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.
Many sportsmen will go to a kennel or a dog breeder, check the dog’s papers, walk into the pen, look at the puppies, and try and pick the ones they think will make the best dogs for them.
Using this method, a hunter will be just as well off to close his eyes, reach into the pen and pick up the first dog he feels. You don’t know whether you are getting a gun-shy dog, a bird shy dog, a man-shy dog or a dog that will run too much. This is one of the worst ways to try and buy a bird dog that you’re planning to hunt with for the next 6 to 10 years.
Also, don’t become kennel blind when you are looking for a bird dog puppy.
Most outdoorsmen falsely assume that because a dog comes out of a kennel that has been known to produce good dogs that any dog from that same kennel will be a good dog. But this assumption is not necessarily true. Dogs are like individuals. There are sorry ones, and there are good ones. Only by knowing the individual dog can you best select the kind of dog with which you want to spend a great portion of your life.
To obtain the best information on the right dog for you, find a man who has some of the best hunting dogs in your area.
See the dogs work, and choose the one that most fits your style of hunting. Inquire of the hunter who owns him if the dog has been bred to any other dogs, and if he knows of any puppies are available from the dog you like. Then next make an appointment to see the puppies when they are old enough to go out in the field. The two things that are most important for the hunter to look for in the puppy he may buy is to find out if the dog is gun-shy, and if the dog likes quail.
If the breeder will permit, take along a cap pistol, and shoot it close to the puppies to see how they react. A puppy that won’t flee from the sound of the cap pistol usually will not be gun-shy. Next, if the breeder will permit, take along some live quail that you have purchased. Put the quail on the ground, and see if the dog will run and chase them. Then you can be sure that the dog is not bird-shy, and that he has an inborn desire to hunt quail.
For more information about Cameron’s Quail Preserve or bird dog training, go to (www.cameronquailpreserve.com), email the Cameron’s at [email protected] 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.