Two friends and I had made the journey across the country in hopes of getting into Huns, quail, and chukar--those red-legged devils. The forecast had called for clear, blue skies and temperatures in the 50s, but as we loaded our bird vests and I let Lincoln, my retriever, out of the truck, gray clouds and a wave of cold air moved in.
I wasn't complaining. The drop in temperature would mean Lincoln could hunt longer and harder. It would potentionally keep the birds holding tight, and hopefully keep the rattlesnakes at bay. As hunters, we embraced the change in weather. There was no way the cold and wet would dampen our excitement.
It was a lesson we've all encountered. Change happens. We've all seen it in the hunting realm. Think about it. Our grandparents hunted in thick, wool garments, and with paper shotgun shells. They navigated without cell phones or GPS units, and their dogs ran with no e-collars.
Today, with the advancement of technology, your upland pants are bombproof, your shotgun weighs less than six pounds, and according to your dog's e-collar receiver, he's on point 300 yards to the west.
We're not knocking the change. We're embracing it.
For 38 years, GUN DOG has brought you the highest-quality content when it comes to your sporting dogs. We're determined to remain the premier magazine dedicated to upland and waterfowl dogs and their handlers. And because of that, we must embrace change and stay at the forefront of it.
You may have noticed a new look and feel to this issue. You're going to see fresh designs that draw you into the pages and make you feel like you're a part of the hunt. You'll see new columns and new voices. We'll search out the best training tools for your gun dog. We'll break down the newest gear to aid you in the field. We'll offer advice on ways to find birds from East to West. We'll help you in your choice of which bird dog is best for your needs, and we'll be on the lookout for new ways and recipes for cooking your game birds. At the end of each issue, you'll find a story on a hunter's beloved dog--one that's chasing roosters in the sky, or one that's still pointing birds on the prairies or in the grouse woods. Because let's be honest, despite reading this magazine for training and hunting information, really we all just love a good dog story.
Although we have some new writers sharing their hunting knowledge with you, what's not changing are the dog trainers and experienced hunters who have contributed to GUN DOG for years. Dave Carty offers advice on how to get your pointer to hold steady; Tom Dokken makes sure your retriever can make blind retrieves with ease; Jerry Cacchio transforms your springer into a flushing machine; and Bob West shares his years of experience chasing birds behind good working dogs. Dr. Ed Bailey reports on the real and the raw behind training and behavior-related problems in your dogs; and Tony Peterson helps you find as many birds on public land as possible. Our experts' knowledge of sporting dogs and training is unmatched, and they will continue to provide you with tips to make your bird dogs the best they can be.
When that falling snow in Idaho stung my face, and my clothes became soaked from melting snowflakes, I didn't head back to the truck. Instead, I embraced the weather. I watched my dog charge across the rough terrain, energized by the bite in the air, and the excitement that the season he was born for was finally here.
Over the coming hours of hiking through the snowfall and cold wind, the birds would be good to us. Near midmorning, his coat soaked from running through the brush, a wet Lincoln would bring to my friend's hand a Hun--his first. The joy on his face was worth embracing the change.
See you in the wild,