- GUNS: The appeal of a short barrel over/under. Equipped with a 12 gauge CZ Reaper Magnum at his side, Bruce says he loves the "turkey gun" and talks more about the specs that make it his go to waterfowl gun. Plus, he talks about the simplicity of an over/under that makes it great for foul weather situations. If an over/under or pump get dropped in the water or gets wet, you can cycle them a few times, dry them out fairly quickly and keep hunting. With a semi-auto, your day in the field is over.
- WEATHER: Conditions in northern states like Michigan are deteriorating as the season is coming to an end. The later it gets the better it gets, he says. With rough weather and a ton of birds in Michigan, it's good news for hunters further south.
- DECOY SPREADS: Adjusting your spread to the time of the season. Bruce describes what his spread looks like early in the season and how it changes once migrators move in. He also talks about leaving holes in your spread to welcome incoming birds and how wind direction/speed will impact which holes they hit. Bruce also discusses different techniques used by midwestern waterfowlers and the donut hole spreads they employ.
- BIRD DOGS: Chessies vs British Labs. For more than 40 years, Bruce had Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. However, in the last several years he switched directions and got a British Lab. Bruce says all of his Chessies were large dogs, most over 100 pounds. In contrast, British Labs tend to tip the scales at around 70 pounds at the very heaviest. Bruce's dog, Joey, weighs in at just 60 pounds and his small size helps him fit just about anywhere. He may not be as powerful of a swimmer as a Chessie or even an American Lab, but on the ground he is dynamite, Bruce says.
- DOG TRAINING: What does it take to start a bird dog and keep them conditioned season after season? Bruce says a lot of training goes into the making of a great bird dog. For his dog Joey, the offseason is all about staying in shape, throwing a lot of dummies and giving him a lot of lines. During the season, he and his dog spend 80 days afield. With that many days afield each year, he says his dogs have the opportunity to get really good at what they do. At 6 years old, Joey has over 3,000 birds under his belt.