"HUNTING WITH HANK.
. Side by Side in the Uplands"
This book chronicles the six-season adventures Dez Young shared with his
Llewellin setter, Hank, during the taping of 67 television episodes of
"Hunting with Hank" for the Outdoor Life Network. A celebration of Hank, it
offers readers a behind the scenes look at what went into the show and Dez's
life with Hank.
It gives each reader great insight into Dez thoughts and intentions behind
the formation of this wonderful adventure. We, as viewers have all been
blessed to share wonderful vistas with he and Hank for almost a full decade.
Country that is commonplace to me is fascinating to others as well as your
countryside is to me. His new adventures with Dash and friends promise us
much more to come.
Both Hank and Dash have taught Dez a lot over the years. I think it is
great the way Dez incorporates safety, sportsmanship and every day bird
hunting tips and information in such a down to earth manner. Dez has always
impressed me with his friendliness and his ability to never make a person
feel inferior. Dez truly exemplifies the meaning of the gentleman.
The shows and book also illustrate the totally natural bird finding
abilities of Hank. It also illustrates how Hank retained the knowledge
gained from each experience in the field such as learning to circle and cut
off the birds between himself and Dez. Things like this cannot be taught
but is a part of the Llewellins inborn ability.
In the book, "HUNTING WITH HANK" Dez states,
"I had stated many times on our shows, and in personal appearances,
that I was not a professional trainer. Nevertheless, people were
attributing qualities in Hank's performance that I knew would be argued by
the real "pros" among dog trainers.
For instance, I never trained Hank to hold steady to wing and shot.
Most professional trainers of pointing dogs want that extra quality in a
"finished" bird dog. But in the West, where I grew up hunting, I knew that
wounded pheasants, chukars and other upland birds would run the instant they
touched ground. I wanted Hank moving as soon as birds flushed just in case
he had to run down a wing-tipped bird.
I never trained Hank to hold his point regardless of whether a bird
moved on him. Instead, I greatly appreciated how he could reposition
himself by my command (or on his own), when birds moved away from his point.
Although that skill of his had given me many opportunities on birds that
would otherwise have escaped, it was frowned upon by most professional
I never trained Hank to finish a retrieve by coming to my side and
sitting down to present me with the bird. I felt that was mostly for show.
I just wanted the bird brought to hand, which Hank proudly did for his
entire hunting life.
I did train Hank well enough to perform well enough to make every
trip into the field an enjoyable one. As a consequence, I never once said
anything about Hank's performance on camera that would indicate I felt he
was as good as or better than any field trial champion that ever pointed a
bird. But on show No. 6 of the fifth season, I said, "Hank certainly isn't
the best bird dog in the world, but he's the best birddog in my world."
When that show aired months later, I began hearing from viewers who felt the
same way about their bird dogs. Apparently, those works had struck a chord
that reverberated through the heartstrings of proud bird dog owners
everywhere. I've heard that phrase parroted back to me many, many times
over the last several years, and I always enjoy seeing the pride people have
in their own dogs."
That last sentence illustrates completely the ability Dez has to make each
individual feel as important as his own 'celebrity' status. The point is
that Dez IS as nice as he 'appears' to be, he does not have to 'put on his
show persona'. He treats the farmer and the banker with the same friendly
attitude ... the third generation foothunting bird hunter & his pickup truck
gains the same respect as the southern plantation owner or Texas oil man
with both the space and the sophisticated equipment that is commonplace to
I think the great success of the show has always been that it centers around
the dog and his ability and does not rely on a big name celebrity in order
to entice viewers to watch. Hanks fans include the entire family; men,
women and children. I hear all the time things like, "My kids sing along
with the songs" and "My Llewellin comes on the run when he hears the first
bars of the opening song and is impatient for the commercials to be over
How many times have we heard Dez say, "This book works to capture a
deeply-held philosophy: Long before the beginning of this century, and right
up through the great outdoor authors of our time, hunting the uplands was
always written about with great passion. The stories weren't about the
number of birds taken. They were about good companions, beautiful scenery
and, of course, great bird dogs. "Hunting with Hank" strives to follow that
Lavishly illustrated with photographs and art, the book will be available in
both limited and trade editions.
Alfred O. King, Sr.
Hunting With Hank Star Passes
A special note from Dez
the early morning hours of August 2nd, Hank passed away in his sleep. Yes,
it was quite unexpected. He seemed uncomfortable this weekend, and reluctant
to do much, but otherwise was his usual loving self. But, last night, August
1st, he began to struggle more as the evening went on. It was a warm, beautiful
night, so Karenanne and I decided to keep him company outside until I could
get him to our veterinarian in the morning. We took a couple of sleeping
bags out to our lounge chairs and placed a mat next to me so Hank could
lay down. Sometime during the evening, he walked up into our yard to his
favorite place for taking naps, lay down and peacefully drifted off.
am comforted knowing that Hank's thousands of fans across the country will
miss him. His memory will live on in the 67 episodes of HUNTING WITH HANK,
which he starred in through our 6 seasons of bringing his shows to The
Outdoor Life Network. Even though he was never a field trial dog, and as
a consequence, never a "champion", his fame earned him a place in the National
Bird Dog Museum where his portrait now hangs. He deserved that honor, because
as I've said many times before: Hank wasn't the best bird dog in the world,
but he was the best bird dog in my world.
the past years, many of you have taken the time to write to me when you've
lost your favorite four-legged hunting companion. I've been touched by
your sadness in your loss and have been moved by the stories you've told
me. Just the fact that you would write to me at such a time was extremely
heartwarming to me. Now it's my turn and I'm struggling with what to tell
you probably have friends of yours who are Hank's fans as well. Would you
please be kind enough to pass the news on? Not all of his fans will see
this newsletter, and I will be unable to contact all of them to let them
know of Hank's passing.
Al King (Hank's breeder) and I will be making plans for a fitting memorial
to Hank. I'll probably have some information on that for you by next month.
Hank's behalf...thank you for loving him as Karenanne and I did.
The following notes were sent from Alfred &
Drenda to Dez & Karenanne.
|Dez & Karenanne,
Drenda and I join a great number of people who
also share your grief. I hope it helps to know how many lives Hank
and you have touched and made for a pleasurable Saturday morning appointment
over the years.
The 67 episodes filmed at varied locations across
the United States on every type of game bird have done more than anything
else has; in promoting the fellowship of foothunting birddogs and the man
or woman each of these wonderful dogs owns.
Looking back at recent looses of our own, we understand
the depth of your loss. Since we have moved to the farm we have lost
several. First Ringo unexpectedly then we lost Girard who had been
suffering from an unknown back injury for some time. The last two
were Ashly, Hank’s dad at the age of 15 and more recently Bomber at the
age of 14. We have discovered that we are able to allow these elderly
dogs free range here on the farm and it seems to allow them extended time.
They will follow our daily steps and seem to always be close by.
It is a comfort to see them enjoying their last days as they range the
field down the hill. Regardless the number of dogs we have; the closeness
and bond we had with each of them is understood with your loss.
I find it extremely difficult to put my thoughts
into words. Please know that we feel the loss for you both.
We also know that few have had the privilege of the fellowship you have
been able to share with Hank over the years. The quite evenings at
home that no one else has shared, the little quirks of personality that
Hank was ever able to communicate to you both. Alfred and I both
understand your loss.
Alfred forwarded this message over to me to complete
and Jack lies on the floor between us waiting for us to go upstairs to
bed. Even baby Jack and our little “Dez” (your namesake, from Hank’s
Ringo and Dash’s mom) are quiet; they and a few toys are all in a pile.
Each is sooo special. Please know that we understand and feel for
you in your loss.
You now have the comfort of Dash. I will
have to remember the same when my Jack is no longer here, for now I try
my best not to think about it, we have just lost so many in 40 years that
I cannot think about it in that way. You have had a blessed amount
of times with Hank. One thing about a Llewellin, it seems that they
are all good times.
Dez, give it time to settle in before making any
final decisions as to the ultimate resting place for Hank’s ashes.
I am sure you will have much input from Hank’s followers.
King Llewellin Kennel
Upland Days with Dash and Dez highlights our newest adventures. Dash is
the son of my famous Llewellin Setter, Hank, from Hunting with Hank . This
first season of shows has us traveling from the wheat fields and deserts
of Washington and Oregon, to the farmlands and rolling oak covered hills
of Northern California. Dash and I, along with some special guests, search
out Pheasant, Chukar, and the fast California Valley Quail. Special features
in our first season include Hank and Dash hunting together for parts of
the first three shows, along with "flashbacks" to watch Dash as a puppy
going through some of the training steps I used. We are sure you will enjoy
The "star" of Outdoor Life's
"Hunting with Hank" show is a Llewellin Setter. Hank's owner and trainer
Dez Young purchased Hank from King Llewellin Setters as an 8 week old pup.
The show's professional production and beatuiful photography make it one
of the most popular sporting shows on the network.
Dez Young, producer and host
of HUNTING WITH HANK has been earning a living in front of audiences for
over 35 years. He began his career as a professional singer at the age
of 19, during the folk music era. He spent most of his earlier professional
career as a performer on stage, nightclubs and television, including hosting
regional programs for network affiliate stations in the Rocky Mountain
region and the Pacific Northwest. While on television in Portland, Oregon,
Dez earned his degree in Speech Communications from Portland State University,
graduating in 1971.
He began his business career
when he left television in the mid-1970's. He was the co-founder and President
of The Creative Company, a full service marketing firm until he developed
and began teaching business presentation skills seminars in 1976. He is
now the President of Young Communications and provides business and media
presentation skills seminars to corporate clients around the United States.
His love of the outdoors
stems from growing up in Eastern Oregon where he learned to fish and hunt
as a young boy. He has trained and hunted with his own bird dogs for the
last 25 years. His bird hunting experiences have taken him from Alaska
to Georgia and he has hunted nearly every species of upland bird! Couple
that with his knowledge of; and professional experience in, television
as well as his academic background and he is uniquely qualified to bring
HUNTING WITH HANK to The Outdoor Life Network.