Feb 27, 2002
I have been absent from web site updates and commentaries due to my busy schedule the last 6 or 7 months so I will try to catch up quickly by posting several commentaries in a row.
WOW! We've had some exciting (and funny) hunts this past season. The first story I'd like to share with you is about my newest stud dog Nubbin. Nubbin is out of my female 'Bree' and his father is Buddy, a great NSTRA dog.
Now I know you're wondering how in the world I came up with a name like 'Nubbin'. In my search for new and unique names, I decided to look at names of local landmarks. Nearby, is a ridge located in the Spring Gap hills near Cottonwood, Texas known as 'Nubbin Ridge'. Folks growing corn in the area in years gone by would refer to some of the corn ears (not properly developed) as corn nubbins.
What made our nearby ridge popular is that a local gentleman of some notoriety wrote a book about Nubbin Ridge. Thus our heritage in this area is preserved through his writing.
On to my dog Nubbin...
Nubbin is a classy Brittany. He has an outstanding nose, naturally points, retrieves, and honors. While he is only 2 years old, he is already hunting with the wisdom of an experienced 3 or 4 year old. Of course my many guided hunts give him the opportunity to mature on a regular basis.
Nubbin points with great intensity. Here is a picture of him at about 6 months of age pointing a bird at my training grounds.
I remember telling those who know me that Nubbin would end up being one of my 'Go To' dogs. Some just didn't see it, but then, they haven't seen and trained the number of Brittanys that I have. Nubbin has definitely turned into a 'Go To' dog. ('go to' dog is something I made up to mean that the dog is one that has tremendous hunting abilities and is one that you rely on to find birds when no other dog can find them.)
Nubbin's first official day afield made me realize how much potential he really had. I had put him down to hunt with other experienced dogs at which point he quickly hunted much further than the others...try about 1 to 2 miles! We found him hunting for other hunters and wanting more! The first thing I learned about Nubbin's range was that he had to have a beeper on so I could find him on point!
Nubbin's intense desire and intensity on point is awesome. He points so hard that his whole body quivers. Below is a photo of him on a recent hunt. The story behind the picture is usual for him. He disappears, we look for 5 or 10 minutes only to hear the beep, beep, beep, from the beeper indicating he's down on point.
I use the word 'down' to indicate a dog on point - others use 'dog up or dog up on point. I like 'down' because I can say the one word and everyone knows what's going on....I think it sounds better and is easier said. So, to announce to unaware hunters, I say it like this: "Nubbin's DOWN!" at which point folks scramble to find the beeping dog!
My favorite question from hunters when a dog is down on point (out of sight and wearing a beeper collar) is "Where's he at?" To which I reply, "FOLLOW THE BEEP!"....kinda obvious ain't it? :-) I digress; here's the photo.
Nubbin has a noticeable 'smart bump' on his head and I'm beginning to believe the old timers were right....a prominent smart bump begets a smart dog. Nubbin not only hunts wide open (that's the only speed he knows) but he is intelligent.
Nubbin can be destructive though when he feels he's being cheated out of bird hunting. Recently, after being locked in my dog box while I hunted with two other dogs, he joined us on the hunt. We wondered how he was able to get out only to find out later that he had somehow managed to tear the door right off of the dog box - hinges and all!
His intense desire to hunt can actually be quite comical. On one hunt, he located a nice covey that had a single quail flush up into a large Live Oak tree. Nubbin noticed the quail far up in the tree and sight pointed it. We tried to leave the area to hunt up singles but Nubbin would not leave. We turned around and, well...see for yourself.
Yes, that's Nubbin about 10 feet up in a tree, pointing the quail! He was so far up the tree, we couldn't reach him. Luckily one of my hunters, Gary Griffin, had his camera and was able to capture this image. Thanks Gary. The quail had enough and flushed from the tree at which point, Nubbin decided to get down. Getting down was a trick by itself as I couldn't even reach him. He literally leaped from the tree while I made a feeble attempt to catch him....that didn't happen but he was ok.
Nubbin has one more hunt this season and then some time off....like he really wants that! Y'all take care.
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