Beretta Blog

Did You Say Duck Dog?

Posted by matteo recanatini on Mar 15, 2012 2:34:00 AM

by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor

When you think waterfowl retriever you think Labrador. For years and years this has been the choice for most duck hunters. A few may have gone with the stubborn Chesapeake Bay retriever but, for the most part, black, yellow or chocolate has been the question. Labrador breeders have been busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck funeral.  Fasten your seat belt because there is a new bread of retrievers coming.

Meet Joey. He is a full blooded English Springer Spaniel. Now, I know what you're thinking: "this guy is dumber than a wedding invitation!" Listen closely: I would put him up against any Lab any day in a hunting situation. I got him when he was around 12 weeks old and started training him myself. At a year old he entered his first hunting season. He absolutely blew me away, as well as everyone else who hunted with me. Never broke, never got cold, never whined and he retrieved over 300 ducks in his first season. At a year and a half he is on full hand signals.

Let me be clear, I am not taking anything away from the mighty Labrador. They are amazing dogs, when well trained. But the intelligence and longevity of the Springer is unmatched. I have owned several duck dogs and this is the first that I am writing about, so that ought to tell you something. They are smaller, quicker, smarter and live longer than the Labrador. When it comes to ice or severe weather, I have Joey on film breaking ice for over 200 yards retrieving a Mallard that sailed on a guy that couldn't hit water if he jumped out of a boat. It was colder than a brass toilet seat in the Yukon!

The art of duck hunting is ever-evolving with the new guns like the Beretta A400 Xtreme, new duck boats, new decoys, new shells, and I could go on and on. It is obvious that, somewhere down the line, a new duck dog was coming. I took a chance on Joey and it was the best decision that I have ever made, when it comes to a hunting dog. The look on your face after reading this is probably like a rat eating guts off a wire brush, but focus. A wise man once told me to do something you have never done in order to see something you have never seen. To get information on where I got Joey go to Upland Meadows Springer Spaniels.

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Adam Brassfield is a professional guide and guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached at H.U.N.T.E.R.S. 24/7 WATERFOWL and on Facebook.

Topics: Hunting, Hunting - Duck