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Field Trial Report

Northern New England Woodcock Championship

By Kellie Short | Jan 06, 2021
Northern New England Woodcock Championship Winners. From left:  John Stolgitis with Panola Bacon and Russell Ogilvie With Daddy’s Little Boy Butch. Standing:  Brian Ralph, Judge Robert Arkley and Judge Douglas Dix.

Berlin, N. H. — The Maine Bird Dog Club hosted another successful renewal of the prestigious Northern New England Open Woodcock Championship. For 33 years the club has held titular status, but five of those years the club was unable to host its premier event due to lack of grounds or inclement weather.

The Maine Bird Dog Club was granted this Championship in 1987 after running a very successful wild bird classic for many years at the fabled Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Calais, Me. Many people worked very had to bring championship status on woodcock to northern New England. We have to tip our hats to the late New Englander and member of the Field Trial Hall of Fame, Truman Cowles, who graciously and tirelessly helped guide the Maine Bird Dog Club to achieve this goal of  championship status.

The inaugural running was held in September, 1987 at the Brownfield Wildlife Management Area in Fryeburg, Me. This bird-laden venue was our home for many years; however, due to overgrowth and forest cutting we lost two of our three courses.

The club was able to locate grounds nearby at Fiddlehead Campground for several years and at the Kilkenny Management Area of the White Mountain National Forest.

This year’s renewal in Kilkenny encompassed the 24,000-acre Kilkenny Loop. Field trials here are run under a special use permit granted by the United States Department of Agriculture. The Forestry Service manages this part of the White Mountain National Forest and active and former evidence of clear cutting is everywhere.

Grouse and woodcock numbers are strong, although declining since the early 1990s when trials first started running here.

This year our judicial panel was two “dyed in the woods” grouse and woodcock hunters, both men, Doug Dix from Whitingham, Vt., and Bob Arkley from Jay, Vt., are experienced field trialers. Thank-you both for walking many hard and grueling miles in Kilkenny giving us your all.

This Championship is forever dedicated to Robert Paucek who since this running has had his 93rd birthday while hunting in northern Maine. This amazing nonagenarian is still training pointing dogs full time as his Bar Mills, Me., training facility. He is always helping with the draw, moving vehicles and, yes, the on-going advice!

Members of the Maine Bird Dog Club pitched in to prepare for the running of the Championship, from work days at Kilkenny, flagging and clearing courses, preparing the ad and securing judges, ribbons and the list goes on.

A very special and well deserved thank-you goes out to MBDC Secretary/treasurer, Bruce Burnell, for all his hard work and patience. Bruce does yeoman's service for the club from putting multiple ads together, attaining necessary permits, chasing down all essential data, banking and puts out all the fires constantly.

The judges believe that “dry conditions”, due to lack of rain in the Northeast led to the broods not being broken up yet. During the trial several grouse were found mostly in the wet areas. Not being broke up, multiple birds added pressure to many dogs. Only one woodcock was observed over two days.

WINNERS AND OTHERS

The 29th renewal of the Championship was bestowed on Panola Bacon running in the third brace on the Goldenrod course on day No. two.

He broke away with a mission. He had a grouse find at 5 under a lot of pressure from his bracemate, but handled it with impeccable style. A few minutes later another find, with bracemate coming in to back. Panola Bacon stood statuesquely through out the flush and shot as a grouse thundered out. With both of Bacon’s finds executed flawlessly, handler John Stolgitis only had to keep his charge forward and that he did. Running strong and to the front Bacon won the nod from Judges Dix and Arkley.

Daddy’s Little Boy Butch garnered runner-up honors for his handler John Stolgitis. Butch, running hard and forward, ran in the last brace of the second day on the Deer Mountain course. He tallied one grouse find at 28 minutes. He finished strong and going away.

In the first brace, Stokely B Ricky was up at 8 minutes due to handler error. Wild Apple Calvados, “last year’s winner,” had a couple of stops to flush with a little rough handling.

Grouse Hill Pepper had unproductives at 26 and 31. Ruff Grouse Lilly, handled by Paul Christopher ,impressed the judges with her kind handling, having two separate grouse finds, but two unprodcutives detracted from her performance.

Wild Apple Spot On and Paucek’s Little Tommy Tucker. Wild Apple Spot On had a stop to flush on a brood, showing a letdown handler elected to pick up before the hour was finished.

Elhew Snake Dancer was the closer of the two dogs, with Gia wider. No birds were pointed, but observed a wild flush at 4 minutes.

Caird's Rosie finished the course without contact with both dogs charging to the front. Long Gone Porky's bell stopped to the left. Handler Lloyd Murray attempted to flush. He attempted to relocate twice and was unable to produce a bird. Porky finished strong and to the front.

Both Wild Apple Polka Dot and Fox Brook Pokerface covered the Deer Mountain course; however, there was no bird contact.

Duck Hook did not handle kindly for John Stolgitis. He had to retrieve him from behind a couple of times with a lot of stop and start, finally getting him to the front and moving forward. He had an unproductive at 43. Stokely B Jack handled a little rough for owner-handler Leitch,

Spring Brook Maximus handled easily for owner-handler Olgilvie with a forward race and a nice grouse find. He hunted hard and finished to the front. Judges were impressed with connection between dog and handler. He had one unproductive that may have hurt his chances. Chasehill Little Thud, no newcomer to these grounds, was a handful for handler Craig Doherty. He had a stop at 24, but moved on and finished his hour strong to the front.

Stoke’s Willie B  and Panola Bacon (reported earlier). Both dogs charged to the front, with Willie more forward, swinging around at 5 where bracemate was pointing. Willie came around in front, not seeing his bracemate and started working a running bird, stopping to flush, shot was fired and both dogs taken on. Minutes later, Willie was backing his bracemate, with all in order. Getting separated in the hour, Willie showed up to the front with Judge Arkley, coming hard from the side of the hill when a grouse roared out and Willie stopped immediately. Waiting for handler Bly, Brian Ralph watched the dog as Judge Arkley proceeded with Bacon and Stolgitis. When Bly reached his dog I believe two more grouse were put to flight, with all in order.

Wild Apple White Lightning and Grouse Hill Annie. Did not get report on Lightning other than a grouse find at 42. Handler Stolgitis was not happy with his charge Annie and elected to pickup.

Chase Hill Speck stopped at33 and stopped again at 43 and handler Stolgitis sent dog on and again at 53. Elhew Snakewood was picked up for not backing.

Ralphy’s Reclaimed, a good sized setter, was charging hard, but due to dry conditions and warm temperatures had a little letdown, but finished the course. Daddy’s Little Boy Butch was reported on earlier.

Handler Stolgitis elected to scratch the bye dog Chasehill Little Izzy.

Berlin, N. H., September 18

Judges: Robert Arkley and Doug Dix

NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND WOODCOCK CHAMPIONSHIP

[One-Hour Heats] — 17 Pointers and 8 Setters

Winner—PANOLA BACON, 1675813, pointer male, by Daddy’s Little Boy Butch—Richfield Rose. Mac Stidham, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

Runner-Up—DADDY’S LITTLE BOY BUTCH, 1655649, pointer male, by Chasehill Little Bud—Richfield Stella. Paul F. Scott, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.

JEAN C. SANDERSON MEMORIAL OPEN DERBY

This year's Derby drew eleven entries to run under the judicial eyes of Thom Richardson of Whitefield, N. H., and Clint Demusz of Presque Isle, Me. These two experienced judges had several entrants that caught their eye, but dry conditions made it tough for bird contact. Those who did, had interactions and complications.

Receiving top honors was Witch City Charlie, owned and handled by Seve Levesque. Charlie, running as a bye, had a fancy forward race and not afraid of busting into the cover. This high headed setter hunted all objectives, but was unable to come up with a bird.

Second placed Lake Side River had a flowing race in the thick cover, but always in contact with handler Adam Dubriske who rarely said a word.

Another of Adam’s dogs placed third, his setter Baker River's Mountain Man, ran an exciting race of starting and stopping as birds were plentiful the first time around the “Beaver Hole”. Boone, as he called, established point on a woodcock showing his style, then put the bird to flight.

The first and second place dogs were called back to point a bird. Being late in the day and the hot spots already attacked, Lloyd Murray of Long Gone Kennels graciously let the club use his farm and callback the Derbies on quail. Charlie was the first dog out with flawless execution. River went next with great enthusiasm, established point; birds were flushed shot fired and all in order. Charlie’s race was a stellar performance getting him the nod for the win.

Judges: Clint Demusz and Thom Richardson

JEAN C. SANDERSON MEMORIAL OPEN DERBY —

1 Pointer and 10 Setters

1st—WITCH CITY CHARLIE, 1687146, setter male, by Long Gone Porky—Long Gone Juicy. Steven R. Levesque, owner and handler.

2d—LAKESIDE RIVER, 1685610, setter male, by Sterlingworth Jack—Sandland Miracle Maggie. Anthony Leone, Jr., owner; Adam Dubriske, handler.

3d—BAKER RIVER’S MOUNTAIN MAN, 1688129, setter male, by Blast Zone—Bridgdewater Mt. Pemi. Bradly Roth, owner; Adam Dubriske, handler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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