Due to a lack of internet access during the week, this year’s report of the 2019 Ryman Breeders Gathering is being presented as a single summary with photos. We hope that you enjoy.
It was a hard core group of hunter/breeders that got together in Kansas last week. I say hardcore because this year threw plenty of obstacles in our path but the efforts paid off nicely with good bird numbers and dog work. Several of our members had to cancel their trip to Kansas, some due to work commitments (apparently the economy is booming and keeping everyone extra busy!) and a couple of folks had family/health issues/puppies that prevented them from coming. We certainly missed those folks but know that they will be back in January 2020.
There was plenty of cheer, good food, stories and conversation each evening. Important topics of conversation included breeding plans, stud dogs, health news, but also great information was shared regarding whelping practices and raising litters. When you have a group of ryman owners who between them represent over 100 years of breeding experience there is more to learn than there are days in the week. More detail on these topics will be shared in the RS private forum for Breeder Members.
The weather proved to be a challenge this year, delaying a couple of arrivals and everyone headed out a day early in front of storm Harper which was forecast to deliver snow, ice, bitter cold and high winds. KS mud roads are notorious anyway but repeated snow and rain have kept them in gumbo all season with farmers kept very busy pulling hunters out of the mess – 4×4 doesn’t cut it in KS gumbo. Even the normally good gravel roads required caution and we tried to travel in pairs just in case.
Quail have had a couple of good years in a row in Kansas. In good years like this, wild quail offer great opportunities for developing bird dogs since you can have multiple covey finds, with large (often 15-20 birds) coveys allowing for dog work on singles as well as some good, conservative shooting. Every dog hunted had multiple opportunities and each evening there were stories of veterans and youngsters alike showing their stuff. Although our hunters focus on quail, there were some pheasant finds and successes as well.
As it has been each year now, the Gathering and Hunt was social and educational but of course was all about the dogs. We will be back in Kansas next January for the 4th Annual Ryman Breeder Hunt!!