Good evening Friends, Hunters and Trainers.

Beginning next week, I am going to write a weekly series that will be about retriever training for hunting retrievers and for hunt tests. The series will include photos and tips of various retriever training techniques. These techniques will start at the beginning of your retriever’s training and will follow through into the next phase. Over time, your retriever will be able to put all of the steps together. Your retriever will then become a “once in a lifetime retriever.”

Mitch Hainsfurther

My retriever training series will be based on the training methods of Mitch Hainsfurther, who owns Webfoot Kennel. Webfoot Kennel is located in Carlinville, Illinois. Mitch has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to training retrievers. His training philosophy? “To build a solid foundation for which all future endeavors can be attained. To simplify each task to its smallest part and teach. A completed retrieve is made of several small parts, leaving any part out will give less than desirable results.

I met Mitch at Gun Creek’s Hunting Retriever Club’s Spring Hunt Test a few months ago. I saw that he was from a town close to where I lived. I was shocked. We spoke about training and exchanged cards. After the hunt test, we spoke on the phone about training together. Now, we train together as often as our schedules will permit. I can tell you that I have learned a lot from rom Mitch and continue to do so on a regular basis. He is amazing to watch. His is a great teacher and takes his work seriously but has fun. He has patience. His dogs are well taught and have wonderful line manners, which is something that I admire! I truly enjoy watching and working with this man. He has a unique talent and was born to be a retriever trainer. Most of all, I applaud and appreciate the respect that Mitch has for retrievers.

I look forward to writing a weekly series with Mitch. I am most certain that once you begin reading “Training With Mitch,” you will instantly become a fan of his techniques and will be coming back for more!


Wendy Porch, Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store

This is an interview with Wesley Kirchner, owner and operator of Hickory Hills Trophy White Tail Bow Hunting located in Chandlerville, IL.  Central Illinois is a premier location for waterfowl and deer  hunting.  Wesley is an avid hunter and outdoors man and possesses a wealth of talent and knowledge when it comes to hunting.  He has 35+ years  of hunting experience.

Please enjoy reading my interview with Wes below.  At the end of the interview, you will find Wesley’s contact information in case you would like to book a hunt with him.

Wendy:  What is Hickory Hills?

Wesley:  Bow hunting deer, muzzle loader and shotgun deer hunting, spring turkey hunt for 5 weeks, primo places for duck and goose hunting such as 5 man pits and duck holes by the Sangamon River and farm tillable crop ground.

Wendy:  What sets you apart from other outfitters?

Wesley:  Location and customer service.  Our location is one of the best waterfowl hunting places in the Mid-West.  We don’t just hold the hunter’s hand.  Our hunters take control.  We show them where to hunt and we go with them on location and they do the work.  We don’t hunt for them.  I will gladly hunt with them if they ask.  Our outfitting business is for people who really want to hunt!

Wendy:  How long have you been in business?

Wesley:  Since 2000

Wendy:  What does your outfitting business involve?

Wesley:  Deer, turkey and waterfowl hunting.

Wendy:  Where do you take someone to deer hunt?

Wesley:  We have hardwoods, rolling hills and crop ground to hunt.  We offer approximately 3000 acres to hunt.

Wendy:  About how many deer are killed in one season?

Wesley:  Approximately 25 per year.

Wendy:  What’s the biggest deer someone has shot or killed with a bow?

Wesley:  28 Pointer that scored a 253.  Most deer average a score of 165 and higher.

Wendy:  Where would you take someone to hunt waterfowl?

Wesley:  Most of our hunting for ducks and geese are beyond the south side of the Barkhouse Refuge resting area for waterfowl in Central IL located between Beardstown and Chandlerville, IL.  This area is all state owned and operated.  We shoot the ducks and geese in my pits and holes as they are coming off the refuge to feed in our fields.

Wendy:  About how many waterfowl do you see in one season?

Wesley:  When they are flying coming out of the refuge to feed in the fields, we see hundreds of thousands of waterfowl in one season.

Wendy:  Do you offer any upland hunting?

Wesley:  There are some pheasants that people can hunt if they like.

Wendy:  Do you have retrievers available to hunters?

Wesley:  No.

Wendy:  Do you have a lodge house for hunters?

Wesley:  We do have a lodge that will house about 12 people at one time.  We are in the process of purchasing a second lodge that is 2 stories and will house approximately 20-25 hunters.  Our lodges are for hunters who want to go hunting, play cards, sit around in the evening and have their scotch or whiskey on the rocks and smoke cigars!!  Our hunters fan have fun, relax and make themselves at home.

Wendy:  Do you supply meals for the hunters?

Wesley:  Most hunters bring their own food .  We have a full service kitchen available to our hunters in the lodge homes.  They can also eat at the local restaurants.  Beardstown is approximately 12 miles from the lodge homes and Chandlerville is approximately 6 miles from our lodge homes.  There are also local gas stations available to our hunters.

Wendy:  What kind of equipment should a hunter bring with him/her?

Wesley:  Bring all gear needed for what species you are hunting.  Bring decoys, guns, and boats if you like.  Bring a bow and/or gun for deer hunting.  We do supply full bedding but some like to bring an extra sleeping bag in case they want more covers.  They need to supply food and drink.  We have full showers and bathrooms just bring your own soap and shampoo!

Wendy:  Should hunters bring rain gear?

Wesley:  Yes, they should as well as waders and gloves.

Wendy:  Who cleans the waterfowl?

Wesley:  Hunters can clean their own waterfowl or a lady in town will clean them for you.

Wendy:   Do hubnters have to field dress their own deer?

Wesley:  They can or I will gladly field dress your deer for you.  Some like to take their deer to the local butcher and pick it up in a few days.

Wendy:   How does someone go about setting up a hunt with you?

Wesley:  Please call me, Wesley “Wes” Kirchner on my cell at 217-370-4585


Has anyone watched this dog run a field trial event?  If not,  you sure are missing out.  If you get the chance, please try to see this athlete do his thing.

When this dog comes out of the trailer, your jaw will drop.  He is solid muscle, the perfect specimen of an athlete.  He has incredible line manners, a beautiful gait, he runs hard and fast, awesome marker and is as sweet as the day is long. He is the perfect Labrador Retriever in every way.

Meet “Tick.”  His name is Ten Bears Road Trip owned by Mike Judas and Anne Weaver-Judas.  Mike trains and handles Tick.  You can see Tick’s pedigree and accomplishments at Ten Bear Kennels

Over the past two weekends, I have met 3 of Tick’s offspring.  I stopped one gentleman in Marion, IL and asked if I could take a photo of his chocolate girl because she was so beautiful.  Once I began talking to this gentleman, I learned who his dog’s sire is.  Immediately I knew why this gal Zoey looked so good on the line and ran like a champ.  Her sire is Tick!

Last weekend in TN I saw a 4 month old puppy run her first hunt test.  She nailed the marks and blew most of the dogs out of the water.  Her name is Coca, King Henry’s Coca Bear.  Her sire is Tick.

I then met a male Labrador Retriever at the hotel I was staying at last Saturday night.  He is a beautiful chocolate lab.  His name is Trip, “Gotta Ticket To Ride, owned by Chris Isabell.  This boy has so much drive that he is driving his owner to the hunt test!  Awesome dog.  His sire is Tick.

If you get the chance, go see this amazing creature run his field trials and visit him on his site.  You won’t be disappointed.  I’m not.  This fall I will breeding my chocolate lab, Kimber with Tick.  The two together will probably be one of the best bred chocolate pedigrees that you can find.

Wendy Porch
Total Retriever Photography & Supply Store
Shadowhill Retrievers

Hunt Tests

May 15, 2010

Our girl Kimber passed her last two hunt tests at Southern IL Hunting Retriever Club.  She is now a SHR!  Blu, he passed both of his Seasoned tests at Southern IL Hunting Retriever Club.  He is now an HR dog!  Our little Angel, she passed the first two legs of her Started title last weekend in TN.  We have had a great season thus far.  So far our dogs have passed all of their HRC Hunt Tests…..I’m knocking on wood as I write!

We are gearing the dogs up for fall in hopes that Blu will obtain his HRCH title, Kimber her HR and Angel her HR titles.

We are also starting to dual title our labs and will be running both Blu and Kimber next weekend in a Double Jr. in St. Louis at Busch Wildlife.

Here are some photos to view of Kimber and myself at SIHRC running the last of her started test for her title.  By the way, I got drenched on Saturday and Sunday with buckets of water and with a hose.  It was rather cold!

Not sure I’m adding the photos right but I tried.  I’ll have to check on them once I post!

Wendy Porch

Music City HRC

May 8, 2010

We are beginning our morning in Nashville, TN. There are approximately 200 dogs running here. Four flights of Finished. It’s a 24,000.00 hunt.

Our black lab, The Hunter’s Little Angel I’d running her first started test. Wish us luck!!!!

Will try to post updates this weekend.