MEREDITH, MICH. — The twenty-third Grouse and Woodcock Invitational Championship was held on the historic Gladwin game refuge in Meredith, Mich. Judges Dave D’Hulster of North Street, Mich., and George Johnson of Bradford, Pa., named four-year-old white and orange setter female Straight Forward the champion. Runner-up was the defending champion, ten-year-old tricolor setter male Terhaar’s Elvis.
Gladwin’s 4,940 acres are managed grouse and woodcock habitat. The grounds are an eight-section unit of the Tittabawassee River State Forest, set aside and dedicated to grouse field trials under Act 82 in 1916. Three lakes and two trout streams are in the area also.
A fifty-year cutting rotation is in place by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources that will ensure solid wild bird numbers for decades to come. Young age classes of aspen and birch provide much needed brood and nesting cover in addition to sufficient amounts of conifer for winter cover and protection from avian predators. There was plenty of opportunity for birds. Every dog on day No. 1 had bird work. Every dog on day No. 2 (that finished) had bird work. You simply cannot ask for more than that! Beginning this year, resulting from a ruling of the Michigan DNR directors, with the support from the local field trial clubs, there is no dog training allowed on these grounds. Only dogs drawn in sanctioned events can run on these grounds. It is now the law.
This Championship actually begins the year prior to the running as points are earned in the spring and fall trial season as opposed to the national awards, i.e., Harnden Foster, Seminatore, Handler of the Year, which goes fall and spring.
Invitational Secretary George Johnson spends countless hours tabulating all the points his regional secretaries (B. Wood, Lake States; L. Murray, Northeast; R. Brenneman, Mid-Atlantic) send him. Names of the points-earners are published in The American Field and Secretary Johnson asks for any errors or omissions so owners and handlers can have accurate standings.
Invitations are sent; the deadline for accepting was February 5, 2013. There are actually only eleven slots available; three invitees are automatic — the defending champion and runner-up of the Invitational, and the winner of the Grand National Grouse Championship which brings the field to 14 dogs. This year we had an unusual amount of scratches with the final lineup not solidified until a week before the stake.
Secretary Johnson is a resourceful and positive person and had all his paperwork ready as he rose in the function room of the Comfort Inn and Suites in Prudenville, Mich., to address the overflow crowd of eager grouse trialers. After his welcome, he read off the list of dogs that had earned an invitation, but declined. They were: Chip’s Uncle Buzzie, Upper Cove Desert Devil, Bloom’s Ole Dollar, River Edge Sadie, Chasehill Little Bud, True Patriot and Grouse River Ace.
He then read the names of the dogs and handlers who accepted. The dogs’ names went in a bowl and George’s lovely wife of over fifty years, Shirley Johnson, walked the bowl around the room and let all pick and announce the dogs and handlers.
While this was going on a wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvres was available on one side of the room courtesy of one of our sponsors, Nestlé Purina. Purina rep Dean Reinke was on hand, visiting with all in the room and adding his positive vibe. Purina also hosted the sumptuous steak fry on Wednesday evening at Alibi Hall, in addition to advertising assistance and product for all handlers plus a substantial amount of dog feed to the winners. Thank you to Nestlé Purina and our wild bird man, Dean Reinke. (As it happened, both winning dogs are Pro Plan powered.)
In addition to the appetizers, the Beaverton Grouse Dog Club had a beautiful cake made by Frucheys Market of the cover of The American Field, with all the dogs pictures on the ad, and the cake.
George announced the course order as presented by the host Beaverton Grouse Dog Club, and the first day’s draw was completed. The second day’s pairings were done by a computer program, built at Secretary Johnson’s request, developed by Dr. Ken Wong at the University of Pittsburgh. This program can handle 100 entries, takes into consideration females in season, multiple handler entries, time of day (an Invitational concern), courses already drawn on, etc. It is an amazing piece of software. (For more information contract George Johnson.)
With both days drawn Secretary Johnson announced starting times of 7:30 a. m. at Alibi Hall. I well remember the night when Tom Fruchey drew the inaugural Invitational Championship at the former Shea’s Lakefront Lodge in April, 1991, the last time I saw Gladwin in the spring.
The Beaverton Club, as always, is a great host club. They provided marshals for braces. Kenny Moss, who was the chef for the steak fry, deserves a tip of the hat as does the whole club. The Lakes Sates Grand National directors came up huge. Most were always on the grounds, from sunup to sunset, moving cars, marshalling braces, bringing the coffee and donuts for the morning breaks, helping with lunches, and dinners, helping with the horses, and all the little things that MUST be done to put on a class event.
Stake manager Bryan Wood is the Lake Sates region vice-president, and he is a worker! All day, every day is Bryan’s approach. Bryan had great help in directors Tom Fruchey, Roger Johnson and Wayne Fruchey. They were always there, and they work.
Denise Peters came up big and also volunteered for several days, again all day, every day. Carl McRae took a week off from work, cut a course all by himself, walked the majority of the braces, marshalled, held horses and just worked his butt off for the Invitational. Thank you so much from all of us. Your tireless efforts don’t go unnoticed and are very much necessary and appreciated.
Another of major sponsor is Tri-Tronics which donates one of their fine training units to each Grand National event, Championship, Invitational, Futurity and Puppy Classic. Warner Smith heads up their wild bird division and is a big supporter of The Grand. Thank you Warner and Tri-Tronics!
The elected judges were George Johnson and Dave D’Hulster. Both men have judged extensively. Dave owns Springfield Kennels in Michigan and has had many champions come forth from his breeding and/or training program. Ch. Springfield Bluerock B, Ch. Springfield’s Judge, Ch. Springfield’s Orvis, Ch. Springfield’s Tally’em are just a few of the many good dogs Dave has produced or trained. These dogs have won from the Grand National and Invitational to more regional championships. Dave knows a good dog, and definitely knows a good performance when he sees it.
George has owned good setters for many years. His current standard-bearer, co-owned with Pete Flanagan of Grouse Ridge Kennels, is the tricolor winning female Grouse Ridge Sarge, and she’s a dandy. George has judged this event on several occasions, identifying and glorifying some truly great and memorable performances of some of the great grouse dogs of our era. Champions Hard Driving Bev, Pioneer Will, Centerfold Rose, Shady Hills Billy, Magic’s Rocky Belleboa, and Springfield’s Orvis . Both men are avid grouse hunters so they understand the bird and know what a grouse dog should. Both men are attentive, positive and helpful to all handlers. We were lucky to have judges of this caliber accept this assignment, and to both men, a hearty and sincere “Thank You!”
This year’s reporter is your scribe. Roger Johnson from Michigan was first on the list of elected reporters but declined. Dr. Russ Gingras was next; he also declined. I received the call and accepted. I’m glad I did. Although after three days of walking in the rain, snow and ice, I told my old friend Roger Johnson, “You are smarter then me saying no!” I was treated to some spectacular performances that I otherwise would not have seen.
The weather was erratic over the three days. Concern was high given the dismal forecasts that a quick ad hoc directors meeting was called and assembled in Alibi Hall Wednesday morning to consider options if indeed the weather turned treacherous. Under Grand National running rules, section 7, “No dog shall run under weather conditions that make high class work on grouse improbable, even though the pursuance of this policy shall result in one or more interruptions in the running.”
Former Grand National President Tom Fruchey opened the meeting; all directors had their say. Tom listened, then simply but firmly said, “We will run. Let’s go!” It was the right call. It rained hard during the morning braces, but the sun actually poked out at times in the afternoon. Day No. 2 was the one that had us concerned; snow, ice and rain were predicted. We got all three but in amounts that were never an issue to safety. We came off each brace cold and wet and Wayne Fruchey, along with Tom and brother-in-law Roger Johnson, would be smiling and laughing. It was infectious and positive that you could not help but have fun. After every brace, road gallery participants asked: “Move any birds?” We did. All three days! The hot coffee and donuts each morning were a welcome break.
Straight Forward ran in the fifth brace on day No. 1 and was drawn with Quail Trap Max. “Cracker,” as the white and orange setter female is called, came out of the gates flying. Point was called for her by Judge Johnson early in the hour where she had stopped on the deep left on the edge of a young aspen cut. We could see her; she looked good, head high, tail straight. Several minutes later we heard the shot and Judge D’Hulster told us later it was a woodcock. The forward party had gone ahead with Max so when handler Hughes caught up he asked if his charge had come forward. We said, “No” , so the search was on as they felt she was standing again. Many minutes later we heard a shot; they had found Cracker, again pointing another woodcock, all in order. We were way ahead but heard a third shot as Cracker again scored on another timberdoodle. Her hour was very strong. Cracker is a good size bitch and really drives when she runs, with an attractive and purposeful gait.
Quail Trap Max, fancy moving setter male, is trained and handled by veteran Michigan pro Scott Chaffee. Max was scouted by his fond owner, Dave Hawk. Max earned his invitation by being named runner-up in the Northern Michigan Cover Dog Championship last fall in Gladwin where Judge Dave D’Hulster named him. Max also was runner-up in the Kinne Classic, and won the Beaverton Shooting Dog Stake.
Here, Max ran and hunted hard, never extreme, but looking for birds. Max had a series of stops from 24 to 29 where Scott flushed and could not get a bird to fly. At 56 the dog stopped on the left on the edge of a cut. Scott went in and a woodcock took flight, all well for the shot. At 59 Max stopped again. The bird was actually running away from the dog, another woodcock. Scott got it airborne with all well for the shot.
Cracker was named “day dog” for her considerable efforts.
[An aside, in last year’s report from Pennsylvania I inadvertently listed the day dog wrong in the report on day two. I listed Blooms Old Dollar, when it was Quail Trap Sadie, but of course, Sadie did get the money and did come back for the finals! I think the 60s were rough on my memory!)
Day No. 2: Straight Forward was down with Moss Meadow Traveler in the first brace. The ground had a sheet of ice but the walking and riding was OK.
“Cracker” again was a bullet off the breakaway. At 8 on the right her bell stopped. Handler Hughes began to flush and the grouse roared out, with the shot being fired, all good. Cracker pointed at 15 on the right. Dave could not get anything to fly. Cracker backed her bracemate willingly at 22 and finished another very strong hour, concluding with a woodcock find at 57.
Moss Meadow Traveler, good size tricolor setter male under the whistle of Scott Chaffee and scouted by his fond owner, Ken Moss. [Note: The judges at the beginning of the Championship asked that all scouts be identified at the breakaway and ask permission before they were sent out.] Traveler logged an unproductive at 22 (we had multiple birds there the day before), a stylish find on a woodcock at 46, and another unproductive at time. His running style is attractive. He handled very easy and Scott made it to the end of the course.
On day No. 3 the finals braced Straight Forward with Terhaar’s Elvis. The judges had announced the afternoon before that they would run this brace for sure. In reserve were: Fire A Way (Dave Hughes) and Cas Tiny (Robert Ecker).
The course for the finalists was No. 7 and No. 8, the judges feeling they wanted an opportunity to see the dogs running. For the third day in a row Straight Forward broke away very strong. “Cracker” dove in the valley on the deep right of the course and hunted the whole thing forward. No dog all week even attempted this! It was a major league move. My notes read “hunting vigorously!” We came to a big cutting at 23 and the course turned hard right. Both dogs went to the left and were hunting the outer edges of this cut, very deep. Both scouts were dispatched, Mike Spotts for Cracker, “Doc” Holmes for Elvis. After some anxious minutes Elvis came on, and scout yelled for Dave Hughes at 27 to “get on her,” and Cracker also came on. Both dogs were together briefly at 29, side by side on the course going forward. Cracker clearly had the edge in pace and drive. She was still driving hard.
At 53 Cracker was on a far right ridge, with a beaver pond between her and her handler who was calling for her. Cracker tried to get around it but it was too big so she came over it, the ice was still on it. She broke through, and still kept coming, swimming, breaking ice, struggling, not making much progress. Dave Hughes started down the hill to her, getting ready to go in, when she finally made it across, like a canine icebreaker. She came to him, shook off, then was away again under full power. An ice covered woodcock got up and Cracker stopped immediately, awaiting the shot.
Cracker was driving until the end of the hour, when she stopped across the road, grouse tracks everywhere in the snow, but Hughs could not produce a bird. This capped a phenomenal three-day effort of bird-finding and sheer hunting power. Cracker never let down, showed amazing endurance, her bird- finding ability clearly demonstrated on both grouse and woodcock. Her style on point is breathtaking. Straight Forward was simply the “best of the best”. The judges were proud to name her champion.
Ch. Straight Forward is by Ch. Keystone’s Red Rage, Craig Peters’ successful setter male, both as a producer and winner. Her dam is the winning female Quixstar, owned by Mike Spotts, she a Ch. Pennstar female out of the very successful Dick Brenneman and Bob Watts kennel and breeding program. Cracker was named runner-up at last fall’s Northern New England Woodcock Championship over a strong and talented field in Fryberg, Me. Cracker won the Pennsylvania Grouse Championship with two grouse finds and another of her trademark power races. Cracker is one of the rare grouse trial dogs which has won titles in all three grouse regions. Her win here at the Invitational secures her winning both the Harnden Foster Top Cover Dog Award and the Seminatore Cover Dog Award, not to mention Handler of the Year by Mr. Hughes. At a young four years of age the future looks very bright indeed for multiple champion Straight Forward!
Terhaar’s Elvis won the 2012 renewal in Pennsylvania with a grouse-finding clinic. Elvis is owned and handled by Dave Terhaar of Allegan, Mich. Skuttlebutt by some (hoping?) that The Big E was retired after his back-to-back wins of the Grand and the Invitational, but Dave Terhaar rightly determined the veteran campaigner had enough left in his tank to make a serious bid again for the title, and he was right.
Day No. 1 found Elvis braced with Dave Hughes and Fire A Way, tricolor setter male speedster, in the third brace on course No. 5-6. Elvis broke away big and strong belying his half a score years. Elvis’ bell stopped deep on the left in a cut of young aspen. Handler sent scout extraordinaire Doc Holmes out to look and he found Elvis standing majestically in a little opening. The large hen woodcock took flight at handler’s approach, shot fired, all in order. I went forward at this point as Elvis stopped again deep. I was afraid I would never catch up, as I was on foot, so am indebted to Judge Johnson for relaying that Elvis scored a very meritorious grouse find that required two relocations, and another good woodcock find late in his hour sandwiched around an unproductive. Elvis ran strong, never letting up.
Fire A Way earned his way to this event by being named runner-up in the 2012 National Amateur Grouse Championship in New York. Henry, as he is called, fairly flew for the full 60 minutes. He stopped three times in his hour, two of these stands producing woodcock. A very solid performance.
Day No. 2 found Elvis in the seventh brace on course No. 13-14 with Dr. Roger McPherson’s runner-up champion, the white and liver pointer female Suemac’s Coventry, handled by Dave Hughes. “Covey” logged three unproductives, had a bad case of cut and bloody feet and was picked up. Elvis scored a good woodcock find at 39, looking good on point. Then he threw in a real quality limb find at 52 on the deep left, a real “brainy” move as this cut is the only logical place to hunt on this part of the course and Elvis was there, finding birds. Elvis finished, as Judge Johnson said “fine.” Elvis was named day dog for his exciting effort on day No. 2.
The judges now took their two top dogs, day dog from day No. 1, same for day No. 2, and braced them for the finals. It would be exciting.
The third day finals found Elvis with Straight Forward on course No. 5-6. The judges and trial officials announced the afternoon prior that we would turn loose at 9:00 a. m. Rich and Jennifer Hollister of Dun Roven Kennels are the wranglers at Gladwin and they do a great job. The horses are always saddled and ready to go, on time, every brace. Rich’s horses are sturdy, dependable and safe. We were away with bells ringing before 9:00 a. m. I was a little surprised that we did not have more grouse trialers in the gallery watching the finals. Granted the weather was cold and wet, but this was the Invitational finals and two heavyweights were getting ready to do grouse trial battle. Those of us who saw it were treated to a show, and of course “grouse trial history!”
Straight Forward’s hour has been covered. Elvis began strong and forward as he always does, certainly one of his strengths. Elvis was scouted at 12 but came on at handler’s urging. Elvis took the big cut on the wide side but again swung to the front at 21 to 27, a great move. Elvis was scouted at 58 deep on the left, in young aspen growth. Handler indicated to Judge D’Hulster that the dog had literally skidded to a stop. Terhaar flushed everywhere, then sent the dog to relocate, but it was not to be.
Elvis finished his three-day effort with multiple birds on the first two days, with strong hunting efforts, great style on point and running, a complete performance that in many years would win, going away. This year he would best all, except one, Straight Forward.
Ch. Terhaar’s Elvis has had a storied career. Elvis is a very handsome dog. He has many horseback wins to go along with a basket load of titles on wild birds. Originally owned by Scott Borgeson of Kalamazoo, Mich., purchased by Scott from Peter Flanagan out of his grouse champion Grouse Ridge Maxima. I remember gang running pups in Ohio (we called it The Dawn Patrol) when Elvis was a puppy in the string of Dave Hughes and he stood out even then. Dave Terhaar has hunted this dog all over the United States and Canada, shooting hundreds of birds over his points. I have had the pleasure of shooting wild birds over both the champion and runner-up and both are top tier bird dogs. Elvis won the Grand National in Michigan in 2011 and came right back and won the Invitational last year. His placement here this year puts him in some rarified company.
Nelson’s Van Max (Minard) and Dew Sweeper (Hughes) opened the running. Max earned his way here by being named runner-up in the Wisconsin Cover Dog Championship. The white and liver pointer male stopped at 8 on the left and looked good. Bruce could not fly a bird and attempted the relocation. No go. Max backed nicely at 23 and logged a good woodcock find at 46 on the right. He ran strong. Dew Sweeper, Dick Straub’s white and liver pointer male, is coming off a very successful year winning the Empire Grouse Championship, the New York Grouse Championship, the New England Open Grouse Championship. Sweep pointed a pair of woodcock deep on the right at 23, with a grouse leaving the general area also and another find on a woodcock at 45. His style on both finds was attractive. Sweep ran a medium race, in the pocket and forward.
Suemac’s Coventry (Hughes), white and liver pointer female, earned her way here by being named runner-up in the Ontario Grouse Championship. Covey’s bell stopped at 1 on the left. When found she looked great, high head and tail, with the grouse running out in front and away from her. Hughes chased it into flight and all was well for the flush and shot. At 23 Covey was pointing on the right. As her handler was approaching she dove in, took out the woodcock and went with it. She was stopped by handler vocally and fired over but the damage was done and she was only down now as a bracemate, per Invitational rules. At 58 Covey was again pointing, a grouse was produced but she took steps. Wild Apple Jack, good size white and liver pointer male, earned his invitation bywinneing the Southern New England Woodcock Championship. New Hampshire professional Tony Bly was handling the dog; Tony knows the dog is talented as he named him champion in Rhode Island in the spring of 2012.
Jack broke forward and was hunting at 4 when his bell stopped on the right in a young aspen edge. Judge D’Hulster informed Bly, “The bird is gone,” as Tony didn’t hear or see the woodcock get up in front of the dog. Shot was fired and we continued on. At 15 Jack stopped fairly deep on the left. We went in and Tony flushed extensively but no bird was flown. Scout claimed a bird had left and this was relayed to the handler. At 23 Jack’s bell stopped forward and on the right. When we got up there Covey was stopped in front of Jack. As handler Hughes was going to Covey the bird lifted, Covey going, Jack staying for the shot, all in order. Jack carded another good woodcock find at 34. At 48 the dog was pointing on a side hill of young aspen to the right. Tony moved in. All was in order at the flush but at the shot the dog went, perhaps a truck length; Tony got him stopped, but he knew the damage was done. At 54 just before we crossed the road Jack was found pointing. He looked good.Tony flushed all around the dog, asking the road gallery, “Did anything come out of here?” Collective answer was no. Tony told Judge Johnson he was going to pick up, as he felt the dog could not win; Judge Johnson quietly asked him to reconsider and encouraged Tony to leave the dog down and finish, which he did.
Terhaar’s Elvis and Fire A Way have been reported.
Moss Meadow Traveler (Chaffee) earned his way here by winning the Michigan Woodcock Championship and the Kinne Classic. Today Traveler broke hard forward and dove into the right and his bell stopped. Spitfire (Spotts) flashed through the area but it could not be determined if indeed she saw the setter standing, although it must be noted she passed awfully close to Traveler. Judge D’Hulster informed Chaffee, “The grouse is in front of your dog, running.” Chaffee saw the bird and started to chase it, got it to fly and fired. When he did Traveler broke at shot, stopping at handler’s cautioning. Late in the hour Traveler’s bell was again stopped, but where we were not sure. Chaffee asked Judge Johnson if he could send Steve Groy out to look. Several minutes later call of point was heard off to our left, down along the dirt road and off into a little field. Chaffee moved quickly, Judge Johnson following on his horse. We hit the edge of the cover and Judge Johnson dismounted, following handler into the dog, perhaps 40 yards into the aspen. We could hear the scout loudly whoaing the dog, with bell sound also. Judge Johnson asked Chaffee, “What’s all that whoaing?” Scout went to handler and talked briefly to him before handler began flushing. A wide flushing attempt ensued, with a woodcock lifting almost in front of the dog. Judge Johnson called to handler to shoot as the bird had left. Time was up, the hour ended.
Spitfire, a white and orange setter female, is aptly named as she is a spitfire. “Lola” earned her way here by winning the National Amateur Grouse Championship last October in New York. This bitch can fly and is a joy to watch run. Lola pointed at 6. As Mike went in two grouse got up and roared out in front of her and she just could not contain herself and gave them a ride. Her race was wonderful and was full of pop and sizzle; she is just young. I reported the National Amateur last fall and I saw her win that one convincingly. Lola will be back again, I am sure!
Quail Trap Max and Straight Forward were previously reported.
Copper Mountain Pepsi (Chaffee), good size tricolor setter female, broke away strong on course No. 11-12. Pepsi earned her way here by winning the Northern Michigan Cover Dog Championship, with Dave D’Hulster adjudicating, as well as the Ontario Grouse Championship. This day Pepsi ran hard and carded a good grouse find in nasty blow downs on the left of the course, heard leaving quietly by Judge Johnson as he instructed Chaffee to fire. We also walked up a woodcock in the area. This find was sandwiched around a couple of unproductives.
Bracemate Cas Tiny, white and liver pointer female, is the 2012 Grand National Grouse Championship runner-up. I can see why. She can find grouse. At 6 Tiny stopped just to the left of the course and looked good. Ecker walked in and the grouse flushed loudly away, shot was fired, all good. Less then 5 minutes later we heard her bell stopped deep on the left. We went looking and found Tiny pointing with breathtaking style, head and tail high. Robert moved in and the grouse exploded and rolled over our heads; all was fine for the shot. Tiny scored on a woodcock on the left of the course at 49. Three unproductives clouded an otherwise sterling effort.
Terhaar’s Rogue (Terhaar), white and orange setter female, earned her way here by winning the Ruffed Grouse Shooting Dog Stake and the Michigan Amateur Shooting Dog Stake, both at Gladwin. Rogue is bred to Elvis and was due in a couple of weeks! Rogue ran wide and hard, logged an unproductive before scoring a good woodcock find at 55 on the left. This bitch is one of the most majestic dogs on point I have ever seen, just stunning. Rocky Point Lilly (Hughes) earned her way here by winning runner-up laurels in the New York Grouse Championship. The white and black setter female laid down a fast, classy driving hour with two good finds on woodcock. The second had three birds coming up at the flush. Lilly was a bit reluctant to end and Dave had his hands full picking her up!
DAY NO. 2
Judge D’Hulster was mounted the second day, as he was not on day No. 1, conditions being a bit slippery in the snow and ice.
Moss Meadow Traveler and Straight Forward have been reported.
Cooper Mountain Pepsi started with a series of ambitious casts. A woodcock got up wild at 4. Scout was sent out at 23 as Pepsi was thought to be possibly standing but eventually handler elected to pick up and Judge D’Hulster came forward. Rocky Point Lilly was again running a quality race. Scout was dispatched at 21 with Lilly flashing across the front at 26, looking good. Woodcock came up off the course at 28. Lilly stopped just after time. Handler and scout found her with two woodcock in front of her. Too bad it was not seconds sooner as she was officially birdless.
Terhaar’s Rogue logged a good grouse find at 28 and a divided woodcock find at 37, both handled with good style. Dew Sweeper ran a moderate race, rarely challenging the bell. Sweep had a find on a little male woodcock at 4 and a divided find on a woodcock at 37. A grouse got up wild at 21 on the path. Sweep had unproductives at 32 and 58.
Wild Apple Jack broke away, dove in to the right and pointed. Grouse was flushed with all in order. This was the fastest find I have ever seen. Jack scored another grouse find at 6, the logged unproductives at 11 and at 44. We walked up a woodcock wild at 15. Cas Tiny backed Jack’s stand at 11, carded an unproductive at 42 and scored a good grouse find at 55. Tiny made the reserve list for her two-day effort. I saw Cas Tiny win the New England Open Grouse Championship two years ago in Kilkenny, N. H She can find grouse.
Spitfire was again flying out of the gate. She pointed a porky at 12, nailed a woodcock at 20 and finished with an unproductive at 54. Spitfire is fun to watch! Fire A Way pointed a woodcock at 22 on the left of the course with good style and was tagged with an unproductive at 40. Fire A Way ran fast, forward and wide, yet was always under control. Fire A Way made the reserve list for his efforts.
Nelson’s Van Max stopped early but was moved on by Minard. The pointer had a good woodcock find at 28 that required a relocation, all done crisply, then suffered an unproductive late in the hour. The classy pointer ran hard and wide but was not always well directed. Quail Trap Max ran another busy forward hour with a good woodcock find at 44.
Meredith, Mich., April 10
Judges: Dave D’Hulster and George M. Johnson
GRAND NATIONAL GROUSE AND WOODCOCK INVITATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP [One-Hour Heats on Two Consecutive Days;
One-Hour Finals] — 5 Pointers and 9 Setters
Winner—STRAIGHT FORWARD, 1614876, setter female, by Keystone’s Red Rage—Quixstar. Richard Brenneman, owner; Dave Hughes, handler.
Runner-Up—TERHAAR’S ELVIS, 1546736, setter male, by Long Gone George—Grouse Ridge Maxima. Dave Terhaar, owner and handler.