When the Lahontan Valley Bird Dog Club invited The Birdmen TV crew out to film their annual bird dog championships in Fallon, Nevada we jumped at the opportunity. This would be a unique chance to film some of the best pointing and flushing dogs in the country doing what they were born to do.
The first day found us behind a beautiful German shorthair named Jasmine; she belongs to 14 year old Clay Davidson who has been around this game his entire life. Jasmine is 10 months old and was competing in the puppy division for the first time. Clay was accompanied by his buddy and future fowler Sean McCormick as his partner-shooter for this event. Webley & Scott had sent us to field test the new youth model 20 gauge over/under shotgun. As Jasmine forged ahead in the field searching for the recently planted chukar, she caught a scent and swapped ends, working back and forth upwind, finally disclosing the bird’s exact location. As she stood completely motionless with her tail standing straight up, Clay and Sean moved into position. Just as the chukar flushed and with a couple of well placed shots from the youth model Webley & Scott, Jasmine made a perfect retrieve, within one step (still a legal retrieve in this competition). As Clay and Sean high-fived along with big smiles you could tell this was going to be a great event.
As the weekend played out, pointing dogs and flushing dogs filled the playing fields along with field marshals, judges, shooters, bird planters and spectators all excited to see these top-quality dogs at work. This event consisted of competition in a Pointing Singles Division, Pointing Puppy Division, Pointing Doubles Division and a Flushing Doubles Division. In the Doubles competition there are 6 birds planted and the team has 30 minutes to find all 6, the dog then points the bird, the team flushes and shoots hoping to get him on the first shot and the dog brings it to within one step of the shooter. All of this is done as fast as possible with as few shells as possible as this is a timed event and for every second the teams are under the 30 minute deadline and the more shells they return with the higher the score.
The first day found the “A” division (no collars) with very difficult scenting conditions with most teams taking the full 30 minutes to find their birds. Then it happened, as one of the local favorites made the most amazing run of the day, finding all 6 birds in just over 10 minutes and setting themselves up nicely for the championship run next day. Day two progressed rather similarly with most teams struggling and a small few meticulously but quickly working the field with no errors. In this competition the difference between the top three spots are a couple of seconds, so if you miss one shot or your dog makes one mistake, it’s over. As the top three teams emerged at the end of the day it was a tight finish to the competition with the dogs and teams finishing out in the doubles division as follows:
1st place: Ron Ricks and John Nieubuurt with Ron’s German Shorthair Pointer Ruby
2nd place: Cleo Anthony and Don Lee with Don’s English Pointer, Koda
3rd place: Joe Cervantes and Roc Cole with his English Pointer, Bruske
1st place: Dan Hannum with Red, an English Pointer
2nd place: Ron Ricks with Ruby, a German Shorthair
3rd place: Don Lee with Koda, an English Pointer
1st place: Chip and Zach Bunker with Shivers, a Springer Spaniel
2nd place: Chip and Zach Bunker with Thorne, a Springer Spaniel
3rd place: Roc Cole and Joe Cervantes with Roc’s Black Labrador Skeeter
1st place: Cleo Anthony with his German Shorthair, Shilo
2nd place: Cleo Anthony with his other German Shorthair, Penny
3rd place: Dan Hannum with his English Pointer, Daisy
Clay Davidson finished 5th in the puppy division with Jasmine.
What a fun event!
Special thanks to: