Scott Walsh, a third generation union member (IAFF Local 1561), from Eastpointe, MI, grew up hunting small game and deer. But in 2010, when Walsh and his family decided to take a risk and adopt a rescued bird dog, everything changed.
Walsh had always wanted a hunting dog but as a household of two public servants, a toddler and a teenager, he and his wife Marta, a Detroit ER nurse, couldn’t rationalize the cost of purchasing one. When Marta stumbled across a German Wirehaired Pointer, who had been abused and pulled from a kill shelter, she knew it would take some hard work but that bringing Houdini into their family was worth the risk.
“Houdini actually got our whole family into hunting. My brother-in-law, my nephews, both me and my wife…even my sister wants to buy a shotgun now,” said Walsh. “It’s just brought everybody together over this dog.”
Now just two years later, Houdini and her brother Hobson, a rescued German Shorthaired Pointer, got to star alongside Walsh during a Michigan pheasant hunt on this season of Brotherhood Outdoors. Thanks to the help of retired UAW member and dog trainer Bill Murdock, Walsh was able to show off both dogs’ new skills to host and former dog trainer, Tom Ackerman.
Hunting on Colonial Farms Hunting Preserve in Chelsea, Michigan, the site offered Walsh and Ackerman 100 acres of diverse terrain including rolling hills, thickets, woodland, swampland and cover crop fields. Joined throughout the weekend by his co-worker Jason Clark as well as his wife, Marta, Walsh decided to run both dogs at the same time on the second day of the hunt.
“It was risky, but they pointed a lot of birds and really made me look good,” said Walsh. “Hopefully their success on the show will help draw attention to the increasing amount of unwanted hunting dogs that are out there for other families like ours.”
When he’s not on the job, rescuing bird dogs or out in the field, Walsh can be found immersed in his community and volunteering with the Eastpointe Good Fellows, Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Ancient Order of Hibernians. A member of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited and the Michigan Duck Hunters Association, Walsh understands the impact that sportsmen and women can have on preserving and protecting North America’s outdoor heritage for future generations.
While there’s no doubt that training the dogs took a lot of time, determination and patience for the Walsh family, in the end, it was Houdini and Hobson who stole the show during their national TV debut. If you watch the episode closely, you might even catch a glimpse of the newest addition to the Walsh pack.
Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel at 8 p.m. (E/P) on Thursday, August 2.
Images courtesy Union Sportsmen's Alliance