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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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Lynn and Tad get ready for yet another flush!

Debuts today! Illinois’ Pike County is known for its monster deer; also for incredibly lush pheasant habitat at Harpole’s Heartland Lodge. Manicured cropland alongside wild mature forests make for some difficult shooting.

It was hot, humid, and my shooting was, well, below par to say the least. But what a hunt!

Go here for broadcast times/days/channels.

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Week of Sept 26

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Ugly dogs, pretty place Appropriate to the rough-and-tumble approach of German Wirehairs and shorthairs featured on the show, Scott and his guest Terry Wilson of catalog firm Ugly Dog Hunting Co. walk up native bobwhite quail rather than approach via the more genteel mule-drawn wagon. Three different generations of dogs, a touching story of physical and emotional redemption, and beautiful southern habitat highlight the program.Scott’s own wirehair Buddy teaches him the value of “weekends,” even for dogs, in the Buddy & Me segment, and the TruckVault Cares public service segment features the International Hunter Education Association. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Oct 3

28

Western wings Running ringneck pheasants and rough-country chukars test the skills – and patience – of hunters on this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA. A sporting clays expert makes his bird hunting debut and shines on several long shots in the program, from Western Wings near Roberts, Idaho.Pointing Labrador retrievers bump the ditch parrots from cut milo and CRP ground, then Linden’s own seasoned German Wirehair Buddy locates chukar partridge in the sage and scrubland at the foot of the Grand Teton Mountains. Buddy shows Scott the value of a face – even if it’s made for radio – in the “Buddy & Me” segment, and the Scholastic Clay Target Program is highlighted in the TruckVault Cares public service segment. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Oct 10

29

Big sky, prairie birds Skittish early-season Montana sharptail grouse and Hungarian partridge test the mettle of seasoned dogs and pups, as well as the feet of hunters in this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA. The Yoda-like guidance of 6X Outfitters’ Al Gadoury both enlightens Scott’s hunt, and opens his eyes to the more subtle aspects of a “big sky” hunt at the foot of the Crazy Woman mountains.An experienced English Setter first courses the CRP and alfalfa, coulees and sagebrush, then the day ends with her daughter accompanying Scott’s wirehair pup Manny for a rollicking good time (at least for the pup!).  The “Buddy & Me” segment is about an alternative to the e-collar and checkcord, and this week’s TruckVault Cares feature highlights the AKC Canine Health Foundation. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Oct 17

30

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Brotherly love Camaraderie is the theme on this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA, as Scott is joined by his brother Jeff on his first hunt. Awe at the dog work and adrenaline rush from the flush of bobwhite quail is evident as a new citizen of the Upland Nation is initiated at Red Bank Hunting Co. near Red Bluff, California.Nimble shorthairs lead the way, pinning coveys and singles in oak woodlands at the foot of Mt. Lassen. The shooting is challenging, even for seasoned hunters, and Jeff finally gets his gun to the shoulder, cheek to the stock and pellets on the correct side of the ever-present Manzanita bushes. This week’s TruckVault Cares feature highlights gun dog rescue clubs, and in the Buddy & Me segment Scott’s dog reminds him that sometimes, it’s best to go backwards a step or two in the training. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Oct 24

31

Southern gent meets Northern birds A southern gentleman is introduced to North Dakota sharptail grouse … a far cry from the genteel bobwhites he’s used to, in this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA. The badlands and crops outside Mott, North Dakota are the setting for long walks, rugged climbs, and a mob of hardworking dogs.Another “freelance hunt” with Tailfeather Inn owner Mark Wiegand puts the crew in new territory, unexplored before by Wiegand and friends. And the discoveries made along the back roads of rural North Dakota range from wild birds to stunning scenery, friendly people and a few “adventures” for Scott’s dogs. This week’s Buddy & Me segment is all about keep dogs cool, and the TruckVault Cares feature highlights the habitat work of the North American Grouse Partnership. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Oct 31

32

Yeeha! Horses and prairie grouse … hunting the way pioneers did on their way West. That’s the story on this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA. Scott is guided by Horse Feathers Lodge owner Bob Tinker, and they roam the South Dakota plains for sharptailed grouse and prairie chickens, astride Tennessee Walkers.Big running English Setters quarter the rolling hills and canyons near Pierre, South Dakota, finding birds among the wild grasses that are virtually unchanged since covered wagons traversed the same land more than a century ago. Think you’re a good shooter? Try dismounting, loading, then getting in position before these wild birds make their escape! Linden calls this a “bucket list” adventure for several reasons, as you’ll see.This week’s Buddy & Me segment is about keeping dogs calm and ready to learn, and the TruckVault Cares feature highlights the Ruffed Grouse Society. The “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Nov 7

33

California dreamin’ Northern California is pheasant country, and Corning’s Clear Creek Sports Club can prove it in this week’s episode of Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA. The golden, rolling hills are an idyllic setting, punctuated by ditches, desert and enough trees to humble the shooters. Scott’s five-month-old pup Manny scents his first ringneck and discovers the joy of hunting in one long, deep breath and quivering point. If you’ve ever wanted a puppy, this is the episode for you. Just keep your checkbook in the drawer or you’ll be calling for pick of the litter!This week’s Buddy & Me segment reminds Scott that having the tools and workplace ready are the keys to successful training. The TruckVault Cares public service segment features the International Hunter Education Association, and the “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt.

Nov 14

34

Finished ugly dogs This week on Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA, two “finished” dogs of the ugly persuasion (their owners’ descriptions) scour a Georgia quail plantation, demonstrating textbook points, steadiness and retrieving skills. A German Wirehaired Pointer and German Shorthair hunt alone and together at Quail Country Plantation, putting on a demonstration worthy of any field trial.“Ugly dogs” are so-named by their aficionados, comprising most of the versatile breeds, and formed the philosophical basis for Terry Wilson’s Ugly Dog Hunting Co. Wilson invited Scott (also an ugly dog owner) and his crew to help tune up his dog for an upcoming championship hunting test. He brought along a fellow ugly dog owner and hunt test judge, Tim Clarke, and a few friends too. If you’ve wondered how good a good hunting dog can be, watch this show.This week’s Buddy & Me segment stresses the importance of letting a dog “hold” his feathered reward after a good retrieve. The TruckVault Cares public service segment features the Scholastic Clay Target Program, and the “Take your kid hunting” feature offers a chance to win an Eastern Oregon horseback chukar hunt. 

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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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Click for more information

Talk turns to ideas turn to sketches then blueprints and now it’s becoming reality. Aliner’s Ned Collins just sent these photos of the Wingshooting USA official travel trailer under construction. Learn more about how they think – and what they do – by clicking on the logo.

By the way, many of your ideas are a part of this rig, so if you ever see it on the road or in the field, stop by – I owe you a cup of coffee!

Buddy and Manny have separate bunks, under mine! Bomb-proof floor material, too.

Exterior diamond plate - this rig will see a lot of gravel roads.

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Take the survey!

If you were on the receiving end of a recent survey, thanks for responding. (If you did NOT, and want to have some fun voting for your favorite dog breed for example, go here.) Your feedback helps make Wingshooting USA a better TV show, and even though it’s preliminary, the data provides some fascinating insights into the Upland Nation. For instance:

– So far, shorthairs and Labs are running neck-and-neck in the most popular dog breed question … about 20% each.

– 47% of us call pheasants our favorite quarry … quail are second at 22%.

– New boots, tires, and shotguns are on the shopping list for this season … at least 40% of us hope to get permission to buy each of these.

– 47% of us own more than one hunting dog … that’s a lot of feed!

Please follow the link and take the survey – you get to choose your own prize should your name be drawn at random – and I’ll keep you posted on final results.

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Seatbelts fastened, itinerary finalized and we are good to go! Here’s this year’s Wingshooting USA/Awesome Upland Road Trip. Follow along here – I’ll be filing regular reports from the road once we take off in mid-October. We start in Nebo, Illinois and end near Casper, Wyoming.

Want to join us? Go here and find out how!

Click on any of the pushpins for more information on the trip, and check back for news.

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