It’s the first week of August and its still hot, very late at night and I can't fall asleep for some reason. My mind has being going through multiple checklists, as we get ready for the start of our 5th season and Pineridge Grouse Camp. Kitchen, new chef, 4-burner stove, health cert, organic chickens, menu planned and supply list ready. That list is a lot longer but not much fun.
The fun 'List" at Pineridge Grouse camp is the dogs. I have made a large commitment in 2014 to establishing a great string of grouse dogs. With the addition of Robert Hall to help lead the way, we are well on our way for this season and many years to come. 7 new Elhew Hampshire puppies of all ages and 2 older dogs straight from Brian and Marta Hayes have been working hard on a few grouse, woodcock, quail and pigeons all spring and summer. We've had some good dog work, some frustrating and overall some wonderful days watching Robert work his magic. Mixed in with some nice setters and GSPin for training, we had a great training season that’s still inching forward as we wait opening day. Duke, Roy, Reggie, Bert and Kit will be old enough to be in the woods and make a few mistakes. While Elhew Hampshire Cal Ripkin and Miss Bea will still be running around doing what young pups do, making you smile. I can't forget about Big Al, AKA Big Sexy, Addie, Andy and maybe Cooper. Like I said about this "list" its always great to think about dogs from the past and what could be the "next one" in the kennel. I could go on and on…..
Other lists that I have started are gear. What GPS/e-collar should I use this fall? I'm looking for a new 3 hole dog box and every grouse hunter knows that’s like picking a pre-school for your kids. This list is always on my mind but doesn't change much, Coyote Lanyard, L.L. Bean Kangaroo boots, Filson pants, Wing Works vest and a long sleeve orange tee. I want to try different things or add to this list but as many of us know, we all know what works and it’s hard to change. Trust me, this list will be the same on opening day, as it’s been every year for the last 20 years.
The list I worry about the most is the guest list. Not for reasons you may think because we have and had great people come through the camp. I worry that we meet their expectations. I love this sport and what I have created is what I think every grouse and woodcock hunter would want in a camp. This is a list within this list. I’m not sure why I worry about it so much. We have a great location in the heart of the grouse and woodcock country, great facilities, perfect guides, wonderful staff and birds. I think why the worry? Maybe I want people who come through the gate at the camp and drive down the long bumpy road to catch the fever that I have for this sport. It’s given me some of the most amazing memories from my first grouse to my first double. It could be the beauty of a dogs first point on the edge of a alder run to just watching the aspen leaves flutter in a meandering breeze. Its magical that should be shared, in moderation.
I have other lists that I don't want to bore you with but it’s a long list of all things, LISTS!!