• By Ken Perrotte

Boykin Boys Having a Blast Flushing and Fetching Chukars in Their First Field Foray

Don't expect any revelations about training spaniels in this short video. It's just a fun look at a couple young dogs having the time of their lives in a hunting preserve field loaded with chukar. I guess the main lessons are to keep it fun and remember it's all about training the dog to hunt close, flush effectively and make an efficient retrieve.

My good friend Jimaye Sones and I joined another buddy Wayne Correia in January 2019 at a small shooting preserve near Edenton, North Carolina. Jimaye and I have two Boykin spaniels that are brothers - his mangy - I mean lovable and intelligent - dog Harley and my boy Jameson. Just kidding Sones. Harley is a good boy, a little chunky maybe, but a good boy. They just turned two years old last December. Actually, Jimaye is the person who suggested I get Jameson and for that I can't thank him enough. His previous Boykin Jack was one of my best hunting buddies for the better part of a decade.

Both dogs love to retrieve waterfowl, but traditional field work in terms of flushing (they are a "flushing"

breed by definition) and then retrieving hasn't been on the front burner, partly because of the challenges associated with getting them field time and the fact that any hunt tests are usually a couple states away from Virginia. This was Harley's second time in a field doing this work and Jameson's first time. I was impressed with the way Jameson willingly and eagerly hunted close and didn't break when the bird flushed. Instead he watched and looked for the mark - something drilled into him during his training as we prepared him, with the help of Neil Selby at Shady Grove Kennel, in Remington, Virginia, to successfully test for his AKC Junior Hunter title.

Wayne was Jimaye's designated shooter. We had fun in the video with a couple misses but he's a very reliable shot most days.

Both dogs are a joy to work with and live with. I know I speak for Jimaye in saying we can't wait to get them out there again and, maybe, set the stage from some spaniel-oriented hunt tests later this year. BTW - I was shooting a nice Mossberg Silver Reserve II over/under. I used the 20 gauge barrel, but probably could've opted for the 28 gauge. It's a nice, affordable gun.

Those chukar are also plenty tasty - much like pheasant. The first couple went into a healthy chukar noodle soup. A few others are destined for the smoker. Life can be great!

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Except as noted, all text and images are by Ken Perrotte (Outdoors Rambler (SM). Some items, written by Ken Perrotte and previously published elsewhere, are revised or excerpted under provisions of the Fair Use Doctrine