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Christy Kota has cast the 60,000th vote in Scott Linden’s Wingshooting USA TV conservation initiative “TruckVault Cares … for conservation, canines & kids.” The multimedia effort raises funds and public awareness for six non-profit groups. It is sponsored by TruckVault secure vehicle storage systems, with additional support from Filson apparel, Fausti shotguns, Kent Cartridge ammo and Tri-Tronics electronic dog training collars. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is title sponsor of the show.

Kota will receive a gift certificate from program sponsor Filson for her vote. In addition to the 60,000 votes, the initiative’s web pages have seen over 200,000 visits by viewers seeking more information on each group and sponsors. Groups benefitting from the year-long effort include Ruffed Grouse Society, Gun Dog Rescue groups, International Hunter Education Association, North American Grouse Partnership and the AKC-Canine Health Foundation. Every vote sends a proportional amount of the $10,000 prize fund to the group’s treasury. Besides sharing in the funds raised, host-creator Scott Linden says all groups benefit from heightened public awareness of their work.

Every voter is entered to win gear from a long list of prizes … TruckVault, Scott Linden’s own Fausti shotgun, prints, dog crates and e-collars.

Together, the groups claim over a million member-supporters. The AKC Canine Health Foundation leads in voting, having surpassed the 27,800 vote mark. Second place is occupied by the Scholastic Clay Target Program. For more information or to vote, go to http://www.truckvaultcares.com.

Through television commercials and in-show features, Wingshooting USA viewers are educated to each group’s mission and urged to vote online for their favorite group. Members can also use social media to “get out the vote,” sending additional voters to the site to raise more funds. Each group is represented at the site by a Labrador puppy; voting is tracked by adding kibble to each puppy’s food bowl. The initiative runs through March, 2012.

Watch the TV commercial here:

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Okay, we can finally spill the beans on the upcoming season of Wingshooting USA. I hope you have lots of DVR space, and plenty to eat and drink while you watch – there is a lot in store!

Starting October 1 and every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern, you can watch the show on VERSUS. In January, you can also watch on the Pursuit Channel Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. If you’re stuck in the seventies and watching via digital “rabbit ears” on your local TV station, check for AMGTV Sundays 1 p.m. or TUFF TV Saturdays 10 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.

Bring plenty of ammo and dog food – we’ve got an incredible lineup of destinations: Idaho pheasants, Montana huns, North and South Dakota sharpies and pheasants … California pheasants and quail, Oregon valley quail and pheasants and more!

In addition to the hunting, Wingshooting USA is loaded with fun, educational and motivational feature segments:

– “Buddy & Me” sponsored by TruckVault is our continuing adventure as my wirehair and I learn how to teach and learn from each other. Watch sample here:

– TriTronics “Young Hunters Afield”  encourages families to get outside together, rewarding those who send photos of kids with their dogs with a chance at a TriTronics e-collar. Watch here:

– Native Performance Dog Food’s “Conservation Showcase” raises funds for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. Learn how you can help, here:

– ZoomDog’s BuddyCam provides a fascinating look (literally) at a dog’s perspective in the field and at home. Watch here:

– And carrying on our tradition, the National Shooting Sports Foundation offers parents  and children a chance to win a hunting trip on the show with me in their “Take YOUR kid hunting” sweepstakes.” 

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E-collar, check. Dog, check. The rest is up to you. It will be worth your while!

Can you improve the Ultimate Upland Checklist version 2.0? Do you want to win great stuff, including a TriTronics Sport Jr. collar? 

Have you got some cool ideas for stuff you take that we should too? An improvement on gear that should be in everyone’s vest? Go here, and get the details, and get ready to win!

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An interesting inquiry I received recently … 

Hello Again Scott, 

I wish to ask you a question.  My wife and I seem to have differed in a matter of Dog training.    The matter pertains to the usage of an E-collar.  She feel that usage of the E-collar should not begin until the puppy has reached the age of 6 months.  (i.e. the vet feels it may be to heavy and add undo stress to the young dogs neck.  Myself I agree with the trainers of Native Dog Food.  Please hear me out.  They do not specify a usage time or date from a puppies birth date.  They do however recommend a puppies training begin at a young age.  12 to 14 weeks for a bird dog.  Also it should be 

At what age does amperage become appropriate?

used for the reinforcement of positive behavior.   So I lean towards the introduction of the E-collar around the same time.  Do you have an opinion?  We decided to go with your choice of E-collar.  And understandably so after a small amount of research we knew you were leading us to a quality product.  Now when would you begin using the E-collar in a puppies training regiment.  Do you mind letting us know?
 
Thank you my friend
~*~`Jerry` &` Chris ~*~ 

And my response … 

Thanks for your question. First, know that I am NOT a trainer … just a guy who loves dogs and carefully observes what makes them tick, and hopefully learns some more! My feelings on the question:
 
Stay away from e-collars for many, many months … the physical toll on a pup’s neck is a good reason . Also, I agree training starts the day you bring pup home … whether you know it or not, formal or otherwise. That’s a good thing. But no puppy will have a clear understanding of commands at a young age, thus can’t be corrected with an e-collar. The idea of the collar is to reinforce commands a dog already understands well.
 
The better puppy training tools in my humble opinion, are: praise in all its forms dispensed liberally, reasonable expectations about what a very young animal can learn and how fast, an enclosed yard, leash and check cord, and judicious use of repetition. Most professionals would probably recommend NO e-collar for many months if not longer!
 
A couple axioms from those smarter than me:
 
Never give a command you can’t enforce.
 
Never give your dog an opportunity to do things the wrong way. Don’t set up your dog for failure.
 
Good luck. 

Scott 

How about you readers? Comments?

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You can see Canada from the deck of your safari-style tent at Sage Safaris, a brand-new hunting operation north of Havre, Montana. Between our neighbors to the north and the tents are more whitetails per square mile than I’ve ever seen, and healthy populations of sharptail grouse and ringneck pheasants.

Kind of “roughing it smoothly,” the tents are heated and the beds are soft. (See video here.) Most importantly, the game in the coulees and plains is plentiful … if you’re willing to work. Or should I say walk.

Buddy was in the zone, covering ground according to the cover (closer in the cattails, running bigger in the grasslands). Surprisingly, a sharptail was the first to fall to my gun following a stalk through short grass and low sagebrush. Several ringnecks flushed wild in the distance, skittish from the wind and sounds of a gang of humans – likely the first they’d heard all year.

Now, for a short commercial message:

Please remember to vote NOW for your favorite dog, non-profit, and breed and help them and possibly yourself in our Wingshooting  USA features …

www.wingshootingusa.org … Take one of your kids hunting on the show next season. Click on the “Win a Shot on the Show” icon.

www.blackswingandclay.com… Cash for your conservation group, Cabela’s gear for you! Click on the “Hot Dog” icon.

www.nativedogfood.com … a TON of food for a hunting dog rescue club. Click on the “”Win a Ton” icon in the upper left corner.]

Thanks sponsors: Black’s Wing & Clay Waterfowl, Irish Setter, TriTronics and NSFF/www.wingshootingusa.org. Leave a comment, you might win a pair of Irish Setter boots and hunting jacket!

Back to the story: The “moose pit” yielded our first pheasant, so named because even the plains of northen Montana harbor a few of the swamp donkeys. Buddy tracked, crept, pointed and then finally and tremblingly, held solid for this bird, which Jake dropped into the buffalo berry.

(more…)

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ALONG LAWYER’S CREEK near Kamiah, Idaho: This desert rat was in heaven: three gun dogs, a cottonwood-lined creek and plenty of shade. Do you know the feeling? A change of scenery, fresh perspective, everything seems brand new and full of potential. All participants were cooler by a large measure than during our last hunt at Flying B Ranch, a blistering chukar expedition called on account of heat at 9 a.m. [Watch the very raw sky-cam footage, above.]

The ringnecks that dwelled among the thorns and cattails of this valley knew their neighborhood well, testing the dogs’ noses and hunters’ shooting abilities. Often more like a ruffed grouse hunt with brush-busting and tangle-inducing vines and branches, there were times when your shot was pointed at a white neck ring and nothing else in the shadows of chokecherry and cottonwood.

Guide Rich Coe’s dogs were trained to handle the bird flushing when needed, and they were needed often. Maybe you don’t like the idea (can you say porcupine?), but it was most appreciated by this bruised and battered, scratched and skinned-up hunter. Finding footing and swinging room for safe shots (two camera operators in tow) was tough enough without having to boost every bird from it’s hidey-hole.

And boost we did, flying a lot of birds, shooting at some, and hitting a few. One memorable flush ultimately yielded four roosters; we gawked instead of getting close enough for a shot, thinking each was the last to fly. (Count to four real slow … that’s how it played out.)

The jungle-like cover took its toll, as did the jinking and juking pheasants. But plenty of birds ended up headed for the table of a deserving family somewhere in the Kamiah metropolitan region.

Thanks sponsors: Black’s Wing & Clay Waterfowl, Irish Setter, TriTronics and NSFF/www.wingshootingusa.org. Leave a comment, you might win a pair of Irish Setter boots!

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