bottom3 with pointe setter grouse and woodcock

2023 11 25 9 06 26
Maritime Bird Dog Club Labor Day Weekend Trial Report by Robert Little
President and Trial Chairman 2023
The Maritime Bird Dog Club felt there was a need for a weekend trial on wild birds in the north east. The remainder of September is taken up with coverdog championships in New England and New Brunswick so we decided on Labor Day Weekend.
We were very pleased with the attendance of fourteen handlers who turned loose 46 dogs over the two day trial.
Lining up judges is one of the toughest if not the toughest part of organizing a trial. The Maritime Bird Dog Club was very fortunate to get Jon Cullen to come up from Maine to judge on both days. The others that also entered dogs and judged were Donald Henderson, Steve Forrest and Leonard Sinclair. Thank-you gentlemen!
The Club also wishes to thank Norm DeWitt and his staff members Flora Densmore and Paul Osborne for looking after all the trialers at Hoof and Paw Outfitters.
Birds on this weekend were at a premium to say the least. A very difficult grouse nesting season where it rained virtually every day for the first two weeks of June saw our grouse numbers on the courses at maybe all time lows. Only six grouse were moved on the weekend and only one got pointed. Woodcock were found on four of the seven courses used.
On Saturday the shooting dog stake was won by Sanderling Sadie a coming three year old, diminutive pointer female owned by Gregory Callimanopulos and handled by Robert Little. Gregory sends a couple of young dogs to me for training each summer and comes in October to hunt over them. This young dog floated through course #6 and was rewarded with a very nice woodcock find with 25 seconds remaining on the clock.
Second place was awarded to Cairds Rip It Up a not so diminutive, three year old white/black male pointer handled by Robert Little who is also here for summer training for long time hunting clients Travis Riggs and Tom Togno. Timmy ran on course 5, the Mann Rd and had a nice find at 20 on a pair of woodcock.
Third place was awarded to Ponhook Sassy Pants an orange five year old pointer female owned by Ian Corbett of Nova Scotia. Gigi ran on course 7 and had a grouse find after a couple of relocations at the 10 minute mark. Ian organizes trials under the Atlantic Sportsman banner in Nova Scotia and he enjoyed himself on this weekend not having to run a trial but just relaxing and having some fun.
The Sunday shooting stake featured fewer bird contacts perhaps due to the even higher temps than Saturday and way more humidity.
Brace number 4 had two dogs with bird contacts but due to circumstances beyond the handlers' control, neither Kelly's Blitz Wheel Hank or Mooselook Texas Star would finish the brace.
Brace number 5 produced a bird for Trevor London's Paucek's Up For Adventure but the young setter showed a bit too much exuberance when the woodcock took flight.
The blue ribbon on this day went to Cairds Rip It Up. Timmy again showing his bird finding ability with a beautiful woodcock find shortly after breakaway on course 6.
Timmy, who has not been trialed extensively had himself quite a weekend taking home his first ever ribbons.
The Open Derby stakes drew 5 dogs for each day. The blue ribbon on Saturday went to Alderpoint Dalwhinnie pointer female owned and handled by Ian Corbett and second place to Elmer's Waltzing Matilda pointer female owned and handled by Donald Henderson of New Brunswick. Both dogs were placed on race.
The Sunday open derby was won by Old Glory Ginger a setter female owned and handled by Austin Parsons of Nova Scotia. Ginger had a far flung and speedy race and was involved with a pair of grouse.
Second place again goes to Elmer's Waltzing Matilda owned and handled by Donald Henderson. Tilly had a clean find on a woodcock and two mannerly stop to flushes. Tilly had a closer race.
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The 51st North American Woodcock Championship and the 47th Woodcock Futurity 2023

Reporter, Robert Little McAdam, NB
Chasehill Poison Ivy repeats as Champion and Cairds Cracklin Rosie takes Runner-up Champion at the 51st renewal of the North American Woodcock Championship.
A September heatwave in New Brunswick is not unusual but three days of mid-80s temperatures and high humidity was something we certainly could have lived without.
The hot weather started on Thursday, September 7, the day we held the North American Woodcock Futurity and never let up until overnight Saturday. As Joe Dahl put it, this was the worst weather for this trial since it was canceled by a blizzard back in '89 when the trial was held in October at Havelock.
This is the sixth year we have held this Championship in McAdam, NB. The Championship ran for over thirty-five years in Havelock, NB, and a number of years at Dave Palmer's farm in Nackawic, NB. This was the 51st renewal of the trial with the only cancellation being in 2020 due to the Covid border closure. All of the championships have been run by the Maritime Bird Dog Club.
Our major sponsor for this trial is Corey Nutrition makers of Inukshuk dog food. Year after year they generously pay for our field trial advertisement in the American Field, provide swag and food for our fundraiser raffle and this year provided twelve bags of food representing a year's supply for the winning dog. Company reps Brian Connolly and David Corey joined us for the first day of the Championship, chatted with the competitors, and answered questions. They even jumped in to help us shuttle vehicles for the first three braces. Thanks guys!
We also want to recognize and thank Ross Faulkner, owner of The Gun Dealer, the largest firearms and sporting goods store in Atlantic Canada located right here in McAdam. Ross makes a generous donation of a prize item each year that is the centerpiece of our raffle.
Club member Kyle Price also stepped up to donate an Orvis fly rod to the raffle. Thank you, Kyle, for that very nice donation.
The McAdam trials probably wouldn't exist unless we had Hoof and Paw Outfitters to provide accommodations to the trialers. Norm Dewitt, who was just coming off ankle surgery, was on hand to welcome everyone, and his great cook, Flora Densmore, made sure everyone was well-fed.
Our judges this year were Eric Rizza and Doug Dix. Eric was our returning judge and is off the hook for next year but Doug has generously agreed to come back next year to judge again. The judges brought their wives Roberta Rizza and Laurie Dix and rented cabins at nearby Palfrey Lake Lodge. Jean Day, the proprietor, entertained the ladies during the day and it was certainly nice weather for camping. Thank you Jean.
The Winners
Brace 13
With three braces remaining on Sunday morning, the weather cooled significantly overnight and a renewed vigor was evident in both handlers and dogs. The first two days of the championship could only be described as brutal.
Brace 13 on the Lakeland Course featured Wynot Lottie with Al Robbins and last year's champion Chasehill Poison Ivy with John Stolgitis. Lakeland was birdless during the first two days of the trial yet Stolgitis had a premonition at the draw that Ivy would be drawn in brace 13 on Lakeland. Both dogs broke away with power at 7:32 a.m. and settled in to hunt the new cutover that makes up the first 20 minutes of the brace. Things began to look up when two grouse were walked up on course at 13. Suddenly Ivy's bell fell silent at 22 about a hundred yards to the right of the course at the edge of an alder swamp where birds have been pointed in previous years. Stolgitis and Judge Dix found Ivy and quickly put a grouse to flight all in order.
Both dogs hunted hard for the remainder of the brace and another grouse was walked up by the gallery at 37. The smile on Ivy's owner, Al Raiano's face at the end of this brace told the story.
Brace 15 (the final brace)
This brace featured Cairds Cracklin Rosie owned and handled by this reporter and Wild Apple Hard Cider owned by Don Keddy and handled by Craig Doherty. Doherty indicated before starting that he might pick up before the first turn if Cider had no birds at that point. Even after checking our bells at the truck, the bells were difficult to differentiate early on in this brace. At 12 Doherty elected to pick up. Shortly after at 18 Rosie stopped about sixty yards ahead on the right. Despite the handler thinking he could walk right to the dog, it took three or four minutes to locate Rosie who had let down at this point, and with the bird obviously gone she was whistled on. Entering the heavier canopy Rosie made huge casts covering all the right places and at 45 her bell fell silent to the left of the course as we started down off the ridge. As we entered the swampy area where the bell had stopped, Judge Rizza pointed out a running grouse that went down the waterway and blew out. We circled back and found Rosie standing in the area the grouse had vacated. The Gun was fired and all was in order. Rosie continued her hard-charging race to the front for the remainder of the brace.
The Running
Brace 1 Lakeland
Old Glory Ben- Austin Parsons
Asper Hill Bandit -Jon Cullen
Each dog hunted the cover for the whole course and at 57 Ben stopped, however, Bandit failed to back. The stop did not produce a bird.
Each dog hunted the cover for the whole course and at 57 Ben stopped, however Bandit failed to back. The stop did not produce a bird.
Brace 2 Diggity
Magic Mist Sydni -Joe Dahl
Elhew Snake Dancer - Craig Doherty
Veteran field trialers Dahl and Doherty turned their charges loose with optimism as this course produced the winning performance last year. At 40, Sydni stopped off course at the same time a grouse was seen running on the road. As handler and judge Rizza approached the dog Dahl called bird to the left but was not heard by the judge. After a brief flushing attempt Sydni was sent on and as Dahl and Rizza returned to the course another grouse flushed from a tree. Some bad luck for Joe and Sydni on this day. Sydni had a strong race from start to finish. Snake Dancer also ran well but birdless.
Brace 3 Casey Brook
Wynot Rosco - Al Robbins
Neo- Adam Dubriske
The gallery walked up a brood of three grouse at 8.
Dogs went birdless for the remainder. Neo was tougher to pick up at time. Owner Dave Theroux was on hand to watch and scout.
Brace 4 County Line North
Chasehill Snoop Dog - John Stolgitis
Cairds Rip It Up - Bob Little
Cairds Rip It Up (call name Timmy) was running in his first championship as he just got his qualifying win the previous weekend as he took first and second in the Labor Day Weekend Trial we held.
Both dogs hunted the cover and handled well. Timmy suffered an unproductive at 23 with Snoop backing. At 27 Snoop stopped near the brook crossing. Stolgitis called bird and fired, however judge Dix did not hear the bird. At 35 Timmy stopped hard in the pole timber with Snoop coming in to back. After a flushing attempt to the front, Timmy was relocated only to run over a grouse 10 yards behind him. Ouch, that one hurt.
Snoop continued on and had an unproductive at 58.
Brace 5 County Line South
Ralphy's Chasehill Rip -John Stolgitis
Super Storm Nell -Adam Dubriske
Nell pointed at 12 on the upper side of the power line but nothing was produced.
Rip stopped at 33 way to the left in a swamp. Grouse produced and all in order.
Rip stopped again at 52 in another swamp but was moved on by handler.
Nell stopped at 55, again in wet ground and it took some navigating to get to her due to deep water in places. She was finally found with a grouse with all in order.
These two dogs were carried by the judges until the last morning.
Brace 6 Lynnfield
Panola Bacon -John Stolgitis
Paucek's Up For Adventure -London
It was wicked hot and steamy as this brace broke away.
Up for Adventure had a woodcock find at 8 and an unproductive at 13. This young setter showed a lot of guts and finished her hour.
Bacon was leashed by Stolgitis at 29.
Brace 7 Lakeland
Sunkhaze Vera Masardis -Mike Flewelling
Mooselook Fionn - Jack McNulty
The morning started hot and got hotter. Unlike day one the woods were dry and dogs felt the heat earlier.
Both Vera and Fionn finished with no birds. Vera had a big race with Fionn running closer.
Brace 8 Diggity
Chasehill Wicked Wilma - John Stolgitis
North Country Soda Pop - Adam Dubriske
Both Wilma and Soda Pop had strong races. Stolgitis chose to pick up at 45 at the bridge. Dubriske carried on across the bridge with Soda Pop stopping at 46. No birds were produced.
Brace 9 Casey Brook
Chasehill Wango Tango - John Stolgitis
Mooselook Texas Star - Jack McNulty
Tango started off big to the front. Great race but no birds.
Tex pointed at 52 as they came on to the homestretch road. After a flushing attempt by McNulty, Tex was moved on and shortly after a grouse flushed from a tree.
Brace 10 County Line North
Partridge Hollow Elrumhew -Adam Dubriske
Elhew Snakewood was scratched.
The heat was starting to get extreme and Elrumhew was picked up at 28.
Brace 11
Henry's SuzieQ Dot - Dave Theroux
Wild Apple Pop's Dorothy -Craig Doherty
Very hot and humid at this point.
SuzieQ Dot stopped hard near the course at 40. Dorothy came in to back and then decided to leave the scene and was leashed. Theroux moved SuzieQ on. SuzieQ Dot stopped again at 50 in a known woodcock area but no birds were produced. This setter showed some heat tolerance on this day.
Brace 12 Lynnfield
Duckhook - Mike Flewelling
Cairds Southern Child - Bob Little
Both dogs started hard and ran to the front. Southern Child's bell was lost near the first turn. His bell was heard starting up to the left at 10 with nefarious activity suspected by the handler. The handler was unable to get him to the front and requested tracker at 18. A woodcock was walked up on the is course around the same time. Duckhook and Flewelling continued on but picked up at 30.
Brace 13 described under "The Winners"
Brace 14 Diggity
Boomer of Blackwater - Mike Flewelling
Sweet Southern Child- Jonathan Wilkins
Belle got out of pocket and lost at 10. Tracker requested at 20.
Boomer had unproductive at 21 and 28 then was picked up.
Brace 15 described under " The Winners".
The North American Woodcock Futurity September 7, 2023.
Mohawk Mill Double E wins the 47th running of the North American Woodcock Futurity. Double E was handled by John Stolgitis, owned by Ellen Clements and Erin Stolgitis, and bred by Gary Winall.
We ran the Futurity the day before the Championship this year for the first time. We will probably continue doing that as it gives the young dogs a better opportunity when they have the day for themselves.
We ran the Futurity on four half-hour courses this year that were known to have woodcock. The Club wants to thank Joe Dahl for his continued work on the Futurity administration duties.
Steve Forrest was listed to judge, however, came down with a virus and couldn't make it. We wish to thank Jon Cullen for bailing us out and agreeing to judge at the last minute.
Jon joined Robert Little in looking over the eleven young hopefuls.
Brace 1
Mooselook Wild Apple Bruin- Jack McNulty
Mohawk Mill Miss Ellie -John Stolgitis
Both dogs went birdless. Ellie hit the cover well and ran to the front. Bruin is an off-age derby and showed his immaturity with a closer race and short casts.
Brace 2
Wynot Hannah - Al Robbins
Mohawk Mill Miss You - John Stolgitis
This can be a tough course for young dogs but they started out well. Miss You went deep to the right and was gone 7 minutes or so.
Hannah stayed to the front and hit the cover well.
Brace 3
Wild Apple Hazelnut- Craig Doherty
Sunkhaze Orange Gerry - Mike Flewelling
A woodcock got up early to the right of course as both dogs were in the area and both handlers fired. Hazel was a little closer the first half but made better moves on the second half of the brace. Gerry is a well-put-together pointer who hunted hard with animation and handled well with bigger range.
Brace 4
Mohawk Mill Double E - John Stolgitis
Bravel Rags 2 Riches - Adam Dubriske
Rags to Riches ran out from the breakaway and didn't return. Tracker requested at 8.
Double E hunted the cover very well and was rewarded with woodcock finds at 18 and 23 which garnered her the first place honors.
Brace 5
Chasehill Snoop Dog - John Stolgitis
Elmer's Waltzing Matilda -Donald Henderson
Matilda hunted the cover albeit with shorter casts. She had a stop to flush on a woodcock at 22.
Snoop Dog made some bigger moves and was rewarded with a broke grouse find at 20.
Brace 6
Old Glory Ginger - Austin Parsons
Ginger ran up the road from the breakaway and didn't return. Tracker requested at 11.
First- Mohawk Mill Double E Stolgitis, Clements/Stolgitis, Winall
Second- Chasehill Snoop Dog Stolgitis, Erin Stolgitis, Stolgitis
Third- Mohawk Mill Miss Ellie Stolgitis, Erin Stolgitis, Winall
Fourth - Sunkhaze Orange Gerry Flewelling, Flewelling, Winallwell-put-together
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The Irish Open Wild Bird Classic 2023 Field Trial Report

By Ian Corbett

Judges Dale Hackett and Ian Corbett
The Irish Open Wild Bird Classic was cancelled last fall due to an increase of deer hunters on the grounds forcing us to decide to schedule our Classic to August 19th, 2023. It was a difficult decision mainly because it’s the time slot for our Wild Bird Season Opener leaving us with only one trial for 2023. Our Spring Wild Bird Trial was canceled this year because of snow cover, extremely muddy roads along with a nasty weekend forecast. To say the least, it is discouraging. The Atlantic Sportsman’s Club however pushed forward with planning the August Classic which normally is a one-hour stake, but unfortunately, we decided to shorten it to 45 minutes with heat concerns and a potential lack of water on the grounds. The one-hour courses are nearly impossible to shorten without extensive work, the nature of routes as they wind through the Old Irish Farmsteads adds a 15-minute journey at the end of each brace. A later date is challenging considering the month of September is booked solid with the New England / New Brunswick Wild Bird Championship Circuit. At this point, I’m thinking we will continue securing our present date and throughout the winter/spring explore route changes to better accommodate a 45-minute venue. We are fortunate to again have support from Jack McNulty, Pro Trainer Robert Little, and Donald Henderson, without their entries a trial in Nova Scotia would not happen. This year unfortunately Pro Trainer Adam Dubriske and David Theroux had to cancel and hopefully, they will include us in their plans next year. Over the last number of years, our local trialers have been disappearing from the roster. Some because of health, while others time constraints and work commitments. I’m not sure what the solution if any and we are not alone. Clubs are struggling with entries, workers, and filling judging duties. I do know as a group if we don’t band together trialing will come to a rapid end. My challenge to the community is to pitch in and help in any capacity. If you can’t devote enough time to ready a dog then attend a trial and help marshal, move cars, course work, judge, or any number of things to help move a trial along smoothly.
The Winners- On the second brace of the day two dogs were let loose Cairds Cracklin Rosie, a pointer female owned and handled by Pro Trainer Robert Little, and Old Glory Ben, a setter male owned and handled by amateur Austin Parsons. Both dogs rocketed off the line with Benny diving to the right and Rosie disappearing to the left through a piece of birdy cover. The damp conditions from the heavy rain through the night seemed to hinder the carriage of both dogs’ bells. It was evident early in the brace with both handlers struggling to hear their dogs. At the ten-minute mark, Rosie was forward heading along an old stone wall leading towards an opening that was cut several years ago AND a prime location for grouse to hold. Benny was behind at this point but coming up fast with Austin and Judge came Dale Hackett in tow. At this point Rosie’s bell went silent maybe 200 yards ahead, Robert and his scout Donald Henderson weren’t sure if she continued forward or was stopped to the right along a sloped thicket. Robert continued forward listening for any signal of her location. Benny’s bell continued closing in and went silent at 15 minutes approximately 50 yards behind us. I called back to Austin telling him Benny was standing to the right of the trail. Robert stopped and immediately started heading backward to his location. We both figured Benny might be backing Rosie. When we arrived Judge Dale Hackett was surveying the situation and concluded it was a divided find. Just as Robert and I arrived both dogs were standing with Rosie down the far side of the slope two grouse lifted just to the side of both dogs. Guns were fired and the dogs were collared back to the course. Benny and Rosie both attacked the cover working ahead and along the edges of the cuts. As we started the climb up McBride Hill Benny headed up the right side past the old farmstead where birds using can be found. Rosie headed to the left down past the bear blind and was rewarded with a beautiful woodcock find at 42 minutes. These performances were our benchmark for the balance of the day with Cairds Cracklin Rosie the Winner and Old Glory Ben securing the Runner Up.
The Running (* indicates course run in reverse)
1.1 Donnellan Farmstead Cairds Remi PF Robert Little
Remi ran a blistering race but went missing early, The tracker was requested, and Remi was found with a woodcock at 30 minutes.
1.2 Donnellan Farmstead Mooselook Mac SM Jack McNulty
Mac ran a medium race and was behind at times. He proved he is a bird finder by carding a Woodcock at the 12 minutes and another at 15 minutes.
2.1 and 2.2 Boyle Farmstead reported.
3.1 Menchan Farmstead Kelly’s Blitz Wheel Hank PM Robert Little
Hank started off strong, but Tracker was called at 15 minutes and later found with a bird.
3.2 Menchan Farmstead Elmers Always Been Crazy BM Donald Henderson
Elmer started with a close race and opened up after his first of three woodcock finds. His last bird lifted in his face and Elmer couldn’t resist a few steps. He was crowned with the most birds pointed on Saturday proving you don’t need a big running dog to find birds.
4.1 Donnellan Farmstead* Cairds Rip it Up PM Robert Little
Rip’s a beautiful Pointer and impressed early Unfortunately as he headed down a steep thicket a woodcock lifted, and he stopped momentarily and continued to chase. Picked up at 12 minutes.
4.2 Donnellan Farmstead * Mooselook Fionn SM Jack McNulty
Finn was the heartbreak dog of the day hitting all the likely spots, showing forward with each cast. A strong powerful race and had enough in reserve to easily complete an hour in the high humidity of the day. As we passed the deer blind the heavy rain from the night before filled the hollow with deep water Finn was seen swimming to the other side to reach a birdy section. He carded an unproductive at 30 minutes and continued searching.
5.1 Boyle Farmstead * Mooselook Tex PM Jack McNulty
Tex ran a beautiful forward race and handled it well with little encouragement from Jack. It’s like he was on autopilot going about his casts. Very snappy in the woods and a treat to watch.
5.2 Boyle Farmstead * Carids Little Macy May PF Robert Little
Macy had a strong race but went birdless. She's soon marking her 10th birthday.
6.1 Menchan Farmstead * Carids Southern Child PM Robert Little
Rory started off covering both sides of the road heading to the farmstead and carding a woodcock at 10 minutes just to the side of the field. He stopped again at 15 minutes and no bird was moved. He continued his bid looking great.
Social Events
The trialers this year were very fortunate Austin and Christine Parsons opened their home in Clementsport for meals and lodging on Friday and Saturday nights. I heard everyone had a great time and were treated with fantastic Maritime hospitality. Thank you, Austin and Christine! I contacted Dale Hackett several weeks ago and asked if he would judge the Classic with me. He accepted and arrived Friday evening to Roasted Chicken Dinner with all the trimmings. We judged the North American Woodcock Championship back a couple years and thought it would be a great opportunity to reconnect and watch some bird dogs. I know we both enjoyed the assignment and I’m sure we will do it again. Saturday noon time the BBQ and stove were made ready, and everyone enjoyed sausages on the bun along with donuts and muffins. It was indeed a welcome meal after walking three hours or so. Our Banquet was held this year at my cottage on Ponhook Lake and my lovely wife Shauna prepared a wonderful meal of her version of an Irish Stew along with homemade bread pudding! It was fantastic!
Well, I thank all those who attended this years running of the Irish Open Wild Bird Classic and everyone concluded it was a great time. I was personally disappointed with the entry but what’s important we all had fun. There were birds on all the courses this year and yes, the numbers were down from previous years, but I attribute that to the heavy rainfall the day before and night. Something like two inches of rain fell and just cleared up a few hours before the breakaway. I send a HUGE thank you to our landowners John and Rebecca Foley for allowing us to use their property. We are so very fortunate! Final note. If you used to trial or have an interest in trialing please go to your local organization and pitch in, they will appreciate it.
The Atlantic Sportsman’s Club 2022
Wild Bird Season Opener
By Ian Corbett
The Atlantic Sportsman’s Club held their Wild Bird Season Opener at West Caledonia Nova Scotia on August 20th and 21st. It was two days of jammed-packed fun running ½ hour stakes through old farmsteads alder runs and field edges searching for Grouse and Woodcock. We were blessed this year with good numbers of grouse. There was much debate while organizing this trial with the heat of the summer and the prospects of the three courses holding up over the two days of running ½-hour heats. The decision was made to run them in the opposite direction on the second go around hoping to push the birds back and forth with each rotation. We also decided to lay out the courses 15 minutes too long so the second round would provide fresh cover. This format worked out quite nicely with the exception, that The Boyle Farmstead (Course 2) was barren over the two days. It’s a dry course and the grouse and woodcock moved out a week or so earlier. The grouse left to the accompanying Foley Farmstead and greeted many of us roadside over the two days. Fortunately, The Donnellan and Menchan Farmsteads provided lots of excitement if you were drawn on either of those courses. Plans are in the works to address course 2 as I write. We are working towards building two ½ hour courses at the Menchan Farmstead for next year and we apologize to those who drew course 2. A few days before the trial we enjoyed some rain filling the brooks and ponds on the courses for the dogs to cool down from the heat. Each course also had water stations in place if needed. The daily stakeout area was along the Donnellan Farmstead field edge providing ample area and shade. The dogs were well cared for by the handlers and there was no issue with the heat, well except for the handlers and Judges who powered through to complete their duties.
Open Shooting Dog First Place August 20th
Super Storm NellESM owned by Thor Kain and handled by Pro Trainer Adam Dubriske ran the first brace of the trial on The Donnellan Farmstead. Breakaway was at 7:30 am under clear skies with heavy dew in the woods. It was one of those mornings you could hear a pin drop at 50 yards. His brace-mate was Elmer's Always Been Crazy BM owned and handled by Donald Henderson broke off hunting the edges of the path while Super Storm Nell pushed forward. Both dogs started searching with Super Storm Nell digging into the hillside on the left while Elmer hunted close. At the 6-minute mark just entering the Christmas tree lot to the left, Elmer was still hunting close and Super Storm Nell was on the hillside pushing 150 yards and heading to the lower field. Just before the path up to the field Grouse started to lift from the ground and trees. I'm thinking perhaps 6 birds or more. Elmer stopped and marked the bird's flights. Super Storm Nell at this point was 250 yards to the left but closing in fast to the pond where grouse have been known to hold up for the night. As we moved forward Elmer continued to hunt close. Adam Dubriske pushed forward to get into a better position to hear his bell and that was a smart move because it stopped hard on the slope above the pond. Adam Dubriske headed in I'm sure thinking a single Woodcock or maybe a grouse. When judge Lester Turner and Adam found Super Storm Nell standing, he looked fantastic! Adam moved in and grouse were lifting from all corners. He claims that perhaps 20 birds were moved in front of him. Lester told me she looked incredible standing on his toes and high. These birds were flushing down toward Elmer, Donald, and me. Elmer stopped on top of a large rock, I first thought he was marking birds but he had his own in a tree just above the rock. It was a sight to see! And I have no idea how he got up there because this was a large rock. Anyway, it was something to witness! After all this confusion and excitement everything was in order, and we continued through the cut to the backside of the course. At the 15-minute mark, we switched up and I watched Super Storm Nell devour the course in pursuit of more birds. He was rewarded with a beautiful WC find at 24, high on both ends before and after the shot. This was one of the more exciting performances I have seen in some time. He finished strong!
Open Shooting Dog 2nd Place August 20th
Cairds Remi PF owned and handled by Pro Trainer Robert Lyttle is no stranger to the winner's circle capturing the US Complete National Shooting Dog Championship in 2020. She always lays out an eye-catching race but at times is a handful, the good ones usually are! She ran in the fourth brace on the Donnellan Farmstead under ideal conditions. (second round on the course) She was let loose with her brace-mate Mooselook Mac Handled by Jack McNulty. Both dogs headed down the field with Remi taking the edge and Mac running along the hilltop. Both dogs entered the lower field cover searching the likely spots. Remi swung to the right taking a nice 200-yard cast and continued forward with Bob keeping her in the pocket before the big swing right. Bob knew he'd be in trouble if she headed up the "highway" to the Murphy Farmstead. She responded to his calls and made the bend heading to prime cover where earlier in the day we moved 2 broods of grouse (15 plus birds) Bob I'm sure was crossing his fingers, maybe even his toes for a few singles and NOT that double brood shacked up together! Near time Remi stopped 80 yards or so to the left buried in a super thick wet muck hole. We were lucky to find her! A few steps forward a grouse lifted out 20 yards then another! Everything is in order and Bob with a BIG SMILE! Me too!
Open Shooting Dog Third Place August 20th
Cairds Dreaming of Jeannie PF owned and handled by Pro Trainer Robert Lyttle ran on Course 3, The Menchan Farmstead in the 9th brace on Saturday under scorching temperatures. She broke away hard to the left of the course with her bracemate Belle SF owned and handled by Jonathan Wilkins in tow. At one point I thought I heard Belle's bell deep and to the right of the course and Jeannie to the left. As we started down the trail heading to the farmstead Jeannie's bell could be heard to the left. She made a couple of casts upfront and stopped hard just to the left of us out 75 yards. Bob had a good idea of where she was standing. After a few moments, I spotted her standing to the right in an opening. She was stunning to see! High-headed and poker-straight! At one point her eyes were closed drinking back the scent! I looked to the right of her and spotted the WC nestled in a hollow Bob swung around to the left and flushed her bird. Jeannie lifted her head and watched the bird rocket through the canopy still high and tight! She finished her hour strong. On another note, where was Belle all this time? Well, she was standing deep to the right of the course. Jonathan Wilkins gambled on a last-minute search and just wasn't deep enough. Her tracker was called, and she was located 80 yards standing from where we searched.
Open Shooting Dog First Place August 21st
Neo ESM owned by David Theroux was the hard-luck dog on Saturday not posting a find after carding a great effort on the ground. However, on Sunday he upped the game with casts in excess of 300 yards covering every corner of the Donnellan Farmstead searching for birds. He's powerful and at the same time glides through the cover effortlessly. At 22 minutes on the backside of the course, his bell stopped out 100 yards. His Handler Pro Trainer Adam Dubriskehad a good idea of where he was and with some help from Pro Trainer Robert Lyttle directed us to the general area. We searched for a few minutes and Seamus Smith(called upon to Scout) spotted him standing. He looked fantastic! I moved around to the right for a better view and flushed a grouse. Neo never made a budge when the gun was fired. As Adam moved in to collar him back to the course another grouse blasted out of a tree just inches from Neo. Everything is in order. He finished strong and I turned to Seamus and said, “you just witnessed a Championship performance” This dog is going places under Adam's whistle!
Open Shooting Dog Second Place August 21st
Over the last few years, the Atlantic Sportsman’s Club has struggled to find suitable facilities for lodging and meals during their weekend events. This year we decided to try the iconic Mersey Lodge situated 50 minutes from the grounds. Christopher Clarke on Friday evening provided us with some historical insights on the lodge while Austin Parsons and Jack McNulty prepared the BBQ meals. Breakfast Saturday morning was prepared by Ian Corbett. Lunches on the grounds were again prepared by Austin Parsons. Saturday night banquet was prepared by Austin Parsons and Jack McNulty. It's wonderful to see people step up and help so everything goes smoothly. Thank you, Austin and Jack. I wish I could report the Mersey Lodge was ideal however not providing meals and the 20-minute gravel road drive is an obstacle we will not repeat. These events don’t happen without judges taking their time to look over the entries. I thank Lester Turner for Judging alongside me on Saturday’s Shooting Dog and Austin Parsons on Sunday. Both are great guys with loads of experience judging. Donald Henderson and Jack McNulty stepped up and judged the Derbies along with Austin Parsons on Sunday. Thank you. These events don’t happen without the support from the trial community. A huge thank you to Pro Trainers Robert Lyttle and Adam Debriske for making the trip to Nova Scotia and their dog’s owners. Without them, trials are not possible. Lastly, we thank the Foley family for allowing us to use their property, and without their continued support hosting trials would be difficult. The Foleys want to remind everyone their properties are private and that please do not hunt or run your dogs without permission. Hopefully, we will see everyone again this fall for the Irish Wild Bird Classic on November 12th
In the Mix and Hard Luck Dogs
The hard luck dog first, Bakers River Mountain Man ESM owned by Brad Roth handled by Adam Dubriske carded an NP at 10 minutes and a nice WC at 22 only to move near time on a grouse. He laid out a decent race.
In the Mix Coal Creek Rip ESM handled by Adam Dubriske was rewarded with a nice WC at 13 minutes and a STOP TO FLUSH on another at 15 minutes. He was missing for 7 minutes which took away from his efforts. Overall impressive to watch.
Coy PM handled by Robert Lyttle was laying out a beautiful forward race. Sharp on the ground covering all the likely spots. He rolls through the cover. At 26 he was found stopped in the middle of a brood and when I saw him, he was very loose. Everything happened so quickly and Bob fired and continued on. He asked me if we were good, I responded I didn't see what happened in the confusion.
The Derbies
The Atlantic Sportsman's Club Open Derby was dominated by these two beautiful prospects, Partridge Hollow Elrumhew PM was rewarded First Place owned by Giuseppe Papandrea and handled by Adam Dubriske, and Lady Lucy Lou SF Second Place owned by Jonathan Wilkins and handled by Robert Little. Judges Jack McNulty/ Donald Henderson duo on Saturday’s Stake and Austin Parsons/ Donald Henderson on Sunday’s Stake looked over the 5 entries with the same results. The judges reported to me these two laid down very strong races and were in complete decision with their placements.
Congratulations to the winners and hopefully these two will continue their winning ways throughout their careers.
In Conclusion
Over the last few years, the Atlantic Sportsman’s Club has struggled to find suitable facilities for lodging and meals during their weekend events. This year we decided to try the iconic Mersey Lodge situated 50 minutes from the grounds. Christopher Clarke on Friday evening provided us with some historical insights on the lodge while Austin Parsons and Jack McNulty prepared the BBQ meals. Breakfast Saturday morning was prepared by Ian Corbett. Lunches on the grounds were again prepared by Austin Parsons. Saturday night banquet was prepared by Austin Parsons and Jack McNulty. It's wonderful to see people step up and help so everything goes smoothly. Thank you, Austin and Jack. I wish I could report the Mersey Lodge was ideal however not providing meals and the 20-minute gravel road drive is an obstacle we will not repeat. These events don’t happen without judges taking their time to look over the entries. I thank Lester Turner for Judging alongside me on Saturday’s Shooting Dog and Austin Parsons on Sunday. Both are great guys with loads of experience judging. Donald Henderson and Jack McNulty stepped up and judged the Derbies along with Austin Parsons on Sunday. Thank you. These events don’t happen without the support from the trial community. A huge thank you to Pro Trainers Robert Lyttle and Adam Debriske for making the trip to Nova Scotia and their dog’s owners. Without them, trials are not possible. Lastly, we thank the Foley family for allowing us to use their property, and without their continued support hosting trials would be difficult. The Foleys want to remind everyone their properties are private and that please do not hunt or run their dogs without permission. Hopefully, we will see everyone again this fall for the Irish Wild Bird Classic on November 12th
international 2022
    Champion Grousewood’s Tea-Peter Labella
    Runner Up Champion Little Miss Margaret-Tim Cavanaugh
    The 2022 International Amateur Woodcock Champion came out of the 7th brace. Grousewood’s Tea (PF) owned and handled by Peter Labella was braced with Springbrook Maximus (Ogilvie). With the dogs at the line on Pine Top on this cool morning, the judges gave the “turnem loose” command and the second day of the trial was started. Daisy, a sleek and fancy going pointer charged out of the gate with Max at her side. The bells faded into the distance as it seemed for a moment that they may not return. In short order, the bells returned and both dogs peeled off and went to work. Daisy took the field edge at the first turn and Max went down to the right of the course. Daisy’s bell fell silent first at 5:00 on the edge of the field. Labella was unable to move a bird for her and took her on. Max would have the next stop at 10:00 in a green briar tangle. A lengthy flushing attempt led to the first find of the brace. With the dogs back on course and headed down the hill, Daisy seems to float through the cover with Max driving hard. Max’s bell fell silent again at 26:00 with Daisy coming in to honor. After all, were ready, Ogilvie walked into the young pines and sent a woodcock fluttering out. The dogs were returned to the course and sent on. Just before the lower field, both dogs entered the left edge and their bells fell silent. Daisy, standing like a statue was located first with Max a little deeper in at 37:00. As both handlers flush, Labella sent the woodcock into the air first and a divided find was recorded. Both dogs were collard and let loose across the field going hard. With time ticking down, Daisy sailed through the open woods working the front. Both dogs would cap off a great run with Daisy’s bell stopping deep to the front at 57:00 and Max’s stopping just after. As Ogilvie searched for Max, he located Daisy on the edge of the pines, head cranked, tail poker straight, and sucking scent. Max was located to the right by his scout. At the report of the guns, time was called the judges knew Daisy had set the bar high and would be tough to beat.
    The runner-up champion came out of the 3rd brace on the bridge course. Little Miss Margarete owned and handled by Tim Cavanaugh was braced with Brae Val Glillie (McCluskey). The young pointer and setter tore off down the trail. Maggie, a classy going pointer, has developed quickly through the combination of quality breeding and Cavanaugh’s dedication to the sport. Both dogs burned up some excess energy early. As we made the turn back along the river, Ghillie was the first to stop at 13:00 in the open. As McCluskey approached, Ghillie first looked unsure and the tightened upon his arrival. The handler stepped in front and the woodcock fluttered away. Maggie, moving forward, settled in and hunted hard. Both dogs' bells fell silent at 20:00. Maggie was on one side of a group of young pines and Ghillie on the other side. With both handlers flushing, McCluskey was able to get the bird into the air and record his second find. With both dogs rolling along, the handlers quickly crossed the road and headed for the second part of the course. Nothing was produced near the wet holes or at the beginning on the field. Maggie, running out of time, dove into the right of the field just before the road and slammed on point at 52:00 for all to see. With the bird lifting in front of her nose, she never twitched even a hair. Both dogs went across the road and finished going away.
    I know I have mentioned this in the past, probably every time I report a trial that I run in Arcadia, but I firmly believe that it has to be one of the best places to run a spring wild bird cover dog trial. With the numbers of migrating woodcock, in excess of 40+ seen in two days of running, the dogs had opportunities. That doesn’t mean they didn’t have to work. Dogs have to adapt to the bird cover and be willing to plow through green briar if needed. As with any championship, the top dogs do. With the
    Brace 1: Chasehill Poison Ivy (Raiano) and Springbrook Sweet T (Ogilvie) broke away at Pine Top to start the championship with a strong gallery in tow. With migrating woodcock, a number of things have to fall into place to have significant numbers. With just 5 minutes in, T stopped at the first turn with Ivy coming in just after. The first woodcock was walked up in the path. When the dogs were found, T had let up but Ivy still was tight and the bird was flown of her noise. The dogs were returned to the course. Ivy would quickly stop again at 6:00 near the stone wall but nothing could be produced. Both dogs cruised through the course and down the hill. Ivy would take another unproductive at 30:00. Ivy and T scored at 34:00 with another find. T would suffer unproductive at 48:00 and the South County Field Trail club. At the end of Saturday's running, Jill Stolgitis opened up her home and provided dinner. A task that just a “thank you” is never enough. Even with the challenging economy, amateurs came from far and wide to get a shot at a championship of this caliber. The support from Pro trainers such as Bob Little and John Stolgitis goes to show how important this championship is and the history that goes with it. Of course, everyone wants to thank the judges, Adam Dubriske and Billy Bonnetti for their careful consideration of every brace. They had several long conversations after the time was called. A final thanks to all involved, it is really appreciated.
    The Running
    Brace 1: Chasehill Poison Ivy (Raiano) and Springbrook Sweet T (Ogilvie) broke away at Pine Top to start the championship with a strong gallery in tow. With migrating woodcock, a number of things have to fall into place to have significant numbers. With just 5 minutes in, T stopped at the first turn with Ivy coming in just after. The first woodcock was walked up in the path. When the dogs were found, T had let up but Ivy still was tight and the bird was flown of her noise. The dogs were returned to the course. Ivy would quickly stop again at 6:00 near the stone wall but nothing could be produced. Both dogs cruised through the course and down the hill. Ivy would take another unproductive at 30:00. Ivy and T scored at 34:00 with another find. T would suffer unproductive at 48:00 and 50:00.
    Brace 2: Cairds Little Macey (Henderson) and Snuff Mill Riley (Dellinger) had the first go around on Cemetery. Both dogs worked through the green briar and rhododendron but could not dig up a bird. Riley stopped at 35:00 with Macey honoring but nothing could be produced.
    Brace 3: Previously Mentioned
    Brace 4: Shirley Saratoga Britt (Shirley) and Duckhook (Flewelling) had the second go-around on Pine Top. Toga went to work quickly with a stop at 4:00. Shirley quickly produced a pair of birds for his dog. Toga was returned to the course and stopped at 6:00. Shirley plowed through the briars to flush the woodcock right off the dog’s nose. While this was all going on, Brute was gliding through the cover in search of his own birds. Brute’s bell fell silent at 23:00 with Toga coming in for the back. Flewelling sent the bird skyward and he had his first find of the trial. Toga went back to work and stopped at 31:00 with another find. This brit knows how to find birds as he nailed another at 35:00. Brute got back into the mix again when he and Toga stopped at 43:00 with a divided find. Brute would finish his hour strong and Toga hustled to the end.
    Brace 5 Long gone Hatfield (Kennedy) and Elmers Always Been Crazy (Henderson) took off to the briars. Both dogs did not have any luck on the field edges. They swung back through the rhododendrons and
    Hatty dove down to the left and her bell stopped at 15:00. Kennedy located her dog in a seep near the road and was able to produce a bird with all in order. Both dogs would cross the road and Hatty would stop to the right. Kennedy was unable to produce a bird this time. Elmer moved forward and was rewarded two times just before the cemetery. He had a bird at 34:00 and another at 41:00. Elmer would finish with a moderate race.
    Brace 6: The last brace of the day ended on the Bridge course. Wizard’s Cas Dubh (Hathaway) shared the course with Blue Creek Pearl (Raiano). Both dogs ran well and covered a lot of ground but both went birdless.
    Brace 7: Mentioned Earlier
    Brace 8: The morning run of Cemetery included Sweet Southern Belle (Henderson) and Witch City Charlie (Hathaway). Belle is owned by Jonathan Wilkins of New Brunswick. Charlie is owned by Steve Levesque. Henderson and Hathaway turned the dogs loose. Belle stopped quickly at 4:00 for Henderson on the edge of the course in a nasty briar tangle. Henderson, also from New Brunswick, attempted to get a bird up but the thrashing of briars was too much for Belle and she took some steps which ended her day. Charlie would have the course to himself. He hunted well and was rewarded with a find at 39:00. However, not having a brace mate may have hindered his run, and was picked up at the cemetery.
    Brace 9: Little Miss Bella (Cavanaugh) and Brae Val Bearcat Laddie (McCluskey) had another go at the bridge course. Both dogs made it to the turn. Bella bells stopped at 14:00 near the stream but Cavanaugh could not produce a bird. Laddie went forward and had a stop near some young pines at 14:00 and started up before the handler could reach him. Bella was making her way to the front when the sound of Laddie’s bell was lost. Bella crossed the course and stopped right before a bird got up. The scout stood by Bella as the handler made his way up. McCluskey and his scout continued to search for Laddie but were having trouble. After Cavanaugh fired and was taking Bella back to the course, the second judge noticed a bit of color and after closer investigation, Laddie was found buried in the brush behind a blowdown. McCluskey fired and both dogs were credited with a find at 31:00. Both dogs went forward and across the road, Bella had her second unproductive at 33:00 and then a find on a pair of woodcock at 50:00. Both dogs were picked up at the road.
    Brace 10: The final brace of the championship was between Harwich Indian Creek Buck (Olfson) and Boomer of Blackwater (Flewelling). Buck covered his course but went birdless. Boomer, ran strong and hunted well but he too went birdless.
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    The Nova Scotia Pointing Dog Club hosted the International Amateur Walking Wild Pheasant Classic in Annapolis Valley on November 12th, 2021  International Amateur Pheasant Classic winner Cairds You're So Vain owned by Kyle and Liz Price and handled by Donald Henderson. From Left to Right Christopher Clarke Austin Parsons ( Judge )  Julie Towers (Judge) Donald Henderson Donald Cluney Jonathan Wilkins Doug Forgrave

    lester Turner Doug Forgrave Ian Corbett

    The Winner. From left: Judge Lester Turner, Doug Forgrave with Kelly's Rainey Stormy Knight, and Judge Ian Corbett.

    A HUGE thank you to all the trialers who attended the inaugural running of the Irish Settlers Open Wild Bird Classic on November 13-14 2021 and a special thank you to pro trainer Craig Doherty and his wife Katie who drove up from New Hampshire, crossing the border with all the COVID red tape, not to mention the twelve-hour drive and a two-hour ferry crossing from St. John, N.B.

    Also, a special thank you to pro trainer Robert Little from New Brunswick who faithfully supports our trials.

    The winner, Kelly's Rainey Stormy Knight, a German shorthair pointer male owned by Doug Forgrave of New Brunswick, carded a solid grouse find just off the trail to the left near the Menchan Farmstead in fancy style. He ran a fast-paced race from the beginning to the end. At 45 he stopped again just off the trail to the left, but no bird was moved carding an unproductive. He gave Doug a workout reaching past his bell at times but finished his hour with steam in the boiler.

    He was presented Sunday with $1,000 in cash, Limited Edition Irish Whisky glass and Irish Classic Cap. His bracemate commented to me later that Rainey's performance "embarrassed" his dog's run. It was a fun a brace to watch!

    We saw a lot of great races, but unfortunately their dogs either had bad luck where birds were moved by their bracemate or flushed wild or finishing their hour birdless. Some were picked up for taking a few steps or moving up while flushing.

    It's a different game this late in season, the cover is basically down allowing dogs to see the grouse or woodcock adding to the temptation to chase or move up. Many of dogs were hunted hard guiding and were not as polished for competition. Hard luck dogs like Champion Bear River Victory, owned by Christopher Clarke and handled by Robert Little. She was laying down a nice ground race along with multiple grouse finds only to make a mistake at the end.

    There were other dogs like Cairds Dreaming Jeanie which was laying down a fantastic race only to go with a woodcock early in the brace. Cairds Cracklin Rosie had multiple grouse finds and a nice race. After discussion with the fellow judge Lester Turner there were two incidents. One of moving up while attempting to flush that I didn't see or the handler and another were a grouse was heard by Judge Lester Turner with Rosie in pursuit.

    Craig Doherty had several dogs that were not in the right place at the right time where grouse was moved just minutes after their hour. Mooselook Texas Star, owned by Jack McNulty and handled by Craig Doherty, was laying out a fast race only to, unfortunately, encounter a woodcock on McBride Hill right on the trail flushing wild and Tex continued the chase. These are just a few of the hard-luck stories.

    New trialer Donald Henderson handling Elmer's Always Been Crazy had a nice grouse find close to the trail only to make a jump on a woodcock just a few inches from his nose. Most definitely a tired flight bird. As a judge, I personally feel for the handlers when bad luck occurs. We want to see dogs render solid efforts.

    Gathering at the tent. From left: Johnathan Wilkins, Doug Forgrave, Christopher Clarke, Bruce Brownwell, Robert Little, Katie Doherty, and Donald Henderson.

    The Irish Settlers Open Wild Bird Classic is a tribute to the Irish who emigrated from Ireland to Nova Scotia in 1826 and made a life in North Queens, Nova Scotia. The small community of Caledonia was named after the vessel that brought them from St John's, Newfoundland after they were fooled by a sea captain telling them they'd arrived in St. John New Brunswick. Sea captain and local businessman Patrick Cought heard of their situation while in Newfoundland and brought them to Liverpool in the fall of 1826 where they stayed with local families. Not a small undertaking considering eighty in total needed room and board.

    These families arrived in West Caledonia the following spring cutting a farm out of the forests and building a new life over many years. It's these old farmsteads where our trial courses wind through passing old stone walls, wells, and foundations, reminders of the past!

    Considering November 13th is late for woodcock we did move four in total on two of the courses. The star of the weekend was the ruffed grouse. Every course grouse was seen with numbers nearing 25 being flushed wild by the gallery or pointed by the dogs. There was enough to give every dog an opportunity to be shown on a bird. I personally would prefer mid-October to take advantage of our strong woodcock flights; however, between upland guiding and bird hunting the consensus is entries would be reduced and it's the entry that needed to be successful.

    I arrived early Saturday morning to check on the cows making sure they didn't arrive back to our base field, the Donnellan Farmstead. Club member and reporter Bruce Brownell arrived helping me set up the tent and get the coffee and lunches organized.

    At noon we arrived back to a homemade Irish stew prepared by my wife Shauna who is an excellent cook! There wasn't a drop left and it was a huge pot! I'm thinking next year she'll have to do the same! Saturday night we had a wonderful time at the Whiskey Teller Pub in Annapolis Royal. Great conversation and tasty meals were the highlights of the evening.

    Craig Doherty and Katie were presented for the farthest distance traveled award a Bottle of Famous Grouse Smokey, limited edition Irish Settlers Whisky Glass, and some imports from Ireland.

    To finish off, I Thank Lester Turner, club president, for his work helping organize and judging again this year. We are both stepping away from judging this coming year to hopefully run our dogs in the future event.

    We have exciting news to share in the coming months along with new arrangements for local lodging reducing the daily traveling time to the grounds and meals along with banquet on site.

    Another big thank you goes out to the Grand National Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship committee for including us in their points circuit.

    Finally, but certainly, not least I thank John Foley and his daughter Rebecca for allowing us to use the Donnellan Farmstead for courses one, sixt, and "base camp" for our trial.

    grouse and woodcock trial .75hr
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    The winners today for the Open Shooting Dog Judges Ian Corbett and Lester Turner winner You're So Vain Robert Lyttle on Course 3 with a Grouse at 20 min Woodcock at 40 min and a Woodcock at 44 minutes. She had a forward race and handled nicely.
    Second place was Elmer's Always Been Crazy owned and Handled by new comer Donald Henderson sticking a woodcock in fancy style
    The heavy rain the day before reduced the bird numbers in the morning. The dogs that had birdwork either were lost on point or went missing requiring the tracking unit. The hard luck dog of the day was Bear River Victory owned by Christopher Clarke pointing a woodcock at 10 minutes in fancy style. Bell went silent again at 15 deep on Number 1 course right off the trail. A valiant effort was made by handler and scout with out success. The tracking unit was called and was found standing a woodcock out 200 yards. Honorable mention goes to Sweet Southern Belle with a fancy race but came up empty handed.


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    The Open Derby Stake judged by Ian Corbett and Bruce Brownell. First Place was awarded to Southern Child owned by Donald Henderson and Handled by Robert Lyttle . He laid down a powerful ground race hitting all the likely spots and handled well most of the time. He reached to the edge of his bell on several casts. Second place was Real Mccoy. He's a well built male that glided through the cover with ease. He handled nicely with forward race and reaching at times.
    Our third placement was Rip It Up handled by Robert little, he did indeed cover all the likely spots. He wasn't quite as exciting to watch but was in the mix.
    We both enjoyed watching a young GSP Live Action's Gone Rogue owned and handled by new comer Matthew Brideau Murphy. Courtney Lawton This young female has a bright future. Her ground race was exciting to watch with nice casts at times. Very athletic and fast! Tagging her bracemate took away from her performance but I'm sure with some maturity she'll be in the winning circle.
    Thank you all who entered and hopefully next year we will be holding this trial again
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    • clubbreaaway (1 of 1)
    • toast to wooodock
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    Atlantic Open Woodcock Classic and Open Shooting /Derby Stakes
    On Saturday September 12th 2020 HISTORY WAS MADE! With an opening statement like that you would think the headlines would continue with another mass shooting OR second wave of the covid 19 sweeping the country OR some political crisis. TWENTY TWENTY will go in the history books as one horrific bad year with unprecedented events and WE still have three and a half months left going into this new decade year! This story will never make the National News or even be commonly spoke or cared about by the average person. BUT for the select FEW who love bird dogs and can't get enough of watching a dog punish relentlessly through heavy cover in their quest to search out woodcock and grouse. For those FEW who dream of a dog taking the edge and disappearing into an alder run at full speed. Even those FEW who enjoy and appreciate just walking through trails connecting old farmsteads dating back to the mid 1800s. For these people history was indeed made. It was the first time in Queens County for a Wild Bird Field Trial and the first trial for the newly formed Atlantic Sportsman's Club.
    A small community of farmers who settled in the early 1800s made a life for themselves carving from the forests a living in North Queens Nova Scotia.Their hard work was abandoned and forgotten leaving nature to reclaim. What is left is overgrown fields with lovely openings,edges and fertile soils. Back 25 years or so ago these areas were clear cut leaving these hilltop farmsteads generally entacted with huge White Ash trees, immense stone walls and foundations. The forests were allowed to grow in naturally providing perfect habitat for Woodcock and grouse.
    Back a year and a half ago I started thinking about ways to incorporate these farmsteads using existing trails and hauling roads into courses. The final results were well received by those who attended and suggestion for improvements are welcomed and noted.
    I wanted to lead the report with a little background before entering into the running. Without further delay! Dogs were released promptly at 8:00 AM under ideal conditions with sunny skies and cool temperatures. On the opening brace on course 1 Cairds Little Macy Mae handled by Pro trainer Robert Little layed out the performance of the day. Her bell stopped hard at 11 minutes and found shortly on point flushing a woodcock with all in order. She was released and again promptly stopped at 15 minutes. She was little anxious but everything in order while Robert flushed her grouse. she was promptly released and at 19 minutes talled a beautiful woodcock find looking intense and tight. Again all in order. She continued searching covering both sides of the course and before entering the hill on the left her bell stopped at 38 minutes within 25 yards of the trail. Bob with Judges Lester Turner and Bruce Brownell in tow found her standing and shortly flushed a grouse. She finished her time searching with more steam in the kettle. From my perspective she handled well and was in the pocket most of the time and was very deserving to be named the WINNER of the Atlantic Open Woodcock Classic. I found her performance exciting to watch and I am super happy she talled 2 woodcock and 2 grouse rather nicely spaced in the very first brace.
    On the third brace of the day Ponhook's Sassy Pants a small-ish Pointer female owned and handled by myself Ian Corbett was released on brace 3. She immedately got to work diving in both sides of the course without handling. The course swings to the left with a step rise to a over grown farmstead. She switched gears into overdrive and covered all the likely spots giving her handler a hairy ride. She talled a beautiful tight woodcock find on the left exiting a downward trail from the field. Gun was fired and all in order. She continued on strong and forward having a stop to flush an a grouse near the course trail. It appeared to me the grouse was sitting on a large rock and lifted in front of her. I don't think she scented it and cautioned a whoa. She remained high and tight and I fired the gun. She finished her time on a wide road which distracted from a strong race. Both judges felt her conditioning bested the field.
    I'm not getting into details with the other braces but only one dog went birdless and we moved 25 woodcock and grouse. That's good numbers for only 6 braces of dogs! The judges were carrying 4 dogs in total with acceptable performaces.
    The Open Shooting Dog on Sunday broke away at 8:00 AM. The courses were shortened from 45 minutes to 30 minutes under the guidance of Donald Cluney. Lester Turner couldn't fullfill judging duties on Sunday from a knee injury he had the day before. I scratched my entry and swinged into the role. For some reason birds were limited and the dogs that had finds either got lost or required the Tracker, one unfortuantely was evolved with a porcupine. Temps and humility was higher than the day before too. Only one dog was awarded, Sweet Southern Bell a beautiful Setter Female owned and handled by Jonathan Wilkins. She handled well and hunted all the likely spots and was rewarded with a woodcock find. I didn't see the find but Judge Brian Sauliner reported in the detail her find. Her bell went silent and was found standing as they approached. She self relocated and pinned the woodcock with everything in order.
    The Open Derby in a two brace stake only talled one find in the first brace at 15 minutes. Ginger Tree Emma a very stylish Setter Female showed off her finished manners high headed and tight. Her run was searching and close but very pleasing.
    Some of the highlights of the weekend was Donald Cluney's Steak BBQ providing the best local beef available in Nova Scotia. You could cut the steak with your fork and plenty of it available. Lots of returns for seconds says it all! Friday Night was the Toasting of the Woodcock. Christopher Clarke did an excellent job giving the toast with some very "interesting" insights. Thanks Chris! Everyone enjoyed.
    Lunches were organized by Christopher Clarke and prepared by E-J's Grill & General Store and provided at the grounds. Saturday Night meal was prepared by the Milford House dining hall with a selection of meals to choose from. All was tasty!
    Saturday night after the dinner the announcement was made at the Heron Cottage ( Club Headquarters). Our sponsors this year stepped up to the plate with gifts for everyone. The keeper trophies for the winners of the Classic were provided by Donegal Masonry Limited a firm owned by Lester Turner, Thanks Lester for judging and providing the funds for these. They are beautiful! Sportdog provided the Classic winners each with there latest Ecollars. A HUGE THANK YOU TO SPORTDOG! Inukshuk Professional Dog Food provided several sample boxes of their product along with caps and large dog food bags. Many of the trialers use their product and reports are very favorable. THANK YOU INUKSHUK! Last but absolutely not the least was Remington Arms. They provided everyone hats, bags, cases of shells for judges gifts. Local Rep Tim Hemming was even there Saturday afternoon walking braces! A HUGE THANK YOU TIM! Everyone I'm sure will enjoy the gifts.
    Finally I want to Thank all the trialers who made the effort to come to our trial. I'm thinking this brought some normalize back to out daily lives meeting up with old friends and making new! Let hope we can do a repeat sometime in the future. This trial would not be possible without Robert Little entering his string of wonderful dogs and bringing his fellow trial friends from New Brunswick. THANK YOU ALL!

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      Jonathan Wilkins with Belle Winner Open Shooting Dog

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      Tom Wilkins with Emma Winner of Open Derby Dog

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      Otter Cottage at the Milford House

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      Robert Litt'e on Course # 3

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      Breakaway at Course #2 Robert Little and Doug Forgrave

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    Judges Lester Turner (Left) and Bruce Brunnell ( Next to Fireplace) chatting with Christopher Clarke at the Milford House Sept 2020

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