American Field

Daddy’s Little Boy Butch Named Winner; Long Gone Juicy is Runner-Up

New England Open Grouse Championship

By R. L. Frame | Nov 07, 2017
Daddy's Little boy Butch Winner of the New England Open Grouse Championship

Berlin, N. H. — The historic New England Open Grouse Championship came to a successful conclusion at the Kilkenny Management Area in the picturesque White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire.

The roots of the trial go back into the late 1920s when the New England Open Championship began running. The trial was held in several locations, most notably at Lee White’s farm in Scotland, Conn., which held grouse, woodcock, wild pheasant and wild quail. Eventually, after those grounds were no longer available, the trial struggled to find a suitable location and eventually became a walking, then horseback quail championship, which still runs under the name — New England Open Championship.

Back in the 1990s, though, an ambitious contingent of cover trials developed courses at Kilkenny and was granted championship status under the name New England Open Grouse Championship.

Time brings changes though and habitat changes as well. There is no question that the grouse numbers of twenty years ago were much higher than today at Kilkenny. And though the trial has always placed dogs on grouse, due to low numbers in the vicinity (no other trials were run there prior), and no hard rule in place to require a grouse, there was actually talk that if there were to be a lack of grouse work that a great race and woodcock work might be acceptable. Fortunately, there were enough grouse to make for a good stake and certainly the winners had grouse and good races.

Bob Lang wore many hats during the running. He was here every minute of the trial. He made sure that dogs were on the line on time. He brought snacks and drinks for all. He entertained the judges after the daily runnings and, if that all weren’t enough, Bob was also responsible for the busy work behind the trial including paperwork. His efforts deserve thanks of the highest order.

Lloyd Murray also contributed time and effort to the running.

Thanks also Dean Reinke and Purina for their generous gift of product and financial concerns. Their support of cover trials and the New England Open Grouse Championship over the years has helped immeasurably.

Thanks to John Olfson of West Hartford, Conn., and Justin Evans of Duncannon, Pa., for judging. These courses at Kilkenny are notoriously

difficult to walk. This year unseasonably warm conditions made it more difficult. Mr. Olfson and Mr. Evans did so without complaint, took the task seriously and worked out tough calls in a positive manner. And though I was reporting, not judging, and was not involved in any judicial discussions, I had the same two dogs as they did, and in the same order. My opinion should mean nothing to them nor anyone else save to offer affirmation of their decision.


Daddy’s Little Boy Butch, white and liver pointer dog owned by Paul Scott of Wallingford, Conn., and handled by John Stolgitis, is no stranger to the winners’ circle. He has won numerous trials and, as the old reporters often expressed, “Is a danger wherever he is run.”

In this stake he was strong throughout, ranged well and hunted the cover well. Running in the third brace of the second day on the Goldenrod Course, Butch had one find on a woodcock and a superb scouted find on a grouse in his bid. He is the reigning Grand National Grouse Champion.

Runner-up was Long Gone Juicy, white and black setter female owned and handled by Lloyd Murray of Stark, N. H. On the Ammonoosuc Course, this first year shooting dog hunted well and tallied a scouted grouse find and two nice woodcock finds. It was Juicy’s first title.

The Running

First up on Lonesome Ridge were two setter females, Long Gone Mersadies (Murray) and Anna Lake Kiah (Dave Hughes). They broke away at 7:20 a. m., temperatures in the 60s but humid. Kiah pointed with exemplary style to the right early in fairly open cover. No game resulted, she was moved on and we headed to the front. Up ahead Mersadies’ bell fell silent ahead and slightly right. It rang again briefly and, according to Judge Olfson, Mersadies was loose and looking up. Murray tapped her on and a grouse left a tree immediately and she stopped quickly. Murray shot. Another grouse roared out and Murray shot again. By then Kiah stopped in the area but Judge Olfson felt that she was not involved with either bird, and Tony Bly collared her out as Hughes was still behind. Only minutes later Kiah posed up again to the left with Mersadies backing. When nothing flew  Hughes took her up at 15. Through the middle Mersadies hunted well, generally forward, and handled kindly with plenty of drive. She stopped at 45, ahead and right, and was found pointing nicely in mixed cover. Nothing flew. Relocated, she moved forward perhaps fifty yards and pointed again. A fallen tree lay to the fore about twenty yards. A perfect spot for a running grouse to hide in but nothing seen here. She finished well, hunting every step down the stretch.

Deer Mountain Course. Bog Brook Okie Dokey (SF/Joe Dahl) and Stokely’s Frankie B (SM/Tony Bly). Just one minute in Okie spun and pointed to the right, posing up nicely on the trail. Two grouse rumbled out to the right, a nice piece of work. After, Okie worked hard and forward zipping around at a good pace. She stopped in a thick patch of pines just right of course at 11. Dahl located her in short order but nothing was home. At 20 Frankie looked good pointing; he was forward and left on a small ridge pointing back toward us. Okie passed through twice just below without seeing him, and nothing seen exiting the stand. Just minutes later Okie stood on the trail posed up well with Frankie backing mannerly; again nothing flew. At 38 Frankie stood forward and right, again pointing back toward us. Okie crested the hill behind him and backed promptly; no game seen. Handlers elected to top the hill behind the stand to gain the course, while we took the longer way, via Movelle’s corner. Just then, as Judge Evans reported, Frankie was working hot scent frantically as Okie cast into the area, both left of the trail, and both slammed on point about the same time. Three grouse rumbled out near the stands and Okie broke, stopped by a sharp “Whoa!”by her handler and leashed. Frankie hunted hard down the stretch, had some trouble keeping to the fore at times, but was game to the end.

Goldenrod Course. Parmachenee Flight (SF/Hughes) and Wizard’s Ploughman Poet (SM/Hathaway). Two grouse were seen early, neither dog involved. Flight had trouble keeping the fore and pointed left at 4, posing up with good style. Poet stopped deeper and forward and was found after a brief search. Neither stand produced game. Flight was taken up at 14 after a second unproductive. About six minutes later Poet styled up just right of the course, again no feathers seen. Poet worked well through the middle, though aside from a cast or two was not wide, but hunting well. He was charged with another unproductive at 45. Hathaway indicated to the judges that, since they had to walk out anyway, he would handle Poet out instead of leashing him, which was fine.

Wild Apple Jonathan (PM/Doherty) and Grouse Hill Bell (PF/Stolgitis) showed plenty of style as we trekked up the first hill of the Pancake Course. Both dogs worked generally forward early and with little handling required. At 20 Jonathan was forward and slightly left when he squalled in pain. He went to his handler and was checked out for injury and when none was apparent he was turned loose again. Through the swamp both dogs continued forward and handling. Down the old tote road at 45 Bell made a sweet cast left into the bottom and worked it out, nicely popping to the front eight minutes later. Jonathan was not quite as ambitious down the stretch, though both finished well. No birds seen.

Wild Apple Polka Dot (PF/Doherty) and Grouse Ridge Darla (SF/Hughes) broke away at 1:36 p. m. on Moosehorn  The brace proved to be short. Darla was heard once early then not seen or heard for some 12 minutes. She was scouted, located after her bell “tinkled” but several relocations moved nothing and Hughes elected to take her up. Dot had a nice way of going and handled well down the hill. At 18 her bell fell silent in likely cover to the right. When found Doherty did not like something about how she was pointing and elected to tap her on. A woodcock popped in short order and she was leashed.

Long Gone Juicy (SF/Murray) and Witch City Chelsea (SF/Levesque) were loosed on the Ammonoosuc Course. Juicy has a distinctive black patch down her rear left leg. She drove hard and cracked her tail nicely. She dug in left at 6, did not immediately return and was scouted by Joe Dahl, but her bell faded back in 7 minutes later. At 15 Chelsea stopped about sixty yards to the right and Levesque and Judge Evans went in to look. Just then Juicy’s bell fell silent farther along and deeper right. Murray, Dahl and Judge Olfson headed in. Jeremy Avery went in to help Levesque, and, though she was closer, the shot rang out for Juicy before Chelsea was located. Judge Olfson reported that a grouse roared out, and, in its wake, Joe Dahl was pointing a finger and saying, “She is right there.” A nice “limb” find. Chelsea eventually started up on her own . . . in the vicinity where she was being searched for. They had clearly walked near her without seeing her. Both dogs worked down the hill. As we hit the bottom along the river a woodcock was in the air to the right. Chelsea was working the area but not enough available to assign any blame. About five minutes later though she was right of course, another woodcock was airborne and Levesque took her up. Juicy hustled through the bottom and was forward and left of course when her bell fell silent. Moments later a flighty woodcock flew at us on the trail. Murray shot and it still took several minutes to locate her as the course is quite thick there. As we were nearing the end of the bottom and ready to turn up the hill Juicy tagged a second woodcock there, her style acceptable. She was not overly wide up the hill to the finish but was in the cover hunting and her pace strong to the end.

On the way to the Lonesome Ridge Course for the start of day No. 2 we were delayed for a short period by a cow moose on the road. She appeared to be ill, was vaguely aware of our presence, and each vehicle had to wait until she moved on her own to one edge of the road or the other to get around her.

Guardian (PM/Flewelling) and Full Blast (SM/Hughes) broke away at 7:16. Both dogs began well, reaching and showing fine style, bells fading in the distance then fading back to check in. At 25 the course turned left and Guardian’s bell was not heard. As Flewelling stopped to perhaps gather him up at this turn Judge Evans heard a grouse flush straight away and Flewelling headed in with the hope of finding his charge standing, but the dog showed from the right in short order and we moved on. Both dogs ranged well through the middle, both showing kindly and both watered several times. Guardian finished wider and well forward. Blast slowed some the last 15, but finished.

Deer Mountain. Wild Apple Spot On (PM/Doherty) and Braeval Laddie (ISM/ McCluskey) impressed with strong strides and both were stylish in motion. Both laid forward early with minimal handling. At 13 Judge Evans stopped briefly and picked a few blackberries, still ripe along the course. At 16 a grouse roared out from a hill left of course, bordered by pine trees, neither dog near. At 25 Spot’s bell fell silent to the right but it was soon apparent that he had dropped over a knoll as the bell was heard fading back in short order. About then Laddie’s bell was missing to the left and McCluskey and Judge Olfson headed up to the left to search. The search was short as the dog was heard (I was not clear if the dog started up or faded back in), was watered and McCluskey hustled to the front. Laddie was much wider the second half and much of the last 20, and a short time after the hour expired was spent with handler and judge searching the “bowl” to the right for Laddie whose bell was finally heard and he gathered up. Judge Evans felt the dog might have been standing some of that time but did not know for sure.

Double Deuce Dexter (PM/Hughes) and Daddy’s Little Boy Butch (PM/Stolgitis) broke away on the Goldenrod Course. Both were stylish moving and driving hard. Dexter made a nice swing to the left, turned it up and the bell fell silent forward and left of the trail. He was searched for by Hughes and Steve Levesque and found after a short search. A large grouse flushed mere feet from Judge Evans and Dexter showed perfect manners. Dexter rumbled to the front and stopped hard just as he passed the front group. He looked good, was pointing back toward the trail in stand of goldenrod and tall grass. Taking no chances, Stolgitis whoaed Butch to a stop as Dexter would have been difficult to see. Hughes arrived a minute or two later and elected to take Dexter on without flushing. Dexter stopped for minute or two at 23 but corrected. Shortly after Butch stopped on a small hill slightly right of course. Dexter came charging up and stopped as well. When seen both were posed up nicely. Dexter was not looking at Butch and was likely whoaed into stopping. It was fairly open with some wet spots and Stolgitis sportingly elected to wait for Hughes to arrive to handle Dexter. Hughes did arrive after a couple of minutes and Stolgitis flushed a woodcock near Butch, all in order. Butch began to range bigger with every cast at this point in the heat. He stopped up the hill to the left at 35, looked good when found but nothing flew. Butch came off the hill and cast into the bottom well right at 45 and did not return. He was searched for by Stolgitis and Dahl. Stolgitis found him but, feeling he was not quite sure, moved him and the dog executed a precise, accurate and positive relocation on a big grouse for an impressive piece of bird work. Butch headed for the front and Stolgitis hustled to catch up. Up front Dexter’s pace slackened noticeably the last 5. When time expired Stolgitis was just catching up, Butch was forward and right, but came when called for a strong finish.

Paucek’s Tommyhawk (SM/Short) and Stokely’s Willie B (SM/Bly) were next on Pancake with the day becoming quite warm. I was not able to witness this brace and the judges offered a brief report first stating that neither dog went the distance. Tommyhawk, they said, never got quite on track and Short took him up near the half. About then, Willie had an error on game and was taken up.

Higby Rilo (PF/Stolgitis) and Mitchner’s Mad Carly (SF/Frame) were up first after lunch on the Moosehorn Course. Both dogs began with some nice swings with Carly checking back close twice. It was readily apparent early that the bells were quite close in tone, causing confusion. Down the hill, not much seen of Carlie and Frame threw in the towel after she did not show for about 15. The judges reported Rilo with an exemplary ground race, forward and hunting the rest of the hour but with no birds seen.

Long Gone Studly (SM/Hughes) and Fernwood Cove Bella (SF/Dahl) were loosed on Ammonoosuc. Both dogs moved nicely and covered plenty of ground early. Bella stopped to the left at 8. Dahl and scout John Stolgitis  searched for her and she was found posed up nicely after a three-minute search. Two woodcock were put to flight near the stand and Bella was true to her training. Studly was wide and searched for at 10 when he had not returned. Bella came forward and stopped to the right. She was found promptly and Hughes notified that Studly was there, too. The cover was tight, both dogs were posed up. Bella was off to Studly’s left and a bit in front about 25 yards away. Though she was not looking at Studly, he clearly had been stopped first and Dahl elected to take a back. Nothing flew for Hughes and both dogs moved on. Studly stopped at 22, searched for by Hughes and Levesque, but was seen by the forward group further down the hill five minutes later and he corrected with nothing seen shortly after. He stopped again at 35 but nothing flew. Both dogs worked the thick stuff along the river well and Studly was forward when his bell fell silent. The search was on again, and again Bella’s bell stopped and both dogs found to the left of course. They were about fifteen yards apart facing each other, Bella a bit low-stationed and with the cover being so thick this reporter had some doubt as to whether Bella was pointing or backing. A woodcock came up between the pair, Hughes shot and Dahl took a back. Both dogs worked well up the hill to the end, both finishing well but with no further incident.

On day No. 3 we broke away on Lonesome Ridge at 7:16. Both Stokely’s Trash Can (SM/Bly) and Chashill Baby Bella (PF/Stolgitis) began well. Bella was a bit wider the first 20 than Trash. Both hunted well and looked good going. Bella was wide at a course turn near the half. Stolgitis waited but not for too long as she returned on her own, then strung two nice showy casts. Trash pointed to the right in a likely spot and looked good but nothing flew. During this Bella and Stolgitis gained the fore. Bella handled well down the home stretch to the finish, as did Trash. No contacts for either resulted.

Chasehill Little Thudd (PM/Doherty)  and Pistol Grip (PM/Hughes) competed on Deer Mountain. Both dogs began well and showed fine style in motion. At 5 Doherty nearly stepped on a woodcock which flushed inches from his right foot. Pistol was waited for at 7 but showed in short order. Both dogs hustled through the middle with Thudd occasionally coming in from the rear. At 48 a grouse flushed near the trail with neither dog near, but in short order Pistol stopped at the spot of the flush and Hughes urged him on. At 55 Thudd was on the ridge forward and left when his bell fell silent. He stopped and started twice as Doherty and judge went in, but he looked good when seen. A grouse roared out from near the stand and when Doherty shot four more grouse lifted. Thudd started after them and was taken up. Pistol finished fine but with no contacts.

Kopervos Lee (PM/Frame) and Wizard’s Albannach Drummer (SM/ Hathaway) were next on Goldenrod. Drummer was stylish moving and began well. Lee also moved nicely but early had some trouble keeping the fore. He was wide but handling the next 15, showing well. Drummer suffered an unproductive where he looked good on point, then, periodically after, he would stop, his handler would encourage him verbally to move on, and the dog invariably obliged. Both dogs hunted but neither pushed the limits down the stretch. Lee was taken up at 53 near the end of the course. Drummer finished the hour well. No birds seen.

I was not able to follow the next brace. Judge Evans reported that neither La Sombra (PM/Hughes) nor Walnut Hills Anniversary (PF/Stolgitis) went the distance on the Pancake Course. La Sombra was not on the same page with Hughes and little was seen of the dog. Hughes threw in the towel near the half. About then Anniversary had a stop to flush on multiple grouse, moved before Stolgitis got to her and was taken up.

Elhew Snakecharm (PM/Craig Doherty), a bye dog, displayed a nice gait and stylish way of going. At 15 both Charm and Doherty took a dip in the brook, though only Charm’s plunge was intentional. The dog looked good through the middle, though at medium range and with a few starts and stops, though no unproductive charged. At 51 Charm was too close to three flushing grouse and was taken up.

Berlin, N. H., September 19

Judges: Justin Evans and John Olfson

NEW ENGLAND OPEN GROUSE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 15 Pointers, 17 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

Winner—DADDY’S LITTLE BOY BUTCH, 1655649, pointer male, by Chasehill Little Bud—Richfield Stella. Paul Scott, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

Runner-Up—LONG GONE JUICY, 1664542, setter female, by Long Gone Studly—Spitfire. Lloyd Murray, owner and handler.

Bill Kearns Derby Classic

The Bill Kearns Derby Classic  was judged by Steven Levesque of Salem, Mass., and Jeremy Avery of Bridge-water, N. H. It was a small but quality stake. All three dogs had wild bird work.

The winner, Stokely B’s Ricky, setter dog under the whistle of Tony Bly, had a good run and, count ’em, three nice grouse finds.

Both Long Gone Porky (Hughes) and Wild Apple White Lightning, (Doherty) also tallied good work and good races to take second and third, respectively.

Judges: Jeremy Avery and Steven Levesque


1st—STOKELY B’S RICKY, 1667276, setter male, by Quail Trap Will—Quail Trap Ginger. Tony & Marie Bly, owners; Tony Bly, handler.

2d—LONG GONE PORKY, 1671466, setter male, by Long Gone Boston—D J’s Latest Flame. Lloyd Murray & Kelly Shepherd, owners; Dave Hughes, handler.

3d—WILD APPLE WHITE LIGHTNING, 1671816, pointer male, by Moyock’s White Rex—Moyock’s Silver Bell. Tim Kisieleski, owner; Craig Doherty, handler.

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