February 3 News!


Hard to believe we’re about to kick off our 2018 training season, but our first training day is just 3 weeks away.  There have been several developments since our annual meeting Jan. 6, including new Spring Test dates, new information on our Feb training day and info about a training clinic run by a nationally renowned trainer. So please read all the way through this email and let me know if you have any questions.

  • Membership dues are now due. We held the line at $40 for an individual or family – please remit your dues prior to March 31. Due to insurance requirements, you need to be paid up before you participate in the Feb or March training days. The membership form is here. Note that Scott Waggy is our new treasurer. His address is on the form and he’s waiting to hear from you!
  • Due to a scheduling conflict, our Spring Test dates have been changed to June 1, 2 and 3. Another group beat us to CPW for a permit for our traditional dates. Testing Director Sara Heesacker reports the Spring Test is already almost full, so if you plan on testing in June, get your application in ASAP.
  • As a result, our June training day will be pushed 2 weeks to June 16.
  • Our first training day is Feb. 24, indoors at the Spicer Arena in Eaton. The cost will be $20, and the focus will be on obedience – which is the foundation of any good hunting dog. Look for a Signup Genius invite in your email inbox soon. We will start early, work through the morning, break for lunch, and then have time for you to continue training in the afternoon. The Board will also be discussing several items during lunch.
  • At the Feb. training day, Alan Davison, the owner of Dogs Unlimited, veteran bird hunter, field trialer, and champion gun dog owner, will be coming by before lunch with a selection of gear that you may need to buy if you don’t have it already. If you’re not familiar with Dogs Unlimited, they are a major national gun dog supply online retailer located right here in Hudson. Alan is great – he’s happy to give advice about different brands of gear he carries and you can even pop in and shop if you call ahead. It’s a great resource.
  • For those of you who attended our annual meeting, don’t forget to use the $15 gift certificate in your Dogs Unlimited catalog before Feb 15. If you want to save on shipping costs, you can place an order online, then email Alan with your order number and he will bring your goods to Spicer Arena on Feb 24. You must email him though.
  • Exciting news: Testing Director Brian Thoman is in contact with Clyde Vetter, the top NAVHDA GSP breeder and trainer, about coming to Colorado to host a training clinic sometime this spring. If you follow NAVHDA, you probably have heard about Clyde or Sharp Shooter’s Kennel. Clyde is not cheap – and so the fee will likely be around $200, with a max of 30 participants. But everyone who has been to one of Clyde’s clinics says they’re worth every penny. UT handlers especially – if your goal is a Prize I, you want to be there. Look for a Signup Genius invite soon.
  • We may also offer a one-day force-fetch clinic again with Tom Swezey of Indian Brook Kennel in Wellington. Tom is a top-flight trainer and a tremendous friend of the chapter. The dozen folks who participated last year found it to be super helpful. Email me here if you’re interested.

    Housekeeping items:

  • Our insurance is provided through NAVHDA International, and that means that we need you to be members in good standing of NAVHDA as well. Please update your NAVHDA membership, if you haven’t already. You can complete a quick online transaction here. (This is a longstanding requirement, but we’re going to enforce it this year.)
  • On a related note, from now on you will need to sign a waiver each and every time you train with us. I know, it’s going to be a pain at first, but NAVHDA requires it this year. So plan on checking in at the table by the trailer right away when you show up for training. And don’t forget to slap on a name tag too!
  • If you’re going to be shooting birds on Cobb Lake or Banner Lake SWA this year, remember you need a valid CPW small game hunting license. They go on sale for the coming year in March on-line or at any number of retailers.
  • New handlers: Please make sure you have the following gear: check cord, leash, your own bird bag, a crate or stake to secure your dog in the parking lot. It’s also important to have a first aid kit for your dog.

That’s a long list, so I’ll tie it off here.

As always, we thank you for your membership in RMC NAVHDA. Your participation in our community of handlers makes us strong.


Theo Stein
Dogs with Altitude


2018 NAVHDA International Meeting Update

Hello RMC members

Hunting season is now in full swing and I hope you and your hunting partner are out there working on the skills we practiced during our training days.

I wanted to make sure you were aware of two petitions that have been accepted for discussion and a vote at the NAVHDA International annual meeting, Jan 18-21 in Las Vegas.

The first calls for the recognition of the French Brittany ( or Epagnuel Francais) as a registered NAVHDA breed separate and distinct from the American Brittany. This petition has been advanced by the Minnesota Chapter – a lengthy powerpoint and a written rationale explaining the petition are posted here. There’s some fascinating historical information in these documents – I encourage you to read them.

The second calls for the establishment of a “Far West Invitational“, to be held in addition to the annual Invitational in the Midwest. Advanced by the Central Oregon Chapter, this would be a smaller event than the big show.

Your board will be voting on these petitions and authorizing our delegate to the meeting, Brian Thoman, to register the vote on behalf of the chapter. But we want to hear from you first.

Please submit your comments here by Thanksgiving so the Board has time to convene and vote.

And speaking of the Board convening, we’re currently looking to build a program for the RMC annual meeting that will include a presentation by a veterinarian about caring for your hunting dog and common injuries you may see in the field, and a social ( not sure if it will be catered or pot luck).

If you’d like to help organize, please contact our vice president Dan Sprague.


Theo Stein
RMC President

RMC Spring Test – Call for Volunteers

The Rocky Mountain Chapter is known around NAVHDA for putting on smooth tests. For me, one of the really gratifying things about helping to run our chapter is watching how our members turn out in force and put on a great test for handlers.

Well, it’s that time again. Our Spring Test is next weekend, May 20 and 21and we’re sending out the call for test volunteers.

Why volunteer?

  • If you’ve tested with us, you’ll be paying it forward for folks who ran your test day.
  • If you’re a new handler, watching a test from close up is a great opportunity to watch other dogs and other handlers, and to pick up tips and tactics for your own test day.
  • And you will develop relationships with other chapter members who can help you progress in your own training program.

We will be needing volunteers to help us set up test stations, prepare and ferry birds, make sure handlers are ready to go and generally keep one step ahead of the judges so the day progresses smoothly. We also need folks to help us unload the trailer in the AM, police the parking lot, field questions from handlers and help us pack up at days’ end.

If you can help next weekend, please send me an email here. Let me know if you’ve helped with tests before and what you’ve got experience doing. If this is your first time – don’t worry! The tasks are fairly simple and many hands make light work!

Thanks in advance for helping us run another great test!

Theo Stein