News from the New York Coverts…..

Hello (again) Ryman Setter friends! Some news for you from New York State coverts. We had a great September running Josey and Chica in the field for exercise and scouting work in September.  Looking back at last month, I realize it’s a really under-appreciated, maybe even totally unrecognized, part of the season. While not great sometimes for exercise, the weather is better than mid-summer,  and the pressure is off. It’s just a training refresher, but the dogs don’t know that. They are back on wild birds. Maybe there is some wisdom there. Chica hit a year of age on September 1 and showed a lot of enthusiasm and raw talent. Well, lots of fun.






Josey is at her peak at 6 1/2 years. We found a few local woodcock, and a grouse or two as well. This year was a first for me, in that I switched over to using beepers instead of bells. Okay, the beeper lacks the charm of the bell, and the point signal seems almost unfair, but I believe the constant noise of the bell, as opposed to the intermittent beep, lets the dog track me better. I can’t prove anything, but I think the dogs handle better.





Chica is doing well. Thank you again Lisa and Cliff, we are really excited about her and feel she is our most promising young pup yet! Here she is working some quail we keep on our farm property up the road from our house. In the open, Chica  moves like a field trail dog, crossing the direction of the wind looking for scent. In the heavy cover, she shows a lot of cover sense, and checks in like any good Ryman setter would (of course!).





Thinking about posts this fall from Lynn Dee and the Weisse’s, and our own experiences, its nice to have dogs of different ages to work with at one time. An older dog or two or more you know you can rely on to hunt with takes the pressure off the performance of the young upstarts and as you will see, let’s training be a little more important than  hunting for its own sake. 20160925_151512





Pre-season training means scouting new coverts too. Last month we looked for a few new places to hunt now that our season is open. So one day, we explored a little bit to see how far the good bird cover extended in little spot we found last winter. Completely hid on all sides we found this lovely little pothole, loaded with wood ducks, lots of wood ducks. Maybe 50 or more.  Nothing like a half dozen woodies peeling off the water ever 30 seconds to invite a swim from a bird dog. Josey heads off across the pond to see where that drake landed, and Chica discovers she can really swim without the world coming to any end.  20160925_150454






October has been great. Good thing there is a lot of it left. The annual trip to northern NY was a great time. Sorrty we did not connect in person Chuck. Too early for the best part of the fall flight but still lots of woodcock. Oddly this year, lots of woodcock getting up wild well out in front of the dog. Grouse numbers were pretty good too. If you missed the news, the Finger Lakes has endured a severe drought this summer. Fortunately, the birds never got the memo. Local woodcock numbers seem on par with any other year, with some grouse showing up too.

We still have some work to do. After what seemed a conventional and successful introduction to gunfire this summer,  Chica showed some sensitivity to gunfire shooting some chukar before our grouse and woodcock seasons opened.   Nothing severe. We think the gun noise itself was not the issue, but the sudden frequency was a bit much for her. So, we are back working with some released birds to re-introduce gunfire in the context of a lot of birds. So far, so good. I think we are out of the woods, but am going a couple extra miles, shooting lots of blanks up at our farm chasing released quail.   In a month, if this stays the course, we will feel comfortable going back to live rounds.

We’ll report in again this fall. Best wishes to a safe and happy time for you and your dogs.

J.C. and Gail at Sugar Creek

Early Season

I was fortunate enough to again spend a month of early hunting season in Montana. Always an adventure, hunting this year was dogged by alternating heat and rain. Never saw so many rainy days in such a dry place.  Sharptail grouse were spotty but Hungarian partridge were good as were pheasants. I had 4 setters with me and most of the time I run 1 or 2 of them with a couple of my partner’s Fr Brits.
Sally was my go-to dog, always a pleasure to hunt with.


In MT we usually don’t hunt pheasants in typical phez habitat, we hunt crazy wild ones that we call “bad lands phez.”


Storm is my biggest runner which comes in useful in this country.  Here I found her just over the edge, backing one of Mike’s FBs even though he is in the next draw over from us.  A GPS collar is helpful in this terrain.


Huns and my new little 28 ga that I love

My 2 youngsters, Kate and Flint, are 10 months old and learned some early lessons up there.  Flint had a nice run with multiple sharptail that put it together for him and I was able to drop a bird over his first solid point.


Even lessons like learning how to check in to take water rations are important up there.  Here Kate learns from Belle the FB.

I am headed to Minnesota next week for some ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting; they are my roots and I look forward to the rich smell and feel of the woods. We will then be hunting quail and pheasant in Nebraska and Kansas starting in a couple of weeks until the end of January. My favorite time of year!


Lynn Dee

BAER Testing

In line with our philosophy of doing everything we can to produce healthy puppies, we wanted to BAER test our recent litter. In talking with other breeders, one of the things that precludes many breeders is having testing available in their area. As we were getting through the weaning stage,  I started to plan puppy shots as well as availability of hearing testing. We were very happy to find Dr. Judy Pawlusiow of Advanced Veterinary Mobile Diagnostics. What a great service to have someone come to your location and perform the testing in the pups familiar surroundings. Dr. Judy is someone you could tell cares about supporting healthy  breeding practices and provides her service at a reasonable price.

At 7 1/2 weeks old all the pups passed their hearing tests.

– Chuck

Preseason Training at October Setters

Getting dogs into wild birds is important to their development so we make an effort to show them as many as possible, whether the season is opened or not.  This morning we had a chance to get out and show some Sage Grouse to Iris prior to the actual season opener.  Iris2 P1050758-e
She handled great and saw several coveys. It was her first exposure to these birds and it was fun seeing her figure it out. After seeing some flush and getting familiar with their scent she knew what she was looking for and slowed when she smelled where birds had flushed. Grouse FlushingLater on she found a single that flushed right in front of her. The change in her attitude was immediate and dramatic; she tore it up for the rest of the morning, searching with purpose and slowing to check scent several times.  P1050774-e

Iris 1She was obviously trying to locate and point so I can’t wait to get her out and give her another chance.

For added excitement we flushed a few birds near a patch of Aspens so I took Iris over to look for stragglers.P1050770-eRight after this shot was taken I heard a funny sounding squeeky call I didn’t immediately figure out.  As I realized it sounded like a calf Elk call I heard hooves stomping the ground way too close for comfort.  Not running away, just stomping the ground, like a cow protecting her calf.  Needless to say I got Iris out of there and beat a hasty retreat.

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a September morning in Idaho.


Firelight Silas-Available for Stud

silas oct 2015

Silas is a Ryman type English setter. He is the product of a very effective breeding program developed by Lynn Dee Galey of Firelight Bird Dogs. He has great natural hunting and pointing ability. Silas just “knows” what to do. He pointed his first woodcock at 9 months of age. He is very steady on birds. He goes through the woods with intensity and determination. Silas is a proven finder of Woodcock and Partridge (Ruffed Grouse) in the Maine woods. He ranges around 50-70 yards. Silas checks back often. He is a wonderful hunting partner for the foot hunter.

This lad is calm in the house and very lovable at home. You put him in the woods and he morphs into a “bird dog”.

OFA hips: GOOD   OFA elbows: NORMAL.   Color: Orange Belton   Weight: 60 lbs.     For more info: email

There are also lots of photos on my Facebook page-check em out!