HUNTING IN FRANCE
from the biography of
Boris Riab, by the Dr Jacques Bourdon
Hunting in Brittany
Brittany is the most reputed region for woodcock wintering in France. For Breton sportsmen, the only way to hunt woodcock is over specialized pointing dogs.
Touring in Brittany
Brittany is a heart touching land entirely bordered by a beautiful wild seashore. Visitors enjoy visiting the old town centers and fisher ports. The standing stones of Carnac and many vestiges of the ancient Celts are other highlights.
A land of old Celtic legends and traditions
Chapelle Saint Fiacre, lost in the woods
Little ports with quaint hotels (the white building)
Brittany is the birthland of the famous dog named French Brittany spaniels -Epagneul breton- The best breeders are found around the little town of Callac in the part called Argoat (Woodlands in ancient Celtic). We are pleased to arrange any visit to a top breeder kennel and maybe also help you import a puppy to your country. See all details below.
Elevage de Cornouaille - Famille Bourdon -
The European woodcock -Scolopax rusticola- is a bigger bird than Philohela minor
"Brittanies" are HPR dogs - They Hunt, Point & Retrieve
Ar-Goat, or Coat means Land of woods in ancient Celtic Breton. The name is given by opposition to Ar-Mor, the neighbor region meaning Land of sea. In fact the landscape features a lot of deep forests but also moor-hills and wet meadows, big granite rocks, and a lot of wild rivers. This is the former Brittany of otters and wolves, (and still the best woodcock coverts in France).
Typical Breton coverts - Coat-Cren, creek, ferns and bushy hills
Secret valleys are found in the forest
From Paris, the distance is approximately 650 kms. It is possible to take the train TGV to one of the nearest big cities, like Guingamp - 35 kms - and rent a car there.
The first set of pictures was shot during a fishing trip in June 2002 when my friend Kirk Hogan wanted to visit the Kennel de Cornouailles. We stayed near Callac birthland of the Brittany spaniel. In this neighborhood le marquis du Pontavice and the count of Kermadec created our so famous épagneul breton. The grandfather of Hervé Bourdon created the kennel in the early 1900's and participated the official launching of the breed in 1907. The kennel -the oldest of France- is held by the same family since this time.
Early morning everybody's still sleeping at the gîte.
We must buy our fishing permits at the local café.
On the way to the river we will stop to visit Hervé, the famous breeder
Kirk is impressed by the many prizes nailed on the wall
...Paula starts having a close look at a possible pup to bring back in the US.
At the moment of farewell, Hervé warns us about the numerous poulpiquets, djinns and trolls that we are likely to meet near the water when dusk is coming.
This is not a grave but an ancient washing place lavoir at a captured spring.
The river we fished after this visit. Although most of the river is shallow with weeds and boulders and only fishable with dry flies, there is a number of deeper pools of rather slow water. We met there a salmon fisher a moment ago. The tea colour comes from the granitique and peaty soil of the moors of the Monts d'Arrée giving birth to the river. Plusquelleg - June 2002
Puppies en route for the new world...
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Un peu de tourisme...
The little port of St Goustan where Benjamin Franklin landed in 1776 when he went to Paris to negotiate the French assistance in the war of independence.
The standing stones of Carnac
old streets of Guingamp...
Breton aristocratic architecture
Skilled maître d'hôtel preparing a grilled John Dory
or mussels at my favourite fish restaurant in Saint Malo.
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