The Manitowoc County Kennel Club Hunting Dog Expo 2007 will be held on Saturday, September 8th and offers a preseason tune-up for both retrievers and upland game dogs. Numerous sporting dog games (such as Mallard Marsh, Upland Pheasant Challenge, Blue Goose Bay, and Chukar Run, to name just a few) provide opportunities to practice and fine-tune your personal hunting dog’s skills before opening day. The Expo will be held at the Manitowoc County Kennel Club field grounds in Valders, WI, located at Hwy. 151 & Quarry Road just 3 miles west of Valders. The gates open at 8 AM and sporting dog games will run from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM on 198 acres of varying cover with 4 ponds and river frontage. Free admission and free parking, food, raffles, and prizes make it fun for the entire family. Snacks and beverages are available on the grounds. Pre-registration is not required, although there is an Early Bird package available. For more information, go to our Website at http://www.mc-kc.com/huntexpo.html or contact Faith Beam at Lfbeam@aol.com for a brochure.
09-09-2007, 09:07 PM
Many happy sporting dog owners and their four legged buddies could be found on the Manitowoc County Kennel Club grounds on Saturday September 8, 2007. The reason was the Club’s ninth annual Hunting Dog Expo.
The Expo, in its 9th year, was created as a way to allow gun dogs and their owners an opportunity to tune up their skills prior to the upcoming waterfowl and upland game seasons. The Expo is likely the only interactive event in Wisconsin – and certainly one of very few in the Midwest – for the average dog and handler to experience tests and games that simulate hunting scenarios or test handling skills. This year’s event featured seven different sporting dog games for handlers and their dogs to tune their skills and just flat out have a good time. Games can be run for fun or – for the handlers with bragging rights on their mind – for points that lead to the Event’s championship. The champion – Great Lakes Hunting Dog Champion – is honored by a traveling trophy in memory of the late David G. Meisner. Mr. Meisner was publisher and founder of Gun Dog magazine, The Retriever Journal, and The Pointing Dog Journal – premier publications on sporting dogs. A Reserve Champion is also recognized.
Over 100 dogs participated in the 2007 Expo and everyone looked as if they were having a great time. The Bluebill Leap, a dock-jumping event, had dogs lined up to dive for distance into one of the Kennel Club’s many ponds. Pat Kalmerton’s Labrador Taz leapt 24 feet 6 inches to first place in that event. Other timed events included Blue Goose Bay where Paul Mueller and his retriever Buddy brought back a Dokken goose faster than all competitors for first place. Gail Mueller and her black Labrador Shark quickly retrieved a bird in the Chukar Run for first place, and Jim Manns and his Labrador Ranger quickly found and brought to hand five birds in the Pheasant Scurry for their first place finish. In addition to the timed events the Expo has skill (pass/fail) games including an Upland Pheasant Challenge (flush and retrieve a live pheasant); or the Mallard Marsh and Waterfowl Challenge (simulated hunting scenarios) where marking and retrieving skills are tested.
There are 46 total points available and the run-up to the championship was tense as the scores were tallied at the end of day. Two handlers and their dogs, Pat Kalmerton and his Labrador Taz along with Jim Manns and his Labrador Ranger, were tied with 36 points each. A tiebreaker event was quickly set up. The test was a timed double retrieve. Pat and Taz completed the retrieves speedily finishing with 55.31 seconds. Next up were Jim and Ranger. Ranger’s marks were very nice but the overall return was not as quick putting Pat and Taz on top as the Dave Meisner Trophy winner and Great Lakes Hunting Dog Champion. Jim and Ranger (last year’s winners) had the distinction of being the 2007 Reserve Champion.
Event Co-Chair, Jeff Mueller, said he was very pleased with attendance and the fact that “the weather has been great all nine years that he has been associated with the event.” Jeff commented that Expo fans can look forward to some new and interesting sporting dog game changes to keep the event fresh and fun.