2016 Sharptail Chapter Test - Wisdom, MT

July 15, 16 & 17 - 2016
Big Hole Valley - Wisdom, Montana

Natalie and Dutch, NA Swim, as Judge Ruth Weiss looks on
We'll be testing again in Wisdom, MT this year on July 15, 16 & 17.  The only method to register for a test prior to the actual event is through the Montana Sharptail Test Registration Gateway Link: (Click Below)


Priority for test registration with this chapter is granted to Montana Sharptail Chapter Members only, from now, March 13, 2016 until 30 Days from the Test Series.  At that point, general registration will open up for non-members.  It is recommended that you sign up as soon as possible.  This test will fill very quickly - It would be a fair to assume that the test will be full, or almost full, by the time we offer our Training Camp later this month.

Test Registrations will be accepted on a "First Come, First Serve," basis.  We will fill test days according to the NAVHDA Test Capacity Chart, which, along with other testing info can be found here: http://www.navhda.org/testing/holding-navhda-test

Please be advised that your "Preferred Run Day" is not an automatic selection.  We will more than likely run UT/UPT on Friday, a "mixed day" of NA/UPT/UT on Saturday and NA only on Sunday, depending on how many dogs, and which Test Types are enrolled.

Questions about TEST REGISTRATION ONLY should be directed toward our Test Secretary at the following email address:
All other chapter questions including seminars, training, annual meeting etc should be directed to:

The Membership List to the left is current as of March 13, 2016.  If you have not renewed, but plan on participating and/or supporting the chapter, please update your membership at this link:

More information regarding the Three Forks Training Event, Annual Meeting and the coming year will be posted soon, with an email alert to the membership.  Thanks, and hope to see you all in Three Forks.
P.S. - all blog posts below are historical in chronological order, most from 2015 or earlier.

Angus, GSP, on a Utility Duck Search


Gunnr - Pudelpointer owned by Todd Baier - Photo by Dave Shumway
2016 ANNUAL MEETING - Saturday, April 2
1:00 pm - Pais Casa Ranch, Three Forks Montana
Board and Officer Elections and Priorities for the coming year
Nominees to the Board for 2016 include Jim Lechleitner and Brian Gertiser

TRAINING EVENT - March 31 - Thru April 3
1:00 pm Thursday until noon on Sunday.
A more formal schedule will be published, but informal and formal opportunities will exist, with plenty of birds available.  Chapter membership is required - you may attend any or all days.  Scheduled events will include:  Natural Ability Seminar, Duck Search Discussion, & Electronic Collar Training.
More info coming, including potential lunch and dinner for Saturday.

We have been granted permission to once again run a 3-day test in the Big Hole Valley - Wisdom, MT.
Natural Ability (NA), Utility Preparatory Test (UPT), and Utility Test (UT) will all be available.  We are in the process of confirming dates with the host ranch, but you can expect it to fall between July 15 and August 14.  We should know within the week.  Once we have confirmed the Test Date, we will have them approved by NAVHDA International.  Once approved, we will open registration for the test.  Registration will be granted to Montana Sharptail Chapter members only until 30 days from the Test Series.  In an effort to keep all registrations fair, minimize paperwork, and ease the handling of money, all test registration (with the exception of "on-site or same-day" will occur through a new "gateway," including payment options.  A link to the Test Registration Gateway will be furnished to all members, and made available on the website, once our dates are approved by NAVHDA International.

Annual Memberships are now due - several folks have already sent in their Membership for the coming year which is great.  All memberships (one or two-year) that were paid for after last year's August Test, have been applied toward the 2016 (one year) or 2016-2017 season.  Please feel free to contact montanasharptail@gmail.com if you have questions.  If your membership is due, you can expect an email reminder soon.  Otherwise, you can use the secure link: https://montanasharptail.formstack.com/forms/membership_application

Please do not send a hard copy of your Membership Registration to the PO Box - We are making a concerted effort to reduce paperwork and create a sustainable volunteer organization. Please help this by renewing on-line. We will accept "hard copies" and checks or cash from new members at events only.  Thank you for your help on making this work.

We look forward to seeing you all in Three Forks.
Feel free to call or email with questions.
Fast Eddy in the Big Hole Valley - January 2016


Sharptail Sign - At the Wisdom Test Site, January 2016
Just a quick note to let folks know that the Board of Directors is tracking on Training and Testing Events for the coming year. We are currently working with landowners to secure our test dates for 2 days in late June in Whitefish, and 3 days in early/mid August in Wisdom.  Both Tests will be NA/UPT/UT.  We will not accept any test registrations until the test fees are finalized by the board, and the dates/locations are accepted by NAVHDA International.  Stay tuned, as we will let the membership know immediately when they are approved.  As usual, Montana Sharptail Members will have priority for test registration up until 30 days prior to a test series.  Rae Brown will serve as the Test Secretary for the coming year, and Keith McCormick will coordinate Membership renewals once the board has approved fees for the coming year.  We will likely continue to have 2-year options available to new members as this has been a popular option.  Folks who signed up for a 2-year option last year will be notified soon that their membership status for the coming year is set.

We are in the process of scheduling a multi-day training event in the Three Forks/Bozeman/Belgrade Area for Early April........ We will also incorporate our annual meeting and Board / Officer elections into the event.  Stay tuned for coming info.

The board is looking forward to the coming year, and we invite your comments to: montanasharptail@gmail.com
Please feel free to forward this newsletter, or the Montana Sharptail contact info to interested parties.
Hope to see you all soon, and scratch those dogs..........


Dan Helterline's Pudelpointers Vesper and Murdock
The Whitefish Test is full, with a waiting list of two.  Please email or call if you are interested in volunteering - we'd love to have your help.  We will have at least a couple training evenings in Whitefish in the coming two weeks, and a training day the weekend before.  More info forthcoming.  Camping and Lodging will be available at Stillwater Mountain Lodge - Please call 406-212-5767 for details.  (More info will be forthcoming to test participants shortly).

Chapter BBQ at Stillwater Mountain Lodge Saturday June 6 after the test at 6:00 for $10.00. Everyone is welcome.

Wisdom August Test Update:  We have 2 days full and the 3rd day is half full - It will be full by the end of next week...Don't hesitate to get your entries in.  Wisdom training week info is forthcoming.

Chapter Sage Grouse Project - In addition to more Fence Marking in Wisdom in August - The Chapter has a great opportunity coming to us via Vice President Bridget Nielsen:
We have an exciting opportunity to help in the research and data collection of information for the Sage Grouse in Montana!  This is an exciting event that will directly help the birds!  The MTFWP conducts annual monitoring and scientific research on Greater Sage Grouse in the Roundup, MT area every spring.  Part of the study includes capturing young chick sage grouse, tagging them, and evaluating survival between marking and fledging in the fall.  The chicks are located by using radio telemetry equipment to locate collared females after sunset.  The chicks are quickly released back to the female and success of the project has been very high.  The information gathered from this effort is utilized in determining the level of success of the Sage Grouse Initiative Grazing Management programs that have been developed on over 200,000 acres of private and federal lands in the Roundup/Lavina area of Montana.  We are being offered the opportunity to assist the MTFWP in this effort during the months of June and July.  The ability to handle birds safely is desired as well as the ability to handle changing weather conditions and rustic overnight accomodations during the work week is needed.  Preferably the volunteers will camp near the project site and be able to work after dark. If you are interested in helping, please contact Bridget Nielsen at (406) 366-6042 and she will coordinate with MTFWP to schedule volunteer efforts.  


Cooper - English Setter
Directions to the site:
Exit 274 off of Interstate 90 and head North. Turn West (left) off of Hwy 12/US 287 on to Wheatland Road.  (This is just past the Wheat Montana Cafe). From Helena Townsend on 12/287 - Turn West (right) onto Wheatland Road (If you get to the Wheat Montana Cafe or the Interstate, you went too far.

Follow Arrows and Signs for the German Shorthair Pointer Club or NAVHDA.  It is a few miles back to the site.  Park near the Quanset hut.

Lucy - Vizsla

Please RSVP to montanasharptail@gmail.com if you plan on attending.  If you have an idea of your bird needs, please let us know ahead of time.  We will have chukars and pigeons available.  If you are not sure of your bird needs, just let us know you are coming, for how many days, and what your situation is (e.g. "1 - 10 month old pup running NA this summer - or - "young pup for bird and gun intro", etc.).

Training Fees:
20.00 for one day / $10.00 for subsequent days
Pigeons: $5.00
Chukars: $13.50
We are still trying to find pheasants.

We will have Rattlesnake Vaccine Available at the training clinic.  On Saturday, a veterinarian in the chapter will be there to help administer. The fee for Rattlesnake Vaccine will be $20.00 for the first vial and $15 for each additional.  Proceeds will go to the Chapter.  He will also have DHPP available if your dog is due for a shot.

At this point, we don't have any formal lunches planned, so you should plan on taking care of this on your own.

Boogie - Griffon
Protocol / Training Day Etiquette:
One article of Blaze Orange (cap or vest) is required in the "Live Fire" field.  "Break-Open" shotguns are required for live fire as well.
(Pistol Blanks are used in the puppy field)

Although training days are great opportunities for socialization of pups with other dogs, please make sure if your dog is not running it is kept on a leash, in a crate or on a chain-out.  Keeping a young dog in a vehicle without means for containment can be a very bad idea, as their enthusiasm for the surrounding environment can be detrimental to the interior of your vehicle, and potentially dangerous to the dog.  There is not water available at the parking site, so bring plenty of drinking water for both you and the dog(s).


Sharptail Country, Central Montana........Otis (Griffon), on point.  Dixie (Brittany), backing.
Thank you to all who have brought your membership dues up to-date.  The season is coming together well with lots of folks planning on attending the Training and Annual Meeting in Three Forks.  A huge thanks to everyone who has chipped in on "The Wishlist," as we have received a very generous donation from Bishop Company and Keith and Debbie McCormick to purchase the 18 x 30 event tent for the chapter.  We also have received gifts toward a "Pop-up Dog" and a "Sit-on-Top" kayak.

Given the fact that the Gallatin Valley Pheasants Forever Banquet is on Saturday night, March 28, we will hold our Annual Business Meeting at 1:00 pm, after lunch.  For anyone interested in attending the PF Banquet, more information can be found here: GVPF Banquet

Schedule for the Training Event is as follows:

Thursday March 26
10:00 am - Set up Tent, Bird Pen and Training Stations (Need Volunteers)
1:00 pm to Dusk - General Training - from pups to finishing dogs

Friday, March 27
9:00 am - Noon - General Training
1:00 pm - Dusk - General Training
3:00 pm - 5:00 "Trained Retrieve" Seminar - In the Tent
6:00 pm - Continued "Trained Retrieve"

Saturday, March 28
9:00 am - Noon - General Training
9:00 am - Natural Ability Seminar - Understanding the Test and how to prepare. - In the Tent
11:00 am - Natural Ability "Track" Training 
1:00 pm - Annual Membership Meeting - Everyone Welcome - In the Tent
2:30 pm - Dusk - General Training

Sunday, March 29
9:00 am - Noon - General Training
9:00 am - Noon - Utility Seminar - Understanding the Test and Training for it.
Noon: Pack-up and head out

There will be plenty of opportunity for everyone and their dogs.  As we've always promoted, folks usually learn more by either helping other folks, or observing other dogs and handlers.  Please jump in and help to make the weekend happen.

All of our Testing Dates have been approved by NAVHDA.  The following opportunities are now available for registration:

June 6 & 7 - Whitefish, MT - Natural Ability (NA), Utility Prep (UPT), and Utility (UT)
August 7, 8 & 9 - Wisdom, MT - Natural Ability (NA), Utility Prep (UPT), and Utility (UT)

Test Fees Are:
NA - $125.00
UPT - $165.00
UT - $165.00

For more information on Testing, including a link to a "Fillable" Test Entry Form - Follow this link:
NAVHDA Test Info

For specific info related to testing with the Montana Sharptail Chapter - Follow this link:
Testing with the Sharptail Chapter

Test Entries are not official until a completed Test Entry form, along with full payment are received by the Test Secretary.  Test Entries and inquires can be sent to: mtsharptailtest@gmail.com (PLEASE NOTE - This is a different email address from the general chapter email address..... It is for Test Entries and Inquiries only)
Payment may be made over the phone with Visa.
Entries, along with check or money order for entry can be sent to:

Test Secretary
Montana Sharptail NAVHDA
PO Box 5255
Whitefish, MT  59937

Get your entries in early........ Tests fill quickly.

A full schedule of available tests around North America can be found here: NAVHDA TEST SCHEDULE

(Whitefish or Bigfork - Location yet to be determined)
Join Keith and Tom for a day of organizing the trailer - building shelves for Jackets, Shirts, Caps, Training Supplies, Cooking Supplies, etc........ Stay tuned and please chime in via email or phone if you can help.
montanasharptail@gmail.com  406-212-5767


Once again, the Montana Sharptail Chapter is looking to get involved with Habitat and Ranch Service Projects.  We plan on another "Fence-Marking" day in the Big Hole, in addition to potentially getting involved in Sage Grouse
Radio-collar projects....... Stay tuned as we learn more.

One of the priorities for the Annual Meeting will be to identify local groups and locations for training on a regular basis around the state.  Insurance certificates have been issued to the chapter for all of last years training and testing grounds.

As stated in the previous newsletter, rustic camping will be available at the training grounds.  If you have a camper and the weather looks like it might be rainy, you might be better off at the Headwaters campground, as the road into the training grounds is a true "gumbo road"........  A great hotel option, very close to the training grounds is at the "Fort Three Forks Motel."  More info can be found here: Fort Three Forks

Hope to see you all in Three Forks!


With another hunting season recently in the books, and spring winds blowing, it's time to start thinking about training and testing.  The Chapter Board of Directors has approved Membership, Training and Testing fees to stay the same for the 2015 Season.  In the interest of budgeting and paperwork, please consider renewing your membership before the Annual Meeting on March 28.  A 2015 Membership Form, with payment information, can be found here:  MEMBERSHIP 2015  Feel free to contact the chapter directly if you would rather "re-up" over the phone.  If you paid for a 2-year "Introductory Membership" last year, you will get an email confirming your paid membership for 2015.  To contact Tom with questions or payment details:  406-212-5767

Somewhere in Chukar Country - January 2015
MARCH 26, 27, 28 & 29
Our first training opportunity will be once again at the Pais Casa Ranch.  Camping will be available on-site.  There are no electrical hook-ups or water, so camping is "rustic".  There will be an outhouse at the training grounds.  Information on area hotels will be forthcoming.  Directions will be posted soon.  A huge thanks to Karen Conner for making her facility available once again.  Pigeons, chukars and dead ducks will be available at the event, and we should be able to get pheasants as well.  Stay tuned as more information will be posted with specific times for a "Natural Ability Seminar," "Utility / Utility Prep Seminar" and "Conditioned Retrieve" training.  As always, training for both "NAVHDA Testing" and "Continued Hunting Dog Development" are welcome and encouraged.

The Montana Sharptail Chapter of NAVHDA will hold its Annual Meeting in concert with its first training event - Saturday evening at a location yet to be determined near Three Forks.  Stay tuned for exact location and time as we find the best place.  The priorities for the meeting will be:

Weekly Training Opportunities Throughout Montana - Coordination of Insurance, Permits, Locations, Etc.
Location and Dates for Extended Training Camps (2-5 day events)
Board Member and Officer Elections - 2015
Chapter Service Projects - Habitat and/or Ranch Projects
Test Site Coordination

TESTING - 2015
We should have dates set in stone in the coming week with land-owners, but so far we look to be on track for the following:
Whitefish, MT (Tentative) - June 6 & 7  Natural Ability, Utility & Utility Prep
Wisdom, MT (Tentative) - August 7, 8 & 9 Natural Ability, Utility & Utility Prep
We are still looking to possibly add a couple of Natural Ability Dates, potentially in July, at a location yet to be determined.  Fees are the same for 2015:  $125 for NA and $165 for UT/UPT.  Chapter members have priority until 30 days from the first day of a test series.  Test Entries will not be formally accepted until we get final approval from both NAVHDA International and the respective property owners (expected to be quite soon.)


The "Wishlist" was a great success in 2014....... The chapter was able to add several launchers, a shotgun, decoys, numerous bumpers, and even a "Brute Trash Can" from Crazy Uncle Bearcat.  In addition to your membership, please consider a donation to the "Chapter Wishlist" and keep the chapter assets growing.  Thank you for your consideration:  Chapter Wishlist


In order to possess upland birds for "non-commercial" purposes on your premises, you must obtain a free permit from FWP.  If you hope to obtain live birds to take home from the chapter, or any other source, you must have one of these permits.  More information, as well as a PDF download for the permit, is available here: Captive Upland Bird Possession

The Montana Sharptail Chapter obtains appropriate permits for each training and testing location, which covers all members and participants at those locations.  For any other dog training that chapter members pursue, outside of chapter sponsored events, you are required by FWP to obtain the appropriate free permit for dog training if you plan on using any captive upland birds (e.g. pheasants, chukars, Huns.) NOTE - Pigeons and quail are not considered game birds and are exempt from this requirement.  More information, as well as a PDF download for the Dog Training Permit, is available here:  Dog Training Permit

Dora, Kruz, Eddie and Swipe - Sharptails, September 2014