Sunnynook Large Munsterlanders

Pups Afield

Joe & Sheila Schmutz, R.R. 2 Box 123, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7K 3J5

This webpage was mounted on Dec. 3, 2007 and last updated on July 10, 2019 by Sheila Schmutz

This page describes the exploits of pups whelped at Sunnynook with their new owners in various hunting situations. While we encourage our Sunnynook puppy owners to field-test their dogs for the feedback it provides us as breeders, ultimately our breeding goal is to provide dogs for hunting. The dogs mentioned below are used as they were intended, and are doing it well - and there are many others.

Sunnynook’s Zoe – Jack-of-all-trades, Master of many!

In July, 2019 Dan and Danielle wrote: Zoe is 6 now and is doing great, both as a member of our family and as a hunting companion. We really enjoy Zoe's disposition; affectionate, good with people and other dogs and maybe most important a strong hunting drive in the field but is able to switch off when not hunting, something not that common in other hunting breeds. Zoe hunts pheasants and partridge in Southern Alberta but also grouse and ptarmigan in BC. I almost always bring Zoe big game hunting with me as well and have had success with blood trailing.

Sunnynook's Wingshot "Donner"

At the end of the 2010-11 Oregon State hunting season, Donner's owner Steve provided a summary. This has been Donner's first real season, being not yet 2 years old, whelped in April 2009. Steve and Donner were out 22 days and Donner accounted for 50 birds in the pot.

Donner had suffered a serious cut to a paw, a constant threat in the sharp lava-rock conditions of the inter-mountain West. Even with a bandaged foot, Donner turned out to be rangy dog, going out 400 yds at times. If the wind was unfavorable or the birds running, Donner was not always able to hold them long enough for Steve to get there. Sometimes, Donner would crowd the birds which wild birds typically don't stand for – something Donner still has to learn to do better. On many memorable occasions, though, Donner was locked on point for the duration, and Steve was able to walk past him and flush the birds, usually chukar or grey partridge, sometimes valley quail.

Steve calls Donner a reliable retriever, with some retrieves having been memorable and spectacular. "In our chukar country," Steve writes, "a wounded bird may travel (bounce, run, flutter) hundreds of yards down slopes that are as steep as a cows face. I cringe as the dogs leap over brush, outcrops of rock, ledges and scree. Its quite amazing to see them snatch the bird from the air in mid hop. And then there is the long climb back up to me, struggling for breath while a bird is stuck in their mouth." In those situations, Steve sings to his dog as he comes in, calling him "the most amazing Canadian in the Lower 48".

Sunnynook's Uzi "Sky"

Ken reported on Sky's first hunt, a pheasant hunt at 10 months of age in October of 2007. Pictures are often worth a thousand words.......

A puppy point.

a good shot.....

and "Look what I've got!"

Sunnynook's Ursus "Ash"

Reporting on Ash's first pheasant hunt, Rick writes: "He managed to bump a couple of roosters but I'll call that an over-abundance of energy, since it was only 9:30 in the morning. The most exciting part of the day came in the afternoon. We returned to where the birds had flown to in the morning when we bumped them. We were working the edge of cover on the edge of a wheat field cutting across the wind. Ash caught hold of something on the wind and his tail started racing. He eased into a thick clump of alfalfa and kotia weed and froze, staring intently at his mark. I quietly told him to wait as I walked in to flush the bird. On cue, the bird rose giving me a straight away shot. I was able to hold up my part of the bargain and make the shot. The bird fell and Ash happily raced off to find his prize. He was only about 30yds out but he wouldn't return. I called him and praised him happily to encourage him to bring back the bird. Apparently I hadn't noticed that the bird had fallen within feet of another bird and he was quite busy pointing that one and unsure what my problem was. When I started towards him the other bird flushed, but I was not ready, and missed the opportunity. When I walked up I thought I had hit the first bird poorly and it had managed to escape but then I realized there had been two birds."

Sunnynook's Uli

Uli (see also Sunnynook's Vista) is closely connected to hunting, fishing and wilderness vacations. Beginning in June, Uli will move to the lodge ( with Ray and be a companion for guests and guides during the fly-fishing season. In fall, most hunters come for big game, but Uli is drawn into action then, for some duck and ptarmigan hunting. The three photos aboe and right, show her on a white-tailed ptarmigan hunt in the spectacular Cassiar Mountains of northern British Columbia. After the guiding season is over, Uli and Ray enjoy some private time afield, hunting waterfowl, sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge on the prairies.

Sunnynook's Vista

Vista, like Uli, is employed at a hunting lodge in the Stikine Mountain ranges of northern British Columbia, ( Vista is hailed by Bill & Devlin as a very intelligent dog who fits into her lodge-hostess role very well. She's also expected to be a guard-partner to Cayman, Isabel and William, should their volleyball or fishing activity attract a bear unnoticed. Right, Vista holds a willow ptarmigan.

Sunnynook's Schatz

Sunnynook's Schatz was the only Sunnynook S-pup of 9 that did not run in a field test. However, Schatz proved herself several times over in the eyes of her owners Jack and Marge, both in the field and the home. Schatz has likely worked more pheasants in her life than any of her litter mates.

The score and prize classification of Schatz's 8 littermates in a NAVHDA Natural Ability Test is as follows:

  • Sunnynook's Sable 108/112 (II)
  • Sunnynook's Samwise 112/112 (I)
  • Sunnynook's Shadow 104/112 (I)
  • Sunnynook's Siskin 102/112(III),
  • Sunnynook's Skelly 106/112 (I)
  • Sunnynook's Sora 110/112 (I)
  • Sunnynook's Sunny 107/112 (II)
  • Sunnynook's Szeta 112/112 (I)

    The average score was 107.6 or 96%.

  • Sunnynook's Nimrod "Taz"

    Taz and Ken think each other are pretty special. However, their life together is not always so sedate as is pictured at the right. Ken writes: "My friend Taz did something that I have never before seen a dog do. I have SEVERAL witnesses. We were in a huge field of dirty Milo, near a town named "Bird City", Kansas. Taz was quite far out ahead of the line when he went on solid point, in front of a hunter about 30 yds to my right. There was a yearling mule deer standing about 15 yds from Taz, on his left. A puppy Lab spotted the deer, and started to chase it - barking and all. The deer jumped right over Taz, who stayed locked on point. The puppy jumped right over Taz, who stayed locked on point. The nearest hunter could see the rooster pheasant start to run, at which point Taz closed in, and the pheasant flushed. The hunter shot him, and Taz retrieved same, to the hunter's hand. To which the whole gang shouted a bunch of WOWs. He got a lot more treats that night than he really needed."

    Taz, Ken & Joan once made a heroic trip cross-country to enter Taz in a Natural Ability Test, but it was not to be Taz's day. Apparently still in travelling mode, Taz failed to get a passing score in pointing, earning 71/112=63% overall. Tests provide only a narrow window on a dog's life, but many people around Bird City, Kansas, know that regardless of the numbers on paper, finding, pointing and tracking birds for Ken is not a problem for Taz!

    Sunnynook's Jasper (1994-2007)

    Dean writes: Dear Joe & Sheila: It comes with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Sunnynook's Jasper, who lost a short battle with cancer on Oct 16th (at 13). Jasper (as you can understand) was a part of our family as either of our children and will surely be missed. Attached are just a couple of pictures from healthier and happier times. I am sure another dog will be in our future, but for now Michelle & I are content with the memories we have of Jasper, and just missing him will be enough. When the time comes, it surely will be another Large Munsterlander, for he, without a doubt, was the finest family pet we ever had, as well as a great hunting companion. One of his last retrieves was also my son's first grouse kill, and those memories cannot be forgotten. When the time comes I will be in touch for another family member.

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