Thank you to all of the handlers, judges, and volunteers that made the August 23-25 tests another success! The three days of tests featured 15 Natural Ability and 8 Utility tests. Hot temperatures and low, weedy water presented some difficult conditions for the dogs and humans, but they all adjusted well.
Days 1 and 3 photos are here. Day 2 images will be included shortly. You may download images for digital devices, but if you want to order prints, contact Mark@riverlightimages.com. All proceeds benefit the Rocky Mountain Chapter.
That concludes the events for 2019. The annual kickoff meeting for 2020 will likely be scheduled for late December or January. A post will be made here as soon as that date and location are known.
The last training day of the year will be August 10 at Cobb Lake. You can sign up here. The focus will be on test preparation. Any problems you are having with your training program can be addressed, so be sure to mention them in the comments section when you sign up. If you need birds, you can order them from Black Hollow Game Birds on the sign up form.
Two weeks later will be the last test of the year on August 23, 24, and 25. Expect a call for volunteers soon. If you need information about the test, please contact the Director of Testing here. Results will be posted here soon after the test.
One week after that, hunting season begins! Your best friend will be a better hunter for all of the work you have put into training this year.
Wow! What a weekend! I want to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers that came out in force to make this a very successful test! Special thanks to our Director of Testing Allen Kidd for organizing a great test and to Sheryl Dierenfield and Erin Normile for making sure we were well fed all three days! The judges were very impressed with how efficient our test ran and even with a few weather delays we finished early all three days. As always, our volunteers were on the mark and we performed phenomenally! Without our volunteers this wouldn’t be possible! THANK YOU!
I would like to thank our judges Rick Holt, Geof Ferrer, Craig McLaughlin, and our apprentice David Hahn for coming out and evaluating our dogs. It was a very fun weekend and truly a pleasure working with all of you! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to come visit Colorado and see some good dogs work this weekend!
I would also like to thank our handlers. YOU are what makes NAVHDA a successful organization! Without our handlers coming out and getting their dogs evaluated this organization wouldn’t exist! Thank you again for putting yourselves and your dogs out there to be evaluated. It was extremely enjoyable watching great dog work all weekend!
Below are the scores for the weekend. Truly amazing results that show every handler’s hard work! Congratulations to all of the handlers and dogs this weekend, and special congratulations go to Tim Griffin with Delle and Terry Uhrich with Remi for their Utility Prize I perfomances on Sunday! We all know how hard you have been working to achieve this and we look forward to seeing you at the Invitational in Iowa next year!
Huge thanks to Mark Lance with River Light Images for taking photos all weekend! Very excited to see some great photos of the dogs and handlers that ran this weekend! If you are interested in ordering any prints, please contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can help you with those orders. All proceeds from Test Photo sales are donated back to the chapter.
Thank you all again for your hard work and dedication to RMC NAVHDA! Without you, none of this is possible! Looking forward to a great clinic in the end of June and our fall test in August! I know we will knock it out of the park again!
May’s training day was good mix of formal training sessions and lots of free time for trainers to practice their own training programs. Now the busiest part of the training season starts with the May test on the 17-19th, June 15 training day, and the Steadiness clinic on June 29-20.
Three days of tests will put both natural ability and utility dogs through their paces. The test is full but there may still be some changes to running orders filled from the waiting list. Contact Test Director Allen Kidd for questions about the test.
Volunteers are the fuel that make the tests run smoothly and are a great way for trainers to learn more about testing, training, and hunting dogs. Contact Vice President Tim Griffin to sign up for a volunteer position.
June 15 Training Day
Much of the focus of this training day will be on the water, as the weather will likely be getting summertime hot. Bring your training problems to get help working through them. Get the birds you need for summer training. Signup here.
June 29-30 will feature Kyle Hough teaching clinic participants how to train bird dogs to be steady to wing, shot, and fall. This clinic is generating a lot of interest in the eastern parts of the country where Kyle is well known. If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t wait, spaces are limited. Signup for the Steadiness clinic soon.
We are switching things up for the May Training Day! The schedule is being adjusted slightly to accommodate more individual training for handlers preparing for the Spring RMC NAVHDA Test Weekend. Register here.
6:30-7:00 Sign In
Bird Purchases for Utility Handlers, Set Up Training Equipment for Utility Dogs
7:00-10:00 Utility Field Work (Back Field)
After the first two groups, we will split the Utility handlers. Half of the handlers will continue working Utility Field work while the other handlers return to the Upper Fields to work with the Natural Ability Handlers.
When all Utility Field Groups have finished working, Utility handlers can head over to the Duck Search water to work on training for that component with Live ducks. Handlers would need to help set up for the Group Retrieving Drill at 11 am
8:30-10:00 Natural Ability Clinic
We will work the Natural Ability dogs as one large group working on each of the different segments (Field, Obedience, Table, Track, Water) and continue the progressions in preparation for the May Natural Ability Tests
10:00-11:30 First Year Utility Clinic
We will continue to expand on the drills that were outlined in April. Advanced heeling, steadiness foundation in the presence of birds, duck chases in water, improve recall and retrieve to hand.
11:00-11:30 Youth Handlers
We are going to have a new drill challenge using everything we have learned so far this year (Looks, Sit, Down, Fast, Slow) and a new fun relay race. We will also add to our skill arsenal with some new skill assignments for the month of May.
11:30-12:30 Utility Group Retrieving Drill
We will be bringing some more new challenges to the drill while continuing to provide a distracting and stimulating environment for heeling, steady and remain by blind, retrieving and multiple marking in the water.
1:00 – End of Day Individual Training and Bird Purchases for Natural Ability Handlers
Cobb SWA will be available for individual training to prepare for the May NAVHDA Test. Find some training partners and enjoy the rest of the day!
This year’s Handler’s Clinic with Phil Swain is almost upon us. There is one spot left and still time to reserve it. A Handler’s Clinic will take you through each testing event and give you a judge’s-eye view of what they look for in every aspect. If you want to really understand what they want dogs doing in Natural Ability and Utility tests, this is your opportunity.
The next training day is approaching. We have requested spring weather, but be prepared for anything. Please register here if you have not already done so.
Also, note a couple of changes to the registration form. First, only 2 chukar will be needed for the field training portion of the Utility program. If you already registered, you can still login and change your bird order accordingly.
Second, a third training level has been added. ‘First-year Utility’ is for trainers that tested Natural Ability last year, and are just starting their Utility training. Additional sessions will be added to introduce these trainers to more advanced yard-work drills.
The next training day is March 9th. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so before March 7. The sign up page is under the Events tab on the home page. Click HERE to go directly to the signup page. Be prepared for any kind of weather, training day will happen whatever the weather brings.
Remember, if you are a Utility trainer and want to participate in the field excercises, you will have to purchase at least 3 chukar. If you want to buy more for your own use, add them to the 3 you will be buying for the formal field training. Be sure to bring your own bird bag and transport cage for birds you buy for your own use.
I hope everyone had a great hunting season and are looking
forward to another successful year with RMC NAVHDA as we roll over into the 2019
training and testing season.
We had a large turnout at the Annual Meeting with great conversation. We elected 5 new faces to the board and retained 4 board members. I am really excited to work with this team. They have been dedicated to the chapter for many years and their insight and ideas to make this chapter successful for years to come is invaluable. They have been working extremely hard since the meeting to get 2019 started off right and planning the opportunities available this year. We had some great discussion regarding the Bylaws, Standing Rules and International motions. It was wonderful to see the whole membership, newly elected board members and those in attendance alike, come together to discuss, compromise, and collectively work towards decisions we felt were best for the organization as a whole as we move forward.
Steve Roberts has done a phenomenal job of updating the
website since the meeting. Please check
out the following links to view:
I am very excited for 2019 as we are going to be implementing
changes to event sign ups and the structure of training days. We will no longer be using SignUp Genius as
we are transitioning to integrating sign ups on the website. Please be patient with us as we develop these
I highly encourage all of our members, especially new members testing and training for the first time, to attend the February Indoor Training Day. We are going to spell out how our training days are going to operate this year. We have reached out to multiple highly successful NAVHDA Chapters across the country for some new ideas and group training styles to implement at RMC NAVHDA. They are going to be fun and focus on the tools to be a better handler and develop a more finished gundog. We also have some exciting things planned with two different clinics this year and we will announce them at the February training day as well.
I look forward to seeing everyone in February and I am excited to serve as your president in 2019.
Jake Heesacker RMC NAVHDA President Dogs with Altitude
Each year, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NAVHDA holds an annual meeting to select its board, establish test dates, set chapter dues and identify special training clinics for the coming year. This year, we are holding our meeting at the Johnstown Scheels on Sunday Jan. 13 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. After, we’ll gather at a nearby restaurant (TBD- suggestions welcome) for a social hour. Please save the date and look for a Signup Genius link shortly.
Each annual meeting is important for the Chapter, but this year more so than most because there will be significant turnover on the board of directors. While all positions are elected every year, the chapter needs to select a new slate of these key positions: president, vice president, training director, test secretary and treasurer.
We are fortunate to have had core chapter members step forward to put their names up for nomination for three of these roles: president, vice president and training director. We are reaching out to you to help us fill two others: treasurer and test secretary.
The chapter has never had a lot of money, so we work hard to be fiscally responsible. For treasurer, we’re looking for someone with experience managing books who will maintain a sharp eye on our accounts. The treasurer receives all incoming funds (including membership, test fees, and training clinic fees), pays all bills (our insurance, judge’s bills, permits, etc), maintains the chapter checking account and CD, and provides a treasurer’s report at all meetings. Scott Waggy has done a superb job filling that role for us. Scott and his wife recently welcomed their first child and he is understandably looking to focus on his family this year. Scott has lined out a system for managing the accounts and said he will be happy to work with the new treasurer. This year we will be able to accept membership and clinic fees through our website, which will reduce the workload somewhat.
Sara Heesacker has been tremendous as our Test Secretary this year, taking over for Phil Goodwin seamlessly as we expanded to two three-day tests. With Craig McLaughlin stepping back after many years as Training Director, Sara has expressed interest in running for that role. Test Secretary is a critical and essential role for the chapter. It entails a fairly clear-cut set of pre-test prep and post-test reporting responsibilities and requires a detail-oriented person who hits deadlines. Sara has created a Test Secretary manual that lines out all responsibilities and timelines for this important position and has said she’s happy to work with a new secretary to make sure there’s a smooth transition.
The strength of any organization is in the next generation, and we are very fortunate to have a deep pool to draw from. It has been a great privilege to lead the chapter this past four years, to watch it grow and see a new core of experienced handlers and leaders emerge.
In addition to the board roles, the chapter is always in need of volunteers to help staff tests, training clinics and especially training days.
If you and your dog have benefited from our chapter programs and would like to give back to the community which has helped you progress in your training program, please consider volunteering this year in preparation for stepping into a leadership role in 2020.Hope you’re still out there enjoying your hunting season, and we look forward to seeing you on Jan 13.