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Camp Thunderbird – A Wisconsin Bird Hunting Film

Camp Thunderbird – A Wisconsin Bird Hunting Film

Camp Thunderbird is the Story of a Grouse Camp Epoch

Brandon Smith and Laine Jewell are not your cookie cutter bird hunters. In fact, the journey to becoming bird hunters came in different ways than most. Brandon got a German Shorthaired Pointer and decided since it was a bird dog, that he would take it bird hunting. Fast forward some years later, and Brandon and Laine take it upon themselves to restore a 100 year old trappers cabin in Wisconsin grouse country. The rundown cabin over time would become the grouse camp- Camp Thunderbird.

Their journey is more than just a grouse camp in the woods. It is the growth of a relationship, a change in lifestyle, learning a new passion for bird hunting, and finding meaning in the grouse woods. Brandon prides himself on the way his dog has evolved in the woods, his pursuit of the King of the Birds, and his fascination with the American Woodcock. Laine shares her pursuit for the Woodcock or doods (as they call them).

This film transcends time as the past becomes the future. A slower life becomes the better life. It is the grouse camp epoch.

Listen: Camp Thunderbird – Brandon Smith – Project Upland Podcast Episode #2

This is a the first feature film of the second season of Project Upland – A Bird Hunting Epic Series.

Check out the trailer and teaser: Watch Now

View Comments (16)
  • awesome video – what gun is she using there at 11:49? Like to get my wife a shotgun, but she’s a bit smaller so anything I’ve got is too big, with the exception of one of my .410s and that’d just be a struggle for a beginner.

  • Awesome. I have been waiting to see this. Brandon and Laine have spent so much time making Camp Thunderbird thier own special place. They both are so talented. No fear of learning new things and following through to be a sucess at what they do. They are so passionate with the dogs. Teaching them how to be great partners in the hunt. They are also pretty cute doggies too. I am proud to Call Brandon my Son. Loving Laine being his girlfriend and seeing the way they grow together.

  • This was a really great film. Reminds me so much of my grandmas cabin. My grandfather built it by hand and expanded it over the years. Has a similar feeling of being home. Found it interesting that my grandfather also enjoyed smoking a pipe and listening to the radio. My dad still tells stories of when they first got a television that was black and white so they would wear skidoo googles to add colour from the lenses. My grandfather would hunt grouse over his lab with a .410 and that is the same gun I got my first grouse with while hunting solo. Those early memories at that cabin hold such a special place in my heart and were one of the main reasons I got a grouse dog.

  • Great video – thank you for sharing! Your film really embodies the sport regardless if you reach your bag limit. It’s about the environment, being in the woods and in nature, that makes it so special.

    Glad to see you’ve been seeing woodcocks. Here where I hunt in Michigan they’ve been rare over the last few years, which is sad to see.


  • That was excellent. Really well done, I wish more people conserved these reminders of the past instead of leaving them to fall to ruin.

  • VERY inspiring video. I’ve known Brandon since was a little boy. An “old soul” with a heart of gold. I’ve always found Brandon to be such an interesting guy. He and I haven’t seen much of each other in the past 10 years or so but I continue to follow him via his mom, Wendy. I always ask about him/how he’s doing. A unique, one in a million, kind of person he is.

  • Love this video. Just returned to NE Ohio from annual bird hunt in the U.P. and would so love to be able to spend more time there.

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