Going to the dogs in January

Next month I’ll put together our annual “Dogs in the Field” edition on these pages. So far the number of submissions has been somewhat less than in previous hunting seasons. I suspect a decline in bird numbers and fewer days in the field may be some of the reasons why.

So, I encourage all hunters to take advantage of the situation and submit photographs of their dogs in the field during the remaining days of the upland game hunting season. Submissions will be accepted by email only at


Normally I request only photographs of dogs doing their thing, not hunters. However, given the circumstances this season, weather included, I am reluctantly relaxing my somewhat stringent requirements to include hunters. Just don’t forget to include a dog or two.

As usual, I would like to receive information as to when and approximately where the photograph was taken; the dog’s breed, name, age and owner; the names and hometowns of anyone included in the photograph; and a contact number. A few comments about the dog or the hunt are welcome.

A reminder to hunters, cold weather can be as hard on our dogs as it is on us. It is a good idea to monitor your dogs closely during the hunt and feed them as soon as possible after the hunt. Water is important too. It is best to not rely on dogs eating snow to replenish their thirst. They will do that, of course, but providing them with ample water is a much warmer alternative to cold snow which can further lower their body temperature.

Something else to watch for, as most hunting dog owners know, is open water. Despite our spell of frigid temperatures there may still be a few hunting dog traps lurking out there. A dog falling through the ice can be a very a dangerous situation for the dog and the hunter.

Be careful out there. Enjoy your hunt, pat your dog on the head, do your best to keep him warm to and from the field and take a photograph or two. The memories will last forever.