Yes. I hate to admit it. My obsession for another hunting dog has come full circle.
I’ve always been a Labrador guy. I grew up with Labs. Unfortunately for my sanity, a recent Northern Minnesota grouse hunt with English Setters ranging from 4 months old to dynamite 6 year old pointers sent my head in an uncontrollable tailspin.
The inner debate brewing in my brain regarding which gun dog to choose is an epic battle. Do I go with flusher . . . retriever . . . pointer? Ahhhhh! Tough choice.
My cousins, the Michels boys, are Springer guys through and through. I’ve hunted with their Springers, and man I tell you, they are bird finding machines. They hunt close and hunt hard. Like many Labs, their versatility sets them apart. Springers can make a seemless transition from the prairie grasslands to the big water like you will never see.
I don’t think I will get a Lab this time. I know that might sound crazy to some . . . to many actually, but that decision stems from my location and proximity to good pheasant and waterfowl areas. Now living in the smack-dab middle of Minnesota, I’m thinking my opportunity to hit the outdoors will be to the grouse woods. In addition, with family living in North Dakota, a fall would be empty without at least a couple trips west to chase pheasants and sharpies.
What would be the best breed for me?
My Brittany was a great dog, don’t get me wrong, but she lacked in a few areas that I think are of utmost importance. The forest was her game. Jumping stumps and flying through the pines, you could see her natural instinct come to life. A fence row point was where she shined. However, the tall gnarled switchgrass and cattails did not show her strong-suit. She was just too small.
It sounds cliche, but I need a relentless bird finder. Period. That is what everybody wants, right? The dog also has to be a good family pet, etc. All the factors make the decision even more difficult.
I’ve been leaning toward a bigger pointer breed, but could change my mind at any minute with a good lecture or bird dog information.
What should I get? What is the best bird dog? Any ideas?
By Matt Soberg