2017 RMC NAVHDA Test Dates Announced

IMG_1878RMC NAVHDA hosts 2 two-day tests each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

2017 Test Dates

  •  Saturday, May 20 / Sunday, May 21st.
  •  Saturday August 19 / Sunday August 20th.

2017 Test Fees

  • Natural Ability – $145
  • Utility – $150
  • Add $25 to the above fees if not a member of RMC.

For more information, please refer to our Tests page, where you’ll find  2017 RMC NAVHDA Testing Information and the current NAVHDA Test Entry form. Slots are assigned according to the order in which completed applications and fees are received, so register now.

Rocky Mountain Chapter Annual Meeting


The RMC Board invites you to its annual meeting on Tuesday Jan. 17 at the Rock Bottom Brewery off CO 36 in Westminster, starting at 5:30 pm. Active members are encouraged to attend – and those interested to learn about RMC NAVHDA are welcome. Please RSVP using the Signup Genius portal and IMG_1839plan to arrive as close to 5 as possible so we can start promptly at 5:30.

RMC NAVHDA experienced strong growth in 2016, more than doubling our membership over previous years. Now our challenge is making sure we meet your needs as a handler and hunter. The annual meeting is where we set our goals for the year – and we need to hear from you.

Key items on the 2017 annual meeting agenda include:img_4834

  • Information on our first-ever indoor training and new handler orientation day in February.
  • A decision on whether to host a NAVHDA Trainer’s Clinic to provide advanced training and handling skills for UT and Invitational handlers.
  • Formalizing 2017 test and training days

As you know, Rocky Mountain Chapter tests fill up quickly, but we don’t accept test registrations until we formalize dates. If you do attend the annual meeting, you’ll be able to register for either or Spring or Fall tests on the spot.

We anticipate being done with the meeting between 6:30 and 7 and look forward to socializing with all members in attendance afterwards. Rock Bottom has a full service restaurant and bar. The Board will provide snacks and finger-food.

Please RSVP so we can plan food and seating accommodations.  We look forward to seeing all members, new and old, as we look forward in anticipation to another great RMC NAVHDA year!

Sincerely, img_4196

Theo Stein

Date: 01/17/2017 (Tue.)
Time: 5:00pm – 8:00pm MST
Location: Rock Bottom Restaurant
Westminster Promenade
Westminster, CO

A new Versatile Champion!


Rick trains a new generation of distraction gunners.

If you’ve attended a Rocky Mountain Chapter training or test day in the last few years, you’ve undoubtedly run in to Rick Huber.

In addition to running the Frontier Chapter, Rick is one of the most reliable, selfless and giving volunteers the Rocky Mountain Chapter has.

So it’s with great pride that we congratulate Rick and his burly, loveable Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Norton on a great achievement – earning the title of NAVHDA Versatile Champion!

From all of us at the Rocky Mountain Chapter – Congratulations Rick & Norton!

Can’t wait to hear the story!


Tom Swezey judging the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s fall test.

Congrats also to Tom Swezey, another pillar of the Chapter, for qualifying Lunn’s Rock Star – only the 81st Irish Setter ever to be registered by NAVHDA – for this year’s Invitational. Like Rick, Tom is selfless with his time, counsel and advice. He’s a highly respected GSP breeder, taken who knows how many dogs to the Invitational,  has served as a mentor to too many current and former Chapter members to count. Tom is irreplaceable resource for the Chapter.

Tom judged our fall test and also served as an Invitational Judge on Thursday.
Tom- thanks for all you do.

Take note all you Rocky Mountain Chapter UT handlers out there: You can get there from here – and we’re ready to help. Have a great hunting season and let’s get you ready for your own Invitational story!

Theo Stein

A very special thanks to our volunteers


Saturday’s stalwart bird crew awaits the judge’s call.

Just a quick note to again thank you for your amazing support of our Fall Test.

Saturday was nice but Sunday was HOT and you all bore up with aplomb.

Once again, we hit all our marks. The judges waited for nothing and the handlers all complimented the Chapter on the show we put on.

We have a very solid membership core now, the best that I’ve seen in my five years with the Chapter. What’s also gratifying is the number of you who have moved past Natural Ability and are squaring up to the challenge of the Utility Test. The Chapter is here for you – we want to be sure you are learn the skills you need to train the dog you want. I hope that volunteering for the tests is giving you perspective on training that will pay dividends in the future.

Look for information soon on a chapter shoot. Please plan to attend our Christmas potluck and annual meeting in December to help us finalize our plans for 2017. And be ready to get a head start on your training in February in a covered county horse arena to be named later.

My sincere thanks to you again. The health of any organization is measured by its ability to attract the next generation. This club is very lucky indeed to count you as members.

Will be in touch soon.
Theo Stein
Rocky Mountain Chapter

Dan Sprague serves as distraction gunner as judges Jason Wade, Jeff Sowerby and Tom Swezey follow a pup into the field.



COBB LAKE SWA – Eighteen handlers enjoyed typical summer conditions ( hot)  and great cover August 20-21 during the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Fall Test.  Scores are below.

The Chapter wants to thank the handlers who presented their dogs for evaluation as well as Senior Jason Wade, and judges Jason Sowerby, Tom Swezey and Brian Thoman for evaluating the handlers and their dogs.


NA Spruce Creek Jed’s Ellie May GR F Jed Tallman 112 / Pz I
Spanish Oaks Hot Brown Mess GS F Robert Barr 110 / Pz I
Madison Montana Gripfast GR F Andy Leslie 100 / Pz III
Standing Stones Kennel’s Adelaide GS F Mark Van Akkerman 95 / Pz III
Outlanders Noble Reflection GS F Sara Heesacker 112 / Pz I
Spruce Creek Jedi GR M Bryce Daviess 110 / Pz I
Snowbird’s Johnny Cash GR M Chris Tibbets 102 / Pz III
Northern Exposure Dark Passenger GS F Brian Thoman 106 / Pz II
Dierenfields Birdy Brady GR F James McCardle 95 / Pz III
Hun Hill Diggity Dog GR M Brett Crary 81 / NP
Jason Wade SR
Jeff Sowerby J1
Tom Swezey J2


UT Dutch Hollow J-Henry GS M Gary Gunterman 130 / NP
Bone Points Ukiah GR F Robert Schweikhardt 170 / NP
NA Griffen S Rangel GR M Bruning Rangel 87 / Pz III
Pitypang Ika VI F Aniko Solyom 98 / NP
Jackson’s Creek Whiskey Girl PP F Dale Parker 94 / Pz III
Herz’s Raise a Little Hell SM F Christopher Hirsch 90 / Pz III
Reece Mystiko Crocodile Rock GW F Stephanie Josey 102 / NP
El Oso Diablo GR F Seth Gallagher 112 / Pz I
Jason Wade Sr
Jeff Sowerby J1
Brian Thoman J2

RMC SUMMER BOARD MEETING – Wednesday August 10

To our members:

Thanks to you, it’s been an extraordinary year for the Chapter. Membership is up, attendance at our training days is way up, our volunteers have really stepped forward and we ventured outside our comfort zone and pulled off a successful Handler’s Clinic.

August is a busy month – we’ve got our final training day and Fall Test. Then, if you’re like me, thoughts turn to hunting. So this is a good time to take stock of where we are as a chapter and take up several new business items that  ought to be discussed in person and can’t wait until winter.

So please join us for an RMC board meeting August 10 at the Thornton Cabelas, located just east of I-125 at the W144th exit. We’ll meet in the community room in the northwest corner of the building. The meeting will start at 6 p.m.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can set up seating appropriately.
Here’s our agenda
President’s report
VP’s report
Treasurer’s report
Training Director report
Test Secretary report
Old Business
Chapter gear and equipment needs
New Business
501(c)3 status
Fall Hunts
February 2017 training day
Training Clinic 2017
Other new business
If you can’t make it, no worries – we’ll send out minutes and an email updating you with any decisions we’ve made.
Hope to see you there
Theo Stein

August 13 – Final 2016 Training Day


Well, we’re one week from our final training day of the year and two weeks from our Fall Test, which is again predominantly Natural Ability dogs. Incredible how the year has flown by.

Since we’re not holding a mock test, we will try to make sure every NA dog in the Fall Test is able to practice the track, field and water. NA handlers should plan to buy at least 2 chukar, more if you want extra work. The Chapter will buy a few pheasants for the track exercise.

For UT handlers attending Training Day, we need to hear from you so we can try to focus on the skills you need to refine. Plan to buy 3 chukar and at least one duck, if you want to do water work.

As always, we’ll be gathering  at Cobb Lake SWA. Plan to be there at 7:00 a.m. to we can get started at 7:30.

Please RSVP to rmc.navhda@gmail.com to let us know if you’re coming, what level you’re training at, and the number and type of birds you’d like us to get for you – and whether you can lend a hand helping us run training day.

And if you’ve got a brand new puppy, please let us know that too!


Theo Stein
Rocky Mountain Chapter



June Training Day!

Flyin WireJumpin’ Jehosephat!
The RMC June Training Day is this coming weekend!

Here’s what we’re planning. Like we did in May, we’ll have concurrent stations for both NA and UT dogs. And if you’re testing in August – we really want to see you.

NA dogs will be run through the three testing scenarios: Field, Track and Water.

Our NA focus will be on coaching handlers on how to really handle your dog- learning to attain and maintain dominance over young pups, develop more consistent recall, and discourage long chases and delayed chases in the field.  Your dogs should be pointing consistently by now, but if not, we will address those issues as well.

Performance on tracks for NA dogs is something we will emphasize.  Our chapter members that have been present and actively engaged at this spring’s training days did very well in our Spring Test, with strong release techniques on dogs that had obviously been exposed to tracks.

Some pups lost points during the Spring Test because they did not enthusiastically enter the water, so that’s another focus. At the water, we’ll need help getting the handlers and dogs comfortable with swimming – If you can bring waders or swimming gear, that would be great.

NA handlers, plan on buying at least two chukar – three if you think your dog needs more work. We’ll supply the pheasants.

For our UT handlers – especially those that are on the block in August – we’ll focus this month on building fundamentals of duck search. You’ll need to buy at least 1 duck for duck search. (Get more ducks and chukar, of course, if you want to stay and train on your own in the afternoon, but remember, it may be hot.)

With the number of folks coming to training days – and the number of our volunteers who are in the August test – Saturday will again challenge our ability to deliver a productive, activity-filled training day for all.

That’s why we need you to RSVP as soon as possible to rmc.navhda@gmail.com. Let us know what you’re training for, whether your dogs needs special attention in a particular area, and whether you can help us run your training group.

PLAN ON IT BEING HOT – So bring plenty of water, sunscreen and bug spray. And be at Cobb Lake SWA early – 7:30 at the latest. We want to get going with both groups as soon as possible.

Thanks and look forward to hearing from you.

A special thanks to our test volunteers

This weekend, you were flawless. One of the judges, Craig McLaughlin, called me while I was driving home Sunday and said this was not only the smoothest test he’s ever seen this Chapter run, it was one of the smoothest tests he’d ever participated in. He was very, very impressed, as were the other judges.


Super-volunteer Rick Huber of Cheyenne advises Distraction-Gunner- In-Training Trace Krueger of New Mexico as Derek Thompson and his wirehair Aspen wait to start their field run.

Two and a half years ago, I found myself somehow being the Test Marshal just before one of our tests. I was not prepared….a mental wreck. We cobbled together a handful of volunteers with no idea of how we were going to pull it all off. We did, barely.

This weekend, we had more volunteers than handlers. Going in I knew there was no question we were going to nail this thing. I know some of you must have felt under-deployed while you were out there and I want to make sure you know how valuable your participation was. With everyone there, it didn’t feel like volunteers hustling to put on an event. It felt like the chapter turned out to welcome handlers to a special day. To a person, the handlers and the judges were wowed. Given the turnover the chapter has endured over the past few years, it was enormously gratifying for many of us to see.

The health of any organization depends on the next generation.
This Chapter is very lucky to have you as members.

Your fan

Theo Stein, President