Over these last few weeks since Dash passed away, I've been trying to keep busy with future projects to help me through the loss of one of my two famous "boys". During that process, I've been planning a new series tentatively titled "Dez Young's Traveling Sportsman", and have found great interest in it when I've contacted the traditional outdoor networks. If and when that progresses to the point of "probability", as opposed to "possibility", I will certainly let you know.
In the meantime I want to tell you about a unique project that will become a one time "special" that I'm taping this early fall in New England. One of the most famous and beloved outdoor short stories was written by Corey Ford and is called, "The Road to Tinkhamtown". If you've not read it, you can find it on Google. When you read it, have your hanky handy! It's basically about an elderly man (Frank) and his memories of his beloved Setter (Cider). I am participating in turning that story into a television production. It will be produced in New Hampshire (where the story unfolds) in early October and then marketed to the networks by late winter, once it is edited. It will be an honor to be part of this production. My role will be to be on camera, reading the story to viewers, while "B" roll footage tells the visual part of the story. If it turns out the way I anticipate, it will be one of my most important roles in my television career.
With bird hunting season nearly here as I write this, I am struggling with what to do. So much of my love of bird hunting has always revolved around my dogs. Even as a kid, I loved watching our family dogs (Springers and Cockers) work the heavy brush in the country surrounding my home town of Pendleton, Oregon. As an adult, I've always had hunting dogs around me as part of my family. It seems so strange to not have Dash here in my office when I'm working. It will seem even stranger when I can't just put Dash in my truck and head off to chase birds together. If you've lost bird dogs, you know just how I feel. Anyway, I wish you a safe and successful bird hunting season...and give your four legged hunting partner a pet from me...dez
Hank's Dashing Bondhu (Dash): born December 10, 2001...Died July 18, 2013
He was his dad's boy...smart, energetic, playful and loving. Just like his dad, Hank, Dash found his way into my heart immediately upon arriving at our home at 7 weeks of age. I had retired Hank from his television show, and the network (then called OLN), had requested that I continue with another bird hunting series, if Dash would be at least an equal to Hank.
It didn't take long for my friend and Director Bob Corley and I to discover that Dash was going to be a credit to his dad. In early training, Dash responded to every new learning experience with all the energy and enthusiasm I could want in a puppy.
Throughout the early training I felt confident that we could start a new series that fall. So, at 9 months of age, with Hank as his only on-camera hunting partner, we taped Dash's first three television shows. After that, he and I shared birdhunting adventures all across the country, and in places I was never able to get Hank (Hawaii and Mexico, for instance).
As his skill increased so did his on-camera appeal. He had a beautiful flowing, white coat with chestnut markings, just like his dad. His points were spectacular, he covered ground like a race horse, but would stop in an instant and "freeze" into heart pounding points that his fans loved to see.
Personal appearances were always a treat, just like they had been with Hank. Fans loved to meet him, get pictures taken with him, and in the case of young girls, plant kisses on his nose. Dash was always a gentleman, and showed great patience at every appearance.
He and I taped 62 episodes of Dash in the Uplands together before I retired him from television. Over the last few years, he and I continued to hunt and make appearances together, including his last public appearance this past spring at the 1st annual Bird Dog Jamboree, where he was the featured celebrity.
It's hard to express the love and gratitude I feel for both of my "boys". They not only provided an excellent living for me, but they were beloved members of the family. My wife Karenanne and I will always have wonderful memories of each of them.
For each episode of his and his dad's television shows, I always reminded our viewers (with my tongue firmly planted in my check), to: Never, ever spoil your bird dog. I had one more opportunity to spoil Dash when he collapsed on our kitchen floor that last morning. I raced to his side, got down on the floor, and held him in my arms. I told him how much I loved him and that I would not leave his side. I know the words meant nothing to him, but I wanted him to hear my voice as he struggled. When he took his last breath, I buried my nose in his coat and breathed in his scent one last time.
To all of you who were kind enough to write, phone, Facebook and text...Karenanne and I want you to know how much that meant to us.
Hank and Dash are the only two television bird dogs in the National Bird Dog Museum and Hall of Fame. You can see their portraits when you visit that wonderful facility.
I will always be grateful for having those two wonderful dogs in my life...I have all of their shows on tape to watch whenever I need a "fix" from them. I have Hank's book to read and Dash's audio book to listen to, as well. It's not the same, of course, but it's a chance to be with my "boys" whenever I need them back in my life.
Give your dog a hug from all of us...dez
July 2013 Newsletter
I just returned from Argentina where I had an opportunity to hunt for the wild pigeons that damage up to 20% of the agricultural crops around the countryside near Cordoba. The shooting party included a group of women known by the acronym of GRITS (Girls really into Shooting). The organization was founded by Elizabeth Lanier, and was established to encourage women to get into the shooting sports. Elizabeth is also a high-level shooting instructor, so she was busy not only enjoying the shooting herself, but also making sure each of the woman on this trip were fitted properly to rental guns available at our host location, Puelo Expiditions.
Originally, my intent was to tape two initial shows for the new series being developed (Dez Young's Traveling Sportsman), but the equipment available for taping was not up to American network standards, so all I could do was help our host, Ramiro Allende with some new video footage he can use on his website. The facility was first class, as was the meals, and the shooting. Each morning we left the Estancia around 7:30am or so, traveled by comfortable van to the selected location, and when we arrived were greeted by the bird boys ready to assist with guns, shells, and spotting incoming birds.
The weather was perfect, even though we were down there in the beginning of their winter. Each day broke to clear skies, and warmed up to comfortable temperatures as the day progressed. Although there are two sub-species of wild pigeon there (Spot Wing and Picazuro), the vast majority of birds were Spot Wing pigeons. They are about the size of the pigeons you and I see in the cities and barn yards here in America. The birds were decoyed into shotgun range with stationary decoys as well as mobile ones. Each location we visited provided fast-paced, exciting shooting.
I am planning a return trip to Puelo Expiditions when I can take a cameraman along who will have the equipment needed to video shows for American television.
In the meantime, Dash's audio book (Dash in the Uplands, legacy of a legend) is selling well, and I will soon be striking a deal with a publication to have the books offered, not just here on our website, but also though it's
ordering system. As soon as the deal is finalized, I 'll tell you all about it.
Finally, it's been a very hot late June here, so yesterday (Monday the 1st of July), Dash and I headed to our coast to fly fish for Sea Run Cutthroat on one of my favorite Rivers, the Trask. It was a beautiful day to be on the water, and it reminded me that in our new proposed series, I will be seeking out places where I can cast a fly as well as chase birds...
Have a great July, I'll talk to you again in August...dez
June 2013 Newsletter
As we approach early summer, Dash and I begin thinking about fly fishing! One of my favorite summer activities involves grabbing my fly rod and heading to one of the many small streams that flow into the Pacific Ocean here in Oregon. Searun Cutthroat Trout migrate into those streams to spawn, so Dash and I practice "catch and release" fishing for those great little fish. Actually, Dash just comes along with me, poking around in the surrounding steam side brush hoping to find a bird to point. One of his other fun activities involves waiting until I step into a likely looking pool before he plunges in to see if there are any fish there. As a consequence, I don't usually catch that many fish, but he sure brings a whole lot of "comic relief" to those trips.
Now, let me address a rumor that has become prevalent among my Facebook "friends". It's true that I am developing a new bird hunting television series. It's title is: "Dez Young's Traveling Sportsman". During the month of June two things will happen. First, my agent will begin a marketing campaign to see if we can find sponsors for the series. So, by the time summer is over, I should have more news to tell you on that front. Second, in anticipation of a successful effort to locate sponsors, I will be going to Argentina in late June to record two television shows on the Pigeon and Dove hunting available there. Despite interest that has been expressed by different television networks to have me back on television, everything hinges on finding sponsors for this project, so keep your fingers crossed.
For this new proposed series, I have written and recorded new music/lyrics. For all previous shows (Hunting With Hank, Dash in the Uplands, Dez Young's Wingshooter's Journal specials), I wrote and performed the original music, so it was great fun to go back into the recording studio to record something new. It is my great hope that at sometime during 2014, I will be able to announce the airing schedule for this new adventure.
One final note for this newsletter...don't forget to keep your bird dog active during the next several months so both of you will be ready for the fall bird hunting season...dez
March 2013 Newsletter
As I write this newsletter, Dash and I just got back from a fun weekend at Luckiamute Valley Pheasants here in Oregon. We participated in two days of Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife sponsored activities for persons new to shotguns and bird hunting. Saturday was "novice day". Many people new to shooting got to meet Dash, shoot some clay targets and go on a guided hunt for released Pheasants. Most of the shooters were young people, but one of them was my soon to be son-in-law, Hans Wagner.
With some instructions from me at a local skeet range, he has become a fine shot with my Browning 20 guage side-by-side that I shot on Hank's tv shows. Saturday, he hit virtually every one of his clay targets, then on a time shortened hunt, dropped his first rooster cleanly. That shotgun is now my wedding present to him.
On Sunday, it was "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" day...Dash was a real gentleman with all the ladies there, and I was able to help a couple of them with their clay target shooting before we had to leave. It was a weekend well spent.
REMINDER: Those of you interested in meeting Dash, come join us at the 1st annual Bird Dog Jamboree being held this month at Ka Tonka Game Preserve near New London, Missouri. The dates are March 15-17. Someone will win a hunt with Dash while we're there, and I'll be showing clips from Dash's shows and also bringing with me copies of my fast selling audio book, "Dash in the Uplands, legacy of a legend". They are selling for $26.95, but at the event they will be priced for only $20.00, and each will be signed and "pawed". This will be Dash's last public appearance so be sure to put those dates on your calendar.
REMINDER NUMBER TWO: If Argentina bird hunting is on your "bucket" list, sign up for a mid-June trip to Cordoba, Argentina with me for a fantastic hunting opportunity...two different species of wild Pigeons will be the quarry. Call my friend John Wiles for details and pricing: 1 866 635 2838 or (c) 1 443 624 8719. I will be taping two shows there for my periodic "Dez Young's Wingshooter's Journal" episodes that we've done from Scotland, Uruguay and Hawii. You will become part of the shows as I show the great hunting there (over 5 million Pigeons in Cordoba Province).
talk to you again next month
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