I grew up in Minnesota like any other kid riding bikes and playing baseball. My father sold insurance and often traveled to rural areas across Minnesota and Iowa. I would tag along learning the other side of the books, street smarts, as he would call it. He always said I received two educations; one from the Catholic school system and one on the road. We would meet different farmers and have dinner and my dad would talk about what policies fit their lives. In the morning we would hunt pheasants. I would walk along watching our Brittney storm a field and if we were lucky, a rooster would flush from nowhere. This is a feeling I still have every time my boots hit an upland field. Then there was goose hunting in Western Minnesota, where we would dig pits and drink coffee and I would act like an adult soon learning my place at a young age. As I grew older, the pheasant population dwindled and I became more interested in other hobbies...
Handball is a sport that consumed most of my time. Again I would travel from state to state competing for the prize of first place trophy. I joined the Navy out of high school and did a stint on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln CVN-72. Again, another education. Soon I was longing to hunt. I started back in the deer and turkey woods and realized I was missing something, the aid of a furry athlete. So I bought a German Shorthaired Pointer from Steve and Jody Reis of Top Gun Kennels. I named him Hank, after my grandpa. A few years later, I wanted another and then came along Top Gun Jp's Andrew Jackson, after my favorite president. Now, I've finally received a female, HenryEtta and most recently, another male, Tommy. All of my dogs come from the same blood. They are hard charging, smart, and very intelligent!
Whether you follow my journey or book a hunt you are my friend. We follow the same path of enlightenment through the high tail and staunch point of our best companions, a bird dog!
Your Guide: Patrick Henry Flanagan
Born in New Jersey in Atlantic City Hospital, one of my fondest memories was the "Duck and Gunning Show" every year in Ocean County. I remember walking around the different vendors and seeing the camo rubber band guns, decoys, and of course- the retrievers. While I wouldn't go on my first duck hunt until many years later in the deserts of Arizona, I knew it was something I had always wanted to be a part of.
While not against hunting by any means, my family didn't hunt. Luckily for me, once we relocated to Arizona, I had a friend who introduced me to the sport. I would get up early before school, grab my shotgun and head to the Verde River to shoot morning flights of doves or chase Gambel's quail. Sitting in class a few hours later, reeking of gunpowder with dust on my boots, all I could think about was getting back out for the evening hunt.
On one particularly unproductive early season quail hunt, with temperatures in the high 90's, I watched a covey flush well out of range over yet another hillside. I turned to my buddy and exclaimed, "This is the last year I do this without a dog!". And the rest is history.
Now with seven gun dogs in my kennel and counting, I strive to bring the joy of upland hunting to every one of my clients. I treat every hunt like it is my own, and I work hard, but my dogs work harder.
I feel the same rush each and every point and flush.