Camp Thunderbird

Camp Thunderbird Embodies a Love for Upland Game Birds and the Past

In this latest film by Project Upland, Brandon Smith is rejuvenated by the restoration of an old cabin and finds new meaning in an old tradition.

Brandon Smith calls the old log cabin he's restoring "Camp Thunderbird." This cabin has come to represent so much more to Smith and his girlfriend Lane Jewel than just a cabin in the woods. It represents a simpler, slower lifestyle, defined by ruffed grouse and woodcock.

This Project Upland film takes a loving and thoughtful look at two people whose relationship has been changed by the land and the wild birds that call it home.

From lighting his pipe to trekking through the woods with their German Shorthaired Pointer in search of grouse and woodcock, Brandon and Laine revel in their life at Camp Thunderbird. Their dog is actually the reason Brandon got into upland bird hunting in the first place.

It was nothing more complicated than that. He got a bird dog, so he decided to train it to hunt birds. That decision led him to restoring a 100-year-old log cabin and pursuing grouse and timberdoodle in the surrounding forests, which in turn has led to a mindset and lifestyle change for Brandon and Laine.

Smith dubbed the cabin Camp Thunderbird, and it has become more than just a grouse or timberdoodle camp. It embodies the spirit of a simpler time.

Project Upland beautifully captured this life-changing journey.

What could be better than following your dog through the saplings in autumn, shooting at woodcock and ruffed grouse? What about heading back after which you head back to a log cabin in northern Wisconsin, for old-time radio, a pipe and supper of fresh game bird.

The answer is nothing...nothing could be better.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.