Firelight Bird Dogs

Firelight Bird Dogs

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

First the good.  We spent several days visiting with Lisa and Cliff Weiss of October Setters in Idaho. These folks are dedicated ryman-type hunters and breeders and over the years I have known very few breeders as knowledgeable as they.  We were fortunate to breed our Sally to their beautiful Heath and hopefully we will be welcoming puppies in late November.

               Sally                                                                                     Heath

Lisa graciously invited us to join her in hunting sage grouse while we were there and even took us to one of her "honey holes.",  It was a long, bumpy drive from her house to an area flanked by snow-capped mountains: a real treat.
                                                                       Lisa and "Doc"

Indeed it was a honey hole - we saw more sage hens in those two days than we will probably ever see again.  Mike had bought a tag and I charged up my camera.  We got to see some of Lisa's wonderful dogs work as well as let our pack stretch their legs after the 20 hours drive from KS to ID.  Mike was able to gun a sage hen over his Fr Brit boys.

Oh, I almost forgot.  The area pictured above was also responsible for The Bad.  Within the first half-hour of hunting for our whole season, Mike tripped over sage brush and fell.  Which is not uncommon when walking in such terrain.  But this time he fell on his gun and cracked the stock.  It can be repaired and we do have a back-up gun along with us but it was definitely sad.

With the breedings done it was time to head to Montana.  But first Mike decided to figure out why the gas furnace on the RV wasn't working.  There was frost each night and know that it will be even colder before we return to home.  He took it apart and found a mud wasp colony the size of Manhattan was the problem.  Doing some McGyver-like problem solving he had it cleaned out and working well in not much time at all.  We had a somewhat leisurely drive of about 8 hours ahead of us to eastern Montana where we hunt. But about 4 hours into the drive we heard a loud "bang" and said ohoh.  Although the truck and RV were handling steady as could be, a pretty-new tire on the RV had blown up.  Without a safe area to work on it along the busy highway we instead limped the 4 miles to the next exit.

                                                                      The Ugly

Mike changed the tire and discovered that the tire had also damaged the gas lines in that area of the RV.   It can all be repaired but without a working refrigerator or stove and very warm temps outside, we caved in and pulled into a full service RV campground, something we rarely do.  Tomorrow we will get the necessary repairs and be on our way.

But tonight, we will hold hands and say our prayers of thanks for getting through today safely.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Exciting development for Ryman Setter folks

I am very pleased to have been part of a group who has taken a long-awaited concept and turned it into a reality.  This past week we launched a new website, which is a centralized online site where breeders of Ryman-type English Setters can showcase their dogs, research available stud dogs and discuss bird dogs with other breeders.  But importantly, it is also a central resource for puppy buyers who are looking for breeders with quality, healthy bird dogs and good breeding ethics. 

Since the passing of George Ryman over 50 years ago, there has not been a central connection between breeders of this type of setter and we feel that awareness and education between us is crucial to its future.  This site has been created and developed by a group of fellow ryman breeders with many years of experience and areas of expertise. We recognize and welcome differences among breeders in personal preference for traits such as size, speed, range and style.  This site will help both breeders and buyers to see what breeders across the country are producing and choose the best match for their own needs and preferences.  The common thread between all participating breeders is their focus on producing dogs for wild bird hunting, with all breeding stock being health screened  (OFA hip certification at minimum) and honest, ethical breeding practices. 

I hope you might take a minute to visit the site, I welcome any feedback.