CH Houston’s Blackjack at stud in Georgia

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Houston’s Blackjack (5-9-20) is with us in Georgia for the winter and available for public stud.

Jack is handsome—an evenly masked, tri color—and has a leggy, strong build. He weighs 55 lbs. He has an exceptional gait, endurance and heat tolerance. He is a proven bird-finder and is ultra composed on point. His hips are OFA Excellent.

With limited opportunity, Jack’s progeny have won in the grouse woods and on the prairies. Betsy and I bred several litters by Jack and he’s produced outstanding grouse dogs that naturally back.

Jack’s  wins include:
Winner/2012 National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship
Runner Up/2013 Region 19 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship
2nd Place/2013 US Chicken Championship (reverted to all age)

Please click here for Jack’s pedigree. Please Contact Us for stud arrangements.

What we’re reading…and two last minute gift ideas

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Afield/American Writers on Bird Dogs edited by Robert DeMott and Dave Smith is a book Jerry discovered in E. Shaver, a charming book store in Savannah, Georgia. Complete with small, crowded rooms, comfy chairs, resident cats and a tea room, one could easily spend hours browsing in this independently opened shop.

Three of my favorite writers—Jim Harrison, Guy de la Valdene and Tom McGuane—are included in this anthology but so, too, are Tom Brokaw and William G. Tapply.

Jim Harrison on his favorite setter female Tess:
“Though utterly docile and sweet in the cabin or house, these are big running setters suitable for the southwest and Montana, though they shorten up in the denser cover of northern Michigan. When cynics say that our dogs are ‘too far out,’ we’ve learned to give a pat answer, ‘That must be where the birds are.’”

Tom McGuane on rising early and heading out with the Pointer Sisters, Abby and Daisy:
“There have been several hard frosts and the morning is young. Those rattlesnakes not yet denned will be too sluggish to matter. The cattle have been gathered from the hills and now it all belongs to us. The hawks are up to the same thing we are; and it is possible to feel the competition of the Northern Harriers as they course low to the ground in the very fields we hunt. The light from the East and the bright serration of new snow on the mountain ranges surrounding us seem to bind a vast country together.”

Guy de la Valdene on why he loves dogs:
“I love the everyday quirks in a dog’s character, its habits, its independence, the insouciance of its sprawling slumber, and the accepting drop of a dog’s ears at the approach of a trusted hand.”

What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren was given to us by Ken Johnson, an avid hunter who bought a Blue Ox x Chablis puppy from us in 2012. Lucy, as he calls her, has been back a couple times for training and we’re always happy to see both Ken and Lucy.

Ken bought the book in an airport shop on one of his many layovers. He is a founding partner of Covey Sales & Marketing, a company that represents many premium outdoor-oriented manufacturers.

The book is on Jerry’s bedside table and he has really enjoyed it. Not only is Warren a good writer but her insights are amazing.

Through Nick Larson, three littermates meet up this fall

Nick Larson proudly holds a woodcock that his one-year-old Hartley properly pointed and handled.

Nick Larson proudly holds a woodcock that his one-year-old Hartley properly pointed and handled.

Small world, lots of connections between grouse hunters and Northwoods Bird Dogs. It’s great to be a part of the crew.
~ Nick Larson

Nick Larson and his wife Lacey MacLean of Duluth, Minnesota, were one of the first to reserve a puppy from our setter litters in 2014. They chose a male out of stellar producer Houston’s Belle’s Choice by Northwoods Grits.

Nick and Lacey named their puppy Hartley.

Nick’s day job is Minnesota & Washington Regional Director for the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) and this fall, he’s been busy.

In early October, Nick was in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, working at the RGS National Hunt. One of his responsibilities was to act as a guide to teams of competitors.

The two groups we guided last Thursday and Friday claimed 1st and 3rd place in the hunt, with Hartley being a one-dog show. I put us in some good cover, but Hartley did everything else. I really had no idea what to expect with my young dog taking on all that responsibility, but he simply shined. All four guys we hunted with were so impressed with him and we received lots of compliments.
~ Nick Larson

Jamie Byers is a long-time client of ours through guiding grouse hunters out of Bill and Gail Heig’s Bowen Lodge in northern Minnesota. Like Nick, Jamie also was among the first to reserve a setter puppy in 2014 and got the only female out of Grits x Choice. Jamie and his wife Sophie named their puppy Roxy.

Jamie is also a strong supporter of RGS and regularly is part of a team at the National Hunt. He brought Roxy to Grand Rapids this year.

I also met Jamie Byers up there and Hartley got to meet his sister, which was pretty cool.
~ Nick Larson

One-year-old handsome male littermates, Hartley, on left, and Elmer after an October grouse hunt. Hartley is owned and handled by Nick Larson and Elmer is owned by Luke Olson, handled here by Luke's brother-in-law Chris Bye.

One-year-old handsome male littermates, Hartley, on left, and Elmer after an October grouse hunt. Hartley is owned and handled by Nick Larson and Elmer is owned by Luke Olson, handled here by Luke’s brother-in-law Chris Bye.

Later in October, Nick and Hartley were in Wisconsin. Nick posted this piece on his Northwoods’R blog, a joint venture with Garrett Mikrut.

One of the most fun stops for me this October was visiting a hunting camp in Wisconsin during the week-long 2015 Ruffed Grouse Society Grouse Camp Tour…What made it even more special for me was that almost everyone in the camp owned at least one English setter out of Northwoods Bird Dogs, one of which was Hartley’s brother.

For the most part, Hartley and his brother acted like brothers do, just as you’d expect! However when we put them down in some cover to run in a brace there was no doubt about what these dogs were born and bred to do.

This littermate of Hartley is owned by Luke Olson and his wife Kjellun (sister of Chris Bye, pictured above), frequent visitors to the grouse camp Nick describes. They also were on the list for a setter puppy out of Grits x Choice and chose a male they named Elmer.

Note:  See my post “New Wood: a special grouse camp” dated November 5 for more on the hunting camp Nick visited.

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