Firelight Bird Dogs

Firelight Bird Dogs

Monday, October 31, 2016

Montana in the Rear View Mirror: Heck No, We're Heading Back

Well, we are a bit impulsive.  We had planned to hunt Nebraska from Oct 28 until the Kansas opener Nov 12.   NE is only about 30 minutes from our home with nice quail habitat and even some pheasants.  But this year the temps just aren't cooling down.  Highs in the 70s and even 80s are persisting and the grasses and brush are still green from lack of frost. So we slept on the idea of returning to Montana one night and when we woke we each got busy loading up to go. I write this from the road, tomorrow midday we will pull into our favorite area, grab the guns and let some dogs rip.

To Mike and I, bird hunting is all about the dogs.  Without them we simply would not bird hunt.  However, our trips to Montana are not just about the bird hunting, there is more to it for us.  Yes, one part is that it represents the end of our busy season of growing/marketing produce, time to take a break from work and Markets.  But more, it is the call to a place where we can park the OR out where  even most hunters don't wander.  Where we go days without seeing any other people except perhaps a rancher passing by to check on their cattle.  A place where there is more bird habitat than we could ever hope to walk through. Complete silence.  Total darkness except for moonlight.  That is what pulls us back time and again.

I will check in again soon with photos and updates.  We have not hunted Montana in November before so we are looking forward to what lies ahead.   Happy Hunting all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Montana in the Rear View Mirror: Post 2 of 3

Of our 10 dogs along this year, 4 were ryman-type Setters.  We had two experienced adults plus two 10 month old newbies.  There is another new puppy in the household, Breeze, but she was only 10 weeks old.  Friends made an amazing offer to take care of Breeze while we were in Montana so on the way north we swung through Minnesota and dropped her off with them.  I think Breeze had a fabulous time with them and their 9 year old daughter.  This is one of the update pics we received while on the road:

Montana served up some less than favorable weather this year including several days of rain, so I have fewer photos than usual.  But following are a sample of the setters at work:

Sally handling sharptail grouse nicely

We had thick fog one morning which is very unusual for MT hunting.  My GPS told me that Storm was on point up ahead and as I approached I could barely make her out, she is the tiny dot standing between the windmill and the bales. 

This time her GPS said she was on point but she was just over the lip of a hill, backing Jack who was on point in the next draw over.

There are many lessons to learn on the road and learning to take water from a bottle is an important one in Montana.  Here Kate shares with Belle.


The real joy of taking young dogs is watching them really "turn on" which is when their hunting instincts kick in and leaves the puppyness behind.  It happened to Flint on this day in a nice sharptail draw where I hunted him with his mother, Sally, and I was even lucky enough to drop the first bird he pointed.

I was very pleased with my little 28 ga that I had gotten at the end of season last year, it is so light to carry! 

 That little gun dropped even big phez over points with no problem.

Sally: Is it my turn?

I usually just scissor off hair with burrs in it rather than endure tedious grooming but this was Storms beautiful tail so I did take the time to brush it out. 

She's a classy gal.

Thanks all for looking, I will work on Part 3 soon!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Montana in the Rear View Mirror: Post 1 of 3

We had a full crew of 10 dogs this year, including 7 experienced dogs and 3 youngsters under 1 yr of age.  

Our French Brittanys included brothers Jack and DW, Belle, Jazz and 6 month old Ripper. Following are random photos of them doing what they do best. ( Setter photos in the next post)
(click on any photo to enlarge)

Mike walking in on Belle, Jack and DW on point/backing

Jack pointing a 'badlands pheasant'

Sharptail or huns?

A favorite cover

Belle always puts birds in the bag

DW on a group of running Huns


Tri-color Jazz, aka Pickle, shows up well against the grass

 Sweet Belle

Almost back to the truck doesn't mean they are done.  Rooster.

Puppy Ripper was too young to join on hunts this year but had plenty of fun runs.

Jack and Belle worked well to set Mike up for his limit of pheasant on this day

Thanks for looking....and Happy Hunting!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Our 2016 Season Beginning

Our first night here in Montana we pulled the Open Range onto our favorite hill overlooking fields where we have walked many a mile.  A full moon lit the clear night and the white dogs almost glowed as they aired out after feeding.  We felt a bit like Norm on Cheers as we walked into our favorite bar and grill. We were greeted by the owners and local rancher friends as if they last saw us a week ago instead of a whole year having passed.  The steaks were Montana sized and every bit as good as we remembered: huge ribeyes cooked to perfection that also provided lunch for days.  

The next morning we were up and out early and watched the sun rise from the front seat of the truck as we finished our coffee and tea. 

When it was time we unloaded our "A Team" of 4 dogs, climbed over the first barbed wire fence of the year and our 2016 hunting season had begun. 

I am having a hard time with Internet access this year but will try to update as I am able.  
Lynn Dee

Sunday, July 31, 2016


Summer is a busy time for Mike and me as we own and operate a small organic produce operation and I head to Farmer's Markets every couple of days to sell the produce plus my homemade breads and baked goods.  Mike grows a wide variety of produce and we enjoy providing healthy, organic foods to families in our area.  Of course, we get to eat it daily ourselves, too!

Countless hours go into the produce: prepping, planting, watering, weeding, and picking. The growing season starts early here in Kansas with potatoes and onions.  This is one of the early season gardens just getting planted on March 7th.

Strawberries in May/June are our biggest crop.  They are a sweet reward for all of the hard work it takes to keep the plants productive and to get the berries out to families fast and fresh.

This year a good quantity of our berries were purchased by a microbrewery, Kansas Territory Brewing Co., in Washington, KS.   They were pleased to find our locally grown, organic fruit and used the berries to make an outstanding strawberry-rhubarb beer .   We imbibed in some of the end product - quality control and being friendly, you know - and these folks make great beer.  Delicious!

At the end of June the puppies from Dixie's litter all went to their hunting-companion homes. It is always such a pleasure to see the care and enthusiasm of the new owners and I love the many photos and notes I get on their progress afterward.  Many of these pups go on to travel and have adventurous lives that many people can only wish for.


During July Mike and I had the rare treat of taking off for a few days together and we headed to northern Minnesota with the dogs and the OR in tow.  We enjoyed the cool temps and scenery but especially the opportunity to run the dogs in the shaded coolness of the grouse woods.   They loved ending the runs in beautiful lakes.  We made new acquaintances who live up that way and I'm thinking that we will be back again for sure.

For now it is back to work with the produce and baking.  But we are counting down the weeks until the day in September when we load everyone up and head to Montana.  That's the real payoff for us.

Lynn Dee

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dixie x Heath puppies: 8 weeks

This will be the last photo update for this litter because next weekend they will all be joining their families!  These puppies are all headed to companion-hunting homes, mostly grouse hunting in the Great Lakes, New England, Pennsylvania and the Appalachian Mountains.  As much as I enjoy puppies and their antics, I have to say that the most rewarding aspect of breeding for me is when I receive field reports and photos of the pups/dogs making their owners happy.  Proud photos and stories of them on point or tailgate shots with well earned birds always bring a smile to my face and encourages me to begin planning the next litter.

Folks seem to love seeing photos of the puppies as they grow and it is a great way for families who live far away to follow their growth.  I try hard to get photos that show each puppy as I see them every day but I have to tell you that it isn't easy!  I am not a photographer and I'm afraid that my photos simply do not accurately convey how cute the pups really are.  I try to capture cute poses like this:

But I'm afraid the the majority of shots end up more like this:

Enjoy a potpourri of photos of the pups from this morning and thanks for looking!