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Current Sporting Lifestyle News

October 4, 2019

We love getting letters and photos of the Pine Shadows springers from all around the country. Here is an old timer starting out the fall season with a couple of good hunts already. KATIE (PIPER x BLOCKER) was born in December of 2002. Remarkable!

Thanks owner/operator Dean for this update. He sent these pictures and a video.

We wish for everyone a great season, both productive and safe!

September 16, 2019

The ESSFTA Parent Club sponsored another blood draw at the NMESSC trial this past week at Pine Shadows Daybreak. This is part of the Parent Club Funded Tick Borne Initiative Project.

Dr. Christine Petersen, Associate Professor at University of Iowa, and her team collected blood samples from the dogs at the trial testing for any tick-borne diseases. Many springer owners have participated in this project for two and three years as Dr. Petersen has tested at several of our trials .

More information on this important study: 

September 8, 2019

Next weekend, September 12-15, we will be starting the fall trial season with two NMESSC events at Daybreak, our hunting lodge near Frederick, South Dakota. There is an English Cocker trial Thursday with Open All-Age and Puppy Stakes. Morgan will be competing with several cockers in these events while on Friday an Amateur All-Age and a Puppy Stake will have several of the club members running their dogs. On Saturday/Sunday the club hosts the fall English springer spaniel trial with the Open and Amatuer All-Age Stakes alternating plus a Puppy Stake on Sunday. Thanks to the many NMESSC members who make these trials run so smoothly year after year.

On several of the following weekends Morgan and his road crew will be attending field trials in Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado and Wisconsin. Follow this link to a master calendar of trials. Good luck and safe travels to all participants!

August 16, 2019

Yesterday was the final class for the summer of the MDNR Firearm Safety Class taught by Morgan. Twenty-five fine students participated. As a special treat Chef Rachel prepared a picnic supper for the students and the ten-plus volunteers. Special thanks to JP Martin for the use of his Action Trackchair that enabled Caleb to be involved in all aspects of the training. Well done teachers and young hunters!

Trialers: Another double-header next month at Daybreak . The Northern Minnesota ESS Club will conduct two English Cocker Spaniel field trials, September 12-13, followed by an English Springer Spaniel field trial September 14-15. The trials will be held on the grounds of Daybreak Hunting Lodge, 37853 111th Street, Frederick, South Dakota. Headquarters will be the Hudson House on the campus of Daybreak. More info and registration at Hunt Secretary: and ESSFT Any questions call Mark at 218.821.1295 or Morgan at 218.820.8815.

July 19, 2019

On Thursday we conducted our twenty-ninth Gun Dog Demonstration Day for the Ruffed Grouse Society and Pheasants Forever sponsored Upland Bird Camp from the Deep Portage Learning Center. We are so grateful to the many volunteers, there were 26 this year, who over the years have contributed to passing on our sporting traditions to over one thousand young enthusiasts.

Activities included puppy imprinting, raising, and early training, gun dog training for pointers, flushers, and retrievers, history of gun sports, emergency trap releasing, canine first aid, introduction to therapy dogs, and skeet shooting.

July 10, 2019

See you at the fun trial this Saturday.

The NMESSC conducts its fourth fun trial of the season this Saturday, July 13th, at Pine Shadows. Ten dog stakes plus youth and children activities. And a fine lunch!

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.     

June 24, 2019

 We often hear requests for more pictures of dogs. While this web page adds a few each month there are some other platforms we utilize that feature good gundog photography. We have three active Facebook pages that you are encouraged to follow. They highlight activities, events, training tips, and upland lifestyle. One is Pine Shadows, another is our Dakota hunting adventues on Pine Shadows Daybreak, and a third avenue is to friend Mark.

For you Instagram fans we have a lively presence there with several springer photos displayed weekly. You will want to follow us on that platform also.

And finally please share your sporting dog photos and stories with us. If you like we will post them too.

June 2, 2019

The third NMESSC fun trial of the year will be held at PINE SHADOWS on Saturday, June 8th. We will be registering at 8:30 am. You bet, it’s a broad spectrum of events as there will be a Senior Dog (10 years and older) stake and a Young Puppy, (under 6 months) stake. A full slate of youth activities is planned also. Hope to see many of you in attendance. Here is the description of stakes:

We have open training each Saturday beginning around 8 am and again on Wednesday late afternoon beginning around 4 pm. If another day is more convenient Morgan and his crew are training throughout the week. Make an appointment with him, 218-820-8815.

May 20, 2019

We just completed the NMESSC spring field trial. What a wonderful weekend of trialing as we had nearly sixty dogs competing in the all-age stakes, ten spaniels in the puppy stake, and two in our youth stake. NMESSC members put on another fine event with good gunning, fine bird planting, timely shuttle service, delicious foods, blue ribbon hospitality, and a time-respecting completion before Sunday Noon. Thank you to all of our volunteers, judges, gunners, and most of all, our participants.

Look at your calendars; our NMESSC fall trial will be held September 14-15 at Pine Shadows Daybreak north of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Hope to see many of you there!

Coming events: Wednesday evening training is getting into full time summer mode. Next Saturday, May 25, the second NMESSC Fun Trial will be held at Pine Shadows.  And finally, we will be training Memorial Day morning. 

April 26, 2019

Our coming April and May Saturdays are busy with trials so there will be no Saturday training here at Pine Shadows.

 However, we will begin Wednesday evening training next week on May 1, followed by May 15, 23, and 30. (Note none on May 8th.) Open training typically starts around 4:00. Afterwards we gather in the pavilion for a pot luck meal. If you would like to come earlier, check with Morgan 218.829.4736. He is typically training every morning.

Remember the NMESSC licensed trial is May 18-19 at the Major Avenue Hunt Club and the next NMESSC Fun Trial is on May 25th at Pine Shadows.

April 7, 2019

Morgan will be competing April 13-14 in the Fox Valley English Cocker Club Field Trials at the Connolly Game Farm near Reedsville, WI. 

The first NMESSC fun trial will be held at Pine Shadows on Easter Saturday, April 20th. Register around 8:30 a.m. As you know there are activities for young and old handlers and young and old dogs. 

On the last weekend of April Morgan will be participating in the North Dakota Sporting Spaniel Club Spring Cocker Field Trial at the Hobson Brown Farm near Menoken, ND.

Mark will be at the annual meeting of the ESSFTA Board of Governors, General Membership, Bench Governors and Field Governors in Bloomington, Minnesota on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27, 2019. The headquarters is the Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport South.

Mark and Morgan will be judging the Prince Edward Interprovincial Springer Spaniel Club field trials May 4 – 6 at River John, Nova Scotia. On Wednesday, May 8th, Mark will be conducting a Gunning Seminar for this club in Waterville, Nova Scotia. 

Our NMESSC spring field trial with be held May 18-19 at the Major Avenue Hunt Club near Glencoe, MN. Detailed info at:

March 3, 2019

The Apples Trailer is loaded with supplies and spaniels. Morgan has begun the spring trial season this weekend at the Rocky Mountain Springer Spaniel Club event near Fort Lupton, Colorado. Next weekend he will also be in the Fort Lupton area as the Northern Colorado ESS Spaniel Club hosts cocker spaniel trials on Thursday/Friday and springer spaniel events on the weekend.

Morgan will complete the month with two trials in Kansas and one in Nebraska. Best of luck and safe travels to all participants! 

February 8, 2019

See your favorite hunting lodge chef February 22-24 at Pheasant Fest at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL.

Our Chef Rachel will be presenting five seminars of pheasant recipes on The Wild Game Cooking Stage. Do not miss it!

More info: Click Here

January 18, 2019

The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will kick off the 2019 year with an annual meeting, banquet and awards presentation. Even if you are not currently a member you are welcome to attend the banquet.

This grand event will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at the Drummond Wine Company at the intersection of Highway 25 and Thiesse Road. Meal will be choice of chicken pot pie or Pork Mediterranean on Rice.

The cost will be $25.00 per person. There will be a cash bar. Door prizes and awards will be presented during the banquet.

RSVP or call (218-829-4736) by January 23rd, 2019

January 1, 2019

The new year resumes our many experiences of the sporting lifestyle. Saturday training begins this week on January 5th. This is a weekly event conducted on Saturdays except during the field trial and hunting seasons. All breeds welcome. First dog down is about 8:30 and we are usually finished before Noon. Snacks or a meal plus conversation in the training office follows. If it is super cold there may be a little more conversation inside than training outside. Occasionally a Saturday may be canceled. Keep an eye on this website and our Facebook pages for any changes. 

The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will be holding its Annual Meeting and Banquet on the afternoon of February 2nd at the Drummond Wine Company in Brainerd. Awards, prizes, and more. Details will be emailed. 

As the sun sets on 2018 I hope you scatter joy and happiness wherever you go all the days of the upcoming year and may you receive the same in return. Happy New Year! 


December 3, 2018

 And just who might be that lady carrying an over/under across the Elm River at Daybreak with a fine brace of English Springer Spaniels? The new issue of Covey Rise magazine features our chef Rachel in its upland chef series. Do not miss seeing this wonderful story and photos, A Life Well Seasoned. All with a bonus of two of her recipes, Chukar Satay Wraps with Almond Butter Sauce and Pheasant Jerky Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust!   

November 22, 2018

Eighteen months ago, Beretta did a photo shoot at Daybreak. You may have seen our springers hunting the coverts in magazine full-page shotgun ads or in Beretta catalogs, and maybe in the three-minute trailer that continues to circulate on social media.

During that short week with us they were also working on new product development as one of Beretta key designers from Italy, Elena Vismara, immersed into a North American wingshooting experience. We assembled a focus group of active uplanders who accompanied her answering questions, offering suggestions, and collaborating on the design of active hunting apparel for the U.S. market. Several pieces have been introduced this fall.

This new upland vest is an absolute home run. Elena captured so many of the focus group recommendations resulting in the most functional bird hunting vest I have ever used. 

November 1, 2018

Hunting has been very good at Daybreak this year. We battled an early snowstorm that postponed the harvest timetable but had no effect on the birds. Reports from South Dakota and Minnesota are generally pretty good to strong for pheasants. And the ruffed grouse/woodcock chasers have been doing well.

A week ago Polaris was filming scenes with Lee and Tiffany Lakosky and their Crush production at Daybreak. They liked the Elm River ridges, bottomlands and crossings, and of course, lunch with Chef Rachel. Pictured with  Mark are Lee and Tiffany plus Casey Wiesmantel from the Aberdeen CVB.


October 3, 2018

This year will be season number 100 for pheasant hunting in South Dakota. The first, in 1919, lasted one day. Five hundred residents and 500 nonresidents bought licenses. They killed 200 birds that Oct. 30.

We are celebrating this significant centennial all season at Daybreak, where our Orvis Endorsed springerspaniels guide your wingshooting of the famous South Dakota ringnecked pheasants. 

July 15, 2018

A grand day for the NMESSC Fun Trial with sixty dogs entered in the stakes plus sixteen entries in the kids events!  

Next fun trial is Saturday, July 28th! 

June 23, 2018
A first ever Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever event was held at Pine Shadows recently. The event was to showcase the upland hunting ability of this breed and determine if they could run under the spaniel hunt test rules. Based on the success of this event and the performance of the dogs they should soon be eligible to enter in spaniel hunt tests. Tom Meyer, AKC sporting dog representative, was on hand to observe the performance of the dogs. Look forward to watching these Tollers soon in upcoming spaniel hunt tests throughout the country.



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English Springer Spaniels

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