Tag Archives: hunting

GSCA National Walking Gun Dog Championship

Couldn’t be more thrilled to share the news about about the

Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc.

National Walking Gun Dog Championship 

Monday, October 22, 2018

C&R Center on the Norman G Wilder Wildlife Area

Felton, Delaware

This is GSCA’s 3rd National event for 2018 and the newest addition to the GSCA lineup of spectacular events showcasing our talented and beautiful breed!

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Feature photo by Jim McWalter

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

GSCA National Championship & Field Trial 2018

If you’ve never been to a Field Trial, now’s is the time to make it happen!

November 4th through November 11th

Every year hardworking members of the GSCA put on fabulous, one of a kind National events, spotlighting the many talents and the absolute beauty of the Gordon Setter. I’m spotlighting the 24th annual GSCA National Championship and Field Trial here for you today. Gordon Setters from all across the US and Canada gather together here with their owners. If you’re a Gordon lover, like me, and you’ve never attended one of these events, make 2018 the year you give yourself this gift, make plans to attend! We promise beautiful scenery, great Gordons, camaraderie and hospitality, lots of fun and lasting memories!

GSCA NFT Facebook Page  for more information!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

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Field Help!

Field Enthusiasts – HELP!

We’re in dire need of Field material to publish for our readers on this Gordon Setter blog. We truly need your support and expertise to build reference material for those who are seeking information and mentors to help them learn more about hunting and field competition. We need your expertise and encouragement to draw more owners to enjoy time with their Gordon Setters in the field.

  • We are always seeking writers to share their material, experiences, or expertise here.
  • We are always seeking field enthusiasts to share links to websites or other blogs of value to those who share your passion.
  • We are always seeking your recommendations of books and videos.

You can reach us at gordonsetterexpert@gmail.com with your contributions or questions.

Hope you’ll join in to make some noise about your adventures in the field!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

GSCA National Field Trial 2015

2015 GSCA National Championships and Field Trial

November 2 – 8, 2015

Bechtel Ranch, Eureka Kansas

Entries close Monday, Oct. 19, 2015

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The Trail to Advancement by Jim MacWalter

Thank you to our newest Guest Blogger -Jim MacWalter for this article written in 2013 sharing his experiences training Gordon Setters for their Senior level Hunt Test title.

Brodie 1st Master QualificationLast spring, after entering my two Gordon Setters (Brodie & Ceilidh) in a few hunting tests in the new Junior Advanced level, the thought occurred to me that perhaps it was time to get serious and start their training toward Senior level and perhaps we might even achieve Master if we worked hard enough.

So in June we started our training with Jeff Reis of Berkley, Massachusetts. I say “we” because that’s how Jeff trains. He trains not only the dog but the handler as well. This is exactly what I was looking for as I wanted my dogs to recognize me as their handler and to be an integral part of any achievement my dogs may earn.

We started our training with Brodie, as I thought he might be the most difficult one to train due to his age, (Brodie turned seven this past December), and the number of years that I have hunted with him with little to no training, (my bad).

DSC_0528I was most pleasantly surprised when Brodie’s training progressed much faster than I ever anticipated. He quickly caught on to the table training, where he was taught the “Whoa” command and heeling command. He was soon in the field on a check cord, learning to implement the commands he learned on the training table. He was pointing the bird when he first caught scent rather than inches from the bird. This placed him ten to twenty feet from the bird, and in a position that made it less likely for him to break should the bird move. We moved on to teach him to be steady to the flush and the shot. This took a little longer as Brodie had never had to do this in the past six years that we have hunted together. Brodie thought it was the greatest thing to chase Sierra Exif JPEGthe bird when it was flushed so he could be there when, (assuming I hit it), it hit the ground. But he did catch on, and was soon making me proud as he held point though flush and shot. It wasn’t always a given that he would hold, and occasionally he would break, but considering his past this was terrific!

Brodie soon graduated from the training field we had been using to a new field and also a change from pigeons to quail. In one of our latest training sessions, the quail woke up from his nap and was walking around in front of Brodie and the boy held his point!! I was so proud of him that day that I thought I was going to bust the buttons right off my shirt!

DSC_0003We are now working with retrieving which is something that neither Brodie or Ceilidh care for, but must be accomplished in order to achieve our goals. So we sit in our living room with one of them sitting in front of me and I say “Fetch” and place a training dummy in their mouth, telling them to “Hold” and ending with the command “Give”. In the beginning this resulted in severe head shaking, trying to dislodge the dummy. But after awhile, the head shaking reduced and just recently Brodie has reached out to take the dummy when the command “Fetch” was given. So we are making progress, slow but steady

Ceilidh 3rd Sr. QualificationCeilidh’s training started in August. Ceilidh turned three this past October and she is a spit-fire. Since her training began, she has progressed from the training table to the training field with admirable results. She is much softer than Brodie and we have to be very careful with her in training so that any correction we give her is constructive and will not have a detrimental effect on her. Ceilidh is now holding steady to flush and shot and will soon be graduating from pigeons to quail.

photo 1CMy experience in Brodie and Ceilidh’s training has been amazing. I have learned much during this process and I believe I still have much to learn.

Witnessing when the light bulb comes on during the dog’s training is something not to be missed. You can see it in their eyes and in their body language when they understand what it is that you want them to do. It can be easily seen that they are as happy as you are when this event happens.TOSHIBA Exif JPEG

Both my dogs and I look forward to every training session and whether we have a good day or a bad day, we arrive back home knowing that we have learned something that day.

I have always had a great respect for the dogs and handlers in hunt tests. Watching a handler and his dog in a Senior or Master test is akin to watching a ballet. The team of dog and handler work together in a symbiotic relationship. The dog and his amazing sense of scent locates the bird and indicates it’s position to the handler by a staunch point. The handler may steady the dog with a soft “whoa” and goes in to flush the bird. The bird explodes into the sky, and the gunner does his job. The dog has held his point and watched intently as the bird fell. The handler instructs the dog to “Fetch” and the dog is off, finds and retrieves the bird back to the handler.

Brodie Sr. Hunter TitleAs with most things that are done well, the dog and handler make this look so easy. Since I have started training, I have learned this is not easy. It takes months of hard but rewarding work to attain a level where the dog and handler are now ready to enter themselves into a Hunt Test. Personally, I can think of no better activity than to spend some rewarding time in the field with my dogs.

Jim MacWalter

Calling on Field trainers!

J Mcwalter photo
Photo from Jim McWalter

We know you’re out there having the time of your life doing what comes naturally to man and bird dog – hunting! But after you’ve come in out of the cold we’re wondering if you would share your expert knowledge – as in how did you get your dog to do that?

We need field trainers who are willing to share their training methods, such as what resources do you use to guide you, do you have favorite books or websites that you recommend, can you or would you write articles about field training or field training issues to help other trainers resolve their problem? Especially and most importantly if that training applies and works well with Gordon Setters, because that’s the breed this blog is all about.

Please send your articles, links, recommended reading, videos, websites, the things you believe are very important to know when training your Gordon Setter to hunt to gordonsetterexpert@gmail.com.

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Photo from Jim McWalter