Each year we devote a few pages to celebrate the most dedicated companions a hunter will ever have in the field - dogs.
Again this past season we requested that our readers submit photographs of their dogs in the field - doing what hunting dogs were born to do - and once again you have responded with some remarkable images. Today we share some of them, including a few comments from owners.
Keep in mind that every moment in the field with a dog is a potential lasting memory for the hunter and others in the hunting party. On those cold and windy days when it would be easier to stay home than venture out, a good hunting dog has a way of changing a hunter's perspective. A dog's eagerness for the hunt is exceeded only by their willingness to please their owner.
It is not unusual for dogs to do some perplexing things during a hunt - sometimes even causing the owner to wonder about the dog's abilities - as it repeatedly tests the limits of an owner's patience. In the end though, dogs prove their work in the field is invaluable. Not only in terms of birds in the bag, but for those moments that cause even the most frustrated owner to be overcome with an immense sense of pride.
Dogs make our hunts infinitely better in multiple ways, all for a pat on the head and a promise to return to the field again.
Thank you to all who submitted photographs. I regret not all of them could possibly fit on these pages, a few of which may still find their way into print at a later date. The pictures published here though, provide testament to the importance placed by owners on their four-legged companions.
I hope you enjoy this celebration of Dogs In The Field - 2012.