GLADWIN, MICH. — Thirty dogs were drawn for the 76th renewal of the Grouse Futurity running on the grounds of the historic Gladwin Field Trial Area.
The Gladwin Area (GFTA) consists of 4,792 acres located in the northwest corner of Gladwin County near the town of Meredith. This area is managed extensively by the state of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Forestry Divisions and is subject to controlled timber harvest as necessary to maintain the area as a premier grouse habitat dedicated for wild bird field trial events.
Members of the five cover dog clubs volunteer much time and resources throughout each year to keep this area the premier grouse and woodcock venue in our circuit.
A great deal of effort is expended each year by our very capable Futurity secretary, Thor Kain, to manage this event. It starts with the registration of nominated litters, contacting the owners of these Derby dogs prior to the event each year, collecting forfeiture payments, answering a bucketful of questions and then, conducting the draw. It’s a very big and a very important job and Thor does it well.
This event has three sponsors who donate product and help finance these and other events. Lion Country Supply provided gifts for the judges and reporter. Garmin supplied a training collar to the winner and as always, Purina, Greg Blair, supplied Pro Plan Performance feed for winners and small sample bags for all the participants.
The support of these three great companies is appreciated by all of us who participate in these events.
The Beaverton Grouse Dog Club managed this stake. Mike Singleton gladly accepted the role of stake manager. Mike kept the event rolling, managing the movement of people, marshals, trucks and horses around the grounds.
Tom Fruchey and Bob Wheelock sat in the judicial saddles on horses supplied by Rich and Jennie Hollister.
Moss Mac Daddy, white, tan and ticked setter male owned and handled by Marc Dozeman of Holland, Mich., was awarded the rotating trophy, blue ribbon, Garmin tracking collar and Purina Pro Plan product.
Mac Daddy was bred by Ken Moss of Mount Pleasant, Mich., a mating of Ponderosa Mac and Moss Meadow Lil. Lil goes back to Ken’s six-time champion and three-time runner, and Grand National Grouse Champion Moss Meadow Traveler, the foundation of Ken’s program. Ponderosa Mac is a two-time National Champion, owned by Steve Snyder of Ellendale, Minn.
Mac Daddy ran in the second brace on course No. 2. Mac started steady, at medium range and forward and kept this pace for 30 minutes. Mac handled easy and responded when required. When we reached the 22-minute mark Mac flipped ends and worked back. A grouse went out about fifity yards away as the gallery came around a corner. Marc sent Mac deep into the cut and the bell stopped 100 yards deep. Just as we got to third yards Mac started up again and worked froward a couple hundred yards. Mac stopped well off course, Marc walked in and put a woodcock in the air and shot. Marc collared his charge back to the front and finished his brace going away.
Springpond Rockin’ Gibby, white, black tan and ticked setter male owned and handled by Lonnie Rademacher of Lake Leelanua, Mich., earned the red ribbon with a strong and forward race. Gibby is a product from breeder Mary Beth Esser and her female, Tails Up Olive by Springpond’s Rockin’ Autumn, owned by Leeann Parnell.
Gibby is a tall, leggy and powerful tri-color setter. He is Lonnie’s first venture into field trial bird doggin’. Gibby ran in fourth brace, course No. 5, starting strong and hard charging. Gibby ran wide, deep and forward and keep in contact with his handler. He hunted the cover for a full brace, no birds flew in front of him.
Mike Singleton handled his setter female to a third place finish. Singleton’s Sid the Kid was also bred by Ken Moss, a pairing of Ponderosa Mac and Moss Meadow Kate. Kate also goes back to Moss Meadow Traveler.
Sid ran in third brace on course No. 4. Sid is also a tall and well-built setter, long of stride and strong. Sid also ran a steady 30 minutes, stopped one time at the edge of an aspen cut, we couldn’t get a bird to fly. We entered a clear cut and Sid went to the other side to enter the next bit of grouse cover, deep but within bell range. Mike was able to stay connected and get him to the end. Sid finished strong.
Rounding out the placements was Thornapple Casey, owned by longtime field trailer Bob Leet of Paw Paw, Mich., and handled by Bruce Minard.
Casey, bred by Bruce Minard of Hifive Kennels, is a product of runner-up champion Thornapple Cody ex Hifive’s Thornapple Anita. Casey is a medium size, well built white and black setter male.
At the breakaway Casey ran deep and wide, out of bell range for a bit, showed to the front running strong and steady. Casey ventured in and out of bell range (for this reporter) but always showed to the front, hunting the cover and running steady. He dug deep in the oak slash at the end of course, stopped once but started up before he could be reached. He finished as he started, steady and forward.
These handlers ran their dogs through fifteen braces. The afternoon braces on day No. 1 began with snow, and the weather never let up. It was challenging for all.
Monday morning was bright and clear with six inches of snow blanketing the grounds for the final three braces. A single grouse was encountered on the last brace, no dog involved.
We elected to take three dogs for a callback in the woods, starting with Lonnie and Gibby. Fifteen minutes, find a bird.
Gibby hunted hard, again ran steady but couldn’t produce a bird. Next up Mike Singleton and Sid. During these 15 minutes as Sid was off to our left, we walked up three grouse, no dog involved. We moved to the end of course No. 2, Bruce released Casey and this dog hunted the cover. Bruce did a great job handling to keep his charge in the cover and hunting it thoroughly. Again, no birds. We went to the birdfield, released quail and brought the dogs back individually in the same order as the wild bird callback. All handled their birds well.
The weather was certainly a disappointment to all involved; birds have been abundant on the Gladwin grounds this entire Fall season. The day following the end of this stake the Grand National Grouse Championship commenced and we had wonderful and mild weather, birds on every 60-minute course for the entire five days.
Gladwin, Mich., November 1
Judges: Tom Fruchey and Bob Wheelock
SEVENTY-SIXTH GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE FUTURITY —
5 Pointers, 24 Setters and 1 Brittany
1st—MOSS MAC DADDY, 1686015, setter male, by Ponderosa Mac—Moss Meadow Lil. Marc Dozeman, owner and handler.
2d—SPRINGPOND ROCKIN GIBBY, 1685818, setter male, by Springpond Rockin Autumn—Tailsup Olive. Lonnie J. Rademacher, owner and handler.
3d—SINGLETON’S SID THE KID, 1687988, setter female, by Ponderosa Mac—Moss Meadow Kate. Mike Singleton, owner and handler.
4th—THORNAPPLE CASEY, 1690280, setter male, by Thornapple Cody—Hifive’s Guilty As Charged. Bob Leet, owner; Bruce Minard, handler.