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Dick Ellis Blog:
10/9/2019
Fall brings with it something for everyone in the field from the angler to the hunter.  Just a few recent sessions of shooting the bull tell me that autumn is for the youngest of outdoorsman just learning the games to those of us more seasoned with our eyes focused dead ahead on for example, the whitetail rut. James Wallace captured this great buck on trail camera during summer scouting. James Wallace, my nephew-in-law (is there such a ...
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Gary Greene's Memories from an Old Hunter.........#15

In the parking lot of the local East Troy Piggly Wiggly, my mind was elsewhere, as I was attempting not to squash certain grocery items as I tossed them into the back seat of my Ford 150. As I was completing this mindless task, a woman yells to me: “That’s really a wonderful thing you do. Thank you for your service.”  I heard the words, but as I mentioned my mind was in the truck and I replied: “Thank You!” I really didn’t know what I was thanking her for, but I just wanted to move on and get my groceries home. As I was about halfway home, my mind drifted back to the lady in the parking lot. I was thinking……what the heck was she talking about?

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Greene's Dookie proudly poses with her last pheasants. (2014)

Then I came out of my fog, and finally put the whole scenario together. On the side of my truck are magnetic door signs advertising my business that reads: “Gary’s Guide Service.”  The subtitle in smaller print reads: “Pheasant hunting with Labrador Retrievers” There is also a large, head shot picture of our yellow lab Dookie on the advertisement as well.

My assumption is that she saw the picture of Dookie and saw the big letters stating a guide service and she must have figured that I had a seeing eye guide dog service. I certainly can’t see her thanking me for leading my dogs into our Wisconsin fields and killing pheasants. So I’m guessing I am correct with this assumption.

Previously, I’ve had a few problems with these magnetic signs. I had my truck worked on at a local dealer and they gave me a free truck wash coupon. So I used it. Halfway through the zillion plus brushes beating against my truck, I sensed that I had messed up and that this free truck wash was going to cost me. I drove out of the wash and checked both sides of my truck and one sign was missing. I quickly drove around to the front, just in time to see the next car run over and rip up my door magnet. That free truck wash wasn’t free.

On another day, it was extremely windy as I was headed down the three mile drive for groceries when I saw my driver’s side magnet blow off and fly past my window. I pulled over and walked back to find it in tact in the middle of my lane.  I was about to pick it up, but I decided against challenging a speeding semi. So I waited for the semi to pass. As it passed me, at my estimated speed of 100+ mph, I witnessed my door magnet being sliced up into a dozen gnarled pieces. Better the magnet than I.

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Dookie with a hen pheasant retrieve. (2012)

For a few years now, in early January, my son Nate and I have been hunting Arkansas waterfowl to extend our hunting seasons. After one of those hunts, we were cleaning our ducks and another hunter noticed my magnetic door signs. He stated that he was a guide and he couldn’t find a sponsor and he noticed that I was sponsored by Herbsmith.  He wanted to know how I found a sponsor.  I thought of how I was going to answer him, but then I decided to go with the truth.  My reply was: “You have to marry the owner of the company.” My wife Chris, a veterinarian, and her company Herbsmith make herbs for animals.

Dookie is the face of one of Herbsmith’s products, the Scooter’s Butt Bar.  It is a supplement for supporting the anal gland and bowel. We smile when we see her on the product as she IS such a butt bar!  During her hunting career, Dookie (11) has accumulated numerous physical ailments. In her prime, a South Dakota farmer once described her as a “Plodder,” so I’m safe to state that she never was a gymnast in the field. At Scuppernong on December 11th, 2014, I took her out briefly for her last public hunting grounds pheasant hunt. It was sad for me, because I knew there were no remaining hunts in that timeworn body. It already was nearing sunset and we only had about thirty minutes of available hunting time.  She could barely manage through the thicker cover, but she was really enjoying going through the motions. It was late in the season, so I didn’t think there were any recently stocked pheasants, but I wanted her to share some fun with me in the field. 

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Greene's Dookie proudly poses with her last pheasants. (2014)

Ten minutes into our hunt, old Dookie put on the after burners and moved as fast as the grandma making choices in the deli section at the Piggly Wiggly. She managed to flush a nice rooster, which I shot. She proudly retrieved it. Just minutes later, she got birdy again and using her remaining energy, she flushed a hen (You can shoot those there) and I shot it and she made a slow, but efficient retrieve.  After our twenty minute hunt, she barely made it back to the truck, but she proudly posed for a snapshot in front of her picture on my door magnet, with the two pheasants, my Benelli and the sunset reflecting on my truck doors. It was quite a night for my Dookie and me.

 Dookie’s original name was Brooke. We fondly called her Dumb-a…… Brooke. Eventually, I combined the words and Dook was created. Then with even more affection, I stretched it to Dookie, but she answers to most anything.