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Dogs of the Conservation Order Complete the Hunt

“The journey of life is sweeter when traveled with a dog …” Unknown.

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I have always commented that dogs complete the hunting experience, especially when it comes to waterfowl.  This is so true in the current Light Goose Conservation Order hunting period on Snow and Ross’s Geese here in Nebraska! I have been fortunate to witness some outstanding dog work with some affectionate canines! I thought I’d share some of the images I captured by digital camera of these four-legged hunting companions along with their owners.

Above, this is Copper, a Labrador Retriever. Below, he is retrieving a Ross’s goose. This is my buddy Chase Lovell’s dog.

“Dogs and Cattails & flocks galore, dreams of counting geese one, two, three, four …” Unknown.

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Those knowledgeable about hunting dog training tell me light that goose hunting this time of year provides additional opportunities for dogs on which to build confidence. With no limits on light geese, and when things are going gangbusters in the decoy spread, a dog can make more retrieves in a single day than some see in an entire season!

Meet June, a Golden Retriever (a.k.a.Swamp Collie), retrieving a Ross’s goose and Snow geese. This dog belongs to my friend Nick Bilava.

“Their affection is timeless, their devotion is ageless and their love is forever ...” Unknown.

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These trainers also say that Light Goose Conservation Order hunting allows time for the hunting dog owner to work on handling skills with his or her pooch, plus these wary geese provide great visibility for long stretches of time because it takes them a while to work spreads.

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An older, seasoned Golden Retriever/Swamp Collie, Bailey, keeps watch over the decoys. Avid hunter Ty Stromquist owns Bailey.

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All in all, the highlight of waterfowl hunt is found in the work of a four-legged friend!

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them. And, filling an emptiness we didn’t even know we had …” Thom Jones.

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About Greg Wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Public Information Officer and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media sites, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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