Sunday, November 20, 2011


 These are a few hunting photos of my Dad circa 1964.  My Mom found some old slides and and them converted to photos.  Until very recently I didn't know these images even existed.

 This is my Dad and his family's dog Missy, she was a lab/spring mix.  I'm guessing that his quarry was a few pheasants and a rabbit.  Rough shooting at it's best. 

 This a photo of my Dad and his famed "6 Pointer" that he jumped next to the old railroad tracks behind our cabin.  Legend has it that this buck tipped the scales well over 200 lbs.  I grew up mesmerized by this deer's rack and hoped that I could one day repeat the feet of a deer like this. 

til next time....

Thursday, November 17, 2011


One of the birds that Abby and I scratched down today had white spurs.  The bird also had some great plumage to go along with the "Ivory" spurs.  

It was a fun day chasing birds on the prairie.  We were able to scratch down a few birds while hunting in a new area.

til next time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Tracking....that's the word that I'll take away from CO 2012 Pheasant Opener.  To be exact, Abby's ability to track a running pheasant.  I first saw Abby's talent on last year's pheasant opener.  While hunting Abby runs a quality wind pattern and when she hits a scent cone she'll usually flush whatever enticed her nose.  But when that bird is on the run, her gate and pattern changes as she puts her heads down in pursuit of those wily birds.  It's a distinct gate that puts a stamp that she's on a runner.  It truly is a sight to be seen.  This past weekend was different from last year.  The change?  When she went off on a track, she stayed honest and produced a bird 100% of the time.  Trust your gundog?  You bet!

til next time....

Friday, October 7, 2011

Trial Time

Where did the month of September go? The last thing I remember it was Labor Day and I was camping with some friends and family.  Wait that was my last post!

Since my last post it's been all about getting ready for our club's first field trial and hunt test.  Planning, planning and more planning followed by the event and that meant putting all of the plans to work.  For the most part all the planning came together but it was from the hard work of a bunch of club members.  It was great to be around such great dog people for 5 plus days.  We had participants from CO, MT, NE, KS, AR, CA and NH.  All of them were great to be around and great to learn from.

After months of planning the trial came and went but the memories stayed.

Here's a few photos from the training sessions prior to the trial.

Here's some photos from the trial and hunt test

Lot's of hanging out!

Judges: Tim Lindsey and Chad Betts

Dave walking to the second series.

Party Time!

The grounds

Hunt Test

Cheyenne handling her dog to her SR title!

til next time....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Family, Friends and Fun

In the past September 1st couldn't come fast enough.  But this year the summer flew by and the next thing I knew I was on my way up to grouse camp.  The usual excitement of opening day soon settled back in as we climbed the aspen and sage groves in search of Dusky Grouse.

The days forecast called for high heat by mid morning so Pete and I knew the morning's hunt was going to be quick.  We made most of our time but we didn't find grouse in their usual spots but we jumped form covert to covert.  By the end of the second covert we finally bagged our fist grouse of the 2011 season.  The third covert of the morning finally brought in multiple flushes as we found a small brood.  The quick action brought 2 birds to hand as Abby made a great blind retrieve on the second bird. 

As the morning's hunt ended I quickly found my back to Denver.  The next day brought a full day of work and then Nichole and I headed back up to camp for our annual Labor Day camping trip.  A few friends joined us this year for our camping trip. 

Wet Abby

3 Duskies from Opening Day

Chateau de Pete
Once we were back at camp the grouse hunting was limited but the laughs and good times were stronger than ever.   It was great to camp with our family and friends.  Since this was our only camping trip of the summer it was a great time to spend it with them.

Happy Campers

Matt and Johnny

Day Hike

Toro and Abby waiting for a few crumbs.
Johnny Meatball...enough said.
 til next time....

Monday, August 15, 2011

When in Rome

I was lucky enough to spend the last 10 days in Italy on a family vacation.  In between the sights, the wine and the food we were able to bump into a gentlemen in the streets of Rome walking his English Springer Spaniel.  Although there was a major breakdown in communication, since neither of us knew each others native language, we were able to exchange some pleasantries through massive amounts of hand gestures.  We also showed each other photos of our dogs on our cell phones.  From this exchange, I learned that this man hunted his springer and he was also thrilled to see that we had two springers of our own.

Even though this was a chance meeting on a street in Rome it was a great feeling to share the love of the bred.

til next time....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Big Fish with the Big Easy

This past weekend brought me back to my hometown of Buffalo, NY.  The trip was based around a few family get togethers but I figured I could squeeze in some sort of fishing.  Within a few phone calls we were booked for a Lake Ontario salmon excursion.  After a few twists and turns we were on the water on a hot and humid day.

Only those in Western New York know what a great fishery the area around Buffalo can be.  You can catch trophy trout year round. Whether you are chasing Steelhead through the winter months on the famed tributaries or trolling for King Salmon in July, this area has it.

The charter was with Big Easy Sport Fishing with Captain Steve Renyolds.  We couldn't have found a better Captain for this day.  I've only done one other charter like this before but for the conditions we faced it was nothing short of a blast. 

Here are a few photos from a day out on Lake Ontario with Captain Steve.

Ben waiting those magic words: Fish On!

Ben's Fight

Ben's 25lb King Salmon

I was lucky enough to pick the right rod: 30lb King

 Big Fish with the Big Easy

til next time....

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Such is Life

We're less than two months from the start of our upland season and I'm back down to one dog.  While on hike over the 4th of July holiday, Mia tore her ACL on her right and previously uninjured leg.  Prior to this injury, we were devoting so much time and effort to her conditioning.  She was swimming and training with days off in between to rest her legs.  Her conditioning was coming along and she was even on a handful of training birds.

Was this injury bound to happen, maybe, maybe not? 

I'm confident that she'll make a full recovery but she won't be able to chase wild birds again this season.  Maybe next year, maybe not.  At this point we are more worried about her recovery as our pet.  I'm looking to the near future to make a good rehab and then in the long term to make sure she has the best quality of life as possible.  It's not unheard of to have a sporting dog with 2 TPLO surgeries running around the uplands.   She'll most likely have stronger knees after this second surgery than she did before these injuries. 

Mia's second favorite, after hunting, snuggling!

til next time...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dog Sledding

Abby decided to celebrate this past holiday weekend by sledding down a snow bank. She didn't realize that this was not Christmas and it was actually the 4th of July.

Goofy little dog.

til next time...

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Lately my blog posts have been any less than frequent.  That doesn't mean I haven't been busy with all of my upland interests.  From training and conditioning the dogs to sorting the gear for the upcoming season, it seems that the tasks are endless.  But I've been devoting much of my time to starting a new dog training club.  For the past few years I've been lucky enough to associated with a great group of ESS's owners that really want something more for their dogs.  The group has slightly expanded and all of the hard work will result in an licensed AKC Performance Dog Club.

The Pawnee Flushing Spaniel Club originally started back in 2007 and we hosted an English Cocker Field Trail under their parent clubs title.   Since then it has taken time and effort to get the club going.  From the applications to the fundraising, it's not an easy process but in the end it will be well worth it. 

This September we are hosting our first events.  The first being a two day English Springer Spaniel Field Trial followed by a one day Hunt Test.

There are many reasons for starting this club but it really comes down to the dogs.  There was and is need for a club that truly was about the betterment of the breed.  Not only do we want to train our dogs but we also want to have a good time doing that.

As the summer progresses we'll be training hard for the fall hunting and trialing season.  We're putting Abby through some advance training to keep her sharp.  Mia's back training and we're petting extra effort on strengthen her knee. 

til next time...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spring has Sprung

It's been a while since my last post but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy.  In the next few weeks I'll have many topics to write about but for now it's about a spring fishing trip.

A few weeks back my good friend Ryan made a venture out west to jump into the sport of fly fishing.   Our timing could not have been any better for a spring time fishing trip in the Rockies.  We walked a tight time line before the spring run off began.

We decided to head to the Crested Butte on Western Slope for a few days of fishing.  The best decision was to go with a guide to make sure we were put on fish.  We booked a day with Jason White of Crested Butte Angler.  What a great choice guides! I can't say enough about our experience with Jason.  The Gunnison River water level cooperated enough for us to float it in Jason's drift boat.  Not only have I never fished with a guide, I have never fly fished from a drift boat.  Since this was going to be a new experience for both Ryan and I was completely optimistic that this was going to be a great day on the river. 

Jason White giving Ryan some last minute instructions.
Ryan's first fish from a drift boat.

We floated the "Guuny" for full 8 hours and it felt like it!  Cast after cast made the arms sore but it was well worth it.  We had a good day on the river and landed enough fish to keep us hungry for more.

Our next fly fishing adventure took us to the famed Cheeseman Canyon of the South Platte River.  It was tough day on the river with a rising flow and slew of floating algae.  The fish were very hard to come by but we were able to get some action after a brief thunderstorm passed through.  I was lucky enough to relieve Ryan from a hot run to land a nice fish.

22" "Cutbow"
All in all it was great weekend to have Ryan out for a visit.  Fish were caught and beers were drunk.

til next time....