Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 Officers of Big Sky Field Trial Club

At the annual meeting held in December in Billings the new executive of the Big Sky Field Trial Club was chosen. As follows:

President - Austin Turley
Secretary - John Junnila
Treasurer - Dave Noell

Thanks to these fine individuals for donating their time to the sport we enjoy so much!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009 Montana Dog of the Year - Railita

The Big Sky Field Trial Club met in Billings on December 5, 2009 for it's annual meeting. During the meeting the Dog of the Year results were announced. The five highest placing dogs were as follows:

1st  Railita - Austin Turley - Open Shooting Dog  
2nd  Prairie Heat - Shawn Conover - All- Age Derby  
3rd  Railita - Austin Turley - Am. Shooting dog
4th  Lone Mountain Tourist - John Mandell - All -Age 
5th  Arcata - Sonny Clark - Shooting Dog Derby

Railita, coming 4  year old, English Pointer female, owned and handled by Austin Turley was pronounced the 2009 Montana Dog of the Year.

A hearty congratulations is extended to Austin for his accomplishment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thank You! to the residents of Circle, Montana

The Big Sky Field Trial Club would like to thank the landowners of the Buffalo Creek drainage who have generously allowed us to hold our horseback, pointing dog competitions on their properties.  For approximately the last five years we have been privileged to hold our competitions on their land. 

Due to the quality of grounds that we are allowed to compete on, the plentiful birds that inhabit those grounds, and the hospitality that is displayed to the contestants by both the landowners and the community, the semi-annual competitions have become popular to contestants from afar.  This past August in excess of 50 contestants from across the U.S. and Canada came to Circle to compete.  They came from such states as Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Dakota, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho as well as our own Region 14 (Alberta, British Colombia, Saskatchewan, and Montana).  These contestants spent the better part of two weeks in Circle.  Hospitality was shown by the numerous businesses which were frequented.  To name just a few: Travelers' Inn, Wooden Nickel, VFW Club, Kay's Family Dining, Corner Bar, Stockman Lanes, Schmidt's Super Valu, all the fueling stations, and the Kuchen Kottage.

The stewardship of the grounds we are allowed to compete on is second to none.  The birds which inhabit these grounds are plentiful to say the least, in no small part due to commitment of the landowners.  The land has great cover, abundant tree rows, accessible water, planted foods for the game (both upland and big game), as well as the farmed crops which surround the area.

The Big Sky Field Trial Club recognizes that we are extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy these grounds as well as this community.  We have tried to show that appreciation by giving back to the community as we are able.  Over the past five years we have regularly contributed to community groups that have been brought to our attention by the landowners.  This has included the Redwater Valley Ambulance Service, Circle Junior Rifle Club, and the Circle Swimming Pool Fund.  We realize that the generosity the landowners have shown us can not be equaled, but we hope that through these donations, our thanks to them, and our actions we can let them know how much we appreciate all they have done for both us and the land they so finely steward.

If you are curious about just what it is that we are doing, you are more than welcome to come. If you own a horse, bring it and ride with us. If you would need to borrow a horse, we will make certain you have one to ride. We would love to show you our sport and why these trials have become so highly regarded.

With the holiday season fast approaching, The Big Sky Field trial Club would like to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and a Prosperous New Year.  We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

On behalf of The Big Sky Field Trial Club,

Austin Turley

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Sky Field Trial Club Annual Meeting


WHEN: Saturday, December 5th, 2009

WHERE: McKenzie River Pizza, 405 West Main in Billings Heights, 406.254.0066 -

TIME: Lunch 11:30 - 12:30 and Meeting begins promptly at 1:00 pm

Members with items they wish to have on the agenda should be in touch with the President or Secretary (Tom Nygard & John Junnila).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Central Alberta Pointer & Setter Club

Strut's Rambling Man, pointer male, owned by Rick Steen and handled by Mike Jordan in Rick's absence, won the Central Alberta Pointer & Setter Club's inaugural Alberta Prairie All Age Classic. Cole had two good finds, that took a penetrating effort in the bluffs, and a strong ground race. Light Rail, pointer female, takes runner up honors. Handled by Shannon Nygard and scouted by her owner, Tom Nygard, she ran a big race that included wonderful handling as well as covering the hunting objectives.

The Alberta Prairie Shooting Dog Classic was won by High Powered Gasoline, pointer female, owned and handled by Ron Bender. Suzie's single find in a tight draw and fine ground pattern for the hour cemented the victory. Runner up honors went to Lone Mountain Magique, setter female owned and handled by Sean Kelly.

This was the first running of the Central Alberta Pointer and Setter Club's Alberta Prairie All Age Classic, as well as the Alberta Prairie Shooting Dog Classic. Coordinators, Paul Falkowski and Sig Guggenmoos are to be congratulated for a job well done under adverse conditions. The reported shortage of birds in Central Alberta was put to rest with several good pieces of dog work as well as many birds being ridden up by members of the gallery. The dogs had a more difficult time, however, as the wind was howling (30 - 50 mph) and the grounds were dry. We had a wind/rain storm Saturday night. Regardless of the weather a good time was had by all .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Region 9 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Another report from American Falls, Idaho this evening bore more great news for members of the Big Sky Field Trial Club. Dave Noell of Billings, Montana gained runner up honors in the Region 9 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship in American Falls with his 11 year old setter male, Our Rowdy Friend. Rowdy had a classic shooting dog race with one find during trying weather conditions of high winds and dry habitat. What a way to wind down a career!

Region 14 Amateur All Age Championship

Word from Mortlach, Saskatchewan has the Big Sky Field Trial Club well represented. Our own Glenn Conover earned runner up honors with his and his wife's dog, Prairie Crude at the Region 14 Amateur All Age Championship in early September. Hank powered his way to the runner up title with one find and a large prairie race amongst a field of 48 dogs. Hank was bred by Butch Nelson and his wife, Karen Paugh. Congratulations Glenn and Shawn!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Montana Shooting Dog Championship

The running of the 2009 Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship followed on the heels of the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship at the Scot Brown ranch in Circle, Montana last week. The running came off on the advertised date of August 25 but did so with an afternoon start to accommodate the huge number of entries in the Amateur Championship. Judges Harold Ray of Waynesboro, Georgia and Dave Noell of Billings, Montana crowned Hawthorne Kate, pointer female handled by Jim Tande and owned by Tande and Dan Miller as the 2009 Champion. Runner Up honors were anointed to Nella Running Tab, handled by Sean Kinkelaar and owned by Vagas Mathiesen.

The grounds at the Scot Brown ranch were in great condition for the event and held vast numbers of birds for the dogs to locate. The finds were focused, equally, on all six, one hour courses and the participants were quick to agree that every course gave an equal chance to produce the winner.

Dave Noell will publish his report in the ensuing weeks. Watch this site for it first.

Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

The 2009 Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship drew 65 dogs on the night of August 20 at the Wooden Nickle Restaurant in Circle, Montana. The overwhelming response to the call for entries surpassing even the most optimistic expectations. Judges Mike Furney of Panama City, Florida and Dr. Lou Qualtiere of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan rode a dedicated watch. The winner emerged in pointer female, Heard Hill's Queen Mary owned by Buck and Lynn Heard of Moultrie, Georgia. Mary was ably handled by Alabama native, John Neely in the first brace of the event. Runner-up honors went to defending Champion, Bridges Lake Pat, owned and handled by Tim Moore.

The bird population was superb with the opening morning braces encountering 30 contacts with four varieties of birds! This would prove to be routine during the running. Weather even cooperated, for the most part, as we saw temperatures in the 90's only two of the five days of running. The friendly camaraderie of the event was equally outstanding as evidenced by last year's Champion, Bridges Lake Pat's owner, Tim Moore treating over 30 participants to a shrimp boil as a token of his win from 2008. None of us flirted with loosing weight during the feed.

Watch this space for the complete report as compiled by judge/reporter, Lou Qualtiere.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Montana Derby

A clarification in the advertisement regarding the Montana Derby appears to be necessary. It has been the policy of the Big Sky Field Trial Club, during past years of holding the Montana Shooting Dog Championship, to include a derby, when we have enough time. This year, as well as next year, we are also hosting the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship so we will attempt to host a derby between the two events. This will happen only if the entry totals from the Amateur Championship allow for the time to do it. We have allowed for one day, on Monday the 24th and any remaining partial day on the 23rd, to accomplish this, but we won't be able to firmly schedule it until we tally the entries for the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship on the night of the draw, August 20th. This is the only time available to hold a derby event as we are required to be off of the grounds prior to the opening of Montana's bird season on September 1. If you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact either of the Chairmen of the event.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Use of shotguns at Montana SD Championship

There have been recent inquiries into whether or not the Montana Shooting Dog Championship will allow the use of .410 shotguns, with approved blank loads, during the 2009 trial. Following conversation between the co-chairs it was decided to maintain the current standing of manufactured barrel guns only. The advertisement has been run and that ad will dictate the running of the trial.

There are several reasons for this decision:
  1. Region 14 of the AFTCA, in which the Big Sky Field Trial Club is a member, has decided not to allow them and voted this way at the 2008 AFTCA Trustees annual meeting.
  2. There is no relevant history of shotguns being used in Region 14, and Montana in particular, based horseback field trials.
  3. Many of the Landowners in the region are not excited about the use of shotguns on their property.

Keep in mind that Region 14 has attributes of territory that include both Canada and the United States. The use of shotguns in Canadian based trials is wholly another matter given the nature of importing guns from the U.S. to Canada.

Additionally, however, the Big Sky Field Trial Club announces that it will consider the potential for their use at the 2010 trial at the annual meeting in November.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Additional Sponsor.

While the posts below show you the details of the two ads that will appear in the Field in the next few weeks I would like to add that we've, very fortunately, added Purina to our list of sponsors for this years Championships. Purina will generously donate 450 lbs. of Pro Plan Performance to the winner and 225 lbs. of Pro Plan Performance to the runner up of the Montana Shooting Dog Championship. Additionally, Purina will donate 225 lbs. of Pro Plan Performance to the winner and 112.5 lbs. of Pro Plan Performance to the runner up of the two Region 14 Amateur Championships.

Click the images to see them enlarged. Start making plans to attend!

Region 14 AA and SD Champs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic

by Laurel Boilerhouse

The Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic was once again contested over the Brown, Nolan and neighboring ranches north of Circle, Montana. Bird numbers were strong, following a long winter after what had been reported as one of the best sharptail grouse seasons in decades. The grounds were in excellent spring shape and the weather was seasonable.

The Big Sky Field Trial Club would once again like to thank the many landowners that make this trial possible. Without their gracious hospitality, there would be no trials. We would also like to thank Tuffy’s Pet Foods, who generously sponsor our trial by donating their top quality dog food, thus making it possible for us to give better prizes than would be possible from our entry fees.

We are also indebted to our judges for all the effort that they put in to render their decision. Karen Paugh, of Denton, MT, is the wife of longtime professional trainer Butch Nelson. Karen has been around dogs, competed in different venues, and helped Butch train for quite some time. John Todd, sire of professional trainer Ike Todd, hails from Willow Creek, MT. John started his get at a young age in birddogs. He trains and handles his own dogs, competing mostly in Region 14.

Contestants came from two Canadian Provinces, as well as from across Montana.

The first brace Friday morning was an uncle/nephew pair of setters. Against the Wind Joey (Kelly) got the action started with a find at 9 near the grain bin, judges reported a lot of movement from the exuberant derby. Lone Mountain Reliant (Mandell), fresh off his recent win of the National Amateur Chukar Shooting Dog Championship, had a stop to flush in this same area at the same time. After taking the Brown hedgerows, Reliant was found pointing before the first turn. A hen pheasant was produced and all was executed to perfection. Heading through the coulee before Sheriff hedgerows, Reliant had a second find, this time a rooster pheasant was flushed as Kelly rode by following his dog. Reliant was running a very good race, recorded an unproductive at 32, and was subsequently lost. Joey finished the hour.

Brace two paired Flatland’s By Design (Pearson) with Lone Mountain Tourist (Mandell). The pair started strong through the CRP. At 15, Design recorded an unproductive. Both dogs were picked up at 30, not pleasing their handlers.

Brace three gave us the pairing of Our Rowdy Friend (Noell), and Kootenay River Clay (Eunson). Noell likely came with high expectations, as Rowdy had rendered a formidable challenge over these courses last fall in the Montana Shooting Dog Championship. At 15 Rowdy got things started with a stop to flush. Both dogs then proceeded on to the Nolan tree rows, where the action more often than not heats up. Both dogs established separate stands at the 25 minute mark, both recording unproductives. At 30 Rowdy styled up again, Noell flushed one of the better wintered roosters one can encounter right over Rowdy, which turned out to be his undoing. At 35 Clay recorded a stop to flush, all in order. Clay went on to have a find at 43. At 45 Clay was involved in more bird action, resulting in a stop to flush. With fifteen minutes to go Clay headed uphill through the CRP, where fatigue had begun to set in.

After having enjoyed the western courses in the morning, the afternoon braces would be run over the eastern courses. Brace four gave us Black Crude Joe (Junilla) and Kootenay River Skeet (Eunson). After crossing the slough, and heading up the hill, Lone Mountain Reliant (first brace) decided to return from his reconnaissance mission. At this same time, Skeet was lateral, and giving Eunson problems. At 9 Joe was found standing at the top of the hill, silhouetted on the skyline. Junilla produced sharptail over a very nice find. Skeet returned briefly, only to miss the ensuing turn. Joe had a second find at 16, right in front of the gallery. The birds left wild and Joe moved to mark them. Heading towards the pond crossing, birds were seen in the air. Upon riding around a small knoll, Joe was found standing, going on record with what appeared to be a commendable stop to flush. Joe began to shorten, the heat of the day beginning to take its toll. Skeet had returned and, unfortunately, the heat of the day had not begun to take any toll on his application. At 35 point was called for Skeet, then waved off. At 38 Joe was on point in front of the gallery and Skeet came perilously close by continuing on, only to be under birds in the ensuing minutes. Joe continued on, regaining strength as time neared, finishing with several nice casts.

Brace five paired Magic City Sunrise (Noell) with Tin Soldier’s Nuvi (Shannon Nygard). Both dogs started out strong, Nuvi being the stronger. The first fifteen minutes gave us one nice cast after another by both dogs. Upon entering the mile long tree rows, Nygard directed Nuvi to the east tree row and Sunny took the west tree row of her own accord. Nuvi showed her age and had trouble maintaining an edge, although still doing a nice job. Sunny worked her tree row for the mile, to be found at the end of it on point at 28. Nuvi was there honoring her. Noell flushed diligently, upon beginning to release his dog, birds flushed from the tree row a ways up a hill. All was in order and we began the difficult task of crossing the end of this section of tree rows perpendicularly. At 37 birds flushed alongside Nuvi as she was running a tree row, she briefly stopped, and quickly continued on. After leaving the tree rows, Nuvi continued to impress in the CRP as the heavier cover began to slowdown Sunny. At 50 Sonny recorded an unproductive, both dogs finishing the hour. It should be noted that judges mentioned that Sunny pressed the winning dogs closely.

Brace six started out well, as Flatland’s Tuff E’nuff, call name Nick, (Pearson) was braced with High Noon Sport (S. Nygard). The two began strong and well directed. At 9, point was called for Nick, with Sport backing. No birds could be produced. Shortly thereafter Sport became lateral, with handler calling point and subsequently birds in a tree row. No birds were seen by the judges and the dog was brought on. Meanwhile, Nick had traversed the length of the tree row on course, soon to be found past the tree row on point at 18, another unproductive recorded. At this point the course continues on into a native pasture of rolling hills, Nick decided to try and redraw the course. Skipping the pasture and Nelson Pond, Nick decided to head toward more tree rows and run the course backwards toward Nelson Pond. Nick established point in the tree rows at 29, birds produced. Here the gallery, judges, and both handlers were able to reconcile and begin once again on course. At 40 Nick again located birds, all in order. At 45 birds were seen in the air, with Nick found standing buried up in the end of the tree rows. Turning towards camp, Sport became lateral again; and Nick was seldom seen, his handler firing the pistol at 56, neither dog, handler nor birds visible.

Saturday morning, brace seven gave us Railita (Turley) and Lone Mountain Magique (Kelly), recent winner of the Amateur Shooting Dog Setter Award, who had recently returned to the prairies after competing this past winter in the piney woods at the Amateur Shooting Dog Invitational. Both dogs went over the first hill at breakaway, with Railita, call name Vi, showing to the southwest and Meg being spotted directly ahead on point at 5, this proving to be an early unproductive. At 8 point was called for Vi well to the front, Meg coming in for an excellent back. After slight hesitation, Turley got off to flush, sharptail produced, all in order. Vi took the Brown hedgerows to the end and returned up the other side of them, Meg trying to establish point and then moving on. After the tree rows both dogs continued on thru the CRP and the coulee, Vi being spotted frequently out the front end. At 25, just before the Sheriff hedgerows, Meg went on point with Vi coming in to back. A rooster was produced, a very nice piece of birdwork. Both dogs took the Sheriff hedgerows, Meg visible and and Vi running quite strong but handling all the while. Upon turning east, Turley sent his dog across the fence, to avoid running a mowed hay field. This should be noted that this is the same place where Reliant was lost in the first brace. Just when it appeared that Vi might also disconnect, she had a clean stop to flight at 38. After handlers collecting their dogs and making the hairpin turn at 45, both handlers were having some trouble keeping their dogs lined out to the front. Heading up the big hill after crossing the runway, both dogs were again running well to the front, Vi making an impressive move past the windsock and continuing up the hill. At time, Meg had again become a bit lateral to the left, and Vi was seen running ridge directly on course.

Reba McEntire (Conover) had the eighth brace all to herself. She began well, running strong through the CRP. At 15 point was called for Reba, birds produced. At 20 Reba once again pointed, all clean again. Subsequently she went into hunting mode, and was up on unproductives by 30.

After running several companion stakes, the announcements were made before we were once again treated to the culinary excellence of our very own: Chef Earl Dean and his sidekick Shawn Dean. We enjoyed barbecued pig butts and barbecue ribs, not to mention a wonderful peach cobbler. Camaraderie was had by all as we were able to share this meal with several of the gracious landowners. I cannot help but ask myself how Shawn and Earl are able to prepare such fine meals with the appropriations they are given?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic Results

The 2009 Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic is now in the history books. 15 dogs competed for the early season title and Railita, white and liver pointer female, owned and handled by Austin Turley, emerged the winner. The competition was earnest and judges had much to ponder in their placements. Watch here for a full report soon.

Open Shooting Dog Classic

Railita - Austin Turley
Black Crude Joe - John Junnilla
Lone Mountain Magique - Sean Kelly

Accompanying stakes resulted in the following placements:

Open All Age

Lone Mountain Reliant - John Mandell
Lone Mountain Tourist - John Mandell
Light Rail - Shannon Nygard

Open derby (All Age):

Protemus Hill Grace - Austin Turley
Dixie Chic - Tom Nygard
Prairie Heat - Glenn Conover

Open Derby (Shooting Dog):

Carbonado Triple Play - Austin Turley
Arcata - Sonny Clark
I B Anxious - Tom Nygard

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Be Prepared for the Weather!

Forecasts are for weather in the Circle area to be wet and chilly all this week with the prospect of breaking over the weekend. For those of us in the Northern Plains this is a typical spring weather pattern but it certainly necessitates coming to the Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic well prepared for a variety of possibilities. Cold weather, wet weather clothing is a must have for this weekend and muck boots would potentially add to one's comfort. The temperature is forecast to be in the mid 40's to low 50's throughout the weekend. Be smart! Come prepared!

See you this weekend.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

North Dakota HB 1499 fails to pass!

Please find below some VERY good news from Sherry Ebert. We all have Sherry and others to sincerely thank for sticking to this mission and getting this done. Many might feel that just because they do not train they are not effected but if this came to be in ND it could easily come a neighboring state. Please read the note below and the request from Sherry who has worked so hard to stop this action- Be sure to get your license before training to prevent any future excuses to change this fought after situation. Any one wishing to THANK Sherry can email her at ....... The prairies give our dogs the opportunity be the Champions they come to be........... so please pass this on to anyone who could benefit from this message.

Shannon Nygard R14 Secretary

Subject: Bill #1499

Well we did it !!! the bill went to senate floor a few minutes ago and failed so to my understanding that means the law will go back to the way it was with no changes. I think we are very lucky that we got this turned around and must advise everyone that they must stay within the law the way it is written and do not jeopardize the welfare of all that want to train in N.D. I do feel that if something goes wrong again it will not be the same results. Also I was talking to some game officers and they think that there will be more checking this year since this problem has been brought up. Be sure that all the amateur's that come to the camps and stay for awhile to work their own dogs get a license, it is only $25 and could save allot of problems. I do not know the address of all the trainers to E-mail them all so maybe some of you could help out with that. Again thanks for all the help. Sherry

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic on schedule!

The prairie is looking good from a recent blast of snow and rain. Reports are that there are good bird populations brewing in the Circle area. The trial is on schedule and we are all ready to have some fun. Make your plans! Entires to Austin Turley @ 406.860.7161or Dave Noell @ 406.248.6351 or 406.861.6818. Motel choices are Traveler's Inn in Circle @ 406.485.3323 or Sherman Inn in Wolf Point @ 406.485.3323. Camping on grounds as well. Saturday banquet on grounds and lunches included with entry. Ad for the trial is in the March 14, 2009 issue of The Field. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic

Last year's Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic winner - Shannon Nygard with her 3 year old pointer male, High Noon Sport. He bested 15 dogs with a great one hour race and one find last year on the same grounds. Shannon went home with a Tritronic Pro 200 training collar. This year the winner will go home with Tuffy's Gold Perfromance Dog Food and a Garmin DC 30 tracking collar. Make your plans to be there!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Sky Club Stakes in Great Falls

We remind you that March 21 & 22 is the annual spring club stake in Great Falls, Montana. The Grounds will once again be on Ulm Bench, above the Ulm Pishkin, 15 miles west of Great Falls. The drawing takes place on Friday, March 20, 2009, at Mary’s Midway, on the Vaughn Frontage Road. Stakes to be held will be:

Open Shooting Dog 30 min.
Open All Age 30 min.
Open Derby (All Age Std) 30 min.
Am Shooting Dog 30 min
Open Derby (Sh Dog Std) 30 min

The Club welcomes all comers and especially our Canadian friends.

Big Sky Field Trail Club Sponsors

We want to remind you that the Big Sky Field Trial Club enjoys many sponsors for our events. The next event (shown on the counter) is the Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic. On board for this event is Tuffy's Gold Premium Formula Dog Food. We are deeply indebted to Tuffy's for their generosity.

Dakota/Saskatchewan Championship

Shooting Dog aficionados will enjoy knowing that the Dakota/Sasketchewan Championship will begin on September 5, 2009 and will again be run over the game filled grounds near Kensal, North Dakota. Doug Meyer of Tonganoxie, Kansas and Jim Michaletz of Goodman, Missouri will be adjudicating. Doug will also be reporting this year's Championship.

Our Friends to the North

Montana trialers urge you to consider venturing north to the Canadian prairies following the Championships held in Circle. There are four splendid Championships held on the fabled grounds of Mortlach, Saskatchewan every year.

The National Amateur Chicken Championship was first run in 1967 on the natural grasslands of the Gleichen Indian Reservation. But, since about 1982 this Championship, together with the companion Region 14 Amateur All Age Championship , have all moved to Mortlach where the vastness of the landscape with far reaching chicken objectives now hosts the Saskatchewan Championship, the Dominion Championship, The National Amateur Chicken Championship, and the Region 14 Amateur All Age Championship.

Our Canadian friends extend a welcome hand to those that are in search of a fervent adventure in competition. It is alive and well in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sponsor Announced for Spring Classic

The 2009 Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic is pleased to announce that once again it will enjoy the sponsorship of Tuffy's GOLD Performance dog food. The winner of the Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic will be given a generous allotment of Tuffy's GOLD dog food. The 2nd and 3rd place dog, if named, will also enjoy an allotment of Tuffy's GOLD. Thank you to Tuffy's for their generous sponsorship!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Sky Shooting Dog Classic

The 2009 Big Sky Open Shooting Dog Classic will be run at the Scot Brown ranch near Circle, Montana, April 17 - 19. The Classic is a Amateur Invitational Points Trial. Judges for the classic will be Karen Paugh, Denton, Montana and John Todd, Bozeman, Montana. There will be three accompanying stakes; Open All Age, Open Derby (Shooting Dog standards) and Open Derby (All Age standards).

The winner of the Classic will be awarded a Garmin DC-30 GPS tracking collar and receiver.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Judges announced for the 2009 Montana Open Shooting Dog Championship

The Big Sky Field Trial Club is pleased to announce that two esteemed members of the bird dog community have agreed to judge the 2009 Montana Shooting Dog Championship. Accepting this years invitation are Mr. Harold Ray of Waynesboro, Georgia and Mr. Dave Noell of Billings, Montana. We couldn't be happier with the choices of judges for this exciting stake and believe that with our move of two weeks later in the month we should have great attendance. Mr. Noell has also agreed to report the event.

Judges announced for the 2009 Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

Region 14 of the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America is pleased to announce that two distinguished men of the bird dog world have agreed to judge the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship scheduled to be run over the Scot Brown ranch near Circle, Montana. Accepting the invitation to adjudicate are Mr. Mike Furney of Panama City, Florida and Dr. Lou Qualtiere of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Dr. Qualtiere will also act as reporter for the event. The trial is scheduled to be drawn on August 20, 2009 and will commence on August 21, 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This is a shot of course 3 on the east side of the grounds. We have just left a find in the trees on chicken and are working back to the west.
Here's a shot (from left) of Butch Nelson (reporter), Bob Walthal (owner of 2008 Champion Sunny Hill Hawk), and John Junilla.

Austin Turley, Co-Chairman of 2009 Championship.

From left: Here's a 2008 shot of Jim Tande, Jim Michaletz (judge) and Shawn Kinkelaar. In the background you can see Shannon Nygard and on the right Bob Walthal, owner of the eventual champion. I expect to see all of these folks again in 2009. Bob Walthal and his partner, Thorpe McKenzie, have offered to host a dinner this year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Course 1 on the Scot Brown ranch, 2008. The riders numbered about 2 dozen and the grounds were in excellent condition. Birds were plentiful and weather even cooperated fairly well.

2009 Montana Shooting Dog Championship

The Big Sky Field Trail Club is pleased to announce dates for the 2009 Montana (Open) Shooting Dog Championship to be run in Circle, Montana on the Scot Brown Ranch. The championship drawing will be held at the Wooden Nickle Bar and Restaurant in Circle, Montana on the evening of August 24th with the running beginning the next morning, August 25th. The tentative running form will follow the pattern of 3 braces in the morning, a break for lunch and 3 braces in the afternoon. Judges have yet to be named.

The 2009 Championship will follow on the heels of the 2009 Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship which will enjoy a two year run at the Scott Brown Ranch.

Dates set for 2009 running of the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship

At the Region 14 AFTCA annual meeting, held January 17th in Medicine Hat, Alberta, the 2009 running of the Region 14 Amateur Shooting Dog Championship was set by the region. The trial was awarded for a period of two years to the Big Sky Field Trial Club to host in Circle, Montana in conjunction with the Montana Shooting Dog Championship. The dates for the fall running of the Amateur Shooting Dog Championship were also established and include a drawing on the evening of August 20, 2009 at the Wooden Nickle Bar and Restaurant in Circle. The running will commence the following morning of August 21 and go through the 23, 2009. The running is tentatively planned for a 3 brace in the morning and 3 brace in the afternoon regimen. August 24th will be held back as a lay date should the number of entries require an extra day. Judges have yet to be announced.