Katie and Jason (mostly) found a side benefit to the rising temperature here at the kennel, the snow was perfect for rolling a snowman. The snow, extremely cold temperatures (-23 F. the other morning) have pretty much put an end to the grouse hunting here in Northern New Hampshire although the actual season doesn’t end until the 31st. It was a long and good bird season with a little field trialing thrown in. I was in the woods (or on the prairies) with dogs for 58 days this fall and we moved . . . a lot of birds and shot our fair share. Some of the highlights of the fall included killing first birds for all the puppies (Ruby, Sam, Glo, and Brandy) that went through the program here last summer. We also got some good hunts with Jack despite the fact that he will turn 10 shortly after the first of the year. He still has all the bird sense that helped him win his five wild bird championships and a runner-up but he has slowed substantially as the years begin to catch up with him. He seems to be in good health and hopefully we’ll be able to spot him into some of our easier covers again next fall.
I’m also looking forward to starting some more puppies next summer. I really excited because Ken Delong in Michigan is planning to breed Wild Apple Faith (a five year old sister of Jack’s) to Elhew G Force as soon as she comes in which should be soon. Jim Tande has also bred his bitch Cassie to G Force and I’m on the list for one of those puppies that should be born in February. Scott Chaffee has Trip now for Jack Harang and she will be bred to either Autumn Snow (a Autumn Moon son) or possibly to Wynot Ace (AI). If that breeding happens I’ll be getting one of those as well. Also talked to Fred Potts in North Carolina the other day and he is still breeding Elhew dogs. Fred was a close friend of Bob Wehle’s and may be the one breeder who has stayed closest to Bob’s breeding ideals. In fact, I leased a bitch of his a few years ago to breed to Jack but she didn’t take. He has some litters planed for early next year and I plan to take a look at those as well. I’ll probably keep a couple of these as field trial prospect and will offer the others to hunters.
I was going to sell Wild Apple Annie but it looks like she maybe staying here with me. If that’s what happens I may breed her when she comes in again or maybe next fall.
I have already had a number of calls and people making reservations for next summers Grouse Camp. As of today I only have a couple of spots left. If you interested in sending your dog up to be worked on wild birds next summer you should get in touch with me soon. I will also be taking a few dogs to work in the spring if winter lets go early enough. We can get a lot of good work on return woodcock and the holdover grouse when the snow is gone.