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Sporting Lifestyle News

January 25, 2022

Nearly sixty folks attended the NMESSC annual banquet and awards last Saturday. A very nice get together with some wonderful people.

No Saturday training this week, January 29th. Mark and Morgan are out of town conducting a Field Trial Judging Seminar.  Next training event will be the morning of February 5th. Remember Morgan is training during the week by appointment. Call 218.829.4736.

January 10, 2022

No Saturday training this week, January 15. Next training event will be the morning of January 22, the day of the NMESSC annual banquet and awards. Morgan is training during the week by appointment. Call 218.829.4736.

Mark your calendars now – The NMESSC Banquet will be January 22. The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will kick off the new year with its annual meeting, banquet and awards presentation on Saturday afternoon, January 22, at The Woods event center north of Brainerd on CR 3, address: 19624 County Road 3, Brainerd, MN 56401  

The cost will be $35.00 per person – Children under 10 - No Charge. There will be a cash bar. Door prizes and awards will be presented during the banquet. RSVP Joan at or call (218-251-5533) by January 15. 

Membership dues are $25 and can be paid at the banquet or fill out the form and return in the mail to: Joan Peterson at Pine Shadows, Inc. 14752 Three Mile Road Brainerd, MN 56401

Training at Pine Shadows in the morning: 9:00 am – 11:00 ONLY 2 HOURS 

Arrival and Social: 2:30 pm

Business Meeting -Election of Officers 3:00 pm

Banquet & Awards: 3:45 pm

December 27, 2021

Saturday training begins next week on January 8th. This weekly event is conducted on most Saturdays except during the field trial and hunting seasons.

All hunting 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.

Keep an eye on this website and our Facebook pages for any changes.     

December 19, 2021

Mark your calendars now – The NMESSC Banquet will be January 22. The Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club will kick off the new year with its annual meeting, banquet and awards presentation on Saturday afternoon, January 22, 2022 at the Woods event center north of Brainerd on County Road 3. Yes, you can train in the morning and go directly to the banquet! More information will be coming. 

November 3, 2021

Morgan was honored with being selected as a judge at the ESS National Amateur Championship this year. The event is being held November 14-19 at the Finger Lakes National Forest near Lodi, New York.

Morgan’s co-judge will be Casey Butz from Stony Plain, Alberta. Over one hundred qualifying English Springer Spaniels are expected to compete.

More info: 2021 National Amateur Championship  

October 16, 2021

Captain Morgan and his road crew, Bobby and the Midnites, are at our Daybreak hunting estate for the opening of the 103rd episode of the South Dakota statewide pheasant season. We have heard from a couple of dog owners who have participated in over sixty of these openers! This is the sixteenth season opener Morgan has been hosting the same party of old friends.

Best of luck to all as you go adventuring your timeless traditions of opening day and into this season. Be safe. Post your photos. We love seeing them and hearing your stories!

If you are hunting in northeast South Dakota give us a call (Mark 218.821.1295) and arrange for a visit. We would love to see you and your pups.

September 22, 2021

News from the field trial travels. Morgan and his crew are competing in trials and it is always satisfying to see a dog progress as they gain more experience. And maybe it is even more gratifying to see the advancements the owners and handlers as they gain more confidence in this team sport.

The team of Pine Shadows BH YANTA and his owner/operator Kate Haglin earned both the Gunners Award and Second Place in the Amatuer All-Age stake last weekend in Upper Michigan. They competed against 42 other English Springer Spaniel teams at the Tilden Valley ESS Club event near Rock, Michigan. Congratulations to Kate!  

August 30, 2021

The year of 2021. What an outstanding season of preparing pups and handlers it has been at Pine Shadows. We wrap it up with training this Saturday, September 4th . This will be our last training day as the trial and hunt seasons are beginning. There will be no training on Labor Day as we will be heading out to Daybreak for the spaniel trials.

Now is the time to enjoy your canine companions. Compete in a trial, head into the woods and fields on wingshooting adventures. Please share with us the photos and tailgate stories of your experiences. Safe travels and best of luck. Thanks.

August , 2021

Trialers: Enjoy a double-header next month at Pine Shadows Daybreak . The Northern Minnesota ESS Club will conduct two English Cocker Spaniel field trials, September 9-10, followed by an English Springer Spaniel field trial September 11-12. 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: Cocker Trial  Springer Trial.

Also call us:  Mark at 218.821.1295 or Morgan at 218.820.8815.

July 24, 2021

The Upland Bird Camp visits Pine Shadows on Thursday, August 5th. Each summer since 1991 Deep Portage has conducted their excellent Upland Bird Camp which immerses the student for a week in bird hunting skills and traditions including shotgunning, bird dog care and training, habitat identification and improvement, conservation and ethics. One day of this camp is a field day at Pine Shadows with applied activities including canine first aid, therapy dogs, skeet shooting, puppy care and upbringing, bird dog demonstrations, and a hands-on history of firearms. More camp info: Upland Bird Camp | Deep Portage (  

June 25, 2021

Pollinator awareness from the NMESSC. For the last couple years the activities included making and placement of bee homes, beeswax lip balms, butterfly houses and butterfly releases. This spring and summer the club has involved their youth in preparing and planting butterfly gardens, complete with a variety of annuals and perennials, handmade stepping stones, and puddle rocks. They have seen eggs on milkweeds become caterpillars then chrysalis and finally Monarchs.

Thank you to the many supporters of these projects, Landsburg Landscape Nursery for seeds, plant materials and guidance, Master Gardener Deb Nelson for plants and advice, Pine Shadows for preparing garden areas and watering, and the parents who were attracted by the enthusiasm of their children.

May 21, 2021

The second NMESSC Fun Trial of this season will be this Saturday at Pine Shadows. Register around 8:30 AM. Events and smiles for all ages. Click for more info.  

May 10, 2021

Wednesday training returns. We will begin Wednesday evening training next week on May 12th. Open training typically starts around 4:00. Afterwards we gather in the pavilion for a snack or light supper. If you would like to come earlier or prefer a different day, please schedule with Morgan - 218.829.4736. He is typically training every morning Monday through Saturday.  

April 20, 2021

Want to watch some good hunting dog action? The NMESSC Spring Field Trial is this weekend. Scores of English Springer Spaniels will be competing in this AKC licensed trial at Sand Pines Pheasants near Avon, MN. I encourage you to come out for a look on Saturday from 8 to 4, Sunday, 9 to 11. Stop by the red rigs under the American Flags and our club members will be eager to show you around. More info: Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club - English Springer Spaniel Field Trials ( Best of luck to all participants.

Dr. Christine Petersen and her research associates from the University of Iowa will be at the NMESSC Spring Trial on Saturday, April 24th, again getting blood samples from our springer spaniels to further her research of tick born diseases in sporting dogs. The English Springer Spaniel Foundation continues to be a major supporter of this study. Here is the link to her report to the Foundation last year.

April 8, 2021

Reminder to our Southeast friends Pine Shadows will be demonstrating this weekend at The Game & Field Fair at the award-winning Beretta Shooting Grounds at Barnsley Resort near Atlanta, Georgia. Mark and Morgan will be there along with our Daybreak Chef Rachel.

We certainly invite all our sporting friends and our springer owners in the area to come out for a visit. The grounds are located within four hours of Charlotte, less than three from both Nashville and Knoxville, and a couple hours from Birmingham. Stop out for a visit, we would love to see you! Click for more info:  

April 7, 2021

Another fine NMESSC fun trial was conducted last Saturday. Ninety-four dogs competing in the 10 stakes plus fifteen kids in the youth/children events. Forty-eight placements were awarded along with the 2020 High Point plaques. We even had a WW2 flyover!

Youth activities at the NMESSC Fun Trial Saturday included group building games, the annual Easter Egg Hunt with the theme of ten different wild animal tracks, making plaster casts of animal tracks, planting perennial seeds, primarily milkweed varieties, for the Monarch Butterfly pollination garden that the kids will be building at the next two fun trials, snack breaks, placeboard retrieves to hand with their dogs, buffet lunch, and award presentations.

Next NMESSC Fun Trial will be May 22nd.

February 12, 2021

Our local springer group, the Northern Minnesota English Springer Spaniel Club, will begin their 2021 season with the first of four Fun Trials on Easter Saturday, April 3rd . Click to see the calendar and descriptions of stakes.

The spring AKC licensed ESS Field Trial is on April 24-25 at the Sand Pine Shooting Preserve near Avon. The fall Field Trials will be at Pine Shadows Daybreak with the cocker trial on September 9-10 followed by the springer event on September 11-12.

In addition, there will be a Gunning Seminar on July 31st and a Judging Seminar on August 14th.

Northern Minnesota ESS Club calendar for 2021.

January 27, 2021 

This is the week of the two ESS Hall of Fame Trials hosted each year by the Volunteer English Springer Spaniel Club in LaGrange, TN. Mark and Morgan are the judging team for the Wednesday-Thursday event. Morgan will compete with some of his client springers in the Open Stakes of the second trial on Friday-Saturday while Mark will be on the gun team.

Good luck and safe travels to all participants. More information. #EnglishSpringerSpaniels #SpringerSpaniels #fieldtrials #BirdDogHallofFame     

January 18, 2021

Get your copy of the New York City Police Foundation calendar featuring NYPD K9 first English Springer Spaniel, Pine Shadows own MIKEY, as Mr. January!

You can follow MIKEYs work and play on Instagram.

December 29, 2020

We get letters: Hello Mark,

Just wanted to share this picture of Shandy s accomplishments this year.

Morgan and the crew at Pine Shadows help make this possible.  

Thanks again.  

Kevin Gaddie  

December 18, 2020

We Get Letters: CLYDE (C-YA x DOZER) has included his owner/operator Mike on several fine wingshooting adventures this fall exploring for both grouse and pheasants. Good work to both of you!

The New Year is nearly upon us. Time for some wholesome, outdoor dog training and talking. Pine Shadows will begin Saturday training on January 9, 2021. The Hobo Fire should be throwing good heat by 8:30 AM.

November 25, 2020

We get letters: RUBY (COAL x YANTA) with owner/operator Kathie. After a summer of training and weekly involvement with Diamond and Dogs this pair opened the Minnesota pheasant season and bagged these roosters, the first wild birds of RUBYs career. Congratulations pup!

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

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.

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. 

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 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!

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!

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.

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:

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

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!   



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