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Attending Any Gun Dog Events this Spring?

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February 09, 2011

Attending Any Gun Dog Events this Spring?

By Chad Love

Spring is just around the corner, which means all over the country local gundog and breed clubs are planning their spring, summer and fall trials and events. Retriever guys, pointy dog enthusiasts and flushers have a dizzying array of local or regional field trials and hunt tests from which to choose. If you've never been to a gundog event, do yourself a favor ands seek one out.

Most trials and hunt tests are put on by local clubs who would love nothing more than to have people just come check it out. You could learn a lot just by watching great dogs and talented trainers. At the very least it will give you some idea of what both you and your dog are capable of and at best it will push you over the edge into a full-on gundog obsession, which is always a good thing.

Any readers have plans participate in or at least attend a gundog event this spring or summer?

Comments (6)

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I can't afford another obsession but after the tot gets a little bigger I may be able to afford a gun dog. When that happens I'll see a few shows. And I'll ask this question. Which ones are most suitable for pointing quail in brushy terrain where every plant has some kind of sticker or thorn?

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from chadlove wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Hi Mike, that's sort of a loaded question, you know...but I honestly don't think you can't go wrong with any of the pointing breeds. Pointers, shorthairs, setters, whatever strikes your fancy, although pointers probably do a little better than the other breeds in hotter weather...

Still hoping to make it Arizona for a quail hunt next year...

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from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

This recent season we had a lot of late broods. Quail season started and there were large coveys still towing substantial numbers of fledgelings. After the first day I put off hunting them for a month to give the wee ones more time to learn the ropes. The late season was pretty good for quail. Cottontail rabbits were way off -- I supect they were at or near the bottom of their demographic cycle.

I collected my usual share of cactus spines along with my birds. That's why I wonder about right dog. Actually, I worry most about their feet. But I guess if coyotes can master the terrain, dogs can as well.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

My dogs will never be field trial champs (though I owned one once who probably could have been except that she was not purebred). But Pearl and Opal are hard to beat in the field - and in the home. They're not robots and they goof around a bit, but I don't care. It's fun watching them have fun. I see too many of the field trial guys who are so hung up on finesse that no one has any fun, either man or dog. For me, being in the field is not about competition. Over the last forty-six years I have been blessed with many wonderful accomplishments in the field but I was never trying to do anything exceptional. It was about enjoying myself in the outdoors, not attaining some kind of perfection.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Many Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) chapters put on inexpensive Fun Trials each year, culminating in State Gun Dog of the Year finals. These are not for finished dogs, but as one friend puts it, for the hunting dog that shares your couch. Run by volunteers. Often both pointing and flushing divisions. We typically plant chukar in Michigan.

In my chapters we try to take pix and post them online. The owners love to see pix of their dogs and themselves in action. Also a great way for the photographer to watch the dogs working up close, walk a few miles, and maybe get an excellent shot.

SE Michigan has a Fun Trial in Chelsea, MI on March 19, 2011. Great location. A hearty lunch for cheap. May or may not allow a gallery, but still worth a visit to see how it is done.

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from uppermidwestboykins wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

The Upper Midwest Boykin Spaniel Club has already planned two Boykin-only Upland Hunt Tests for the coming months. May 7 and 8 in Blooming Prairie, MN and Sept 17 and 18 in Fond du Lac, WI. These hunt tests are sanctioned by the Boykin Spaniel Society, the breed registry, and any BSS-registered dog may enter. The HRC Upland Hunt Test program is winding down for the season in the midwest, but many Boykins continue to participate. On February 27, an 11 month old dog named Ted became the youngest Boykin to earn a UH title.

Boykins can be seen at almost every HRC Regular Hunt Test in the midwest throughout the spring and summer. People who are thinking about obtaining a Boykin for their hunting companion should come out and see them work!

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

My dogs will never be field trial champs (though I owned one once who probably could have been except that she was not purebred). But Pearl and Opal are hard to beat in the field - and in the home. They're not robots and they goof around a bit, but I don't care. It's fun watching them have fun. I see too many of the field trial guys who are so hung up on finesse that no one has any fun, either man or dog. For me, being in the field is not about competition. Over the last forty-six years I have been blessed with many wonderful accomplishments in the field but I was never trying to do anything exceptional. It was about enjoying myself in the outdoors, not attaining some kind of perfection.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I can't afford another obsession but after the tot gets a little bigger I may be able to afford a gun dog. When that happens I'll see a few shows. And I'll ask this question. Which ones are most suitable for pointing quail in brushy terrain where every plant has some kind of sticker or thorn?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Hi Mike, that's sort of a loaded question, you know...but I honestly don't think you can't go wrong with any of the pointing breeds. Pointers, shorthairs, setters, whatever strikes your fancy, although pointers probably do a little better than the other breeds in hotter weather...

Still hoping to make it Arizona for a quail hunt next year...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

This recent season we had a lot of late broods. Quail season started and there were large coveys still towing substantial numbers of fledgelings. After the first day I put off hunting them for a month to give the wee ones more time to learn the ropes. The late season was pretty good for quail. Cottontail rabbits were way off -- I supect they were at or near the bottom of their demographic cycle.

I collected my usual share of cactus spines along with my birds. That's why I wonder about right dog. Actually, I worry most about their feet. But I guess if coyotes can master the terrain, dogs can as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Many Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) chapters put on inexpensive Fun Trials each year, culminating in State Gun Dog of the Year finals. These are not for finished dogs, but as one friend puts it, for the hunting dog that shares your couch. Run by volunteers. Often both pointing and flushing divisions. We typically plant chukar in Michigan.

In my chapters we try to take pix and post them online. The owners love to see pix of their dogs and themselves in action. Also a great way for the photographer to watch the dogs working up close, walk a few miles, and maybe get an excellent shot.

SE Michigan has a Fun Trial in Chelsea, MI on March 19, 2011. Great location. A hearty lunch for cheap. May or may not allow a gallery, but still worth a visit to see how it is done.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from uppermidwestboykins wrote 3 years 6 weeks ago

The Upper Midwest Boykin Spaniel Club has already planned two Boykin-only Upland Hunt Tests for the coming months. May 7 and 8 in Blooming Prairie, MN and Sept 17 and 18 in Fond du Lac, WI. These hunt tests are sanctioned by the Boykin Spaniel Society, the breed registry, and any BSS-registered dog may enter. The HRC Upland Hunt Test program is winding down for the season in the midwest, but many Boykins continue to participate. On February 27, an 11 month old dog named Ted became the youngest Boykin to earn a UH title.

Boykins can be seen at almost every HRC Regular Hunt Test in the midwest throughout the spring and summer. People who are thinking about obtaining a Boykin for their hunting companion should come out and see them work!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment