Aaron Phillip Schroder is the primary dog trainer at Pheasant Bonanza and a full time wing shooting and waterfowl guide during the hunting season. Aaron was born here in Burt County and has hunted here in the Loess Hills his whole life, in between traveling the country.
"I've developed a very concentrated program throughout my tenure here at Pheasant Bonanza and while working at Tiger Mountain Pointing Labs in Ellensburg, Washington during the off season. I offer a free evaluation to all prospective training dogs where I introduce a live bird to the pup and properly introduce gunfire. I'm very particular to whom I enroll in my program. I will only enroll candidates that show interest in my initial evaluation- I won't enroll dogs that don't show an interest in the initial evaluation. There have been several candidates in the past that didn't quite meet my criteria. In this case I had kept close contact with the dogs' owners and sent them home with a bit of "homework." Months later these candidates returned and we've enrolled them with great success! I base my reputation on this process. I won't bring a dog into this program unless it's ready (mentally) to learn. Dogs are like people, they mature at different times, each is individually different."
"Birds birds birds! I put tons of birds on my younger dogs for the first month of our training. We work on water retrieves and some collar conditioning, everything you need to get a pup into the field. This training is essential for the more pressured sessions that are to come later for eligible candidates. We do whoa/steady training and conditioned retrieves after the pup has had a good season of birds."
"The foundation of my program is simple: lots of birds. At Pheasant Bonanza we have a full aviary of birds (on the average we have 200 pheasants, 100 chukar, 100 quail, and 500+ pigeons) and I use them daily in my training. We have access to a 1000+ acres of upland, ponds, and marsh here. Your dog will see many hunting scenarios daily. I travel with them daily to these different locations and train."
Aaron's training dogs have won titles in North America, Canada, and have been proven successful in the blind and upland field for the foot hunter.
Follow Aaron in the field on Instagram.
Photo Credit: Jenny Nuygen