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Sporting Lifestyle News

November 4, 2020

Again this season we are receiving many good hunting stories about your dogs in action. Wonderful, love getting the photos and narratives.

Here at Daybreak the spaniels are working well with lots of birds flushed. We have hunters coming until nearly Christmas with a few good dates yet available, perhaps for you and your group.

We are busy at the kennel also with puppies on the ground and another litter expected before the end of the year.

Morgan has one remaining trialing activity when he heads to Utah next week to judge the ESS National Open Championship. He and his co-judge Mike Elsasser from Ohio will evaluate around 120 English springer spaniels during that week of competition. Good luck to all involved!

October 7, 2020

We certainly enjoy getting your field reports. Steve Winslow has been exploring the grouse woods since opening. His young pup, JOSIE (BUTTER x BADGER) shows off her fourth ruffy. Wonderful! 

And here is one of our young folks, Matt, and his cocker spaniel BLU after a walk in the forest coverts. What a success story. Matt started out learning to handle some of the older Pine Shadows springers as he waited for his pup to born and become old enough to go home. Matt begin training BLU immediately with imprinting and obedience. The gang at the kennel helped him develop a training program and worked with him.   

In addition, Matt learned safe shotgunning getting his gun safety certification and along with training from Morgan and others in proper gunning over dogs. Matt and BLU have competed in fun trials and a couple of AKC Field Trial Puppy Stakes. Grow the Sport! 


September 22, 2020

Morgan has a few trials yet this fall. This week he will be In Reedsville, Wisconsin for the Fox Valley English Cocker Club trials. He will compete in springer trials on Thursday/Friday and cocker trials on Saturday/Sunday. See more info on Springer trial and Cocker trial

He continues next week at the St. Croix Valley Spaniel Club springer trials near Clitherall Minnesota. See more info. Good luck and safe travels to all the participants!

August 19, 2020

Hunting and trialing seasons are nearly here. Last chances for Saturday training are August 22nd and September 5th. There will be no training on Saturday August 29th and Labor Day Monday. Best of luck in the fields this fall. Please share your photos and stories!

August 22        Training 

August 29        No training

September 5    Training, last time

Labor Day         No training

September 10-11 Cocker Trial at Daybreak

September 12-13 Springer Trial at Daybreak

August 10, 2020

The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, ESSFTA, is comprised of and dedicated to people who love English Springer Spaniels. The ESSFTA is the American Kennel Club (AKC) parent club for the breed. A membership organization, the ESSFTA is the steward for the breed standard as well as AKC competition standards and guidelines. The ESSFTA also works with organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) to establish health and genetic testing standards and guidelines.

The ESSFTA activities are guided by a focus first and foremost on that which benefits the breed, and maintains the heritage entrusted to it by generations past. It supports its members in their efforts to promote, protect and enjoy this marvelous breed, and provide information to the public to acquaint them with its history and character.

With its sister organization, the English Springer Spaniel Foundation, the ESSFTA works to improve the genetic health of the English Springer Spaniel via research projects and breeder education projects, and fosters the history of the breed via the joint Archives committee, as well as through our relationship with the Bird Dog Foundation.

ESSFTA is guided by a Board of Governors elected from the membership.

August 4, 2020

Coming events at Pine Shadows:

Sat. August 1,    Training  

Sat. August 8,    No Training, ESS Gunning Seminar

Sat. August 15,   Training,

Sat. August 22,   Training

Sat. August 29,   No Training

Sat. September 5, Training, last one. 

May 21, 2020

Not all of our springers grow up to be bird dogs. MIKEY (C-YA x DOZER), has begun his career with the NYPD. You can follow his work and play on his own Instagram Page, #huntingdogs #nypd #nypdk9 #nypdk9unit #k9handler #bluelivesmatter #nyc #workingdogsofinstagram #workingdogmagazine #policedogs

The NMESSC has revised the schedule for Fun Trials this summer. Join us these Saturdays, June 13th, June 27th, and July 11th. Details

We will be training this holiday weekend, both Saturday and Monday mornings.

May 8, 2020

Wednesday training. We will begin Wednesday evening training next week on May 13. Open training typically starts around 4:00. Afterwards we gather in the pavilion for a meal. If you would like to come earlier or prefer a different day, check with Morgan 218.829.4736. He is typically training every morning Monday through Saturday.  

We will continue to have Saturday training this month. The Fun Trial has been postponed, hoping to be able to conduct one in June. 

April 20, 2020

Remember the photos of Pine Shadows KELVIN as he was at the Macy Thanksgiving Parade? Now he has earned his badge having graduated from the K9 academy and is officially NYPD Transit K9-80.

Here he is at Grand Central Station. His new name is MIKEY after Inspector Michael McGrath. The canines names are derived from the names of both NYPD and United States military heroes who have fallen in the line of duty. Those canines continue the legacy of their namesakes in protecting New York City. Congratulations!

Thank you for your service

April 13, 2020

Over the years we have participated in many field tests and product developments from hunter gear and clothing, canine health and nutrition, ammo and guns, and electronics and safety.

One item that has had our attention and involvement for nearly fifteen years has been a protective vest for our hunting companions. In 2006 we found a design which has been clearly a cut above the rest. Forever tinkering we collaborated with several manufacturers in search of the better mousetrap. Qualities we esteemed were protection, durability, workmanship, breathability, value, range of motion, and weight.

Our experience with this design includes thousands of hours in the field with hundreds of vests worn by our springers and the many dogs of our clients. Countless pups have been spared the emergency vet trip because of the protection these vests provide.

We have just received another new prototype from our friends at K9 Topcoat that is going through all the rigors our gun dogs can hand out. Stay tuned.

March 20, 2020

In cooperation with the national response to the health emergency and in outmost concern for the individual regimens of you members of our trialing family the NMESSC is canceling its spring events. There will be no club Fun Trial on April 11th and no licensed Field Trial on April 18th and 19th.

Pine Shadows remains open and available to assist you with your pet needs. Our groomer is keeping all her appointments, the boarding dogs are being exercised and loved by our kennel staff who are also keeping the facility sanitized, while Morgan and his crew are training daily.

Blessings to you, take extra good care of yourselves, your families, and your communities.

March 4, 2020

There will be training these Saturdays, March 7 and March 21, at Pine Shadows. From then on into May Saturdays will be busy with field trials around the Midwest and two NMESSC fun trials at Pine Shadows April 11 and May 16. As the days become longer we will begin Wednesday afternoon/evening training. Keep on eye on facebook and the website for this info. Also call the kennel with questions, 218.829.4736.

The spring field trial activity has begun, Morgan travels to Fort Lupton, Colorado for cocker and springer trials this week. He will also be running in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota this season.

Our local club, the Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will be conducting their licensed trial on April 18-19 at the Sand Pine Shooting Preserve near Avon. In addition, the ever-popular Fun Trials begin on Easter Saturday, April 11 with another one on May 16.

February 10, 2020

The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will kick off the new year with its annual meeting, banquet and awards presentation on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter. Need RSVP or call (218-829-4736) by February 20th.

The event begins at 2:00 pm with a social with the meal served about 2:30. Awards, Prizes, Meeting and we will wrap up by 4:00 pm. Yes, you can train in the morning and go directly to the banquet!

Reminder, no training this Saturday as our crew will be in the center of Rooster Row at the National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Minneapolis, Friday through Sunday. 

January 17, 2020

Sorry to announce but there will be no training tomorrow, this Saturday, January 18th.  Quite a little storm blowing through today and tomorrow. The road conditions are getting worse with no let up until Sunday. I guess it is winter in Minnesota. We will play with the puppies for you. New puppies due first weekend in February!

We will be training next Saturday, and of course, Morgan is training daily and would welcome you during the week. Please call ahead to make arrangements, 218.829.4736.

We will have an exhibit at Pheasant Fest, February 14-16 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Please stop by for a visit. And yes, many of the puppies will be there!

December 31, 2019

Saturday training begins this week on January 4th. 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. 

Morgan is training daily during the week. You are welcome to join him. Call ahead for scheduling, 218.829.4736.

The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will be holding its Annual Meeting and Banquet on the afternoon of February 29nd at the Arrowwood Lodge in Baxter. Awards, prizes, and more. Details will be emailed. 

As the sun sets on 2019 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 11, 2019

When you watched Macys Thanksgiving Parade did you see the K9 unit? Sargent Randy Brennes, coordinator of the NYPD Canine Unit, tweeted this photo:

Special events like todays Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade are a great opportunity to train our newest class of Transit K9s. I will admit we still have a few lessons to go on looking at the camera 101.

In middle of the group see Pine Shadows KELVIN (C-YA x DOZER) and his handler Officer OConner. KELVIN is one of several Pine Shadows springers working in K9 units.

December 6, 2019

Some folks have asked for recipes.How about a wild game recipe, PHEASANT POPPERS, from our Daybreak hunting lodge.

Ingredients:Boneless pheasant, Bloody Mary Mix, Bacon, Cheese, Pickled Jalapenos

Directions: Cube pheasant in to bite size pieces and cut a small slice in one side of those pieces. Place them in a ziplock bag and cover with Bloody Mary mix. Marinate overnight. Remove pieces from the bag. Cut slivers of your favorite easy melting cheese (pepper jack, Gouda etc.). Place the slivers of cheese and peppers in the pheasant pieces, and wrap with a half a piece of bacon. Used a water soaked toothpick to secure the wrapping. Roast in the oven at about 425 until bacon is browned or better yet, grill on medium high heat. When bacon is crisp, the poppers are done.

We will place some on our social platforms also. Find us on facebook and  Instagram.  

November 4, 2019

We get letters, and this time we got a video!  

Take a look clicking this link. 

October 24, 2019

We get letters:

Mark and Sophie,

Joe got his limit 2 days in a row!!! The first couple days they went out it was so wet and he got cold so he did not last very long. He still has the same yucky cough every morning but it does not seem to be getting any worse. This past week he has really settled down in the house. Maybe we found his off switch??? Another Pine Shadows winner for sure!

The Dotseth Family

October 17, 2019

We get letters:

Mark and Sophie,

First halfway decent day here. Sun was out so HUTCH and I went out. Got two next to cornfield. Not bad for a 13-year-old dog and 71-year-old man.

Snow was pretty deep, so both wore out. We got about 18-19 inches but who really knows with the wind we had. First 10-12 rows of corn were packed at least 5-6 feet high along north, west and eastern edges so had to work outside of that along prairie trail. Got lucky and caught a nice flock between the corn and adjacent bean field.

Jon S.

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

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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