2017 Ryman Breeders Gathering & Hunt: Week’s Wrap-up

The goals behind the event were to provide an opportunity for serious hunter-breeders to see each other’s dogs hunt as well as to have time to discuss topics impacting the dogs we love with the overall goal of figuring out how to keep these Ryman-type setters alive and well for future generations to enjoy.  Although photographs and videos are good, there is simply no substitute for getting hands on dogs and for seeing hunting and bird work with your own eyes.  In closing conversations with the breeders who attended, everyone felt that the Gathering & Hunt was a resounding success and we are already looking forward to the next one.

Each morning members scattered in pairs across the region to hunt some of the many WIHA areas (KS public hunting access) in search of wild bobwhite quail.  This species and its habitat were brand new to most members and figuring them out along with their dogs contributed to the challenge and the fun.  The dogs proved that good wild bird dogs simply adapt to new species and habitat and productive dog work started happening quickly.  Focus was on dog work, not filling game bags, and overall the group took only a modest number of birds (less than 20) while following good conservation guidelines regarding covey size, number taken, leaving time to covey-back up, etc.

Evenings found us all back at the lodge, sharing food and beverages and recapping the day’s events.  Discussions ranged from stories and joking to serious topics.   Questions and issues about field ability, training, breeding and health were all brought up and we ran out of time long before we ran out of interesting subjects to discuss.  Everyone enjoyed seeing the diversity in the dogs such as size, range and style and all agreed that variance in preferences is natural and in fact a good thing for the breed.  The group continues to invite all breeders who share our mission to join us.  (http://rymansetters.com/our-mission/)

The following is an alphabetical list of the Breeder Members who attended:

Aroostook Setters, George and Theresa Zarish, NJ

Classic Setters, Fran & Frank Thompson, MO

Firelight Bird Dogs, Lynn Dee Galey, KS

October Setters, Lisa & Cliff Weisse, ID

Parker Hollow Setters, Chuck Robinson, NJ

Rum Creek Setters, Mark Alteman, MI

Sugar Creek Setters, JC Smith, NY

Submitted by Lynn Dee Galey

2017 Gathering & Hunt: Day 6

Tonight’s post is a short one because it has been a very busy day with hunts and a number of Ryman enthusiasts joining our Gathering.   That, and animated conversations around the table have resulted in a number of rather late nights this week.   There is unanimous consent that it has been a great week with a very comfortable and likable group.  Tomorrow morning will find us all loading up and heading home although there have been many comments wishing there were more days to come.  I will write a wrap-up post once I get home and get caught up on sleep.  Meanwhile, I will sign off this evening with a classic photo taken today by a breeder/owner of their dogs on wild quail (click to enlarge)

2017 Gathering & Hunt: Day 5

The temperatures dropped notably on Day 5 but enthusiasm and hunting continued at the same high level.   Breeder members have arranged shared hunts each day and have greatly enjoyed the time together and seeing each others dogs at work.   Tonight’s shared dinner was a full turkey dinner with stuffing and gravy.  Photos shared below were taken by members during their hunts today.

2017 Gathering & Hunt: Day 4

We all had a good day and some had a great day.  One of the highlights today was a covey find and point by a member’s barely 6 month old pup, the pup’s first wild bird point.  All bird dog owners know how memorable that moment truly is.  As you can see, some members do own other breeds, a good bird dog is simply a good bird dog.   A cold front suddenly blew in midday, driving one member into their truck and plugging in her 12v heated blanket.   All were smiling as they returned to the lodge and a delicious elk chili warmed us along with a nice variety of wines.   Member’s photos give a glimpse of the day.



2017 Gathering & Hunt: Day 3

Another sunny and pleasant day for bird hunting although the infamous Kansas wind did kick up for part of the day.  But it did not dampen the enthusiasm and drive of the breeder hunters and everyone was out hitting covers.  Both dogs and hunters have quickly figured out the habitat and quail and dog work and shooting have both improved with each day.  The photos below were taken and shared by hunters at the end of the day as we gathered for yet another delicious meal.