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, June 8, 2013

Exhibition Game

The real training on wild birds doesn't start for a couple weeks yet but I'm trying to get everyone tuned up so they'll be ready to go when I get back into the woods full-time.  My main concerns at this point are handling (which includes yardwork) and conditioning, that said we still keep running into a few wild birds.  Today Pete had a picture book find on a woodcock and stayed staunch until the bird flushed, that coupled with a good run earned him dog of the day honors.  Max was a close second with a really nice limb find on a grouse.  He held it until I got almost to him and then went with the bird or bumped the bird it was a close call.  It's not surprising that Max and Pete are ahead of the other dogs as Jagger is just over a year old and reminds of a teenager with a hot rod.  All that speed and power seems to get him in trouble as he tends to get carried away with just running.  He takes correction well and by the time we get into the woods for real we'll have a governor on that throttle so we can get him into a bunch of wild birds.  Maggie is progressing nicely as well.  She handles easy and looks good moving her work in the bird field leads me to believe that she will staunch up on wild birds without too much pressure.  She seems to want point and hits to cover naturally.  Brandy is just a baby and is starting to get tuned into going with me instead of just going.  Every time down she does better.

The little puppies are still being run in pairs but are starting to get more serious about hunting and less concerned with playing with each other.  They are still at the stage where they listen to me and come with me when called on.  I noticed today that the older pair (the black and white Jack pups) have started just going to the front when I whistle to them instead of coming and finding me.  Hunting to the front is one of those topics that we could argue Nature vs nurture over ad nauseum.  It is most likely a combination of the two but there are always some dogs that just seem to have an uncanny ability to always find the front.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Up till now its been all fun and games for these four puppies.  They bucked, the spun around, they dug in and resisted, but they all made down the drive about a 100 yards and back for their first more formal training session.  Afterwards I cleaned their pens and let them have some play time.  When I came out they had snagged a towel and were having a tug-o-war with it.

Jack Puppy #1 slams on the brakes after acting like a bucking bronc just out of the chute.

It's tough for a 20 pound puppy to move a 220 pound trainer.

This one tried extra hard but still lost in the end.

This one didn't fight as much and looked the best doing it.
Then came play time. 

Rainy Day

between rain showers today have been doing yard work with the dogs.  Heel and whoa around the yard and then up on the barrel for some eye level contact.  It's almost time to start putting collars on the little pups and getting them to lead.

Ran down to the post office and the store.  Saw something on the side of the road that I really didn't pay too much attention to.  It was still there on the way back and turned out to be a big snapping turtle laying eggs.
The shell on this turtle is well over a foot long.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In the bird field

Got the bird field mowed yesterday so we could get out first thing today.  Worked Brandy, Pete, Jagger, Maggie, Cider, and Max before we left to work on handling out at the dam.

A New Hampshire "covey" of quail

Everyone but Max was worked on a checkcord.  Max was in the clean up slot and was run around the course that leaves from the kennel and comes back through the bird field On the way up the hill his bell stopped for about a 30 count and I was on my way to him when he took a few steps and the grouse blew out.  From the way it rocketed out I'm pretty sure it was one of the drummers we've been hearing regularly for about seven weeks.  As we came across the bottom he stopped again, this time on a quail and  stayed put for me to get to him and get a picture before I flushed the quail.  he also pointed the last of the "covey" birds His three find outing made him dog of the day.

Max on his quail find.
The puppies also got a trip around after the big dogs and both pairs had finds.  The Jack pups had a grouse contact as a bird lifted from a dusting spot just before we got to it.  The "peanut" pup thought that spot was pretty interesting.  

"peanut" with her nose in some "hot" grouse scent.
Maggie and Pete also showed that being checkcorded into planted birds was nothing new.  Both are pretty easy on the eyes.  Pete ran with Frankie yesterday in Red Barn and although we only found a couple of woodcock with Pete and Frankie each having a find and Pete getting a couple of backing opportunities both dogs ran well as we made more than an hour loop.  It looks like Frankie may soon be back to full strength as he has been on antibiotics to clear up an infection in his throat that is probably malingering from last summers trauma.  Pete handled great and dug into the cover.

Pete is a handsome boy on point as is obvious in this pic taken during his "covey" find this morning.
Brad Lambert had posted some pics on Facebook of Maggie on point before she came North.  It looks like location doesn't matter to her as she shows some style this morning.

Maggie in the bird field.
I've had dogs in the past that have been almost harder to get to back then it was to break them on birds.  I don't think that will be the case with the Moon puppies as they regularly back each other on site whether there's a bird there or not.

I don't know which one stopped first but the both stood until I walked between them and broke their line of sight.
Living up here has it's pluses as far as birds and bird hunting is concerned.  I was driving from one training spot to another today when I spotted this grouse in the road.

The grouse is a little hard to make out but is on the right edge of the road.
Although it can be hard to spot grouse on the side of the road, when a full size bull moose steps out in front of you, you better be paying attention.  A moose vehicle encounter usually ends with no winners.

This was during the middle of the day on what constitutes a major highway(it has pavement and lines painted on it) in the North Country.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Today was a perfect day to work dogs here in the North Country.  The high temperature was 62 and I was able to work dogs all day.  All the client dogs got out either here on the kennel course or out at the dam.  I'm still trying to avoid the actual bird covers while we wait for the grouse hatch and the chicks to start flying which is still a few weeks away.  we can probably start working some of our woodcock covers sooner as those birds hatched awhile ago and the chicks start flying within days of  hatching.

Tony and I have plans to check out Red Barn which at one time was our most reliable woodcock cover. When Jack and Tony's Ginger B were young shooting dogs they could each dig out double digit finds in a workout after we had already run two pairs of dogs through the same cover.  The cover has gone down hill since then and last year we might find a few woodcock and an occasional  grouse brood.  I think the cover has changed some but I also think that the woodcock have changed their habits as more intensive cutting has created almost unlimited woodcock daytime roosting cover for miles in every direction from Red Barn.

I'll give you a report tomorrow night.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cooler Weather

With cooler air coming in today, I was able to get out and work a bunch of dogs today.  I ran Pete, Maggie, and Cider up at the dam where there usually aren't any birds this time of year.  As I walked Pete up the road a bit before I broke him away a saw a grouse come up off the side of the road and fly away.  He didn't see it but stopped and stacked up when he got to the spot. I let him stand long enough to snap a picture with my phone and then sent him on since I was sure the bird had already left.

Tony showed up with Frankie for the second brace and had a woodcock find on the back edge of the cover he also had a couple of nonproductives in good looking spots which gave me the opportunity to work Maggie on a couple of backs.  The Jack pups had a divided find on one of our feral quail while the Moon pups are really changing in the way they look.  I'll try to get some more pictures tomorrow.

Brandy, Jagger, and Max all put in time on the rope and barrel today.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Wild Apple Weekend

Friday night Justin Evans from PA and Dennis McFeeley from NJ arrived with Jagger and Max to drop them off for the summer grouse camp.  Tim Kisieleski joined us and provided great fare for the grill.  It was extremely hot for New Hampshire for this time of the year with Saturday reaching into the 90s and today hit the high 80s before the front came through and pushed temperatures back into the more normal 60s.  Both Saturday and Sunday mornings we were up early and got as many dogs run as we could.  Both Max and Jagger got their noses on New Hampshire grouse on the training loop behind the house and we could also hear a number of birds still drumming.  We ran the Thuddd Pack up at the dam Saturday and got Brandy back on the rope for more yardwork this morning.  She is starting to understand that this is work and not play.  She's paying much better attention and is not running out to the end of the rope and jerking herself around anymore.  She's also getting reliable on the come command with just a light touch from the collar.

The pups are doing great.  All four of them spent a long time out in the yard late yesterday afternoon as we enjoyed the end of the day.

Both days we went over to the Bly's to see Stokely's Little Tony B (Frankie X Rigby) who is now 7 weeks old.  He is such a fluff ball that Tim and Marie gave him a haircut.

LT getting his first big boy haircut.
In one of the lighter moments of the weekend, I walked out to tend the grill only to find Annie had climbed out of the cab of Timmy's truck and was lying on the hood.  Little Thuddy and Rigby (the good dogs) stayed in the cab despite Annie showing them the escape route.

Annie posing as a hood ornament.

Friday night something, most likely a raccoon, got into the pigeon coop and had quite a feast.  So, if anyone out there has some pigeons please give me a call or shot me an e-mail as I could use a couple dozen more.  Traps have been set and the culprit will be relocated.