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, August 29, 2013

100 percent

No I'm not talking about the dog's performances this morning, although they were pretty darn good considering the conditions.  Last week we had two mornings in the high 30s and it was great for working dogs.  This morning as I loaded up before 6:00 the temperature was already pushing 60 and the humidity was reported at 100%.  I was soaked by the dew on the raspberry canes and had sweated through my shirt before we had climbed up to the top of the first cover.  Lucy and Will were up first and were on a mission despite the stillness of the air, Lucy had 4 perfect woodcock finds and one stop to flush on a relocation while Will had two grouse and two woodcock contacts.  In the next cover we ran Little Thudd and Max.  They make quite a pair with both of them running big powerful races.  We didn't have any bird work going up the mountain although I had one grouse flush out of a tree right over my head.  Back near the truck Max had a really nice limb find at 138 yards away according to my Alpha.  He was in pretty heavy cover and it took me a while to get to him.  He was still high and tight when I got there and the woodcock flushed right between us.  I fired and he never moved until I led him out by the collar.  Thuddy had one woodcock in the cover we ran in and then crossed the road and had another below the trucks.  We hadn't run on that side of the road yet this summer as it appeared to drop off pretty fast.  With our curiosity piqued Tony and I threw Ruby and G III in there.  I walked up a woodcock and G III pointed one.  Ruby came in and pointed where I had just flushed the bird.  What was really amazing was how little the density of the cover or the steepness of the terrain deter Ruby.  She might be the lightest in stature of the puppies here this summer but her heart and desire to hunt matches any of them. No Fear!
Ruby in the birdfield earlier this summer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Puppy Power

The first of the puppies left yesterday.  Peanut (aka Birdy / Wild Apple Blackbird) headed out to Montana with Alex Rickert who was here last fall and hunted with us and decided one of the Wild Apple dogs would be just the ticket to hunt the six species of gamebirds in Montana.  She's still a puppy but I'm sure she'll give him some opportunities when the season opens Monday.
Alex Rickert (left behind) and Steve Groy waiting for Tony to flush a woodcock out to them last fall.
Today at the Kennel I loaded up the truck and headed out at 6:00 with Maggie, Pete, Brandy, Jagger, Glo, and Sam.  Pete is the oldest of the group at two, Maggie will be two in October, Jag not until next spring, and the other three are all this year's puppies.  Brandy got the Honey Hole and pointed four out five woodcock that she pointed she's ready for a harness and a little drag rope so we can start staunching and steadying her.  Maggie and Pete both had both birds.  Maggie pointed a woodcock and stopped just before a pair of grouse flushed.  Pete had two nice woodcock finds and a stop to flush on a grouse that came out of a tree over his head.  Pete reminded me once again of the old adage that you should trust your dog.  On his second woodcock I flushed (I thought thoroughly) and couldn't get a bird up.  I went back and tapped him on the head and he wouldn't move, so I flushed again.  Still nothing.  I tapped him again and he still wouldn't move.  In frustration I went to the whistle and tooted him forward.  He moved up about 15 yards and stopped to flush.  At that point all I could do was tell him he was a good boy and handicapped by his trainer.  Jag runs better all the time, listens well and is hunting hard.  He was rewarded today with a nice find on a woodcock which have gave an exuberant chase to when it flushed.  

Glo ran well in a tough cover for a puppy but couldn't connect on a bird.  Sam made me realize why collar conditioning is such an important part of getting a handle on puppies at about this age.  She stayed relatively close for about 10 minutes and then started hunting her way out from me.  By the time I finally turned her she was 245 yards away and I had worked my way up to a high 3 on the Alpha.  Even at that level I barely got a yelp out of her.  It's really interesting to see at what age and at what level one has to begin using the collar to keep a puppy within reasonable range.  I always try to keep puppies close their first season so we can kill some birds for them even if they don't point them for very long.  of the five puppies Sam is the one that wants to run big and independently.  She going to test me and the equipment as we get ready for the hunting season.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crazy Busy

Big Thudd was here for the weekend and we got a lot of dogs run Saturday and Sunday with everybody getting into birds.  Alex Rickert and his family arrived yesterday to pick-up Peanut at the end of their East Coast vacation and are flying her back to Montana so they'll have her for the hun, sharptail, and Mountain Grouse opener next Monday.

You can tell fall is not far away as the woodcock are starting to move around.  There really isn't any flight activity yet but it will seem at times as the birds move about in their normal range.  Haven't seen a woodcock here at the kennel for about three weeks and then flushed one going down the driveway yesterday morning.  This morning we took Peanut to a cover that had double digit woodcock numbers earlier in the summer as well as some grouse and didn't move a bird.  Lucy found 4 woodcock deep in the spruces in one cover.  and LJ had 2 woodcock and a grouse in another. Then Ruby ran and had a really nice grouse find that she held until the bird flushed when it heard us getting close.

Some of the dogs are looking a little beat up from busting through the raspberries.  Max looks a little bit like he's gone a couple rounds of MMA as he attacks the cover with reckless abandon.  He's running strong and had three woodcock and two grouse finds yesterday.  Maggie had a couple of grouse and and Brandy also had strong outings yesterday.  On Saturday Pete went around one cover like he was on autopilot running strong on a cool morning (it was 39 when we broke away) and stuck 6 woodcock on five finds and was broke on all of them.