Hunting preserve to host trials

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mower County’s newest form of outdoor entertainment will be on display this weekend in LeRoy.

Dogs, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the North Field Trial for the National Llewellin Setter Club starting bright and early, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The competition ends on Sunday.

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Ben Jacobsen, who recently opened Three Arrows Hunting Preserve in rural LeRoy, is excited for his first event. Though his hunting preserve has been open since the beginning of August, the hot weather hasn’t provided much business or hunting opportunities. Jacobsen has hoped for this day for seven years, as he’s patiently been waiting for the vegetation to mature into a prime setting for birds.

Landing the competition at his property in his first year of business came by a stroke of luck, as a facility in Lonsdale, Minn., closed, and the Llewellin Setter Club agreed to move its competition to Jacobsen’s place.

This weekend will offer excitement for not only Jacobsen and the competitors, but for anybody who wants to watch the event, which is free. According to Jacobsen, the dogs have some serious talent.

“They are a pointing breed, really strong noses, and you’re going to see some really, really good hunting bird work,” he said.

There will be about 16 dogs competing in three different classes this weekend, from finished to intermediate to puppy.

“The puppies, they are just a riot to watch,” Jacobsen said, and added some puppies already act mature, while others simply try to play.

During the two-day competition, spectators will see a shoot-and-retrieve format. The dogs will have to find the birds, hold their points, and the trainers will have to flush the bird and shoot it. They will receive no points if they don’t shoot the bird or if the dog doesn’t retrieve.

More than anything, Jacobsen is excited to bring an event to LeRoy that will throw a little money at the local economy.