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July 14, 2008

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My Dog's Name Is...

Sincere thanks to everyone who suggested a name for my puppy. My wife, sons and I read all 442 entries, voted, re-voted, lobbied, argued, voted some more, and came up with a short list on Saturday. Sunday we found we had turned against Saturday’s names and we had to repeat the whole process. The final short list was:


And the winner is: Jed. It is short, sturdy, easy to yell. It goes well with Ike. I have never known anyone named Jed, so the name is a clean slate for this little dog to work with. And, it gives me an excuse to sing the “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song to the puppy.
Thanks to Scrap 5000, who sent in a very long list of names and trusted one of them to hit the mark. Accuracy is fine for rifle shooters, but we shotgunners know putting lots of pellets in the air is the key to hitting a target.

Levi finished a very close second. Thanks to Fred for the name. My friend Cody McCullough owned a Levi, one of the best of the many good shorthairs I’ve hunted over. I was tempted to name this dog after that Levi but decided ultimately he needed a name of his own. Because of the huge number of entries this contest generated, and because Levi and Jed essentially tied, I will look in my box of knives for a second prize to award to Fred.

To those of you who suggested “Petzal” as a name, Dave is a cat person, and I have made note of your entries. Should there ever be a “name Phil’s cat” contest, you win.

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s suggestions. Some other names never made the short lists but stood out for one reason or another:

Hank, after the hero of John Erickson’s  “Hank the Cowdog” series.  I read a bunch of those books to my younger son as bedtime stories when he was in the second grade. My older son used to listen in even though he was too old for them, and all three of us laughed a lot. It’s a good series to read to young kids. Another good bird dog name from those books is “Plato,” who is the snooty pointer that appears as a minor character.

“Baldur” I like the names from Norse mythology (my wife does too, and lobbied hard for “Loki”). But, given the state of my hairline, I’d have gotten really tired of the “Bald and   Baldur” jokes.

“Sam.” My first shorthair was a “Sam,” a gift dog I should have looked in the mouth. He was a very badly socialized dog who never liked anyone but me. He had such serious “steady to wing” issues he chased a low-flying Cessna for three-quarters of a mile. Equal measures of love and electricity over several years eventually made Sam into a wide-ranging, outstanding pheasant dog. For three seasons he was almost unfair to hunt with, then his health failed.

Again, to all of you, thanks. Scrap, you’re the man. Fred, you’re number two. E-mail your addresses to [email protected] and I’ll get your prizes out to you.


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WA Mtnhunter

Geez, Phil

You mean you guys at F&S elevated a cat person to the lofty perch of firearms guru?

My bubble is burst. LOL

Chad Love

Jed's a good name. My two chessies are named Tess and Lewey. Tess is a good, practical name, but I think I was on crack when I named my male Lewey...

If I recall the inspiration for the "Hank the Cowdog" series was a dog owned by a local rancher out here named Mark Mayo, who cowboyed with John Erickson in Beaver County back when Erickson first started writing.
I've never met Erickson but I did have the chance to meet Mark a few times before he died and he was quite the character.
I plan on reading Hank to my sons as well. I think Erickson is a great writer.


I dinn't respond to your plea, but was going to profer my dog's name JED. Easy to yell, his first initials are GD. He is almost 7 and has not fully traine d me yet, Labs seem to be very patient though.

Buddy Hinton  Sturmgewehr




I too named my dog Samantha, or Sam for short. The baby book I consulted indicated that Samantha meant "she who obeys."



Phil; Thanks for the consideration of all the entries. I almost came back with "Pretzel". It would have made for some interesting Freudian slips.

Discovering that Dave is a "cat person" explains a lot. Thanks for the info.


What a hoot! Dave's a cat person!!!

Glad JED has something to answer to! Congrats to the winners!

Thos. B. Fowler

JED is a good name, for all the reasons stated. Whooperjack and yours truly voted for Petz, for sentimental reasons, but we can now see that it might ought to have been, "Katz", as in Katzenjammer Kids. Oh no...dated myself there.

Thanks for letting a bunch of knarled old shooters participate in the naming of your fine dog. We all wish you fields full of birds and memories.

Tom Fowler


"Equal measures of love and electricity".....AWESOME. Still laughing.


I always knew there was something wrong with Dave...

Pappa Bear

Cat guy, huh? I like that. I always favored "Pete" for a tomcat, after Petronius the Arbiter, the cat hero of Bob Heinlein's "Door into Summer" - my first Heinlein exposure. It takes a self-confident man to like cats. No slavish fealty from them. Just condescension bordering on arrogance. Yep.

Great choice! I like Jed, too. I am curious, though. Does anyone know what "Jed" is short for? If anything?

Bob & Emma

Congrats on a great name for your new friend & hunting partner. I know Jed and Ike will be a joy for you. One of my beagles,Jenny, just had 7 puppies so we may have to borrow some of the unused names.

Pappa Bear

"jed-i-di'-a (yedhidh-yah, "the beloved of Yah (God)"): The name conferred by God through Nathan upon Solomon (David's son by Bathsheba) at his birth (2 Sam 12:25)."


Scott Linden

Okay Phil, now that you're halfway there open your new Cabela's hardbound catalog to the dog section. On page 342, you can buy a set of bushy eyebrows and whiskers so your new pup looks REALLY good ... like mine!


OMG, WHAT??!! I WON??!! I AM HONORED!! I haven't checked his site in a while; was away on my bachelor party, looks like I am twice as blessed!

Wow, really, I am humbled and honored to have played a part in this, thank you...

Mike Rowe

Dear Dave,
My comment is on the article you wrote in the Jan/Feb. issue of FS. The title was the "Ten Best Deer Rifles" In that piece you named the Savage 99 as the best rifle for deer that you had ever laid hands upon. I agree that the Savage 99 is excellent. I am contacting you about my wife's 99--she owns two 99s and I own two 99s as well. Recently she traded her Para .45 ACP for an old 99. According to the serial number on the rifle it was made in 1918-1919. The bluing is gone; case color on the lever is gone. It is a take down model with full, not interrupted, square threads on the barrel. The caliber is .250-3000, my favorite caliber in a 99. We live in Southern California and I'm having difficulty finding a gunsmith that will work on a 99. The barrel is pitted with rust on the inside from breach to muzzle. I found a machinist that will thread a new barrel blank but he knows nothing about chambering or headspace on a barrel. Any suggestions? I want to get this old horse on its feet again so we can hunt antelope and whitetails in Wyoming in the fall.
Please let me know what you recommend.

Duck Creek Dick

As a gunsmith who has done quite a bit of rebarreling, I might give you some suggestions on your Savage 99 project.

1. Don't let your machinist do the threading and then give the rest of the work to someone else. Let a qualified gunsmith do the entire project.
2. The threading and chambering will probably be the easier part of the work. Duplicating the barrel contour, getting the front sight/ramp (?) correct, and getting the detachable forearm fittted correctly will take the most time.
3. If you really plan on using the take-down feature a lot, be prepared for less accuracy than a barrel fitted tight-the way barrels are intended to fit. I would have it done where the forend could be taken off by hand, but you would need rosined blocks and a little force to break it loose from the receiver.

Hope this helps a little. I own three 99's myself, but no takedowns.

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