After 8 years in the Lion Country Supply Gun Room, I have encountered many types of hunting dogs. Our regular customers lead a parade of pointing dogs, retrievers and flushers, who hunt a gamut of gamebirds. Local hounds men who hunt for rabbits and hares arrive with their beagles. ‘Coons and bobcats, as well as the ever growing population of coyotes in central PA, are pursued with black and tans, plotts, redbones, blue ticks and walkers – all visitors to LCS. Those dogs also travel out of state to chase black bears (mostly plotts) or mountain lions (walkers and redbones). We’ve had curs and feist squirrel dogs in the store, as well as a Spinone Italiano, a Caucasian shepherd (Russian Bear Dog), a Catahoula Leopard, cattle dogs, and various breeds of search and tracking dogs with the PA Game Commission. Even the PA state police train at our facility with arson and drug dogs.
Last week Kelly Musser, of North Central PA, arrived with her Boykin Spaniel. We’ve had other Boykins in our store, of course, but Kelly’s was unusual because she hunts her Boykin, Nelli, and the up and coming Jenny, solely for wild turkeys in the fall season. Although there are over two dozen states in the United States that allow dogs for turkey hunting, Pennsylvania is relatively new to the game. I am an avid turkey hunter, so I was interested in Kelly’s style of hunting. Kelly later emailed me and offered, “We do not use our dogs for other birds. They just turkey hunt and are spoiled house dogs the rest of the time 🙂 They make great pets!”
When asked about training, Kelly continued, “We trained them by using turkey feathers (like a wing or tail) tied to a string and they would start following it. We then hide the feathers or hang them on a low tree branch and they would track & find the feathers. We also take them in the woods late summer/early fall to get exposed to live turkeys and their scent. Honestly, training them has been rather easy. Boykins are known for their natural turkey hunting abilities. Also, we do not bag our dogs (having them crawl into a cloth bag when turkeys are called to avoid detection). We teach them to sit next to us and hold while the turkeys are coming in.”
“Kelly added, “We have only used our Boykins in North Central PA – mainly Clinton and Lycoming counties, but we would like to go to other states like New York or Virginia. We are members of The Boykin Spaniel Society. They have a great website, which explains more about the breed. I encourage you to check it out if you have time. “
Enclosed are two photos. One is of a successful turkey hunt with husband Rich on the left, Kelly on the right and Nelli in the middle.
The second photo is of pup Jenny carrying a cedar box call.
If you would like to contact Kelly or Rich, or offer their Boykins a place to fall turkey hunt, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly finished that, “On a different note, I want to share with you an event that The National Wild Turkey Federation and The Tri-M Group (the company where my husband and I work) sponsor. Please see the attached flyer. The event started three years ago and it keeps growing. I thought I would share it with you to see if you know of any businesses that may be interested in participating. If you have questions, let me know.”
LCS Gun Room