Wild Apple Kennel and Guide Service

Wild Apple Kennel and Guide Service
The 2007 Grand National Grouse Champion, Winner 2008 Northern New England Woodcock Championship, Winner 2010 Lake States Grouse Championship, Runner-up 2011 Northeast Grouse and Woodcock Championship, Winner 2011 International Amateur Woodcock Championship, Winner 2012 Southern New England Woodcock Championship

Wild Apple Kennel Training Blog

This blog will try to present a running account of the training and field trialing season for the pointers of Wild Apple Kennel. NOW ACCEPTING BOOKINGS FOR THE 2015 GROUSE AND WOODCOCK SEASON WITH WILD APPLE KENNEL GUIDE SERVICE! PHONE NUMBERS 603-449-3419 OR CELL 603-381-8763.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cover and Wild Birds

Many years ago, we used to keep our quail pen up on a big hill farm nearby. There were some grown up old pastures, and a few open fields. The owner of the farm had a firewood business and had pretty much cut over the place making for a lot of successional forest. It was great we could work the young dogs or do finish work on the quail and then work on wild birds. It was not unusual to have 20+ finds in the course of running a few braces of good dogs. When the owner died he left the 800 acres in trust to his many children. A couple of the older ones cleared some of the best cover and put cattle up on the hill, the woods grew up, and the wild birds all but disappeared. Now the cattle are gone, the pastures are growing back up, and they've done some new cutting, and the birds are coming back. Over the last week, we have been up there four times and found both grouse and woodcock each time. So, the point here is that in about 25 years, this one cover has gone from terrific to poor to good due to land usage changes.

There is one problem with running in the same cover and that is the comfort level of the dogs. They come to know where you're going and range bigger and bigger on each trip. Yesterday afternoon we ran Wild Apple Jack and Stokely's Ginger B, their bells had faded out to the front when the point signal on my Garmin beeped. Jack was on point 453 yards away. We were on foot and it was mostly up hill to the dog so it took a while (we're not as fleet of foot as we once were). About halfway there, Ginger went on point close to Jack. When we got to them Ginger was backing and a male woodcock flushed. Tracking devices have really affected the way we train. Before Trackers and now Garmins, we had to keep the dogs within bell range and expended a lot more electricity then we do now. In fact Tony doesn't even bother putting his e-collar on the older dogs a lot of the time. I always put the collar on but rarely use it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Maine Bird Dog Club Field Trial

Ran the Trey and June in the Derby on Saturday. June's race was a little immature and she had trouble pinning down her only bird in the rain. Trey ran as a bye and I was very pleased with him. He had three bird contacts -- one was on a thoroughly soaked dead bird and the last on barely alive bird the flopped three feet and then walked around in front of him he stayed put for both those. In between, he moved up on a bird walking around and popped it. I was also please with his race. Deuce the first year shooting dog put a cold, wet bird out of its misery to end his shooting dog bid early. Jack will be running in the USCSDA International Championship this weekend. Planted birds are not really his forte and it should be a very competitive stake with Bob Ecker and John Stolgitis bringing their strings of dogs that have done well in this type of single course trial.

Jack is sure to run strong but the way the cover is coming on at the grounds it's going to be a challenge for everyone to find their dogs on point if they run hard.

We've been working dogs on a large farm nearby and had a couple take a .7 mile trip (according to the GPS) into a swamp before they decided to turn and come back -- Tony and I couldn't decide if they had found Bullwinkle or Yogi. We've been experiencing an an unusual number of nonproductives and figure it must be the turkeys we saw the other day in the middle of the afternoon -- the male was in full display.

Unfortunately, the black flies are just starting to come out -- in another week or ten days it should be pretty bad.