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 The Life (pronounced laugh) of a Bird Dog
From the Boggs Collection, a Xmas gift from the UP
This section is about bird dog humor from true stories about training, hunting & competing. Here is where you can tell your amusing or raucuously laughable true stories. Fact really is stranger than fiction. Stories appear in order posted with latest story on top.
The XXX Files
This is a true story. Names are withheld to protect the innocent & those no longer here to defend themselves. During the late eighties, possibly early nineties a young man was running one of his two Gun Dogs at a Michigan Wildlife Area. Nothing untoward happened on the
first brace. However the second time around the handler's dog went on point in a previously explored area with no game found. Dog was locked. Handler looked for game but only found a recently left stack of XXX dirty magazines in somewhat of a gamey condition. The find was not recorded in the judge's book as a bird or a non-productive (impotent, so to speak) but the stack of books was carried in where in the handler's mother-in-law, who no one would have thought she would do that; grabbed the dirty books & ran off with them. They became a close cousin of the Hungarian Studbooks, hidden with the burier gone to glory & no idea of what actually happened. Perhaps one of you knows? (provided by dlb)
Bill Fisher is no blushing wall-flower. He has an evil wicked rollicking sense of humor with a swift dicing rapier tongue if that is needed. Bill was always a man whose words were usually followed by action. He was VCA President & Treasurer during the seventies. Bill wasn't one to avoid controversy either & in 1981 he came out with the much needed Vizsla magazine VIZSLA FIELD & published until 1986. Bill was the greatest of friends with Hank Rozanek (Rebel Rouser Vizslas), Jim Arrasmith( Arra Vizslas) & Sylvester Armistead, owner of DC Bobo Buck Selle. The four played practical jokes on each other from sunup to sundown. You never knew when or when not to believe them.
Time passed & during the late nineties Clif Boggs was updating "The Vizsla" he saw Hank & asked him about Bill. "Bill died" said Hank never dreaming he would be believed. The statement was printed in the 2000 edition of "The Vizsla" that Bill Fisher is dead.
More time passed & one day at an Iowan field trial Chuck Boegel (and you gots to know Chuck to know just how hysterically funny this really was). Anyway Chuck was inside a gas station paying for the bill & a fellow who looked JUST LIKE Bill came through the door. (and you gots to know Bill Fisher to know how he looks & just how hysterically funny this really was) Poor Chuck thought he was seeing the dead, cause he knew Bill to be dead. He just about passed out but they quickly established that Bill was indeed alive & would he come out to the banquet. Bill did & boy oh boy would I have loved to be there for the fun that surely followed. (Bill did THE best Calcutta)
More time passes & we chuckle over the error in "The Vizsla" for several years until I started researching in depth different Vizsla histories & I came to the subject of Bill Fisher. At Xmas that year I asked my dad, author of "The Vizsla" about information for Bill Fisher. Eyes twinkling & no spring chicken himself (85) he looked up and said. "Bill's dead, didn't you know that?" And so Bill's legend grows. (provided by dlb)
Twelve O'clock Tales by Karoleigh Nitchman
AMERICAN FIELD December 14, 1991
John Donaldson was handling his pride and joy, Travilah Smooth Bore, in an amateur shooting dog stake in Maryland in either 1968 or 69. Smooth Bore was a pet and rode on the front seat of John's car just about everywhere John went. Bore was a good-looking white and black pointer which didn't always mind his manners. Coming up a gentle rise, we saw Smooth Bore pointing into a multi-flora rose hedge. The grass was short on the approach and his bracemate also saw the pointing dog. The gallery was some distance from Bore but the pace had increased for both gallery and an excited handler. The bracemate ran in front of Smooth Bore and establishede point. Bore broke point, grabbed the bracemate by the throat, threw him to the ground and thoroughly thrashed him. When the bracemate secured his freedom, he ran. Bore gave a short chase, then returned to his original pointing stance. He was steady to wing and shot. This was his only find. He placed first. (Contributed by Tom McNeal)
Twelve O'clock Tales by Karoleigh Nitchman
AMERICAN FIELD December 14, 1991
The first time I ever went to a field trial, I was running a dog down through a bottom, you know, I was all excited and carried away with it-rode down through there and found my dog pointing. I jumped off my horse, flushed the birds and shot. I grabbed the dog by the collar. The judge rode over to me and says, "Did you have a find?" "You're damn right," I said "and it was a good one too." (Contributed by Harold Stevens)
Twelve O'Clock Tales" by Karoleigh Nitchman
December 14, 1991
I was up in Canada training for the summer with John Rex Gates a few years ago. Well, it was early in the morning and we were all ready to go work dogs when John %Rexd discovered that he'd left his glasses at the house. He rode over on his horse. He was just going to run into the kitchen, get his glasses and we'd start. Well, he didn't want his horse to go back to the barn and we were quite a ways away, so he tied one of his horse's reins to the screen door-he would only be gone half a minute. Well, without thinking, he opened the door and it slammed shut behind him. The banging screen door spooked the horse and he took off with the door still attached to his rein. Took us nearly five hours to catch him; every time we'd get close to him, he'd yank that door and it'd scare him again. The screen door? I believe when they got it off him, they just hung it back where it used to be. (Contributed by Bill Holmes)
Twelve O Clock Tales by Karoleigh Nitchman
December 14, 1991 AMERICAN FIELD
This happened at the Masters in 1973. They had a lot of birds there and I was scouting for Delbert Clancy in the all-age stake. I was out there scoutin and got lost. I rode for about an hour. Finally, I called point, I called point several times. After a while, I could hear them hollerin way off in the distance that they were comin-this wasn't even the brace we'd been in, it was the next one. They rode up to me-Ronnie Smith was handling the dog in this brace. Ronnie jumped off his horse and a covey of quail rose up right beside me. He shot the gun, then turned to me and asked where the dog was. "Hell" I told him, "there wasn't any dog. I'd been lost for an hour and a half and callin point was the only way I knew to get some help findin my way back to the gallery. (Contributed by Gordon Hazlewood)
Twelve O Clock Tales by Karoleigh Nitchman
December 14, 1991 AMERICAN FIELD
I was running up there in the Pheasant Championship in Baldwinsville, NY. Doc Nitchman got behind, he was looking for old Smart. Well, he comes up there and Smart's pointing.
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
Old Blue was a Foxhound owned by my friend Jack. Jack was a proud man and rightfully so, for since a puppy and began competing in Foxhound Trials, the dog won consistently.
Blue won many Championships but they took its toll & it became time to retire the veteran. The Foxhunters begged Jack to hear his hound's golden baying one more time.
Jack agreed & foxhunters came from afar to watch & hear the master in action. Turned loose at the bottom of a pasture, Blue was turned loose & immediately caught a hot scent & took the track baying as he went. Suddenly there was quiet.
When one of the old-timers asked Jack what was happening, Jack held up his hand & said "wait a minute and Blue would start up again." Sure enough, after what seemed an eternity, the golden baying started up again.
Now the hunters begged Jack for an explanation. Jack smiled shyly. "It's simple" he provided "Old Blue had been crossing posted land. (Story provided by Paul Long) 
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
Back when I started training in the Red River Circuit, I hired a guy called Fish Man. To hear him tell it, Fish Man could do anything. We outfitted him, got him a whistle, got him outfitted like a field trialer & we got him a little horse called Perky to ride.
Fish Man had bragged & bragged about how he could ride. Well the first time he got on the horse he rode off & was gone over an hour. When he came back I asked Fish Man if he liked the horse.
"He's a good'un sir" said Fish Man.
"Can he run fast" I asked?
"Fast"? says Fish Man. "Man, he made my whistle blow".
Contributed by Jack Herriage & appeared in AMERICAN FIELD
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
Herman Smith had this Pointer, Alford's Bob, for Lee Alford. He could never get the dog to point with better than a back-level tail. Well, the owner wanted a picture of the dog, he had told Herman that if he could get Bob to point with enough styloe, he'd go ahead & run him down the circuit.
Well, Herman got some line on a fishing pole, got the dog to point & held up his tail with the line & fishing pole. Then he had somebody take the picture.
He sent the photograph to Lee and Lee was so impressed that5 he had it blown up, enough to see the string holding up the dog's tail (contributed by Brian Sullivan)
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
Daddy and Keith Gardner figured out a way they thought would cure Big Pig. They put thirty or so cfhickens in the kennel with Big Pig. Of course he killed them, but they left them in there with him, they even tied a few around his neck. After a few days they got to smelling real bad and Daddy was sure old Big Pig was cured of killing chickens. He wasn't. The next thing they thought of was wiring a chicken to the spark plugs of the truck. That way when the dog sank his teeth into the bird, he'd get a jolt of electricity and drop it.
They planned it out and did it. The dhicken sat there waiting. They let Big Pig out. He grabbed the chicken and wouldn't let go. He wouldn't let go even thpough the juice from the big Ford was running through him. They didn't want to kill him, so they had to give up. (Contributed by Collier Smith)
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
I used to scout for Fred Arant. He was running an old dog that would always have a few unproductives. He told me, "When you call point & I get there with the judge, you say "Three birds already left". I said "okay". So every time I called point, I said, "Three birds already left". Years later I was judging a field trial & Little Joe was scouting for Fred. Well Little Joe, he goes over and calls point. When we get there, Joe says "Judge, three birds done left". I said to Fred, "For crying out loud! You could have at least changed the number." Contributed by Alvin Nitchman
From "More Twelve O Clock Tails" by Karoleigh Nitchman in AMERICAN FIELD December 10, 1994
You know how at Hoffman, NC they have these outhouses peppered throughout the courses"? Well, this guy went into one of them to relieve himself & had tied his horse to the door. Meanwhile the horse yanked the outhouse door off while the guy tried to pull up his britches & catch the horse at the same time/ Contributed by Brian Sullivan.
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"The Vizslak Sentinel "  (c) Jan 13, 2009
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