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.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Coitus Interuptus

Just at dusk yesterday my friend Tommy stopped by and we let Jack and the two puppies (Molly and Dot) out loose in the yard. As we were standing next to the house Tommy pointed to the edge of the lawn and there was a male grouse in full display strutting like a turkey Jack saw him and when Molly saw Jack get interested she came over and flushed the bird then followed him up into the woods behind the house. She came back around a couple minutes later and flushed what we assume was the hen. Hopefully they had done the deed before we interrupted them. Those are probably some of the house grouse that we flushed from the cranberry bushes that are about 30 yards from the house every time we ran a dog here last fall.  The hen is probably nesting nearby hopefully far enough from the house that she won't be bothered by the puppies during play time.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nesting Season

New Hampshire has no closed season for bird dog training, but Tony and I self-impose one for May and into June.  In the last three days we have had birds, both grouse and woodcock, in three of our primary training covers which means we should have an excellent summer with the dogs.  As the picture shows the woodcock already have their full clutch of eggs and one woodcock we pointed today we didn't even flush as she was obviously sitting on a nest.

A full clutch of woodcock eggs.
 In addition to hearing drummers everywhere we go we are also seeing grouse along the roads and the dogs are finding them in our training covers.  I have not been out here at the kennel without flushing at least one grouse.  There is one that seems to live very close to the house as we flushed it again today just off the edge of the lawn in a big patch of high bush cranberries.  Tony flushed one yesterday when he stopped at the end of his driveway to get his mail.

There also seems to be a good number of grouse that have wintered over.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Drummers Everywhere

The town I live in is named Dummer (after a colonial governor Massachusetts) but this time of year it should be called Drummer!  Tommy and I spent yesterday clearing the spot where the new kennel building and puppy shed will eventually go and every time the chainsaw was off we could hear grouse drumming.  Over the course of the time we were working we identified at least five different locations a couple relatively close to the house the rest up the hill in and around the Wild Apple Kennel home cover which is 100 acres with a number of training loops through it.

Friday when Tony and I ran dogs we had three grouse finds and a woodcock and could hear multiple drummers the whole time we were working dogs and we had 10 dogs between us that we got out.  Later that afternoon I drove out to the pit, where we target shoot, with my pistol to get in a little practice and could hear drummers all over the woods out there.  on the way back I saw a bird in the road and it was good enough to hop up in a tree and pose for a picture.

There aren't many grouse that are this cooperative!
Yesterday when I took the two little puppies, Molly and Dot, out on the puppy loop we flushed a grouse before we were out of the yard.  The long winter and cold spring seem to have delayed the start of the drumming season which means the hens are only now starting to lay eggs.  It takes the hens about 2 weeks to lay a full clutch of eggs and then 24 to 26 days to incubate them.  With the males just starting to drum last week, shouldn't have any grouse chicks hatching out until early June with some hatching even later than that.  As far as fall grouse numbers are concerned the later the hatch the higher the chick survival rate and the more birds we'll have to hunt.  Really rotten weather during the hatch can drastically hurt the hatch.  But considering the number of birds we're hearing and seeing and the late start to the nesting season I am cautiously optimistic about this years hatch and next falls grouse numbers.  We'll know a lot more this summer when we start seeing just how big the broods.

I hope there aren't a lot of people out there still planing to call me for hunts this fall because right now all I have left between opening day and Thanksgiving are mid-week days and possibly one weekend.