About Blindfaith Retrievers

Blindfaith Retrievers was founded in 1986 with the purchase of a yellow Labrador retriever puppy named Candlewoods Yellow Flower MH – or “Mindy” as she was known to her many friends and admirers. She had many of both before her death at age 15. Mindy was an extraordinary dog: smart, loving and faithful, with the talent and ability to make her one of the great ones. She was the kind of dog who comes along once in a lifetime, and she changed our lives in countless ways.

An outstanding Field Trial and Hunt Test dog, Mindy whelped 5 litters, sired by some the top Field Trial/Hunt Test stud dogs available, and she produced a number of exceptional pups, most notably Harley’s Just Crazy to Go MH (MH titled before age two without force fetching or any use of the E-collar); Blindfaith’s Mindy’s Miss Molly MH, MNH; and Blindfaith’s Renegade MH, who passed 16 out of her first 19 MH tests, titling at age three without ever being force fetched and minimal E-collar work, only on the ‘sit’ command.

At Blindfaith Retrievers we work hard to breed quality dogs, with Mindy always in mind as our standard of excellence. We look for the best in health, temperament and ability when we choose to breed a dog and we are proud of the many pups we have produced over the past 25 years. We also work hard to make sure that our buyers are happy with their dogs and we do our best to provide advice, information and whatever support is needed.

We offer lab pups of all colors out of the finest Field Trial/Hunt Test bloodlines. All of our dogs hunt upland game as well as waterfowl. We are proud of the fact that all of our females can “do the work” and all of our labs, like Mindy, are wonderful companions.

We offer stud service by accomplished, well-bred males, and we occasionally offer started dogs as well.

Blindfaith Retrievers is located at the Little Wappaoolah Farm near Indianola, Illinois, 30 miles southeast of Champaign, Illinois, and 90 miles southwest of Indianapolis, Indiana. Our farm is 45 acres of fields, woods and streams devoted to providing habitation for deer, turkey, pheasant and quail-and, of course, training grounds for our beloved retrievers.

Blindfaith Retrievers is owned by Bill and Marcia Butikas. Bill is a retired math teacher, avid hunter, Illinois basketball fan and St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan. Bowhunting whitetails is a special passion but he also hunts ducks, geese, pheasants, doves and coyotes (without dogs!). Marcia was an English teacher but retired as a school social worker at Danville High School  in May of 2016. She hunts with Bill and has her first gun buck hanging on the office wall and her second buck, 2007 Illiana Bowhunters Big Buck of The Year, hanging on the living room wall. Marcia loves to write, build nighttime fires and do things with the dogs.

Many people have wondered how we came upon the names Blindfaith and Little Wappaoolah. Here’s a short explanation.

On the day that I met my soon to be mentor, Russ Draper, he offered to do some drills with his two black labs. I was astonished at how much faith they had in him. When I purchased my first lab, Keeta, from Royal Oaks Labradors,  I named her Royal Oaks Blindfaith, hoping that she would display that same blind faith in me. Fifteen years later when it came to choosing a kennel name, Blindfaith seemed very appropriate as I then had Mindy, the most faithful dog I’ve ever owned.

Wappaoolah is a plantation owned by Bobby Mead near Monck’s Corner, South Carolina. The word is an Indian word which means “sweet water”. After spending a week there training in February 2003 and experiencing the sheer beauty of his land, I asked Bobby permission to call our 45 acres Little Wappaoolah. He graciously consented and sent me home with a bag of Chufa for the turkeys and so it is.

We are actively involved in many organizations which promote the shooting sports and wildlife conservation and issues. Among the groups we support through membership and contributions are Master Amateur National Club, Hunting Retriever Club, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, Whitetails Unlimited and The National Rifle Association (Bill and Marcia are both Life Members). Bill is also a member of the Purina Pro Club and Garmin-Tri-Tronics Influentials Club.

Our home retriever club is the Backwater Retriever Club in northern Indiana. Bill used to judge AKC hunt tests at all levels and has been nominated to judge the Master National on 2 occasions. some medical problems have limited Bill’s ability to judge for the past few years. We run both AKC and UKC hunt tests and AKC field trials.

Marcia is an accomplished writer and has been published numerous times in Just Labs magazine.