Last year when Felix was still a very young dog I took a grouse trip to Minnesota with him and my older pup, Briar. We had a great time hunting on a friend’s property and saw lots of birds. This year we decided to go to Maine. Specifically Bradford Camps in the North Maine Woods on Lake Munsungan.
Bradford Camps has been in existence since the 1890s. The cabin that I stayed in was built in 1910. Its 50 miles from the nearest paved road, electricity or phone signal. This was a chance to disconnect and concentrate on the dogs. Specifically I wanted to expose Felix to as many wild birds as possible.
In the end both dogs got wild bird contact although mostly Felix. Lots of retrieves on birds which flushed and were shot (okay, not lots, 5). Also had him on point several times. We had planned to hunt 4 days but really ended up with closer to 3. Briar was hurt on the first day and I spent a day taking her to Presque Isle and getting her stitched up. She was fine and bounced back fast.
I did not shoot any birds that Felix bumped or pushed, only birds that I flushed when he was hunting a different area. Likewise I ended up not shooting any of his pointed birds because all of those ended up flushing before I approached. All in all the hunt accomplished what I wanted which was to get him a solid block of time in the woods with fair numbers of wild birds before we started his whoa training in earnest.
I really cant say enough good things about Bradford Camps. Great people, great food and lodging. Really it was a perfect experience and one I hope to repeat.