2013 Fries Family Hunt

Deana, Jake, Grandpa, Hon,

Dean with Clearcut East Boundry Rebel

Rebel Pointed and Retrieved every Bird

She had a Busy Day

Deana and her dog Clearcut I'm Heavens Harmony

Fall 2013

Mostly White Woodcock

This was harvested at the 2009 National Grouse and Woodcock Hunt

I did not shoot this bird, it was Harvested by one of the other teams.  However, their success made my day!

 2009 Opening Day Hunt

Clearcut Uff-Da


Clearcut Rockstar


Clearcut Lightning Trap



2008 Opening Weekend Hunt

Clearcut Partner in Crime


Sunday Noon

 '07 Grouse Season

Stay tuned for updates

I intend to keep this page updated as the season progresses with information on Ruffed Grouse.  This will include items like Grouse numbers, Grouse habitat, flush counts, as well as stories from the season and perhaps some hunting tactics.  I will also try to capture some pictures of the gordon setters working birds in good grouse habitat.

I will leave you with this:  The Lord has givin each and everyone of us a set number of autumns and none of use know how many that will be.  So get out and enjoy those Crisp Autumn days hunting Grouse and Woodcock with your Gordon Setters and please check back for some updates from time to time.

I wish all of you a Happy and Productive Wild Bird Season! 

 Clearcut Partner In Crime


Dean's Opening Day Harvest


 Clearcut Lightning Trap


Tim's Opening Day Harvest

 Clearcut Red Rose


Sunday was also very productive!

 Clearcut Puff Of Smoke


On Sunday Tim brought his new dog out for a spin!



The above pictures give an excellent representation of a Red Phase (left) and a Gray Phase (right) 

In Northern Minnesota the gray phase is the predominant color however when the grouse population is in the up cycle you will see a noticable bump in the red color phase!

 Wyndancer Clearcut Ruby

Notice the ratio of red to gray color phase in the above photo.  4 red's and 1 gray

The cool part is:  Ruby is getting the hang of Grouse hunting! 


 Clearcut Kelcastle Life of O'Riley

Riley spends most of his time in pursuit of Wild Ring Necks.  But given the opportunity to hunt some Minnesota Ruffs and those Grouse genes just come to the surface! (and check the pointing style out on the Stud Dog Page)


Tom Nolan and I spent approximately 2 hour in pursuit of these 5 Grouse, we hunted a pair of dogs and moved 28 birds.  Many of the birds were pointed by one or both of the dogs.  It was a fast and furious two hours.  Think about it we hunted for 120 minutes which equates to a grouse every 4.3 minutes.

Now thats fun! 







 Ethan And his first 2 Woodcock

I am really proud to tell this story of my Nephew, Ethan.  We spent the weekend of October 13 hunting Grouse and Woodcock.  This is the first time Ethan has hunted over a dog and up to this point has not shot a game bird, so I was feeling the Pressure to bring him on a quality hunt that would result in some birds in the game bag. 

We put Clearcut Leapin Lena on the ground and proceeded into a 5 year old aspen clearcut with the hopes of finding a few Woodcock.  About a half hour into our hunt Lena had stopped on point but the bird took flight before we could get to the dog.  The bird flew from left to right and came out my direction.  I got a pretty good look as he came back down about 200 yards to my right.  We turned the dog loose in that general direction and hunted on.

A few minutes later Lena's bell stopped and we went looking.  As we approached the dog, I knew we had this bird pinned.  Ethan got set and I proceeded to flush the bird.  The Woodcock flushed straight up and out of the cover, when it reached the height of its upward flight and started moving away Ethan touched off a load of # eights and collected his First Woodcock.

I couldn't believe it!  His first try ever at shooting a wild bird in the air and he smokes him.  That was a special moment that I hope He will cherish forever,  I know I will!  You can tell there is Fries Blood running through his Veins!

Not ten minutes later Lena points another bird and Ethan wing shoots his second woodcock with a one shot kill.


Ethan and His First Ruffed Grouse!

We broke for lunch, took a few pictures and then focused our efforts on Ruffed Grouse.  I figure this is going to be a bit tougher to have success, ten year old aspen is good cover for grouse but it is thick and the shooting is quick and tough.  Lena was our dog of choice and we headed into the covert.  Ethan missed the first bird but brought down the second bird and collected his first Ruffed Grouse!  So up to this point in the day Ethan has shot 4 shells and has killed three birds, One Grouse and Two Woodcock!

Congratulations Ethan and Welcome to Bird Hunting!




2006 Opening Weekend

What a Mess of Birds!

                                                 Clearcut  Naughty But Nice "Lacey"

      Lacey is Fast and to the POINT

Minnesota Grouse Dog Association




2006 Season

Hunting with my 75 year old Dad 

The Old Timer can still put in a full days work!  I was getting a little tired of asking him to slow down!  


                                              Early in the day with eight  Birds.

This young Dog, Clearcut Ranger, is gaining valuable experience.  She is Snappy on the ground and Pointing her birds.

                              We added 6 more birds to the game bag in the afternoon


2005 Season

 At the bottom of the grouse cycle but getting it Done!


  Clearcut Lever Action.   


Ruger cutting his teeth on Ruffed Grouse for the first time ever.  I am pleased to say that the Natural Grouse Hunting ability that Clearcut Kennels is always breeding for is in this dog in SPADES!

On October first Dick Schoenrock (his call name is "Rock") and I slipped into this sweet little cover we call "Slaughter House 5".  We moved 14 birds in 1 1/2 hours.  Ruger pointing 13 of them. 

In just a few days of hunting Ruger has figured out how to point and hold Grouse for the gun.  The picture above shows that Rock and I held up our end of the bargain!   

Ruger has turned into a true Hunting Gordon Setter worthy of the title "Bird Dog"  Or to be more spacific a "GROUSE DOG"  





A testimonial from The Upper Peninsala of Michigan

Hunting Gordon Setters


The following testimonials are from Jack Anderson and his New Pup (call Name "Chopa") Chopa is out of a breeding between Clearcut High Plains Drifter and Trapshooter.  Chopa is Truly an Excellent Example of a HUNTING GORDON SETTER 

The neat thing about this is that Chopa was whelped June 15, 2005.  Making Her a 14 week old pup when this occured

Testimonial dated October 04, 2005 

I have to give you an update on Chopa. This dog is an incredible example of a Hunting Gordon. I just returned from Upper Michigan and all I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!! At 14 weeks She has been on birds better than most dogs at 1 year. She did not range or ever quit hunting. We had our first point and kill on a woodcock. She did not retrieve but she was right on this bird. The first 2 days I hunted her by myself and she listened like a pro. This is not an exaggeration, she pointed a minimum of 10 woodcock and 3 grouse. She would hold the point after I would shoot at times. I have never seen a dog hunt like this at her age. The guys I hunt with either have dogs or have had dogs. They say this is not normal, my brother says she is the Doogie Howser of dogs. I am heading back up tomorrow for another long weekend. Can't wait!!!!!!!!!! I will keep you informed on her progress.
                      Thanks, Jack Anderson Chopa
Testimonial is dated October 28, 2005
Dean & Jill,
I attached a picture from Park Falls. Chopa pointed all three birds. One quick story for you. My brother and I were hunting the edge of a popple slashing along small ridge when Chopa got really hot. I started to tell my brother to get ready but before I could finish she locked up. I looked over and saw the biggest snow shoe of my life. Needless to say I was disapointed. Well that snowshoe took one hop and 2 grouse flew up. Scared the heck out of me. I missed the first one but hammered number 2. I was not sure if the dog went after the rabbit or where she was. I heard her bell and followed the sound right to the bird. She was all over it. She actually picked it up. This dog is great. I've been hunting her every weekend. Last week Bill and I went to the game farm and put them on quail. Both dogs did well.   Thanks, Jack

If you breed for Wild Bird instincts Good things will result!  

Congratulations Jack!  I will have to say that it takes two things to be blessed with a pup like Chopa.  The pups have to be bred right (with Wild bird Instincts!) and the owner has to give their pup plenty of experience and opportunity.  My Hat is off to your dedication!

We will continue to Strive to improve our Gordon Setters as Wild Bird Dogs!  The only way that we know of is to continually run them on Wild Bird 


The following testimonial is from Bill Freeman and his New Pup (call Name "Dakota") Dakota is out of a breeding between Clearcut High Plains Drifter and Trapshooter. Also welped 6/15/05 

 Testimonial dated January 1, 2006

Dean and Jill:

I have attached a picture of Dakota on Point at our Hunt club at 6.5 months of age, she held the point long enough for several photos and for my 14 year old son to properly position himself for the right shot. Dakota is developing into an awesome bird dog! Today we had 15 pheasants put out on an ~ 50 acre parcel and we had over 15 points, 14 flushes and killed 10. Dakota picked up every bird shot, hens and roosters alike and retrieved one of the birds to my hand.

Her ability in the field is outstanding but her best qualities are evident in the house as a pet. She is by far the best behaved Gordon I have owned (I have owned three). She gets a lot of attention from our four children who adore her. Her gentle attitude and personality are evident when dealing with the kids. When you described her elders as "stop and go" dogs you have described Dakota perfectly.

I thought it would be impossible to replace our last Gordon, Bailey, we have not replaced her but have set a new standard with Dakota I am confident would be difficult to exceed. I just wanted to drop a note to thank you for all of your efforts in securing a good breed of Gordons. As I awaited the arrival of Dakota I was tempted by other breeder opportunities, however, am very glad I had the patience to wait for this proven line. Thanks again, I will keep in touch.

Bill Freeman

I have spoke with Bill on the phone and Dakota also did a very nice job on Grouse and Woodcock this fall.  Less than a year old and getting it done, Now that is what a breeder likes to hear!  That tells me they are natural bird dogs with the predisposition to point wild birds, with retrieving instincts to boot! 

I believe our philosophy of breeding only the best wild bird dogs to the best wild bird dogs is the key!  Proving out dogs on pen raised birds (that are usually released from the pen only moments earlier) tells you very little.  Wild birds are alive for a reason, they know how to avoid fox, coyotes, hawks, hunters and dogs.  Our breeding program is about proving out every generation on wild birds....... I think this approach is paying dividends!! 


Testimonial dated August 8, 2006

Hello Dean:


First let me apologize for not contacting you sooner, I

Usually wait a year to pass judgment on a dog, and it?s been a year. Well let me tell you this Started dog that you sold me is unbelievable! (Or maybe I should say this dog you gave away) she is all I could ask for in a bird dog and more!! Her first season last year, she was pointing grouse and woodcock and honoring other dogs. I have her on quail this summer and what a pleasure to watch her work. She picks scent up over a hundred yards away if the conditions are right. She stands off Her birds and doesn?t get in close; I suspect you developed her to not crowd the grouse. On woodcock I like her to be a little closer and we are working on that. I am learning to handle her better and if she was in the hands of a real trainer such as your self she could be a champion! I learned not to be to forceful with my whoa command otherwise one of the few faults she has shows and that is because of me over commanding and not letting her do her thing (I?m learning still) she drops her rear end crouches if I yell to loud. Nerves I suspect. She will tic that tail ever so slightly if she doesn't get a strong scent but steadies up, leg rose, as she holds.  And what a nose!! Several times she has located birds either holed up or wounded that we were convinced were not there but because of her strong desire and dedication we find them! She is sooo beautiful on point and will be sending you a mess of pictures soon. She is steady to wing and we are working on steady to shot this weekend.

Now as for the home front well let us just say she is the princess and knows it! My wife has spoiled her rotten!!! You will see by the pictures we send! I am looking forward to this season with her because of obvious reasons! My other Gordon is almost 12 and this is probably his last season. He has been a good dog, not much to look at but a real hunter. I will be looking to replace him possibly in 1-2 years and would like to get a started male from you in the summer of 2007 or 2008, so please keep that in mind if you would. I will be communicating further about this. In conclusion Aurora is more dog than I could ever hope for and need (she probably should be in the hands of a pro) but I would never give her up now. THANKS for the super dog!!!




Dean W. and Jill M. Fries
Clearcut Kennels
5639 Hwy 31
Culver, MN 55779
(218) 345-6409

or contact us by e- mail:

Home of the Clearcut Grouse Dog

Clearcut Leapin Lena
Opening Weekend 2003

 Clearcut Kennel      Springset Ice Hot
     '03 NFC / FC / AFC Gunsmoke Rising
       TNT's Busy Lizzie
       FC / AFC Falcons Jeb
     Falcons To The Extreme
       Falcons Awesome Strike
 Clearcut Leapin Lena  
       Springset Ice Hot
     Kelcastle Red Knight Hunter JH
       Springset Wiz Of An Answer JH
   Clearcut High Plains Drifter 
       NFC / NAFC / FC / AFC Pal Joey
     Clearcut Buckaroo JH
       FC Gordon'ach Remington Steele