American Field

News From Hoffman (N.C.)

By Dwight Smith | Sep 05, 2017
Lee Crisco

Norwood, N. C. — The end of the 2016-2017 field trial season arrived at the end of March at the Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds near Hoffman, N. C. Everyone involved agreed that the 2016-2017 season was one of the most successful field trial seasons on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 6,000-acre field trial courses.

The 6,000 acres used for field trials is only a small part of the nearly 60,000 acres of the Sandhills Wildlife Area.

Individual members and member clubs got the feeling that the quail release program had been greatly improved and all are excited about the coming 2017-2018 season that will feature about twenty (20) field trial clubs that include walking trials, German Shorthaired Pointer trials and Brittany events on the multi-use grounds in addition to the usual open and amateur all-age and shooting dog trials.

The turnaround of a successful release came about with the new ideas and practices put into the release program by Mack Hilliard and several volunteers who helped him but followed his instructions.

The other factor that led to a successful season was the support of employees of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Lee Crisco is the man on site at the Sandhills game land area. His supervisors in the area are Brady Beck and Tracy Parsons.

Lee Crisco, in his first year in his new position, was easy to work with and understands some of the magical changes it takes to make life easier for wildlife. He is a coon hunter and a coon dog field trialer, a very successful one, too.

Not enough can be said about the contribution of Lee Crisco and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission’s efforts that helped improve conditions at Robert Gordon grounds.

Looking forward to the approaching 2017-18 field trial season at Hoffman is exciting. Many improvements have been made including more burning and moving that enriches quail habitat, all the handiwork of the North Carolina Wildlife Commission employees, especially Lee Crisco and his supervisors.

Mack Hilliard chose not to spearhead the quail release program for the coming year. John Ivester has accepted the challenge. John has a plantation about sixty miles south of Hoffman. His property has similar natural grasses and he knows about successful quail releases because he has been doing it for years.

The grounds committee feels fortunate to have Ivester in charge and is looking forward to another great year.

Some changes have been made in the trial schedules in order for some amateurs and professional handlers to take advantage of the wonders of the North Carolina Sandhills.

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