The arrival of Tess brought on the true glory days of my hunting life. At the outset I was lucky to have Nick Reens as a friend, neighbor and hunting partner. Nick has managed, along with a few others, to breed a select number of litters out of an Old Hemlock strain. These are big-lunged dogs ranging from 70 pounds for a bitch to a current male, Ted, who goes 110 pounds. Though utterly docile and sweet in the cabin or house these are big-running setters suitable for the Southwest and Montana though they shorten up in the denser cover of northern Michigan. When cynics say that our dogs are "too far out" we've learned to give a pat answer, "That must be where the birds are." Nick hunts as many as five at once and they act as a massive vacuum cleaner for the gamebirds in the area. One day on Drum Hadley's 500,000-acre Grey Ranch in New Mexico three of us bagged 30 quail on a cold, windy day while another group hunting short-running eastern setters only shot four. The possible downside to this strain of setters is that the owner must be in fairly good walking shape. Though of serene dispositions these dogs don't care if you have a sore foot or a hangover.