My favourite hunting companion



(imacdon and his old pal Duke with a nice spread of mallards)


Hunting means different things to different people. For some it is about tradition and camaraderie, while for others it’s about spending time with that one special hunting companion.

For imacdon, his hunting companion Duke has always been his favourite, and the fact that he walks on four legs instead of two makes no difference.


My Favourite Hunting Companion – by imacdon

The best hunting partnership I’ve ever had is drawing to a close. He’s never let me down, never come up with an excuse why he could not go hunting, was always the first in the truck or the boat, was always eager to share a lunch. He was never the first to quit.

Last weekend’s hunt was like the previous 11 seasons. I had loaded up the boat the night before with decoys and gear. Even though I had to help my elderly partner into the boat, neither of us seemed to noticed.

 I paddled the fourteen footer about a quarter mile away into a swampy bay and started throwing decoys. Pulled the boat up on shore. As was customary, my partner would not move in the boat  until I was out and the boat pulled up. I offered my partner a hand out of the boat but he waved me off.

He did not need any help.

We selected our spots, me setting up in some tall grass and him setting up a few feet in front. We did not have long to wait, a pair of mallards flew in over the decoys, I got lucky with a double. My Partner, not to be out done,  jumped in the water to retrieve the closest bird. Once in hand he departed for the second.

I had to give him a few hand signals to get him in the area of the second bird. Three more birds came in as singles with the same outcome. It was a great morning.

My partner and I picked-up and decided to call it a day, this time he let me help him in the boat.  

17 thoughts on “My favourite hunting companion”

  1. nothing like a four legged hunting partner, I just lost mine to old age, got a new Beagle though, but she wouldn’t know a partridge from a duck
    thanks imacdon

  2. Thats how i got my handle from my Chesapeake bay retriever had her for 11 years. she hunted daily with me since she was 4 months old.. i have a mini back hoe which digs a 8 feet deep . i dug a hole that deep the day i put her down still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it i was crying so hard that i just kept digging because i did not want to say bye… duck hunting was never the same .. tried replacement chessies but they were never good enough …….

  3. Sure would be nice to have a companion for retrieving ducks. You can wade into the water just so far, then it’s the telescopic fishing rod with a floating lure and trebble hook to do the trick.

    But the wife said no more pets.

    Wife or pet, geeezzzz that’s a tuff decision.


  4. imacdon

    That is a beautiful tribute to your long time hunting partner. We are just beginning to appreciate how rewarding that partnership can be. Our Charlie absolutely loves to go hunting. We hope it will be as great as the one you have with Duke.

  5. The Large (Le Grand) doesn’t need a friken dog, his legs are nine feet tall, he can wade out
    Jeff it was a very very difficult time, still is

  6. Jeff, hearing these stories of 4 legged hunting buddies floods back memories of yesterday. A very good buddy had a springer named Hunter. This little guy would hunt for you so hard, he sometimes fell asleep while standing in the water waiting for the sound of the shotgun to go off! You could see in his little brown eyes he was tired after hours of retrieving ducks on the river, but he never gave up. We sometimes had to hold him at our side to keep him awake, but alas he grew old and my buddy never made it home to say goodbye. He passed away in his son’s arms before Dad could say goodbye. r.i.p Hunter, he missed him by 5 minutes.

    Gotto go get some kleenex now.

  7. Wow are hunters ever tough,murdering ,thoughtless SOBs we are just plain killers … yah right… 3 stories of dogs that bring back tearful memories.

    1. So funny Chess, I was just thinking the same thing…but trust me, I can hear it now.

      “How can you guys be so kind to a dog yet you still go out and kill helpless animals?”

      Sadly, I’m sure there are lots out there who think this way…


  8. Well I’ve never had a hunting dog before, but I’ve heard plenty of stories like these. Amazing bonds created.

    The camp closest to us had an amazing deer chasing dog. That dog would get on a buck and chase him proper. Never enough to push the deer too hard, but just enough. Whenever they got a deer down and if it was a buck, that dog would jump up on the deer and start taking chunks of fur off.

    Now that sounds all terrible, but get this (and I sure wish I had a photo of this dog) – it was a poodle mutt mix. A tiny little thing maybe a foot and a half long and black. It’s the smallest deer hunting dog I’ve ever seen. So when it was taking chunks of fur off, they were small chunks and it was more funny than anything.


  9. hehe a poodle hunting deer, never heard of it, must have had a bit of hound in him. I’ll bet it would chase the deer just about the right speed, the poodle could run as fast as he could and the deer could walk

  10. Great stories! Hard to read without tearing up because I am nearing the end of my own best friend story of 12+ years, and it’s certainly tough. My black lab’s hips are way too bad now for our daily walks in the woods, although he would go if I let him, and he has the occasional dump in the house because he can’t seem to hold it now. I help him up, and carry him down the old staircase as well as off the deck and into the truck. Thing is I know that if he could do it for me he would, no question. He is the perfect dog, and my best friend/hunting companion so I am not willing to think about ending his life for a bit of crap on the floor or a bit of extra attention he requires now; not a chance, but reality says I may have to make the tough decision. I have said goodbye to a lot of pets and although none were easy, he will be different for sure. I often pray he has a heart attack on the short walk we now do as it would be a perfect way to go. btw he already did something like this once last winter and I swear he came back from the dead in my arms.
    I am not as excited for the moose hunt next week for the simple fact that he now requires this extra attention, not to mention the fear that he goes while I am away.
    LeGrand – my SO knows well enough not to make me choose….!

  11. Iggy says:
    October 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    The Large (Le Grand) doesn’t need a friken dog, his legs are nine feet tall, he can wade out

    True iggy. You have a point there.

    On the other hand, I know of a guy name Droptine, who even sitting on his Great-Dane has his wading boot feet hanging and not touching the ground.


    Since my chldhood, I must have had 7-8 dogs paased away on us (family). All great pets, sad how some met their end, sad that some of them with had to put down. But rarely do dogs (pets) outlive their owner.

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