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, October 19, 2012

Rainy Friday and the Return of Frankie

Considering the weather and some minor truck problems -- the hinges on my tailgate were shot -- it's amazing how many times a day I drop the tailgate to get a dog out or put a dog into the back of the truck -- we had a good morning.  We started with a test run for Frankie here at the house and just ran him along the bottom where there are lots of edges and good flight bird cover.  He had four woodcock finds and we moved a total of 10 to 12 birds.

Here's Frankie pointing a family of woodcock this spring.
We only ran him for about 20 minutes as he's basically been on the IR list since mid-August.  He showed his lack of conditioning but didn't exhibit any lingering effects from his August collision with a stump hidden in the ferns.  It looks like he'll be available for some limited minutes in easy covers as he gets hunted back into shape.  As we were walking back into the front yard a grouse flushed off the ground under one of the apple trees.  I turned to Lloyd and told him that when we ran Trip a few days ago a grouse flushed out of one of the other trees that has apples still hanging on it.  When I pointed to the tree a grouse flushed -- it couldn't have been better timed had the grouse been in a release trap.

Mo got to run in the Cemetery Cover across the river from the house but all the flight birds seemed to be on my side of the river.   He pointed two woodcock and we walked up another.  We also had three grouse flush wild on us.

Bee ran up on the top of the hill where there is a piece of old pasture land with some very distinctive lanes and cuts through it.  Right after we broke her away we walked up four grouse and then the woodcock were lined up right along the main road through the cover.  She pointed a number of them and also pointed a grouse.  We walked up a bunch more grouse on the way out to give us a totat of 9 grouse and around a dozen woodcock in that cover -- that was it for the day but I may take Trip out later if the ran stops for a little bit.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Great Weather Stinks

It was overcast and relatively cool when we started out this morning.  We went to one spot where we could run two dogs in different directions.  Lloyd Carney and I took Jack and went one way and Tony and Booker took Spot and went in the opposite direction.  We moved 7 grouse and one woodcock they moved 7 grouse and 2 woodcock.  By the time we got to the next spot it was already getting warm and we were all shedding layers.  Lloyd and I went one way with Bee and Tony and Booker went off with Trash.  we moved two grouse and one woodcock they moved 2 grouse and three woodcock.

The next cover we went to (which has a geographic specific name that will not be included here) was already being used by the local general surgeon who gives Tony his regular colonoscopy (I think they've bonded) and Tony felt obligated to give up the cover to the guy last year.  We went down the road and into another spot where we moved a total of 9 woodcock with Thuddy.  By then it seemed more like a summer day that one in October with temperatures climbing into the mid-60s.  We half-heartedly ran Booker's Shine dog in a place that was reported to have had 25 grouse last weekend.  Today it had 1.  It wasn't yet 2:00 but we decided to call it a day and wait for a couple of late day hunts. Tony and the boys will run Bookers puppies down through Red Barn and I'll give LJ a shot here in the home cover.  If we do any good I'll ad a postscript later this evening.  At this point the total for the day (not counting a number of road birds that we barely slowed down for) was 19 grouse and 16 woodcock.  Tomorrow should be a much better day for bird hunting showers in the morning and light rain intermittently in the afternoon.

Addendum 6:00 PM

As we were getting ready to run LJ around the Home Course, I happened to look out the bedroom window and there were three grouse feeding in the high-bush cranberries about 50 feet from the house. By the time we got LJ ready to go that number had grown to about five.  LJ ran into the middle of them and stopped to flush as they went off in different directions. He then went on to point two of them as singles.  As we moved on along the edge of the fields he had three woodcock finds with five birds.  The short loop is about 35 minutes and he had three more woodcock finds and another grouse before we got back to the house.  Not a bad walk for the end of the day hunt!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We started the morning with two of our really good grouse covers -- the Secret Cover and the No Name Cover -- and ran Booker's two shooting dogs in them.  They both got some really good bird work as we moved more than a dozen with Spot and and a half dozen more with Shine.  Then it was time to work the derbies and we had heard there were flight birds in along the river.  We started with LJ and he found a bout a half dozen and we killed two as well as having a couple grouse.  The we ran Joe McCarl's dog Mo that he left with Tony for the Hunting season and we went to the 100 Bird Cover.  The first time we went in this cover many years ago when Prime Rate was a derby we hit a flight of woodcock that was unbelievable.  The dog must of had 15 to 20 finds and on everyone there were multiple birds as well as birds walked up getting to him.  We've never hit it quite like that since but it still has it's days and today was one of them.  Mo had double digit finds and we killed a couple for him as well as a couple more grouse.  Then it was Abby in Dusty Roads and we moved another half dozen woodcock and killed two for her. Then we ran Ginger in the Cemetery Cover and she pointed five and we shot 3 to limit out for the day. We walked up a couple more on the way out.  We still had Trip to run so we came back to the house and she had five grouse and a couple more woodcock.  Her first find was super as she went on point a 160 yards ahead of us and had three grouse pinned under some apple trees.  The final tally for the day was 42 woodcock and 26 grouse.  Tonight I'm going to fillet the woodcock breasts, pan sear them, and make a bourbon reduction sauce.  Good shooting and good eating.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Really Good Morning

Booker Groy and the three grouse he shot over Wild Apple Jack this morning.
Tom and one of his buddies got bird flu last Thursday and we had a good day despite strong winds.  We shot a couple grouse and a few woodcock over Jack, LJ, and Veronica.  Then the real flu or a really bad cold masquerading as the flu knocked me down for three days.  So, I didn't get out Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.  Today I joined up with Tony and Booker and headed out at 7:30.

Things got off to a slow start with Booker's Shiner dog only able to find one grouse in the first cover and that one flushed well out of range.  Jack was the second dog out of the truck with Tony and Booker as wingmen we headed up the hill.  At our furthest and highest point we were 900 yards from the truck but it was well worth it.  We moved about 15 grouse and 2 woodcock and most of the grouse took one or more relocations before we got them in the air.  There were only three that really gave anybody a decent shot and they all flew Booker's way.  Two of them did something I have never had happen before on New Hampshire grouse.  After running out on the dog a couple of times Jack finally had them pointed and the birds were trying to hide on the ground in small depressions on small hummocks in the woods.  I saw them both on the ground before they flushed.  He killed all three that went his way with a total of five shots.  An exceptionally good outing on some really tough birds.  Tony wanted me to remind everyone that when Booker was here last October, Tony shot 4 grouse in one cover with 5 shots.  I didn't see it but Booker claims he's telling the truth.  Limiting out in New Hampshire on pointed grouse is a rare thing to do in a day.  To do it in one cover is pretty impressive.  Tommy and I combined for two limits in two hunts once last fall and I would be really surprised to do it again.

The third hunt was Trash whose still on the tail end of her heat cycle -- and it showed -- she bumped five grouse and a woodcock before finally pointing a woodcock that flew my way.  I was a little behind it on the first shot but caught up with it on the second and she got to get her mouth on it.

After that I was pretty much done in for the day and decided the next uphill hunt was going to be too much for me.  I had Trip and Lj in the truck and didn't want to wait for their turns.  I threw Trip in a spot where we had seen a road bird fly into a cut we'd never explored.  I only lasted for about 20 minutes and decided this cut was not ideal.  I ran LJ in the Secret Cover and he did well.  He pointed five grouse on three finds and a woodcock in about a 30 minute run.  I saluted a couple of the grouse but got no real shots.  Then I headed for the bunkhouse and the chance to get some rest.


For those of you who have been following my reviews on the new Garmin ALPHA I have a few more things to report.  I lent it to Tommy to use on one of his bear hounds when I was in Canada for the trials and he seemed quite impressed.  He said he never lost signal and the dogs were well over a mile away in heavy cover treeing bears.  He also reported that he used the e-collar feature on a dog that was over a mile away and it worked fine.

I noticed when I had it hooked to my computer to download some more BirdsEye satellite images that they are now up to software version 2.4.  If you don't have that version you should update as the software is always evolving.

One feature that I have become rather fond of is the "Screen Lock."  This allows you to lock the screen so that it stays on the compass when you stick the unit in your pocket.  you do this by taping the power button then touching the "lock" in the lower right corner of the screen.  Th e-collar feature stays active although you can't change levels without unlocking the screen by following the sames steps that locked it.