MEET THE FAMILY:
Glad to meet you! I have been raising Springers and Labs for over 30 years and was fortunate enough to have been brought up with dogs, I usually had a black Lab at my side. One of the first Labs in my life was “Daisy”. I remember her riding with my Dad to the Architects office on Sunday afternoons where she would patiently wait for him to complete the finishing touches on a mechanical engineering project of his. After her outing, Daisy would be ready to lounge with the family; I took many naps with her, she was a great pillow for a then, four-year-old. Dad and I did a lot of ‘road hunting’ in my youth and our Labs always accompanied us, sometimes running behind the car when we were ready to be done for the day and they were not (they were always glad to jump in after a mile or so…that really worried me!). After graduating from Iowa State, I got my own Lab, a yellow female in 1984 and “Jenny” produced many litters of nice pups ($75 then). We kept a female (Louie) from one of her litters and she also whelped many litters even after bowel resection surgery. Louie gave us 15 years of enduring love and devotion. We had to look for a replacement once Louie retired and that resulted in finding litter mates (Sage & Dixie) from the Buetners in Webb, Iowa. ‘Sage’ continued to produce fantastic pups. Our Labrador Retriever breeding program carries on Sage’s bloodlines and her love to hunt. Her grandson ‘Gus’ is one of our studs. He is a joy to hunt behind and calmly watches the sky when waterfowl hunting and digs in when he’s after pheasants. Gus is AKC Junior Hunt Test titled. Daisy is an awesome yellow female we acquired from Mitchell, SD. She has energy to burn but will settle in to be your best, most devote hunting buddy. She also has her AKC Junior Hunt test title. Rocky is our most recent acquisition. His sire is none other than FC AFC Hilltop’s Hayseed; his dam Arrowhead’s First Migration MH. Rocky gained his AKC Junior and Senior Hunt test titles in 2020 and is going on to pursue his Master Hunter and QAA. Watch the website and our Facebook page for litter announcements.
English Springer Spaniels were introduced to the family when I gave my father a female pup in 1984. ‘Sally’ began the long line of Springers (now with 6th generation) that we, along with many families are enjoying. Our Springers are a pleasant blend of field with a light sprinkle of bench. The true beauty and typiness of the breed flows through our dogs. We have lightly line bred to keep the quality and laid-back disposition that our dogs are known for. Many families are repeat buyers and are a great referral source. These pups excel in hunting, as therapy dogs and compassionate family members.
My husband was also raised with a Lab at his side. He was brought up in the world of hunting and was a vital part of the family’s dog training as a youth. Rick threw many a bird at licensed dog trials and for seemingly endless hours of training. My father-in-law is a past AKC Retriever Trial judge and enjoying training one of ‘Sage’s’ pups, Mak who is Gus’s sire. Mak earned his Senior Hunter title, some derby points and several passes toward his MH title as well. Mak was laid to rest on 9-1-2020 at the age of 14 1/2 years. My husband and I share very special memories of our first date, a pheasant hunting outing in northern Iowa with his black Lab, Molly!
It gives me the goosebumps to see these dogs work and nothing is more beautiful than the retrieve of a fresh bird on a crisp autumn morning or the loyalty of those dark brown eyes when you awaken in the morning!
We added to our love for hunting and the outdoors by opening an archery shop in the Fall of 2015. Bear Creek Outdoors evolved and we have been the areas HOYT Archery dealer. We carried a full line of HOYT compound bows from 2015 to present but have had to make a very difficult decision to close the archery shop permanently late Summer/Early Fall of 2022 due to Kelly’s injuries sustained early in 2021.
Hope you enjoy our site!!
- Kelly Lillie
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT US AND OUR CANINES:
Located on the edge of Forest City, Iowa since 1921, Fernwood Farm boasts tall trees, rolling hills and a wonderful setting for raising kids and dogs. Bear Creek Kennel coined its name from the creek that runs nearby, the creek where I raced my horse and dug for clams as a youngster.
Our family has been raising quality, healthy, family hunting dogs for over 35 years. My husband and I grew up with Labrador Retrievers. Our line of English Springer Spaniels however, was introduced when we gave my father a female pup in 1984. That female was ‘Sally’, she was the loyal and loving ‘founder’ of our wonderful line of English Springer Spaniels, her strengths and characteristics have continued, with fifth and sixth generation pups available throughout the year. Pups from $800
Our Labs are from strong hunting lines, ‘Daisy’ hails from Mitchell, SD. Daisy is an AKC titled Junior Hunter. Many of our pups have gone on to title in both AKC and UKC hunt tests and retriever trials. Our male, “Gus” is the son of laid back, driven hunter; Mak’s Air Express SH (who sadly passed away at the age of 14 1/2 years in 2020). Watch for litter announcements. Don’t let our low price fool you! Quality pups starting at $900.
We pride ourselves in raising quality healthy, farm-raised pups that families can enjoy in the field and in the home. It is our hope that each new owner will enjoy their new family addition as much as we do ours. References available upon request.
Thank you for checking out our website.
Rick and Kelly Lillie
Bear Creek Outdoors
Kid tested, Parent approved
Specializing in Quality Pups
Bear Creek Kennel and Bear Creek Outdoors
3388 Sage Drive, Forest City, Iowa 50436