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Posts Tagged ‘Aliner’

The desired result.

Okay, I guess technically it’s not related to the NAVHDA Utility Test, but a dog that will jump into and out of a truck bed or similar objective can be a godsend. Now that he’s over two years old and his growth plates are fully formed, let the games begin.

While we are on the road and appearing at the Game Fair in Minnesota, one of my goals has been to get Manny to do the work I’ve been doing for two long years: launch himself into – and out of – the back seat and truck bed where his crate usually resides. At the Fair, he spends considerable time hobnobbing with the crowd from the crate in our Aliner pop-up travel trailer, so that’s also on the agenda.

An interesting sidebar to any “collarwise” discussion has been the key. On the road, I often leave electric collars and their transmitters in the side pockets of my truck doors. While putting away his e-collar in that storage compartment, I commanded Manny into the cab. He launched, and was licking my face (from face level) in an instant. Later, holding the transmitter at the door, he glanced at it, and teleported himself into the seat on command.

After a few days of travel and practice (I may be a slow learner, but I do learn) Manny is now in the seat about 70% of the time on the first command. His crate is in the back of a lifted 4WD pickup, raised higher by my TruckVault so it may as well be the Eiffel Tower to a young dog. But he’s also learning that a bumper is as good as an elevator when I use the same methods.

Cleaner clothes, no back injuries, no ramp to pack, and it looks cool too.

Have you “taught” jumping into things? How? This isn’t the easiest way, and probably not the right way, so help me finish the job correctly!

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No dirt, no snakes, but Manny and Buddy will be there as will the Aliner Expedition pop-up trailer.

Moved in, unpacked, and already made two new friends and saw a couple old ones. This should be a winner – 2nd Annual Gun Dog Expo this year in Portland Oregon. Starts tomorrow! Great seminars, including my “What the Dogs Taught Me,” and plenty for waterfowlers and uplanders.

We’re playing the “Real Bird Bumper Brawl” at my chukar camp … so stop by and win a prize! More info here.

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This scree harbored a covey of chukars, believe it or not.

Have you ever had virtually everything go right? For almost three weeks? When the equation included two dogs, four TV cameras, crew, vehicles and a squeaky-tight schedule?

As the saying goes, I’d rather be lucky than good. In this case, good planning was complemented by better luck. This year’s Awesome Upland Road Trip was a vestful of highlights, which you’ll see starting next summer on Wingshooting USA. I’ll do my best to recall some of them here between now and then, starting with the warm-up chukar hunt in southeast Oregon.

It was warm, dry, and where we hunt that’s a good thing.  (The roads turn to gumbo with a light sprinkle; if you’re up a canyon you’ll slide into something on the way down. If you’re at the mouth, you won’t be going uphill any time soon.) Mike got there early and staked out our favorite spot. I followed, paying a visit to my favorite town, Fields (pop. 9) and proprietors Tom and Sandy Downs. There’s always a new or old friend in the cafe’, and the Friday before the opener was no exception. It’s one of many reasons I hunt that area, and there’s been more than one occasion when I’ve seen folks there I haven’t seen in town in years, adding spice to an already tasty serving of high country adventure.

A warm-up hill ... easy walking, relatively speaking.

Dave rolled in late (he’s got a respectful day job – actually, two) and we finally got some shuteye. Dawn came early and cold, with the crack of shotguns down canyon. A neighboring camp had the jump on us, scattering the home covey of valley quail before we’d finished our coffee.  They didn’t stay long, though, as their principal quarry was mule deer.

We mobilized and headed for higher terrain and chukar partridge but our walk was interrupted by Buddy’s first point and the whir of quail wings … apparently the other hunters hadn’t broken up the covey completely … or was it another bunch, headed down the same canyon?

Dave’s young Lab Buster was enjoying the tantalizing scent, the excitement of gunfire, and a playmate in my wirehair. He’s got potential.  Singles flushed sporadically, and we pursued. How we did is the subject of a future installment.

One tired wire.

Camp. If I told you where it was, I'd have to kill you. The Aliner pop-up trailer performed perfectly!

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We started with this, and went WAY beyond.

Oh boy! The Aliner Expedition arrived today and it is locked and loaded for a bird hunter. Details to come soon, but a quick shout out to Ned Collins and his creative crew at Aliner for such an innovative approach to customizing the rig. Thanks Dan Hyland for delivering and giving us the more-than-fifty-cent tour/orientation. Stand by!

The trailer’s arrival primes the season’s-almost-here pump, for sure. Here, a warm-up at a local preserve kicks off the Awesome Upland Road trip on Oct. 5. From there, chukar opener on the 8th and then off to Illinois for the first TV shoot of the season.

What kicks it off for you? Is it a place, hunting buddy, specific bird species that gets you going? We’re all gear junkies – does that set you off? The planning?

Here, it’s just 20 days and we’re hunting. You?

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Beefy, rugged, manly. Nope, that’s not the opening line for a beer commercial. Better still, it’s a description of the tricked-out off-road, custom-built Aliner Expedition travel trailer that leaves the factory Friday for the journey west where it becomes the official travel trailer of Wingshooting USA.

Aliner president Ned Collins has pulled out all the stops to make this the ideal bird hunting rig: practical touches abound, from a fan in the dog box to off-road tires, rock-repelling diamond plate to exterior shower. Once it’s here, you’ll get the full tour with lots of photos. Until then, here’s another set of the rig “under construction.”

Here's what you'll see when I pass you while exceeding the speed limit. Or vice-versa.

Ventilation fan on exterior dog box entry. Buddy and Manny approve.

The grand entryway ... note the logo on the dog box (right). Will my dogs know that's their entrance after a long, muddy day?

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