Every now and then, there’s content out there that simply resonates with you and you find yourself nodding your head with each passing second.
Ever since I decided to turn photography and videography into a career, people (specifically hunters and anglers) have constantly asked me what it was like to have your hobby be your dream job.
I’ve found that it was quite hard to explain – and sometimes I couldn’t. You see, people have a common misconception that it’s a job without stress, complications, and loads of fun – all the time. However, like this video, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. The days spent at home are few, the time spent with my wife and dogs are short, and I find that I miss my own days afield hunting and fishing. Weekends are quickly booked up and my nights filled with editing.
I find it sort of ironic that what seemed like a career that would afford me more days in the field – was actually the complete opposite.
On the flip side of that, I’ve been blessed to see many amazing things, meet absolutely phenomenal individuals and groups, and shared in many great memories.
I’m sure that many photographers, in any niche, can relate to this short film. It reminds us of why we do it and to always have a balance in life – regardless of what your career may be.
Disclaimer: The author,Muddy Shutter Media Group, and it’s associates have no affiliation with Yeti Coolers, Orvis, or related associates nor is the author compensated for the sharing/posting of this content.
As the last few bumpers and training leads get put away for the year, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight all of the dogs we’ve had the pleasure and honor to photograph throughout the year so far!
Whatever kind of dog you own, train, hunt over, or just plain love – we wish everyone the very best this hunting season. Here’s to muddy paws, tired legs, and full straps!
Do you have a specific dog, kennel or trainer you think we should work with? Feel free to let us know!
See everyone out in the field and happy hunting!
When someone begins a life of hiking they are presented with a set of unwritten doctrines outlining the “Do’s and Don’ts” of how to experience the natural world. It has been said time and time again, the proper way to hike a mountain is to plan an arrival at the trail head as first light beings to flood the sky. You are gifted with uncongested trails, crisp morning air, and the opportunity to oftentimes witness incredible vistas on the ascent. This is the way I began, and continue to hike – sometimes.
As is often the case, there is a flip side to the “day-hiking coin” -a world often left unexplored and unsurveyed. Read on, as I attempt to paint a picture for you of the hiking we many times overlook and even cast aside.
At the end of the day, once the sun begins to fade beyond the horizon, there is a noticeable calmness that gradually blankets a mountain valley. The air whispers with the sounds of people making their way off the trail, the fleeting white noise of countless cars coming and going, and the wind settling, cloud cover cracking.
There is no better time to tie up your well-travelled pair of boots and strap on your pack than this moment – moonrise.
As the moon begins to crest over the earth, I try to find a “seat” at the highest point. There is no better vantage than wrapped in a sleeping bag, engulfed by the uninterrupted view offered by the summit of a mountain. From this perspective, you become part of the show, standing in the wings as the celestial performance of Aquarius and Cassiopeia takes center stage in the heavens.
As the last light fades, the stars wake up, the Milky Way dances across the sky, and shooting stars and fluorescent clouds add a dash of contrast and excitement. If you look close enough, you can begin to understand the depth of the nightly display; vastly superior to the latest 3D technology, and far richer than the flat canvas we typically portray it as.
The night sky is alive and tells a story better than any cinematic masterpiece contrived in Hollywood.
As the main performance draws to an end, the sun begins to appear as if called back for an encore. At this moment, the full cast of luminaries; the sun, moon, and stars appear at once for a final bow. The clouds at your feet begin to lessen their grip on the world below.
The world awakes, unbeknownst that Mother Nature has just put on a performance unmatched by even the 3rd symphony.
This is the most tried and proven story line; ironically an experience that has no monetary value, but gives an inexplicable amount of importance to those that witness its grander.
In these moments I find myself at peace with the world; provided with the purest form of tranquility.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…” HDT
A publication with a mission to improve the perception of hunting in our society through telling honest stories in a fresh format.
Since the start of Muddy Shutter Media, we’ve always looked to the hunting, outdoor, and sporting communities for inspiration and motivation. The amount of quality and depth in the content that we collectively saw everyday was absolutely breathtaking.
Enter Modern Huntsman.
What started as an aggregation of visual imagery from some of the best social media influencers and content creators – quickly evolved. Now, they’ve successfully launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their very first Bi-Annual magazine!
Our words simply can’t do it justice, so we’ve included a video from Modern Huntsman below:
Conceptual Magazine Imagery & Layouts
Hunting elk in the mountains of Montana is by far one top of the bucketlist hunts in North American Continent. Steep terrain, thick timber, and sweeping views offer many hardcore hunters exactly what they’re looking for – high risk for high reward.
Chasing the Wapiti is not easy – as they seem to disappear and reappear in the alpine forest in the blink of an eye. Despite their large size, with some bulls weighing close to 1000 pounds, these ungulates are ghost of the forest.
One’s first expectation for an animal so large is that they’re easy to find. For the most part, this can be true during the rut and later part of the fall, where the elk migrate and gather in large herds. However, getting one up close and within shooting range of your bow – is a completely different story. Many hunters will find (and learn) quickly that they may see elk in one location one day and by the time they hike out to the last known location – they’re gone.
This is the cat and mouse game of elk hunting – this is the addiction.
One can come out of the elk woods empty-handed, as we did this past weekend, but you will never come out without an experience of a lifetime.
Rest assured, we will be back.
Check out Drake’s new short film “How Do You Hunt?” highlighting the product testing and development by Drake’s Guardian Elite Team – these professional guides, dog trainers, outfitters, and hunters push product testing to new heights. Be sure to go over to Drake and check out the Guardian Elite Series, as well as their revamped site, before the season comes – that’s when you’ll need it!
Usually, when the average person thinks of dog training, two things pop up in their minds. Either, a fast-charging German Shepherd Dog chomping down on a man in a pillow suit or a some sort of canine on a leash following a human around a classroom learning how to ‘sit’ and ‘roll over’. Now, tell that same person about training a dog to hunt any kind of animal and that’s sure to raise some curiosity – not to mention a few questions.
Bird dog training has always been (and probably will always be) a world of its own. Like any training, of any sort, the means and methods will differ from trainer to trainer. However, it all boils down to one thing, training a dog to do something it was naturally meant to do – hunt.
JC Bosch, a young and motivated individual, is one trainer that has done just that – training a dog to not only hunt, but hunt with a vigor, drive, and finesse in the field.
We had a chance to not only meet, but actually witness first-hand what JC can do with the dogs under his wing.
In this interview, we dive into what it takes to handle and train high-performing dogs, as well as guiding in the bird hot-spots in the state of Kansas.
Warning: Long interview!
We hope you enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself, JC. Who are you and what do you do? Where are you based out of?
My name is J.C. Bosch. I own and operate No Limits Kennels, LLC; a full-time and full-service dog training and boarding kennel in the heart of central Kansas – just outside of Great Bend.
NLK specializes in the training and breeding of the versatile German Shorthaired Pointer. We train and develop the ultimate canine companions, from obedience to finished level hunting retrievers and pointing dogs.
What is it like to be a professional dog trainer and wingshooting guide?
Each hunting season, we have the opportunity to guide and hunt all things fowl with outfitters, friends, and clients. It is very rewarding to watch and hunt over my personal dogs and the dogs I have trained throughout the year. The real icing on the cake for me is meeting and hunting with all of the different people each season. We work very hard every off-season so that each November – January we can hunt and guide to the best of our abilities.
You have to love the social aspect of the wing-shooting sports and being a guide, the opportunity to meet so many great people from all different walks of life and different places is a real blessing.
The thing I like the most about being a professional dog trainer and wingshooting guide has to be the opportunities to work with amazing people and their dogs. I am sure that sounds pretty generic, but it really is that simple for me. We have some of the most amazing clients in the world with great dogs to match. Many people will never understand the bond between a hunter and a good gun dog. That relationship between a working dog and his owner is what it’s all about for me. I would love to help everyone I can, find a dog like that, and develop a relationship that runs deep with the highest level of trust and respect.
How did you get into hunting, training, and what was your first hunting dog?
I grew up hunting, and I grew up training dogs, but the two worlds never really collided until a few years ago. Growing up in Great Bend, Kansas there are only a few things to do outside of hunting and fishing.
We are located right next to the nations largest inland marsh, the Arkansas river, and Quivira National Wildlife refuge – so hunting and fishing is a way of life for most people around here. Growing up out her, even with all of the opportunities, there never were many bird hunts I went on with dogs. The few that I can remember going on – all I can remember is someone yelling at their dogs all day and the dogs running off. I bought my first GSP from Brad Weets of TKO Kennels and he opened my eyes to what I was missing.
I WAS HOOKED, up until this point I had just been helping friends and family do basic things with their dogs and helping people as I could with behavior modification with aggressive dogs. Ever since I brought home that first GSP (Cash) I haven’t looked back, slowed down, or even thought about doing anything other than training dogs, hunting, and helping others.
A quote that comes to mind here is “Every master was once a disaster.” I don’t consider myself a master, I have a ton that I am still learning every single day and I have made plenty of mistakes along the way.
I am glad to say that I learned a lot from those mistakes. I take a lot of pride in what I do with each dog and client I get to work with. I will continue to give each of you the very best service possible!
You have 7 German Shorthaired Pointers – tell us about them!
So we have 7 German Shorthaired Pointers now all of which are pretty young (under 4 years old). Each of our dogs I have very carefully selected for our gun dog squad and each have the potential to have a place in our breeding program.
They all go through a FULL hunting season of multiple species of upland and waterfowl birds. We do full health clearances and they are all family companions as well as working gun dogs and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our dogs are tested in titled in many different venues, some titles our dogs have earned are Champion x’s 2, National Champion, International Champion, Junior Hunter, Natural Ability prizes, and we will have a couple of new Master Hunters this fall and we will be going to our first NAVHDA Utility Test in October that we are very excited about as well.
When training dogs – how do you set yourself and the dogs up to succeed? How do you define your own success and that of your kennel?
I believe with an open mind and a closed mouth we can all learn a lot from each other and many different trainers. I could really delve into the training subject for hours and hours. Every dog is different, but with the proper timing of rewards or corrections, a good attitude, and plenty patience – I believe every dog and handler can achieve a level of greatness and reward!
What’s your training process like?
Our development and training philosophy is derived from many different mentors and trainers that I really respect or have studied. Robert Cabral is a world-renowned dog trainer from California that I really respect. His philosophy, methods of training, and especially his philosophy of dog psychology. For hunting dog training, I take inspiration from many different trainers and mentors – from George Hickox to the guys at the local NAVHDA chapters and everyone in between.
What do you think defines your approach compared to everyone else?
We live in a world that is drowning in information, but starving for wisdom.
You can google anything and find a million different answers or ways of doing any particular thing. The question we need to ask ourselves first is:
“Why is my dog doing this particular thing?” instead of jumping straight to the “how do I get my dog to quit doing this particular thing?”
Foundation is critical for development!
You can start casting, handling, and steadiness work with any dog at any time, but without the basics and the foundation – you may just confuse your dog. This will ultimately end up in more force and a lot more time in the long run than you would if you had a solid foundation to positively teach and build on.
I could really delve into this for hours and days on end with my opinions and philosophy, but what it boils down to is just keep it fun. Be patient and always strive for a relationship of trust and respect with your dog.
During the hunting season – what is guiding like for you? How many hunts and trips do you guide a year?
Hunting season is what we live, breath, and train for all year-long! We guide or hunt with 100 or more hunters each year and love every second of it. It isn’t all glory and it is pretty embarrassing for me when my dogs make mistakes or don’t perform well on a given day, but at the end of the day it’s always worth it.
I’m always a little nervous having strangers shoot over my dogs and each other for that matter, but normally everyone is safe and respectful. We go out and have a great time!
Guiding wild game hunts of any kind gets frustrating at times when it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, but hey it’s called “hunting” for a reason.
I love sharing fields and getting to know other people. The chance to watch different breeds and types of dogs do what they were bred to do is always fun. The rush of flushing wild bobwhites and decoying mallards or specklebellies in the same day is just un-beatable!
What are some of the things you look forward to every year?
We are anxiously awaiting the season opener and teal season, which is my personal favorite hunting experience!
The dogs and I can feel the crisp air moving in. The sights and smells of fall will soon be upon us. I am really excited to meet all of the new people who are coming out this year, finish up some hunt tests, and get into the fields or the blind! With the quail numbers up over 250% from last year, the good rains, and food this season will be one for the record books here in central Kansas!
If you find yourself out this direction, give me a shout! I would love to talk and toast to the good days, bad days, and the love of good dogs and the great outdoors. Shoot straight and God bless! #thisisNLK
Thanks for taking the time for this interview, JC!
Be sure to follow him on Instagram and check out No Limits Kennels.
The air was dry and hot as I pulled off of onto a dirt road leading towards a cabin in the distance. I had stopped to survey a herd of cattle grazing alongside the doves roosting above the fence line. The sun was setting and had seemingly brought a magical stillness over everything out in front of me. I drew in a big deep breath and smiled – this was Kansas.
It had been over 30 hours of traveling before I reached where I was supposed to be the day prior. Long flight delays, two cancelled flights, and a missed connection (not to mention the lost luggage with my gimbal stabilizer in it) caused a big delay in my weekend plans of photographing the working dogs and owner, JC Bosch of No Limits Kennels out in Heizer, Kansas.
The original plan was to fly into Wichita, Kansas and then drive 1.5 hours to meet JC and the dogs at his cabin near the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Hudson. We were to get 2 full days of shooting before I had to leave Sunday afternoon. However, the world proved otherwise and only graced me with the morning of my departure to get into the field with the dogs. Despite the time constraint, JC and I were determined to make the best of the time I would have that morning.
With a variety of different dogs in different stages of their training, I was provided with multiple opportunities to see these high-performing dogs work. From started dogs all the way to highly polished and seasoned veterans – JC showed me that these dogs truly have no limit to their capabilities and potential in the field.
I’m quite sure that this will not be the last time I find myself in Kansas, as I am already planning my return for the fall for the hunting season. In the meantime, check out some of the photographs from the shoot below.
Andy and his little brother, Quy, grew up fishing any waters they could get their feet into – regardless of if it held fish or not. The act of fishing, to them,has always been a sacred ritual since they were children. As they spent more and more time with each other on the water, they realized that fishing was more about the bonds, memories, and relationships that you form – catching fish was just the by-product. Two decades later, the same still remains true, as fishing holds a special place in their lives and hearts. As they grew up, they learned through each other, that special bonds are forged on those waters – and those bonds do not grow old with age.
Many of hunters that we find afield today have been hunting since they were toddlers. Toting a Daisy BB in the old forest or trying their hand at traditional archery.Usually, these activities are introduced and ingrained under the supervision of their elders. An aging grandparent with years of wisdom or a loving father or mother nearby to nurture the lessons of sportsmanship.
However, there are the few hunters who were less fortunate and got into hunting much later in life.
It seems that an increasing amount of outdoor folk have been taking the field eager to learn the ropes and immerse themselves in this world. So what are these men and women supposed to do without the direct guidance of a relative or mentor? How does one get started in this rather intimidating world of guns, rods, reels, and sporting dog jargon? What are the etiquettes? or the “Do” and “Don’t do” things that one is supposed to learn?
I remember my first day afield as an early twenties bow hunter, fresh out of college with a degree and education that would do absolutely nothing for me in the woods. I had gotten my hands on a brand spanking’ new PSE compound bow and found myself on an old deer stand in the middle of a suburban neighborhood in Maryland dotted with McMansions.
I had gone out on my first hunting experience on opening day of Whitetail deer in Montgomery County, Maryland. Armed with my new bow, cheap arrows, and a drab green mil-pack full of useless items like a giant bowie knife, two gallons of water, and if I can remember correctly – some awesome new mixed and matched camo from Bass Pro Shops. I was sure to “catch” a deer! I shot and harvested my first 6 point buck that morning and I’ve been hooked ever since. A lot of Youtube videos later and a bloody shed – we had our first freezer full of venison. Looking back on it, I realized I made a lot of mistakes that day, but I also learned tremendously within those first few hours.
Needless to say, here are a few things I’ve learned to do and not to do since that embarrassing day thanks to individuals that were willing to take me under their wing and teach me their ways.
Things You Should Do:
- Find yourself a mentor
- Register for and attend a hunter’s safety course
- Learn the hunting, fishing, and firearm regulations of your local, state, and federal jurisdictions – ignorance of the law is never an excuse!
- Be ready to learn and stay humble
- Respect the quarry and the land which you recreate on
- Know what is ethical and what is not ethical
- Practice and be proficient enough with your weapon BEFORE you take the field
- Research and learn about the animal you will be hunting
- Make friends and stay out of trouble
- Volunteer and give back
Things You Don’t Do:
- Be arrogant or naive
- Show disrespect or disregard for wildlife, people, and property
- Trespassing or poaching
- Waste anything that you harvest
- Post anything on social media that would harm the image of the hunting and fishing communities (This subject will and deserves an entire post to itself!)
- Make an unethical shot or action that would maim or intentionally cause suffering to an animal
- Take the life of an animal for the pure enjoyment of killing it – the joy of hunting does not come simply from killing
There are many things that could be added to this list, but then again – these things can be completely up to your personal opinions. Regardless, I feel that every hunter that takes the field should have, up to a certain extent, high regard for life and the environment in which he or she steps foot on.
What do you think? What do you wish you would have learned earlier in your hunting career? Any advice you’d like to impart on others?
Let us know by emailing us at email@example.com!