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WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2014 Master National Hunting Test, October 9-19, 2014, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Styan and Gwen Jones. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2014 Master National, held this year in and around Corning, California.


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Sunday, October 12, 2014

DAY 2: Flight D: Bill Blochowiak and Mike Jespersen; Test 1 “Rifle Range” Con't

The final test we visited was Flight D where we found Judges Bill Blochowiak and Mike Jespersen at their first series at a test called “Rifle Range.” This test is a land triple with a blind and an honor using all pheasants. The first bird is thrown to the right at 84 yards. The second on the handler’s right is thrown to the left at 104 yards. The flyer is the third bird and is to the handler’s left and is shot to the right 110 yards. The blind is to the left of the flyer at 125 yards. The terrain for this test is very uneven, throwing the dogs off-line both left and right. This test took an average of five to seven minutes depending on the work of the dog.

Flight D began Day 2 by running their Test Dog #2, Wetlands Black Pearl, "Pearl," with handler Mark Schlendler. They came to the line at 7:40 am and the temperature was 66 degrees and the winds were out of the north west at 15-20 mph at the handler's back. These winds made the set up very difficult for the dogs. They were winding the birds from 30 to 40 yards deep, forcing a handle to avoid a switch. Of the first six dogs we watched, there were four handles and a pick-up.

A "time-lapse" movie of Flight D. The gallery said the terrain resembled the surface of the moon!

Test Dog #2, Wetlands Black Pearl, "Pearl," with handler Mark Schlendler
Randy Frager and Richard Cole

Kevin Bunnell and MNRC President Janet Wood 
This flight opted on the safe side and did not put up their tents …

Long shadows as the sun rose …

Orie Matthews and Mike Witt of Nestle Purina

Nice Ride! A 1950 Jeepster with "Cinder"


DAY 2: Flight C: Mike Collson and Corrine Clavey; Test 1 “The Valley” Con't

Judges Mike Collson and Corrine Clavey started Flight C at a test called “The Valley.” This is a land triple with both a blind and an honor had the mat set in the shade of a grove of trees. All birds were rooster pheasants. The test was shot from right to left. The first bird located 70 yards to the right of the line was thrown to the left. Bird two was the flyer station located in front of the line and shot to the right at 85 yards. The third bird was to the left of the line at 63 yards and was thrown to the right. The single blind was run to the far left at 80 yards under the trees. Five to seven minutes appeared the average length of time to run the test.

When we arrived today at Flight C, we found that the wind was coming directly into the handler's face. This gusting wind was forcing the flyer throw to be shorter and appeared to be confusing the dogs on which mark they actually picked up. We stayed at the stake and watched nine dogs run. There were two handles, two pick-ups and three no-birds. The no-birds were all at the flyer station due to the strong wind gusts. 

Brian Hartfield speaks about the adverse conditions at Flight C.

Dee and Paul Lance

ALMOST lost the tent with a GIANT gust of wind!
Judges Mike Collson and Corrine Clavey with Larry Kimble


DAY 2: Flight B: Megan Baker and Allyn Foster; Test 1 "Lakeside” Con't

We found Flight B Judges Megan Baker and Allyn Foster at a test named “Lakeside.” This test is a land/water triple, double blind, walk-up and a diversion shot. The first bird is the walk-up thrown to the left at 38 yards to the right of the line, bird two is thrown to the left down the pond at 70 yards and the flyer is shot to the left at 66 yards right to the left of the line. The first blind is under the arc of the flyer at 109 yards. Blind number two is directly across the pond at 97 yards, landing up a hill under heavy cover. This test took an average of six minutes per dog.

It was about lunchtime when we arrived at Flight B. By this time today, the winds were 30-35 mph. The blind work has been significantly affected by this gusty wind. On the left blind, dogs were not wanting to cast into the wind. They would scallop up the hill and then wind the bird from the far left. There were still a few problems with the walk-up where dogs did not seem to be able to mark the fall. Of the first six dogs we watched, there was one handle, one pick-up on the blind and problems with no-birds on the flyer due to the strong wind.

David Carrington of Avery with Kelsi Toth

The wind was just vicious with the tents, blinds AND hats!

2013 MNRC President Gloria Mundell with Ken Mundell 

Missy Lemoi of Garmin/Tri-Tronics walks her dog 
Just look at those lush, green links … you can tell they water those!


DAY 2: Flight A: Blake Lemish and Michelle Love; Test 1 “Donut” Con't

Flight A, lead by Judges Blake Lemish and Michelle Love, began their 2014 Master National at a test called “Donut Hole.” This test is a land/water triple, double blind, walk-up and diversion shot. This triple is shot right to left. When the dog picks up the short, right mark, the diversion is shot. The short right mark at 34 yards throws to the left, the middle at 124 yards throws to the left and the left-hand flyer at 40 yards shoots to the right. The first blind is 98 yards just off the backside of the right-hand bird. Blind number two at 79 yards is right and deep of the left-hand bird. This test took an average of eight to ten minutes per dog.

When we arrived today at Flight A, the sun was bright, but the winds were 20-25 mph from the northwest which has changed the test. Of the first seven dogs we observed, there were two handles and one pick-up. The problematic bird appeared to be the flyer. If dogs got too deep or on the wrong side of the flyer gunners' blind, they had a difficult time recovering.

DuWayne Bickle ("Dewey") dicusses the condition changes as Flight A on Sunday

Old friends meet again at the Master National …
"Beamer's" Wall of Fame, photo courtesy Louis DeJohn

Some folks just get too comfortable …

Melissa Shanks and Brandon Gross

# 92 Candlewoods Head Over Heels, MH, "Flip," with handler Bruce Halverson


Master National Running Order

Flight Draw & Running Order

2014 MNRC Test Descriptions

Donut Hole


The Valley

Rifle Range

The Corner

Speed Bump




Meet Your 2014 Judges

2014 MNRC Schedule of Events

2014 MNRC Qualified Dogs

2014 Master National Training Grounds Guide