with Ally, Pippa, Beau, Jackie, Pippy Sue, & Ginger
Bart and his father, Bart, Sr., are avid hunters. For as long as Bart can remember, hunting dogs have been a part of the family. In fact, the Brannons have maintained an illustrious breed line from the famous Grand National Champion English pointer, Snakefoot. “We’ve maintained his bloodline through the males,” Bart explains. “And for as long as I can remember, my family has always had at least two pointers at a time. But I really have enjoyed our setters. They’re just a little bit more compliant when hunting, and they typically make better pets.”
Bart’s oldest dog, Ally, is a red setter. She’s 10 years old and was professionally trained. Bart adds, “She’s also one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet. When my grandmother had dementia, we let Ally go and live with her so she’d have a companion.”
“Our two oldest dogs are so sweet– they’ve really been more like caregivers and companions in our family.”
Then there is Pippa, a 9-year-old English pointer whom they rescued on a hunting trip. “She had been lost in the field by other hunters and ended up at a groomer in Dade County. We were some of the last bird hunters in the area, so we got a
call about her and brought her home,” Bart explains. She’s the mother of the other four pointers, Beau, Jackie, Pippy Sue, and Ginger, who are all 3 years old.
“Dad and I like to go on hunting trips at least twice a year, and we try to only take four dogs at a time,” Bart shares. “Pippa stays home a lot since she’s the mom, and she’s a little older. Ally goes all the time; she’s one of the best hunters and has more training. But she’s reaching the peak of her age, so I imagine half-day hunts are about all she’ll do now.”
With the younger group of pointers, Bart says training is fairly easy: “It’s very instinctual. They’ll point bumblebees, butterflies, and paper blowing in the yard as puppies. So you really just have to teach them to identify smell.” Bart trained his group with young birdlings and socks stuffed with feathers, and he looks forward to all the growing pains of busting coveys as they each develop their own skills. “Pippy Sue is all hunt. She just wants in the field and hunts so hard. I can tell she’s going to be a great hunting dog.”