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.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Summer Grouse Camp

For awhile I've had a number of people asking if I'd work a dog for them and I've declined for a number of reasons that included teaching obligations and the desire to remain an amateur for the purposes of running dogs in field trials.  Over the last few years it has gotten to the point where I run in one amateur trial a year and since the Field Trial Magazine went out of business I have more free time.  So, I've told a number of people that are getting Jack or LJ puppies that I would be willing to start the puppies for them.  If I'm going to do that and not teach part time I will have time to work a few older dogs as well.  Already have one signed up and am looking for a couple more.

I'm have no interest in becoming a handler on the wild bird circuit but would consider working a dog for a owner that wants to run it in cover dog trials.  I'd also be interested in taking hunting dogs from committed owners who want to give their dogs a lot of wild bird experience over next summer.  I'm planning a three month program that will run June, July, and August with a refresher and acclimation period in June in the yard and bird field and then regular work on native grouse and woodcock for the rest of the summer.

If you think you'd be interested in sending your dog to Summer grouse camp in Northern New Hampshire give me a call and we'll discuss details.  603-381-8763.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


There are numerous dogs’ performances that stand out in my memory.  I saw a dog at Mortlach in 1998 run what had to be the epitome of a prairie all-age race where at times the dog was only a speck on the distant horizon — but always broke to the front and had four chicken finds in his hour.  My own dogs have also given me some memories both bad and good.  Diamond Solitaire ran a perfect 59 minutes in the New York Grouse Championship with three finds in the book when with a minute to go she busted a brood of grouse and chased them like a puppy.  Wild Apple Jack’s winning hour at the 2007 Grand National Grouse Championship is a thrill I will never forget.
Wynot Ace
            But some of the greatest performances don’t necessarily come during a trial.  My setter, Prime Rate, who wandered off this winter at the age of 15 and never came back, got into a flight of woodcock when he was still a puppy and must have had 15 finds in 45 minutes.  On every flush, Tony Bly and I put up multiple birds and walked some up getting to him.  To this day we call the spot the 100 Bird Cover, although we have not caught a similar flight in the ensuing years.  I finally had to snap the lead on the dog while he was pointing so we could get back to the truck before it got dark.
            In Texas for the last three seasons, some of the most memorable runs have been when Wild Apple Jack has been put down with his sire, Wynot Ace.  Jack Harang, who owns Ace, and I are happy to work dogs together and help each other out.  But when father and son are on the ground it gets a little competitive.  In one run near the end of this past season, our Garmins both beeped: Ace was on point 200 yards away to the right, while his son Jack was close to 800 yards away in the opposite direction.  We both came back with birds in hand.
            Late in the afternoon, on Valentine’s Day (2-14-09), Ace and Jack were put down in one of our favorite pastures on the Vest ranch.  Stacy Perkins and Matt Bell were riding with us.   Stacy had become intimately familiar with the coveys in this pasture during the season, but even he was amazed by what unfolded in the next hour and a half.
Wild Apple Jack
            Wild Apple Jack was first to score on a covey that was out feeding within a couple hundred yards of the trailer.  As we went on, Ace scored next with Jack coming in and backing from a distance.  With their competitive juices flowing, both dogs flew over the prairie until Jack came in and pointed a single with the old man backing.  When they went on Jack nailed another single and we lost track of Ace.  Jack had a third single and then we checked the Garmin to get a line on Ace.  He was only 50 yards away over a small hill pointing another single and had been there through two flushes and shots for his son.
            Back and forth it went with one pointing and other backing as we rode on through the pasture.  We took them to water about halfway through the run.  As we left the tank, five mule deer flushed and ran right across in front of the dogs.  Both dogs saw them, but on this afternoon they only had one thing on their minds and we were soon rewarded with another covey find.  This time Ace had gone over a ridge and stopped.  Jack came in shortly and stopped right at the top of the ridge as he spotted Ace below.
            We turned and headed back toward the truck and trailer but the dogs hadn’t finished.  They handled a couple more finds before we got to the final act.  Ace pointed and Jack came in and backed from about 75 yards.  I went to Jack and Stacy and Jack Harang went to Ace.  The birds were running and both dogs were released to work the area as we headed downhill towards the edge of a small canyon a few hundred yards away.  Ace cast to the left and Jack to the right.  Both stopped and self-corrected a couple of times as they tried to pin the running birds. 
            Finally, right at the edge of the canyon, both dogs locked up solidly.  As we approached, the covey flushed out of the canyon bottom and rocketed up the other side out of gun range.  The sun was just about to dip below the western horizon as we got back to the truck.  The tally was 10 coveys pointed plus the singles as well as an eleventh covey that we rode up.  It was the best run of the season by any measurement.  Later that evening, as we rehashed the day, Jack Harang turned to me and said that when he is in a wheelchair in a nursing home and I want to know if his mind is still working clearly, all I’d have to do was mention 2/14/09 and the light in his eyes would tell me that he was still lucid.  It was definitely a performance the memory of which will not fade until the end.