Guides Of Pineridge Grouse Camp
Jerry was first introduced to the great sport of grouse hunting at the age of 10. His father, Randy, took him hunting with the “Lundeen Boys” near Little Falls MN. He took along his single shot, hammer 20 gauge H&R. With his trusty sidearm and a great shot he bagged his first grouse. For a young boy on his first hunt and the success of having something to put in his bird bag it was enough to fuel what has turned into a constant love affair with grouse and woodcock hunting.
He received his first setter, named “Winnie” from a family friend. “Winnie” was not the greatest of bird hunters but had a passion for pointing chipmunks in the back yard. These points created a curiosity and need for more information on pointing dogs and bird hunting. Over the years and a few good setters later, marriage to his high school sweetheart, Brenda, 3 kids and a move to Michigan for work gave Jerry the opportunity to hunt anything that flew under the “guise of work.” Jerry worked for a sporting goods rep group that represented some of the largest names in the sporting goods industry. Remington Arms, Zebco, Zeiss, and Quantum to name a few. Rather than have meetings at a golf course he would take customers shooting sporting clays, talking business at a pheasant club or grouse and woodcock hunting in the U.P. of Michigan. As his inventory of good dogs grew, one dog “Gauge”, set himself apart from the pack as a great hunting dog. It wasn’t long and Jerry’s co-workers started asking him to guide their customers. This is when Jerry started guiding rather than hunting. He just wanted to get birds for the dogs. He answered every offer with a yes to places that brought him to Maine, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and back home in Minnesota. It only took a cordial invitation and he was on his way.
Jerry and Brenda had an opportunity to purchase a small rep group that was focused on the outdoor gift and home décor business. It was great to be back in Minnesota for family and of course the bird hunting. The latter was the main reason he settled his family in Grand Rapids, the heart of grouse hunting in Minnesota and a half hour drive to the family cabin, now known as Pineridge Grouse Camp.
It was in in the tail end of a busy travel schedule in 2006 that Brenda noticed he wasn’t his usual upbeat self. He reluctantly went to the doctor for a battery of tests and soon was told he had a rare form of cancer, cancer of the appendix. After 9 surgeries, selling the gift & home décor business and taking stock in what is important, the family decided to create Pineridge Grouse Camp on the family deer hunting camp in Remer Minnesota.
The fall is the best part of the year as Jerry gets to share his passion for grouse, woodcock and bird dogs with people from all over the country coming to Pineridge. A full kennel of English Pointers from Hampshire Kennels and of course, “Big Al” his lead guide dog, Jerry has never looked back at his decision to create one of the best-kept secrets in grouse & woodcock hunting in the country.
Stoneybrook Gordon Setters
A lifelong outdoorsman, Stephen had the joy and privilege of growing up with a dog man for a father. From field trial and hunting labs, to bird dogs and beagles, he has hunted over many different breeds of dogs. Learning to handle and hunt over English Setters and Pointers, he quickly fell in love with pointing dogs and the thrill of seeing a solid point. His love for the forest took him to woodcock, and later, when in college in the North Carolina mountains, grouse. He is an old soul, and his passion for the classics lead him to Gordon Setters and he has never looked back. Shunning too much technology, Stephen still uses an array of different bells from the US, Norway, France, and Greece. Always looking for the perfect tone, his dogs each have their own bell, and when they go silent, a bird has been found. Stephen has been breeding his own Gordons for years now, another piece of the classic mold. His Gordons are close working, and dutiful, always eager to go and paced to handle the day after day grind of a full 5 months of guiding from the Northwoods through the Appalachians of Virginia and North Carolina, even having a stint in Louisiana for woodcock. Gordons are a bit of a different breed for people, most having never hunted over one before. A medium sized dog, they were originally bred in Scotland in the mid 1500’s for hunting red grouse. After having some big running pointers and setters in his youth, Stephen enjoys the closer working style of his Gordons. A former professional road cyclist with 2 Olympic trails to his credit, Stephen is one of those guides that doesn’t mind a long walk in the woods. And as a trained chef, his love of the bird goes far beyond the point and shot, but to the finished product on the plate. A nice Bordeaux alongside whole, roasted woodcock being his favorite game meal.
Charlie is a Minnesota native and began hunting as soon as he could hold and shoot his Iver Johnson 20 gauge which was a gift from his grandfather. Cass County has been his primary hunting grounds since the late 60’s, and he became an avid Grouse and Woodcock hunter while in high school. Over the last 50 years Charlie continued to hunt Grouse, Woodcock, Ducks, Bear, Deer and in recent years Turkey in and around Cass County.
After a 35 year career in Technology Sales and Management Charlie recently retired and is engaging in his passions of hunting, fishing and skiing full time. Charlie started guiding at Pineridge in 2012 with his hunting buddy , “Brandy” a Gordon Setter. In the off season you will find Charlie ski racing with US Alpine Masters in the Midwest and the Rockies, fishing on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes or trying to convert his fade to a draw at Golden Eagle Golf Course in Fifty Lakes.
Today he and his wife Kathy live in the Twin Cities and have owned a cabin in Remer on Big Bass Lake since 1993. Charlie and Kathy have two children, a daughter Bridget and son Chip. The lake cabin has become a family hangout for the summer months and of course a hunting camp in the fall for friends and relatives. Currently, Charlie and Kathy are planning to add a second dog to their home and are waiting for Jerry to produce the “perfect” Pineridge English Pointer.
AJ Petersen was born and raised in the northwoods of Minnesota. He spent the first 18 years of his life in Nisswa, MN before heading off to college at Bemidji State University to study Ecology. He spent the first 5 years of his career monitoring fish populations in northern Minnesota’s rivers and streams. In 2015 he switched career paths slightly to become the Environmental Manager for the 148th Fighter Wing airbase in Duluth, MN. This new location put AJ smack dab in the middle of the Lake Superior’s north shore rivers and abundant trout fishing.
It is nearly impossible to get AJ out of the rivers during the spring steelhead run, or pretty much anytime during the stream trout season, except maybe for a trip out west. He spends his entire winter tying fly patterns from feather and fur he harvested in the fall to try the following spring.
When the trout season closes and the wild rice ripens, AJ and his golden retriever Gandalf, and small munsterlander Mogul, switch gears to waterfowl hunting. Duck hunting is the first kind bird hunting AJ learned and is still something he loves to do every year. The variety of birds coming into the decoys and ability to interact with them via calling is what draws him to the sport, that and the excitement of sending “big red” into the marsh for a retrieve.
Although born and raised in the Twin Cities, Bailey considers herself a native to the northwoods of Minnesota having moved to the Brainerd area in 2001. Bailey began hunting upland birds and waterfowl in her teenage years, although her true passion and respect for upland hunting wasn’t developed until she and AJ got their first dog in 2012. Gandalf the golden retriever is a big goof with an underbite and a heck of a nose. In 2015, they added a Small Munsterlander (Mogul) to their pack and that was a game changer as far as how they hunted birds. Bailey has a degree in wildlife management from Bemidji State University and works as a wildlife biologist out of Two Harbors, MN.
During her college years, Bailey was a rock climbing guide and ski instructor, this is when she gained a passion for sharing her love of the outdoors. Bailey’s first position out of college was as a woodcock research technician for the U of MN assisting with a study on singing-ground surveys, which entailed a lot of time spent in woodcock cover in Pine County, MN. That is where her love for the timberdoodle was born, and when Bailey learned of Minnesota’s woodcock banding program and had a dog capable of finding broods, a new spring hobby was born. Grouse and woodcock hunting have become something of an obsession over the last few years as she feels it is her obligation to give Mogul as many opportunities as possible to do what he is bred to do. Dog training during the “off season” has become a passion as well.
Kyle spent his first 18 years in southern Ohio, not too far from the Kentucky boarder. His childhood consisted of exploring the woods and fields with Labrador retrievers, catching crawdads in the near-by crick, and fishing walleye on Lake Erie. Kyle studied wildlife biology in college and his vocation for wildlife conservation has so far taken him to move to Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and finally, Minnesota; a true Midwesterner.
Kyle first experience in the “north woods” and with timberdoodles was in 2009 while working at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Kyle fell in love with the upper Midwest and moved to Minnesota permanently in 2011. Kyle spent his springs and summers of 2009 – 2013 researching woodcock at Tamarac. During this time he spent over 5,000 hours walking woodcock cover, finding birds, and talking woodcock biology, habitat, and management with fellow guides Donna Dustin and Earl Johnson. Kyle’s research on woodcock resulted in a Master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Minnesota. During this time he also met the Jerry and Randy Havel, whose passion for woodcock rival his own. Since graduating, Kyle works as a wildlife biologist in the Twin Cities Metro Area.
Time chasing woodcock in the spring and summer led him to pick up a side by side shotgun and chase them in the fall as well, along with grouse, waterfowl, and any other winged game. Wanting a versatile hunting partner after finishing up graduate school, Kyle has a three year-old Wirehaired Pointing Griffon named Leopold (“Leo” for short). Kyle and Leo get “up north” as much as possible and look forward to spending time at Pineridge each fall. Leo works fairly close and is hard on point which is ideal for a relaxing hunt through the golden aspen leaves.
Kyle is happy to share his knowledge about woodcock, but will also talk at length about any and all wildlife and share some good hunting tales as well.
Donna was born and raised on the seacoast of New Hampshire (yes, NH does have a seacoast!). She was always drawn to dogs and the great outdoors. Most afternoons you would find her wandering the woods behind her house with a goofy labrador – old English sheepdog cross. She studied natural resource management at Cornell University, although she had no idea how she would make a living at it. Along with a hefty dose of science, college also offered the opportunity to learn trap shooting and bee keeping as well as to become a rabid hockey fan. A career did in fact develop for her, as a series of jobs plus pursuing a Master’s degree led her to upstate New York, Saskatchewan, and Wisconsin, before finally landing her first permanent job with the Minnesota DNR. Since 1998 she has been a fisheries research biologist with the DNR in Detroit Lakes, where she lives with her husband.
The worst part about years of schooling and renting apartments was not having a dog. After rescuing an elderly English setter cross, she wanted her next dog to have a job, but wasn’t sure which dog sport to pursue. Then she moved to Detroit Lakes and met Earl Johnson, who introduced her to upland bird hunting and helped her find her first bird dog (a four year old English setter). That spring, he took her out to band American Woodcock, and a passion was born. Although her setter never did learn the secrets of nesting woodcock, she was determined to band birds. A wish list of traits for her next dog and a lot of research, led her to buy a small munsterlander, one of the German versatile pointers. Donna and Annie went on to become a productive woodcock banding team, and they spent many happy hours enjoying the ‘catch and release’ season. Together they banded over 300 woodcock. In 2015, Earl Johnson retired from his volunteer position of managing Minnesota’s woodcock banding program and Donna was convinced to take over the administrative duties. With the help of Jerry and Pineridge Grouse Camp, a training program for new banders has been successful in getting new banders certified each year and the program is growing.
Of course, fall hunting is a big part of Donna’s life as well, although if you get her started talking about woodcock banding you might not know it. The majority of her time is spent pursuing grouse and woodcock, but she also hunts pheasants and prairie chickens from time to time. The thrill of working as a team with a dog who is doing the job they were born to do is the best part of hunting, be it spring or fall. Her current bird dog is a two year old Kleine Munsterlander (the name for a German bred small munsterlander) who is proving to be quite a bird dog and an excellent woodcock finder. Always ready for new adventures, Donna is looking forward to guiding at Pineridge and talking birds and dogs around the campfire.
Earl N. Johnson
Moccasin Wood Setters
Earl “ The Pearl” Johnson as he’s known at Pineridge Grouse Camp was raised in the town of Fertile, MN hunting with his brothers in the rich farmland as the towns name suggests. Earl attended University of MN receiving a BS in Wildlife Management in Aug 1970 and Worked for MN Department of Natural resources from Jan 1971 and retired in 2010 as the Area Wildlife Manager, Detroit Lakes, MN.
One of Earl’s passions is spring woodcock banding. He has been very influential in the Minnesota banding program and helps every year with the Woodcock wingbee with other Timberdoodle aficionados. One of his jobs is to age and sex every grouse and woodcock that is harvested at Pineridge so we have very accurate numbers and to compare them with the numbers nation wide.
“The Pearl” now enjoys a retired existence in rural Detroit Lakes with Dotz who has kept him out of jail since Sept 1969 and four English Setters who help find birds and the way back to the truck each day of spring banding woodcock and each day of fall hunting prairie grouse, ruffed grouse and woodcock. He was Pineridge Grouse Camp’s first guide and has been a very vital part of the success of Pineridge in such a short time. And if you’re really lucky Kevin will play the Earl song around the fire.
Terry has guided grouse hunters at Pineridge Grouse Camp for the past 9 seasons. He has also guided at the National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt for the past 35 years, with his assigned hunt area being northeast of Remer, Mn., so he’s no stranger to the area. He started bird hunting the area north of Remer in 1970 when he started dating his now wife of 44 years that had a cabin and tree farm on Vermillion Lake.
Terry has 2 Drahthaar’s in his kennel. Nellie and Lena. Lena was just a puppy in 2013 when she first came to PGC and took over the place. Now as a five-year-old she has earned her stripes here at PGC and thinks she runs the campfire activities in the evening. Terry recently added Pineridge Lucy, a spunky Elhew pointer from PGC.
Terry spent 35 years working for Robert Bosch in Brooklyn Park, MN, starting as an Electrical Engineer, then EE Manager, then Engineering Manager, then Director of Operations, and finishing up as Director of Regulatory Compliance. He accepted an early retirement offer in 2008, hoping to be able to take at least a couple years off entirely. Didn’t even get out the door before Bosch set their hooks back in him as a consultant, and Purina latched on to his dedication to breed trials and signed him up as a Field Consultant for the Sporting Dogs Marketing Group. Since then, Pineridge has taken all of his free time in October to guide grouse hunters. Terry also judges NAVHDA tests in the summer and has been banding Woodcock in the spring since 1991.
Barb Wire Kennels
Barry Godwin calls himself a native born Texican. Living his life in Texas, you may wonder how he became a grouse guide in Minnesota. He started young, hunting Bobwhite quail in Texas with his dad. Barry was a bird dog guy from that point on. Introduced to Woodcock hunting in south Louisiana wet his interest and after a bit of research he landed at Pineridge as a regular.
Barry and his very understanding wife Cathleen live in Lipan Texas. Together the operate Barb Wire Kennels, raising and training their beloved French Brittany’s. Barry guides wild quail hunts in Texas and hunts upland birds across the US. He also has an affection of field trialing, as a handler and a judge. Barry and Cathleen have two daughters, Jordan of Jacksboro, Texas and Bailea of Sumter, South Carolina.
W. J. Worrell, In Remembrance
It’s with swollen eyes and a very heavy heart that I need to let you know that our beloved Virginian, friend, mentor and member of the PGC family, W.J. has passed away early November, 2017 from a heart attack.
He has hunted with me for over 20 years and has been with us every step of the way on creating the camp. When I needed to get someone a grouse, WJ was the man. When I needed a guest to come to earth a bit, the long-legged Virginian would take them for a long walk. If you were lucky to spend a day in the woods with him, you can consider yourself blessed. He was one of the best grouse hunters I have ever known. Deadly with a .410 and never afraid to shoot it.
He is survived by his wife Donna, daughter Brittney and setter Jazzy and new pup Kimber.He will be missed but will always have a place in the lore of Pineridge. Thank you, our dear friend, for your friendship and love. Godspeed W.J.
Jerry Havel, PGC
Guide at Pineridge from 2002-2017
W. J. was born in rural Southwest Virginia and blessed with a Dad that instilled a passion for hunting and all things out-of-doors. He grew up hunting quail and grouse with setter dogs where a lifetime of great memories in the uplands was established. W. J. went to college at Virginia Tech and earned a BS in Biochemistry and subsequently went to work for Hercules Powder Company at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant as a Chemist. Besides hunting, shooting and reloading had also become major interests. Fortunately, Hercules needed scientists with interests in gun performance and ballistics. So within 6 months of joining Hercules W. J. became a “Propellant Development Engineer” and for most of the rest of his 30 year career, his job was essentially also his hobby. He felt the need for additional education and went back to Virginia Tech part time while working full time for Hercules and earned an MS in Physical Chemistry. W. J. progressed in various engineering/technical functions to Technical Director, Chief Scientist, Chief Engineer and ultimately Program Manager where he ran the Alliant Powder Business. He holds several patents for propellants, propellant processing and ammunition design. W. J. has traveled extensively for work but most recently spent several months in Australia assisting with a propellant plant start-up (so he might call you “Mate”). After a great 30 year career with Hercules and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) W. J. was fortunate enough to retire and become a consultant which has left much more time for upland hunting. His consulting business is aptly named “UpLand Propellant Technologies, LLC”. W. J. has one other consuming passion and that is shooting Sporting Clays.
W. J. met Donna, the love of his life, at work and they have been happily married for more than 27 years. They have one daughter, Brittney, who is a senior in HS and plans to go into Pre-Med this fall. The Worrells have 3 dogs, a 10 year old setter named Max, a 6 year old Golden named Dakota, and a brand new setter pup named Jazzy. Jazzy was a popular feature at Pineridge as resident pup this last grouse season.
W. J. and his hunting partner Danny met the Havels through a mutual friend about a decade ago and both became infatuated with grouse hunting in Northern Minnesota. After a couple of 1 week hunting trips to the Havel cabin, they wised up and started staying for two weeks. Over the years W. J. and Danny learned how to find the best covers and also became known as the guys to go with if a LONG brisk walk through the toughest cover was desirable (the best birds are typically a ways off the beaten path). Guiding became an unspoken agreement between these two and Jerry with all parties reaping the benefits. So for the 2013 season, being freshly retired, W. J. spent almost all of October at Pineridge guiding for Jerry and as Earl’s roommate. What a great opportunity to meet the most interesting and accomplished people who were at Pineridge to hunt the “King of the Uplands”.
W. J. plans on being a “Pineridge Regular” for a long time, so if you like propulsion science, high performance weapons, and cool stuff that goes bang, he will tell you all about his profession/hobby and he will take you hunting too.