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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:
Exceptional style
Superior nose
OFA Hips

DNA Certified

Currently we are specializing in:
AKC Hunt Test
NSTRA Field Trials
Outstanding Hunting Companions

All Dogs and Puppies are Guaranteed for Good Health and OFA hips.

Hunting Dog Breeds Raised
English Setter
Additional Services
Stud Services
Breeder Contact Info
Jim & Zack Norman
Tuscola, Illinois 61953
Breeding quality gun dogs for over 10 years.
Click here to visit Hillcrest Kennel website
Our Pedigrees

Testimonials (32) You are viewing the 10 most recent - Click here for more reviews
Submitted by: Paul Bowden on Feb 23, 2014
Liberty and I just finished the Minnesota Pheasant season in knee deep snow. She sure has come around this season. I'm very happy with her devlopment. She's is smart as a whip, and incredibly driven, we had a great year.
Submitted by: Mike Schuster on Feb 20, 2014
We picked up our 2nd pup from Jim at Hillcrest Kennels. Jim once again did not disappoint us. He was able to fit us with a new pup that fit our family needs and characteristics with just a few questions! We named this one Lucy and a very intelligent well mannered dog she is. I've been around English setters all my life and once again I'm impressed with the easiness to train. Everyone of my friends that have met her tell me how beautiful and great listening pup she is. She has become an exceptional family dog and can't wait to get her in the field this spring when the weather breaks here in Mn. Thanks Again Jim for another great Dog from Kate and Nitro!

Mike Schuster
St. Francis Mn

Submitted by: Stephen Rafe on Feb 01, 2014
Jim Norman is one of the very few professional trainers whose work I endorse and recommend. His breeding program is thorough and complete in every detail one might want in a bird dog including conformation, temperament, desire, and intelligence. His training approach proves that positive, science-based methods are highly effective in producing biddable dogs that hunt and compete at the highest levels with gusto!

Stephen Rafe
Birddogger for more than 30 years, Author of "Training Your Dog for Birdwork," "About Dogs" Editor for Quail Unlimited magazine for 20 years, frequent contributing writer for "Pointing Dog Journal," "Retriever Journal," "Just Labs" magazine and numerous others. His system for curing gunshy dogs has been called the world's most successful method.

Submitted by: Dave Furrer on Jan 23, 2014
Lexie did awesome in her first year in the field, especially for a 16 month old dog. From the day we brought her home from Hillcrest at 9 months old, she has been pointing. Pre-season, this typically involved song birds, rabbits, fallen leaves, and even grass hoppers. She has a very strong drive, locked up on solid points, retrieves, and responded well to the e-collar and whistle all season long. Her third time out she held a rock solid point for over two minutes while we searched for her in the 5 foot tall grass. She did not break point until I busted the brush up. My hunting partner, a long time GSP owner, was very impressed with her. She is also a joy around the house, playing very well with our lab mix and any visitors we have over. At night, her favorite spot is up on the couch with the family.

We are all really glad to have her in our lives.

Dave and Terri Furrer

Submitted by: Ben Beaman on Jan 16, 2014
This past November I purchased a male, tri-color, half mask pup from Jim and have been thrilled with him ever since. The pup is currently 17 weeks old and is an absolute joy to have around. He's bold, curious, and extremely smart. He is already backing other dogs naturally and retrieves dummies to hand with no retrieving training whatsoever. I've done a small amount of wing and string training with him and he's shown a strong desire to point, even a few times on scent alone! Not bad for 17 weeks. I'm looking forward to spring when the lovely Wyoming weather will no longer keep us from wild bird territory! Also he has quickly become an excellent house dog. House-braking was fast and easy, as was crate training and simple obedience. If you're looking for a hunting buddy with tons of natural drive and instinct, a family companion, or both, you've found the right breeder!
Submitted by: steve jaskowiak on Jan 07, 2014
Jim and Zack do a great job.. Dog I received was as promised and advertised.
Great nose... solid points..  straight tail... head high..  natural honor... picture of beauty in my eyes. (Actually, in everybodys eyes !)
If you are looking for this high caliber of a hunting mate, look no further....
Contact Hillcrest Kennels.
Submitted by: Joe Daniel on Jul 17, 2013
I purchased a pup from Jim and Zack Norman last
September. The pup is out of Master Mohawk Kate
and Tekoa Mountain Jettsun. This combination has
provided me with a very desirable pup. He has a
good disposition and is easily trained. If I
ever need another dog I would not hesitate to buy
from Jim and Zack. They answered all of my questions on different phone calls and in person.
They also provided pictures from birth and weekly
until I picked up my pup.
Submitted by: Laura Schuster on Mar 14, 2012
We 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, 2012
In 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, 2012
Hi 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.
Chris Hurst

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