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, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11. 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
Its been quite while since I touched base. I think Dory (official name Drummer) is now 6 and has quite a few miles and birds behind him. He’s been a great dog and the only one left in my kennel after I put down the other 2 I had at the time he joined us.
Anyway, Dory has hunted a great variety of birds over the past 6 years including ruffed grouse, woodcock, snipe, Sharptailed, Sage, and Blue grouse, plus pheasants , huns, and chukars. This September we flew to AK and I shot all three species of ptarmigan over him as well. He is a driven bird finder and I’d have to say that his specialty is covey birds in big country – he is absolutely death on chukars.
Anyway, thought you might like a couple of pics, so see attached.
I have Bernadette — more commonly known as Tater, from your 2006 breeding of Toy and Tabia. Tater is doing well — we just got back from a week of ruffed grouse hunting in Maine. She is healthy and in her prime. But my older dog — the male Aussie you met briefly and worried about — is 14 now and it will be time to have another dog in the house in a year or so to keep Tater company. I have so much appreciated Tater’s trueness to your breeding vision that I want to get another of your puppies. She has been everything you told me she would be and more — extraordinarily athletic, as smart as any Border Collie I’ve ever met, a tremendous hunter, and a wonderful house companion.
So, while I am not ready to get a puppy right now, I would ask that perhaps you could let me know about upcoming breedings so that I can put my name in early. If that requires a deposit now, let me know.
Thanks for the great work you do with these dogs.
I just want to share a note and thank you for your great training of Igor. I took him out for the first time in front of birds this fall since you trained him in April. Since he has so much energy and drive I was worried how he would react when he found his first bird. I was overjoyed. He locked on scent/sight and didn’t move until we flushed the birds. He also immediately retrieved and dropped the birds for me as well. All told we flushed all 8 birds we had placed in the field. He also returns promptly on the whistle. I am excited to get him up north in a couple weeks to see how he does going after grouse.
Feel free to post this on your testimonial page.
You are a miracle worker!
A few years ago we were researching kennels and dog trainers to see if a trainer could exercise the “gun shyness demons” from our 3 year old French Brittney, Tudors.
I’m glad we found you. Even though Tudors was not one of your own kennel raised pups, you were still very interested in helping us with a major correction given the severity of Tudors gun shy condition. When Tudors heard anything remotely similar to a gun or pop, he would run to a corner to find security and breath so heavily we thought he was going to have a heart attack! It was good to hear that you were confident that you could correct his fear of the gun. We thought you displayed an incredible amount of knowledge and applied some really good psychology…..for everyone involved. We really liked your approach and the professionalism from start to finish. As we didn’t know what to expect, you wanted to see if you could achieve progress after 3 visits before taking him for a month of training. This meant a lot to Natalie and me as we loved him for the companion he was in the house and we didn’t want that part to change, but we also wanted to see if he could live his life for what he was meant to be in the field.
We were blessed with Tudors being such a loveable and affectionate dog, as it turns out, none of this part changed. I think he loves us even more because you opened a new world of fun and purpose for him!
Tudors is now 5 and he has spent hundreds of hours in the field over the past 2 years gaining lots of “on the job experience.” I can say that at the end of each days hunt, he and I get better at being a team. As you told me, with Tudors less is more. He does everything he is supposed to do in the field and I don’t need to give him much instruction, and when I do he figures it out. When I have hunted him with other dogs, even flushers, I think Tudors is one of the best if not the best dog in the field. Tudors can change styles and approach because he has learned the difference between a hunting in the aspen forest and how to handle those conditions versus a pheasant habitat. I could go on and tell you stories about his eagerness to hunt, his bird pinning points and crazy retrieves, but I’m much more happy about the fact that he now loves the sound of the gun!
Great job John! I’m glad we found you!
I just wanted to share a story from my first outing with Nikki, a puppy that I got from you. Nikki almost yard trained herself by following my old dog around. When dove season rolled around she was almost 6 months old. We normally don’t get a lot of action where I hunt, so I thought it would be a good time to introduce her to the gun. We went out and our first dove came in. I shot and dropped it in some chest high grass. I looked down and Nikki was gone. I started swearing at myself thinking I messed up an excellent dog by rushing the training. Less than a minute later Nikki came out of the grass with the dove in her mouth. She brought it right to me and gave it up without a problem. We had more action than normal that day and I had one of my best shooting days on doves ever. When we were done, I rode the golf cart back to the farmhouse and the farmer walked up to us. He said he heard all of the shooting and asked if we got many of them. I can’t remember how many we had but it was near a dozen. He knew where I was hunting and knew about the grass. When I told him Nikki retrieved them all he said that’s one great dog you have there. Since then we have had many great years and a lot of great stories. I got Nikki from you guys 8 years ago and am going to be getting another puppy from you next year.
Good to catch up with you yesterday. I wanted to share my recent hunting experience.
Edgard de L’Escarbot – 4 ½ yrs. old
Father – Soska
Mother – Abbie
Walk-in Hunting just east of Pollock, SD
John, I wanted to share my recent “tracking” experience in South Dakota. My good friend his Labrador and I were hunting a Walk-In area which was comprised of a large lake bordered by approximately 75 yards of the nasty, thick cattails. We were walking in the grassy area beyond the cattails when Edgard sharply pointed a loafing Ringneck. The bird burst from the scene and my friend and I shot simultaneously thinking the bird was dead and hit very hard. As we reached the area the bird dropped, we were surprised to see that it was not there and had escaped (poor shooting). The dogs heard the command, “Dead Bird, Find it” and began to work the area around where the bird had dropped. After about a minute my friend called out that Edgard was on point on the edge of the cattails. As I entered the cattails, I noticed Edgard locked down pointing a large clump of reeds and cattails. I gave the command, “Fetch it up” and he raced into the clump followed by the Labrador. Both dogs ran franticly trying to located the wounded bird with no luck. This went on for about ten minutes with no bird to be found. At that time my friend called his dog off the search and I gave three sharp whistle blasts to call back Edgard. As my friend and his Labrador returned to the grassy area, I was having trouble calling the dog back. Being that I use a Garmin Astro GPS unit for my dog I decided to look at my receiver. The unit showed his travel through the thick cattails in the direction of the lake..45 – 50 – 60 – 75 yards, then the unit beeped “on point”. Thinking that he was on another bird, I trudged the 75 yards through the thickest cover I’ve ever been through to find the location of dog. As I came within 5 yards I still could not locate the dog due to the heavy cover. As I took one more step, I saw the dog just to my right in two foot of water, locked down tight with his nose just above the cattails. I gave the command again, “Fetch it up” and he buried his head in the heavy cover grabbing the Rooster by the neck and dragging him out from under the cover delivering the bird to hand. I couldn’t believe that he had tracked this crippled bird nearly 75 yards, through the thickest and wettest area I had ever seen! We then made the nearly 100 yard journey back to my friend and his Labrador who I know thought we were on a wild goose chase. As we got closer I held up the crippled bird with true pride and my friend couldn’t believe what he saw. I think his words were, “WOW that is impressive”! In all the time hunting with Edgard, I remember him tracking many crippled birds, but this one was the most impressive ever!
Ellie has really come on this year so far.
We had built a johnny house and have been working her on loose quail and she is really doing well! We have some tremendous fliers and they act very wild.
Was up north last weekend for grouse and woodcock and lots of bird contacts. But the highlights were the three separate grouse coveys she pointed and HELD! I was able to shoot grouse out of each covey.
She is holding her own against a pretty darn good 5 year old GSP. Heading up for more grouse and woodcock for 3 weekends in Oct.
Here is a picture my daughter took today as ellie was pointing a quail.
Also attached a video of her run today.
Not quite finished but darn close.
I tagged the kennel as well so if someone searches youtube for your kennel this should pop up as a vid.
Happy hunting this fall!
Cottage Grove, WI
John – I wanted to write and thank you for all the help through the first season with Geron (Mr. G). The first year has been a tremendous time challenge for me as my twin girls arrived six months after Mr. G. Even before I put my deposit down for a pup, you were a great source of help & knowledge. I appreciate you being open to me calling you about vets, food, toys, obedience, exercise, training gear, e-collars, retrieving, boarding, etc. I’m pretty sure you were sick of me and then I sent him back to you for a month of formal obedience & field training. Even before I sent Mr. G out to you, you made it very clear as to what you wanted to accomplish with him and set my expectations appropriately. We discussed his progress weekly and I was able to visit right before he was sent home, which was primarily to train me to keep his development going. Six months after hunt camp, Mr. G continues to get better in the field and you continue to answer my calls for advice, thank you.
My testimonial would not be the same without a hunting story…we were making one last pass along the road above the river when Mr. G pointed straight down a 30 foot bank. Without pause, my hunting partner goes down the bank and flushed a pheasant. We both instinctively shot the bird, which was over the middle of the river. Mr. G looked up at me, ‘should I go get it’ just as my buddy runs past me, throwing his gun at me, and heads down river yelling ‘I got it!’ I was thinking ‘is he going to swim for it, idiot…’ Then Mr. G takes off in hot pursuit…as I’m stumbling down river carrying equipment, I look up, Mr. G is in the middle of the river, spots the bird, swims directly to it, grabs it & swims back, hand delivering it to my buddy. I’m pretty sure I yelled out ‘F-YEAH!!’ more than once.
I’ve really enjoyed what a workhorse he is in the field and a devoted family member at home. He is great with my little girls (all kids actually) and my morning coffee would not be the same without Mr. G sitting in my lap, chewing his bone, & then falling asleep. I’ll be ordering more in the future…I promised each girl a puppy.
I wanted to send a note along with a picture of Sonny ( TERRAIN DE L’ESCARBOT ) on his 11th Birthday, January 29, 2013. Sonny & I spent the day chasing pheasant at the North Wing game farm in Pine City and as usual he performed like a Champ. Over the years Sonny & I have had many great trips thru out Minnesota & the Dakota’s hunting and always have been successful. I also must say that my hunting buddies are always amazed at Sonny & his great nose and energy & the fact that he has never lost a bird. So I just want to say that since I brought Sonny home from the L’ Escarbot Kennels I couldn’t be happier with my great companion & friend.
Thank you both again,
I picked up my new pup from you when he was six weeks old, watched him play and grow at the lake until I brought him back for training at 51/2 months. Hugo (Holter) had turned into a driven hunting machine upon arrival back, really intense. When we met in Fergus Falls I brought him directly to the forests in northern MN. His first point and retrieve was about 15 minutes into the hunt, also his first sniff of a wild ruff grouse. I think it surprised and pleased both of us, big smiles on our faces. From that moment on we have hunted Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and North Dakota multiple times. This puppy has got the Grand Slam: Grouse, Partridge and Pheasant under his young belt this year.
I think he tried to impress you in South Dakota when we hunted together there. Both Hugo and Etoc were on point at the end of the shelter belt. The rooster flushed, was shot and Hugo made a 50 yard retrieve right to my hand. Since then he has seen hundreds of birds and learned so much. At 9 months now, he is eager to please and on his way to becoming a very impressive dog. I had never had a pointer, there was much to learn about this different way of hunting. I am glad Hugo is patient with me.
With the 2012 season winding down we just got back from pheasant hunting in Mott, ND. Snow covered fields provided the back drop for a late season hunt. The birds were grouped up and spooky. Hugo pointed and retrieved a 3 day limit of roosters each day. It was so fun watching him. I can hardly wait until next season. Thanks for the great French Brittany Spaniel.
Battle Lake, MN
Hello John and Bruce,
Just over two years ago we brought home from your kennel an 8 week old French Brittany Spaniel Fonce whom we now call Zoey. After finding our 6 year old American Brittany and best hunting friend had terminal cancer we were in a bit of a panic to find a great dog to fill his shoes. After much research we decided a French Brittany may be a better fit for our family and hunting needs. We then began the search for a reputable breeder and a good dog we were shocked to find that the premier U.S. French Brittany breeder was just a short drive from our home and happened to have a larger than average litter with exactly what we wanted a female tricolor ready to take home in just a few days. Our decision was made and the next week we made the trip to your kennels to pick up our Zoey, daughter of Cerese and Diska. We began training right away with your detailed instructions and at 6 months old we took her out to the game farm so we could shoot some birds over her. The pheasants were bigger than her but she did awesome! She has since done some grouse hunting as well as pheasant and Chucker. We just returned from a season warmup at the pheasant farm. At 2 years old she is a fantastic hunter she listens flawlessly, marks and retrieves beautifully and holds a point perfectly. Not to mention she is a wonderful family pet, wonderful with the neighborhood kids and always up for a good snuggle.
We are so very happy we jumped at the chance to have one of your dogs and could not be happier with her hunting ability and demeanor she is a total sweetheart.
Has been a great first season for Ellie this year. We had about 4 trips north for grouse and woodcock which we managed to get just shy of 400 flushes between the two species. Obviously she wasn’t in on all those flushes, however she got a very strong dose of bird interaction and really developed as the season progressed. She has a great nose and knows where to look for birds and found more than her share over our trips. She was steady at times, and others she would pressure the birds a bit, but all of this was good learning for her.
My buddies Viszla is not a retriever and Ellie has turned into a really good “dead bird” finding machine. She has improved with her retrieves as well… not rock solid but making good progress.
She has had some pheasant exposure as well. One day we ran a field in Iowa on wild birds, she was paired with a 4.5 year old GSP. We found 15 birds, of which she located 70% of them! I was a pretty proud papa.
This weekend we were goose hunting in the Horicon marsh and we crippled a bird that required me to go get Ellie out of the truck. This was her first exposure to geese so wasn’t sure what to expect from her, but as you can see in the video, instinct and prey drive took over regardless of the size of the bird. This bird is one we WOULD NOT of retrieved if it wasn’t for her.
Have had several folks now comment that they can’t believe how far along she is for a 9 month old pup and how obedient she is and wanting to please. What a sweetheart too boot.
Another great L’Escarbot Kennel dog in the making.
Cottage Grove, WI
“John has trained three dogs for us and he did an outstanding job with all of them. He really understands the breed and has a tailored training approach that works really well for Epagneul Bretons.”
We returned home last eve from our first ND pheasant hunt. Great weather and plenty birds.
But, the big story is Maddie. I’m almost lost for words in describing how well she hunted, both pointing and retrieving but especially the latter. I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear this but I was almost in tears a couple of times when she returned from 125 yard+ retrieves of slightly wounded birds she had followed while they glided through the air. That’s how moved I was. On one day Irene hollared to me to call her back because she’d never find the bird anyway. Well, 30 seconds later she appears over the hill with the bird in possession. We got our 24 bird limit and figure 12 of those we would not have had without Maddie. I’m sure prospective buyers would be lined up at your door if they had a chance to see her in action. She also retrieved all the other birds that were in sight and which we could have gotten outselves if necessary. I can’t imagine a lab doing any better than she did.
The pointing was also exceptional as she was constantly finding birds. Never got far ahead on fence lines or out of reach. She was very easy to get back in range, mostly with the whistle, only occasionally with the collar.
Had to share the above with someone who would understand and not think I’m exaggerating. “Old story” to you, right? She’s only 2 1/2 yrs. old now so I’m thinking she’ll be getting even better in the future although I don’t think she could get a whole lot better.
Sorry to pester you but I really have to let you know how much we love this dog. He is perfect. He obeys, is housetrained and obedience trained at 7 months.
I just took him for his first walk and he heeled right by my side even with my slow gimp stride. He could not be any sweeter either. We need to send our other two to the Jake boot camp. So thanks so much.
I watched some of your u-tube videos and really enjoyed seeing you working with the dogs. Bob was impressed with your shooting. Have a great day. It’s a joy knowing you and your many beautiful dogs.
Just wanted to let you know about Ella. Whan she turned on to birds, she did it in Grand Style. Last year I got her into ruffed grouse and was just starting on the woodcock flight when I broke my leg and we had to quit. I worked her alone and and she was impressive. I’ve had her out twice this spring now that I am able to walk again, the first ime was with an English Setter and set chukars. Ella backed up points instinctively like she was trained by a pro. She also ranged out front exactly where I want her. Always circling around and positioning herself to be down wind of where we are walking. When she caught the scent cone it was obvious she was on a bird.
I had her by herself last week on more chukars. (helped work a couple of retrievers, but Ella was alone). Again she worked the field like a seasoned pro. The only flaws right now are a slight tendency to creep, but that is being corrected, and she is still learning about old set scents. She is much better on those now than last fall when it was difficult to get her to quit pointing where a grouse had flushed a few minutes ago. Now it only takes her a few moments to figure out the bird is gone.
You logo about angels in the home and demons in the field is spot on. Ella is a major snuggler. Always wants to be curled up under your neck. But, get her outside and the beast is released. She is not afraid of anything and spends hours hunting the local robins and blackbirds.
When/if the time comes for another dog, we have already decided on another Frenchie. Thank you for providing Ella, she truly has been special.
Jack and Vicki Retherford
Fauna de L’Escarbot – Josie (her given name here) has progressed beautifully. 7 months old, 36 points so far. retrieves 90 % to hand. Very solid in every aspect. I could not be happier. I have enclosed 3 photos. Always solid points. Retrieves to hand. Handles amazing.
Just thought I’d share with you a picture of Carbone de L’Escarbot “Tucker”. Tucker is now 3 years old and he and I have had by far our best season together. With an average of three days a week in the field traveling between Minnesota and Iowa, Tucker has really come into his own far surpassing any and all of my expectations. His drive to hunt, pointing ability, and retrieving skills have all come together so well, he is truly shaping up to be a great bird dog. I am by no means an expert dog trainer but with basic commands and working together on a daily basis I can’t believe I now have a dog of this caliber. Aside from hunting Tucker is my constant companion, whether we’re sitting at the house or riding in the truck, he shadows me wherever I go and is never far away. Simply put, I couldn’t have asked for a better pal. I could go on and on, thank you for letting me boast a bit, I’m very proud of him to say the least. Happy holidays and I’ll see you again in the near future to get him a little brother.
P.S. Thanks for your input on finding my friend a Lab. He spoke with your friend and ended up buying a started dog shortly thereafter.
Elsie finished her AKC Master Hunt Title this past weekend.
She has really matured this past year. It’s like a switch turned and she has decided to cooperate at her highest possible level. She has always been very nice but this year has become extremely reliable and “honest”. She has won/placed/or passed in over 50% of the events she has been entered in this year. She is also only one placement away from her UKC title. I am strongly considering getting her ready for her UT in NAVHDA. I think she will do well in that venue.
Thought you would be interested. I’ll put a photo together for you one day with all her ribbons & awards. She must have 20 or so.
Thanks for a great dog. She has been a source of great joy and pride.
Your friend, Doug & Elsie