Grand National Grouse Championship 2011

Grand National Grouse Championship Winners. From left: Dave Terhaar with Terhaar’s Elvis, Judge Rod Lein, Dave Fletcher, Judge Jim Tande, Bryan Wood and Scott Chaffee with Quail Trap Sadie.

MEREDITH, MICH. — Terhaar’s Elvis, nine-year-old setter male owned, handled and trained by amateur Dave Terhaar of Allegan, Mich., has captured the 69th running of the historic Grand National Grouse Championship over the great courses at the Gladwin Field Trial Area near Meredith, Mich. Quail Trap Sadie, four-year-old setter female owned by Dave Hawk of Athens, Ohio and handled by Michigan’s Scott Chaffee, was named runner-up. Both contenders had definitive work on ruffed grouse.

Grounds were in great condition, with ample birds on the courses, and the weather was co-operative.

The drawing was held Friday afternoon, October 28,  at Diane’s Restaurant in Morrice, Mich., attended by Grand National Secretary Fletcher with a great helping hand from George and Shirley Johnson on their way to the Gladwin Area to manage the Grouse Futurity. A field of 71 was drawn, consisting of 19 pointers and 52 setters.

Weather was kindly for early November, mornings in the mid to high 20s and afternoons well into the 50s. Light rain arrived briefly Wednesday, but did not interrupt the running and the balance of the program was mostly sunny with nothing more than light winds.

Native grouse and woodcock were somewhat plentiful, most courses producing ample birds for the contenders, although this Championship cannot produce a champion or a runner-up based on work on a woodcock.

The Grand National Grouse Championship had its inaugural at Black Forest, Slate Run, Pa., in November, 1943. Caviar, pointer dog owned by C. R. Barton and John S. Applegate, both of suburban Pittsburgh, Pa., and handled by the latter, bested a field of 4 pointers and 22 setters to take the crown. Judges were Frank D. Fair, Dr. James S. Goodwin and Dewey G. Hutchinson.

This year brought forth the 69th running of the Grand National. Over the years the Grand has had many homes. Rotating every three years, the Lake States Region, Middle Atlantic Region and Northeast Region have hosted this premier event in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

This is not an easy Championship to win in November with birds getting into their winter coverts, pushed away from the course route by a heavy schedule of trials ahead of the Grand over these  grounds. At times it takes an almost all-age effort to find birds, many of them on the rim of the course. The venue, however, maintains a great bird population likely because of the rotation of a cutting program instituted many decades ago and still carried on to the present and scheduled well into the future by the Michigan DNR’s Forestry Division. The only hunting on the site is firearms deer in late November.

The Purina steak fry and Cover Dog of the Year Awards kicked off the Grand National program on Monday evening at the Limberlost on M-55 in Houghton Lake, Mich. After a fine meal Purina’s Dean Reinke took to the podium to present the William Harnden Foster Award plaques.

Cover Dog of the Year went to Long Gone Madison, setter female owned by Lloyd Murray of Stark, N. H., and handled by Dave Hughes. Cover Dog Derby of the Year was won by Suemac’s Coventry, setter female owned by Susan and Dr. Roger McPherson of Shippenville, Pa., handled by both Roger McPherson and Hughes.

Cover Dog Handler of the Year went to Dave Hughes for the third year in succession.

Additionally the Grand National maintains an unofficial Hall of Fame — “Legends of the Cover Dog World” display at the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, Tenn., where for the past five years each region hosting the Grand has selected a person or a dog to be honored with an award plaque. This year’s selection is Wayne Fruchey of Beaverton, Mich, and his plaque will hang in the exhibit at the BDF Museum along with the previous electees: Chicora Delight, John Hadaway, Richard Brenneman and Frank Foss.

The annual GNG general membership meeting took place Tuesday evening at Laurie and Randy Krause’ East Bay Lodge where many of the trial folk stayed during the Grand National running. Also on the agenda was “Last Year’s GNG Winner Hospitality Hour”, provided by John Stolgitis honoring his 2010 winner Chasehill Molly. The treats were supplied by Fruchey Foods and attended to by Dean Reinke in John Stolgitis’ absence.

Wednesday evening, at the Limberlost, the Board of Directors held their  annual meeting. New dates for the four Grand National events were set. All events will be in Pennsylvania in 2012 — Invitational Championship, April 4-6; Puppy Classic, April 7-8; Futurity, November 4-5; Grand National starting November 6. Several proposed changes to the bylaws were made, with the nominating committee recommending the expiring directors all be re-elected. This was approved as were all the existing officers for another year. Two new clubs in the Northeast, the Cronk Farm Trial and the Mid Coast Field Trial Club, were approved for Invitational Championship points.

This Championship takes a host of workers to put the event on in its traditional fashion. In place is a stake manager, Bryan Wood, serving faithfully this year transporting the judges from course to course and announcing the braces. Beyond that are a dozen or more volunteers who marshal the braces. Each brace has a front and a back marshal in the event that the gallery is split by one or other of the dogs being out of touch for short periods. Then there is the moving of vehicles from the start of courses to the pickup places of a brace. Heaps of credit to the stake manager and the Fruchey family for organizing this important facet of the event. The list is long for the marshals and the car movers, and includes: Doc Holmes, Wayne, Tom and Matt Fruchey, Roger Johnson, Bruce and Jennie Minard, Denise and Brent Peters, Carl McRae, Richard Brenneman, Marc and Scott Forman, Russ Gingras, Scott Chaffee, Greg Hilla, Chris DeMattio. My apologies to anyone deserving mention that I have left off this list.

President Brenneman was in attendance most of the running with wife Helen only leaving to get the huge Pennsylvania Championship underway.

Secretary Fletcher presided at the drawing, printed the running order handouts, took the minutes at the meetings, entertained the judges, paid the bills and shared the reporting job with Ryan Frame. Our hats are off for the great help from Nestlé Purina, with hats, banners, great steak fry at the Limberlost and financial aid. Dean Reinke was in attendance giving a helping hand in many places.

Judges were Jim Tande of Park Rapids Minn., and Rod Lein of Chippewa Falls, Wis. Elected to judge was Russ Richardson of Guys Mills, Pa. At the last minute Russ was unable to attend with a crisis at home and a rather fortunate phone call to Rod Lein at the last moment was successful in bringing him to Gladwin as a judge. Both men have a world of experience with cover dogs. Jim, a professional trainer of cover and horseback dogs for many decades, has won championships over these grounds with the likes of Native Dancer, Heartbreaker and Spring Garden Keeper. Jim has won across the country with his dogs and maintains a training camp in the Dakotas each summer. If anyone has ever “been there and done that in the grouse woods”, Jim Tande has. Rod Lein has also been heavily involved with cover dogs. Beaver Creek Lucy, his current “trial dog”,  has two runner-up titles to her credit, Region 19 Walking, on wild sharptails on the Barrens in Wisconsin, and the runner-up title at the Minnesota Grouse Championship last season. His dogs have garnered a host of shooting dog placements in walking and cover dog events. Rod has judged extensively, the Pennsylvania and Lake States Grouse Championships, the ABC Grouse Classic when it comes to Wisconsin and many additional horseback and walking trials.

The Winners and Others

New champion Terhaar’s Elvis (Dave Terhaar) truly belied his age with a far-flung, enduring hunting effort which embraced the “limb” areas of the course. He reached out, stayed out and rounded his hunting effort to the front of course. His grouse find came late in his hour, in late afternoon out on the edge of course. It was a perfectly executed find.

Scott Borgeson originally obtained the puppy from Peter Flanagan of Grouse Ridge Kennels, sired by Lloyd Murray’s notable field trial winner Long Gone George, and out of the dam Grouse Ridge Maxima. After a short period in the Hughes kennel he made his debut in puppy stakes. At this juncture Dave Terhaar acquired the pup, went on with his training and field trial competition.

He’s been a consistent winner to date with 38 placements to his credit. He has at times been labeled a “bridesmaid” and not a “bride”, likely taking note of his four runner-up titles, namely 2007 and 2009 Michigan Woodcock Championship, 2007 National Amateur Grouse Championship and 2009 Fruchey Classic. He has won many other places as well, such as Lost Pond walking and horseback stakes, and U. S. Complete Fletcher Classic on quail. In addition he has won many Dog of the Year Awards including Association of Michigan Field Trial Clubs Cover Dog Puppy, Derby and Shooting Dog of the Year, and Walking Shooting Dog of the Year in New York State.

Elvis has had his near tragedies, sticking his nose near a black bear coming out of hibernation at the Gladwin refuge competing in a trial. His injuries were extensive with worries about his abilities to continue in trials but he healed, came back strong and kept up his winning ways. Elvis’ progeny have fared well in recent seasons, with wins such as Puppy of the Year and Puppy Classic wins.

Quail Trap Sadie (Chaffee) had one find on a pair of grouse and a strong well-applied race in her bid. Sadie is somewhat similarly bred to the champion. Owner Dave Hawk’s first champion was Quail Trap Tom which was sired by Ch. Long Gone George out of a Ch. Grouse Ridge Reroy female. Sadie is out of a littermate to Tom bred to Ch. Emmy’s Apple Jack, which was also sired by Reroy. Sadie is the reigning Wisconsin Cover Dog Champion.

There were many others in the stake that found and handled birds and made a challenge for a champion or runner-up title. As the judges related the winner was decisive and the runner-up position closely contested.

A dog with a similar performance to the winner was Wild Apple Jack, owned and handled by Craig Doherty, but Jack had only a woodcock and not a grouse. Mary Beth Esser’s Fireside Drama Queen was a super hunter with two grouse finds and a woodcock, but logged two unproductives. Other good performances were put down by Bloom’s Ole Dollar, handled by Lance Bressler, Grouse Ridge Force, and Grouse Ridge Luckee, owned by Grouse Ridge Kennel, handled by Dave Hughes, and Grouse Woods Reese, owned by the team of Brobst/Orris, handled by Robert Ecker, had a good grouse find, a little shorter in race than the winners and a little less punch at the end of the hour. Hunter’s Clearwater, owned and handled by Lance Bressler, pointed three grouse, a woodcock, had two backs and only lacked the range of the winners.

The Running

A 40° temperature with a heavy overcast greeted the 69th running of the Grand National Grouse Championship  but that gave way to a sunny afternoon in the 50s.

Birch Run Susie Q (Gingras) and High Desert Dream (Forman) hunted immediately, well gaited, attractive tail motion and they toured some good cover areas as they went. Dream was wide and at the limit of bell range and beyond, scouted at road crossing at 20 and not found or seen until 40 when handler told the judges to go on without him.

Co-reporter Frame, coming forward, reported a stand for Susie, most likely a bird gone and unseen by judges for she flagged throughout this stand, and nothing was produced. Susie had another similar stand just after the road crossing without birds. Susie finished the hour hunting hard but not on the rim of course.

Montera’s Rock (McCarl) and Long Gone Boston (Hughes) were wide and tireless. Boston hung out on the perimeter, strong and purposeful and in the front of course. Boston scored at 3, a great piece of work on a woodcock. Rock had a woodcock beautifully at 7. Boston stood regally at 12 to right of course with Hughes making a very wide flushing sweep out front. The grouse came up well out from the dog in sparse cover but this grouse certainly belonged to Boston. Rock was working his way to the front and hunting hard. His bell was very heavy, making a distinctive sound. Near the half Boston worked heavy tamarack swamp and we soon left him behind with co-reporter Frame covering. Ahead at 35 Rock stood slightly left of course, a stylish stand with a good relocation effort but no birds were shown. At 50 Judge Lein and McCarl went in deeply to right but Rock’s bell started up as they looked. A grouse was walked up in the area but distant from Rock’s location. Near time Boston hunted his way to the front, co-reporter Frame relating the dog had pointed in a tamarack swamp without results.

Magic Mist Riley (Dahl)  and Fireside Drama Queen (Minard) went away swiftly, both with good eye appeal into a region of scrub oak saplings. Ahead at 20 Queen stood alongside a small pond. Woodcock splashings were noted but nothing could be produced. Ahead at 20 Riley stood. The flushing attempt went deeper in and scribe rode ahead, responding to the call of point ahead beyond a road for Queen. This was a very nice grouse find for Queen. Judge Lein came up reporting an unproductive for Riley. Both were strong in their search and very attractive in motion. Ahead at 30  Queen added a quality woodcock find. Ten minutes ahead Riley was leashed after a second unproductive. Near 50 Queen pointed to the left of the trail but handler sent her on. At 55 Queen stood regally on another stylish point, a second grouse find, all in perfect order. At time Queen pointed, made a nice relocation but came away birdless.

Double Deuce Brody (Hughes) and Moss Meadow Traveler (Chaffee) were away after lunch. The sun came out nicely, grouse seemed to be walking and one came up in the trail in the early minutes. Traveler had a nice woodcock find on a hillside at 16, and again  at 19 in the loop above the road crossing. Brody took his hunting well to the front and was seen sparingly. After Trestle Junction in the closing minutes of the brace a grouse was heard to leave. Handlers went in but no dog was in the vicinity. Pickup call came shortly thereafter.

Dateline Black List (Minard) and Star’s Southern Idol (Forman) dug in the course hunting hard and working forward. At 20 we made a road crossing. Both were deep and scouted but they came on without undue delay. At time Black List pointed with style and intensity but nothing was produced.

Grouse Ridge Sarge (Hughes) and Star’s Misty Willow (Casgrain). The Johnsons, George and Shirley, co-owners of the former, were in the gallery. Owner Pete Casgrain handled his Misty Willow. Both dogs went hunting, never a moment of relaxation of the hard hunting they were showing the gallery. Sarge caught us from the left side of course and went ahead strongly. Later in region of beaver felled large popples along a series of ponds both stood facing each other on point. Neither handler worked at flushing and it was apparent that the dogs may have been backing each other. This happened again within ten minutes and both handlers led their dogs out and sent them ahead. Near time point was called deeply in right flank. A lengthy flushing attempt took place as well as relocation but no birds were produced. Neither dog set the world on fire with superlative ground patterns, yet they went places and they went hard.

Course No. 13, a one-hour course on its own, comprised the final hour of Tuesday’s running, and was predicted to be very productive. It most certainly lived up to its billing, at late afternoon grouse feeding time. Judges, on several occasions, no sooner mounted their horses from finds when they were called to get back down to witness more bird work. The start came at 4:42. At 5 both Hunter’s Clearwater (Bressler) and Shady Hills Beanie (Forman) were standing, Clearwater with the apparent back. The flushing attempt was without results. Five minutes later on a pretty cast left Clearwater stood on point with a superlative woodcock find. Beanie’s bell was also silent and 100 yards ahead she stood pointing nicely with a well mannered and stylish grouse find. Ten minutes ahead we logged two finds where both dogs stood pointing in close proximity to one another. On the first of these two Beanie held the point, Clearwater backing and a grouse was flushed right in front. Moments ahead Beanie swapped ends. As we walked in it was apparent Beanie was backing. Clear-water held the point, a little low in posture, likely because the dog was under an alder limb. A grouse flew from the stand, all in perfect order. Ahead in open pole timber a grouse got up wild, Beanie wider and not aware of this bird. Clearwater checked in often in this birdy cover and both dogs hustled and looked good in motion. At 40 Beanie was  pointing. After handler’s thorough attempt to flush the dog was asked to relocate but went ahead after a very brief attempt to relocate. For the balance of the hour Beanie added a nice woodcock find and a pair of unproductives.

Moving ahead Clearwater was standing as we came up and had a grouse in superb fashion. Getting to the front beyond road in the final minutes Judge Tande went to a find for Clearwater just as time expired with a woodcock produced. It was an action packed hour.

Braces No. 8-17 were witnessed and reported by Ryan Frame.

Buck’s Boy Dunkin (McCarl) and Wild Apple Jack (Doherty) were up first on day No. 2, a bright cool morning. Jack’s first cast put him back into the parking lot but he was back on track at 5 and laying to the front, Dunkin more modestly ranging. Jack stopped and corrected twice then worked on. At 18, after two stops and corrections, he had a woodcock off his nose. About then Dunkin pointed but the stand came up empty. He had a second unproductive down an old two track about 12 minutes later. Jack was wide at the road crossing at 31 but came on in short order. Both dogs were stopped, we thought, left at 53 with Dunkin’s bell stopping first. Both dogs were searched for. Jack’s bell eventually started up and McCarl produced a woodcock in front of Dunkin near time. We flushed two grouse after time.

River’s Edge Saddie (Forman) and Oscaloosa Allie Cat (Hughes) set out well and hunted wide, with Saddie taking the outside course. We thought that Saddie’s bell had stopped in a swampy area to the left at 15, and Allie’s bell stopped too, we thought, maybe backing. But Saddie’s bell faded back in further along and nothing was seen for Allie. Both dogs continued much the same. At 50 Saddie stopped off the left edge of a field but nothing flew. Allie was scouted at the same time and eventually started up deeper left of Saddie’s stand. Time ended soon after.

Hifive’s Passin Time (Minard) and Fieldstone’s Farm Clyde (Ecker). Not much was seen of Clyde after 4 and Ecker threw in the towel at the first road crossing at 16. Time was stylish, wide and running hard at this point. In the cutting across the road not much was seen of Time and Minard threw in the towel at the far end of it at 31.

Long Gone Buckwheat (Hughes)  took the outside track early but Bodacious Hunter (Bressler) was reaching by 15 and was searched for right at the road crossing. At this time “Buck’s” bell had stopped ahead up the hill. Buck had a woodcock and marked it pretty hard. The course curled back around toward the road after the crest of the hill and Buck stopped. He was backing “Bo” with Bressler nowhere near. Bressler was called for. We waited but a woodcock did not. Richard Brenneman handled Bo and Hughes shot. Buck moved slightly at the flight again and was taken up. Bo continued on with a solid performance, made some nice moves and hunted, but finished without grouse work.

Tuck’s Cherryeyed Girl (McCarl) and Cooper Mountain Pepsi (Chaffee) broke away hard. At 6 Pepsi was forward and right in the cut and begain wailing. She returned on three legs sporting a gash in the upper front left leg. I was surprised when Chaffee elected to continue her, and even more surprised that she went hard and strong right until the end. Girl hunted well at more modest range than Pepsi generally but worked well. Her one stop at 52 did not produce.

Autumn Moon (Chaffee)  and Full Tilt (Hughes), both former winners of this stake. Both dogs reached well off the breakaway and rolled to the limits early. Not much was seen of Tilt early but her bell was heard and she showed from the left at 9. Moon’s bell was deep right at 15 and was scouted by Joe Dahl, but showed from behind a few minutes later. Moon was scouted to the left by Dahl and then Chaffee but he showed from the front and right at 28. It continued much the same with both dogs wide and working. Tilt stopped at 58, Moon backed but nothing was home.

Texas Cherry Bomb (Forman) and Fireside Interesting Linda (Minard). The judges reported Bomb with a modest race, two woodcock finds both well handled and one unproductive. Linda began well, got wider as the brace progressed and Minard threw in the towel at 40.

Up first on day No. 3 were Wild Apple Faith (DeLong) and Sutter’s Harley Rowdie (Hughes). They  began well, hunting at good range. Rowdie stopped to the right at 14 near a small swamp where there had been bird work on day No. 1, but nothing was home today. Up toward the road at 20 she dropped down over the hill and her bell stopped. We thought we would see her along the creek but she had crossed over and it was awhile before we could get across and get Judge Tande to the scene. It was a good spot again and she looked good even after standing more than ten minutes, but the stand and the relocation came up empty again and she was taken up. We heard a shot up ahead for Faith but were too far behind to see the rest of her effort, apologies to Mr. DeLong.

Grouse River Ace (Forman) and Bold Move (Hughes) moved nicely and worked hard. Move checked back a bit too much early but was reaching well by 5 and made some nice moves. Ace laid out well and crossed nicely. Move stopped at 52 forward and right and had a woodcock, but neither dog connected with a grouse.

Quail Trap Sadie (Chaffee) was looked for at 5 and required some handling to get back on course, but she was back on track by 7. Both dogs drove hard, Fernwood Cove’s Bella (Dahl) exceptionally fast. The bells were somewhat similar. Both dogs hunted well and worked hard. At 25 Sadie’s bell fell silent in a young cut to the right. She looked good when seen, very intense and stylish on point. One grouse boiled out then another, both right off her nose, her manners perfect to flush and shot, prompting an ovation from Bill Nettles in the gallery. She continued a strong effort, hunting the cover until time. Bella was impressive too, but did not connect.

Grouse Woods Reese (Ecker) and Grouse Ridge Force (Hughes). After lunch sunny skies brought the temperature up into the 50s. This pair wasted little time digging into the cover and hunting eagerly. At 18 Ecker missed his bell, walked up on a hilltop cutting and found Reese on point. A pretty find on a grouse. Two minutes ahead Judge Tande dismounted and went in with Hughes to a nice stand by Force; a woodcock came up right in front, and a grouse also left the cover. All was in perfect order for the shot. At 33 Reese was standing. Handler related he heard a bird get up as he started in but nothing was produced to this stand. Both dogs had been putting down commendable hunting patterns this first half hour, and the wide tireless effort from both continued until the hour ended.

Cas Tiny (Ecker) and Hard Driving Rita (McCarl) broke away wide and forward. Tiny had a short absence thereafter but was back up front in due time. Rita was wide to both sides, also with a short absence. Both seemed to get stronger as they went, showing us wide but good handling patterns but the complete hour was birdless.

We started in scrub oak, a difficult place to see a pattern but birds were using this area. At 10 both Shooting Star Kate (Hilla) and Bog Brook Daisy (Hughes) were on point to left. Handlers and judges went in. Hughes brought Daisy to course and we went on. A shot rang out as we went ahead, Judge Lein later coming up to report a good woodcock find for Kate. At 17 Daisy pointed to left with Judge Tande walking in. As this transpired Hilla called point ahead for Kate, relating he heard a bird go but that bird was not heard officially. Hilla called point again at 30 for Kate, made the relocation but came away birdless. Judge Tande came up relating Daisy had pointed, was sent to relocate but nothing was found. Daisy was taken up. Ahead in region of beaver ponds at  55  Kate had a nice point on a grouse, good location and flawless manners at flush.

Wintergreen Max (Fancher) and Grouse Ridge Luckee (Hughes) jumped ahead, hard driving and eager for the hour. At 17 Fancher looked to the left but Max was not there. A shot resounded from up front and we arrived there to learn that Luckee had scored nicely on a single grouse and two more also flew from the spot. Near the half Luckee pointed. A long flushing attempt ensued and a relocation but all the effort failed to produce a bird. At 50 Max pointed deep in right flank. At flush Max went down and was ordered up. The final minutes of the hour were totally uneventful.

Friday morning’s temperature  was 27° at the breakaway and heavy frost on everything. It warmed to the 50s after midday.

Pinehill Silent Echo (Naus) and Chip’s Uncle Buzzie (Forman) went deep from the breakaway. Buzzie came to the gallery at 7 with the sound of Naus’ voice echoing through the morning stillness as he tried to keep touch with Echo. At 18 Buzzie pointed in the popples downhill from the trail. He stood nicely but nothing was flushed and the relocation was short and uneventful. Buzzie logged another unproductive ten minutes later, a nice cast, a nice stand but no birds. Buzzie was taken up. Echo showed up, cathing us in the trail as we rode to the next starting point. A host of grouse were walked up on swamp edge as they looked for Echo, with the bird count reported as somewhere between 9 and 27.

Willowood’s L L Bean (DeMattio) and Call Me Kate (Minard). Craig Merlington, owner of Kate, was walking the brace. A layer of ice was on the little ponds we passed near the horse path. Both went into the cover hard. Kate was missing in the early minutes and handler was left behind trying to locate her. Kate was eventually found pointing, had no birds flushed to this stand and on the way forward had another unproductive stand and was taken up. Ahead Bean was deep going hard and several times was searched for but always made it back. She hunted well to the finish, pointing just as time expired, but went with this bird at flush and was leashed.

Needlepoint Tiger Lily (Bressler) and Grouse River Sheena (Forman). Sheena’s owner Bryan Wood was in the gallery. Both were commendable in ground effort, huting wide and turning front and showing as they went. It was a nice progression by two hard going dogs. They had their absences but got back nicely. At 50 Bressler watered Lily in a little pine thicket, turned her loose and immediately a grouse was heard taking wing. A bit deeper as we saw Lily she was standing nicely. Both dogs in the final minutes scored beautifully on woodcock.

Upper Cove Billie Babe (Forman) and Ghost Train Liz (Fruchey). After the luncheon it was warmer, very sunny and quite pleasant. A woodcock came up in the trail in the first minute. At 5 Liz stood on little hilltop facing the gallery on a pretty point. Fruchey flushed a grouse but that bird flew right in Liz’s face and she swapped ends and took a step in that direction. As this transpired Babe was on a collision course with Liz and also had a breach of manners on that speedy grouse. The brace was over.

My Cousin Vinny (Hughes) had a great woodcock find at 14 not far from the trail, stylish on point and standing tall for the shot. At 20 Baxter’s Captain Jack (Peters) stood pointing regally with Vinny backing but this work was without birds. Ten minutes later Vinny made a nice cast to a popple ridge and was found standing in a little grove of pines  . . . this also without birds. Vinny had a point in a very brushy hillside at 30 but no birds were shown and he was leashed. Jack hunted on with plenty of jump, logged a second unproductive and was also taken up.

Fire A Way (Hughes) and Elhew Allegiant (Chaffee) hunted the course with plenty of enthusiasm, came around regularly but failed to find any feathers for their hour of effort.

Grouse Hill Dixie (Forman) and Hard Driving Lucy (McCarl). With breakaway speed and enthusiasm Lucy slammed on the brakes to point a grouse. It was gone quickly, Lucy there nicely for the shot. We rode up a grouse from the trail at 13. After the half Lucy pointed well into the left of course route, Judge Tande and handler walking in. Nothing was flushed or relocated to this stand. Dixie hunted and handled like a glove but was unable to find a bird during the hour.

Saturday morning was again frosty, temperature at 27° but a very sunny day ensued with mercury climbing to the 50s.

Hifive’s Rock Solid (Minard) and Sutter’s Harley Blue (Hughes) went away hard despite the frost coating on everything. At 12 Harley stood on a nice point. A grouse came up from the frost coated leaves and the dog was solid for the flush. Both dogs hunted hard and dug deeply into the cover. Solid was especially adept at working the far edges of the course. His bell was a strong one and although we could not see the dog the bell outlined his whereabouts and his progression along the course route. One of the best races of the stake, unfortunately birdless. Harley logged two unproductive points before time.

Windstar (Ecker) and Terhaar’s Rogue (Terhaar). Back to course No. 1 for the second brace of Saturday morning. Windstar’s owner George Najor was in the gallery along with Dave Terhaar’s complete family. Rogue jumped in the right flank from the breakaway, went very deep and was left behind. Ahead Windstar whirled, stopped and nothing was flushed. Some in the gallery claimed a grouse thundered out just as the dog whirled, but officially nothing was seen. A second stand in the near right flank was unproductive. Windstar was taken up. Riding the course back to where Rogue had made his exit, handler was still trying to get the dog back to course. Eventually Rogue came ahead, had an unproductive and another at 50 and was leashed. Rogue made some nice casts after the half.

Lilleyhill’s Secret Stash (Hughes) and Ghost Train Whirlwind (Fruchey) jumped in the cover, hunted forward and handled well. At 30 Hughes was forced to take Stash up. He had evidently run a stick in his mouth and was bleeding profusely and unable to continue. Riding back to where Whirlwind had reached very deep in the course, Judge Tande informed us that Whirlwind was out of judgment.

Texas O’Riley (Hughes) and Upper Cove Desert Devil (Forman) hunted the course with great energy, jumping hard and cracking their tails. O’Riley tended to race at the outset, took the path at times and slowed a trifle near time, logging an unproductive. Desert Devil applied himself to the course in a more mature fashion and also had an unproductive late in the hour.

L B Horchen (Forman) and Bloom’s Ole Dollar (Bressler) put it in high gear from the breakaway. At 21 Dollar’s bell went silent over a popple ridge. The dog was standing in a small grove of pines statuesque in posture and Bressler flushed the grouse right out front and the bird’s flight carried it across a small lake. A very scenic and well executed bit of bird work. Catching up Judge Lein was seen deep in the right flank with handler Forman; co-reporter Frame related the work was without birds. The balance of the brace was uneventful.

Wintergreen Cody (Fancher) and Thunderhills Ghost Rider (Hughes) got over the course well, digging in deep, coming around and working the front of course. Cody tried hard but failed to come up with a bird. Rider ran well the complete hour, attempted to back on one occasion but corrected. The back appeared to be on Mickey Fancher’s white coat.

Terhaar’s Elvis (Terhaar) and Chip’s Charlie Brown (Forman). The Chiappinis, owners of the latter, were in the gallery as was the Terhaar family. Both hunted hard on the far edge of course. They came around and handled back when handlers asked them to. Elvis was especially wide and tireless, running a big race and not showing any wear and tear. In the final minutes both were deep, bells silent and both judges and both handlers went in looking. Forman flushed for Charlie Brown, without results, let the dog relocate but that was also uneventful. Elvis was farther left and a hundred yards deeper. Terhaar got a grouse up right in front and the work was superb. Elvis had impressed this hour with his wide search, the amount of terrain he covered and a forward search that needed little guidance from handler.

Quail Trap Max (Chaffee), a bye, logged an unproductive at 3 and never really got his search going. It may have been the lack of the challenge of a bracemate. His pattern was a bit in and out and handler picked up early in the hour.

Meredith, Mich., November 1

Judges: Jim Tande and Rod Lein

GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats] — 52 Setters and 19 Pointers

Winner—TERHAAR’S ELVIS, 1546736, setter male, by Long Gone George—Grouse Ridge     Maxima. Dave Terhaar, owner and handler.

Runner-Up—QUAIL TRAP SADIE, 1598027, setter female, by Emmy’s Apple Jack—Quail Trap Kate.  Dave Hawk, owner, Scott Chaffee, handler.

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