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2019-20 Season Wrap Up

Overall we had a good season and got a lot done with the dogs. Our Sage Grouse season remains closed so our hunting began in Wisconsin in October. We found plenty of Grouse but most were still in broods, which was a little odd for this time of year. Our focus was on the youngsters we started the last couple years and they continued to develop nicely. Here’s a pretty poor shot of Feather pointing a Grouse:

Feather on Point
Feather Pointing A Grouse

And Misty with the first Grouse she’s had shot over her:

Lisa with Misty and grouse
Misty’s First Grouse

On this trip Misty developed a unique style when handling birds. When she smells birds she goes straight to them like a laser beam. She crouches and does kind of a fast stalk, very intense, no side to side motion – just straight to the bird. Very positive – no messing around.

OK, we can’t resist a puppy photo. Heather came from Thorn Plum Kennels in NY.  She’s a nice pup we’re hoping makes a good addition to our crew.

Cliff With Heather
Cliff With Heather

In December we headed to southern Idaho and spent a few days in some of our old Hun covers that we hadn’t hit in years. The birds were still there and they were spookier than ever. Small coveys that ran a lot and didn’t put up with any mistakes. A great challenge for the dogs and they were up to it. It was really nice to see the dogs handling tough birds like this even when we didn’t get shots at the flush.

We arrived in Kansas on New Year’s Eve for another Gathering and some Quail hunting. Birds were way down this year but we still managed to get some good hunts in. The Gathering was fun and informative as usual and we had quite a crowd this year.

Lisa With Thistle
Lisa With Thistle
Rick with Abby
Rick Walking In On Abby’s Point

A highlight for us was what we called a “parade”. We got together one morning for kind of a show and tell session before dispersing to hunt. Breeders present broke out their dogs and described the breeding and qualities of each dog. Very informative.

Breeders’ Show And Tell Session

We switched our focus to getting pups started and had fun watching them discover what life is about.

Dusty Pointing
Puppy Point / Dusty (Brook x Coulter)
Heath REsting Up
Heath Enjoying The Fireplace

Since we weren’t finding many birds we headed back to Idaho to finish out the season on Chukars.

Chukar Camp
Chukar Camp

Bird numbers weren’t spectacular but it was good enough to get a lot done with the dogs. Not to mention it’s beautiful country.

Tillie / Piper x Doc
Tillie (Piper x Doc)
Prince On Chukars
Cliff, Thistle and Misty
Cliff With Thistle And Misty
Fog Bank
Fog Bank Spilling Into Valley

We had great weather and lots of good dog work to wrap up our season. Memories that will carry us through until next year.



  1. Rick

    “…our hunting began in Wisconsin in October. We found plenty of Grouse but most were still in broods, which was a little odd for this time of year.”

    Depending upon early or late in October, perhaps a little bit odd, not routinely common, but definitely not unheard of. Over the years I’ve come across broods as late as the second week of October. Just one reason among several that has me opposed to Wisconsin’s early season starting mid-September. I am utterly convinced that this early season in WI, and other cold, northern states, is more detrimental to grouse than late seasons when the snow is too deep and the temperature too cold for any, but a very small, rare few to venture out to hunt grouse.

    BTW, as always, I love your website/blog and truly admire your unwavering research and views on what is best for our beloved setters.

    • October Setters

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your comments. We arrived on the 16th so pretty late in the month. Some had noticeably short tails which is not typical in our experience either. Grouse season here in Idaho opens at the end of August and we typically see intact broods and birds with very short tails so we won’t hunt them that early. They are indeed vulnerable.


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October Setters