dogs had no bird work.

We next ran Click with a grandson of Phantom’s Razor. He’s a real nice dog called Jack.

Jack pointed a chicken and did a wonderful job. Click came in and backed. Both dogs are steady to wing and Shot.

A bit later, Jack locked up again. Click came in and backed. Dan got off his horse to flush the birds. A group of about 10 young pheasants flushed out of the corner of an alfalfa field. Both dogs were steady again.

Jack did a fine job. He’s one nice bird dog.

We ran several other braces of dogs but had little bird work. It heated up pretty quick and got bad hot around 11:00.

We had no clouds and very little wind.

My horse skills are improving and Blaze is doing better at putting up with my lack of riding experience.

Horseback is a fine way to watch bird dogs cover the country.

I went into town today to check my email and gas up the truck. I have no AT & T phone service here but my Verizon burner phone works fine.

If the IPhone gets picked up by Verizon, I may have to change my phone over.

I’ll run the pups and road Em after it cools down.

September 5th, 2009 by

Opening Day Of Dove Season

Right now I am sitting in a Club Car golf cart outside Davis Wade Stadium waiting for the rain to stop so I can get inside to see the Mississippi State – Jackson State football game.

This morning we kicked off the 2009 hunting season with a bit of a thud.

Vernon was going to pick me up at 5 am to head over to a field that our head buyer, Jonathan, had prepared. The only problem is that while my alarm went off at 4:30, I didn’t wake up until 5:30…..

Not a good way to get things going.

I rushed to get it all together and we made it to the hunt on time but it’s really not how I like to get started.

Things went downhill from there.

It took me about 20 shots to get my first bird. I guess all that practice at the Starkville Gun Club this spring really paid off……

Roxy was also a little off her game. She broke on some close birds that I should have hit but did not.

We really didn’t prepare for opening day the way I normally would.

At this point I decided to calm down and make sure the shots I was taking were reasonable. I also made sure my dog stayed under control.

Things improved quickly.

It just shows that getting the fundamentals correct fixes most errors.

I’m a decent wingshooter but my skills have limitations and I am well aware of what they are.

Roxy is a special dog but I will not put up with a dog that breaks. It’s too easy to fix and there is no reason it should happen.

I just have to practice, train and prepare correctly.

We ended up with 10 birds and Roxy made some really nice retrieves and got a couple of winged birds for the other guys.

How can you bird hunt without a dog?
—-
The rain stopped and it’s time to go see if MSU has a football team.

August 26th, 2009 by

Day 1 south Dakota

Wednesday, August 26th

We started our morning at 6am. Breakfast, then I exercised my dogs while Dan loaded his dogs and horses.

We drove about 20 minutes to a CRP section that was surrounded with Alfalfa.

We saddled the horses and turned out Merle. He ran a good race and handled much better than he has for us. He ran into a nice flock of chickens at the end and chased them as far as he could.

Next we ran Cash. He also ran well and handled. I am really pleased with his progress. He is going to turn out.

We ran Click after that with one of Dan’s dogs. Click’s brace mate won it hands down, but Click had a real nice find in the end. Not bad for his first real work in 6 months.

Dan ran a real nice dog out of Funseeker’s Rebel named Jim. He had at least 3 or 4 nice finds and was real solid on his birds.

Next we ran Sage. He put on quite the show. Five or six very solid pieces of bird work.

We ran Wizard next. He ran really well. I look forward to seeing him later in the season.

Stud had a good run and stayed in range he handled well and had one nice find. Ran with a dog of Wls that looked good.

It was starting to warm up but some clouds rolled in and we worked Richard. He ran well but was a little too interested in the other dog.

Dan ran a really nice female named Whippoorwill’s Wild Thang. She is going to make a really nice dog. She’s super tough and classy.

Headed back in for lunch and a quick nap. I’ll run Brandy after it cools down.

Had a good nap.

Ran Brandy. She did well and kept up with me. She took off a few times but came back after a bit. She started making a few good casts.

Ran Boo. She started out real sticky from the remote collar on her flank. After a few times of dragging her forward, she started to run.

We hit a water tank that had a bunch of dove. She chased them and started to hunt.

She turned with me and handled very well. I think we can make some progress with her this fall.

I took Em on a one mile walk in the roading harness. She is recovering well from her TPLO surgery.

I am real sore from 6 hours of riding horses.  I need to do it more often to keep that from happening.

Em in a Roading Harness

Rattlesnake Proof Boots

Open Country - You can see a dog for ever

August 26th, 2009 by

What are your thoughts on giving dogs vitamins, and or supplements?

Steve,
What are your thoughts on giving dogs vitamins, and or supplements? I have an almost two year old Shorthair who is a stud of a dog. No fat, alot of lean muscle. He runs 3-4 days a week with my wife in the am, and then trains with me with the dummy or out in the field. Come hunting season I wont have her take him running as much because he’ll be in the field with me. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

Thanks,
R B
==========

RB, 

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  As a general rule, I don’t
recommend vitamins.

If you are feeding a high quality, performance dog food, you should
not need to add anything.

The biggest thing to do is increase his amount of food based on the
weather and his activity level.  My dogs get about double the food
during hunting season than they get in the off season.

I slowly lower the amount of food at the end of the season as the weather
starts to warm up.
The most important thing is how he looks.  I like to look over my dogs at least once a week and see where they are condition wise.  We make adjustments along the way.
Thanks, 

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378
FAX 1-662-324-6011

August 25th, 2009 by

This dog is learning the basics, a little late, but he is learning slowly

roxy

Hi. I stumbled onto your web site & thought WOW here are all the things I’m looking for. But I have a question of two. First of all I got a 14 month old blk lab that I would like to train for hunting waterfowl as well as pheasants (& other land birds). I really don’t know where to begin? I see that you have lots of videos about training but I don’t need the puppy set but not sure about the others. This dog is learning the basics, Now! ie sit, come, stay(kind of) & drop. A little late, but he is learning slowly. Is there anything that you could suggest?

Thanks in advance. A. K.

——————————————————————————-

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  Even though you are past the
“puppy” part of the training, I would not skip over these parts of any
book or DVD.  You need to make sure that the basic foundation is put
in correctly no matter the age before you try any of the advanced
work.  With out the proper foundation you will not be able to do the hard stuff.

Here are a few that I recommend
http://www.gundogsupply.com/refefrdure.html
http://www.gundogsupply.com/abcs-pind.html
http://www.gundogsupply.com/gehitruprevi.html

Here are our best books
http://www.gundogsupply.com/b10mirehowto.html
http://www.gundogsupply.com/butch-goodwin-book.html
http://www.gundogsupply.com/labshootdogb.html
http://www.gundogsupply.com/-628-.html

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378
FAX 1-662-324-6011

August 24th, 2009 by

Headed North….

Started the long drive to South Dakota today. I am headed up to see two dogs we have in training with Dan Hendrickson of Phantom Kennels.

I also have 7 dogs with me. It’s time to start getting geared up for hunting season.

Garmin GPS

Brandy is already bored of my stories......

Steve's Hunting Rig

August 23rd, 2009 by

What size dog boots do most Texas bird dogs need?

Last year I purchased dog boots in anticipation of a trip to south TX. I thought I did everything right (ordering to installation) but found that I was having to re-fit and tape.  In fact my dog threw one of the boots. Could they be too big?  I ordered the large 4.  The dog’s foot does not fill the boot.

Most bird dogs need either Mediums or Large boots.  I prefer them to be a little bigger than too tight.

I use duct tape on mine. First I wrap one piece around the dogs leg sticky side out and make a loose ring around the dogs ankle.
I place it so 75% of the tape will be  inside the boot and 25% is above the boot.  I want this ring to be loose enough that it can spin.

I then put the boot on the dog.  I make sure the inside of the boot sticks to the tape.

Next  wrap one piece around the outside of the boot so that 75% is on the boot and 25% is above the boot stuck to the sticky side of the first piece of tape.  I make sure this piece is on as tight as possible.

This method works pretty well for me.  I do find that if I get in a hurry taping boots, I tend to throw one from time to time.
http://www.gundogsupply.com/-950-.html

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supplyhttp://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378
FAX 1-662-324-6011

August 23rd, 2009 by

Progress?

Ran into the local Kroger this morning to grab a dozen eggs. It was too slow to actually pay an employee to run a register, but they could have one there to tell me how to self check out.

It took me twice as long as it would have if someone else rang me out, but I got to pretend I worked at a grocery store.

August 22nd, 2009 by

The Use of the Dummy Collar and Keeping your Dog from becoming Collar Wise

It has been years (10 to 15) since the days of dummy collars coming
with Remote Dog Training Collars.  Some of the newer companies (SportDog and Unleashed
Technologies
) don’t even offer dummy collars.

From our website: “At Gun Dog Supply we feel the use of the DUMMY
collar to condition the dog to the weight and feel of the active
collar PRIOR to the use of electrical stimulation is still an
essential component of the training process.”

I still agree with this but I am not sure it is as valid as it once was.

Ecollars are so common now that many dogs (mine also) wear them any
time they are off leash.  Even my older dogs always have one on when
they are out in the field.  While they seldom get corrections, I want
them on so I can make the correction if needed, but it’s more of a
safety issue.  You never know when that “dog running full speed toward
a road” is going to happen.

I prefer to start a young dog (12 to 16 weeks) with either a real
collar that is turned off or a dummy collar to get him used to the
feel.  Every time we go to romp or chase birds or pick up fun bumpers,
we put the collar on.  My dogs see the collar as a regular step in
fun so that don’t dread the idea behind it.

The collar is just part of life ( just like a tracking collar, Astro,
or beeper collar)

Once we start using the collar (30 to 60 weeks – depending on the dog)
he has less issues.

If you strap one on an older dog that has never had a collar on and
zap him the first opportunity – you’ll get a collar wise dog.

Of course these folks tend not to be trainers.  They are just looking
for a quick fix.

Folks that plan to start out right can get a dummy collar for a puppy
and get the real collar later.  If they already have a real collar with a young dog, I
don’t really see the value in getting a dummy collar.  The other
situation is when you want the dog to wear the collar when he is
around other dogs and not under supervision ( one of my dad’s first
collars got chewed up by a kennel mate – a really expensive mistake in
the early 1970′s)

I prefer not to leave a collar on a pup in this situation, since he
really only needs it when he is “working or playing” and I will be
there when that is going on.

The folks that have the real issue is the competition guys.  They will
always put dogs in situations that require them not to have a collar
on (tests and trials) so they need to do everything in their power to
avoid collar wise.  Starting the dogs young and proper introduction to
the collar tends to help this.

The other situation is duck hunters in flooded timber.  They don’t
want a collar on the dog that might get hung up.  Same thing goes
here.  If  they do the young dog, proper introduction and they use the
collar as a tool not a crutch, they can avoid the collar wise dog.

To me,  this is an issue of not putting the proper foundation ( I see
starting with an ecollar as part of the regular gear as part of  the
drill) having issues down the road. – Steve

August 21st, 2009 by

Dove season is right around the corner

It’s hard to believe but Dove season is right around the corner.

The Mississippi opening day is September 5th.

Click here for info from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife

Be sure to keep a close eye on your dogs while you hunt. The weather is sure to be hot; Don’t over do it. Keep plenty of water on hand and let your dog swim or lie in the shade between retrieves.

Also be real careful with the young dogs around gunfire. If you have not done your gunfire conditioning, get it done now or leave your dog at the house. Click here to read more about proper gunfire conditioning for your dog

gundog_2065_654530614

August 20th, 2009 by

Day 3 – Fighting Beavers

Here is what they did last night. 10 minutes of digging got the water moving again. We should be done later today or tomorrow.

Drain Pipe – water flows into the creek
Here’s where we control the water level. We add boards to raise the level

Water flowing again

The white pole is there so I can find the pipe opening when it's covered in mud

Digging Out the Pipe

Completely Stropped up again

August 19th, 2009 by

Fighting Beavers in my Duck Hole

Two Wood Ducks in the Sky

Two Wood Ducks in the Sky

I spent a good bit of the day digging out the water control structure pipe in my duck pond. Normally this pipe isn’t an issue but I messed around and let the beavers get the  upper hand

It will take another 24 hours or so to get it down to the level I want for this time of year.

Beaver swimming in the water

Beaver swimming in the water

August 19th, 2009 by

Iphone blog

Can I blog from my Iphone?

Yep – Sure can……

August 19th, 2009 by

Texas Blue Quail Roost Pile

Quail Roost Pile - Midland, Texas 2008

Quail Roost Pile - Midland, Texas 2008

If you keep your eyes open while you Quail hunt, you can see the roost piles that show where the coveys sleep.  Quail roost in a circle with there heads pointed out.  This allows them a 360 degree view of any on coming predators.  If one bird flushes, the whole covey goes.

What has always amazed me is how they roost in as little cover as possible, sometimes even on bare ground. – Steve

August 19th, 2009 by

Upgrade Your Old G2 sytem with Tri-Tronics G3 Replacement Transmitters

transmitters

After 10 years of pushing, you can now buy a replacement transmitter for your Tri-Tronics system.  This allows folks to upgrade an older G2 or G2 EXP system to a G3 unit or you can even go from a 1/2 mile G3 Sport Basic to a G3 Pro 500 and use the same collar.  This will save you a few bucks. – Steve

via Tri-Tronics G3 Replacement Transmitters..

Tri-Tronics Replacement Transmitters allow you to replace your broken or lost Tri-Tronics transmitter, upgrade your system, or mix and match to build your own Custom Tri-Tronics System! You can combine any of the G3 Tri-Tronics Field, Pro, Sport, or Junior transmitters with any combination of G3 “Standard” Receiver Collars or G3 Sport Junior Collars.

PLEASE NOTE: These transmitters can be used to replace an existing or lost transmitter. They will NOT function as a second transmitter with your system. If you need two matching transmitters please give us a call at 1-800-624-6378 to arrange to have two matching transmitters custom built. You must purchase both transmitters at the same ti

August 19th, 2009 by

Introducing Your Pointing Dog Puppy to Birds

One of the most important things to get done early with a pointing dog is the introduction to birds.  I prefer to use pigeons.   They have a strong smell and are easy to see.  They will also stand their ground a little, so the pup has a chance to get close.

I really don’t care what the pup does the first time he sees or smells his first bird.  It’s nice if they are interested and do some flash pointing, but it isn’t really an indicator of the dogs potential.

What’s really fun is seeing your pup the second or third time he sees a pigeon and his fire is lit.

Brandy pointing a pigeon at 4 months

Brandy pointing a pigeon at 4 months

July 22nd, 2009 by

“Hope this dog vest can do a good job of protecting my dog.”

Just ordered a Mendota Skid Plate –  2560OL. Hope this dog vest can do a good job of protecting my dog. She whelped 08/19/08 and needs protection, if there is a better vest please let me know.

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  I think the skid plate is the
best choice especially for early season work.  If you need something
for when it turns colder, look at this one
http://www.gundogsupply.com/luckydog-reversible-vest.html

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

November 9th, 2008 by

What is the best dog house for my English Pointers?

I have two English pointers, one medium (45 Pound),  one large (60 pound), both dogs will sleep in one dog house.  Will the Dog Den 2 be big enough or should I get the Dog Den 3?

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  I have two 40 pound brittanys that share a Dog Den 2 insulated dog house, but I think it would be pushing it for a 45 lb. dog or a 60 lb. pointer. I would go with the k-9 Kondo’s Super Dog Den 3 insulated dog house.  – STEVE

November 9th, 2008 by

Lance’s Monkey

Lance Tracy has a monkey

November 9th, 2008 by

Deaf Dog needs a Vibrating Training Collar

I NEED A LITTLE HELP IN CHOSING A TRAINING/TRACKING COLLAR FOR MY DOG. MY DOG IS 10 MONTHS OLD AND I JUST FOUND OUT HE IS DEAF AND JUST WONDERING IF YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT TYPE OF VIBRATING COLLAR WOULD BE GOOD FOR HIM. THE DISTANCE WOULD BE UP TO A MILE, HOPEFULLY HE DOESN’T EVER GET THAT FAR IF HE EVER GOT LOOSE.

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply. If you want a one mile collar with vibration, look at the Dogtra 3500 http://www.gundogsupply.com/dogtra-3500ncp.html

You might also want to look at the Garmin Astro for a dog tracking collar: Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G

Starkville, MS 39759

For customer service call 1-800-624-6378

FAX 1-662-324-6011

November 9th, 2008 by

I like the Brakefast (Breakfast?) bowls a lot!

I recently ordered 4 of the medium blue Break-Fast bowls from you folks.  I think the concept of getting my yellow labs to slow down their eating has been achieved however; I would not recommend these bowls to anyone as they slide all over the kitchen floor where they eat.  I thought that for the price of these things… one would think that they would be made of heavier plastic…

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  The bowls are designed to be light weight so they will slide to make the dog eat more slowly.  That being said, we do have a 30 day money back guarantee.  You can send the bowls back if you are not happy with them.  I have included a copy of our return instructions below. I started using the plastic, but sometimes I leave my bowls in the kennel and my dogs destroyed a couple of them. I use the metal breakfast bowls now.  They are really pricey but they are really well made.  http://www.gundogsupply.com/medium-brake-fast-metal-bowl.html

They will slide also, but they are supposed to do that.  We’ll be glad to take all the plastic ones back. Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell

Gun Dog Supply

November 9th, 2008 by

Garmin DC 30 Comments & Questions

I really like the Garmin 220 & DC 30’s that I got from you, but Garmin needs to come up with an easy way to differentiate between the collars such as color codes……..since both are black, the only way I can tell the difference is the original collar has a square end, and the additional collar has a pointed end…….that’s pretty low tech for something that costs $200.   

I have been looking for a solution but I have not found one I really like.  My current trick is that I have attached different colored Zip Ties to each collar.  I go around the collar next to the antenna. The issue there is getting something that would slide over the GPS antenna.  If it’s big enough to do that then it’s going to flop around and get ripped off. I see what you are saying, but I expect it would come off the end too easy.  I am looking for something that will stay on and take the abuse that these collars get. — Steve

November 8th, 2008 by

“What are the Best Dog Fences for Kennel Runs or Dog Pens?”

>>> I noticed you don’t carry any dog runs or pens. Who do you recommend?

Thanks for contacting Gun Dog Supply.  I really don’t have a brand of dog fences that I recommend.  I use a local fence maker to build all my kennel runs with chain-link.  Most of the pre-made units are bad sizes and of low quality.

I prefer long narrow kennel runs (mine are 5 feet wide and 15 feet long) and I use at least 9 gauge wire.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,
Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply – http://www.gundogsupply.com

400 Industrial Park Road, Suite G
Starkville, MS 39759

November 8th, 2008 by

Back from two weeks in the Great Outdoors!

Ready to start blogging again! — Steve

September 3rd, 2008 by

This Rocks: Cabela’s — CamelBak Menace Hydration Pack

Cabela’s — CamelBak® Menace Hydration Pack

camelbak.jpg

Large cargo area, Freeze-resistant hydration system, Carries skis or a snowboard. Pack all the necessities for backcountry hiking, hunting or skiing in th is slender pack. Its OMEGA™ HydroTanium™ reservoir holds 70 oz. of refreshing beverage and boasts a lifetime manufacturer warranty. When the temperature plummets, its Therminator™ harness and insulated tube protect the hydration system from freezing. Internal sleeves for a probe and shovel organize the cavernous 1192 cu. in. cargo area. The sturdy strapping system carries skis or a snowboard. Loop conveniently secures helmet. Moisture-resistant MP3-player pocket. Fleece- lined goggle pocket.

September 1st, 2008 by

Hunting in Texas

Hydrate

August 15th, 2008 by

Looking for an IUC 5100

Looking for an IUC 5100 ? Me, too!

August 3rd, 2008 by

How to Stop Hunting Dogs from Running Deer or Chasing Other Unwanted Game

A rabbit hunter writes:
“I am looking to buy some shock collars for my rabbit dogs to keep them from running deer. I have two dogs now and am planning on adding more. ”

I recommend collars from the Tri-Tronics Classic 70 family for stopping a hunting dog from running deer, especially the Classic 70 G3 EXP. This is a one dog system that is expandable up to six dogs. You can also get it in multi dog units from 2 dog up to 6 dog.

I really do not know enough about rabbit dogs to answer the rest of your questions. You might check with these sites:

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell
Gun Dog Supply

July 31st, 2008 by

> What age does a dog need to be to start using a pet containment system??

> What age does a dog need to be to start using a pet containment system??

As a general rule I prefer that the dog be at least 6 months old. Keep in mind that a containment fence will not keep other dogs out of
your yard so he needs to be big enough to protect himself.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  We do appreciate your business.

Thanks,

Steve Snell

June 16th, 2008 by

Q&A on Labrador Retrievers

(This was for an interview for a report for school I think…– sws)

Sorry it took me so long to do this.  The holidays were a little busier than I expected.

I only answered the ones that fall into my areas of knowledge (several of these are opinion based and you need to keep that in mind.)  You’ll get different answers depending on who you ask.

The ones at the end will need to be answered by someone else.  A few of them should go to a vet and the others to a breeder.  I really don’t know a lot about the history of the breed.
1. How many times a year do labs go into heat and what are the effects?

Normally every 6 months, but this can vary with the dog. I have found that dogs with irregular cycles tend not to be easy to breed. I normally will not work with a dog during the heat cycle. It tends to cause too much trouble for male dogs in the area and it isn’t worth the risk of her getting lose. We shut them down for around 3 weeks.

2. How do labs differ from a Chesapeake Bay retriever?

You will get many different takes on this (since most of it is opinion based) Labs tend to be a little softer and easier to work with. Chessies can take the cols better but they are harder to train. They also don’t play well with others. They tend to be very protective and will only work for their owner. Keep in mind that this isn’t true of all of them, but many of them are this way. Chessies make great dogs, but you have to be a little more careful with them. Labs can be put into almost any situation and they will do well.

3. Why do labs bite more than other dogs when they are puppies?

Breeding. Labs are mouthy dogs. They love to hold and carry things. Most pups tend to bite as a form of communication, but labs do it more than most breeds. You need to stop it as quick as you can, but don’t over discipline on it.

4. Why are labs such good swimmers?

Breeding again. Their feet and tails are built for swimming. Their coats also shed water quicker than most breeds.

5. Why are you supposed to feed labs large breed dog food instead of just regular dog food?

Some folks feel that higher protein diets make young dogs grow faster and it leads to joint and bone problems.

Some folks feel that the Large Breed diets are a marketing plan and controlling the dogs diet through portions will accomplish the same things.

6. How would you recommend training labs with treats?

I don’t recommend that you do. All training should be based on verbal and physical praise not food.

7. Why does my lab not prefer rawhide bones?

I have no idea. Most dogs like them, but they arn’t really good for your dog, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

9. What conclusions can you draw from the Labradors hunting abilities?

This one is kind of open ended. Labs that are bred to hunt tend to have better noses, bodies and minds for the tasks. Many of the labs out there don’t have these abilities because of bad breeding combinations.

10. Can you list some medical disabilities and the effects they have on the labs life?

The biggest that I see are hip and joint problems. These kinds of genetic defects are common in line bred animals and have to be closely monitored to keep them from happening.

14. What is the lowest temperature a lab can be outside in without having to be brought in?

This depends on the dog and what kind of condition he is in. My labs are ok when it gets down into the teens. Anything below 0 and I will bring them inside. Dogs that live in the extreme north can take a lot more because they are used to it.

Protecting a dog from cold requires that they are kept dry, out of the wind and that they have plenty of calories so they can generate heat.

18. When you are hunting with a lab and they are gun shy what do you do with them? Explain how to gun train them.

You really wouldn’t be hunting with a lab that was gun shy. This should be fixed at a young age.

Gun Shy dogs are created by mistakes that people make. Dogs should be conditioned from birth to gunfire.

We start out pups in the laundry room from day one. This gets them used to lots of banging and noise. We also keep a radio playing around them (Country and Western makes the best hunting dogs ;) This gets them used to sounds, voices and changes in volume.

The next step is to carry a shotgun ( or something that looks like a gun ) around them during feeding time. You want them to see guns on a regular basis and think of them in a positive way.

When the pups are older 3 to 6 months, we start to introduce birds. Quail or pigeons work for this. I like to pull the flight feathers out of one wing and let the dog retrieve the live bird as it flutters to the ground 15 to 20 feet away from him. After you are doing this and he loves it, have your training partner fire a 22 blank pistol about 150 feet away as your dog is chasing the bird. Slowly move the gun in closer over time until you can shoot it while the dog is close to you and still chasing the bird. After you can do this, move out 150 feet away and start over with a 410 shotgun. Move in. Then start over with a 20 and a 12. It will not take long for your dog to connect guns with birds and this is what we are looking for.

22. How do the chocolate labs differ from the black labs and why do some people say that chocolate labs aren’t as good for hunting?

This is opinion based. I have hunted with some great chocolates and some really bad black labs. Black is a more popular color and breeders tend to go with what works.

23. How come my chocolate lab won’t jump into the back of our truck and how do you fix that problem?

It could be several things. Some dogs are not good jumpers. It could also be a sign of bad hips. One of my labs could jump at a younger age but was unable to as he got older.

You can train this with dummies. If he is big enough to reach the truck start throwing dummies into it for him to get. You can also start feeding him in the truck bed. This will get him into it. If you have a raised bed, this might not be a good idea. The last thing you want is for him to fall out trying to get in.

===============================================

8. Why do you think they put such a heavy license tax on dogs in Canada around 1885?

11. How does a dog get lime disease and what does it do to the dog?

12. Can a dog catch a disease from a person and if so how do you get rid of it?

13. Why is a lab more likely to get sunburned than a human and if so what SPF rating would be good for them?

15. Why do animals need more water in a cold temperature?

16. How do you know if your dog is too cold?

17. Which two breeds were bred together to make a lab and if you can explain the logic in the breeding process?

19. When and why did Queen Elizabeth start breeding labs?

20. What are the differences between British and Irish labs and do they have an affect on their hunting abilities?

21. Where do English labs come from versus British labs and how do you tell the difference?

24. How do you think the Labrador Retriever impacted the hunting industries and the families of America?

25. How do you train your lab to read and what can it understand by reading?

May 31st, 2008 by

When you activate either the continuous or the one shot button does the dog hear a tone also?

QUESTION: When you activate either the continuous or the one shot button does the dog hear a tone also?
Only if you want it to. Every mode setting that has tone (1,2,3, 5 & 7) have a separate tone button that has no stimualtion.

The only one that combines tone with stimulation is mode 7 where you have a stimulation only button, a tone only button, and a tone with a
one second stimulation delay button.

??? Here are the mode settings for the SD 400

MODE-1: 8 levels continuous + 8 levels momentary + separate tone button

MODE-2: 8 levels continuous + a level 8 instant “hot” button for dangerous situations + separate tone button

MODE-3: 8 levels continuous + a “plus 2″ button that allows you to increase the stimulation level by 2 levels without changing the dial +
separate tone button

MODE-5: 16 levels of continous stimulation + a tone only button.

MODE-6: 16 levels of momentary stimulation + 8 levels momentary

MODE-7: 8 levels continuous + 8levels tone with one second delayed continuous stimulation + separate tone button

Mode 4 is the multi dog setting.

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