Deuce is one of 3 young Setters and 2 Pointers that I am excited to turn loose in Montana next month in search of the Huns and Sharptails once again. Although we have been hard at work for a few years now with the reopening of the kennel. This trip will mark the rebirth of Long Hollow Bird Dogs and my passion for upland bird hunting and the Setters and Pointers that are the focal point of my obsession. I am not one to dwell on the past, however I do find it very important to reflect on where I have been in order to better understand where I am going. I am looking forward to exploring the prairie with some old friends and reconnecting with some people from my past that I am certain have impacted my life in ways that I have not yet given much thought. Lars Axelson was the 1st real friend I made when I was uprooted from my home at the ripe age of 14 to go live in Nampa Idaho with my deadbeat Dad, who I had never lived with before. My first experience of freedom with my first 20 gauge shotgun, exploring the ditch banks of the treasure valley, jump shooting Teal without an adult, were spent with Lars and his Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Those vivid memories stick out in my mind after all these years. I am drawn to these positive memories after blocking out so much of my childhood and I look forward to peeling back a few layers. My last memory of my time spent with Lars, I am pretty sure was my first experience smoking pot in the back of a car in Cambridge Idaho with some girls we probably had no business hanging out with.
Skip forward a bunch of years to the beginning of my professional dog training career. Amidst the fog of daily kennel duties and training retrievers and pointing labs. Being married with 3 children and consumed by my new life as a dog trainer. I purchased my first real pointing dog which was an English Setter named Ringo. Ironically I acquired that puppy from a kennel out of Nampa Idaho. My first litter of Setter puppies was the product of breeding Ringo to a 5X American Field Champion by the name of Tekoa Mountain Patriot. That litter was really the beginning of an obsession that created opportunity... Three of those puppies named Teigen, Luke, and River went to 3 amazing clients who all live in Montana named Brad McCardle, Tim Powell and Jim Cleary. After having been fortunate enough to hunt in Montana with these amazing dogs and even more amazing people. I could not wait to get back year after year. But life happened and that never came to fruition. Years later and thanks to a few other very important people in my life who I am sure you will be hearing a lot about in future posts. The obsession is still alive. Long Hollow Bird Dogs will be making the slow trip back out to Central Montana in September 2022. I plan to freelance my way across the state for a week or so before meeting up with my good friend and owner of Lone Sage Bird Dogs, Josh Wolff. From there I will base camp for another week or so in hopes to do some great hunting over a lot of amazing dogs, meet some new people, and catch up with Brad McCardle, Tim Powell and Lars Axelson. Tekoa Mountain Patriot, Ringo, Teigen, Luke and River are all pictured below.
- Ryan Fortier