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, June 5, 2014

The Third Time Around

Grouse nest Tony and I found a couple years ago.

The woodcock should be all hatched out and the chicks should be flying soon (it only takes them a few weeks to get airborne) and the grouse should be hatching now.  So, to avoid disturbing nests and having puppies chasing chicks I limit my training runs to a loop on the bottom of the home grounds.  I know we have grouse nesting up the hill from the house but haven't found any hens along the loop so far this spring (it's not summer yet here).  So, today I worked dogs in the yard and on the loop and will do some pigeon work near the house if we get a little breeze this afternoon.

On my third trip around the loop this morning I had the two wonder pups -- Dottie and Molly.
Dottie pointing a quail with Molly backing.
They were together in the brush right on the edge of the field next to a small island of poplar and apples when they both slammed on point.  Then I saw something scurry through the brush and immediately realized that it was a hen grouse trying to attract the attention of the puppies away from what I assume was a brood of grouse chicks.  both puppies followed her when she thrashed around like her wing was broken and then started squawking.  When she had them headed away from the chicks she flushed low and slow so the puppies could see her fly across the small field opening.  They both gave chase.  Dottie gave it up first and came on with me.  I heard Molly flush the hen one more time before she finally responded to the whistle and came flying forward looking for another bird.

I'm staying in the yard for the rest of the morning to give her time to get back to the chicks.  What I've found in the past is a hen will move out of an area if she gets flushed a couple of times.  There's plenty of edges on the property where she can take the chicks bug hunting and I'll be surprised if I see her in the same spot again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

That's What I'm Talking About!

Last summer I started a bunch of puppies, 2 for myself and three for customers.  They came from three different litters.  Ruby and Glow are by Autumn Moon out of Creek's Elhew Lucy.  Brandy (Wild Apple Calvados) is by Autumn Moon out of Coverdog Cover Girl (I called her Mariah when I had her here at the Kennel).  The other two were Wild Apple Samantha and Wild Apple Blackbird and they are by Wild Apple Jack out of Wynot Belle.  Sam and Birdy were whelped 2/5/2013 and were both with me through last summer when Birdy headed West with Alex Rickert and family to be a prairie bird dog.  I got to see her roll in September when Timmy and I went out and hunted with Alex.  Birdy thought nothing of stretching out 500 plus yards and looked good doing it.  She came back for training last Friday and after a few days to get reacquainted got her first run here at the kennel today.

Birdy at 8 weeks.

It was a very interesting outing as the puppy I saw chewing up the prairies never went out more than 150 yards as we made the loop.  I thought she might want to run the open edges of the small fields on the training course but she hit the cover just like she did last August and to top it off had a grouse find.  About every third day we'll put up a grouse, usually within 100 yards of the same spot each time.  I heard Birdy's bell coming towards me and then she stopped.  When she stopped I heard the grouse rustling across the leaf litter and then saw it about the same time it saw me.  The grouse did a quick 180 and headed back towards Birdy.  Caught between us it had no choice when Birdy took a step but to flush.  Birdy came flying out of the cover in hot pursuit.

Birdy doing barrel work a couple days ago.

One of the the most important aspects of breeding dogs for me is getting dogs that have intelligence.  Both Jack and Autumn Moon (litter mates) displayed it during their illustrious careers that included each of them winning the Grand National Grouse Championship as well as other wild bird trials.  Birdy and the other pups that were at the kennel last summer all show it.  And it looks like it's a trait that is going forward.  Our littlest one her at the kennel (12 week old Dottie) is by Autumn Snow (Autumn Moon X Creek's Elhew Lucy) X Indian Creek Triple Rail (Guard Rail daughter) she is already show great bird sense as she keeps looking in all the right places and using her exceptional nose to find quail on the training course.

Spiggy sporting the two inch reflector collar.

Fiona, Spiggy, and the Bud Bros were all out for a run early this morning before it started to warm up.  Fiona is a Gordon and Spiggy is a GSP I usually use a two inch reflector collar for my bell and on those two it really makes a difference seeing them in the woods.  This was Fiona's first time off leash as she arrived with a split pad.  I attended the Gordon Setter National Field Trial Championship once in Connecticut and saw a few nice dogs but also saw a lot of larger dual-type dogs.  Fiona probably doesn't fit the the breed show standards but she sure gets over the ground nicely, runs mostly to the front, and listens pretty well for her first time out after just doing yard work since she arrived.  She also seems to have a good nose and at least flash points when the opportunity presents itself.  Spiggy is also making nice progress.  She'll turn one later this month and at times acts like the puppy she still is, but she also is showing that she's going to be all business as a bird dog.  She runs harder all the time and seems to have a really good nose.  She hits her birds hard and should staunch up without too much pressure.  The Bud Bros are an interesting trio.  Which one I like best changes from day to day and fortunately I don't have to make up my mind until fall.  They all run with style and handle well.