I’ve been chasing birds for thirty-five plus years now, and while the hunters I’ve known have come from all over and all kinds of backgrounds, 99.999% of them have been white guys (I hunted once with a guy from Puerto Rico).
So the first time I saw Durrell Smith’s work in Project Upland about African American dog trainers and bird hunters and their legacy in the southern quail hunting, I was intrigued.
Durrell has a point of view I haven’t heard before. His stories show me how much more there is to our sport — and how much is missing from my tiny, narrow view of it.
This piece by Durrell is on the Outdoor Life website now.
“There’s a deep, rich history of African American dog trainers in the South. It’s time to face the beauty, and ugliness, of those origins
I’m a diehard bird hunter and dog man. I love everything about it: The discipline and patience it requires, the glorious days in the field, and the long, storied history behind it all. But as an African American dog man living in Georgia, I know that there’s a large hole missing in the history of bird hunting and dog training. That hole is created by stories unheard and untold to the general public…”
From Outdoor Life: Durrell Smith is a 30-year-old native of Atlanta, an author, visual artist, art teacher, bird dog handler/trainer, and most notably, the host and founder of The Gun Dog Notebook Podcast. He writes mainly for Project Upland and is also a member of the Ga-Fla Shooting Dog Handlers Club in Thomasville, Georgia.
I say “Grouse Gun” you say “Parker” — or at least a lot of guys do. And those guys have a side-by-side like this in mind.
It’s a VH-grade (or Quality V.H. as Parker used to say), and it looks like it’s in nice, original shape.
Parker Bros used to say their VH-grade guns were “A strictly high-grade gun at a very low price” and “A gun for hard usage that cannot be equaled”.
Parker VH 20 gauge, All Original Condition, (0) Frame 6 lbs. 2 oz. Fine Gun at a Great Price: This Little Parker was made in 1911. (Serial # 152279) According to records it was sold to a Vermont Doctor in 1911. The gun remained in Vermont for over 100 years. This gun has not been messed with like so many of the Parkers out there. It shows normal wear from careful owners for all those years. It has a pistol-grip stock with its original finish and original “Dogs Head” buttplate. It is stamped as an “0” size frame. Barrel length is 28 inches Chambers are 2& 3/4 inches. Chokes are Right= Cylinder Left= Modified LOP= 13&3/4 inches. DAC= 1&5/8 inches. DAH= 3 inches. This is an extractor gun, no ejectors. Barrels marked “Vulcan Steel.” Bores are Bright and Shiny as Shown in the photo’s. There is some minor rivuling just forward of the chambers. Lock-up is like new. No movement between the action and the barrels, with or without forend attached. “Tight on the Face”. Finishes are all original and are what you would expect of a gun that was carefully used and maintained over 100 years. It retains most of the original blue on the barrels with some age toning. Typical wear near the breech from where the hand was placed. Some blue remains on the trigger bow. Case color is gone as is the case with most old parkers, due to their using cyanide For case harding, it does not hold-up as well as the charcoal-bone process. Most all screw heads are near perfect, Testimony to the fact that this gun has not been messed-with. This gun was originally intended for New England Grouse and Woodcock. It would serve that same purpose today and for the next 100 years in the hands of careful owners. Price:$3000
If you hang around the coverdog field trial circuit at all, you probably know Hifive. Located in Beulah, MI, they’ve been breeding, training, and trialing dogs for 20+ years, and they’ve produced a long list of great dogs.
I’ve always wanted to hunt wild bobwhites. Watch this video to see on reason why.
Check out hard these birds bust cover and how high and fast they fly. Notice the handler doesn’t need a flushing whip or a Cocker spaniel to get them up and going.
That great-looking pointer is Hifive Kennels’ Champion Titanium’s Jacksin. Hifive is well-known kennel out of Beulah, MI. They’ve been breeding, training, and trialing dogs for 20+ years, and they’ve produced a long list of great dogs.