Houston’s Blackjack wins championship!

CH Houston’s Blackjack (CH Can’t Go Wrong x CH Houston’s Belle). Photo by Chris Mathan.

Our good friend and prairie camp partner Frank LaNasa handled his four-year-old Houston’s Blackjack to the dog’s first championship at the National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship held near Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, beginning September 21. Jean, Frank’s adept and vivacious wife, was also on horseback and scouted the dog to his two-find, country-eating race.

Jack is co-owned by Leroy Peterson.

Jack was bred by Paul Hauge and us in 2008 out of Paul’s superb 2X CH/4X RU-CH Houston’s Belle and another grouse champion, Can’t Go Wrong. That such a powerful horseback competitor was whelped by Belle is really no surprise to us. In fact, Belle placed in several horseback stakes herself due to her strength, far-reaching range and bird-finding ability.

In a cool bit of destiny, Jack won the companion derby there in 2010. If the definition of derby winner is the potential to win the championship, Jack’s derby judges definitely got it right.

Frank and Jean recently won a very nice derby stake with Jack’s son, Northwoods Nirvana, by our Northwoods Chardonnay. He bested all other young dogs at the Region 19 Amateur All Age Derby held near Solon Springs, Wisconsin.

Our congratulations to Frank, Jean and Leroy!

Frank waters Blackjack during training run in North Dakota.

Fall 2012 walking wild bird field trial schedule

Tom Waite, on left, and Jerry with Magic’s Climb Kaytoo prepare to break away at the Wisconsin Cover Dog Championship in 2010. Judges Tom Goltz and Joe McCarl are ready with stopwatches.

North Country Shooting Dog Championship
Where:  Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, near Danbury, Wisconsin
Stakes:  Open Walking Shooting Dog, Open Derby
Starts:   Friday, September 28
Contact:  Rod Lein, 715-579-8176, or email

Wisconsin Cover Dog Championship
Where:  Eau Claire County Forest, near Augusta, Wisconsin
Stakes:  Championship, Open Derby
Starts:  Wednesday, October 3
Contact:  Brent Sittlow, 952-221-3455

Minnesota Grouse Dog Championship
Where:  Rum River State Forest, near Mora, Minnesota
Stakes:  Championship, Open Derby
Starts:  Monday, October 8
Contact:  Scott Anderson, 651-338-4921

Region 19 Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship
Where:  Moose Junction, Wisconsin
Stakes:  Championship, Derby
Starts:  Friday, October 19
Contact:  Sigmund Degitz, 715-374-2289

Jerry featured on the radio

On Saturday, September 22, at 7:35 a.m., Jerry was interviewed by Bob St. Pierre and Billy Hildebrand from KFAN radio out of the Twin Cities. Bob and Billy are two of the three hosts of FAN Outdoors, a radio show dedicated to the outdoors.

The topic was grouse dogs and grouse hunting.

KFAN is at 100.3 FM. If you missed it, listen to the podcast. The interview begins at about 35 minutes.

Prairie 2012: another season wraps up

Frank prepares two horses for an early morning training run.

Frank LaNasa and I shut down our North Dakota training camp recently and, as usual, the closing was bittersweet. The birds were plentiful and all dogs gained invaluable experience. Plus, we had a blast.

Good friends and clients Steve Snyder and Barry Frieler made the trip west to see their dogs in action on the prairie. Leroy Peterson spent a weekend with us, also. (Leroy founded the “Peterson” setters, which produced the famous Houston, owned by Paul Hauge.)

Lager and Frank’s CH Homemade show intensity and style during a morning workout.

I had derbies Grits and Vixen and four shooting dogs–Lager, Liz, Parmigiano and Kate. Frank had his three pointers plus two setters, Houston’s Blackjack and young Northwoods Nirvana.

But now it’s time to move on. Frank will travel with his string to several horseback championships. Our dogs will transition to their respective roles:  compete in the Wisconsin and Minnesota walking championships; be members of our Bowen Lodge guiding string; and/or be returned to their owners for a season of grouse hunting in the woods.

Hank ground ties in a pasture shared with windmills and round bales.

Liz cools down after her training session.

Kate and Frank’s CH Homemade share point on a nice covey of sharptails.

First aid kit for bird dogs

Even though the cupboard in our kennel office has shelves full of pills, bottles, solutions and salves, Jerry keeps his traveling first aid kit to about two dozen supplies. Whether he’s training, hunting or guiding, this red box (a fishing tackle box) is always handy. Over the years, Jerry has performed countless field dressing and stapling jobs which, not only help the dog in need, but speed recovery and reduce long-term complications.

Listed below are the general supplies and the field supplies Jerry considers essential for his traveling first aid kit.

General Supplies

  • Amoxicillin:  general antibiotic
  • Benadryl:  allergic reactions
  • Buffered aspirin:  pain
  • Duct tape (of course!)
  • Metronidazole:  giardia
  • Pepto Bismol:  diarrhea
  • Q-tips
  • Rimadyl:  anti-inflammatory (by vet prescription only)
  • Thermometer
  • Vaseline

Field Supplies

  • Betadine:  liquid disinfectant
  • Dog Booties:   protect pads
  • EMT Gel:  use on cuts, tips of tails
  • Eye wash (sterile):  flushes out seeds and other debris
  • Gauze
  • Nutri-cal:  quick supplement for low blood sugar, weakness
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Tape
  • Triple antibiotic ointment:  prevents infection and provides temporary pain relief due to cuts, scraps and burns
  • Triple antibiotic ophthalmic ointment (non-steroidal):  works for minor eye irritations but not scratches
  • Tuf-Foot:  heals and toughens pads
  • Vet wrap

Many of the supplies are the same that people use and so are easily purchased. We also buy certain supplies from our vet, including the prescription-only Rimadyl. Otherwise, we order from catalogs such as Lambert Vet Supply and Lion Country Supply.

Silk chills…or air-conditioning at Northwoods Bird Dogs

Silk has exalted status at Northwoods Bird Dogs. She is the eldest dog at 13 years of age and at the top of the pecking order. Much like a Dowager Duchess governing her estate, Silk rules our kennel with gentleness and wisdom but will tolerate no fools.

Silk was only bred three times but whelped our two best-producing setter males. Blue Shaquille is out of a frozen semen breeding to Houston in 2004 and from CH Peace Dale Duke, Silk bore Northwoods Blue Ox in 2007. Through her sons, she has shown up in every setter puppy’s pedigree for many years.

Silk herself has an impressive pedigree. Her dam was our extraordinary Blue Streak, a four-time champion/four-time runner-up champion, and her sire, First Rate, was a multiple champion in horseback field trials. Besides a very sweet disposition, Silk inherited an accurate nose, uncommon stamina and a tenacious application. Prior to retirement, she amassed several placements in grouse trials and was a first-string member of our grouse-guiding team.

Silk has earned her special treatment and now spends evenings and nights with Jerry and me in the house. But before we head to the house and while we’re finishing feeding and kennel chores in late afternoon, Silk is free to roam. She trots outside the building and seemingly inspects everything—puppy pens, gates and perimeter fences. She then comes back to do a quick look-see at the dogs and runs inside the kennel.

One hot afternoon last week, Silk rested in front of the fan while she waited for us to finish.

CH Ridge Creek Cody wins presitigous award & national championship

Betsy and I are very proud of CH Ridge Creek Cody and his latest accomplishments. He won the 2012 Elwin G. Smith Setter Shooting Dog Award that honors the top setter shooting dog in the nation in open horseback competition.

Four-year-old Cody accumulated his points by winning the Idaho Open Shooting Dog Championship and placing runner-up in the All America Open Shooting Dog championship. Placing in these stakes is quite an accomplishment for a setter because his competition is mostly pointers and some outstanding ones at that.

In addition, Cody was just named champion in the National Amateur Pheasant Shooting Dog Championship held in Circle, Montana. Cody bested a field of 38 dogs with three finds and, according to one source, “a scintillating ground race.”

Cody is owned by Larry Brutger of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and handled by pro Shawn Kinkelaar. He was co-bred by us and Paul Hauge. He is out of Paul’s 2X CH/4X RU-CH Houston’s Belle and CH Can’t Go Wrong.  He was whelped and raised at our kennel and I worked him at our North Dakota prairie camp his first summer.

Congratulations to Larry and Shawn!

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