Intelligent Little Gundog Puppies and a Popular Boykin Poster
The Gundog puppies sniffed at the bird on the ground. They were only five weeks old and had never seen a bird. Amazingly, one of the puppies picked the bird up gently in his mouth and started in the direction of the owner. It was no accident that the puppy knew what to do. Their lineage put the instructions in their DNA. I took pictures of the puppies at Pocotaligo Kennel, courtesy of the Gundog breeder and trainer, Kim Parkman. She had three litters of puppies, English Cocker and Boykin spaniels.
When I saw a framed copy of S.C. Wildlife Magazine’s wildly popular Boykin spaniel poster inside Kim’s workshop, I wanted to know the story.
The story behind the Boykins in the Yellow Pick-up Truck
Kim Parkman had five generations of Boykin spaniels with direct pedigreed ancestry. She and wildlife photographer Phillip Jones wanted to get pictures of the Gundogs together in Boykin, S.C., the state dog’s home of origin. Getting photos of the Boykins together proved difficult. After failing to get the dogs to sit still together, Kim and Phillip decided they needed a prop to corral them.
Kim remembered an old yellow pick-up truck not far away. They corralled the Boykins in the back of the truck, and the rest is gun dog photo history.
How I got there.
A quest to photograph Gundogs across South Carolina led me to Field Trials at Sweetgrass, a beautiful location in Kershaw County. I met Kim Parkman while photographing English Cocker and Boykin spaniels that day. Kim has years of experience in the Gundog business, and fortunately, she was willing to share her knowledge and her dogs for photos. She released some of her beautiful Boykins in the adjacent field to get the pictures. Before we parted, Kim told me that she had three litters of puppies on the way.
A few months later, I visited Kim at Pocotaligo Kennel. After a morning of shooting puppy pictures, Kim invited my husband Eddie and me to lunch at what she called a “hole in the wall restaurant with great burgers.” Susan Olson joined us too. She and Eddie helped manage the puppies during the photoshoot. The burgers were delicious, and with a jukebox blaring in the background, we learned about the famous Boykin spaniel poster hanging in Kim’s workshop.
“It would have been in either 1997 or 1998,” Kim said. She wanted pictures of her Boykins together and approached Phillip at the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic. They set a date and got the image. Readers of the S.C. Wildlife Magazine loved it! The magazine made a limited number of posters with Phillip’s signature and gave Kim a copy. Phillip’s signature on Kim’s framed poster is dated August 1999.
Once I heard the story behind the wildly popular Boykin spaniel poster, I wondered if Phillip would join us for the next puppy photo shoot.
Almost 22 years after the famed Gundog photoshoot, Phillip and Kim would reunite, and I would learn a few tricks of the photography trade from the premier photographer. Eddie and Susan helped manage the puppies with the help of Susan’s mother, Ellen Obenberger and Rebecca Hendrick. With twenty puppies out simultaneously, we needed all the help we could get!
As a photographer with many years of experience, Phillip demonstrated a different way of photographing fast-moving puppies.
Rather than taking 500 pictures to get five good ones like me, Phillip anticipated the puppies’ movements and took single shots at just the right time. As soon as he captured the perfect image, he’d yell out loud, “It’s a keeper!” And after three of these, he moved to the next scene. We accomplished the photoshoot at a breakneck pace.
Kim and Phillip in front of the wildly popular Boykin spaniel poster
About Kim Parkman
Kim Parkman grew up riding horses and playing sports in Manning, S.C. She attended Francis Marion University and started the women’s softball team by presenting 100 signatures to the athletic director. She opened Pocotaligo Kennel in 1986 to breed Boykin spaniels, later adding English Cocker spaniels. Kim has trained approximately one thousand dogs and cared for eighty to one hundred litters of puppies. She’s experienced all areas of the Gundog business, teaching, canine interdiction, hunt tests, field trials, and confirmation. Five of her dogs have won confirmation Champion of Record titles.
For more information about Kim Parkman, go to Pocotaligo Kennel.
About Phillip Jones
Phillip Jones is a photographer emeritus for S.C. Wildlife Magazine, with more than 40 years of full-time service. Phillip also retired from the S.C. National Guard with over 43 years of service as a photographer. He served more than four years in the Navy aboard the USS Ponchatoula, with four tours in Vietnam. His photography is featured in “The Ace Basin: A Lowcountry Legacy” by Pete Laurie. Phillip is also an accomplished ventriloquist, polyphonic, and photography instructor.
Go to Phillip Jones, Comedian and Professional Photographer, for more information about his award-willing photography and comedy acts.
See more photos of Gundogs and stories at Travel Notes & Storytelling.
Love for Hunting; Family Values; and the making of a hunting dog
When I met Pocotaligo Kennel owner Kim Parkman, she explained that she’d followed her passion by opening the successful gundog business, breeding, and training Gundogs. When asked why I started writing stories and taking pictures, I replied that the reason was the same; I followed my passion. If I hadn’t, I said, I wouldn’t be sitting with this great group of people at a “hole in the wall restaurant” having a fascinating discussion about the origins of Gundogs in South Carolina.
When I heard the story behind S.C. Wildlife Magazine’s famous poster, I thought there might be a chance to work with the Master Photographer. I’d served in S.C. National Guard with Phillip Jones and admired his work many years, both in the S.C. Wildlife Magazine and the National Guard. It was a fascinating experience and an honor to work with Phillip and Kim Parman on the puppy photo shoot.