2022 North Country Championship

Before the North Country report, I would be remiss not mentioning the new NBHA Sharptail Championship, at the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area near Danbury WI, hosted by the Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog Association. The trial drew 48 dogs! Thank you to James and Jim Kleve and Rod Lein for all the efforts to put on this great trial. Well done gentlemen. Way to start the year for CVGDA.

The North Country Championship

For the third consecutive year the North Country Shooting Dog Championship was run on Grouse and Woodcock in the Eau Claire County Forest. We were blessed with great weather and strong bird numbers for the championship. The fall colors were advancing steadily through the week and owners, handlers, and spectators, from 6 different states really took notice of the great venue.

The Chippewa Valley Grouse Dog grounds are one of the best trial grounds in the country. Our 6 courses, covering nearly 13 miles, requires sweat equity and good teamwork to maintain. A big thank you to: Tom Goltz, Roger King, Mike Luebke, Dennis Baumann, Tim Callahan, Brent Sittlow, Larry Davidson, Bert Benshoof, Randy Bruder, Colin Peterson and Brad Peterson for their hard work. In addition, Mike Luebke did an excellent job on the required paperwork. During the trial, Scott and Roger King hosted a judge’s dinner and provided lunch one day and both were excellent. Thank you.

Scott Forman and Christy Helmes from Prattsburgh NY judged the championship. Both are seasoned dog handlers and winners of many championships. They managed the demanding task of walking miles per day and were both very attentive to every dog. Thank you to Purina for their continuous support. Grey Blair was in attendance for the week. We very much appreciate what he and Purina does to enhance the success of our trials and the commitment to the sport of Cover Dog.

Last and certainly not least “Thank You” to Eau Claire County. We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to run our dogs on these grounds. The grounds are nationally recognized to consistently provide excellent opportunities on both Grouse and Woodcock for all dogs entered. We do not take for granted all the work the Eau Claire County team does on our behalf. We experience and appreciate cooperation like no other in the entire country – Thank You!

The Winners

Brace #9 High Line Course 3

Champion: Moss Meadow Seeker (SM) - Ken Moss

Seeker ran an outstanding race topped with an abundance of bird work. He had 2 finds on Grouse and 4 Woodcock finds all in great style. Most native bird trials do not have this number of clean finds - quite an accomplishment for Ken and Seeker. A well-deserved Champion!

Brace #19 Wilson Park – Course 1

R/U Champion: Rawlings Star (ESM) - Chuck Rawling

It was a crisp morning and Star was ready to go from the beginning running at the edge of the bell. At 50 Star pointed a grouse with style to secure the runner up position.

The Running

Day 1

Wilson Park – Course 1

Vitalis Grove Ringer Pappy (ESM) - Gary Vitali ran into an uncooperative grouse and was picked up. Fergie (ESF) – Bert Benshoof started well but was not up to Bert’s expectations and was picked up early.

Gas Line Course – Course 2

Northviews Dixie Storm (ESF) - Bruce Minard and Magic (ESM) - Ken Moss. Both dogs worked hard but finished the hour with no bird work.

Highline Course – Course 3

Thornapple Casey (ESM) - Bruce Minard. Casey had his running shoes on today. Bruce elected to pick up.

Northwoods Sir Gordon (ESM) Ben McKean. Sir Gordon had a great race but no birds were produced. Unless you count a turkey which Gordon handled to perfection.

Horseshoe Creek – Course 4

Horseshoe is a looping course along the river that generally produces a number of birds but requires a good handle on a dog. Flycast Rollie Fingers (ESM) - Scott Chaffee. Rollie had a 3 well-spaced woodcock finds in the hour. Tupelo Honey (ESF) Bob Wheelock. Honey was up the task until an unfortunate mishap on her 3rd woodcock.

H Course – Course 5

Meredith Grade Corkey (ESM) - Tammy Chaffee. Corky had four woodcock finds and a strong forward race.

Lilly (ESF) - Jordan Pharris. Lilly equally had a strong race, and 3 woodcock finds.

Diablo Jake Course – Course 6

BK Rolling Dice (PF) – Bruce Minard. After two woodcock finds in the first 25 minutes BK stretched it out too far and the hander called for the Garmin. Northwoods Atlas (ESM) – Atlas was off to a great start with woodcock finds at 8 and 18. With handler trying to catch up Atlas took a woodcock out at 22 and ended his bid.

Day 2

Wilson Park Course – Course 1

HiFives Top Shelf (PF) - Bruce Minard and Rib River Tough Enough II (BM) - Roger King. Both dogs started strong reaching forward Tuffy had a woodcock find at 15 and Top Shelf non-productive at 18. Top Shelf had a nice grouse find at 25. Tuffy had a grouse find at 50 unfortunately handler was behind. Handler picked up after taking the grouse out.

Gas Line Course – Course 2

Lucie (PF) - Ben Mergens and HiFive Power Line (PM) - Bruce Minard. Lucie was out of the gate reaching forward immediately. She pointed at 18 minutes and handler was unable to locate. After that she got a little bucky and Ben chose to pick up. Power Line was putting down a good race but had a mishap with a woodcock and was picked up.

Highline Course – Course 3

Setter Ridge Pioneer Sam (SM) - Tammy Chaffee and Moss Meadow Seeker (ESM) - Ken Moss (Previously Reported). Sam was having a great day for his first two woodcock finds Tammy picked him up after number three. A total of 2 grouse and 7 woodcock were pointed during this brace.

Horse Creek Course – Course 4

Wild Apple Siri (PF) - Bruce Minard and Fireside Sally Forth (ESF) - Tammy Chaffee. Siri was picked up after a relocation on a woodcock find. Sally was picked up for mishandling a grouse.

H Course – Course 5

Thornapple Cody (ESM) - Bruce Minard and Grouse Trails Firestorm (PF) -John McKellop. Cody was picked up after mishandling a woodcock. John elected to pick up Firestorm.

Diablo Jake – Course 6

Snyder’s Fireside Ed (ESM) - Tammy Chaffee. Ed ran very well and had an excellent grouse find. However, after searching he could not be located after his bell went silent a second time.

Day 3

Wilson Park Course – Course 1

Northwoods Cedar (ESF) - Lindsay Saeter and Ryder (ESM) - Jordan Pharris. Unlike herself, Cedar was running too big today. Her bell went silent but was unable to be located. Handler picked her up. Ryder had a strong first half and a great grouse find however was not able to finish the hour strong.

Gas Line Course – Course 2

Grouse Trails Warrior Cat (PF) - John McKellop and Spring Pond Rocking Sidney (ESF) - Tammy Chaffee. Coming off a great win at the previous weeks NBHA Sharptail Championship with his daughter’s dog John elected to pick up Warrior Cat as he was not happy with her this day. Tammy also chose to pick up Sidney.

Highline Course – Course 3

HiFives Ruff Runner (PM) - Bruce Minard and Grouse Hill Pepper (PF) - Scott Chaffee. Ruff Runner had a stop to flush on a woodcock and had an additional woodcock find. Pepper had an early stop to flush on woodcock. In addition, she had two more woodcock finds.

Horse Creek – Course 4

Grouser (GSPM) - Jordan Pharris and Setter Ridge Flash Forward (ESF) - Scott Chaffee. Grouser had a divided find on a woodcock and then picked up on a second woodcock. Flash Forward also had a divided find on woodcock and then picked up after two non-productives.

H Course – Course 5

Kits Whiskey River Patsy (ESF) - Scott Chaffee and Merry (PF) - Rod Lein. Patsy had one strong find on woodcock and one stop to flush on woodcock. After two finds on woodcock Merry uncharacteristically moved on a woodcock flush.

Diablo Jake – Course 6

Snyder’s Sadie (ESF) - Tammy Chaffee and Fearless Fred (ESM) - Mike Luebke. Sadie ran a good race and had three great woodcock finds. Unfortunately, an encounter with a grouse near the end of the hour did her in. Fred had his usual extreme run and had an excellent grouse find. He was lost on point at the end of the hour.

Day 4

Wilson Park – Course 1

Out of the Shadow (ESF) - Bob Rawlings and Star (ESM) - Chuck Rawling. Shadow had a divided find on a grouse and one woodcock find. Two unproductive detracted the effort. Rawlings Star (Previously reported).

Gas Line Course – Course 2

Angel Envie (ESF) - Bob Wheelock and Vitalis Grouse Ringer Shiner (ESM)- Gary Vitali. Both dogs picked up.

Upon completion of the Championship the derby the commenced. There were 18 derbies entered into the trial. At the end, Judges Jordan Pharris and Brad Peterson selected the following.

1st Place Hi-Fives On The Rocks (PF) - Bruce Minard

2nd Place Try (PF) - Rod Lein

3rd Place Little Hawk (ESF) - Paul Cook

Another successful North Country Championship & Derby is in the books.

We hope to see you next year.

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