I know there are a lot of gundog owners out there who care nothing at all for “dog games”, but if you’ve never been to a field trial, hunt test, or some other competitive or standards-based shooting dog event, you really owe it to yourself to go watch one. They really are cool to watch, even if if you never have any intention of competing. Plus you get to spend time with lots of other dog-crazy like-minded individuals.

But please, people, pick your event carefully, or you might find yourself at an event that’s just all kinds of wrong.

From this story in the Maryville (MO) Daily Forum:
Combining his love of animals with his passion for the outdoors, Maryville’s Harlan Higginbotham has taken to raising hunting dogs that are used in competition. In March, his most prized pooch–H’s Hedge Rise Ignited–became a national shooting dog champion on the field trialing circuit. The six-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer took first place out of the fourth brace in the 60th annual National Dog Shooting Championships at J. Perry Mikles Wildlife Demonstration Area in Boonville, Ark.

Now, I’ve never attended the National Dog Shooting Championship, so I’m not sure how the format works. Is the last dog to survive the fusillade crowned champion? Or is the dude who shoots the most dogs champion? I dunno. All I know is that good copy editing is becoming something of a lost art these days.

Anyways, congratulations to Harlan Higginbotham and “Aggie” for the win in what I’m assuming is the National Shooting Dog Championship.