Dogmen, Presented by onX Hunt, Delves Into the Culture of the Quail Dog Handler

“Dogs make us as men…. More human.” —  Durrell Smith, host, The GunDog Notebook.

Dogmen, the latest short film presented by onX Hunt, focuses on the southern culture of the quail dog and the men who train, run, and love these dogs. Now streaming on the onX Hunt Website and YouTube, the film is more than a breakdown of quail hunters and their dogs, it’s a look at the culture of the dogman, a title bestowed on the best of the best of the handlers.

Led by Durrell Smith, the host of the Gun Dog Notebook podcast, Dogmen looks at the culture of the dogman and how it went from a utilitarian role on the pre-Civil War plantation to a means of earning a living and surviving during reconstruction to a tight-knit brotherhood of dogmen and landowners throughout the South today.

In a part of the country that has historically been at the epicenter of race issues, Dogmen shares a peek into a culture where the woods, the shotgun and, most importantly, the dog makes everyone equal.

As Smith explains, in the post-war South it was critical for a newly freed slave to have a good bird dog, as that meant a source of income as a guide. It also meant that, with access to public land, a way to provide sustenance for the family. As a staunch supporter of land access, this part of the dogmen history resonates deeply at onX.

onX believes that everyone should have access to nature, and that when people feel connected to the land, they are more likely to protect it. Publicly accessible land plays a critical role in equalizing everyone’s access to outdoor recreation, and that’s why they’ve made a commitment to help protect public access to the outdoor recreation that exists, and advocate for more access, for everyone. We see that play out in the history of and the future of dogmen.

Watch Dogmen and learn more here.


Molly Stoecklein

Growing up in the east, Molly’s first claim to fame was a 1998 New York State Ski Ballet Championship title. Since, she’s never lived far from the mountains and now calls Bozeman home. When she’s not heading up PR and Communications for onX, she’s out exploring on skis or bike, or with fly rod in hand.