Trainers Team

RICK SCHMITZ

Rick Schmitz is the owner of a small family owned and operated kennel, Behind the Blinds Labradors LLC, located in Hortonville WI. Rick has been training dogs since 1996 and has been a professional trainer since 2003.  Rick has specialized in upland and gundog training, which lends itself well to his passion for bird hunting and outfitting wingshooter’s.  In recent years he has expanded his training to include shed dog training as well as game recovery/tracking.  Although Rick trains a variety of breeds and styles of dog, he specializes in retrievers, particularly the American style labs.

Rick and Jeremy met several years back at a sport show and their common interests connected them first on a business level but also developed into a friendship.  Rick has been involved with several DogBone handlers workshops and a great ambassador of the DogBone brand.

www.behindtheblindslabs.com

TOM FORMAN

Tom Forman has been chasing waterfowl ever since his father took him on his first duck hunt at the age of six. He killed his first duck (hen ringbill) when he was eight and his first goose at 11. Since that time, he has been infatuated with waterfowl hunting and has spent the majority of his life hunting ducks and geese in northern, IL. Growing up Tom hunted primarily ducks over large bodies of water; however, today he spends the majority of his waterfowl hunting over harvested grain fields and his honey hole (sod farm with a pond).   Tom also enjoys archery hunting for deer, shed hunting with his yellow lab “Drake”, turkey hunting, and musky fishing.

Tom took a strong interest in training his lab at first for waterfowl hunting and later tried his hand at training Drake for sheds. Tom wanted a dual lab that would not only retrieve birds but also to find deer sheds.

Tom was introduced to and connected to Jeremy through dogs, specifically Wildrose dogs. They both own and have trained the English style of lab from Wildrose Kennels and rely on the English style or approach to training. Tom believes in and uses the DogBone line of training products when training for sheds and has been a great ambassador for the ease and effectiveness of their use.

ETHAN AND KAT PIPPITT

At Standing Stone Kennels we believe in developing dogs, and the smaller steps you take the faster your get where your going. DogBone has created a product line that falls right in to our training methodology. We use and recommend DogBone’s products because they make it easy to develop a shed hunting and blood tracking dog while maintain a positive training atmosphere! This also allows dogs to be cross trained to utilize each dogs full potential. We use our German Shorthairs to hunt upland game, waterfowl, sheds, and track deer.

DogBone products make this easy!”

MEGHAN AND CHRIS SMITH

Meghan and Chris Smith live in the small town of Wallace, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They are both passionate about the outdoors and avid hunters. They enjoy hunting and scouting for bear and whitetail deer, kayaking (usually with dogs on board!) and working with their animals and on their farm. Meghan has a background in training horses and is also a Licensed Veterinary Technician.

Chris first met Jeremy at Deerfest in Oshkosh, WI. Chris shared what he learned with Meghan and they both attended one of Jeremy’s talks at Deerfest in 2013. About the same time they also began learning more about the United Blood Trackers organization through a family member who was active in the tracking community. Their first tracking dog was Maize, a yellow lab. She and Meghan became State Certified to recover wounded deer in Michigan and tracked for the public for two years. Together they were able to recover several deer for area hunters and in some cases indicated that the deer was not mortally wounded. Maize also had success as a shed dog and helped Meghan and Chris to cover a lot more ground than they would have on their own. Her first shed season was her most exceptional, together they were able to find 13 sheds- which for the U.P. is pretty good! Meghan and Chris call their tracking service Victory Deer Recovery. Currently they are tracking with their black lab Elly.

Meghan and Chris are looking ahead and planning on adding another pup or two to their pack in the near future. They would like to continue to focus on training for both sheds and game recovery. They would especially like to encourage others to pursue game recovery as there is definitely a need in their area for more dogs and trackers to be available. They already receive more requests to track than they can handle.