Great Falls, MT
Great Falls, MT
Stimulus is important
Brooks is CrossFit gym owner in Montana, who spends his winters on the road chasing waterfowl with his chocolate lab, Ollie.
My current pup, Ollie. He's my first dog specifically for hunting and is probably better than I deserve as a first pup. He's incredibly smart, a great learner, loving and loyal – everything you could want in a dog.
He's been through the ringer too. Almost drowned in a river twice, been hit by an SUV doing 45, been poisoned twice and decided to go for a long walk without my knowledge a few times as well. Truly a dog with 9 lives.
Early season teal. It's fast-paced with tons of back-to-back retrieves, and blind retrieves with poor visibility. It's a great way to showcase all the hard work my dog has put in during the off season.
The grundy little cabin on the Missouri. Some of the best hunting I've ever experienced. After long cold hunts on the water, it's a quick boat ride back to the cabin and we fire up the wood-burning stove. The dogs crash hard and usually end up in someone's sleeping bag!
A few years back I finished out the final day of the season here in Montana on the river. It was a cold, foggy morning and ice chunks ran through the river, so we knew it was going to be a tough hunt. For the dogs' safety, we decided on a slow, shallow backchannel where we pushed out a few hundred mallards.
The three of us each had our labs – two were younger and in their prime, and the other lab had a gray beard. My buddy decided this would be her last hunt, she was getting her butt kicked. The young bloods were hungry, retrieving a lot of doubles and triples before old gray beard could even break out of the blind.
On the final bird of the day, my buddy pulled up and drop the last mallard. The duck landed belly up out if the water. The band shimmering in the sunlight, it seemed as if time stood still. We called off the younger dogs and watch ole gray beard get her final retrieve. Bringing back the bird to hand we smiled and hugged. Every one of us with a tears in our eyes.
Knowing it had been a good run, 11 years of memories to be exact. Those are the short moments that remind me of why I hunt and why I love dogs.
I knew how to read music from a young age by learning piano and violin. I also taught myself how to play guitar.
"As a waterfowl hunter – or dog owner period – we spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a good dog. You might spend hundreds on a dog trainer (or atleast hundreds of hours) or dog training educational materials, accessories, toys, food... etc. Stack on another couple hundred for shots and veterinarian bills. You get the idea.
Accidents happen, and we can't prevent this..... buying your furry friend a solid kennel is the first step that any dog owner should take to ensure that your dog is safe and that all these expenses are a true investment.
Probably a shih tzu pom, which is the breed of my wife's dog. She isn't a working dog like a lab.... instead she excels at cuddling and sleeping, literally all day.