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, August 17, 2013

42 degrees

The outside temperature a little after 6:00 am Friday morning in Red Barn.

The cool August mornings made it really good for running dogs this past week and with high temps in the low 70s I've been able to run longer into the middle of the day.  We've developed about a four day rotation on our covers so we don't put a lot of pressure on the birds in any one area.  Red Barn is back being very productive and Friday morning we moved somewhere between 20 and 30 woodcock.  I really did lose count.  We also continue to try new areas.  We've found numerous covers that hold birds.  Some we'll not go back in until October and one cut we tried was just a little too dry and maybe 3 or 4 years past prime age and stem density.  With grouse and woodcock it's all about stem density to provide them shade, clean walking at ground level, and protection from avian predators.  All the dogs are making progress as they find more and more birds on every outing.  Maggie and Brandy made big jumps today both allowing me to get to them on finds and flush the birds.  

The little puppies are continuing their collar conditioning both in the yard and out in the woods.  It's none too soon either as a couple of them were pushing 200 yards on a couple of casts this week.  Next week I'll be able to use the collar to keep them closer and steer them into birds a little better.  It's interesting to watch the differences in the puppies develop as some continue to be more independent but all four of them are hunting hard and have no fear of attacking the cover even when they have to go through raspberry canes that are shoulder high on me.    

Sam being worked on a 50' line as part of her collar conditioning

Peanut getting dressed like a big dog for a workout this week. 

Sam was the second one out of the truck.  In addition to the traveling to covers they are also learning to stay on the tailgate until it's time to run.
One of the over grown fields that I worked the puppies in.  There are usually woodcock and the occasional grouse in the alders and woods in the old fields and around the edges.
I'm not sure who ate all these hazelnuts, but they are just one of many mast crops that are in abundance this year.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rescued RV's and Buzz Cuts

Between working a truckload of dogs everyday and a washout on Friday, we had to rescue Big Thud and his RV Saturday evening which meant we didn't get to eat the lobsters he brought until after 10 pm.  All the dogs are making progress here at camp.  The one disappointment of the summer is the size of the broods we've been finding.  The biggest one was 7 birds the average seems to be around 3 or 4 young grouse in a brood.  This can be attributed to a number of factors.  First there was a very poor mast crop last fall and the birds may not have been in top condition going into the winter which the studies say results in a reduction in the number of eggs laid the next spring.  Add to that a cool and damp end to the nesting season and there was most likely a pretty high mortality rate for chicks in the first few days of life when they are most vulnerable.

Fortunately we literally have hundreds of native woodcock around in various covers that we rotate our training schedule through.  Today was the perfect example as we moved  14 or 15 woodcock and 9 or 10 grouse many of the grouse were singles or pairs.  There was one brood that had four and the hen.

Today a couple of the young dogs made real progress.  Jagger was really hunting and found 7 of the woodcock -- he pointed most of them and is standing them longer all the time indicating to me that he is now ready to get back in the bird field and get staunched up on pigeons.  He would have easily been dog of the day if Brandy hadn't had a big breakthrough.  She's been finding both woodcock and grouse as she is hunting the cover hard but has been only flash pointing them until this weekend.  Sunday Big Thudd and I sent her into a patch of cover and followed her in and were rewarded with her slamming on the brakes and twisting herself up like a pretzel as she had her first pointed woodcock.  Today I ran her in a new place where she found and then knocked and chased a grouse then looped back around and boosted a second one in the same area.  A little bit later in the workout her bell stopped to the left of the skidder road I was on.  When I got to her she was high and tight on both ends and then broke when I flushed the grouse.  We're going to have a lot of fun with her this fall!!!!

We also spent time this weekend clipping dogs.  Here's Max with his new haircut.  He must of felt turbocharged by the clipping Big Thudd gave him as he was really a handful in this morning's workout.