Posts Tagged ‘Buddy & Me’

So, what’s the best approach for you, the bird, and Buddy?

Here’s a lesson I’m learning almost weekly this time of year. Maybe you, too. You trudge up the hill to find your dog on point. He’s steady. Birds cooperative. Until you take over, that is.

Once he’s pinned a bird, I try to help Buddy do a great job handling it. I approach from at least an oblique angle, not striding right past. He’s less likely to break point. If I can, I get birds to hold instead of run by squeezing them between Buddy and me.

Want another reason to approach your dog from the front? He’s not right under the muzzle blast and it’s deafening effect. That way, he’ll have one less excuse for not hearing my commands. Even when I miss. Which is often.

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From a "Buddy & Me" segment.

My Wingshooting USA television series kicks off its third season the week of Sept. 26 on five networks, including NBC Sports. I hope you’ll watch.

Highlights include the first hunt for my German Wirehair puppy Manny, a horseback hunt in South Dakota, and an Idaho hunt with the viewer who won the show’s “Take Your Kid Hunting” sweepstakes. The upland industry’s widest-ranging conservation and public service initiative also kicks off with the first broadcast.

You know as I do, it’s all about the dogs, so elite canine athletes and fast-paced hunting action are the primary focus of the program, with locations ranging from North Dakota to Oregon. Species include ringneck pheasants, sharptail grouse, chukars and prairie chickens. The fan favorite “Buddy & Me” segment returns with hunting, training and shooting tips dispensed by Linden’s older (and wiser) wirehair Buddy.

The debut episode also launches our public service effort, “TruckVault Cares … about conservation, canines & kids.” The viral, interactive and broadcast effort raises funds and awareness for six groups: Ruffed Grouse Society, International Hunter Education Association, AKC Canine Health Foundation, Scholastic Clay Target Program, North American Grouse Partnership and a nationwide coalition of hunting dog rescue clubs.

Win a trip to be on the show, too. We’re hunting on horseback for chukars at one of my favorite places. Enter here.

Show sponsors include the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s WingshootingUSA.org hunting promotion initiative; TruckVault secure vehicle storage systems; Happy Jack Inc. dog health products; Kent Cartridge; Fausti Shotguns; Ugly Dog Hunting Co.; Filson apparel; South Dakota Tourism and Watertown, SD; PreferredLodges.com; and Tri-Tronics electronic training collars.

In addition to NBC Sports (formerly VERSUS), the award-winning program airs on Sportsman Channel, AMG-TV, TUFF-TV and Legacy Television. Days and times vary by network; detailed program information and a preview episode are available here.

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I love making Wingshooting USA, and especially the “Buddy & Me” segments where I share some less-common observations and tips you might use to train (and be trained by) your dog. As a former teacher, it’s my chance to help others learn more, and become better dog owners too.

[These segments will air starting in September, and you can find a preview script below for one of them. Watch some previous versions shot last year, here.]

But it’s not as simple as just walking up to the camera and talking. Light’s gotta be right, or we supplement it. “Quiet on the set” is more than a cliché … it’s critical. I’ve got to craft a script, hit my marks and say my lines. And most importantly, the canine talent (Buddy) needs to perform. On cue, and often over and over again as I muff my lines or a plane flies over.

Thanks to camera operator and director Tad Newberry, whose great work you see every week, and for this session, his son Nick for manning the reflector so at least literally, I’m not in the dark on this one.

Thanks to my lovely wife Karen Bandy for taking these shots of today’s shoot, and hey, Buddy? “Good dog!”

Ummmm. Now, where were we?

How DO you get a dog to cock an ear on command?

After a hundred retrieves, the star gets jaded, needs some coaxing.

Nice and shady ... great for dogs, not so great for cameras.

Script: Buddy & Me

Yes, dog training is not play. It is often serious business, especially if you’re a field trialer.

But kiddy toys can help your dog “grow up” when the real thing simply isn’t available.

Teaching steadiness? Birds are best, but when you can’t use pigeons or gamebirds, try this balsa wood airplane. At two bucks apiece, they’re a bargain.

Whether you’re introducing a pup to gunfire, live in suburbia, or simply feel funny pulling out a real gun, draw podner! With this cap pistol.

It’s not as loud, nor as realistic looking as my Fausti shotgun, but it’s better than saying “bang!”

As the old song says, “ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.” But the next time you’re trying to train and you don’t have proper gear, you might look to your kid’s toy box for inspiration.


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Destination: Big K Guest Ranch, on the Umpqua River in Southwest Oregon. Objective: shoot the “wraparounds” for this fall’s shows. Those are the little bits where I stand up and talk for a minute before each segment of the program.  (Get ready for some twists, extra helpings of fun, and more prizes.)

Then, we were going to shoot the “Buddy & Me” segments. Operative word: were. Because after one day the heavens opened and we were washed out, figuratively. Will Spring ever get here? Rain, snow last week, more gloom than any two years … yuk!

But Big K is such a great spot, we’ll be back when the weather is better and finish the job. Thanks Kathy and crew. Here’s why we’ll be back:

Tad sets up a shot along the Umpqua - Big K has 3-1/2 miles of frontage and it's just about salmon season!

There were so many, they kept stealing my scenes.

Ho-hum, another poopy day in paradise at Big K.; the view from my cabin, pre-downpour.

The guys, ready for their close-up, but then the clouds came.

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