2014 Inductee – Phoenix
Owner/Handler: Jamie Gunn
527 Champion Points
Legendary Status Champion
4 Super Major Championships
Getting a new puppy and especially the pick of the litter is always an exciting time for any family. In addition, every upland hunter has their rockstar dog and for the Jamie Gunn family that was their yellow lab, Phoenix, nicknamed “Nix” who was born out of their very own Reno and dear friend, Bob Bull’s black lab, Pistol.
From the very beginning Nix was a family dog. He loved spending his time with Jamie & Andrea as well as the kids, Cody, Faith, and Jordan. While he enjoyed spending time with the family at home, he preferred spending time with family in the field hunting. This meant countless hours of guiding hunts at Big Rock as well as Jamie and his son Cody enjoying their mutual hobby, tournament hunting in competition circuits such as NATHA, Wisconsin Series, and the BDC.
Not only was Phoenix a great family dog for the Gunn’s, but he had a profound desire to please and to hunt. He never disappointed. He hunted with his nose in the wind, he was fast, and he ran a field thoroughly leaving nothing unturned. His only bad habit, being a solid pointing lab competing in the flushing division, was that many times Phoenix would not put the bird in the air when Jamie needed him to. In fact, at times you would see Jamie pick Phoenix up and give him a gentle toss onto the bird so that Phoenix would get credit for the flush.
There are two stories about Phoenix that were shared. The first came from family friend, Bob Bull. Bob shared with me how Nix was the only dog that he had ever known that could be standing flat-footed on the floor, and if you slap the bartop, Phoenix would jump up and land on all 4s in that very spot. The second memory comes from Jamie. He and Phoenix were competing and leading the field in the finals at the National Championships. Jamie shot the final bird and everyone spectating on top of the hill started cheering and screaming, “NIX!!” The screaming scared Phoenix so much that he dropped the MONEY bird on the retrieve. Thankfully they had that lead and Jamie and his hunting buddy went on to win the National title by four minutes.
Although Phoenix had limited opportunities to compete, one thing is for sure, before Cody passed away in August 2010, he and Jamie created many memories hunting with Phoenix, and Phoenix made the best of every opportunity he got to be in the field chasing game. In December, the family put Phoenix to rest at the age of 12. There is no doubt that he and Cody are hunting God’s country together again. Today, Phoenix enters the BDC Hall of Fame with 527 Champion Points, 4 Super Major wins, and a legend in the game who will forever be remembered.
Written by: Carla Haglund-Turnquist