With the hunting season over, I’m going to have to dig a little deeper into my repetiore to keep the blog going “in between the crazies” (a phrase coined by Steve Smith to describe the time in between hunting seasons). I thought I would share some birddog stories from my past.

Since I started bird hunting over ten years ago, I’ve often heard the saying that a hunter is blessed with only one great birddog during his lifetime. I’m sure that is a matter of debate. In ten years, I have had four dogs, Rooty, a German Shorthair, Farley, an Elhew Pointer, Dusty, another Elhew Pointer, and Sunny, my French Brittany. Sunny-girl, the last one standing, is pushing seven years old and I would not trade her companionship for love nor money. I have loved all of my dogs and each has brought something special to my seasons afield.

But if I had to pick one dog that stood out as a bona fide “Brag Dog,” it would have to be Farley (the pointer you see under the Upland Equations logo above). Farley was named after the late comedian, Chris Farley, and totally lived up to his namesake in energy and intensity.
In February of 2000, we tragically lost our shorthair Rooty. A few weeks later, my Sister-in-law Kari (who was at our house the day that Rooty went missing) found Farley at McKee’s Pet Store in Chubbuck, Idaho. She immediately called me and raved about these cute white and black pointer pups for only $200.00. Skeptical about any dog from a pet store, I called McKee’s to find out if the pups were papered and the name of breeder. I quickly learned that the breeder was from Blackfoot, but McKee’s did not have the papers.

I looked up the breeder’s number in the phone book and gave him a call. In our conversation, I learned that he had traded the two pointers for an acquarium, they were Elhews, their parents were both solid hunters, and the breeder used his pointers for bird hunting and falconry. With the void in my heart from the loss of Rooty, his description was enough to convince me that one of these puppies was my next bird dog. Kari picked out Farley and took him home for a few weeks until my family and I could travel south for Spring Break. I should let Kari pick my next bird dog as she could not have picked better!

This is a picture taken by Kari right after she picked Farley up from McKee’s Pet Store in Chubbuck, Idaho. Look at the intelligence in his eyes!

Through multiple phone calls, I learned from both Kari and Doug, my father-in-law, that Farley was a quick study. He learned to sit, come, and speak, with no problem. However, they warned me that he was a bit mischevious. When we arrived in Chubbuck, it did not take long to warm up to the obnoxious little devil.
When Farley was only about four months old, my family all got together at my parents’ home in southern Idaho. Even Shawn came out from Colorado. On a bright, warm Spring afternoon, we decided to take Farley for a run over to a little Pheasants Forever plot just down the road from my parents. I had no expectations for the crazy puppy, but I’ll never forget the events that transpired. In all of about fifteen minutes, the gangly puppy’s instincts took over and he located, pointed, and held seven different hen pheasants. Shawn and I were dumbfounded by this pup’s intense points. Shawn jealously declared, “I will pay you $500 right now for that puppy!” All I could do was beam with pride for my natural birddog and my good fortune.

As we approached the edge of the covert, which is bordered by a canal, Farles flashed one final point, but Shawn and I watched the running rooster swim the canal –the dirty bugger! All said, Farles had located and pointed eight pheasants, seven of which we flushed from under his picturesque points. This was Farley’s very first contact with wild birds.
I don’t call him the “White Wonder” for nothing. If there were birds around Farles found and held them with mesmerizing intensity for both the bird and the hunter.
On this day, Farles pointed over fifty times and my large family all took quail over his points.
As we walked home, Shawn repeated: “Andy, I will pay you $500 right now for Farley!” “He’s not for sale!” I proudly responded. At that moment, I knew Farley was no ordinary birddog. . . . He was the White Wonder!

Check out this pile of quail on another hunt down the “Trail to Quail.”

To be continued . . . .

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dale Hernden says:

    I can’t believe Fsrley was in a pet shop! You were both lucky.I’m looking forward to the rest of the story.Dale

  2. Farely was certainly a brag dog! I think he was the best pointer I’ve ever seen or hunted over!

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