I’m in northern CA hunting mountain quail this week. I have been on a bit of a quest to complete the quail slam of all 6 North American species and the mountain quail was last on the list. Hunting these birds is tough!
Steep, rocky country, thick cover, and birds that are spread thin and don’t often hold well. As luck would have it, my younger dog got injured on our first morning here so I had to rely heavily on my ten year old campaigner, Dory.
After 3 days of hunting, with Dory on the ground for most of it, I was not the only one impressed. Both my hunting partner and our guide were blown away by Dory’s tenacity and ability to find and hold these difficult birds.
At the end of the day yesterday, he made a wide cast and had an incredible find on a covey of mountain quail at the base of a very steep hill. He held until we arrived on sight – several minutes- and then trailed the running covey to the top of the ridge, where he proceeded to point and hold a number of the spread out singles. Shooting was tough in the dense cover but a few birds were brought to hand. When I told my buddy that I was impressed that he climbed the hill, his response was, “after hunting with past two days, if he’s on point, I’m going to him wherever he is!” The guide was equally impressed. I think the only one not surprised was me. After all, I’ve been hunting over Dory for 9 seasons now, and I’ve now shot 16 species over his points.
Drummer de L’Escarbot (“Dory”)
Dam: Tabia du Buisson de Choisel (import France)
Sire: Soska du Pont de Cauhet (Import France)
Owner: Keith Marcott (WY)
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
These photos and text are a great example of a L’Escarbot dog showing their versatility.
I hope all is well with you and your family. I have been meaning to let you know how Jolie is doing for some time, she is Jaspers liter mate. She is awesome, swimming deep water at 12 weeks and a natural retriever. Great instincts. Fully broke to wing and shot her second season. She naturally backs her brace mate. She is still quite the cuddle pup and loves to talk to us in “britaneze”.
Jolie De’ L’Escarbot
Dam: Fabienne de L’Escarbot
Sire: Ipso Facto du Comte de Batz Castlelmore (Import France)
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
Owner: John Cook WI
John – Brie finished the season well – we shot 25 quail, 9 chukars, and 5 pheasants over her yesterday . She was hunting with 3 English Setters and still retrieved all but 4 quail! When the setters were ready to lie down and quit , Brie kept going back out to the fields , turning around and barking at me as if to say “hey – there’s still birds out there!”
She only has one speed in the field – 100% all out. She remains a retrieving machine . Note that in the photo where she is pointing with the setters she has a bird In her mouth!
I think she might drive me nuts in the off season – I hope I can keep up with her.
It is humbling to learn that your dog is smarter than you are, especially two days in a row. This time Patch pointed a pheasant and when flushed, it caught a strong SD prairie wind. I shot and it sailed down with the wind 60 yds away. I carefully marked it down calling the dog to me as I was certain with the distance and tall grasses he hadn’t seen where it went down. Finally he came and sniffed around finding nothing. After a futile search we headed back. Patch wandered off to a new area & again miraculously came back with the rooster. Like yesterday, he had found it right away then dropped it to respond to my persistent calling. He must think I am an idiot as a hunting partner – and he may be right!
Avenall De L’Escarbot (Patch) twelve years old.
Sire: Storm De L’Escarbot
Dam: Rose De L’Escarbot
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
Owner: Ed Crozier MN
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)
With a very heavy heart I write that one of our L’Escarbot family members has died. Rose de L’Escarbot (Rosie) age 17 years, 2 months and 21 days gave us great joy as an angel in the house and a demon in the field. Rose was the daughter of Jipsie and granddaughter of Ivee. She was the last of a line of dogs that produced loving companions and outstanding hunting dogs.
As a nine-week-old puppy Rose went to the lake for the first time, following around her reluctant new best friend, Gus, biting at his body parts. Rose, not wanting to miss anything, fell asleep curled up in the middle of the living room floor, completely wiped out from her first day exploring Oak Lake. Gus wasn’t real fond of little Rose and would avoid her teeth at any cost. He would growl at her, never hurting her, just a warning for her to stay away. One day Gus curled up in a corner to escape the little whirlwind, and Rose proceeded to climb up on top of him and curled up for a nap. All the while Gus was growling and giving little Rose the vibrating bed treatment. This began a long and lasting friendship between the two of them. Hunting and pointing blue gills at the lake, rough housing in the living room until they got yelled at, napping in the office on the same bed, and wandering around the acreage in Hampton. They were friends for thirteen years until Gus passed away at sixteen years old. Rose was a very sad dog for a couple of weeks not wanting to do much of anything. Then one day out of the blue she went out into the yard and ran around as fast as she could and came back inside and started acting like her old self again. She had mourned long enough and was ready for another four years.
Rose, in her prime, was the fastest dog in the kennel. In the field the other dogs would run to try and catch Rose but they never could. She would turn on the after burners and leave them in the dust. Rose went on to produce three beautiful litters of puppies. Her first pregnancy was the most memorable. Rose was a few days away from giving birth, or so I thought. She was walking around in the dining room while I was in for lunch one day, turned and looked at me with an odd look and proceeded to push out a little puppy. I jumped from my chair and caught the puppy before it landed on the hardwood floor. Rose and I had a very good relationship but she had one thing that she did right up till the end. Whenever I would walk past her (most dogs would just lay still and let me walk by) Rose would change positions at the last minute or stand up or turn and walk in front of me almost always causing me to trip and stumble. Of course I would shout ROSE!!!! and she would just walk away. I will miss all of that.
Rose had two best friends in the world, Abbie and Jeanie. They could do anything to her, from bows in her hair to birthday cupcakes to cuddling on the couch. They will miss her the most.
Rose slept on Abbie’s bed until she left for college and then kept her spot when it became Frank’s room after that. When she couldn’t jump up on the bed anymore, Rose would just lay down next to the bed, still close to Frank.
Most people called her Rosie. Rose had many people friends who loved her company who will miss her dearly. One especially is a girl named Emma who couldn’t pronounce Rose’s name . . . she called her Wose.
Me, I’ll have to get tripped by another. I’ll miss yelling at you Rosebud.
I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but in May 2004 my daughter and I drove up to your kennel from Ohio to pick up our new puppy…Veronique d’Lescarbot (Maggie). It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that about a month ago Maggie passed-on…she was 13-1/2. I wanted to write to simply say thank you for breeding such fantastic companions…she was everyone’s favorite. Maggie hunted until about 2 seasons ago, and together we covered many miles pursuing pheasant, ruffed grouse, & woodcock in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania; as well as some chukar & huns on a local game preserve near us. She LOVED to hunt and I LOVED to hunt with her; and if I’m honest, I must admit that she was by far the more reliable & capable member of our team.
More than that, however, she was a family member, friend & companion, who was always there to share in whatever experience we had as a family. She liked everyone she ever met, and particularly adored our granddaughters. Maggie didn’t have a course bone in her body, and through her entire life, I never even heard her growl at a person or animal…she was simply the sweetest dog ever, and she was loved by everyone. I remember telling my wife about your “Angels in the Home, Demons in the Field” saying that you had, and for the first 2-year we had Maggie, my wife would be quick to remind me that you had not been completely truthful. However, once we got past the adolescent stage, she was exactly that, so I had many opportunities over the years to re-establish your credibility in her eyes…Lol! We dearly miss her presence around the house as she was just a part of who we were as a family, yet we have many fond memories to keep her spirit alive–which comforts us and always brings smiles (and occasionally tears) to our faces.
So in closing, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you again, John & Bruce, for your dedication to this breed and to the uncompromising characteristics, temperament, and ability that you ensure through your breeding program. There are really no words to adequately express the joy that she brought into our family life as a result of your dedicated efforts…
In January, 2017, my wife, Virginia, and I adopted Dixie, a one-year-old German Wirehaired Pointer. Dixie (the name we gave him) had been given up by his previous owners because “…they wanted a hunting dog and this one was gun-shy”. Since Virginia and I had had a previous experience with getting a dog to overcome gun-shyness, we decided to take a gamble on Dixie, and we adopted him.
I contacted John Mooney of L’Escarbot Kennels in March, 2017, after a brief and unsatisfactory experience with another trainer. John interviewed me over the phone and we made plans to have him meet Dixie. On the first encounter, John commented that Dixie had a “good temperament”, and that he would be willing to work with him on a one-month commitment, starting May 1. I agreed, and took Dixie home for some basic heeling and “whoa” training.
I should point out that John emphasized that introduction to the gun comes late in the training, unlike what the previous trainer had done, especially with a dog that has demonstrated some previous shyness.
John was insistent that I call once a week and get an update on Dixie’s progress. This was not a problem, since I was very anxious for the report, but it impressed me that it was also important to John as well. To him, Dixie was not just another dog. He was an individual, and John wanted me to know that.
With each weekly progress report, the news was more exciting. Before long, I was hearing that “Dixie has a phenomenal nose”, or “Dixie respects me, and we are buddies”, or “Dixie is doing well with shooting”, or “Dixie is getting stronger on the point”. I could not wait for May 30, and my opportunity to see the two of them in action.
It was better than expected. I admit I had some trepidation that Dixie would not remember me right away, but that fear dissipated immediately when we were reunited. He was very excited to see me. However, it was clear that, with John, Dixie was all business.
We went to an open field and just went through some of the paces with no birds. John showed me how he had whistle-trained Dixie to “whoa”, “here”, and to change direction while quartering. It was very apparent that this dog has the potential to be a very good hunter, because, with John’s training, he was behaving just as he should, staying in range, and responding to commands.
Next John set out two birds, with Dixie back in the crate. This was the moment I was waiting for, because of the gun-shyness history. True to what John had told me about his nose, Dixie scented the first bird from about 150 yards out. He pointed it very well (maybe a bit close for John’s liking), and when John flushed and shot the bird, he immediately retrieved it (video will soon be added). The second bird did not want to get up on its own, but Dixie still had it pointed, and he retrieved when John released it and fired on it. This retrieve was even better than the first.
Finally, we took Dixie to the river, where there was a deep pool. John wanted to show me that Dixie, having been bred for waterfowl as well as upland game, would retrieve in the water. The water was chilly, but he did go in, and retrieved the quail for John.
I could not be more pleased with the training that Dixie received from John Mooney. To me, it is like a dream come true to see what has been accomplished in a month. I intend to bring Dixie back for refresher sessions at least twice a month throughout the summer or 2017. In the fall, I plan to go to a game preserve with Dixie, and later I hope to hunt wild pheasants in South Dakota. I will keep John appraised of Dixie’s progress.
I think you bred the most wonderful EB on the planet! Lyric finished her AKC Junior Hunter this afternoon at the Kettle Moraine English Setter Club/ Greater Milwaukee Brittany Club hunt test at the Ottawa Fieldgrounds in Eagle, WI. She needed 3 passes to finish and she did it in style. Her scores were 9,9,6,7, 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206. She got lots of attention…she was one of two EBs at the test and she was just outstanding…comments were…”Boy, does she have a motor!” “Intense drive,” “Gret pointing ability.” Now we concentrate on agility and start work on Senior Hunter.
I don’t know how you picked the right pup for me but you sure did. We just love her. She continues to be an absolute lady in the house and is so intelligent and willing to learn.
I’ll keep you posted on her beginning agility career…I have her planned to start competing in August. She is learning so fast and just loves the game so I see a great future for her in that sport…as well as field.
Once again, thank you for allowing me to share my life with such a wonderful pup!
Lyric de L’Escarbot TAN JH
An update on Magnum… two weeks ago he was caught in a large conibear trap and nearly killed. Alaska has very loose trapping regs and this particular trap was set on an often used trail. I am all over Fish and Game about it.
By a true miracle Magnum survived – a testament to his strong neck and stronger fortitude. He choked out before I could open the damn thing and I was very worried he would suffer brain damage. In the may lay I rammed the trigger wire through my finger, which is a small price to pay for his life. His abrasions have healed and fortunately he is back in hunting trim. The only noticeable change is he has become more cuddly in the evenings – that is, between wild and crazy puppy episodes. He is one tough dog!
Over the past two weeks we have had excellent cold clear frosty snow days for chasing ptarmigan. With no instruction of any kind he flushed three birds. I was pleased enough at that, but here’s the kicker… Today he pointed two birds like a real professional. On his own volition he stood at point 30 feet from each of two birds and did not flush. He held point rock solid till after the shot. He even raised one paw as a style point. His retrieve is a little weak, but is improving. He dropped the last bird near my feet, but didn’t want me to pick it up.
He flew through the woods and 8 inches of fresh snow over frozen snow, quartering the woods and cutting countless bird trails. He kept me in sight (mostly) and seldom ranged far beyond shotgun range. He is an excellent hunting partner, and it’s all due to good breeding. Like I said, he is training free. Thank you for such a stout dog of mind, body, and hunting instinct.
Cheers, Frank Bergstrom
Good morning, John,
Here are some pics of Lyric at 11 months…time has flown by! She is still just a delight…so smart, pretty, athletic…probably the best pup I’ve ever owned. She is well on her way to doing AKC junior hunter…I plan to enter her in September at the DesPlaines Conservation Area for the G. Shorthair Pointer Club of IL. That is where I finished Meg’s jr. hunter so I know the area fairly well.
Lyric is also a star in agility. She is too young to compete…I plan to try her first trial next spring. We are in a class of foundation work…she does all the obstacles and she is understanding “sends” to obstacles and tunnels…we are working on sends to jumps. I have just started her on weavepoles here at home…I usually wait until a pup is 1 year old to make sure growth plates are sound as doing weaves puts pressure on a pup’s spine as well as leg joints.
Once again, thank you for allowing me to own such a wonderful girl….I love her to bits. She is perfect in the house with the other two girls…they have taught her proper house behavior and she travels well. She goes to every agility trial with Meg and me and is always popular with the other handlers…she is well socialized.
Marcia Whitmore (IL)
I took this picture on my walk with the dogs this morning. I think the item of interest was a jackrabbit. Words can’t describe what great dogs they are.
Dale Strickland WY
Dru De L’Escarbot, Sire: Soska Du Pont De Cauhet (Import France) Dam: Tabia Du Buisson De Choisel (Import France).
Franki De L’Escacarbot, Sire Disk De St. Lubin (Import France) Dam: Voyouse Du Buisson De Choisel (Import France).
Just wanted to thank you guys again for the stellar pup. Seven months but I can see it already. Looking forward to this season! Allison managed to get a shot last weekend on the Minnesota north shore worth sharing with you guys. Great dogs!
Matthew & Allison Thompson MN
“Dax” – Loick De L’escarbot
Dam: Fabienne De L’Escarbot
Sire: Jarred Du Comte De Batz Castelmore
Terrain De L’Escarbot (Sonny)
Dam: Rose De L’Escarbot
Sire: Nilo De La Valleta
Owner: Lee Swanson
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
Hi John & Bruce, Just a note to say Hi & let you know that Sonny is 14 yrs young today ( Jan. 29, 2016 ) & doing well & still hunting like a champ but just a little slower. Thanks for my best friend. Lee Swanson
Our little Rupert continues to completely delight us in every way, including (of course) his hunting abilities. This past weekend I had him out for his first pheasant hunt, and he performed very well. He stays close, checking back with me frequently, even when he’s on a bird. I rarely have to call him back to hunt closer – he seems to have a natural range of 10 to 30 yards that he rarely exceeds. I’ve hunted with a lot of dogs, and it seemed like their owners were always yelling at them to hunt closer. With Rupert, I rarely have to communicate with him at all. He just seems to know what to do.
He seems to have an excellent nose, definitely has endless energy to go all day, and does just fine in heavy cover. A couple of times he took off running after hens that flushed in the distance and then ignored my whistle to get him back, which is a bit annoying. Normally he responds instantly to the whistle. But of course he’s only 9 months old.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I’m having a great time hunting with him. We enjoy him a lot both in the field and in our condo. Except for his habit of finding socks in the house and chewing them up. Oh well…
Bruce and Petra MN
Floyd De L’Escarbot
Dam: Voyouse Du Buisson De Choisel (Import France)
Sire: Diska De Saint Lubin (Import France).
Owner: Mike Mollow (CT)
Producer: John and Bruce Mooney
ohn— Floyd’s 5th hunting season is going very well. Floyd has turned into a woodcock specialist. He’s also such a great guy at home. The kids love him so much. We just lost an older dog and we are in the early stages of thinking about getting Floyd a “sister” French Brittany. I’ll be in touch when we get closer to that day. Thanks again for a really good dog.
Below: the point and the retrieve in Warren, VT
John and Bruce,
This is another great note from your teacher friend in New Hampshire. Brady and I spent the Summer in Northern Maine running a conservation camp. The picture I am sending you is from a youth hunters apprentice ship program through Safari Club International. Brady and I were asked to help with 12 young kids on a Pheasant hunt. Pheasants are hard for Brady a little just because they run so much. But as the picture shows Brady was on a long track after a young man winged this pheasant. I heard Brady’s bell far out in the thick stuff and thought he lost the bird so I called him back around and when he was coming back his bell went silent.
So I figured he was pointing the pheasant, to my amazement when I went in to flush the bird, Brady had the pheasant in his mouth and was locked on a woodcock. I couldn’t believe that with a nose full of pheasant he would still point his favorite bird to hunt!!!!!! We are still training and learning, but Brady is only two and I am still a rookie, But we love to do it all. Thanks again for this amazing experience.
Best Wishes, David Kenney
I thought I’d give you an update, long over-due, on Bella. She’s a hoot! Great personality! Moans and groans as she’s petted. She loves to fetch and runs the field and wood very well. We didn’t have much luck with ruff’s (low numbers) near our deer camp this year but she certainly covered the ground and will catch on to them. Worked up a couple fairly well and did well on the few woodcock encountered. I was invited to a game farm with a couple guys who ran labs. We hunted them first and didn’t have great luck. Put them away and we brought out Bella and walked to where we saw a roost enter the tall grass. She went the complete 1800 wrong direction into the short grass despite my pleas. Not a good first impression on the lab guys. Until she went on point and we all hurried along in the cut grass to flush a hidden hen! We bagged that bird and then the hunt was on! Back to the tall grass and we simply stood still and watched her cover lots of ground. When I mentioned we could follow her the guys thought it was great just to stand and watch. She was brilliant. I was proud. Of Bella, not my shooting. We finished the field with her and brought out the labs again and didn’t scare up another bird. One of the guys told me he talked about this little dog the entire next day at work. With snow melted we’re getting back out into the woods or pastures, whatever we can find, and both getting some needed exercise.
The attached photo shows how smart she is and maybe a new training technique.
Hope you’re catching spring fever,
I haven’t spoken to you in a while but I thought I would tell you that I am very pleased with Gus. He is 17 months old now and has seen plenty of pen raised birds throughout the winter: chukers and pheasants. He is working well and I love his nose and I really am getting used to his point. He points from a longer distance than our previous FB. I think this will be an asset on grouse. He is retrieving nicely, but still has a a tendency to want to keep the bird and play with it. He is good at home and all the family love him. I think he will make a fine bird dog and I am glad I made the choice of your kennel. He is quite the athlete:40 lbs. of pure muscle. There is no stop in his desire!
Just wanted to send you another update on Zephyr (Jesper de L’Escarbot), as we are excited to celebrate his very first Christmas with us! Thought you’d also enjoy his picture with Santa we got taken at Petco a few weeks ago, which I’ve attached! He got lots of compliments from everyone he met that day — he’s such a handsome and well-behaved boy!
Zephyr will be starting his third level of obedience courses in January as well! He just completed his second one for older puppies last weekend and passed with flying colors! Definitely the smartest puppy in his whole class…he has amazing focus, impulse control, and absolutely loves to please, which really sets him apart from the other dogs, in my opinion. He truly enjoys learning new things! In fact, we are currently on the track to earning his Canine Good Citizen and therapy dog certification!
I hope all is well with you! Have a merry Christmas!
Alyssa Elbert IA