Today on the Bird Dogs & Fly Fishing Group on Facebook, one of our Members, Doug Deats, posted something that made me laugh out loud.  If you don’t know Doug or his writing yet, you should and you will. Doug’s first book, Smoke on the Wind: Short Stories and Essays by Doug Deats is about to be published.  I’ll be one of the first in line to purchase Doug’s book.    We’re in for a real treat! 

Smoke on the Wind by Doug Deats
Smoke on the Wind by Doug Deats

With that said, I wanted to share Doug’s humorous post with the readers of Upland Ways with the caveat that those sensitive about their breed of hunting dog beware!


by Doug Deats 

Every once in a while someone wanting to get the members of this group at each other’s throats will ask the lethal what breed question. Since it is obvious that when it comes to things dog and bird related my opinion is the absolute to which all others are relative, I would like to put this question to rest once and for all. I know, I know we English setter owners wonder how this question can even come up but the answer is it is about the evolution of dog owners and some of us are more evolved than others.

Doug's English Setter.
Doug’s English Setter.

When I first got in the dog business I did what everyone else does, I started with GSP’s. Now when it comes to bird work this breed is very easy to train and it’s a good thing because if you break for lunch you have to retrain all the males. But to be fair they are bird hunter to the tenth power.

Next I moved up to Britts. These dogs actually had some personality and you didn’t want to kill them after a rainy week in the house. They are sort of like a compact car; good on gas and easy to park down town but sooner or later you want a suv.

Misty pointing on the Royal Macnab.
Misty pointing on the Royal Macnab.

I never fell into the English Pointer trap. Right off the bat I figured it out that you didn’t ever actually have to own one because any time someone dropped a pointer on the ground within five miles of you he would show up with you eventually and hunt for you for a while until he got bored or figured he’d put enough birds in your bag and moved on.

There are all kinds of breeds out there and most of them are for entertainment value and we in the know, smile knowingly. I am talking pointing dogs now as flushing dogs take their work seriously and if they were to read this I could do lasting psychological damage.

Now let me give you an example of what I mean by entertainment value. I have a mountain man friend who had a worldwide reputation for having the best treeing walker coon hounds. His name is Morgan Turner and any of you who were into coon hounds in the late seventies and early eighties know who I mean. I got him into bird dogs and gave him a vizla. One day as a joke he entered her in a coon hound event. He told them she was a Red Bone that got her tail slammed in a tailgate. She took the trial hands down and since it was an unsanctioned trial Morgan never told them the truth. This is actually a true story but anyone who tells you a bigger story than this is definitely lying to you.

I would like to take a minute and clear up the misconception that the German wirehaired pointer is a bird dog. They are not. They are a sub group of the scientific group foreryestis-wisosis; common name woods wizards. They along with elves, some trolls, pixies, woodland fairies, true wizards, the greater wizards, the lesser wizards and the Wayment brothers are born to haunt the forests.

This brings us to the obvious conclusion that just as the ruffled grouse is the king of game birds the English setter is it when it comes to pointing dogs. I hope this clears things up and we can put this topic to rest.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!  This post created a firestorm of good-natured banter on the various breeds of gun dogs on the Bird Dogs & Fly Fishing Facebook group page. One member even called this the best post ever in the group.  If any one wants to know where Doug really stands, however, below is a photo of his pack, so you owners of other bird dog breeds can call off the wolves! I’m sure that Doug never met a bird dog that he didn’t like.

Doug Deats and a few of his varied dogs.
Doug Deats and a few of his varied dogs.

For those of you interested in reading more of Doug’s stuff, here is a link to his website:  I plan to review his book on Upland Ways and will keep you posted.  So stay tuned!

Also, if you haven’t yet joined the Bird Dogs & Fly Fishing Group on Facebook, look us up and ask to join.  It has been a fun ride getting to know so many other like-minded individuals like Doug Deats.  You will not regret it!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. lesterkish says:

    Don’t want to kill your dogs after a rainy week in the house?? Clearly, you need a few more. One day in the house and our Brits are bouncing off of the walls.

    1. Agreed. My Brits Sunny and Misty can get a little stir crazy in the house, especially when it’s raining. Misty can be a real pill!

  2. randyschultz says:

    Great post and great tribute to a fine man!

  3. Rob Lange says:

    Nice having such good writers on the BDFF! Thanks, Andy. We’ll miss Doug. Wish I had taken the time to chat with him. I look forward to his book.

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