Spring training and annual meeting

The Montana Sharptail Chapter will be hosting a spring training and annual meeting April 20-24 in Three Forks Montana. The event will be at our usual location on Karyn Conner's ranch.

The annual meeting will be Saturday, April 23 at 10:00 am.  We will be discussing the upcoming season events including testing and training opportunities. Also on the agenda will be to nominate and fill open Board positions. The Chapter will be electing Treasurer, Secretary, and President as well as adding and/or replacing Board members.  A few folks have expressed interest in joining.  If you are interested please contact a current board member or myself to find out more.  The meeting will have an open forum for membership to share ideas.  We want to hear what membership would like to get out of the chapter.

We are bringing in a professional trainer to assist members during the event. The trainer has extensive experience with NAVHDA testing and training including handling multiple Versatile Champions.
This will be an outstanding opportunity for folks to gain training skills and get hands on help. He will be focusing on Utility Testing skills but will also provide Natural Ability assistance.  If you are wanting assistance with UT training he recommends that at a minimum your dog has a solid "recall" command and understands "whoa".

We will be charging a minimal fee to cover the trainer's expenses.  The training fee will be somewhere between $60-$75 + bird expenses per participant based on how many folks attend.  Bird costs are $5 for pigeons and $12.50 for chukars.  We will need to get an approximate count on how many folks would like to participate so we can order enough birds and determine the training fee.
Please let me know if you are planning on attending.
The event will be limited to chapter members. 

Additional information will be posted on the website and via email.

I look forward to seeing folks in April.

John Arkins
Montana Sharptail President
January 5, 2017


Happy New Year to all the Montana Sharptail Family!

I hope your hunting season was filled with memorable points and the smell of gun powder.

Training, testing and NAVHDA fun is just around the corner.  The Board is looking forward to an event filled season working with our wonderful versatile gun dogs. 

It’s that  time of year to renew your chapter membership.  We need your support.  Members keep our chapter active, healthy and growing. If you have already renewed, thank you.
Current yearly membership fee is $30.00 for a single or $50.00 for a family membership.
If you know anyone interested in joining, please refer them to the website.

Here is the link for renewals and new memberships.


It is likely our membership fees will have to increase at some point.  Your early renewal ensures renewal at the 2016 membership rate.  We very much appreciate your support.

The board has a few ideas of training and testing opportunities and we would like to hear from the members on their wants for chapter activities. Contact a broad member to share your ideas.

The chapter is pursuing two tests this year with potential locations of Whitefish and Wisdom.
Nothing has been set yet.  However it will be important to get our event dates set as soon as possible to ensure we secure volunteers, birds, judges and facilities.

If you are interested in hosting training events in your area, we can help with equipment, birds and training support.  Training dates will be established in early spring.  

There are a few critical duties we need to fill this year.  We are looking for a Test Secretary and a chapter treasurer.  If you have interest in either, please contact me to find out more about the job.

Thanks for being a Montana Sharptail NAVHDA member!
Much more to come.

John Arkins
Chapter President




2016 Sharptail Chapter Test - Wisdom, MT

NATURAL ABILITY (NA), UTILITY(UT) & UTILITY PREP(UPT) TESTING
July 15, 16 & 17 - 2016
Big Hole Valley - Wisdom, Montana

Natalie and Dutch, NA Swim, as Judge Ruth Weiss looks on
2016
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)

MONTANA SHARPTAIL NAVHDA TEST PAYMENT GATEWAY

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:
mtsharptailtest@gmail.com
*******************************
All other chapter questions including seminars, training, annual meeting etc should be directed to:
montanasharptail@gmail.com

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:
SHARPTAIL MEMBERSHIP GATEWAY

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

TRAINING, TESTING, ANNUAL MEETING & MEMBERSHIP

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.

TESTING
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.

MEMBERSHIP
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.
montanasharptail@gmail.com
406-212-5767
Fast Eddy in the Big Hole Valley - January 2016

2016 - TESTING, TRAINING, ANNUAL MEETING AND MEMBERSHIP UPDATE

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.

ANNUAL MEETING AND TRAINING CAMP
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..........

WHITEFISH TEST AND CHAPTER SAGE GROUSE PROJECT

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.  










THREE FORKS UPDATE - DIRECTIONS, DETAILS, ETC.

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.

VACCINATIONS:
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).