North American Pudelpointer Society Newsletter
April- June 2022 • Volume 9
This one is for you! Actually, it isn’t just one. The NAPS Board and others have been working to provide you, the members, with new activities and training opportunities across the country.
In our last Newsletter you read about the activities that were enjoyed at the Annual Meeting in Florida.
The second Pat Saunders Fun Run was held in April at the Lake Hill Private Hunt Club near Ostrander, Ohio. Although the attendance was down a bit from the previous year, everything went well with good fields to run the trials in, a very nice club house, and fine food provided to all at no cost. We have Andrew Hopkins to thank for access to the club and the excellent barbeque he provided.
Andrew also repeated as the winner of the Fun Run with his 12 year old female Cota. Experience is hard to beat, as is a handler that can manage to shoot all of his birds.
Remember, the main point of this event is not just to run your dog in the timed event but rather to provide the opportunity for Pudelpointer enthusiasts, owners and those just interested in the breed, to get together and exchange stories, brag, check out the possible source of your next pup or possible stud dogs. The time in the clubhouse where several discussions were going on was just as important as the fun run. The chance to expose your young dog to new places, multiple other dogs, water and birds, possibly for the first time, is another benefit.
Coming up on July 23rd, our next event in Ohio will be a training seminar on preparing your dog for NAVHDA tests. The presenter will be Jeff Rhodes, a NAVHDA Senior Judge and Invitational Judge. I have had the privilege of working with Jeff for several years with the Buckeye Chapter of NAVHDA. No matter how often you run a dog in a NAVHDA test or how much you think you know, Jeff will teach you a whole lot more and make your next test less stressful and more successful.
Bring your dog along and get both him or her, as well as yourself involved in the training. Lunch is on us! More on this event below.
Another training seminar is in the works for the Pacific Northwest where Kyle Hough will be giving his methods of teaching duck search or steadiness and backing. As plans for this top notch training opportunity come together, we’ll provide the finer details.
There are some other plans in the works for events in other parts of the country so that we can reach as many members as possible. You can always go to our Events page on the website to see what’s coming.
Plans for next years Annual Meeting are already in the works. In late May, Mike and Alycia Baird, Calvin Harpe, Andrew Hopkins and myself visited possible venues for the meeting. We decided on Elk Ridge Hunt Club near Bucyrus, Ohio. The folks at this fantastic facility will provide us with everything we could ask for. There are motels and camping nearby. With several fields available to work in as well as a large body of water, we already have tentative plans for workshops on blood tracking, judging conformation of the PP, blind retrieve training and more in the works. We will also be holding the Pat Saunders Annual Fun Run on the weekend of the Annual Meeting. There will be a lot of activities available for you and your PP that weekend so please plan to join us in April 2023.
All of this is for you, the members. The board members and others have been putting in the legwork and time to provide opportunities to become more fully immersed in all that the Pudelpointer can be. Please join us for some of these events as they come to your area. Additionally, if you want to plan something for your area, reach out to us and we can start exploring ideas.
I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you at these events.
Sign up NOW!!
This event is open to both members and non-members,
bring your dog along and get both him or her, as well as yourself, involved in the training.
We will be having our 2nd Round Table Discussion on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 at 7:00 PM Eastern, and will be discussing: What to expect with your 1st NAVHDA Natural Ability test and why you should do it.
This will be an introductory discussion about the NAVHDA Natural Ability test and what it means for you and your puppy in training. We will have experienced handlers available to go through the different areas of the test and what the judges might be looking for. We will also help troubleshoot any training problems you might be having.
Greetings from the hot and muggy Southeastern corner of the United States. It is certainly summer time and in our area, the forecast is for more days in the upper 90’s to mid 100’s. That doesn’t have to stop your Pudelpointer training plans though. We have what you need to beat the heat, look your best, and represent the North American Pudelpointer Society. Our latest t-shirts are the Bella Canvas brand which is a very lightweight, breathable and extremely comfortable mix material. The new t-shirts are available in 4 colors, Orange, Tan, Heather Olive and Heather Stone. We also have a few new youth T-shirts in colors Lime Green and Sky Blue with sizes of youth medium and youth large. We still have the long sleeve Dry-Fit shirts in stock in Dark Green, Orange, Olive and Hot Pink. These are highly breathable and offer a bit more protection from the sun.
NAPS also offers new drinkware options in the Swag Shop. Koozies and squirt water bottles have been a nice addition to our goods available. The water bottle is just the right size to accompany you on the field portion of training and will keep you in good graces with your pup and those NAVHDA judges on test day. If you’re looking for a coffee or tea mug we have those in two versions with the original logo or our new alternate logo. Any of you who are late Father’s Day gift givers may want to keep one of these new items mind.
Don’t forget that we do offer swag for free for your local NAVDHA chapter. NAPS would like to donate some of our swag items for your NAVHDA chapter tests raffle. If your NAVHDA chapter holds a raffle at your testing events and you are interested in having some swag donated, please click on the NAPS Swag Donations tab on the website and we will mail the items to you free of charge. We have a limited supply so this will be on a first come, first served basis until the swag allotted for donation is gone so be sure to get your request in soon.
NAPS would like to know if members would be interested available in personalized swag. Yeti makes their drinkware available for customization. The NAPS Board has tested this process and the results are very nice. Below are a few examples of what we had made. This option would be offered periodically if there is enough interest. The personalization would be coordinated through the Swag Shop Manager, Matt Morgan. Matt’s contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org or via call or text at 229-938-1102, please reach out for more info.
The swag shop is always open to your suggestions for future items offered. Hope everyone enjoys a great summer training and gearing up for hunting season.
My eyes are scanning every inch of dead leaves in front of my pudelpointer, Manu, as he stands intensely with his nose into the wind. Presumably there in the leaves and vegetation is an American Woodcock relying on its perfect camouflage to afford it some time to compose the perfect escape route. As I cautiously approach, I can see Manu’s nostrils flare with every breath as his anticipation builds. Then, I see it, 8 feet in front of his nose nestled in the leaves. Normally while hunting I do not strain my eyes trying to find a woodcock on the ground while approaching, but season is closed and today we are armed with a camera and telephoto lens seeking a non-lethal variant to a perfect shot. Slowly kneeling to snap a few images of the bird I can feel Manu’s discontent that I had a camera in my hand instead of my trusted 28-gauge. After a few pictures I try to reposition for a different angle. However, the woodcock had felt enough pressure and decided it was time to find a quieter location to rest. It flushed, emitting the twittering sound from its wings that all woodcock hunters have come to love. This scenario played out several more times over the next couple of hours and soon we were walking back to the truck. I was happy with the results of the day and relieved the woodcock hadn’t started their spring migration North.
It is mid-February and woodcock season had been closed for a few weeks so our trip to capture photos was mainly to confirm the birds were still using the areas we had hunted earlier in the year. This was important as the following week I was to meet up with a handful of wildlife biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to assist with capturing, measuring, tagging, and affixing GPS transmitters to the birds. The work was part of a large multi-state effort in support of the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative to track and better understand woodcock migrations and the birds’ habits. Migratory birds can be very challenging to manage as their seasonal movements take them across state lines and even to other countries. Conclusions from the study would enhance population management efforts over their entire range. Woodcock populations are experiencing a slow and steady decline at a rate of about 1% every year. That isn’t something you would notice over the course of a year, or maybe even a decade, but over 5 decades? That’s roughly a 50% drop in abundance from when your grandfather hunted 50 years ago. It’s important that we are proactive with managing woodcock populations so we do not see their numbers plummet like other upland bird species in the US over the last century.
It’s the night of our big excursion and we start gathering up our gear as we listen to the distant “peent, peent” sounds that woodcock often make at dusk. I’m actually a fish biologist so you can say I was a fish out of water in this group, but there’s one thing my dog and I understand, and that’s hunting woodcock. However, given this hunt would be at night I had to leave my four-legged sidekick at home. The study requires adult woodcock, and nighttime is best to capture the birds as they venture into more open cover to feed on worms and facilitate an easier capture. During the daytime the birds are often in cover so thick their capture would be a futile and frustrating venture full of cuts, bruises, and crumbled pride. So, we don our rubber boots and hip waders and load the UTV vehicle with infrared scopes, spotlights, and a giant fish net and we were off to catch a woodcock. Basically, it was a high-tech, grown-up version of the mythical “snipe hunt” you may have fallen victim to as a child.
We are driving through fields of broom straw grass and wildlife food plots with spotlights oscillating side to side in a search pattern and someone else scanning for any heat signature the infrared scope could detect. Then after an hour of searching through the darkness I slam my hand onto the roof of the UTV and shouted, “STOP, STOP, STOP!”. The UTV comes to a sliding stop and we swiftly jump into position. Two guys trying to disorient the woodcock by shining a spotlight into its eyes and another slowly creeping in with a 10 ft long fish net careful not to create unwanted shadows that might spook the bird. Slowly the net is put into position over the bird and then quickly lowered to the ground capturing our quarry. We take measurements of the bird, determined its age and sex, and affix a tag to its leg. Lastly, we equip it with a GPS transmitter for its migration north once the winter air starts to warm.
This went on until the late hours of the night and at the end we captured, measured, and tagged 14 woodcock. I assure you that when I rolled into the house that night at 3:30 AM smelling like I’d been snuggling with a whole covey of woodcock, Manu was not feeling sorry about my lack of sleep or taking any excuse as to why he wasn’t included.
A couple days later Manu got excited as I loaded up the camera and we set off to find some of our little feathered friends. We returned to the same area that we captured and released the birds hoping to find one that would pose for a few pictures of its new GPS backpack. Although we had captured 14 birds, only 8 of them were good candidates for a GPS transmitter, so finding one over thousands of acres would not be easy. After searching some of the fields we had captured birds in a few nights earlier and not finding a single bird, we shifted to areas that we routinely hunted back when a shotgun and well-placed shot was our method of capture. We had walked about a half mile when Manu’s bell fell silent alerting me that he was on point. He was on the edge of an open field about 12 feet into some briars facing out toward the field. As I approached from the field, I knew that we had the bird sandwiched between us and provided I could find the bird on the ground, my 400mm camera lens would be able to close the distance. I approached within 20 feet and located the bird about 11 o’clock off the end of Manu’s nose. Once I got the bird into focus on the camera, I could see clearly the little black backpack we had strapped to its back just a few nights earlier. Likely a female, it cooperated for a few photos before flushing over my right shoulder and across the field to a large stand of brush. Her flush was strong, and she was in great condition for the spring migration. That was the only GPS equipped bird we were able to find (I am not privileged to their coordinates), but we got the image we were hoping to obtain. The data showed that all the birds equipped with transmitters made it safely to the northern nesting grounds over the next couple of weeks. However, a few birds will always stay behind to nest in North Carolina.
It was a month later in late March and Manu and I were hunting some old agricultural fields that were allowed to grow into a thicket of briars and saplings. We had not found many woodcock in the last couple of weeks, but had been getting reports of woodcock nesting around the state. We knew the cover and soil we were searching would be a good place for a woodcock to raise a brood of chicks. I could hear Manu’s bell quartering left and right through the thicket. I just stood still for several minutes enjoying the sound of the bell as Manu would come into sight briefly only to vanish again into the bramble. Eventually I was able to see Manu working back toward the old access road in which I was standing when suddenly he did a 90 degree turn to his right and slammed on the brakes. He was on point in an area we had just walked through about 20 minutes earlier and I was skeptical that what he was pointing would be a woodcock. Nonetheless, I make a wide loop around so that I can approach Manu from the side as opposed to from behind. I cautiously enter the brush scanning for the perfect spot for every foot placement while looking amongst the grass and leaves for any piece of woodcock anatomy I could distinguish. Then off to my left I look down and 3 feet from my foot was a large female woodcock. I started scanning the rest of the area and eventually saw tucked under the grass the small head of a woodcock chick staring back at me with those little black eyes. Then I saw a second, third, and fourth chick! Woodcock normally lay four eggs during their first nesting attempt and indeed there were four chicks all securely tucked away in the grass. I walk over to Manu and heel him out of the area so that I can get some good images of the chicks. Manu is normally very steady, but the chicks were too young to fly and I wasn’t sure what he would do if suddenly four chicks were running around his feet. Having Manu safely secured just over the knoll I returned with my camera to snap a few images of the chicks. The GPS coordinates, number of chicks, and habitat characteristics of the successful nesting was then provided to wildlife managers.
The chicks were the last woodcock Manu and I found in 2021-22 bird season and we had to hang up our bell and boots for the summer. We will however be following the woodcock migration map this fall with heightened enthusiasm as we follow the little multicolored dots on the computer screen south until our little feathered friends arrive back on NC soil.
We would like to welcome 3 new kennels and one new stud dog to our Breeders List!
Adeline Gun Dogs in Paris, TN is owned by Brayton Edlin. Brayton is planning his first litter with Foothills Ada Reece in the coming months.
Lost Creek Pudelpointers in Tupelo, MS is owned by Bill Cleveland, who just sent a litter of pups to their new homes.
Clover Breeze Pudelpointers in East Palatka, FL is owned by Adam Shreders. Adam’s girl, Ripsnorter’s Gingersnap Pumpkin, just had her first litter of pups and Adam has some still available to hunting homes. Go take a look at their profile!
Blackhawks Grizzly (UT 202 Prize 1), owned by Mat Eveleth is available for stud in Davenport, IA.