2016: a brief review

Mocha had another great year on the Montana prairie. I guided over her 25 days already and hunted over her another 10 days.
~ Mitch, owner of Mocha (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2014), Montana

Every now and then it’s good to reflect on the past year. It can be tempting to focus on sad times—and especially this year when many dogs died. Beloved dogs May, Franny, Prancer, Chardonnay and Blossom are gone but will remain forever in our hearts.

In the midst of our grief and pain, though, puppies were born and puppies always herald joy and hope and never fail to make us smile.

In addition, during the hunting season Jerry and I received lots of communication from clients. Whether calls or text messages or emails, these reports always made us feel happy.

Some themes were evident in the correspondence this fall.
• Bird dogs get tired after a day in the field and are rewarded with naps on the furniture.
• It doesn’t seem to matter the bird or the state. Dogs found birds.
• Age of the dogs doesn’t seem to matter. All dogs got plenty of action.
• There’s no bigger smile on a handler’s face than after his young dog places in a tough derby stake.
• The hunting tradition continues…sometimes from hunter to son to grandson and other times from hunter to daughter.

So, it’s been a good year. Jerry and I are proud of our dogs and are extremely grateful to their owners. Our best to all in 2017!

Jade is a great pup, and did well for the early season. Now we are waiting for late season grouse and a couple trips to Oklahoma for quail.
~ Frank, owner of Jade (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015), Michigan

Dixie is a rock star. Here she is with her best friend Penny hunting with my dad in Montana.
~ Isabel, owner of Dixie (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016), Texas; her father Sam, owner of Penny (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013), Colorado

Here’s Biscuit with a proud look over her birds. She found a covey of what I think was 6. I got 2…but they were whizzing all around me. No stopping Biskers!
~ Ryan, owner of Biscuit (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011), Minnesota

Here’s a screen shot of Stella’s GPS. 30 miles for a Saturday. I think that might be a record. She was fine and ready to roll the next morning!!!
~ Laura, owner of Stella (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2015), Illinois

Grandson, 3 woodcock. Son, 3 woodcock. Izzie, 30 woodcock, 8 grouse. Priceless.
~ Jeff, owner of Izzie (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011), Minnesota

Roy snuggled into Kate at Barry’s house last week.
~ Chris, owner of Roy (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012), Wisconsin, and Barry, owner of Kate (Northwoods Blue Ox x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2010), Minnesota

Here’s Lacey with our younger son Austin. She is definitely a cuddle dog! She is obviously doing well and we love her!
~ Missy, owner of Lacey (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016), Pennsylvania

Maddie ends 2016 having placed in each event she was entered in by placing 3rd today. Go Maddie! Now for a few weeks enjoying hunting.
~ Robby, owner of Maddie (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015), Maine

Loki had a wonderful day. 6 birds.
~ James, owner of Loki (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016), Minnesota

Three points, three roosters. Emma rocks.
~ Howard, owner of Emma (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2015), Montana

Coop is doing very well with his training. We are so happy with him. He is a handful, but such a pleasure to own. His natural ability is a testament to you and your breeding of pointers.
~ Tim, owner of Coop (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016), Massachusetts

Rae on the left, Willow on the right, after a tough day of hunting. Notice the leather chairs, both heads on armrests, hunting boots, setter lamp. Priceless.
~ Gregg, owner of Rae (Sunny Hill Sam x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2016) and Willow (CH Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013), Wisconsin

Yesterday Jenny got her turn 3 different times. Lots of bird contact. She was bumping and chasing woodcock all over the woods and then a flash point stop to flush on this grouse. I knocked it down and Jenny was on it. Her prey drive is so high that she never stops hunting.
~ John, owner of Jenny (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016), Michigan

Here’s Sadie holding point on a chukar.
~ Bob, owner of Sadie (CH Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chablis, 2013), Minnesota

 

News from clients: late summer/early fall 2016

Serious beggars! Rose continues to teach Stella all the tricks! ~ Laura, Illinois owner of Rose (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost, 2010), on left, and Stella (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2015)

Serious beggars! Rose continues to teach Stella all the tricks!
~ Laura, Illinois, owner of Rose (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost, 2010), on left, and Stella (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2015)

Business email inboxes and message queues are often full of boring stuff. But Jerry and I are always eager to read correspondence from a client who has bought a puppy or an older dog, especially if photos are included.

It appears that our dogs—whether setters or pointers—have some things in common. They are “outstanding” in the field. They like the water and will endlessly retrieve Frisbees or dummies. They seem to have an affinity to the females in their households and some are savvy about finagling a comfortable spot to rest.

Nothing makes us happier as breeders than knowing our progeny are living happy lives with loving families. Many thanks to our wonderful clients!

As Zada approaches three years old, I would like to thank you again for an outstanding bird dog. She has the great fortune of living in eastern Montana...hunting 90+ days every season. Pictured here with my son, Tommy and a hun. ~ Tom, Montana, owner of Zada (CH Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013)

As Zada approaches three years old, I would like to thank you again for an outstanding bird dog. She has the great fortune of living in eastern Montana…hunting 90+ days every season. Pictured here with my son, Tommy and a hun.
~ Tom, Montana, owner of Zada (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013)

Woodland's Blue Hunter (Blue Chief x Woodland's Mohawk Daisy) turned 16 today. He was the best hunting dog I've had, never a false point, always brought back what I shot (even when I didn't know it) and didn't miss many birds in the woods. ~ Tom, Wisconsin

Woodland’s Blue Hunter turned 16 today. He was the best hunting dog I’ve had, never a false point, always brought back what I shot (even when I didn’t know it) and didn’t miss many birds in the woods.
~ Tom, Wisconsin, owner of Hunter (Blue Chief x Woodland’s Mohawk Daisy, 2000)

So proud of Emma. Shot 4 sharptails over her points ….she retrieved 2 perfectly but wasn’t too interested in the others…But, so happy with her overall…runs big but not over the horizon …she relocated 4-5 times on a running bird but I kept up with her and she finally locked her down…up she went…bam…down she went. Just love her to death. THANK YOU for providing me such a magnificent hunting buddy!!!
~ Howard, Montana, owner of Emma (Northwoods Grits x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2015)

Jenny loves to retrieve in the water. She just won't quit. She does well without the pfd…..just getting her used to it so she can ride around on East Bay in our boat. She’s very smart. Picks up stuff very quickly…heel, whoa, come. She has a nice fast pattern in the woods. Looks me up and stays to the front. Totally ignores the 209 primer pistol. She is more than ready for birds. ~ John, Michigan, owner of Jenny (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

Jenny loves to retrieve in the water. She just won’t quit. She does well without the pfd…..just getting her used to it so she can ride around on East Bay in our boat. She’s very smart. Picks up stuff very quickly…heel, whoa, come. She has a nice fast pattern in the woods. Looks me up and stays to the front. Totally ignores the 209 primer pistol. She is more than ready for birds.
~ John, Michigan, owner of Jenny (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

We cannot express how happy and in love with this dog our entire family is and how happy we are that we found you and Jerry to get our dog from. My wife and I joke that Remi is the “hub” of our family. She literally has a different relationship with each of us (my daughter, son, wife, and I). We are blown away at how awesome this dog is. We took Remi to my parents’ house, about an hour north of Traverse City, Michigan, right on Lake Michigan. There are some really cool pics of Remi fetching a buoy in the water taken with our drone. ~ Dave, Minnesota, owner of Remi (CH CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

We cannot express how happy and in love with this dog our entire family is and how happy we are that we found you and Jerry to get our dog from. My wife and I joke that Remi is the “hub” of our family. She literally has a different relationship with each of us (my daughter, son, wife, and I). We took Remi to my parents’ house, about an hour north of Traverse City, Michigan, right on Lake Michigan.
~ Dave, Minnesota, owner of Remi (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

John and I ran Dixie out at a state park on Saturday with her new ecollar! She did amazingly well! The area was covered with cactus and it didn't slow her down at all! She was a tough cookie! She handled very easily and often responded to a whistle or call without the need to correct or beep her on the collar. She learned to swim in the reservoir after the hike and then rode around in a kayak with me for about 45 minutes! ~ Isabel, Texas, owner of Dixie (CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

John and I ran Dixie out at a state park on Saturday with her new ecollar! She did amazingly well! The area was covered with cactus and it didn’t slow her down at all! She was a tough cookie! She handled very easily and often responded to a whistle or call without the need to correct or beep her on the collar. She learned to swim in the reservoir after the hike and then rode around in a kayak with me for about 45 minutes!
~ Isabel, Texas, owner of Dixie (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

Elmer turned two this summer and he is still as sweet as can be. Besides hunting, he loves to fetch the frisbee (not balls though). Besides the fact that he is the world's messiest water drinker, he is truly an amazing dog and we love having him as part of our family. Just last weekend my son (6 yrs. old) was feeling sad and he was sitting on the front step. Two minutes later he was giggling and smiling because Elmer showed up and was giving him kisses. ~ Kjellrun (below), Illinois, owner of Elmer (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014)

Elmer turned two this summer and he is still as sweet as can be. Besides hunting, he loves to fetch the frisbee (not balls though). Besides the fact that he is the world’s messiest water drinker, he is truly an amazing dog and we love having him as part of our family. Just last weekend my son (6 yrs. old) was feeling sad and he was sitting on the front step. Two minutes later he was giggling and smiling because Elmer showed up and was giving him kisses.
~ Kjellrun (below), Illinois, owner of Elmer (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014)

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Timber and Huxley make a handsome pair of Northwoods Pointers! ~ Brandon, Minnesota, owner of Huxley (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016), on left, with co-worker Keith’s Timber (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014) and Keith’s daughters.

Timber and Huxley make a handsome pair of Northwoods Pointers!
~ Brandon, Minnesota, owner of Huxley (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016), on left, with co-worker Keith’s Timber (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014) and Keith’s daughters.

Riley did great on the drive home and is doing very well acclimating to her new environment. She feels very much at home and loved. She is soooo sweet. Thank you for this wonderful addition to our family. ~ Maureen, New Jersey, owner of Riley (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

Riley did great on the drive home and is doing very well acclimating to her new environment. She feels very much at home and loved. She is soooo sweet. Thank you for this wonderful addition to our family.
~ Maureen, New Jersey, owner of Riley (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Carbon, 2016)

Jade continues to make me laugh on a daily basis. She knows that she is not allowed on the furniture, but refuses to chew a bone anywhere other than this couch cushion. She will not step on another piece of furniture, only this piece when she gets a bone. She is downright hysterical. Thank you for such an amazing dog, and we have another huge season planned. ~ Frank, Michigan, owner of Jade (CH Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015)

Jade continues to make me laugh on a daily basis. She knows that she is not allowed on the furniture, but refuses to chew a bone anywhere other than this couch cushion. She will not step on another piece of furniture, only this piece when she gets a bone. She is downright hysterical. Thank you for such an amazing dog, and we have another huge season planned.
~ Frank, Michigan, owner of Jade (Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen, 2015)

Pointers are not allowed on the furniture at our house—little dogs yes, but not bird dogs. So Murphy pulled the cushion off… ~ Tony, Minnesota, owner of Murphy (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016)

Pointers are not allowed on the furniture at our house—little dogs yes, but not bird dogs. So Murphy pulled the cushion off…
~ Tony, Minnesota, owner of Murphy (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2016)

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.

Minnesota bird dog and Montana guide: a perfect match

Mocha exhibits the intensity, poise and style of her sire and dam--CH Shadow Oak Bo and Northwoods Chardonnay.

Mocha exhibits the intensity, poise and style of her sire and dam–CH Shadow Oak Bo and Northwoods Chardonnay.

Here is a dog story with a very happy ending.

Mike Kowalski of Helena, Montana, first contacted us last spring. He was in the market for a well-started young dog and, since he was a professional guide, that dog had to be ready to go this fall.

Jerry and Mike stayed in touch all summer. In late August, Mike arranged to travel to Minnesota to see a group of dogs Jerry had picked for him. Mike chose Mocha (Houston’s Cappuccino), a 13-month-old, tri-color female out of CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Chardonnay, a litter we co-bred with Paul Hauge in 2014.

The high plains of Montana are breathtakingly beautiful. And it's easy to see why it's called Big Sky Country.

The high plains of Montana are breathtakingly beautiful. And it’s easy to see why it’s called Big Sky Country.

Mike, or Mitch as he is known to most of his clients, operates Skinny Water Anglers, a fly fishing guiding business based out of Helena. In the fall he guides for Pro Outfitters, an Orvis-endorsed wing shooting lodge, also based in Helena.

Mocha faces into the wind and sun and patiently waits while Mike adjusts the collar.

Mocha faces into the wind and sun and patiently waits while Mike adjusts her collar.

Jerry and I have received several reports from Mike.

Mocha has had an amazing first year in Montana– one of the best bird years that most people can remember. I guided over her 16 days & have hunted her another 8-10 so far.

Mocha is getting lots of work & doing a great job. I have been guiding over her every chance I get.

This is the best bird year I have ever seen in Montana–a great year for Mocha to be here. She is running big & well with all the other dogs & getting her share of points.

We couldn’t be happier. Thanks so much.

We agree. We couldn’t be happier.

The hunter aims at a sharp-tailed grouse pointed by Mocha.

The hunter aims at a sharp-tailed grouse pointed by Mocha.

Mocha (in the middle) is definitely part of the Kowalski family of kids and dogs. The pointer on the left is owned by Perk Perkins, CEO of The Orvis Company and spends each fall in Montana.

Mocha (in the middle) is definitely part of the Kowalski family of kids and dogs. The pointer on the left is owned by Perk Perkins, CEO of The Orvis Company.

New Wood: a special grouse camp

Tradition reigns at New Wood, a grouse camp in Wisconsin. After a bonfire is built in late afternoon, hunters and bird dogs gather around to share their day. Setter female Piper (Blue Ghost x Blue Riptide, 2010), co-owned by Chris Bye and Roberta Scherf, naps on Chris.

Tradition reigns at New Wood, a grouse camp in Wisconsin. After a bonfire is built in late afternoon, hunters and bird dogs gather around to share their day. Setter female Piper (Blue Ghost x Blue Riptide, 2010), co-owned by Chris Bye and Roberta Scherf, naps on Chris.

“Grouse camp” sure has a nice ring, doesn’t it? One imagines cabins nestled in woods, friends, good meals, bonfires and bird dogs. In north central Wisconsin, a very special grouse camp has evolved over the decades—a place called New Wood.

Jerry and I have known of New Woods for many years. The hunters are clients who have become friends as most have bought English setter puppies and dogs from us.

New Wood was featured recently by the Ruffed Grouse Society and the Journal Sentinel, a newspaper in Milwaukee.

As part of their Grouse Camp Tour 2015, RGS filmed at New Wood. Co-owner Chris Bye is featured in the segment Why Camp and Bird Dogs?

https://www.youtube.com/user/RuffedGrouseSociety

In “A great day for hunting in ‘grouse camp,’” Paul A. Smith, Outdoors Editor of the Journal Sentinel, nicely depicts New Wood and captures the bond between hunter and bird dogs.

http://m.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/a-great-day-for-hunting-in-grouse-camp-b99605848z1-339133531.html

2015 puppies and their first fall hunting reports

Sky’s first sharptail that she pointed and retrieved. Thanks again for another great dog. ~ Randy, from Minnesota

Sky’s first sharptail that she pointed and retrieved. Thanks again for another great dog.
~ Randy, from Minnesota

The day our eight-week-old puppies go to their new owners is bittersweet for Jerry and me. All is forgotten though when we receive joyous messages and photographs showing exactly what we breed for.

Stella’s first sharp-tailed grouse. Who looks happier ??? Great job, Stella Blue. Hunting with all the Northwoods setters in Montana! ~ Laura, from Illinois

Stella’s first sharp-tailed grouse. Who looks happier ??? Great job, Stella Blue. Hunting with all the Northwoods setters in Montana!
~ Laura, from Illinois

Our puppies this year seem exceptionally precocious. Pointers out of Rock Acre Blackhawk x Northwoods Vixen and a setter female of Northwoods Carly Simon by Northwoods Grits have already hit the woods and fields. Most impressively, the young dogs have found, pointed and usually retrieved the birds.

Jade on a hot Michian grouse opener. She pointed 5 woodcock and 2 grouse on her first run. She was staunch on all birds and let me flush all of them. She stays with me, almost always naturally forward and seems to have an unbelievable nose. Her bird sense is like nothing I have ever had as a puppy. She is an absolute dream to own in all aspects. Thank you for the chance to own one of your pups. ~ Frank, from Michigan

Jade on a hot Michian grouse opener. She pointed 5 woodcock and 2 grouse on her first run. She was staunch on all birds and let me flush all of them. She stays with me, almost always naturally forward and seems to have an unbelievable nose. Her bird sense is like nothing I have ever had as a puppy. She is an absolute dream to own in all aspects. Thank you for the chance to own one of your pups.
~ Frank, from Michigan

Walked up, took the picture and flushed a covey of 6 sharptails. ~ Jeff, from Minnesota

Walked up, took the picture and flushed a covey of 6 sharptails.
~ Jeff, from Minnesota

Summer puppy news from proud owners

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Judging by the news and photos we’ve received from puppy owners, summertime and puppies belong together. From Colorado to Massachusetts, Oklahoma to Minnesota and Michigan, puppies are out and about with their owners.

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We are both having the best time, and he could not be a better puppy!

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Northwoods Blue Skye is sight pointing pigeons and has been demonstrating a natural retrieving instinct. She has adapted well to her new family and has shown to be a very intelligent and affectionate pup.

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Bandit is…great fun.  He is a wonderful addition to our family.

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And owners are eagerly anticipating this first fall in the woods and fields with their puppies.

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I can’t wait for the fall with her. So far we are set for 6 states and 9 or 10 different upland birds.

News from clients…catching up…

Lulu (CH Can’t Go Wrong x CH Houston’s Belle, 2008) is so good in the grouse woods that it is embarrassing as Lulu finds every bird and has done so for years. Lulu varies her range naturally with the cover and if I am not hunting she know it and just messes around like a fou fou dog. She is most adaptable and smart. ~ Bob, Wyoming

Lulu (CH Can’t Go Wrong x CH Houston’s Belle, 2008) is so good in the grouse woods that it is embarrassing as Lulu finds every bird and has done so for years. Lulu varies her range naturally with the cover and if I am not hunting she know it and just messes around like a fou fou dog. She is most adaptable and smart.
~ Bob, Wyoming

Finn (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) turned 1 year old last week. He made his first trip to Upper Red Lake in December. We were about 3 miles out and he had fun slipping and sliding around all day.  ~ Todd, Minnesota

Finn (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) turned 1 year old last week. He made his first trip to Upper Red Lake in December. We were about 3 miles out and he had fun slipping and sliding around all day.
~ Todd, Minnesota

Izzie (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) and Pal getting ready for the breakaway this morning.   ~ Jeff, Arizona

Izzie (CH Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) and Pal getting ready for the breakaway this morning.
~ Jeff, Arizona

Spent New Year’s on Sanibel with my parents. Kally (CH Can’t Go Wrong x Cold Creek Pearl, 2011) is my dad's constant companion/shadow and spends her days pointing geckos, ibis, pelicans, etc. She also goes fishing every time he heads out. She lays at Dad's feet when the boat is in motion and otherwise is at the front looking for birds. ~ Chris, Wisconsin

Spent New Year’s on Sanibel with my parents. Kally (CH Can’t Go Wrong x Cold Creek Pearl, 2011) is my dad’s constant companion/shadow and spends her days pointing geckos, ibis, pelicans, etc. She also goes fishing every time he heads out. She lays at Dad’s feet when the boat is in motion and otherwise is at the front looking for birds.
~ Chris, Wisconsin

It’s impossible to beat your pointers. Here’s Ginger (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013).  ~ Wayne, Mississippi, hunting in south Texas

It’s impossible to beat your pointers. Here’s Ginger (CH Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013).
~ Wayne, Mississippi, hunting in south Texas

Allie (Northwoods Parmigiano x Northwoods Rum Rickey, 2014) is a very smart pup and very nicely mannered. We went through obedience class with my middle daughter and it was fun watching them interact. ~ Mark, Minnesota

Allie (Northwoods Parmigiano x Northwoods Rum Rickey, 2014) is a very smart pup and very nicely mannered. We went through obedience class with my middle daughter and it was fun watching them interact.
~ Mark, Minnesota

The old guys, Abbie (Gusty Blue x Houston’s Belle, 2005) and Sonny (Blue Chief x Forest Ridge Jewel, 2003), get it done. ~ Wayne, Mississippi, hunting in south Texas

The old guys, Abbie (Gusty Blue x Houston’s Belle, 2005) and Sonny (Blue Chief x Forest Ridge Jewel, 2003), get it done.
~ Wayne, Mississippi, hunting in south Texas

Scout (CH Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Highclass Kate, 2013), as an Easter Bunny, points a tweety. ~ Joel, Minnesota

Scout (CH Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Highclass Kate, 2013), as an Easter Bunny, points a tweety.
~ Joel, Minnesota

This week the woodcock arrived back in Duluth and Hartley (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) took things to the next level! In total for the week, Hartley pointed 28 birds, 6 or 7 grouse and the rest woodcock. It was so fun to watch. It seemed like he learned something new with each bird he pointed. The hands-off approach is simply the way to go. The wild birds are teaching him everything he needs to know and it's easy to see there is no reason to interfere with that.  ~ Nick, Minnesota

This week the woodcock arrived back in Duluth and Hartley (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) took things to the next level! In total for the week, Hartley pointed 28 birds, 6 or 7 grouse and the rest woodcock. It was so fun to watch. It seemed like he learned something new with each bird he pointed. The hands-off approach is simply the way to go. The wild birds are teaching him everything he needs to know and it’s easy to see there is no reason to interfere with that.
~ Nick, Minnesota

Fall 2014 album

This was the first grouse Ellie (Northwoods Grits x I’m Blue Gert, 2014) pointed. She is a very bold pup, and the check cord you gave us is key to catching her! She is one super little puppy. ~ Tom, Indiana

This was the first grouse Ellie (Northwoods Grits x I’m Blue Gert, 2014) pointed. She is a very bold pup, and the check cord you gave us is key to catching her! She is one super little puppy.
~ Tom, Indiana

Autumn is every bird hunter’s favorite season. Judging by the plethora of emails, text messages and photographs Jerry and I received from friends and clients, they spent as much time as possible in the woods and fields with their bird dogs—dogs ranging in age from three-month-old puppies to gray-browed, experienced grouse dogs.

Themes for the season seemed to be:
•    lots of birds in the bag
•    puppies having a ball and learning lots
•    kids with their first grouse
•    passionate hunters afield with multiple dogs
•    dogs on point in the western U.S.
•    dogs on point in the north woods
•    suburban dogs yet to get out
•    bird dog owners who wish they were better shooters
•    lots of happy dogs

Finally, the bittersweet end of the grouse season in the central part of the country was sealed with a blanket of snow.

Cool and calm after a grouse hunt in western Wisconsin, CH JTH Izzie (Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) is ready to go again as she scans the terrain for more likely spots.

Cool and calm after a grouse hunt in western Wisconsin, CH JTH Izzie (Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011) is ready to go again as she scans the terrain for more likely spots.

“Oh my God!! There is an aviation term we use for some new guys…..all velocity and no vector! That is Lucy (Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2014). She is so calm and nice when you stop and pet her…..she just soaks it up…..but take her out side and she is all systems go! And I could not be any happier! Thank you for all your help, and another wonderful dog.”
~ Mike, Minnesota

That’s our youngest, Rece, with his first-ever ruffed grouse in central Minnesota. Both he and Finn (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) were elated. So proud of him for a 9-month-old pup! He’s bumping birds frequently but is learning from each encounter. On one bird he locked up 70 yards in front of me and held 5 minutes or more until I busted through a bog to get to him and flush the bird. And then, he won’t even give me time to praise him afterwards – he retrieves and then takes off looking for more! Feeling pretty fortunate to have one of your dogs – especially from Oscar. ~ Todd, Minnesota

That’s our youngest, Rece, with his first-ever ruffed grouse in central Minnesota. Both he and Finn (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) were elated. So proud of him for a 9-month-old pup! He’s bumping birds frequently but is learning from each encounter. On one bird he locked up 70 yards in front of me and held 5 minutes or more until I busted through a bog to get to him and flush the bird. And then, he won’t even give me time to praise him afterwards – he retrieves and then takes off looking for more! Feeling pretty fortunate to have one of your dogs – especially from Oscar.
~ Todd, Minnesota

Here is a photo of our youngest son Ryan with his first grouse. It was shot off a beautiful point by Tia (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011) a few weeks ago. We've been out hunting grouse every weekend. Tia still lives to hunt. Wish I was able to shoot better for her. ~ Ken, Minnesota

Here is a photo of our youngest son Ryan with his first grouse. It was shot off a beautiful point by Tia (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011) a few weeks ago. We’ve been out hunting grouse every weekend. Tia still lives to hunt. Wish I was able to shoot better for her.
~ Ken, Minnesota

“Just wanted you to know that Rose (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost, 2010) is killing it this year. She is not only a delight at home—but a first-class grouse finder. Chris could not be happier with her and I just overheard him telling her in all earnestness how proud he is to have her as a partner!”
~ Laura, Illinois

Took the dogs (From left:  Prancer (Dashaway x Fallset Fate, 2008), Jordy (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014), Timber (Westfall’s Black Ice x Nothwoods Prancer, 2011) out on a morning woodcock hunt on Sunday. It was a memorable day. Each dog had some pointed birds and each dog had retrieved birds. Could not ask for anything more.  ~ Mark, Wisconsin

Took the dogs (From left: Prancer (Dashaway x Fallset Fate, 2008), Jordy (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014), Timber (Westfall’s Black Ice x Nothwoods Prancer, 2011) out on a morning woodcock hunt on Sunday. It was a memorable day. Each dog had some pointed birds and each dog had retrieved birds. Could not ask for anything more.
~ Mark, Wisconsin

Kate (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2010, on left, with Cooper, Blue Chief x Blue Blossom, 2007) was on fire Sunday! For the record, Kate and I had 15 birds in one hour and 30 minutes.  ~ Barry, Minnesota

Kate (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2010, on left, with Cooper (Blue Chief x Blue Blossom, 2007) was on fire Sunday! For the record, Kate and I had 15 birds in one hour and 30 minutes.
~ Barry, Minnesota

Steve couldn’t be happier after a day in the northern Minnesota grouse woods with his older dog, on left, and Bryn (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014).

Steve couldn’t be happier after a day in the northern Minnesota grouse woods with his older dog, on left, and Bryn (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014).

Eastern Montana bird season is in full swing with pheasants opening last weekend. Thank you once again for allowing me the opportunity to own one of your fine bird dogs. I've had the pleasure of hunting over a number of dogs in my lifetime. Zada (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has drive and intelligence, a rare combination in a young bird dog. ~ Tom, Montana

Eastern Montana bird season is in full swing with pheasants opening last weekend. Thank you once again for allowing me the opportunity to own one of your fine bird dogs. I’ve had the pleasure of hunting over a number of dogs in my lifetime. Zada (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has drive and intelligence, a rare combination in a young bird dog.
~ Tom, Montana

Charlie (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has been lighting it up a bit. Was 3rd in the Larry Brech Memorial Open Derby Classic with 18 entries - quite a few from pros. Then won the derby held in conjunction with the the Cascade All-Age Championship. Took him chukkar hunting after trial. Had 9 finds in 90 minutes!!!! ~ Steve, California

Charlie (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has been lighting it up a bit. Was 3rd in the Larry Brech Memorial Open Derby Classic with 18 entries – quite a few from pros. Then won the derby held in conjunction with the the Cascade All-Age Championship. Took him chukkar hunting after trial. Had 9 finds in 90 minutes!!!!
~ Steve, California

“Had a great pheasant hunt with Piper (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) in South Dakota last week. She was able to pin them pretty tight most of the time.  She’s a workaholic who just keeps finding birds and points them beautifully.”
~ Chuck, Minnesota

I thought I would drop you a line to let you know Frisco (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is loving her new job…hunting.  She naturally loves retrieving and the size of a pheasant is no problem. Other hunters are very pleased as well as us with her disposition; she is so pleasant and well mannered. Frisco listens well and doesn’t go hunting off on her own. She also gets along with other hunters’ dogs.   ~ Rick, Minnesota

I thought I would drop you a line to let you know Frisco (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is loving her new job…hunting. She naturally loves retrieving and the size of a pheasant is no problem. Other hunters are very pleased as well as us with her disposition; she is so pleasant and well mannered. Frisco listens well and doesn’t go hunting off on her own. She also gets along with other hunters’ dogs.
~ Rick, Minnesota

Tired-but-happy Mac (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2013) poses with two beautiful ruffed grouse after a hunt in Minnesota.

Tired-but-happy Mac (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2013) poses with two beautiful ruffed grouse after a hunt in Minnesota.

Experience counts. At the age of nine, Jake (Gusty Blue x CH Houston’s Belle, 2005) proudly stands over his birds after hunting in Minnesota.

Experience counts. At the age of nine, Jake (Gusty Blue x CH Houston’s Belle, 2005) proudly stands over his birds after hunting in Minnesota.

It’s hard to believe Boomer (I’m Houston’s Image x Blue Silk, 2006) is already eight years old. He is still running like a five-year-old, and lots of hunt still in him! Boomer has been a great dog, and I’m hoping his good health will last a few more years. ~ Scott, Minnesota

It’s hard to believe Boomer (I’m Houston’s Image x Blue Silk, 2006) is already eight years old. He is still running like a five-year-old, and lots of hunt still in him! Boomer has been a great dog, and I’m hoping his good health will last a few more years.
~ Scott, Minnesota

Duke (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2013) has had a fantastic season with several points, but this one tonight on a woodcock is about as "classic" as they get! He pointed 19 woodcock this evening and a ruff.  At this point in the season he has pointed sharptails, huns, ruffs, woodcock, and pheasants; and he's backed on all of these as well as sage grouse! Still looks at me when I miss though...  ~ Tom, Minnesota

Duke (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2013) has had a fantastic season with several points, but this one tonight on a woodcock is about as “classic” as they get! He pointed 19 woodcock this evening and a ruff. At this point in the season he has pointed sharptails, huns, ruffs, woodcock, and pheasants; and he’s backed on all of these as well as sage grouse! Still looks at me when I miss though…
~ Tom, Minnesota

In our one-hour hunt, we had 4 grouse contacts, 2 points, 1 bagged; 17 woodcock contacts, 8 points, 1 bagged. Tana (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012) pointed and held steady for her first woodcock, but it flushed wild before I could get to her and she was off to the races. Her points were as intense as I've seen from her.  ~ Brad, Minnesota

In our one-hour hunt, we had 4 grouse contacts, 2 points, 1 bagged; 17 woodcock contacts, 8 points, 1 bagged. Tana (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012) pointed and held steady for her first woodcock, but it flushed wild before I could get to her and she was off to the races. Her points were as intense as I’ve seen from her.
~ Brad, Minnesota

“…Bates (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) is doing well. He has been running in the woods 4 times a week off leash, and becoming a nice family dog. Thanks for the great dogs.”
~ Jeff, Minnesota

Whatever you two did, you did it right. Rae (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has acclimated to suburban life seamlessly.  Not one house accident, trained quickly to the electric yard fence, obeys, very trainable to further commands. She is my constant companion and she is the most stylish dog at the dog park. She and I are the best of pals. ~ David, Minnesota

Whatever you two did, you did it right. Rae (Ridge Creek Cody x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2013) has acclimated to suburban life seamlessly. Not one house accident, trained quickly to the electric yard fence, obeys, very trainable to further commands. She is my constant companion and she is the most stylish dog at the dog park. She and I are the best of pals.
~ David, Minnesota

Belle (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is getting so big and is always the center of attention. She apparently likes to pose. ~ Robby, Minnesota

Belle (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is getting so big and is always the center of attention. She apparently likes to pose.
~ Robby, Minnesota

It was truly a magical weekend as the weather cooperated and the birds were abundant!  Like the birds at my feeder, the grouse knew the weather was making a major turn for the worse and were busy feeding on the ground.  We did have a blanket of snow Sunday morning, but it was actually warmer than the previous days and made for a wonderfully peaceful hunt before we all departed. ~ Chris, Wisconsin

It was truly a magical weekend as the weather cooperated and the birds were abundant! Like the birds at my feeder, the grouse knew the weather was making a major turn for the worse and were busy feeding on the ground. We did have a blanket of snow Sunday morning, but it was actually warmer than the previous days and made for a wonderfully peaceful hunt before we all departed.
~ Chris, Wisconsin

 

September 2014 album

Most of the dogs we sell are as much beloved pets as stalwarts in the woods and fields. Northwoods Grits (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011) is large for a lap dog but manages to get plenty of attention from Chris Senkler.

Most of the dogs we sell are as much beloved pets as stalwarts in the woods and fields. Northwoods Grits (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2011) is large for a lap dog but manages to get plenty of attention from Chris Senkler.

Even though Jerry and I focus on breeding bird dogs used in the pursuit of ruffed grouse and woodcock, families who buy dogs from us hunt other birds. In fact, September found many hunters and their dogs heading west to the prairies of North Dakota and Montana. (First group of photographs.)

September is still a busy training month for Jerry and Dan…..and there’s almost no place they’d rather be than out in the woods and fields training bird dogs.

Two August-born litters are coming of age. The CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Chardonnay puppies and three neighbors out of Northwoods Rum Rickey by Northwoods Parmigiano watch kennel activities.

The CH Shadow Oak Bo x Northwoods Chardonnay puppies and three neighbors out of Northwoods Rum Rickey by Northwoods Parmigiano watch kennel activities.

Then, of course, I must include photographs of puppies. Our two August-born litters are coming of age and ready to go to their new owners. The last group of photographs is from buyers of 2014 litters. These puppies are getting plenty of play time with their new families and their first introductions to birds and hunting.

Jack (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Highclass Kate, 2013) after a long Sunday, with the afternoon’s work on the tailgate! ~ Barry Frieler

Jack (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Highclass Kate, 2013) after a long Sunday, with the afternoon’s work on the tailgate!
~ Barry Frieler

This was Finn’s (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) first-ever pointed wild bird – cold, wet and windy in endless native grasses 5 miles from the northeastern corner of Montana.  It was a short point; but an excellent find and retrieve right to hand.  PRICELESS! ~ Todd Weidman

This was Finn’s (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2014) first-ever pointed wild bird – cold, wet and windy in endless native grasses 5 miles from the northeastern corner of Montana. It was a short point; but an excellent find and retrieve right to hand. PRICELESS!
~ Todd Wiedmann

Look who I ran into out in Montana! ~ Joe Montgomery (on right) owner of Buddy (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013), on finding another long-time friend/client of ours, A. G. Murray, Jr., from Oklahoma, who is now on the fourth NBD-bred setter.

Look who I ran into out in Montana!
~ Joe Montgomery (on right) owner of Buddy (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013), on finding another long-time friend/client of ours, A. G. Murray, Jr., from Oklahoma, who is now on the fourth NBD-bred setter.

Piper (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost 2010) still ranged, but was in control and purposeful and she was the same bird-finding machine she is in the grouse woods. Roy (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012) is an extremely good "warm weather" dog, and everyone who hunted behind him wanted him or a puppy from him. ~ Chris Bye

Piper (Blue Riptide x Blue Ghost, 2010, on right) still ranged, but was in control and purposeful and she was the same bird-finding machine she is in the grouse woods. Roy (Northwoods Blue Ox x Northwoods Chablis, 2012) is an extremely good “warm weather” dog, and everyone who hunted behind him wanted him or a puppy from him.
~ Chris Bye

What a pretty sight! Jerry often braces two dogs together because it offers many training opportunities. Occasionally, he runs three dogs, especially when one is experienced. Morris (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011), on left, has a beautiful find on a wild covey of sharptails. Veteran setter Choice (Gusty Blue x Houston’s Belle, 2005) and derby Smooch (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013) honor Morris’ point.

What a pretty sight! Jerry often braces two dogs together because it offers many training opportunities. Occasionally, he runs three dogs, especially when one is experienced. Morris (Houston’s Blackjack x Northwoods Chardonnay, 2011), on left, has a beautiful find on a wild covey of sharptails. Veteran setter Choice (Gusty Blue x Houston’s Belle, 2005) and derby Smooch (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Vixen, 2013) honor Morris’ point.

From the age of eight weeks, we put puppies on the training barrel for initial lessons in whoa training. Five-month-old Northwoods Platinum (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014) shows extraordinary poise and composure.

From the age of eight weeks, we put puppies on the training barrel for initial lessons in whoa training. Five-month-old Northwoods Platinum (Elhew G Force x Northwoods Prancer, 2014) shows extraordinary poise and composure.

During one of those perfect mornings to be running dogs on the prairie, Frank LaNasa flushes for his multiple champion Homemade (on right), who is backed by Lucy (Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011).

During one of those perfect mornings to be running dogs on the prairie, Frank LaNasa flushes for his multiple champion Homemade (on right), who is backed by Lucy (Westfall’s Black Ice x Northwoods Prancer, 2011).

Franny (Northwoods Blue Ox x Houston’s Belle, 2010), on left, and Gus (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2011) score a divided find on sharp-tailed grouse in a scrub oak patch on the barrens.

Franny (Northwoods Blue Ox x Houston’s Belle, 2010), on left, and Gus (Blue Shaquille x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2011) score a divided find on sharp-tailed grouse in a scrub oak patch on the barrens.

I took Frisco (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) out for her first walk in the wild last weekend. We found grouse immediately and she got her first taste of feathers. She was not going to give up the grouse and ran around showing off with a lot of pride. So let the training begin….which will be all fun! ~ Rick Buchholz

I took Frisco (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) out for her first walk in the wild last weekend. We found grouse immediately and she got her first taste of feathers. She was not going to give up the grouse and ran around showing off with a lot of pride. So let the training begin….which will be all fun!
~ Rick Buchholz

We took Ellie (Northwoods Grits x I’m Blue Gert, 2014) for a walk at the club today and she backed Betty…..pointing what turned out to be a covey of 20 chukkar that must have been released last week.  When they flushed Ellie went charging in the woods and was pretty amped up on the scent. ~ Tom Beauchamp

We took Ellie (Northwoods Grits x I’m Blue Gert, 2014) for a walk at the club today and she backed Betty…..pointing what turned out to be a covey of 20 chukkar that must have been released last week. When they flushed Ellie went charging in the woods and was pretty amped up on the scent.
~ Tom Beauchamp

Elmer (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) continues to do well... everyone who meets him comments that 1) his name is very fitting;  2) he is so nice and sweet and calm; 3) he's soo soft!! ~ Kjellrun Olson

Elmer (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) continues to do well… everyone who meets him comments that 1) his name is very fitting; 2) he is so nice and sweet and calm; 3) he’s soo soft!!
~ Kjellrun Olson

Boatswain (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is doing great, doing just what puppies should—tearing up anything he can get his mouth around, and exploring and learning lots everyday! He seems to be a natural retriever, because he is always carrying something around in his mouth and loves to come show it off. ~ Ben Whitten

Boatswain (Blue Riptide x Northwoods Carly Simon, 2014) is doing great, doing just what puppies should—tearing up anything he can get his mouth around, and exploring and learning lots everyday! He seems to be a natural retriever, because he is always carrying something around in his mouth and loves to come show it off.
~ Ben Whitten

Roxy (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) has been an outstanding addition to our family. She is full of life and our children absolutely love her.  ~ Joe Byers

Roxy (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) has been an outstanding addition to our family. She is full of life and our children absolutely love her.
~ Joe Byers

The very first covey of three grouse we ran into, Hartley (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) clearly indicated he scented birds. He was very excited and attempting to bust through some very thick cover on his own...I know he's still very young and I just want him to have fun out there, which he did. ~ Nick Larson

The very first covey of three grouse we ran into, Hartley (Northwoods Grits x Houston’s Belle’s Choice, 2014) clearly indicated he scented birds. He was very excited and attempting to bust through some very thick cover on his own…I know he’s still very young and I just want him to have fun out there, which he did.
~ Nick Larson

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