• Brae Buckner


    If you’ve ever driven through the small town of Union Springs, Alabama, you have seen the larger-than-life sculpture of the bronze bird dog that carefully watches over the downtown square. The sculpture, created by avid bird dog enthusiast Robert Wehle, is not just a decoration. It is a symbol of history that is deeply rooted in southern tradition. On it boasts the names of 12 men from Bullock County, Alabama that have earned a coveted spot in the Bird Dog Field Trial Hall of Fame, more members than found in any other area of the country.

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    Evidence suggest that dogs were used for hunting as far back as 20,000 years ago. Over time, different characteristics made different breeds unique for hunting various types of game. Small terriers were used to root out rodents in times of rat infestations, hounds specialized in sniffing out foxes and raccoons, and retrievers were able to quickly snatch up downed waterfowl, but perhaps the most prestigious hunting dog would be the pointers, utilized in upland bird hunting.

    Quail and pheasant hunting was quite possible the most sacred of hunting traditions for decades, and it would not have been complete without the skilled and trustworthy pointer working alongside the shooter. Most bird hunting enthusiasts can agree that one of the most memorable parts of a quail hunt is watching the dogs at work. German shorthairs, setters, and English pointers are typically the breed of choice in these hunts, as their stamina, focus, and drive are an integral part of completing a successful hunt. The passion found in these dogs is unmatched, as they have been bred over the years to stealthily move through low, thick brush and flawlessly point out otherwise inconspicuous coveys to their handlers. The passion for these dogs is reciprocated by those that have come to own and train the dogs, as you will rarely ever find someone who only owns one bird dog in their lifetime. It is a relationship that goes beyond that of a working dog and handler, but that of a loyal hunting partner, a trusty guide, and man’s best friend.

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    At Great Southern Outdoors, we strive to keep the tradition alive of hunting with bird dogs, and it has been a great success. Our professional dog handlers have trained and built solid relationships with our dogs that have led to countless hunts that not only satisfy our clients, but keep them coming back year after year. For more information on our bird dogs and their handlers and how they can put you on an unforgettable quail hunt in the Bird Dog Field Trial capital of the world, check out our website or contact us today.