Page 66 - Color Tour 2018
P. 66

Gun dogs trained as athletes
Bird breasts are icing
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He also cherishes the experience of making breakfast in duck boat with his son, daughter and Mabel.
Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retrievers were bred to retrieve waterfowl from frigid waters “because of their dual coat, which provides and underlying insulating layer when they’re sitting in a duck blind all day,” Butz said. Butz is also familiar with pointers and setters, which are used primarily for upland game.
He welcomes all to 176-acre Bespoke Gun Dogs, which is located off Hoxie Road.
“We have the only licensed game bird preserve in Leelanau County,” Butz said. “We are still  nalizing some things there but are currently using it mostly for training purpos- es.”
He’ ll be offering guided hunts, access to the preserve and equipment through his new shop, Leelanau Fin and Feather.
Temperament is one key
Shari Fouch Prevost has been working with her Lab Pearl for the past year.
“When we went out to South Dakota last year,” Prevost said, “she was too young. But I’ve been taking her out to the water and working with buoys and also to the Cedar Rod and Gun Club. She’s been going there since she was a pup. She is not afraid of  reworks or other loud noises. She gets excited when she sees me take my gun out ... she wants to go outside and get involved.”
Other aspects of gun dogs are also important.
“I probably did the world a disser- vice by training Mabel for hunting rather than security or drug detection work,” said Smith. “She has an amazing nose. Labs are extremely smart and want to please. You have to have a hunting dog that is good for you,” he emphasized.
Bringing a pheasant or grouse breast at home adds icing to the cake.
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Tony West, left, and hunting buddy Chris Butz are shown with Butz’s English setter Lilly.
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