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Teaching Your Gun Dog Field Awareness

Thinking about, and training for, the most common dangers found in upland environments.

Teaching Your Gun Dog Field Awareness
One of the most common injuries in the field is caused by bird dogs hitting barbed-wire fences. Field awareness and a good first-aid kit can go a long way toward keeping these encounters from spiraling into serious danger. (Photo by Tony J. Peterson)

Back in the early 1980s, I was hunting pheasants in Iowa when my dog flushed a rooster. When that ringneck hit the ground, he did so on the opposite side of a barbed-wire fence. Hot on the trail, my Lab tried to jump the fence to get to the downed bird. She didn’t make it.

Not only did she get hung up on the topmost strand, but as soon as she realized she was stuck, she panicked and essentially ripped her groin wide open. It was not pretty. It was also one of those moments as a bird-dog owner that changed how I look at the world.

From then on, I’ve tried to be more cognizant of the dangers that are out there, and how to not only prepare myself to look for them...

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