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History Of Duck Hunting Dogs

Oct 12, 2007
Dogs have long been used as man's assistant when it comes to hunting. Because of their great loyalty and natural ability, dogs excelled at helping the hunter gather food for his family. There are many different breeds of dog used for duck hunting, all classified in the Sporting Group by the AKC registry.

Bird dogs generally fall under one big category because waterfowl seasons generally overlap; many hunters hunt a few different types of birds when they're out in the field. The dogs excel with sight and scent, and they're able to see and remember where a downed bird fell, and use their nose to assist them in finding it. Man's best friend has become and indispensable resource to the bird hunter. Some of the different breeds used are Clumber spaniels, the American cocker spaniel, English springer spaniels, German wirehairs, Irish water spaniels, and the Nova Scotia duck trollers. These dogs are all unique and exhibit slightly different characteristics, and choosing the right one for the job is mainly a matter of the hunter's preference.

Bird dogs date back to the times of the very first settlers to the New World. The Europeans brought dogs with them to America because they knew their value as a hunter's companion. Some of the first dogs brought to America were the mountain curs, and American coon hounds; Hernando de Soto's journal is the first written record of these hounds in America. Unfortunately, the journal also said that these dogs weren't just used for duck hunting, but also for hunting Native Americans.

In the late 1800's the role of the bird dog changed; bird dogs became the thing for "sporting gentleman" and many quail preserves developed to accommodate this new pastime. This morphed bird hunting from a necessity for sustenance, to a sport for enjoyment. Titles, contests, and money became popular motivators for the highly bred gentleman. It was around this time that the first National Championship Field Trial was held in Massachusetts, sponsored by Hobart Ames. Soon, many of the smaller competitions led up to this annual event. Grand Junction, Tennessee is home to the original National Bird Dog Museum honoring more than 40 breeds of dog used throughout history.

While these bird dog competitions still take place today, duck hunting has returned as a hobby too. Duck hunting is still known as a "gentleman's sport", but only because of the great respect and high standards a duck hunter has for his hobby, not because a hunter needs a big pocketbook to participate.
About the Author
Abhishek is a long-time Hunting addict! Visit his website www.Hunting-Guru.com and download his FREE Hunting Report "Plan The Perfect Hunting Trip...On Any Budget!" and learn some amazing Hunting tips and tricks for FREE! Discover how to plan the perfect Hunting trip on a shoe-string budget! But hurry, only limited Free copies available! www.Hunting-Guru.com
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