- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The pointing dogs
One of the most dramatic experiences for a hunter in the field is the sight of a dog on point, his body tense and rigid, his nose extended in the direction of game. Once the pointing dog is frozen in this attitude, he will remain for a minute or an hour, if need be, while the hunter moves up to flush the bird. For the pointer's job is to work out ahead of the hunter and when he smells game literally to point it out to the man who follows him. This desire to point is instinctive and exists to a limited degree in all dogs. In the pointing breeds, however, it has been specifically developed and intensified over the years. These dogs have further been bred for speed and physical stamina to enable them to hunt quickly and skillfully over vast areas of game cover. For the upland bird shooter, particularly the quail hunter, whether he seeks his game on horseback or on foot, a pointing dog is certainly his most valuable companion.
Where the pointer's work ends, the retriever's begins. Easily the most rugged of all the sporting dogs, retrievers are specially equipped, both physically and temperamentally, for their strenuous job. Once a bird has been downed, the retriever is expected to locate it regardless of where it has fallen and deliver it back to the waiting hunter. Fine eyesight and a steady, determined disposition help the retriever do his job, but his most important equipment is his dense waterproof coat, heavy muscular structure and superior swimming ability which enable him to work under the most adverse outdoor conditions. Retrievers can survive, and indeed often seem to enjoy, freezing temperatures, icy winds and storm-tossed seas. For the duck and goose hunter, especially the northern hunter who shoots over water, a good retriever can mean the difference between a full game bag at the end of the day or a series of unrecovered cripples.
The trailing hounds
Whether he is a bloodhound on the scent of a lost child, a black-and-tan after coon, a beagle or a basset after rabbit or a dachshund after badger, the trailing hound is a plodding and determined tracker. His amenable, relaxed, almost lazy disposition, however, has made him so adaptable as a family pet that in recent years he has spent more and more of his time indoors and much too little of it in the field. Yet these very characteristics which have induced families to bring him indoors as a pet, coupled with a superior nose and surprising physical endurance, qualify the hound as a steadfast hunting expert. And the deep resonant bay with which many of the hound breeds mark their progress on the trail lends a particular and unforgettable excitement to the chase.
The flushing spaniels