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English setter Lars frantically runs through the woods, constantly sniffing for signs of game, above. Earl Johnson considers his dogs athletes, and won?t let them get fat. His ideal size is a female 40-45 pounds and a male 45-50 pounds. His dogs are bred from a line of horseback hunting dogs from the south, which instinctively have the quality of looking for game a mile or more away from their hunter but never losing track of him. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Huntin' dog

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A cowbell clangs wildly as the dog frantically scours the woods for game. Then suddenly, the woods fall silent. His sensitive snout is onto something.


The English setter, named Lars, stands perfectly still, nose pointed at the bird a few feet in front of him on the ground. In a flurry of beating wings, Earl Johnson flushes the woodcock and takes the shot. A miss.

"That's why they call it hunting and not shooting," he says.

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