Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Invitational Champions

A must-have book for the field trialer and pointing dog aficionado, The Invitational Champions, by John P. Russell, covers extensively the past 56 champions of what has been deemed the "dream trial" by the late William F. Brown. The Quail Championship Invitational is limited to 12 invited contestants, the best of the best of the previous year's major circuit all-age competitors. "The trial seeks to identify a bird dog with strength, courage, intelligence, and character at the highest level, the best of the best." "The trial provides the most comprehensive and equitable test of the major circuit all-age dogs of the field trial sport." John Russell does a great job of compiling information on each years champion which includes; the authors narrative, a portion of the report from the American Field, a list of each dog running that year - it's handler and owner, information on the champions pedigree and win record, and more. The book is available at, and possibly Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Summer Training 2019

Photo by Holly Higgins
I was very fortunate to be able to make a month-long trip to Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota with my gal, and the dogs and horses, this past August/September. We were able to access Sharptail habitat on both public and private lands, and ran into a good number of birds. We found Sharptails in this brome (CRP) as well as native cover made up of mixed native grasses, sedges, and sage brush. Some coveys were pointed, but many flushed on the approach of the dog. On a couple of occasions, while working dogs in this mid-calf to knee-high CRP, I saw birds running through the cover while atop my horse; I whistled the dogs back to me and got some birds pointed this way. The Sharptails loved to flush wild, so there was some good stop-to-flush work that got done. There were many occasions when a sleeper was kicked up after the initial flush of the covey; if the dogs had movement after the flush we could make a correction, get out in front of the dog, kick around, and hopefully kick up that sleeper. When it happened it was a great way to end a session......

Monday, October 28, 2019

Pups on Birds

Sammi on point
Both Sammi and Ella are 9-months old and are being worked on birds regularly. Sammi has been pointing her birds well and is holding for the flush, while Ella is still ripping and chasing. Both pups have had birds shot over them and are showing promise as young bird dogs.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Cover, Forage, and Birds

On a recent training trip through Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota, this summer, a few observations were made regarding water, cover, feed, and birds. Early in our arrival, even though it was late in the summer season, most of the cover was a lush green; a product of the heavy snow this past winter, late spring rains, and scattered summer thunderstorms. There was a good amount of natural cover and CRP available which didn't really begin to cure-out until about the first week in September. All the CRP, native grasses and sedges, held a ton of hoppers, which was good to see, as hoppers are an important source of protein for young birds. Most of our finds were on Sharptails and bird-work was good. Almost every time the dogs were put down coveys were found; the coveys were made up of both young and old birds. Some finds were of a hen and her clutch, the young old enough to fly well but still distinguishable in size from the mature bird.