Chattanooga hunters share stories about their bird dogs, tips on choosing a breed and what they’re doing to keep the sport alive

Staff photos by Olivia Ross / Bolivar Axl Lemondrop Fluffy — or “Bo” for short — poses with owner James Johnson.

James Johnson doesn't hunt.

"My dog hunts. I just shoot," the Chattanooga sportsman says of his German shorthaired pointer, Bolivar Axl Lemondrop Fluffy -- "Bo" for short.

Bo is a bird dog, also known as a gundog, which is specially trained to find, flush or retrieve game birds in the field. It's common for registered hunting dogs like Bo to have long names, a practice that helps separate them from the pack, so to speak.

"When I got him [three years ago], I let each of my granddaughters give him a name," Johnson says. "The 8-year-old chose 'Axl' because she loves rock music; the 6-year-old chose 'Lemondrop' because she loves Harry Potter. The 4-year-old took it the most seriously. She prayed about it for days before choosing 'Fluffy.'"

Johnson chose Bolivar after the Cuban cigar.