Every woman who spends time in the woods truly deserves a furry friend by her side.
As a hardcore dog lover, I believe every girl should have a canine by her side — but none more so than the girl who loves to hunt. Friends will come and go, but nothing is as reliable as a good hunting dog. Here's why.
Before he passed away, my golden retriever was my best friend. He followed me around the house like a shadow and could sense any time I was sick or sad. We both loved the woods and spending as much time outside as possible. And while he didn't quite measure up as a hunting dog — mostly my fault due to poor training — he always joined me on hikes, scouting trips, and shed hunts as well as beach days, road trips, and errand runs.
While a human companion is great, a dog won't argue or get sick of you. They love unconditionally and make the perfect companions. There's nothing better than coming home to a friendly face that is always excited to greet you.
When you do dedicate time and effort to proper hunting training, you will always have an eager, enthusiastic, capable friend to accompany you and provide real, genuine assistance.
Even with a sidearm on my hip, I always feel safer in the great outdoors with a dog on my six. From purse-size pups to 200-pound bruisers, most dogs view themselves as protectors and will fiercely defend their owners. In remote areas with no cell service and dangerous predators, there's no greater comfort than having your sidekick standing next to you. Women are often viewed as easier targets for shady characters, so a good dog is a great way to stave off weirdos in the woods.
The same goes for your home. I live alone and never worried about intruders with my loyal protector in the house. He was a goofy, gentle golden but an incredibly reliable guard dog.
Pointing and Flushing
If you love to bird hunt, investing in a hunting dog is one of the best decisions you can make. Locating pheasants in thick brush can be a real challenge without a bird dog. Even if you do manage to find one while hunting solo, flushing the bird then getting off a good shot is just as difficult.
Whether you want a dog that can sniff out pheasants or quail and stand on point, or one to kick up stubborn upland birds, there's a great hunting dog variety for you. Plus, watching them work is probably the best part of the hunt. A solid, well trained bird dog will truly be the best hunting buddy you ever have.
If you're hunting waterfowl over a lake in the winter or losing quail in thick cover, a dog can easily track down your kills and bring them back in seconds. Duck hunters have died venturing out into frigid waters that are no match for a qualified hunting dog, so splurging on a pup could literally save your life.
Not much is worse than losing a banded bird or one you managed to make a miracle shot on, but downed ducks and chukars won't go to waste with a reliable retriever.
Although my golden didn't quite have the discipline to hunt, he could hack it as a shed hunting dog. He loved to chew on antlers from the time he was a tiny pup, so teaching him to locate sheds in the woods wasn't difficult with the training program and tools from Dog Bone Hunter. It's a great way to enjoy time in the woods, take inventory of the bucks in the area, and bring home a free, high quality chew toy for your best friend.
The Best Hunting Dog Breeds for Women
Your ideal dog breed will depend on the type of hunting you plan to do, your home setup, and how you hope to bond with your pup. While some dogs are diehard hunters, they're workhorses that don't make the best family pets. Others will be your best bud on the couch and in the field. And although some breeds are more suited to certain pursuits, many can pull double duty on upland and waterfowl.
Some of the best breeds for waterfowl hunting that double as loving members of the family include Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers — although I am a bit partial to the latter. These dogs have also been known to take to flushing upland, but many die hard pheasant hunters opt for spaniels. English and German shorthaired pointers, as their names suggest, make great pointing dogs but often fall into the less lovey, work focused category. Setter breeds are also reliable pointing dogs.
Be sure to do your research, buy from a reputable breeder, and begin training early to ensure you end up with an excellent hunting sidekick for years to come. Some people say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but those people never had a hunting dog.
NEXT: 4 OF THE BEST SHOTGUNS FOR WOMEN