Are you a big fan of the hunting and fishing TV shows?

Many sportsman have told me they find them simplistic, predictable, and not a true representation of the total outdoor experience. I could not agree more. A non-hunter watching one of these shows is given the wrong impression, that hunting consists of sitting in a blind for 30 seconds, killing a deer, and then giving a hunt buddy the high five amid a lot of exultant whoops.

Additionally, too many of these outdoor shows seem to lack a learning component. They may entertain, but they don’t teach us how to be better deer hunters or more successful anglers.

In context of this, a new DVD, just released, called Grouse, Guns & Dogs” is a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Bird Dog Productions has hit the ball out of the park with this new three-hour DVD package.

Thanks to a thoughtful, articulate narration by New Hampshire gun-dog writer Paul Fuller and a carefully organized and skillfully edited presentation, both the novice and seasoned grouse hunter will learn a lot from this comprehensive DVD. The filming of summer gun-dog work by grouse dog trainer Dave Hughes and Long Gone Kennel owner Lloyd Murray is spontaneous and enthralling. Their English Setters are at the top of their game and a joy to watch.

The three-hour video is comprised of two discs and is broken down into the following chapters. Disc 1 includes: Bird History, Range, the Four Seasons for Bird Hunters, Guns for Grouse Hunting, Preparing for the Hunt, and Grouse Camp & Travel. Disc two includes: Dog History & Breeds, Summer Training Grouse Dogs, Grouse Dog Field Trials and Grouse Hunting Over Pointing Dogs.

All of this is woven together and made seamless by Paul Fuller’s impassioned narration. Fuller, an ardent upland hunter, is host of an award-winning TV show called Bird Dogs Afield and writes a monthly gun-dog column for the Northwoods Sporting Journal.

The comprehensive nature of this priceless upland hunting video is underscored by the chapter on fitting yourself to a shotgun. This chapter features gun-fitter Bryan Bilinski talking about the perfect grouse gun and shooting instructor Brad Varney demonstrating shooting styles for grouse.

As an upland bird hunter who once shared some wonderful moments in bird covers with a lovable English Setter — the late Sally of Seboeis — I confess to misty eyes and hard swallows when I watched New Hampshire dog breeder Lloyd Murray work his champion setter Madison. She has the look and the bird work of a champion and will inspire any upland gun-dog owner to train harder and longer.

Again, “Grouse, Guns & Dogs” is well-paced, informative and entertaining, a classy piece of work that raises the bar in the annals of upland bird hunting video. For a novice grouse hunter or a seasoned gun-dog owner this truly is one of those must-have resources. I wouldn’t doubt that the English Setter photography on this video is the best ruffed grouse pointing work ever filmed.

The three-hour DVD set is available for $59.95 and may be ordered online by going to www.birddogsafield.com. Telephone orders can be made by calling Bird Dog Productions at 603 969 8612. Or send a check for $59.95, which includes postage) to: Bird Dog Productions, 68 Bennett Road, Durham, N.H. 03824.

The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. He is also a Maine Guide, co-host of a weekly radio program “Maine Outdoors” heard Sundays at 7 p.m. on The Voice of Maine News-Talk Network (WVOM-FM 103.9, WQVM-FM 101.3) and former information officer for the Maine Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. His e-mail address is [email protected] He has two books “A Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook” and his latest, “Backtrack.”


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