Result: National Amateur Grouse Championship
Location: Moose Junction, Wisconsin
Post Date: Jan 30, 2023
Submitted By: Sigmund Degitz
The Moose River Grouse Dog Club held 2022 National Amateur grouse championship on October 14-16. The trial was held on Douglas County forestry land in far northwestern Wisconsin. These grounds were initially developed in 2008 and have continually been reworked and improved to provide ample opportunity for dogs to find birds and show well on the ground. Grouse numbers throughout the upper Midwest have seen a significant decline in the past several years and these grounds have not been immune to these declines. However, because these grounds are situated in prime habitat there was an ample supply of birds to go around. We would like to thank Purina for their continued support of the Cover Dog Trials. Their donation of dog food to the winners is very much appreciated. Lunches were provided on the ground by the owners of the Moose Junction Lounge. They put on a delicious spread for us all Friday and Saturday. Every trial requires a dedicated group of club member to clear courses, marshal braces and assist with trial details. We would like to thank Neil Anderson, Tim Callahan, Sig Degitz, Bill Frahm, Ed Graddy, Greg Johnson and Tim Kaufman for all of their hard work.
We were fortunate to secure two very qualified judges who have considerable experience handling dogs and judging in high level competition. Judges for the event were Bill Frahm of Minong, Wis., and Jordon Pharris of Brainerd, Minn. They were attentive, on their toes at all times and had a keen eye for the attributes that are necessary in a champion and runner-up. The first brace of the championship broke away bright and early on Friday morning with a fresh blanket of 3 inches of snow making for tough going until the sun peaked out in the late afternoon. This was that early wet snow which hung on the trees and soaked the judges, handlers and gallery.
We drew 23 dogs for this event with handlers coming from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and a number of the dogs entered hold prior champion or runner up titles. Setter female, Northern Slopes Allie, owned and handled by Ed Graddy was named champion. Allie ran in the 8th brace on our bear bait course, a course known for producing winners. She started with a very pleasing ground effort. Allie is a bit on the smaller side and runs with incredible foot speed and style and is very exciting to watch. She was always in bell contact yet reached deep into the cover and was only seen the few times she crossed to the front through the first 20 minutes. She got on the board at 25 with a precise grouse find with excellent style and manners. She hunted hard the rest of the hour challenging Ed with wide casts that reached to the edge of bell range and beyond. Ed did a great job steering this little rocket around the course just trusting that she was to the front and would show, which she did. When her brace was over those who saw it knew she had bested those who had already ran and was going to be hard to beat.
Northwoods Sadie, setter female, owned and handled by Ryan Bjerke was named runner-up. Sadie and Ryan are a real team in the woods. He has hunted her a lot over the last 9 years and it sure shows. Sadie ran in the 5th brace of the first day as a bye dog just as the snow was melting. Knowing that they had the course to themselves Ryan maintained a nice gentleman's pace which the judges really appreciated given the conditions. Sadie ran a forward and moderate race and was always in the pocket. At 20 Sadie's bell went silent to the front and left in a small pocket of balsams which is known to hold grouse. Ryan was not disappointed as 4 grouse escaped from the balsams in front of his stylish setter. Sadie showed exceptional style and manners on this nice piece of work. Sadie had a nice hunting effort for the rest of the hour rarely giving Ryan any trouble. Showing her age a bit, Sadie did not quite have the pace or range of the champion.
Moose Junction, Wis., October 14
Judges: Bill Frahm and Jordan Pharris
NANTIONAL AMATEUR GROUSE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] - 2 Pointers, 18 Setters and 1 Brittany
Winner-NORTH SLOPES ALLIE, 1683547, setter female, by A Keystone Kid-Signature Ridge Cody. James Graddy, owner and handler.
Runner-Up-CODY'S SADIE BELLE, 1660481, setter female, by Ridge Creek Cody-Northwoods Chardonnay. Ryan Bjerke, owner and handler.
The open derby started midday on Saturday and finished up late Sunday morning. The skies were overcast, the air was damp, and the temperatures were ideal for cutting loose these young competitors. We would like to thank our judges Greg Johnson of Superior, Wis., and Bert Benshoof of Roseville, Minn. First place was awarded to McGraw Lake Ruger owned and handled by Jeff Marek. Ruger was mostly forward and strong on the ground. He is quite a bird finder pointing 3 woodcock and 1 grouse in the 30 minutes. Second place went to pointer male, Hackleberry's Amos Moses owned and handled by newcomer Ben Brettingen. Moses ran a medium race which was forward and steady. Earning third place was setter female, Pokegama Winnie owned and handled by Pat Golat. She impressed the judges with a strong forward race that with a little polish would have earn a higher placement.
Judges: Bert Benshoof and Greg Johnson
OPEN DERBY - 5 Pointers and 7 Setters
1st-MCGRAW LAKE RUGER, 1694364, setter male, by Rufus Del Fuego-Outcast Starburst. Jeff Marek, owner and handler.
2d-HACKLEBERRY'S AMOS MOSES, 1695788, pointer male, by Elhew Sinbad-Numark Surefire Peg. Ben Brettingen, owner and handler.
3d-POKEGAMA WINNIE, 1695069, setter female, by Rufus Del Fuego-Outcast Starburst. Pat Golat, owner and handler.
Half-Hour Open Shooting Dog
The half hour open shooting started Sunday morning and our judges for this stake were Neil Boos of Bloomer, Wis., and Sig Degitz of Hawthorne, Wis. No birds were pointed and all dogs were placed on race. First Place was earned by setter female Pinestraw Fat Bottom Girl handled by Dale Ash, named second was pointer female High Fly N Indy handled by Jeff Marek, third place was setter female Lake Effect Cleopatra handled by Tim Kaufman.
Judges: Neil Boos and Sig Degitz
OPEN SHOOTING DOG - 2 Pointers and 4 Setters
1st-PINE STRAW FATBOTTOM GIRL, 1692898, setter female, by Erin's Hidden Shamrock-Pine Straw Sweet Tea. Michael Reeves, owner; Dale Ash, handler.
2d-HIGH FLY N INDY, 1688387, pointer female, by Hackberry's Ice Max-Hackberry's Elhew Ruby. Jeff Marek, owner and handler.
3d-LAKE EFFECT CLEOPATRA, 1694846, setter female, by Northern Lights Sirius-Lake Effect Tilly. Tim Kaufman, owner and handler.
National Amateur Grouse Championship Winners. Judge Bill Frahm, Champion Northern Slopes Allie with Ed Graddy, runner-up Cody's Sadie Belle with Ryan Bjerke, Judge Jordon Pharris.