Moose River Grouse Dog Club trial results

Open Puppy Winners Northwoods Carly Simon with Paul Diggan and Gracie with Mr. Lawton. Back row: Dan Stadin and judges Brad Holt and Bert Benshoof.


Wet, drizzly and overcast—perfect bird-finding weather—was the forecast for the Moose River Grouse Dog Club field trial held the weekend of April 21 – 22.

First-year shooting dog Northwoods Lager, owned by Jim Bires, was our only entry in the Open Shooting Dog stake. He ran strong and powerful, hit all the right places and yet showed when needed.  At about 40 minutes he had an unproductive but stood strong when his bracemate interfered.  Lager ended his bid at 50 when he unsuccessfully tried to relocate on a touchy, running grouse.

In the Open Derby, Northwoods Classy Kate, owned by Barry Frieler, ran her namesake race—driving, forward and classy. That day, though, she went without bird contact. Houston’s Miss Liddy, owned by Paul Hauge, also ran very well but missed some opportunities on birds. Northwoods Roquefort, owned and handled by Dan Stadin, ran well and had an unproductive in likely cover.

The highlight of the trial was when 13-year-old Paul Diggan handled 9-month-old Northwoods Carly Simon to third place in the Open Puppy stake. He had to work hard to pull her out of likely cover on the outside edge of the puppy course loop.


Open Shooting Dog

1st Marley, Sig Degitz

2nd Ralph, Luebke

3rd Mickey, Peters

Open Derby

1st Hank, Visger

2nd Rain, Brent Sittlow

3rd Maddie, Harvat

Open Puppy

1st Gracie, Lawton

2nd Ole, Gerrits

3rd Carly, Paul Diggan

Second MGDA trial results: Northwoods Blue Ox progeny continue to win

Front: Jerry with Sean, Barry Frieler with Kate, Kaufman with Maisey. Back: Mr. Lawton, Greg Gress, Frank LaNasa, Chris Bye, Ian MacTavish.

The Minnesota Grouse Dog Association held its final trial of the spring last weekend, April 13 – 15. A beautiful sunny Saturday was sandwiched between a cloudy, cool day and a rainy day. Our sincere thank you to the club volunteers who worked hard to put on the stakes.


Bird work was again tough to come by in the Open Shooting Dog stake. Of 14 dogs that ran, only three finished with clean work on birds.  The judges awarded two placements—Merrimac’s Adda Girl, setter female owned and handled by Ben McKean won first and Abigail, setter female, owned and handled by Ed Graddy, placed second. I handled Northwoods Lager (Jim Bires) and Northwoods Blue Ox. Both ran strong races but without birds (not counting Ox’s nice point on a turkey!).

The largest entry was the Open Derby with 18. We’re very proud of the performances of two dogs we ran. Northwoods Parmigiano (Sean), setter male owned by Bob Senkler, won. Sean ran a powerful, forward race on a 73-degree afternoon, hunted all the right places and finished strong. In addition, he has a style and verve that is extremely eye appealing.

Sean has competed well for the select times we’ve entered him in field trials. Of four starts, he’s placed in three—2011 Open Puppy (1st), 2012 CVGDA Open Shooting Dog (2nd) and this placement.


Northwoods Classy Kate, setter female owned by Barry Frieler, placed second. She ran her usual, sharp, driving race–she is always searching for birds. She is on a hot streak this spring with three derby placements in three starts.

Northwoods Roquefort, owned and handled by Dan Stadin, put on a competitive effort.  Sean, Kate and Roquefort are littermates, sired by Northwoods Blue Ox out of Houston’s Belle’s Choice.

Puppy stakes are always fun and this Open Puppy was no different. Betsy and I own Northwoods Vixen, a female pointer out of CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, and she is mature, smart and talented. She won first place. I handled Snyder’s Trudy (CH Ridge Creek Cody x CH Satin From Silk), setter female owned by Steve Snyder, to second. Trudy hunted hard and looked good doing it.

Northwoods Tesla owned by Tim Cunningham.

Northwoods Tesla, owned and handled by Tim Cunninghamy, placed third. Tes and Tim are new to field trials but both put forth a great effort. Tes is sired by Northwoods Blue Ox out of Northwoods Chablis—and it’s turning out to be quite a talented litter. Two of her litter brothers, Northwoods Bees Knees and Northwoods Grits, won first and second in the Open Puppy last week.

Open Shooting Dog

1st  Merrimac’s Adda Girl, Ben McKean

2nd  Abigail, Ed Graddy

Open Derby

1st   Northwoods Parmigiano, Bob Senkler

2nd  Northwoods Classy Kate, Barry Frieler

3rd  Maisey, Kaufman

Open Puppy

1st  Northwoods Vixen, Jerry Kolter

2nd  Snyder’s Trudy, Steve Snyder

3rd  Northwoods Tesla, Tim Cunningham

Amateur Shooting Dog

1st   Abigail, Ed Graddy

2nd   Gracie, Scott Anderson

3rd   Molly, John Edstrom


Paul’s new blog

Careful readers of our posts know that Paul Diggan is a young man who lives in Sandstone and is a good friend of Dan Stadin, the guy who works with us.

As often as possible, Paul accompanies Dan to work and, consequently, Paul has spent many hours in our kennel and out in the field. Not only does he know how to clean kennel runs and fill water buckets, but he knows the pedigrees of virtually every dog. He can rattle off that Chardonnay and Chablis are sisters out of Shaq and Jill and that both had litters last year. He knows, too, that we repeated the Shaq/Jill breeding and have four littermates—Carly, Jeter, Tyler and Zep—here for training.

After Paul attended his first trial last weekend and had entered and competed in his first stake, he was inspired to start his own blog.

Check out Thoughts from a 13-Year-Old Boy and a Dog Trainer in Training at

Three very nice placements at the Minnesota trial

Northwoods Classy Kate and Barry

The Minnesota Grouse Dog Association held the first of its two spring trials on April 6 and 7. Dan Stadin, Paul Diggan and I attended both days.


For us, the most exciting stake of the trial was the Open Derby. Fifteen young dogs competed and we are very proud of Northwoods Classy Kate, owned by Barry Frieler of Pequot Lakes. She convincingly won first place. She is sired by Northwoods Blue Ox out of our blue hen, Houston’s Belle’s Choice.

Kate ran in the first brace of the stake—at about 1 p.m. on a bluebird afternoon. Normally, that’s not the preferred time of day to hunt grouse but Kate didn’t know that. Within a few minutes of the breakaway, she was already working scent near a drumming log. She caused the bird to flush and gave a short chase. After that, however, she left dust and leaf chaff behind her as she tore the cover apart in search of grouse. At about 13 minutes, Kate’s bell stopped 80 yards to the front.  We could see her standing on the edge of a cut from a distance—tall and confident. She had a grouse pinned about 15 feet off her nose.  At flush and shot, she stood perfectly broke. 

Farther down the course as Kate was hunting on the right, her bell stopped abruptly.  After a moderate search, Judge Brett Edstrom and I found her pointing at a low area of brush. For the second time, she had a grouse pinned perfectly and, for the second time, she stood perfect at flush and shot. She did have a slight movement as I went back to release her.

For the remainder of her brace, Kate made several showy casts, hunting a cut aspen edge as we watched her from the distant woods. She finished strong to the front. 

Kate’s performance may have been the best I’ve seen for a derby. Her drive to find birds, her intensity and accurate bird location are rare in a dog that age. These thoughts were echoed by Brett at the  announcement of winners and also by Scott Anderson, the handler of Kate’s bracemate.


That’s why I love to compete in field trials. To have a dog put on a
spectacular performance in front of people who recognize and appreciate
it makes it all worthwhile. 

Northwoods Bees Knees

Two littermates out of our 2011 breeding of Northwoods Blue Ox to Northwoods Chablis placed in the Open Puppy stake. Northwoods Bees Knees, handled by his owner Mike Donovan, won first place. Beasly hunted the tough puppy course with strength and purpose. Beasly is Mike’s first pointing dog and this was Mike’s first field trial. Congratulations, Mike!

Northwoods Grits, owned by Bob Senkler and handled by me, placed second. Grits hunted hard and made casts to all the right places. I had run him in the Open Derby just a short time earlier and even though he’s a strong dog, it seemed to take a little punch out of his performance. But we were proud of his effort.

Even though the Open Shooting Dog drew 18 dogs, only two dogs had bird work (and they were braced together). Those two were given placements and third was withheld.

Open Shooting Dog

1st  Seattle Slew, Dave Moore

2nd Marley, Sig Degitz

Open Derby

1st Northwoods Classy Kate, Barry Frieler, owner

2nd I’m Home Grown, Dave Moore

3rd Sam, Bill Frahm

Open Puppy

1st Northwoods Bees Knees, Mike Donovan

2nd Northwoods Grits, Bob Senkler, owner

3rd Rain Delay, Lydia Sittlow

Wisconsin field trial results

Northwoods Lager

Dan Stadin and I attended the Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog Association (CVGDA) spring grouse trial over the weekend of March 30 – April 1. The grounds are situated along a beautiful stretch of the Eau Claire River near Cadott and usually hold ample grouse and woodcock.  Thanks to the club members who worked hard to put on the trial.

We’re happy to report that three dogs, Northwoods Classy Kate, Northwoods Parmigiano and Northwoods Lager, placed and garnered ribbons for their owners, Barry Frieler, Bob Senkler and Jim Bires, respectively.

The Open Derby was very competitive with 21 entries. We ran six:  littermates Northwoods Parmigiano, Northwoods Roquefort, Northwoods Brie and Northwoods Classy Kate (sired by Northwoods Blue Ox out of Houston’s Belle’s Choice), Houston’s Miss Liddy (sired by Northwoods Blue Ox out of CH Houston’s Belle) and Northwoods Piper Lebowski (sired by Blue Riptide out of Blue Ghost).

Three derbies finished with bird work which proved to be the deciding factor. Many of ours showed some affect of the recent two-day drive from Tennessee but gave competitive performances of which we were proud.


Northwoods Classy Kate

Kate won second place with a hard-hunting effort capped off by a beautiful point on a woodcock right in front of the gallery. The woodcock flushed low and landed about 20 yards from Kate but she stood her ground with just a hop at the shot. This was a tough piece of bird work for a derby-aged dog and she handled it with poise and confidence.

The Open Restricted Shooting Dog was run on Sunday morning and had 10 entries. We entered four dogs even though three were derbies and had competed the previous day:  Parmigiano, Roquefort and Liddy. Lager (sired by Blue Shaquille out of Houston’s Belle’s Choice) is a true shooting dog although this is his first season.


Northwoods Parmigiano

Parmigiano won second place. His hunting effort was not up to his usual standard of a race filled with fire and desire but he made up for it with a nice point on a grouse. He was the only dog in the stake to point a wild bird under judgment.


Lager placed third. He had the kind of race I like—strong running, always searching in the right places for birds and showing when I called on him. Three minutes after time was called as he was making his way back to me, he stopped and had a beautiful point on a grouse, unfortunately not under judgment. The judges called Lager back on a liberated quail to prove that he was steady to wing and shot…which he did with aplomb.

Northwoods Birds Dogs    53370 Duxbury Road, Sandstone, Minnesota 55072
Jerry: 651-492-7312     |      Betsy: 651-769-3159     |           |      Directions
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