(Newer articles appear at the bottom of this page).
Virginia turkey hunting dogs"It's puzzling why LA, MS, GA and SC do not have fall seasons. Those states have very high populations of turkeys. The VDGIF turkey biologist told me the average life of a wild turkey is between 2 and 2 1/2 years. Predators, etc., not hunters, are the reason. This being the case, it seems rather dumb not to let the turkey hunters in these states hunt in the fall. I agree that the fall hunters are fading away. In Virginia the fall harvest is declining and it is not the decline of the state flock. There is more money in deer hunting licenses so the game department caters to the deer hunters. We have one week of fall hunting that overlaps a week of deer muzzleloading. I have fought it for two reasons; it is going to get some turkey hunters killed and the muzzleloaders are blasting the hell out of turkeys and leaving them in the woods. I think it will take a couple deaths for the board of the VDGIF to change it. No hunter with a turkey dog, in his right mind, would hunt his dog that week, unless he was on very private property." Nov. 2009 Carson
Missy & Mandy's first fall turkey"Mandy and Missy (one year old sisters) with their first fall turkey harvested by Norma today. They flushed a gang of turkeys and I called the Jake back and Norma bagged it. Missy and Mandy got to pull feathers on this, their first harvest.  For just a year old, they are really doing good. They range good, come back and are doing great in the blind. They are hunting well together. Mandy is very fast; Missy can stay with her even though her right rear leg is shorter due to her birth defect. She is an unbelievable little dog who has no idea that she has a short rear leg. When she runs, you cannot tell that she does. They are wonderful little dogs and I think both are going to make good turkey dogs." Carson. October 27, 2007 Turkey dogs christmas time
We took Missy and Mandy hunting Christmas Eve day 2007. They flushed a gang of turkeys mid morning. In spite of 35 MPH wind, I called back this 14 pound jake after three hours and bagged it. Because of the wind, it never made a call which we suspected would happen. Two sneaked in and I managed to see them before they saw us. Missy and Mandy pulled feathers and did themselves proud. For 14 months old, they're really doing great. For their first season, they had four turkeys harvested over them, two missed shots by hunters and two "no shots" by hunters. Not bad for two rookie turkey dogs. They are becoming good blind dogs and have laid as long as four hours in the blind with us. They're little jewels, we're blessed to have them.
Carson has offered suggestions to stop the decline in Virginia's fall turkey kill.
Rivers Turn Amanda Belle aka Mandywing trainingMandy turkey dog"Norma and Mandy are pleased to announce the following addition to the household: Rivers Turn Melissa Belle - Missy. Sister of Rivers Turn Amanda Belle - Mandy. Date of Birth: October 7, 2007. Mother: Rivers Turn Naughty Girl Belle. Father: Holland Ridge's Jeb Stuart. Arrival date: January 12, 2007"
2 champion boykin pupsMandy's turkey wing training"Missy has a  limp due to a swimmer's leg and we feel she needs a good home with some possibility of also turkey hunting. Carson will work with her on training for turkey hunting like Mandy, realizing that she may not be as durable as Mandy. Mandy decided she wanted a playmate and Norma decided she wanted a Boykin puppy of her own to bond with. This way Norma gets to get up in the middle of the night and take her Boykin puppy out to the bathroom along with Carson and Mandy. With two Boykin puppies in the house at the same time, our home owners deductible may be met within the next few months. First day training with a turkey wing 12/2/06. Mandy is on Norma's right and Missy is in her lap. 1/12/07"
They play; eat puppy ice cream and they rest. In times of uncertainity, they are love and comfort. 7/7/2008
dogs playdogs eat ice creamboykin dogs rest
First hunt of 2007 in Botetourt County proves you don't always have to kill something.
It's nice to just get out and enjoy the day the good Lord gave you. From Mark Taylor for the Roanoke Times
My boykin spaniel Brandy was one of the best turkey dogs in Virginia until she retired after the 2004 season. Brandy has been my constant companion since she was eight weeks old, and is the most intelligent dog I ever encountered. Now she's twelve years old, had hip surgery in 2005, and is retired. She'll have to use the wheels from now on, since her hip joints were removed. This is a small price to pay since she is no longer in pain. She was the first hunting dog we had as a house pet. Now we'd never have it any other way.
Brandy the Boykin SpanielCarson & Brandy's turkeyBrandy on wheelsCarson Quarles and turkey dog Brandy
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Mark Taylor and Carson Quarles Champion Boykin BrandyHunting turkeys with a dog is a greatly misunderstood sport. It takes patience, patience, and patience to train a turkey dog, and hunting with a dog is no guarantee of success. From the training standpoint, a house dog has major advantages. Disciplines such as learning to sit, lay down between my legs, and to be quiet all become habits at an early age in the house. They say every hunter who likes to hunt with a dog, regardless of the game being pursued, is entitled to one good dog during his lifetime. Brandy fulfilled my once in a lifetime expectation of having one good turkey dog. She held her own among all breeds, and her annual turkey harvests compared with the best. People find it difficult to believe this precious, beautiful dog with such a great personality can be such a tenacious hunting dog. And as a pet and companion, Brandy's the greatest dog in the world. Read about Brandy's hunt on the final day of Virginia's 2002 fall turkey season.
Carson's Boykin Spaniel Brandy in the October 2009 NRA magazine.Brandywine of Edisto, born November 23, 1992 died September 21, 2006. We had to let her go today. She was a constant companion and friend for almost 14 years. She leaves many broken hearts and will be laid to rest today in a family cemetery in Botetourt County, where she loved to hunt turkeys. If God has a place in heaven for little dogs, Brandy has earned a spot there. Brandy was featured in the National Rifle Association's American Hunter magazine, in the October 2009 issue (p. 25). Click on picture to enlarge.
Dog For Jesus
I wish someone had given Jesus a dog
As loyal and loving as mine
To sleep by His manger and gaze in His eyes
And adore Him for being divine.
As our Lord grew to manhood His faithful dog
Would have followed Him all through the day
While He preached to the crowds and made the sick well
And knelt in the garden to pray.
It is sad to remember that Christ went away
To face death alone and apart
With no tender dog following close behind
To comfort its Master's Heart.
And when Jesus rose on that Easter morn
How happy He would have been
As His dog kissed His hands and barked its delight
For The One who died for all men.
Well, the Lord has a dog now, I just sent Him mine
the old pal so dear to me
And I smile through my tears on this first day alone
Knowing they're in eternity.
Rudyard Kipling
Carson Quarles training Boykin puppy for turkey huntingtraining a boykin turkey dogA hunt to forget by Carson QuarlesRegret a particular Outdoor WriterBoykin Spaniel Society July 2010 by Carson QuarlesTraining the Boykin as a Turkey Dog by J. Carson Quarles The Boykin Spaniel Society April 2010
Also published 1/7/11 by Mark Taylor in the Roanoke Times
A Memorable Hunt to Forget by J. Carson Quarles
The Boykin Spaniel Society July 2010
Mark Taylor says using a specially trained dog is the best way to hunt turkeys in the fall.
Turkey Hunting with Boykin Spaniels | Training Boykin Spaniel pups | Boykin Spaniels get their turkeys
J. Carson Quarles (540) 563-2659 7323 LaMarre Circle, Roanoke VA 24019
Four term board chairman of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
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