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Hillcrest Kennel - Illinois English Setter Breeders
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About Hillcrest Kennel
Hillcrest Kennel is dedicated to producing exceptional English Setters for the field. We breed for:
Hunting Dog Breeds Raised
Breeder Contact Info
Jim & Zack Norman
Tuscola, Illinois 61953
Breeding quality gun dogs for over 10 years.
217-493-1180Send Email to Hillcrest KennelClick here to visit Hillcrest Kennel website
Puppies for sale
Testimonials (25) You are viewing the 10 most recent - Click here for more reviews
Submitted by: Laura Schuster on Mar 14, 2012We picked up a puppy last summer from Jim and Jack Norman of Hillcrest Kennels and have been very pleased with our selection. She has surprised us in many ways. She is incredibly smart, a great nose! She has amazing natural hunting instincts, very mild and loving temperment, and has been a great family dog to our young children. Nitro & Kate produce a great line of dogs.
Submitted by: Ann and Shade Murray on Mar 14, 2012In the fall of 2011, we had to put three English Setters down, all siblings and 13 years old. We were heart-broken. We were unsure we could start over with a puppy at our age. However, a Christmas present from our son changed everything. We received Kate from Hillcrest Kennels. Kate is now 5 mos. old and we have taken her to our quail club twice to see how she would react in the field. She is a natural! Nose to the ground, fearless through thick Palmettos and so happy to be busting birds. She has unbelievable stamina and I believe would stay in the field all day if we let her. We even got a few hard points and a couple of short holds. She is a joyful dog with a great personality. Whoever said that a hunting dog could not be both a house pet and a hunting dog did not know what they were talking about. She is both. I believe she is the smartest dog we have ever had and am convinced that she will be a winner in the field.
Submitted by: Chris Hurst on Feb 26, 2012Hi Jim, I am writing to you, to let you know the wonderful English Setter that we received from you..Mandi. I come from a duck and goose background and started grouse hunting up in the Upper Peninsula of Wisconsin. My Brother in Law had me hunting with his Llewellyn Setters in the mountains of North Carolina. I was amazed at his dogs performance and how these pointers worked. He had invited me to Go to the U.P. with him to get into some heavy grouse populations. The first year I went, I was amazed at the dog work and the wild hunting. Only thing missing for me, as a big bird hunter, was a setter. I had spoken to you about a English Setter that you had and after seeing her work, I was really interested in buying her. I wasn’t very familiar with hunting with an English Setter because of my flushing dogs background. Mandi, started with me on some warm up hunts before we took her North. This was some Quail and pheasant club work we put her on. To say the least, she performed absolutely flawless. Not only a great pointer but retrieved every bird that I shot.
Next trip was to The U.P. and the elusive Grouse. She was three when I took her up there. She was dead on, Woodcock!!! The Grouse, first year, were a little confusing for her. Every bird hunter that puts a newer dog in the field understand this. It takes time in the field… and birds, to get them where you want them to be. She is now 6, and steady as a rock on Grouse. Most people offer to buy her every time they see her hunt. She is truly an amazing dog. She not only points them but retrieves all of them as well. Its not always easy to kill a grouse, when you wing one …you definitely want to find them. I can’t tell you how many times she has disappeared for 15 minutes and come back with my bird. Along with her hunting she is a wonderful and loving pet. My wife and daughter absolutely spoil her and So do I. We want to thank you for a wonderful dog. There is so much more I can write about her but, It would keep me here for the next hour. Kudos to you and the Genes you have passed down to me and the pups we rear with Mandi. She will keep up a great hunting tradition for many years to Come.
Submitted by: Mark Thompson on Feb 08, 2012I searched forever to find a well bred english setter pup. The pup that I got from Jim is awesome, She is such a natural on pointing, backing an other dog and retrieving. It is almost like she came pre-trained.
Submitted by: Jim Harrold on Jan 27, 2012Our pup, Pete, was purchased at Hillcrest Kennel in May of 2011. Jim was great in answering my many questions, and I felt he wanted each of the pups to find a good home. Pete is now 7 mos old, and he hunted with us this past season. Pete showed a strong desire and a tremendous nose. Plus, he is very smart (quick learner). I can't wait to see him work next season. My family just loves him, and he has a good temperament with all ages. I recommend Jim and Hillcrest Kennel if you are looking for a good dog and a respectable breeder.
Jim Harrold January 2012
Submitted by: Chelsea Martens on Jan 27, 2012My husband and I spent countless hours searching for a second upland bird dog for our family. After falling in love with the English Setter, we were disappointed to learn that there were no breeders in Colorado or neighboring states, with puppies for sale. This meant that we were going to have to trust an out-of-state breeder, to not only deliver us an exceptional dog, but also deliver him safely. After speaking to a few different breeders, we finally came across Jim and Hillcrest Kennels. From the first time I spoke with Jim, I could hear the pride he had for his dogs in his voice. Not only was he proud of his dogs but his stories also let you know that he knew his dogs well and had personally taken time to work with them. One week later, we safely received our puppy, Skeeter. Skeeter, is from Becky X Nitro. We have only had him a few weeks but at 12 weeks old, he is already potty trained, kennel trained, will come when called and load in his kennel when given a command. I do not have to worry about him chewing on anything that does not belong to him and not once, has he been anything but gentle with my 2 year old son. I cannot wait to see what a dog with this level of intelligence and incredible demeanor will do in the field! Thank you Jim and Hillcrest Kennels.
Submitted by: Jim Rouse on Dec 27, 2011Hi Jim, I know you haven't heard from me in a long time, but I wanted to let you know that my English Setter Riggs and I are employed part time as guide and dog at the Richmond Hunt Club in Richmond, Il. Riggs will be 10 in 2012 as will his liter mate Maggie and still works a field as though he was 3.Last Saturday he pointed 31 different pheasants. I have to tell you I have had Labs, Brittany's, GSP'S and French Brittany's and none of them compare to Riggs. Greatest bird dog I have ever had. may be looking you up in a year or two, as Riggs will be getting to old to hunt. Thanks again for such a wonderful hunting dog and companion !!
Submitted by: Brian Nichols on Jan 06, 2011When I was first looking to purchase a English setter pup I contacted different breeders on GunDogBreeders.com . From the first email I received from Jim at Hillcrest kennel I knew right away he is a man of high integrity. I was very impressed with Jim from our email and phone conversations. He asked me questions that no other breeder had asked. He has a genuine concern for his dogs the English Setter breed and placement of pups with the right home. After many emails and phone conversations I purchased a female pup out of Nitro X Kate born February 2010. From the time the litter was born until he shipped her to me in Alaska I received pictures and updates regularly. When she arrived she was happy, very healthy and wanting to play. My vet was very impressed with her health and condition after such a long flight of over 10 hours, including layovers. Roxy was fully house broken at 10 weeks is a natural retriever, and took to swimming with no coxing at all. She began pointing everything she smelled and moved the first time out the door. She is very gentle with my 2 year old grandson even trying to get in the crib to sleep with him. Even though the Grouse hunting was down this year she still found more birds than any of the labs I’ve had in the past, and I’ve had some very good ones. We took her on her first pheasant hunt over Christmas and she was very impressive. After she setteled down She just naturally pointed and handled running birds, would reposition and hold her points untill we got to her and she found 4 birds we would have lost without her. All I can say is a great big thank you to Jim at Hillcrest Kennels for one of the top three bird dogs I have ever had and she is only 11 months old. The bird hunting future is very bright for this family. If you have any other questions please fill free to contact me at email@example.com
Submitted by: steve choquette on Aug 17, 2010I had been talking to Jim about his dogs for over two years and finally got a female pup out of the Nitro and Lucy breeding (April 2010). Originally wanted a Lucy dog , due to her MH and water retrieving skills but timing didn't work out...Lucy is a littermate to Maggie so took the plunge. Kate is 4 months now and is every bit the dog I had hoped for. She is extremely bold and has been exposed to horses, atv's, quail, chukkar, pigeon, and many other dog and loves them all. First week home she was picking up a bumper and carrying it around (and tv remotes, shoes, etc!). She is very smart, willing to please and loves the water. I have yet to teach her to swim, but she has been chest deep in the local creek and loves it. She is intensely birdy and after 4 sessions with quail and pigeons is now reliably stopping to point a scented bird. She runs big with the other dogs, but checks back frequently. I have no doubt that by the end of this season we'll be shooting birds over her and will have entered our AKC tests. This is the 2nd dog i've trained , so I'm a beginner, and I have to say that Kate makes me look good...esp in front of those guys that run dogs with no tails..Jim is and was always willing to talk on the phone to discuss what I wanted. I couldn't be happier with choosing Hillcrest Kennels or bringing Kate home with me.
Submitted by: Jeff Strilich on Aug 02, 2010Our tri-colored setter, Luna purchased from Hillcrest Kennels is an amazing dog. She is the smartest dog I have ever trained. Super nose and a natural pointer, she picks up on commands quickly and repeats behavior almost robotically. Our dogs are also members of our family and Luna is fun and loving with our family and our older setter. Jim was awesome to work with and obviously breeds great dogs. We could not be happier with our girl.