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Strut Nation Wins Second Consecutive Title; Mobile Strike Named Runner-Up

National Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship

By Ed Liermann | Dec 02, 2019
Strut Nation Winner of the National Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship

Bancroft, Wis. — Bancroft, Wis.— The 2019 National Prairie Chicken Open Shooting Dog Championship started on Monday, September 23, following the National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship on the Buena Vista Grasslands in Bancroft, Wis. Thirty-four dogs were drawn in the Championship and ten in the accompanying Open Derby.

We had a cooler than normal spring with above average rainfall. The excessive rain continued into the summer months and would usually be followed by several warm sunny days. This pattern made for a lot of standing water in many areas on the course and for heavier cover. The taller cover found on parts of all the courses made this venue even more challenging for the dogs to navigate. Birds were found on all courses in good numbers.

Judges for this year’s Championship were Mark Livingston of Central City, Ia., and Sean Hauser of Manchester, Ia. Both men have judged many championships and run their dogs over a wide area.

THE WINNERS AND OTHERS

The 2019 winner of the National Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship is no stranger to the winners’ circle; he was also last year’s champion.

Strut Nation, five-year-old white and orange pointer male owned and handled by Scott Jordan of Grant, Minn., appeared in the 8th brace of the stake, which was the second brace on the second day.

Breaking away on course No. 2 (very heavy cover on this course along Lake Road) he put down a formidable race with dog and handler out of pocket a bit on the stretch along Lake Road. But crossing back over Lake Road at about the halfway point he started to reach. Handler called point at 50 with Judge Livingston viewing birds leaving. From there he cast down the right edge and was found standing at 56. He crossed Taft Road to finish the hour.

Running in brace No. 7 (the first brace of the second day) and capturing the runner-up title for the second year in a row was four-year-old white, tan and ticked setter male Mobile Strike, owned by Doug Hinton and Dr. Chet Layne of Dacula, Ga., and handled by Doug Ray.

Mobile Strike ran a big and far-reaching race. Handler called flight of chickens far to the left side at 23 along Griffith, with Judge Hauser acknowledging the flight of the birds. He finished the hour digging into the cover along the woods going east along Lake Road.

Breaking away on course No. 2 (very heavy cover on this course along Lake Road) Erin’s Prometheus ran a forward shooting dog race with a stop to flush at 10 and a nice find at 47 and finished the hour flowing forward along the edge and crossing the road at time.

Breaking away on course No. 2 (very heavy cover on this course along Lake Road) Cedar Creek Talon ran a forward shooting dog race and had an unproductive at 10 and a nice find on a covey at 35. He finished the hour strong, flowing down toward the road crossing at time.

Phillips Wind Line ran a forward race as the cover allowed and had a stop to flush at 17 and another at 34. He carded a forward find at 52 and finished the hour.

Many thanks to the great people who give of their time and make this trial run smoothly. Thanks to Gary Wolfe, a Wisconsin DNR biologist and our longtime dog wagon driver. Tradition calls for hard boiled eggs to be served from the dog wagon between braces and Gary Wolfe provides these as well as other goodies for us. Blocking road crossings is vital for safety at this trial and was attended to by Gary Wolfe, George and Ann Ihrke, Doug and Judy Reisner.

We couldn’t run this trial without support from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. A big thanks goes out to site manager Lesa Kardash who has been working at Buena Vista since 2006 and has been working closely with this trial the last two years and is always attentive to our needs.

Trial attendees this year included Frank LaNasa, John Mathys, George and Ann Ihrke, Doug and Judy Reisner, Scott Jordan, Rich Boumeester, Dennis Lutynski, Doug Ray, Kaley Lee, Jim Smith, Dave Moore, Jim Tande, Harold Ray, Eleanor Aimee Atkins and Andy Lewandowski, Dog Committee chairman from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. We appreciate the WWF’s support of field trialing and hunting in Wisconsin.

Purina has been a big sponsor of this event for years. Our longtime Purina rep Jim Smith was in attendance at the Purina sponsored dinner. The Thursday night Purina dinner is a favorite featuring Thanksgiving dinner with all the “fixin’s”. Thanks to Purina, Greg Blair and Jim Smith for supporting our trial and auction.

SportDog also sponsors our trial and auction by donating collars. Thanks to Jim Morehouse for his continued support of this Championship. We thank them all for their support.

After the first day’s running and each evening Scott Jordan, owner and handler of last year’s champion (and the eventual winner also in 2019), hosted a happy hour. A good time was had by all and appreciation is extended to Scott.

We switch the morning and afternoon courses for the Open Championship. Breaking away on Monday morning at 8:00 a. m. on course No. 1 we cross Griffith and swing east. Morning temperatures were a bit cooler than normal.

THE RUNNING

L F Silver Belle (Ray) and Skydancer’s Hang Fire (Lutynski) were out fast and away into heavy cover. Silver Belle had a good forward race with a nice find at 3 after a relocation and an unproductive at 45 but was lost at pickup. Hang Fire was gone and handler asked for the retrieval unit at 24.

Dominator’s Kid Rock (Ray) and Cedar Creek Talon (Liermann) were off at Kings Ranch. Kid Rock was covering a lot of ground going deep into cover but wasn’t pleasing handler and was picked up at 23. Talon was mentioned earlier.

C S Little Anne (Ray) had a stop to flush at 20 and hunted hard throughout the hour. Chief’s Rising Sun (Mathys) had an unproductive at 28 and made some nice casts and finished the hour.

Both Pennison Emagan That (Ray) and Erin’s Wild Rum (Johnson) moved forward and away after lunch. Emagan That failed to stop to flush on a flight of birds and was picked up at 35. Wild Rum, fast and forward, was lost at 30.

Master’s Touch (Ray) and Skydancer’s Flash Drive (Lutynski) worked fast and forward. Master’s Touch was gone at 40 and the retrieval unit was out. Flash Drive failed to stop to flush on a chicken at 38 and was picked up.

Dot On The Horizon (Ray) ran a pleasant and consistent forward race and responded well to handler but had an unproductive at 55. Notorious King’s Ransom (Mathys) had a consistent forward race and a stop to flush at 38 when handler elected to pick up.

Tuesday morning, the second day of the Championship, had runner-up Mobile Strike down with Skydancer’s Triple Nickel (Lutynski), away at 8:00 a. m. Mobile Strike was mentioned earlier. Nickel started strong and ran well. After a lengthy absence handler asked for the retrieval device at 45.

Erin’s Prometheus (Ray) and Strut Nation ( Jordan) broke away at Kings Ranch. Prometheus had a consistent forward shooting dog race with a stop to flush at 38 and a find at 47 with all in order. Strut Nation was mentioned earlier.

Button Up (Ray) and Tall Oaks Son (Smith) headed straight away fast on course No. 3. Son went with a chicken and was picked up at 3. Button Up had a stop to flush at 4 and at 12. Handler elected to pick up at 36.

First brace after lunch with a temperature of 85°.

Hatter’s Max (Ray) started out strong then slowed a bit and handler elected to pick up at 32. Chief’s Apache (Mathys) was a scratch.

Denton (Ray) and Jumpstart (LaNasa) were out fast and forward. Denton made some nice moves and was big moving off to the left into some willows.

Handler asked for the retrieval unit at 39. Jumpstart made some big moves, but suffered unproductives at 32 and 46 and was picked up.

Always Dreaming (Ray) and Boumeester’s Duramax (Jordan) were out into the cover. Dreaming had a unproductive at 12 and hunted the cover forward. Duramax, with Scott Jordan filling in, hunted forward through heavy cover. Neither dog was pleasing its handler and they were picked up at 36.

Wednesday morning it was Zip Tye (Ray) and Tall Oaks Doc (Smith). Doc had a find at 3 with all in order and he continued to a forward race throughout the hour. Zip Tye failed to back and was picked up at 3.

True Honor (LaNasa) was scratched. Stone’s Tried and True (Ray) failed to stop on a chicken at 23 and was picked up.

Cheyenne Nation (Jordan) was picked up at 9 for failing to back. Phillips Wind Line (Ray) had a stop to flush at 9 and 23. He had a find at 52 and hunted as the cover allowed.

Both Confident Nation (Jordan) and Dominator’s Ghost Rider (Ray) were out fast and forward. Confident Nation was lost at 25. Ghost Rider was picked up at 22.

Skydancer’s Flash Forward (Lutynski) and C S Trump (Ray) were off into heavy cover and combined with the high temperatures were picked up at 10.

Bancroft, Wis., September 23

Judges: Sean Hauser and Mark Livingston

NATIONAL PRAIRIE CHICKEN SHOOTING DOG CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 23 Pointers, 10 Setters and 1 Irish Setter

Winner—STRUT NATION, 1658294, pointer male, by Game Strut—High Value Special. Scott Jordan, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—MOBILE STRIKE, 1669162, setter male, by Barbaro—Daisy Duke. Doug Hinton & Dr. Chet Layne, owners; Doug Ray, handler.

OPEN DERBY

We had a very strong Derby Stake with many of these dogs showing great potential.

First placed Country Prime, white and orange pointer male owned and handled by Dave Moore of Big Lake, Minn., had a powerful forward race and handled the cover very well to take the top spot.

Rock and Rebel Rain, pointer female handled by Doug Ray, captured second. She ran a nice consistent race and was forward.

Third place Due Respect, white, black, tan and ticked and setter male owned by Jim Tande and Wyndell Hines and handled by Jim Tande, made some nice casts and ran a big race.

OPEN DERBY — 9 Pointers and 1 Setter

1st—COUNTRY PRIME, 1681394, pointer male, by Ransom—Youngstown Storm Seeker. David Moore, owner and handler.

2d—ROCK AND REBEL RAIN, 1683513, pointer female, by Alvin—Pamlico. Tommy Liesfeld, owner; Doug Ray, handler.

3d—DUE RESPECT, 1684605, setter male, by Erin’s Hidden Shamrock—Hawthorn Patty. Jim Tande & Wyndell Hines, owners; Jim Tande, handler.

SOME SIDELIGHTS AT BUENA VISTA

Fast becoming a tradition here on the Saturday night before the Purina dinner is our Chicken Championship’s auction to raise money for additional mowing on the grounds, renting equipment for the students from UW Stevens Point that participate in the Adopt a Wildlife program that work on the grounds and also to give a $500 scholarship that is awarded to one of the students who volunteers at the grounds.

Thanks to Mike Barret of Barret’s Auctions in Wisconsin Rapids who donated his time to help us out.

Purina and SportDog help support this effort. Greg Blair from Purina was in attendance to see things first hand and donated additional items for the auction. Thanks Greg for supporting our event. Jim Morehouse from SportDog has supported this auction from the start. This year we had several e-collars including the 1825, the 2525 and we were fortunate to have a Tek 1.0 tracking collar. All were big hits, especially the Tek 1.0.

Thanks Jim for helping us out.

One of the highlights of the auction was a painting by Lake Geneva, Wis., artist and friend Dr. Rick White of the breakaway on course No. 1 at Buena Vista. The painting has horses, dogs and several recognizable people in it that includes Frank LaNasa, who eventually outbid all for this generous gift.

Over the last several years Rick has become part of the field trial community by recording the culture and beauty of field trialing through his masterful paintings. Many of his pieces have depicted iconic settings and include recognizable places. Tonight was no exception as this extraordinary painting went for a large amount. Thanks to Rick for his generosity. We salute him for the dedication and devotion he has to his work recording dogs afield.

Several students from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point were in attendance, as well as Professor Dr. Jason Riddle; Gerald and Helen Stephens, professor of Wildlife, Wildlife Ecology and Management coordinator and advisor to the Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

Joe Quehl, president of the UWSP Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Sean Mason, treasurer of the UWSP Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and our Chicken Championship scholarship recipient Brilyn Brecka. The Student Chapter volunteers on these grounds to improve habitat that includes anything from chainsaw operation for clearing to prescribed burns by assisting the Wisconsin DNR in many different capacities.

We appreciate the close ties and working relationship we have with the Wisconsin DNR. Starting with site manager Lesa Kardash, who along with daughter Izzy attended our dinner, as well as site technician Zach Knab and past site manager Erin Grossman. We also welcomed Andy Lewandowski, Dog Committee chairman from the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

Brilyn Brecka, recipient of the Chicken Championship’s Scholarship, as well as Dr. Jason Riddle had the opportunity to ride and see the action first hand thanks to Mark Johnson lending a horse.

Some weeks after the trial Dr. Riddle explained he had heard about our event and knew he was going to experience something new but “didn’t realize that’s all he’d be talking about for the next two-three days.” He felt that seeing the event up close gave him valuable insight to share with current and future students.

E. L.

 

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