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My game player - German Shorthair Pointer

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MinnDakota Kennels Fine German Shorthair Pointers

By: David P Bruns, Minndakota Kennel and Guide Service
for UGUIDE South Dakota Pheasant Hunting

How to win the game in the pheasant hunting fields of South Dakota

As many hunters can tell you, the outcome of your day is sometimes based on the amount of luck you have. With that said, there are a few things to take into consideration. These are weather conditions, time of year (early/late season) and patterns of the birds and dog work. Even though each day brings a new challenge, there is one thing that remains the same; the players in the field. These are the birds versus a man and his dog. If there is one thing that will bring you consistent success in the field, it is a quality bird dog.

Now there are quality dogs in every breed but today we are going to touch on pointers. Specifically the German Shorthaired Pointer. My knowledge of the breed and its abilities in the field is based on my personal experience. Why the German Shorthair? I think the saying goes something like this, we do what our dads did. I am a third generation pheasant hunter that has chased the ring-neck behind a German Shorthair. Just like hunting, it has become a family tradition.

To give you a little background, the German Shorthaired Pointer was introduced to America by soldiers returning home from World War II. They are considered one of the continental versatile breeds and this status reflects the additional tasks the GSP may be asked to perform such as blood tracking, retrieving out of water, and varmint hunting. Due to the German Shorthair's versatile abilities, they are always a worthy opponent for any game bird. As in any sport, the best way to win is to stack the odds in your favor. We feel the GSP gives you the most valuable player every time you hit the field.

There are many things you can do to improve your dog's performance in the field. Training, conditioning, building that bond/team relationship, more training, etc... but the one thing you can't do is train experience. The time you spend in the field is the most valuable training tool you can have. After you have completed training and have control of your dog, my next best advice is to go hunting. Preferably on ground that has plenty of opportunities for bird exposure. Nothing makes a bird dog like birds. (I think I may have stolen that line from every good trainer out there.) If you have done your homework and bought the right pup (that will be a different article) for your type of hunting situations and spent the time and/or money to train them, your chances of outwitting the wily ring-neck have greatly improved. It actually might not involve much luck at all.

As with many things we do, it sometimes doesn't matter if we win or lose but it is nice to have a good showing. The time you spend in the field with friends, family or just your four-legged hunting partner are memories that are never forgotten. Good luck on your next outing and hopefully you get a limit every once and awhile.

Dave Bruns lives in the heart of pheasant country South Dakota, near Mitchell. Dave is the owner of MinnDakota Kennels and Guide Service and is a top breeder and trainer of German Shorthair Pointers. For more information go to Dave's website at german shorthair pointer