August Training and Test

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.

May Test, June Training, Steadiness Clinic.

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.

May Test

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.

Steadiness Clinic

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.

May 4 Training Day

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.

LUNCH BREAK

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!

Sara Heesacker, Training Director

Handler’s Clinic April 27, 28

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.

April 6 Training Day

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.

Training Season Underway

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.

Annual Meeting 2019

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. 

Thanks! 

Theo Stein 
President

Upcoming NAVHDA International and RMC Meetings

Hello fellow RMCers!

I hope you’re having an active hunting season. This is what we train for all year. Rocco and Isa got some excellent ground time up in North Dakota with Craig’s Scarecrow pack and his friend Keith. Birds were pretty thin and thanks to some horrible shooting, my dogs probably got more work than they could have…

Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about 2019 – so I’m sharing this set of Chapter motions, which will be discussed and voted on at the NAVHDA 50th Annual Meeting Jan 24-27 in Minneapolis. Each chapter has the opportunity to appoint a delegate and record our vote; Craig has graciously volunteered. (If you’re planning to go, please let me know.)

The board will be voting on these at our annual meeting ( TBD in Jan), and we’d really like to hear your thoughts on these motions.

Following is a summary of the motions, read the full text on the Resources tab:

Proposed changes to Testing rules

  1. Require a 4 in search for a Utility Prize 1. Field search would be weighted the same as duck search. Submitted by Potomac, Keystone, Missouri & Oklahoma chapters
  2. Hold a public drawing/lottery the evening before the Invitational for field brace mate selection. The technology or software of choice for this drawing can be that of the NAVHDA office. Invitational handlers and the public shall be allowed to attend. An evening drawing will eliminate the perceived notion of handlers training together prior to the event. (It is unclear from the language whether the draw would precede each day, or be conducted the night prior to the first run day.)
    Submitted by Potomac, Missouri & Chesapeake chapters

Other

  1. NAVHDA should commission new training book of current and best training practices, inclusive of the use of new training tools and techniques, authored by NAVHDA member subject matter experts. (Potomac chapter)
  2. 4. NAVHDA should disclose a copy of the new insurance policy. Additionally, NAVHDA will put together a plan to allow chapters to opt out of NAVHDA’s policy or being required to pay premium, provided proof of insurance listing NAVHDA International as an additional insured is provided annually. (Wisconsin chapter)
  3. 5. Every NAVHDA member should receive a free NAVHDA decal each year on renewal. (Northern Michigan chapter)

Also – stay tuned for news about RMC’s annual meeting. We’re expecting a pretty major turnover on the board, so we really want to see you there so you can vote on your new Chapter leadership. Please think about whether you ( or someone you know) would make a good candidate for one of the board positions.

To learn more about board positions, please visit our website at RMC-NAVHDA.com

Thanks and safe hunting!

Theo Stein

2018 Fall Test Results

Hello Rocky Mountain NAVHDA,

I would like to thank everyone who helped make the 2018 Fall Test an incredible success. It was wonderful to see so many new members (and prospective members) coming out to learn about the inner workings of a NAVHDA test. I also want to extend a huge thank you to all the members who were at each and every day of the test making sure the weekend went off without a hitch. The judges complemented daily that we run our tests like a well oiled machine and it took the whole team to make such a statement possible.

Thank you to Allen Kidd, Andrew Leslie, David Shickle, Dustyn Turk, Jake Heesacker, Jimmy Warren, Joe Moles, Jon Roberts, John Harris, Kaytlyn and Makenzie Heesacker, Mark Lance, Mark Sheedlo, Mike Autrey, Mike Weinberg, Pete Palmer, Scott Waggy, Seth Gallagher, Sheryl Thies Dierenfield, Steve Roberts, Suzanne Flachier, Theo Stein, Tim Griffin, William Tierney.

Also thank you to our judges Robert T. Swezey, Brian Thoman, Jim Carpenter, Mark Whalen and our apprentice Charles Coulter for their time and expertise evaluating the dogs that were run over the three day weekend.

I would also like to congratulate all the chapter members who ran dogs in the test. It was nice to see so many handlers taking their dogs out to be evaluated.

Here are the results:

2018 Fall Test Results

Here are photos from the 3 test days:

Day 1 Natural Ability Test

Day 2 Natural Ability Test

Day 3 Utility Test

To order prints or framed prints of the NAVHDA Fall Test photos, contact photographer Mark Lance at mark@riverlightimages.com or 720.258.5820. Prints are archival quality. Prints ship to your home in 3 days. There is a wide selection of frame styles and colors available. Framed prints include print, foam board backing, white matting, and non-glare glass. A nominal shipping charge is added to your total.

Mark is donating all proceeds from the sale of prints back to the chapter to help fund training and testing equipment.

Print Price List

4×6 $4.00
5×7 $6.00
8×10 $8.00
11×14 $20.00
16×20 $35.00
16×24 $35.00
20×24 $40.00
20×30 $55.00

Framed Prints

4×6 $52.00
5×7 $57.00
8×10 $69.00
11×14 $94.00
16×20 $187.00
16×24 $187.00
20×24 $205.00
20×30 $233.00

Brody on retrieve

Delle on point

Thank you!

Sara Heesacker

RMC NAVHDA Director of Testing

August 11 Training Day

RMC NAVHDA August 11th Training Day

LAST TRAINING DAY FOR 2018!

Cobb Lake State Wildlife Area – Wellington, Colorado

Email contact: craig.mclaughlin5@gmail.com

Agenda: 7:30 – 12:00: ALL DOGS AND HANDLERS! (with afternoon for individual training)

Lulu and Brian working on steady at blind.

The day’s events will focus on obedience and skills to prepare for the winter waterfowl season – be prepared to get wet with your dog and to have fun! Most of the training exercises are going to be designed around developing your dogs into reliable water-fowling partners.

For the August training day, any bird work in the field or Utility duck searches will be conducted as independent training by individual members. These exercises will not be incorporated into the exercises that are set up in the formal training regimen for the day. There will be chukar and ducks available for purchase for individual work. There will be designated areas where handlers can work on these other areas. Please plan on talking with other handlers in attendance at the training day to find help planting birds, gunners for Utility field work, plant ducks from the kayak and work together as you set up your training plan for these exercises.

Natural Ability Dogs:

We will set up pheasant tracks for dogs to track the scent of a pheasant with a dead pheasant at the end of the track for the puppy to retrieve and deliver to the handler. Natural Ability Handlers can also work in the field with chukar in preparation for the Fall test and the chapter bumper bucket will be available to get puppies excited about going into the water.

STATIONS (work at will in small groups):

  1. Pheasant Tracks
  2. Chukar Field Work
  3. Bumpers at the Water

Utility Preparatory and Utility Dogs:

Older dogs and their owners will begin practicing more advanced and precision based water work. We will introduce heeling, remaining by the blind, steady by the blind and water retrieve drills. The group will begin with drills that help build desire and promote the confidence needed to initiate drive for pursing waterfowl. Along the way we will discuss the advantages of training for a reliable retrieve on land and water, ensuring steadiness under the distraction of gunfire, and reliable recall.

STATIONS (work at will in small groups):

  1. Heeling, Remain by Blind and Steady by Blind Sequences
  2. Duck Search
  3. Chukar Field Work

Preparing for the Day:

The weather in August will likely be very warm and brutally sunny! Be prepared with sun guard, bug spray, lunch etc. A source of shade for you and your dog, and folding chairs will help make the day comfortable. Don’t forget snacks and plenty of water for both of you!

Bring plenty of water for your dog, along with whatever training gear you use. You’ll need a leash, check cord, e-collar, and whistle. The Chapter has some equipment available like retrieving bumpers, training table, blinds and decoys, heeling stakes, duck wingers, and bird launchers and bird bags. A crate or stake-out is recommended to keep your dog quiet and comfortable while waiting its turn in the field.

If you are planning on shooting in the field remember a 2018-2019 small game license is required!!!

Please comment with your bird order. Include quantity of Chukar, Ducks and any desire of Use of Pheasant.  You must RSVP and order birds (ducks, chukar or pheasant) you will need by Thurday, August 9th! 

We have a limited number of ducks available so priority will go to those testing Utility in the August test. After that we will prioritize off of who signs up for ducks first on the signup.

Also, all of the pheasants we currently have we are holding for the test in August. If we can find a few live pheasants for pheasant tracks we will do the $5 pheasant tracks. If we cannot acquire live pheasants for the track we will have a few dead pheasants for drags available and there will be no charge for use of pheasant. 

Prices are as follows (Check payable to Black Hollow Gamebirds or Cash):

  • Chukar: $12
  • Use of Pheasant for Track: $5
  • Duck: $16

If you plan to purchase birds at the training day, PLEASE REMEMBER A BIRD BAG OR CRATE to store your birds! We will be handing out birds at check in before the training day starts. From that point on, the birds are your responsibility! Use of Pheasant will be shared amongst all members paying for the pheasant track on the training day.

If you have questions regarding the training day, please contact one of the following:

  • General Questions to rmc.navhda@gmail.com
  • Training Director, Craig McLaughlin atcraig.mclaughlin5@gmail.com
  • Bird Steward, Jake Heesacker atblackhollowgamebirds@gmail.com

Date: 08/11/2018 (Sat.)Time: 7:30am – 3:00pm MDTLocation: COBB LAKE UNIT: From I-25 and HWY 14 exit, go 5 miles north on east service road to CR56- then 1.4 miles east.

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