John’s Note: For more than three decades, my good friend, the late Major “Bubber” Cameron of Panola, Alabama, near Aliceville, trained and handled some of the best field-trial and hunting (gun) dogs in the nation. His sons Rush and John Cameron have carried on Bubber’s top-notch quail-hunting tradition at Cameron’s Quail Preserve where outdoors families also can enjoy fishing, deer hunting, clay shooting, trail riding and staying in the 9-bedroom, 9-bathroom lodge.
A sportsman usually believes if he buys a puppy that won’t hunt or hunt properly that then he should continue to spend money to try and train that dog to be a good dog.
But this is false economy, generally a dog that isn’t going to hunt will not hunt no matter how much you spend on training him. If a dog doesn’t have desire, a nose and brains, then he is never going to have them.
The hunter will be better advised to give that dog away and buy another dog, rather than to try and make a dog become something that he never has been since the beginning. That’s why spending the time and the money buying the right bird dog or the right puppy in the beginning is so important. I’ve known men who have spent thousands of dollars trying to make a sorry puppy into a good bird dog – which just never happen. Once someone discovers he has a bad bird dog puppy, they should give that animal to someone and start over again with a new puppy.
We primarily have been talking about young bird dogs. But what about buying a trained dog – a dog that does everything you want him to do the way you want him to do it. Should a man think about buying this dog, even though the price is considerably more than the cost of a puppy? I always tell people,
A man sees so few really-good, topnotch dogs.
In your lifetime, you will have the opportunity to own only one or two very-outstanding bird dogs. So, when you find that one special dog that is hunting the way you want him to and when you want him to, then the price is right, whatever you have to pay for him.”
Just consider the number of dogs that a man may have to buy and train, the vet bills, the food bills, the training costs and the hours spent in getting the dog just right.
A sportsman who can find a dog that he likes is wise to go ahead and pay the owner the asking price and buy that dream dog. But there are hunters who prefer to spend the time and energy to start with a puppy and finish him out to be a top dog, although they know they can buy a dog to suit them.
To get the right dog for you, you have to decide what you want to do with the dog after you get him. Do you want to start quail hunting the Saturday after you buy him, or do you want to spend the time, energy and money required to train the dog the way you want him? No matter which road you take, you will be able to buy the dog you want instead of having a bird dog that you wish you haven’t bought, if you will spend a little time before the sale finding out about the dog and what he knows.
For more information about Cameron’s Quail Preserve or bird dog training, go to (www.cameronquailpreserve.com), email the Cameron’s at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205-455-2268 or 205-455-2420. Also check out Cameron’s Quail Preserve on Facebook.
To learn more about John E. Phillips’ Kindle ebooks covering all types of hunting, fishing and cooking, click here.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.