Inspiring Wisconsin teen raising unique gun dog
Negative press is exploding from mainstream media trying to give hunters a black eye the past few weeks. Many seem to be forgetting – or might not be aware of – the great things that come from the American tradition of hunting. I could write a hundred blogs about how the great outdoors has changed my own life in positive ways. Simple things are often missed, like a loving relationship between a boy and his hunting dog.
Outdoor enthusiast Nolan May, 16, spends his spare time working with Piper, a Catahoula leopard cur. Catahoula leopard? What’s that? Typically Labs, spaniels, German shorthairs and Chesapeake Bay retrievers are seen pointing pheasants and retrieving ducks in the Midwest. A hunter is more likely to be seen with a Catahoula leopard in southern states. The Louisiana state dog is known to track other animals from miles away such as raccoon, mountain lion, squirrel, deer, and black bear. Elkhorn High School student, May has different plans for this pup he rescued from the Wisconsin Humane Society. Nolan is bound and determined to make Pieper a waterfowl-retrieving maniac. Catahoulas' prominent paw webbing extends almost to the ends of the toes, which gives the Catahoula the ability to work marshy areas with a superior swimming ability. Although Nolan enjoys pheasant, deer and turkey hunting, shooting ducks is his favorite outdoor pursuit.
Nolan used YouTube videos as a tool to educate himself about basic dog obedience training and his hard work was apparent. “I’ve been using bumpers and scents to get her used to retrieving and the smells. I have also been working her through decoys,” said May. Making sure Piper isn’t gun shy is Nolan’s next top priority.
Introducing a pup to the sounds of hunting isn’t hard to do, but it does take a little time. Nolan will play fetch, creating a positive situation while his friend stands far away in the field shooting the gun into a safe direction. His friend will take one step closer after every shot until eventually the distance between Piper and the shooter is minimal.
Watching May work with his canine companion brought a smile to my face. Watching the look on his proud parents' faces, Denise and Tim May, made me smile even more. ”Nolan has done all of this on his own. We support him in every way we can, but he has taught us everything we know about hunting,” said Denise. Proud parents equals happy kids and happy kids grow into good-natured, responsible adults. It’s simple. Although I haven’t seen anything like that in the news lately.
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