John – Having just returned from the north woods of Wisconsin with my 9 month old French Brittany puppy, I wanted to share my 7 day grouse / woodcock hunting experience with you. I must admit I was a bit tentative about taking Brie (Nicolette de L’Escarbot) out for a week of hunting Wisconsin ruffed grouse and woodcock – birds that often frustrate the most experienced dogs. Thanks to your advice, encouragement, and most of all breeding dogs with incredible hunting qualities, Brie performed admirably. The first day in the woods, she retrieved a wounded woodcock to hand. There was no hesitation finding and retrieving this bird she had never before encountered. The next day, she made a blind retrieve on her first grouse that went down in a thick patch of alders. The highpoint of the hunt was another blind retrieve, but this time is was on a woodcock I dropped in a tamarack bog. Showing her the general direction where the bird went down, I went into the muck and was soon in over my knees in mud and water. Brie did not slow down, racing into the thick stuff. After a few minutes, and to the amazement of my fellow hunters, she proudly emerged from the tamaracks with bird in mouth, She was a very proud pup, and I was a very proud owner. All agreed it was the highpoint of the hunt.
Overall, Brie hunted close and listened well. The birds were wary, but she did manage to point and hold a few woodcock. She retrieved with gusto, and she loved bringing birds back to me.
Thanks for breeding such a great puppy – she is a sweetie at home and a dynamo in the field. It does not get much better than that.
I have attached photos of Brie’s first woodcock, first grouse, and of her after a morning where we took 5 grouse and 2 woodcock in just a few hours.
Sire: Etoc De L’Escarbot
Dam: Jinni Du Comte De Batz Castelmore
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
Dave Antanitus, VA
Rear Admiral, US Navy (retired)