American Field

Field Trial Report

California Chukar Championship

By Sheldon Twer | Dec 07, 2018
Sleepless in Sacramento Winner of the California Chukar Championship

Hornitos, Cal. — This year the western regions scheduled their trials close together to make it easier for traveling and participation. This was disrupted somewhat when the Oakdale Bird Dog Club (OBDC) found it necessary to change venue and shuffle dates.

Thanks to the generosity and flexibility of the Ichord family, we were able to do a last minute shift from Ravendale to Hornitos for our first hosting of the California Chukar Championship and companion stakes. We were grateful to those trialers who were able to adjust their schedules to come to our event.

Our judges for the National qualifier, John Keel of Fresno, Cal., and Jared Tappero of Greenville, Cal., were able to sort things out and worthy winners.

Mr. Keel, who has helped us on numerous occasions, has been a go-to judge all over the West. We were happy to have Jared, who successfully trains and handles his own dogs.

As usual, the Camarillos were spot on with the dog transport; their good humor was always evident. Our judges stayed positive and very attentive.

Terry Erickson rode every brace checking birds and replenishing where needed.

Jim Wolthuis, who usually gets an assist from one or both of his sons, was on his own this time to do the initial bird releases as well as the cooking.

Our thanks to our sponsors, Sunrise Ford, Haidlen Ford, and Purina, all of which make this event financially feasible. To SportDog which has continued to provide their fine e-collars to the winning handlers.

Finally to the Ichord family that allows us to use their beautiful ranch.


Winning the stake for the second time in three years was Sleepless in Sacramento, pointer female owned by Cami and Jim Wolthuis of Sacramento, Cal., and handled by Sheldon Twer. Runner-up, with his first championship placement, was Nite White Jay, owned by Jim and Linda Camarillo of Modesto, Cal., also handled by Twer.

Meg (Sleepless), which usually separates herself with extreme speed and range, did so again to gain her fifth championship title. Judges concurred that her ground effort gave her the edge over Jay, a big powerful white and liver pointer whose pleasing cross country grace was easy to watch. Both dogs had a single chukar find with impeccable style and manners.

There was some concern about using chukar for the first time in terrain that is natural quail habitat. Thanks to Jim Wolthuis’ efforts spreading feed and using waterways, the chukar remained in good locations to be pointed. Even so, initially there was a dearth of acceptable bird work and a number of bobbles.

Last spring’s growth covered last year’s fire-blackened hillsides. However, current conditions were as unseasonably warm and dry as this reporter can remember. Luckily ranch springs and creeks bottoms made things negotiable.

Hornitos, Cal., October 19 — One Course

Judges: John Keel and Jared Tappero

CALIFORNIA CHUKAR CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 11 Pointers and 5 Setters

Winner—SLEEPLESS IN SACRAMENTO, 1653065, pointer female, by I B Iron Horse—Super Express Nash Begone. Jim & Cami Wolthuis, owners; Sheldon Twer, handler.

Runner-Up—NITE WHITE JAY, 1662537, pointer male, by Deception’s Nite White—Elite Elhew Sophia. Jim & Linda Camarillo, owners; Sheldon Twer, handler.

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