With ruffed grouse seasons finally coming to a close here in Minnesota and Wisconsin, I have now begun the annual reflection period and will inevitably begin looking ahead to next year. The late season hunting was ok this year aside from a few cold snaps and an unusual thaw that left the woods covered in ice, however once the snow covers up the ground, grouse hunting just isn’t the same for me. [Read more…]
As I pull off the gravel road and onto the driveway, I slow-roll past a familiar mailbox and a smile creeps over my face. I continue on by an “English Setter Crossing” sign and I like to think Hartley, my two-year old setter, is also smiling behind me in his crate. I follow the driveway that separates a beautiful piece of forested bird cover on my left to the open grassy training fields on my right. Eventually the truck is parked and we have arrived, this is Pineridge Grouse Camp. [Read more…]
The bare days of November are upon us which have delivered an onslaught of thoughts, emotions and mixed feelings as they always do! [Read more…]
Well the 2015 grouse and woodcock season is well underway here in Minnesota. However up until yesterday, it had not really “felt” like it. Yesterday was the first day of the season that I can recall during which the temperature did not rise above 60 degrees. It was calm and clear and it felt good when the dog and I were able to sneak out for a quick late evening hunt. While most of the leaves are still clinging to their respective branches, there is abundant color in the woods and the next couple weeks should result in peak color. The cooler temps are expected to stay with us as we enter October and begin to live once again, the greatest month of the year! [Read more…]
Since I started researching bird dog breeds and training techniques in the fall of 2013, if there has been one piece of advice that I have heard or read more often than any other, it’s that wild birds will teach your dog how to hunt wild birds. Essentially, the more contacts you can get your dog on wild birds, the better that dog will be able to hunt and handle wild birds. [Read more…]
Growing up in Duluth Minnesota, I think I can safely say that I know when to appreciate the weather. The jokes are endless and I won’t dwell on them but I will share one of my favorites believed to be from Mark Twain, although the attribution to Twain is not without controversy, regardless, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in Duluth.” That being said, the winter this year in Duluth, and the Midwest in general, was fairly mild including extended periods of mild temperatures and considerably less snowfall. To top it off, we’ve been welcomed into spring with a very mild stretch of weather including some beautiful days and a rapid melting of what little snow we had here. More importantly, with the snow gone we’ve had the opportunity to get our dogs into the cover to take advantage of some of the best training you can do with your bird dog this time of year, which is exactly what Hartley and I have been up to the last couple weeks. [Read more…]
What should you expect from a four-month old english setter? I’m not exactly sure, but what I can tell you is that I could not ask anything more of my pup after a full month of grouse and woodcock season. Given that he is my first bird dog, my experience is quite limited. That being said, his apparent natural ability, along with his progression from the beginning of the season until now, combine to make me one very proud puppy handler! [Read more…]
As of last Friday, my English Setter pup, Hartley is now twelve weeks of age, and Garrett’s GSP, Surly, is fifteen weeks of age. With only a week to go before Minnesota’s grouse season opens up, Garrett and I set out on Saturday to take the ever-so-important step in puppy training, introduction to guns. Both of our pups had successfully been introduced to birds at this point so we devised a plan for the day and set out to accomplish it, as long as the pups handled themselves accordingly. In no way were we going to jeopardize our pups’ futures by pushing them too far too fast. Long story short, the Northwoods’R crew had a fantastic day in the training field on Saturday and it’s safe to say that both pups exceeded our expectations! [Read more…]
Well it has been a crazy week around my house. My wife Lacey and I recently welcomed home our very first bird dog, an English Setter named Hartley. Needless to say it has been an extremely eventful week but I don’t think either of us could be any happier with our decision to invite the little monster into our home permanently. [Read more…]
Happy Friday everyone, and thank you to SportDog Brand Films for this fantastic short video. It’s incredibly well done and should stir the emotions of any upland bird hunter out there. I really enjoyed the fantastic shots of the beautiful dog work. We hope you enjoy it too.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!