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.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Breeding Adventures

There's good news and bad here at the kennel.  First the good: the breeding of Wild Apple Jack and Indian Creek Triple Rail took place yesterday via artificial insemination (more on that later).  the bad news ins the Ovuplant did not work with Veronica and we took it out yesterday.

The vet I use for all my Repro stuff is Dr. Cindy Pratt at Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services in Hyde Park, VT.  She is 100 miles away but the nearest vet that specializes in canine theriogenology.  I found her a few years ago when I was looking for someone to collect and ship chilled semen from Jack.  Cindy spends about a third of her practice time dealing with reproductive issues and is very knowledgeable.  My local "country" vet had never heard of Ovuplant when I took trip in to him on Tuesday to draw blood for a progesterone test.

So, the story with Veronica is as follows.  Cindy implanted the Ovuplant on November 29th and about a week later Veronica started to spot then stopped and nothing else happened.  She's kenneled between two male Plott hounds at Tommy's and neither one showed any interest in her.  So, yesterday morning I took her up to Cindy to have her cytology checked and she was obviously not in heat.  The cost for no puppies was $153.25 to have the Ovuplant inserted and $141.30 to have it removed.  Add to that 1/5th of the cost for five doses of Ovuplant (I had to order the entire five pack from Australia as it is no longer available here).  The five doses of Ovuplant were $185.  So the cost for no puppies was $331.55 plus 400 miles to make two trips to the Vets.  A reasonable gamble considering the interest in the breeding of LJ and Veronica.  But it's still a loss.

In talking to Cindy and Tommy about Veronica our best conclusion is she has what Cindy refers to as a "silent heat" where she goes through her normal cycle but it is not strong enough for even the males in the kennel to notice.  If that is the case she was probably in earlier this fall which negated the ability of the Ovuplant to bring her in again.  To be effective there needs to be at least four months from the end of the last heat before you do the implant.  Earlier than that and you run the risk of creating a heat cycle where there are no eggs available for ovulation and fertilization.

Things were also not easy with Trip.  We did not do the Ovuplant with her as she was just coming into heat at the end of November when we had planned to do the Ovuplant.  In fact, It was Cindy who noticed the onset of heat as she was getting ready to do the insertion.  Over the next 2 1/2 weeks she seemed to be progressing normally and was still spotting as of 12/16 but showed no interest in standing for Jack.  On Tuesday I ran over to the local vet for a progesterone test but he failed to see the urgency of getting me the numbers and I didn't get them until after I got back from Cindy's with Veronica Friday morning.  The test showed she was starting to spike with a number of 8.88 on Tuesday.  When I called Cindy with the number and the fact that she still wouldn't stand, we decided to use AI.  I turned around and drove the 100 miles back to Hyde Park and the deed was done without any problems.  Trips bill to date is $71 for the original testing to determine her heat status on Nov 29th.  $132.00 for the progesterone test and $150.00 for the AI.  So at this point we have $353 in vet bills for Trip but a very high probability that everything is a go for the AI breeding and the estimating whelping date is February 18th to 20th.

Now, I just need to get Wild Apple Annie over here from Shady Hills Kennel in Prattsburgh, NY and we'll get some LJ puppies as well.  If things don't work out with Annie, Lon Meneer over in Maine has Scooter, Annie's littermate (they're both younger full sister's to Jack and currently four) who we may also breed to LJ.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Haven't had a chance to post for a while as I've been out of the woods since December 5 and had to deal with the end of the school semester, writing deadlines and recover from a little mishap.  Now the snow is starting to pile up outside and looking at the 10 day forecast I doubt if we'll be getting the dogs back in the woods before the grouse season is over at the end of the month.  The dogs deserve a long winter's nap what with spring trials, summer training, and fall hunting they could all use a rest.

As a recap it was one neck of a bird season here in New Hampshire.  In September we got out to a number of trials and had LJ win three derby stakes on wild birds in four starts.  He didn't have a bird in the fourth event and still got an honorable mention based on his race.  Not sure if I'll run him in any quail trials this spring as he really has nothing to prove and would rather spend the time breaking him for the fall championships.  He's definitely ready to be broke as he was getting close to that in September before the birds started falling out of the sky. Too warm at the beginning but we still got a lot of good shooting opportunities on both grouse and woodcock.  The woodcock peaked around the third week of October and were pretty much gone by the end of the first week in November.  They seemed to have a good nesting season this year and if they don't get hammered my the weather down south, we should se plenty of birds back here in March and April.  The spring weather is the largest determiner of bird populations for both grouse and woodcock in this area.  From the bird counts the last couple weeks here there should be plenty of adult birds going into the winter and which will give us a healthy breeding population for the spring.  The grouse numbers for next fall can go up or down significantly based on breeding success and brood size.  For a simple example -- imagine an area with 10 nesting hen grouse if the broods are small say 2-3 then your looking at gaining only 20 to 30 birds in that area.  In instead you have perfect weather and great nesting conditions with double digit broods you could end up with 100 + birds in the same area.  We've seen both kinds of nesting seasons and when it goes really bad you might as well quit hunting once the woodcock are gone in early November.

Speaking of Early November, the Grand National Grouse Championship will be returning to New Hampshire with Joe Dahl as stake manager.  It starts the first Tuesday of the month and is an opportunity for anybody willing to walk for an hour to see the best competitive grouse dogs in the country.

On the breeding front, Steve Forrest dog Belle was bred to Jack on December 5th.  Trip is still in the first stage of her heat cycle as she was still spotting yesterday and was not ready to stand. We are going to start progesterone testing tomorrow morning so we don't miss her. Veronica is not responding to the ovuplant as quickly as expected and we are still waiting on her.  In case she doesn't get bred and/or so we'll have more puppy options to look at we are looking at a second LJ litter.  I gave Mark and Scott Forman a sister to Wild Apple Jack out of our last litter and she is four now.  they named her Wild Apple Annie and I've arranged for her to come home to be bred to LJ.  That gives us three possible litters for the spring.  Wild Apple Jack X Indian Creek Triple Rail, Wild Apple LJ X Wild Apple Veronica, and Wild Apple LJ X Wild Apple Annie.  I start accepting deposits once we get someone bred.