Tennis Ball

Dog park fun with a tennis ball! These action shots were frozen with a Nikon 850 with an f/4 70-200MM at 1/1600 shutter speed.

I hope you enjoy these pics of Henry showing this tennis ball who is boss!

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Beautiful Bird Dogs

The joy of bird hunting is found in our dogs. We learn to work together, training the finer points, and enjoying their miraculous bird hunting instinct. Here is Henry on his last hunting morning of the season. It was a great first season for him and he dramatically exceeded our expectations. I hope you enjoy these pictures of the handsome pointers we had the privilege to hunt with this season.

Henry looking good in the early morning light.

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The Nefarious AR-14

Here it is. 8 pounds of black evil, the AR-14 assault rifle

OK, good old Joe meant AR-15 when he said AR-14. 220, 221, whatever it takes.
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Sun City Kansas Quail

We enjoyed a Kansas wild bird quail hunt with Upland Bird Guide Service out of Sun City, Kansas. Very nice accommodations in a renovated, old bank building, and excellent cuisine from our Louisiana guide, Jamie Johns, added to the enjoyment. The hunt was great fun, the birds were thin but that is expected in the current down cycle.

It is common for pointers to bloody the end of their tail as they run through the brush. This old boy was super focused and gave himself a blood bath as his tail whipped back and forth. This speaks to the focus and drive that these dogs have.

Let’s roll!

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Happy New Year!

Please pray for the many hundreds of Colorado families who lost their homes last night that they might find comfort. Thank God and be grateful for what you have on this last day of 2021.

A new year holds fresh promise and hope for less fire, fewer murderous maniacs, a conquered virus, and a resurgence of sanity and common sense. We’ll see.

So, Happy New Year from the Birdhunter!

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Henry Hunts

This is Henry at one week on 1/5/2021. Born Xander at the great Deutsch Kurzhaar (GSP) breeder Vom Gansehimmel in North Dakota. It has been a great pleasure to watch him grow from a mischievous puppy to a legitimate bird dog (but still full of mischief!).

Undoubtedly, one of the great joys is to see your dog grow into what he was bred and born to do. I hope you enjoy these pictures of a transformed dog on his first wild bird hunts.

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Pre-Season Bird Dog Training

Henry is 7 months old now, with about a month until the hunting seasons begin. Chris and his sweet black lab, Ryder, joined us for a training session on a perfect Colorado Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy the pictures of these beautiful bird dogs!

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Henry Points a Bird! Woo-Hoo!

Our first day in the training field with Chukar was bird-dog nirvana. The two objectives were to see a first point and to introduce Henry to gunfire. Both were achieved on this perfect Saturday morning. This morning was truly a slice of heaven . . . maybe not so much for the birds! I hope you enjoy these pictures of the day.

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Henry’s First Fourth

I hope you had a terrific 4th! Fantastic weather in Denver over this 3-day weekend prompted us to visit the off-leash dog park in Chatfield State Park a couple of times. This park is awesome, with 75 acres of varied terrain along with some sizable ponds. It is for sure Henry’s favorite place to be, at least until he discovers the upland bird hunting country.

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DK at the Dog Park

Deutsch Kurzhaar (GSP) Henry is a week away from 6 months old. He is still very much a puppy, but in many ways we see the awesome bird dog that he is going to be. I hope you enjoy these pictures of his progress.

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Bird Hunting Photography – Part 4 Camera Management in the Field

Managing a camera while on the hunt can be a bit of a challenge. There can be a lot going on – like handling your dog(s), safely carrying a shotgun, excellent wing shooting, not tumbling down the side of a hill, screwing around with your GPS, and executing outstanding photography. With so many things to deal with, you want your camera management to be as efficient and non-intrusive as possible. Camera management is how you safely carry it and bring it into action while hunting. Safety is number one because nothing ruins the joyous mood of the hunt, like putting a load of 6s in the side of your pal’s face. (insert Dick Cheney joke here).

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Henry at 4 Months

Our Deutsch Kurzhaar (German Shorthair), Henry, reached 4 months a few days ago. He is growing fast and has a wonderful demeaner. He takes life in stride. His training is going well. He knows wait, whoa, here, sit, off, leave it, no, and NO! DAMN IT! If a treat is involved he will actually execute these commands, unless he is in the coup shaking one of the hens like a rag doll. He is a good boy and I can’t wait to get him on game birds. Soon, I hope.

King Henry the First!

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Puppy Pics for Easter!

Henry is just over three months old and is doing great. He is completely assimilated into the family and is such a wonderfully biddable dog. We think he is super intelligent, mainly because he likes to watch TV and has learned a few commands. Our only issue is that when we think he is finally house-broken, he will piss on the carpet. I am sure in a week or so, he will cross that finish line! Here are some new pics of him. We will be glad we captured some of his puppy days because he is growing fast! 31 pounds today. I hope you enjoy these pictures.

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My Brother from Mexico.

Hey everyone, today is my 3 month birthday! It has been a crazy 90 days. About a month ago, I was transferred to a new family. My suspicion is that there was a cash transaction involved, but surely not. I refuse to believe that my mother would allow such a thing as trafficking in puppy flesh. But I don’t know; I can’t seem to shake that feeling. I do believe my new overlords are decent people. They are moderately intelligent but inconsistent and naïve in how they try to manage me. Their attempt at potty training has been hilarious! Once they think they finally have me trained and celebrate my “getting it,” I like to drop a pint of puppy urine on the carpet. They absolutely lose their minds! Just a week or two more, and then I will make them proud. Of course, I know what they want; I always have.

And I hesitate to mention this, but they smell. Not overly offensive, just different. As long as they keep feeding me, I am sure I will get used to it. Also, the male, who is clearly junior to the Alpha Mrs. Birdhunter, is a bit over the top with the picture taking. It is a minor annoyance because he swears we are going to do all kinds of bird hunting – many states, many species, all wild birds, top-notch accommodations, etc., etc. If that happens then we are good. If this is one of those “two preserve hunts a year” homes, then I am outta here.

Then there is my 70+-year-old curmudgeon Chihuahua stepbrother Jack. That’s him in the picture below on the left. Mexican Jack, as I like to call him, is generally pretty fractious. It doesn’t help that I am only about three and a half, but clearly, I irritate him to no end.

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Destructive Innocence

This is Henry, our 10-week old Deutsch Kurzhaar (DK is German for German Shorthair Pointer). If you haven’t read the earlier post on these dogs, you can read it here. Henry came from the fine folks at Vom Gansehimmel in North Dakota. After 2 weeks with him, it is clear that he has the potential to be an outstanding bird dog. It is also clear that I forgot the exercise in patience and constant, diligent oversight that a puppy demands. Right now, in our house, one character is being shaped while the other is being tested! He is the sweetest little guy, but he will playfully rip your face off without a thought. Cute puppy stuff! Not to sound proud, but he is a strikingly handsome dog. I hope you enjoy these pictures!

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Bird Hunting Photography – Part 3 Camera Settings

Here are the settings to give you the best chance at sharp, well exposed pictures.

Option #1 – Set your camera to “Auto” and have at it. I hope you found this helpful and I appreciate you visiting the Birdhunter!

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Bird Hunting Photography – Part 2 Balancing the Variables

There are three primary variables to contend with in photography. They are ISO, APERTURE, and SHUTTER SPEED.  The goal is to set these based upon the light you have for the best chance of a sharp, properly exposed picture. None of these variables is independent. Change one, and it impacts the other two.

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Bird Hunting Photography – Part 1 Elements of a Great Picture.

This is a short series about photography while bird hunting. The objective is to help you take great (or better) pictures while on the hunt, capturing memories and memorializing your awesome dog! In the spirit of the limited attention span common in the blogosphere, I have broken this into these 5 easily digestible segments:

  • Elements of a Great Picture
  • Balancing the Variables – ISO, Aperture & Shutter Speed
  • Camera Settings
  • Camera Management in the Field
  • Photographic Equipment & Editing

So, let’s start with what makes a great, compelling image. Here are the four elements of a great bird hunting picture (or any other picture for that matter). An interesting subject, that is well composed, in sharp focus, and taken in good light are the makings of a great image.

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Setter Points

Meet Dodger and Layla, two exceptional English Setters. Here are some shots from a fun afternoon on preserve chukars. It was dastardly cold, but the light was wonderful. Dodger is six, at the top of his game, and Layla is about 7 months. She performed well, naturally honoring and retrieving. I hope you enjoy these beautiful bird dogs.

A beautiful point by Dodger!
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A Bright Bird Hunting Future.

We are leaving behind a tough year. You all know what happened, so I won’t go into that here, except to say the low point was the departure of my dear hunting buddy Tex. A sweet giant of a dog, he almost made it 9 years. Tex had a great life. He hunted in 9 states, was provided with $9,000 worth of knees, and was a much-beloved member of our family. He gave us great joy, and he enjoyed life to the end. His nub of a tail wagged all the time, even when we took him for that last terrible visit to the vet. We miss him very much.

The last picture of our sweet boy Tex.

So now we move on, and thankfully our bird hunting future looks very bright! Two elements warrant this optimism.

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