Miss Halle (Berry) as she was called was brought to the United States of America by Mike Stewart of Wildrose Kennels in November of 2002 at the age of two years and five months and having been a very recent mother in England. She was placed in quarantine as all imported dogs are required which gave her time to adapt to America and be trained by Mike Stewart the Wildrose Way. Our family was introduced to Wildrose by Robert Milner and Louise Crespi Benners owner of FC/AFC Electricity of Audlon and FC/AFC Trumarc’s Raider. They both told our family that we would be extremely pleased with any dog from Wildrose Kennels and we purchased Miss Halle sight unseen in December of 2002. Upon her arrival in the United States Mike began the training of Halle that would forever be her trademark and the beginning of the Legend. She mastered heel, sit, stay, and here and most importantly always walked on my left leg as if glued to me regardless of my pace. Louise on more than one occasion told me that Halle reminded her of Raider more than any other dog she had ever seen.
Halle left her temporary home in Oxford, Mississippi on January 31, 2002 and arrived at her new home in Farmers Branch, Texas where she was introduced to living in a home instead of an outside kennel which perplexed her very much. The first night in her house she guarded the back door to the patio as if it contained the crown jewels. She however quickly overcame her fear of being an inside dog and adopted the family habits quite nicely.
Halle, however, never lost her love for the outdoors and went to the “pond” as we call it (our neighborhood has a forty acre lake) four to five days a week to check on the resident duck population. She spent her summers in Texas going with me to the Dallas Gun club to keep her active year round. Halle was a hunting dog to be sure and beginning with the first day of September she knew it was time to go to work as Mike had taught her. She warmed up on doves and teal during the month of September in Texas full well knowing that her favorite hunting time was fast approaching.
Thanksgiving marked the time every year that Halle became the hunting dog like no other. Every Thursday night or Friday morning between the end of November she and her master left Dallas and drove the three and one half hours west to Haskell County and the famous Winchester lake that was resident to one of the largest migration of Canadian, Speckled Belly, and Snow Geese in the nation. Haskell County is known for its peanut crop and the Geese population each year was beyond belief. Halle began hunting this area in the fall of 2002 and hunted it with me until she retired in the February, 2013.
In her eleven year career Halle made retrieves for me and my hunting friends including Doctors, business owners, students, lawyers, real estate developers, restaurateurs, Federal and State Judges, United States Congressmen, All American sporting clay champions, from all over Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Alabama. Each year during the hunting season I would log at the end of each hunt the number of retrieves made in his Dallas Safari Club log. When Miss Halle retired after eleven years, she had retrieved 1062 birds. Her last retrieve in February, 2013 was a Greater Snow that now resides on the wall in my wife and my office. Many people cannot believe the number of geese that migrated each year to the Winchester and only those hunters that have been there can attest to its greatness. Many outfitters leased properties in Haskell County during this period and were completely upset by the way we hunted the Winchester. We hunted by pass shooting – giving the bird, the dog, and the hunter equal advantage. These geese were not decoyed down but were actually shot “pass shooting” behind hay bales one hundred and twenty five yards off of the lake to assure the continued success of the roost for the largest migration of geese in West Texas. Once the goose was hit the bird would begin a rapid decline toward the earth and Halle and the other dogs in the camp would watch the bird down to dispatch for the retrieve.
On one rare day Halle was there with both me and my wife and I wounded a large speckled belly that sailed off to the north and over a large plowed field. Off went Halle as she had done so many times before locked completely on the exact location of the bird as it went down and went after the goose as she had done so many times before. My wife watched as she went out of sight and asked me if I were worried about her and I replied no – she will be back in a minute. Sure enough about four minutes later you saw a little black lab come back over the hill with a ten pound speckled belly in her mouth on her way back to me. My wife and I later drove the field with truck and the bird went down .4 of a mile from the point I shot him. Halle’s retrieval was over 400 yards each way over a plowed field. My wife could not believe the little dog had gone so far and brought the bird back the entire way.
Miss Halle lived with my wife and me for twelve wonderful years. She was my wife’s pet and my friend and gentlemen’s gun dog. She was adored by all that knew her from the women at the clinic where she received her care to the Sporting Clay tournaments all over North Texas where she was known as Halle Berry. She was kind gentle and a perfect pet and companion for her family especially to my wife, but forever she was also a hunter that knew the difference of being a lady at home and a hunter in the field.
Miss Halle left us on August 26, 2014 being fourteen years and three months but the legend of Halle will remain with the hunters, ranchers, farmers, and property owners of West Texas where she was a true legend.