with Maverick and Goose
Despite a decade separating 14-year-old Llewellin Setter Maverick and 4-year-old Small Munsterlander Goose, both dogs have been a member of the Bryant household since they were puppies.
“I trained both dogs myself, starting when they were very young,” says Dean Bryant. “Maverick is my third Llewellin Setter. I’ve had the breed going back over 20 years, and I love everything about them.”\
When it comes to Goose, Bryant got him because, like the Llewellin Setter, his breed is a natural pointer and an all-around great hunting dog. Out in the field, this trio is a force to be reckoned with. Maverick, a playful pup at heart, becomes all business, and Bryant notes that he has the best nose of any dog he’s ever owned.
“Maverick’s determination has always been amazing, and that’s what made hunting with him such a joy. He’s technically been retired since 2018, but I haven’t convinced him that he’s too old to go,” jokes Bryant.
Goose is also phenomenal at tracking downed birds and is relentless in his pursuit.
“He is non-stop motion, which is really great in terms of covering ground to search for birds,” explains Bryant. “Goose is still young, though, and I’m not so much anymore. I have to keep that in mind, or I’ll look up and see him cresting the next hill.”
When asked about his favorite memories with his dogs, Bryant recalls two separate trips to North Dakota. During one of the hunts, Maverick locked up on a solid point, and Bryant moved in but was unable to flush anything.
“This went on for 15 minutes, and he was as solid as a statue. My friend was pretty sure there was a bird in there, but I wasn’t sold,” says Bryant. “I finally circled back right beside Maverick and dragged my feet inch by inch along the line he was pointing, and eventually, a huge pheasant flew right in front of me. I never doubted Maverick’s pointing again.”
On another trip to North Dakota, when Goose was just 7 months old and on his first big hunting trip, Bryant’s friend dropped a bird that he expected to be an easy retrieve.
“We took Goose to the spot but found nothing. After expanding the search area and being joined by two other dogs, Goose suddenly took off in the direction we just came from,” says Bryant. “The bird had doubled back, right between my friend and me. Goose raced through the wind break and down to the edge of a creek, where I heard a brief ruckus and a splash. The sight of that little pup coming out through the grass with that big rooster in his mouth still makes me smile.”