‘Dogmen’ Celebrates Brotherhood, Tradition of Southern Dog Handlers

This short film from onX Hunt focuses on the beauty of what it means to be a traditional dog handler in the American South.

If you’re into hunting dogs at all, you’re likely familiar with Durrell Smith of the Sporting Dog Notebook, also known as the Gun Dog Notebook.

The cameras turn toward Smith in this short mini-doc from onX Hunt. And Smith takes the audience through what it means to be a dogman, from the historic perspective of Black people in the South as well as the current ways in which the tradition is carried forward.

Spectacularly thoughtful and beautiful, the film follows a group of hunting dog trainers and enthusiasts through hunting in Georgia’s red clay forests. Lithe English pointers, horses, and humans fill the screen with energy, intention, and movement through these wild spaces.

And along the way, Smith and friends ponder what it means to be a dogman, and how one might end up getting there after all is said and done.

At 19 minutes, it’s the perfect break from the workday.

Runtime: 19 minutes

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Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.

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