HUNTING & COLLECTING YOUR BANDS
Simply follow state game laws and the below guidelines. Once your take meets the criteria for submission, post your hunt and picture in the "The Talk", then submit the proper fees. Once fees have been received, we'll post your entry on the "The Take" and update your dog's Hunt Pedigree.
In a couple of weeks you'll receive your Story Bands engraved with the details of your dog's hunt.
Remember, the goal of My Dog Hunts is for each member to hunt more species, in more states, more often.
STORY BAND COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS
1) Hunter must be legally licensed at the time of the take.
2) Birds known to be of preserve origin are allowed in all Story Band categories as long as that species is listed in that state's wild bird regulations. If the species isn't listed, your dog is still eligible for a Story Band and will show on the dog's "Hunt Pedigree" page, but will not be on "The Take" page.
3) Only fall turkey are allowed to be taken on the ground. All other species must be taken in flight.
4) For single species recognition, a fall turkey taken without assistance from your dog, must be taken in addition to any eligible game bird. For example a fall turkey and a ruffed grouse or a fall turkey and a quail, etc.
5) There is no "State Daily Bag Limit" Story Band for turkey. Many states allow more than one fall turkey per day, however, in my experience shooting a second fall turkey in the same day is as simple as just pulling the trigger. Most fall turkey are taken from a flock and there always seems to be at least one turkey that hangs around just begging to be shot. A bag limit band is expected to be more of an accomplishment than two fall turkey in the same day represent. Save that second tag for combination limit or multiple species in the same day Bands.
6) A fall turkey is considered a state daily bag limit, and eligible in a dual limit hunt, when taken with a state daily bag limit of any other eligible birds.
7) It's not necessary for every bird of a limit to be pointed, flushed, or retrieved by the registered dog. These are your bands so define your own personal parameters.
8) If a state daily bag limit is being registered on a hunt with more than one dog on the ground, only one dog can be credited with the entire take. If a daily bag limit is not being registered and as owner you determine sufficient individual handling of some of the birds was exhibited, you may award your dogs as you choose.
9) Your entry must include a photograph of the registered dog with the bird(s) taken.
10) Any member found to have violated any of these requirements will be banned from My Dog Hunts and all postings will be deleted.
About Photographic Support: Contrary to my practice, all members must post pictures of their dogs and birds as a requirement for receiving a Story Band. The reason is two-fold: 1) Verification of the take and 2) We require a picture for your Story Band Badge on "The Take" page. As a fellow hunter, I understand that on some days it's just too impractical to take hunt photos. (I have a rather large list of dual limits that I've taken without photo support and I practically never take pictures of single birds.) Post hunt date, "staged" photos are acceptable as long as the appropriate birds and eligible dog are included. It's even permissible if the photo post dates the take by years, as many of mine will.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. Do preserve birds count the same as wild birds?
A. Birds known to be of preserve origin are eligible for all Story Band listings if taken in a state with a wild bird season for that species. If the state of take does not have a wild bird season for the particular species your dog is still eligible for a Story Band and the award will be listed on the dog's History page but will not appear on "The Take".
This position shows due respect for the hunter of wild birds and yet provides an opportunity for hunters with little to no access to truly wild birds an opportunity to commemorate the achievement available to the dog.
2. If I shoot a state daily bag limit of a species on my first day hunting that species can I count the take as 1st of Species and State Daily Limit?
3. If I shoot a state daily bag limit can I get that band without getting the "1st of Species" band?
A. Yes, but with an exception. You may skip the "1st of State" bands, or any bands for that matter, but that dog will not be eligible to receive any free bands associated with that species and state if they haven't recorded all bands in the series. In simpler terms, My Dog Hunts can not give away free bands without requiring the purchase of some bands.
4. Do "Free Bands" count the same as paid bands?
5. Can my enrolled dog be banded for birds taken prior to membership in My Dog Hunts?
A. Yes, we refer to these as "Recall Bands". Recognizing that many members have aged dogs with accomplishments that may not be reproduced, we will award Recall Bands at $35 per pair. These Recall Bands are identical to our regular Story Bands and will receive a Badge on "The Take" and posting on your dog's "Hunt Pedigree" pages.
* All Recall Bands must be submitted for approval within 30 days of the enrollment of each dog.
* Payment for the listed Recall Bands must be received within 1 year of enrollment.
* You may pay and receive any number of approved bands at any time in the 12 month period. (Leave hints around the house as all Story Bands make excellent Father's Day and stocking-stuffer gifts!)
* Requests that have not been paid within the 12 month period will be voided.
* Remembrance Bands for Active Dogs will be listed on all pages as regular Story Bands.
* Any photo of the registered dog with the represented bird(s) will be accepted.
6. Can I receive Story Bands for a dog that has passed?
A. Yes. These are Remembrance Bands. Remembrance Bands for a dog that has passed are sold singly at a significant discount at $16 each or $25 per pair. (We minimize this fee because we believe your dog's deserve the recognition that wasn't available for them when they were alive.) Again, reduced fee Remembrance Bands do not count toward free bands.
7. Can my dog earn identical repeat bands?
A. Yes, but it's difficult. We discourage members from "camping" on birds for the sole purpose of accumulating Story Bands. Remember, the mission statement of My Dog Hunts and Story Bands is to encourage hunters to hunt:
"More Species - More States - More Often"
In keeping with this position, My Dog Hunts will only allow identical repeat bands for exceptional accomplishments
such as multiple species, and dual limit hunts. Even then, each dog is allowed only one identical Story Band in any season/year. All repeat bands are for the normal fee.
8. Please explain the "Hunt Pedigree" and "Remembrance" pages.
A. Think of the Hunt Pedigree page as a chronological, hunting pedigree for each dog. By clicking the prompt arrow on each "The Take" entry, the viewer will visit a chronological listing of all the Story Bands that dog has received.
Remembrance Pages: We have a category of Remembrance Bands for dogs that have passed. Active dog Story Bands are listed on all applicable pages, while Story Bands for dogs that have passed are found only on the Remembrance Band story page.
9. Are there shipping and handling charges for Story Bands?
A. No. All Story Band prices include shipping to your door. Even free bands are totally FREE!
(Residents of Iowa will be responsible for state sales taxes.)
10. Why do you include so many migratory birds in categories?
A. Many eastern hunters are so geographically isolated from even the prairie species let alone western/mountain opportunities, that through no fault of their own, they would have little opportunity to accumulate Story Bands. Including shore birds and other migrators will allow them the opportunity to award their dog's based on hunting experience rather than location and further encourage the pursuit of more species. Further, if someone can explain the logic for including woodcock and not the fellow migrating upland species, I'd like to hear it.
11. What's the purpose of including dogless hunters?
A. "My Dog Hunts" promotes hunting with bird dogs and engaging more interest in both upland bird hunting and dog ownership. Encouraging dogless hunters to participate in discussion and accomplishment with dog owners, will hopefully influence the purchase of bird dogs. And successfully hunting upland birds without a dog requires skill sets and knowledge, that when shared within this organization, could certainly benefit experienced dog owning hunters.