The American Brittany Club - Page 3

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

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Brace 11 - RuJem's Field of Feathers (McGee) and Maxwell's Charismatic-"Mack" (Maxwell) Mack favored the right side of the course. He seemed affected by the mud and cold and unfamiliar type cover. He got hung up and came in from the rear a few times. Feather was out front and hunting well. She had a stop to flush at 7 on a wild turkey, with Jerry heard to comment that this was the first bird contact he had ever had in Booneville, and it would have to be a turkey. Jerry didn't fire, just took Feather on. She continued to handle kindly and smartly. At 17, she had a non-productive stand at the 109 crossing. Her entire hour was a consistent effort to find birds. When Jerry picked her up, he said, "1500 birds out here and you couldn't find me even one." She certainly tried hard.....

Brace 12 - The Prairie Tornado-"Twister" (Tillson) and RC's Rone Ranger-"Sandy" (Richter) Twister and Sandy, a pair of roan dogs, had the third course. Sandy was the wider of the two, but both were checking out all the cover they could reach. At 20, Twister pointed into a water filled copse, with Ed unable to produce in front of her. Sandy was making some wide swings to the right. As we entered the Lover's bend portion of the course, a covey boiled out across the road directly in front of the handlers. No dogs involved as far as we could see. Sandy pointed about a hundred yards up the same line that they had come out of at 44, then moved on. He worked the opposite way from what they had flown, and again established at the far right end of this line with no birds in front of him. Taken on from this he grabbed the right edge and made a big move. At 56, Sandy was called on point, with Twister in the vicinity acting very birdy but not seeing Sandy, and not stopped. Rob waited for Ed to get Twister out of there, before attempting a flush. No birds seen here. At 59, Twister pointed on the woods edge that is the end of the course; she started creeping while Ed was trying to flush and he released her to relocate. She was unable to do so in a timely fashion.

Brace 13 - Blaze'n Micro Blast (Cowling) an Double Tee Belle (Lincoln) In the early portions of the course, the two dogs were together a lot. Past the creek crossing, Belle broke away and began to make good use of the course. At 48, she had a dug up find in a line of briar to the right in the cotton field. A long ride followed with the horses sinking deep with every step. The quail wanted to run rather than fly, and in the course of the action Belle turned slightly in order to follow their movement. Dave was able to get two of them airborne. Blast is a young dog, getting his first experience at the Nationals, and was a little immature. The brace ended up turning the chute parallel to the Petit Jean River, the two dogs paired up again.

Brace 14 - Make My Day Dude (Tillson) and Smarteyes Joker-"Jordan" (Ralph) Dude and Jordan are half brothers and very similar in appearance and application. They moved out well on course two, each independently forward on different lines. On the Riblin Knoll Road at 8, Steve had his hat in the air, and as we rounded the trees on the left there was Jordan standing tall, with Dude silhouetted beside him, 15 feet away. A large, well located covey rose, and a divided find was recorded. Each dog continued to apply himself to the business at hand through the loop and the parrish fields. At 48, working his way down the right edge of the cover running along 109 crossing, Jordan slowed, turned, styled up and had himself a jim dandy find on a covey. He was strong running to finish along the chute past the bridge. Dude also retained his powerful stride right to pick up.

Brace 15 - Just Call Me Roy (Cherry) and Go Man-"Zack" (Katzel) Cast away on course 3 over the bridge, both dogs went to the front with purpose and speed. Roy was about as far out as the eye could see, taking lines and charging forward. At 18, point was called for him on a feed strip to the right. He had a positive demeanor but had to be relocated. He wasted no time in pinning them at the end of the strip, with impeccable manners. Coming off this find he again shot to the front, hunting all the way and at 23, he pointed intensely near an old feeder. The covey was right where he said it was, with all in order at the flush. Roy was getting to be a handful and Ken had to handle him aggressively to keep him on the tight course. He was growing stronger as the hour progressed. At 48, he was found to the front on point, facing into a water saturated mote. Ken tried briefly to flush, but elected to take a non-productive rather than relocate. (The dog wagon would flush a covey 30 feet from here along the road when they went through a few minutes later.) Zack was by no means out of this, as he was covering lots of ground with plenty of drive. At 56, he took a covey out of the woods edge in the precise spot that Twister had a non-productive earlier in the day. Roy had eaten up so much course that he had to do a couple minutes of blasting through the woods at the end of his hour. He managed to make it to the last clearing where he showed us a blistering finish. A standard had been set.......

Posted dogs for the day- Smarteyes Joker, Just Call Me Roy

Thursday morning, November 25, was Thanksgiving Day. Everything was covered with frost, very pretty, very chilly, but the bright blue sky promised it would warm up and it turned out to be a very pleasant day. Jerry McGee offered up a prayer of thanksgiving at break away up on the hill, expressing gratitude for the brave men in service overseas.

Brace 16 - KT's Artic Gladiator (McClary) and Make It A Bud Light (Tate) Gladiator is a big white dog, and Bud a big heavily marked roan dog. Gladiator was seen sparingly the first half hour, but was out front when spotted. At 7, the handlers rode up a covey on the path with no dogs involved. Bud rolled along the edges to the right, the sunlight reflecting off his red coat, and doing a fine job of traversing the course. He recieved a minimum of direction from his handler and appeared to know when to turn, and where to hunt. As we entered the gap through the hedgerow into the bright green wheat field,43 minutes into the brace, point was called for Bud. He was locked up, looking to the right, and his bracemate came shooting through the gap and froze along side of him. Bill flushed a previously unworked covey. His horse took off at the shot, and Paul Katzel gave up his horse for Bill, so the brace could proceed. Near the the Hayden camp area, several deer exited Gladiator leaving them without much problem. Both dogs finished with finesse along side the Petit Jean river.

Brace 17 - Lea's Running Jayhawk -"Jake" (Ackerman) and TJ's Apache-"Bandit" (Tillson) Jake is a veteran 10 year old former winner of this stake, and Bandit, a fine running bird dog, were promising us a good show. Bandit took the bit in his teeth early in the hour and drifted off. He would be ruled out of contention. Ed rode up a covey out sunning himself in a small stand of trees while searching for Bandit. Jake hunted well, but seemed to be struggling as we went through the swampy cold loop. He rallied after he reached the edge and put on a rolling smooth, sustained cast on the right edge, taking it around all the corners and never breaking off of it. It was the kind of move hoped to see in a championship stake, and it was exciting to hear the scout call point at 41 deep in the woods. Jake was intense, with a page wire fence right in front of him. Bo could not flush on either side of the fence, and put Jake over the fence to try to pin what was probably a running covey. Judge Barber dismounted and went into the woods with Bo, but it was a wasted trip. Jake tried to sustain his race once back on course, but was tiring as time was called. As Bo said when he picked him up, the spirit is still willing but the flesh is weak.

Brace 18 - Bouncing Betty (Burton) and Willie Boy's Buddie (Williamson) Betty was light on her feet and fast, getting herself into trouble at 24 when she pushed a covey into the air. Buddie punched his way through the cover in a hard hunting fashion, but ended his bid at 46 with a covey bumped.

Brace 19 - Commanche (Katzel) and Shady's Tia Maria (Little) Commanche was very wide off the breakaway, flashing as a white streak through the trees. Tia was forward and occasionally checking back to her handler. At 7, Tia was spotted to the right of the trail, pointing with high head and tail. A covey was spread all around her. Clem, still weak from the stroke he had suffered 6 weeks previously required some help to remount. Commanche was absent through the mid portion of the course, showing just in the nick of time at the gate. Tia rolled out well, applying herself in admirable fashion, gaining in strength and range as the course opened up. From Hayden Camp onwards, she was a little speck rimming the edges, and doing it on her own. Clem rarely opened his mouth, Tia just handled so kindly he didn't need to. As we approached the bridge, Tia was ripping up the course taking the right side of the cover all the way up at high speed. As we turned a sharp left to do the chute, Tia was briefly behind. Commanche was out front, hunting to the left. Tia soon was out front, giving us a good finish. A very good performance had been witnessed.

Brace 20 - Keystone's Double Shot-"Shooter" (Ken Cherry) and Count Sirocco-"Roc" (Sue D'Arcy) Breaking away on Course 2, both dogs quickly went to the front. Shooter was spotted far to the front at 10, standing along a feed strip. No birds were flushed. Roc was wide but somewhat erratic in pattern. Shooter was running a hard charging kind of all age race. As we approached the 109 crossing, both dogs were deep inside the cover along the road. Shooter eventually showed on the other side of the road. Roc would be ruled out as he had been missing too long. At 60 minutes, Shooter slowed, stopped and a small covey rose simultaneously.

Brace 21 - Diamond Hill Dan-(Pollack) and Shambo's Dark Shadow (Crain) A bracing of these two National Open Champions promised an exciting hour. Dan proved to be a handful on the tight confines of the third course. Spotted once in the distance, he eventually was timed out of contention. Shadow, also a powerful running dog, handled well at the limits of the course. At 46, he was on point into the same water logged mote that Roy had his non-productive at the day before. Shadow was high at both ends and a study of intensity as Bernie flushed the covey directly in front of him. With only minutes to go, Shadow crossed in front of us, and it was apparent to all that something wasn't right. He staggered and became uncoordinated, and could not go on. It is likely that he was suffering from a hypoglycemic episode where his blood sugar had become totally depleted and he had "run into a wall". Bo Ackerman had a high calorie dense product on hand, and within a few minutes of rubbing some on his gums, Shadow stabilized. We are all happy that Shadow was himself again by the time he got to camp.

Posted dogs for the day-Make It A Bud Light and Shady's Tia Maria

Friday, with partly cloudy skies and mild temperatures our last half day was underway at 8 o'clock sharp.

Brace 22 - Mr. Magilcutty-"Mick" (Pool) and Harlan County Cowboy (Medford) Both dogs were to run wide independent races for the entire hour. Mick mostly chose the right side of the course and probed it deeply. Cowboy was perhaps the more forward of the two, as he ran a smooth flowing pattern, needing little scouting. Both dogs had especially big memorable moves along the far left edge apart from one another as we approached Hayden Camp area. At 55, the handlers rode up the bridge covey feeding on the road. The pair had to turn and do the chute to the left, with Cowboy getting a little hung up at this point. Any bird work from these dogs might have made a difference.

Brace 23 - Wichita-"Jake"- (Mantler) and Redline's Tequila Smoker (Leffingwell) Jake broke well forward. At 12, point was called for him, and as we rode to the indicated site, birds were spotted by Judge Barber in the air. When seen, Jake was moving and soon had the rest of a large covey in the air. Smoker had also sped off the breakaway, taking a timber line left to right out front, and disappearing forward from there. The next time he was spotted was deep in the woods by the river as we crossed the road. He came out, dashed across the tall grass to the edge on the right. He did not show again, and eventually the judges gave Bill his tracking device.

Brace 24 - Rambling Man-"Randy"-(Baird) and MoDan's Believer-"Buddy" (Cross) Randy was in gundog mode, short but enthusiastic. Pam picked him up at 18 when he had failed to improve. Buddy ran at moderate range. At 15, he was on point, not looking very convinced about where the bridge covey had landed in Brace 1, but nothing came of it. He continued on, and at 45 pointed with more conviction in a known covey location. Another barren stand and John elected to end his hour early.

The grounds were much improved over last year. Part of the reason, of course, would be better weather conditions, but the efforts provided by Red Bailey and Larry McAnally would be the major factor in the good shape the grounds were in. In September of this year, 1500 quail were released giving them time to covey up and act like wild birds. There was a much higher bird count this year as compared to last. I recorded 34 coveys flushed, 20 of which were worked by dogs. This count includes flushes by scouts, handlers, and dog wagon. In addition, a chukar was spotted, no doubt leftover from a local trainer, and a dog had a stop to flush on a turkey. Course one had eight dog contacts and five ride ups. Course two had four dog contacts and five ride ups, and Course three had eight dog contacts and 6 rode up by people. Had the weather been better, I am sure we would have had more bird contact. A number of times, locations for non-productive stands later became the site of productive finds, and usually the birds were more willing to fly when they were dried out and if the weather was better.

2004 American Brittany Club National Amateur All Age Championship: (48 dogs)

1 - Just Call Me Roy
    by NAFC/FC/AFC Piney Run Sam x FC Mark's Pride of Savannah
    owner Tom Ettinger; handler Ken Cherry

2 - DC/AFC Shady's Tia Maria
    by NFC/DC/AFC Tequila's Joker x FC/AFC Shady's Chik N Little
    owner Clem & Marilynne Little; handler Clem Little

3 - FC Smarteyes-Joker
    by NFC/DC/AFC Tequila's Joker x Smarteyes Microbeans
    owner Steve Ralph; handler Steve Ralph

4 - CH J&M Clark's Trademark
    by FC/AFC The Time Machine x DC/AFC DeLamont Bon Ami
    owner Jim & Mary Crawford; handler Jim Crawford
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