Middle River, Maryland
While his family has always had gun dogs, Paul Stumpf was never in charge of the training. At least not until he acquired Hank, a chocolate Labrador retriever, a little more than a year ago. "This was the first dog I trained from scratch," Stumpf says. "My father and grandfather had always done the training. I wanted to train Hank on my own."
At age 10 months, Hank was officially introduced to waterfowl hunting in a marsh along the aptly named Bird River. The outing turned out to be one for the books. "It was opening day and his first-ever hunt," Stumpf says. "That drake wood duck was the second duck he retrieved—the first was a banded mallard. That made the day really special."
Stumpf hunts off and on from October through January. His camera is always close at hand. "I have always taken pictures while hunting, including photos of other people's dogs. They've been surprised how well they turn out," Stumpf says. "When people invite me to go hunting with them, they always tell me to bring along my camera."
To view an extensive collection of honorable mentions in our photo contest, visit ducks.org/photocontest2013