The sun was working hard to warm up the brisk fall air at Nilo Farms when the dogs first put paws to the ground. The Keefer Brothers, Paul Sawyer, Gabe Adair and Nikki Boxler choose their firearms and head to the field where the retrievers put on a clinic and the Winchesters go to work.
Nilo Kennels was founded by John Olin in 1950, just two years prior to the establishment of Nilo Farms. Since the very beginning the world class retrievers of Nilo Kennels have played a vital role in the overall success of the facility. Every hunting adventure on site is enjoyed alongside a crew of canine conservationists and Winchester wielding sportsmen.
Whether it be upland game bird or duck hunting, these four-legged friends are true professionals. Simply watching the dogs work is an exciting pleasure in itself, and a strong testament to the kennel’s top-notch training regimen. At any given time, the kennel boards between 40-45 dogs and the new recruit puppies begin their training at just 3 months old.
The kennel’s at Nilo breed and train retrievers, pointers and spaniels, each dedicated to performing specific tasks in the field, while obeying the hunter’s commands every step of the way. Mainly Black and Yellow Labrador Retrievers are used for duck hunts, English Springer Spaniels for flushing pheasants or other upland game birds, and English Setters and Pointers for pointing and wing shooting.
The dogs at Nilo undoubtedly ensure a higher level of quality hunting, by making sure no bird goes unfound, and no hunter is left uninspired.
Winchester is proud to be apart this storied heritage. Among the stories at Nilo, is the legend of King Buck, arguably the greatest duck dog that has ever lived. The retriever once called Nilo home, had an unmatched career in national field trials, and has rightfully earned a tall-standing memorial on the grounds. King Buck was also the first ever dog to appear on the Federal Duck Stamp.
At a sanctuary and kennel combination like Nilo farms, the dog work is the draw, and the birds are a bonus. This week, Paul Sawyer and Gabe Adair join Nikki Boxler and The Keefer Brothers to experience first hand the history of the grounds at Nilo. The dogs work hard and the birds fly…Now it’s up to the shooters to make the feathers fall. At the end of the day, a steaming serving of pheasant pot pie brings everyone together to share their stories and relish in the rewards of conservation efforts.
As co-host of Winchester Life, he feels it his responsibility to help you find your own definition of the outdoors. He takes this responsibility very seriously and will take the rest of his working life fulfilling this quest. He can go from adventurous woodsman to sharp-dressed dinner guest in no time at all.