When Jerry entered his first field trial in 1987 with Spring Garden Tollway, it launched a 20-year commitment and passion for ruffed grouse and woodcock field trial competition. Jerry became one of the most successful trainers and handlers in the country.
Jerry and Betsy’s first champion was the female pointer Dance Smartly (2x CH) in 1997. She was soon followed by Blue Smoke (CH) and Blue Streak (4x CH/4x RU-CH), both English setters out of Tollway. Jerry took Streak to the peak of success in 2002 when she won both the Michael Seminatore English Setter Cover Dog Award and the William Harnden Foster Award.
Paul Hauge, in the meantime, had bred a frozen-semen litter from his favorite dog, Houston, and entrusted Jerry to train and handle a hand-picked female. From 2005 – 2007, Houston’s Belle (2x CH/4x RU-CH) dominated the national field trial circuit.
To be that successful required hard work and determination on Jerry’s part. He and his dogs spent countless hours afield and they traveled north, south and west to reach good training grounds. Much knowledge is gained through experience and by trial and error but Jerry also studied. He read every book he could about bird dogs. In addition to other trainers, Jerry spent time with and learned from Sherry Ray Ebert, Rick Smith and Roger Buddin, formerly of Big Country Kennel.
In all, Jerry won more than 150 field trial placements. His dogs were winners or runners-up in 14 regional Shooting Dog/Derby of the Year awards. Most impressively, Jerry placed in every major grouse championship in the nation, often multiple times.
- National Grouse Championship
- National Grouse & Woodcock Invitational
- National Amateur Grouse Championship
- Pennsylvania Grouse Championship
- Lake States Grouse Championship
- Minnesota Grouse Championship
- Wisconsin Cover Dog Championship