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Thread: Whats your best bird boy story????

  1. #51
    Member Mary Shillabeer's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada


    It was about 1996, my first Hunt Test ever. Black Nugget Lake in central Alberta. On the second day, one of the judges was rather stern, not only to the bird boys, but to the participants as well. Not happy with the bird placement, the judge yelled at the bird boy to try harder to throw the bird to a specific spot. The bird boy yelled back "WHY?".

    I seem to remember a collective gasp from the gallery! The judged marched out to the gun station and had words with the BB.

    Every bird after that had NO HEAD!

    Oh...and we learned later that the BB was the judge's son.

    Mary Shillabeer
    Calgary, AB

  2. #52
    Senior Member Richard Halstead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Lino Lakes, MN north metro area


    I was training with usual group and Herb and Bev Parker. Herb started giving Bev a bad time and Bev threw another and Herb was upset insisting the bird be no more than 3 1/2 inches from shore. Bev shouted back "Show it to me again Herb!" indicating he wasn't well endowed.
    cave canem...beware of the dog
    Richard Halstead (halst001 at

  3. #53
    Member cvan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Southern Oklahoma


    Quote Originally Posted by Gun_Dog2002 View Post
    A friend of mine used to own some strip clubs and had 5 of the girls come out in the summer to throw for us. Course nobody wants to hear that story or see the pics since it was a training day and doesn't really fit with the thread.


  4. #54
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Kansas City, MO


    This may be a little long, but is absolutely true. My long time friend and former client, Will W. has a younger brother who used to be our bird boy. He was terrific, and a very attentive kid. Now and then Will would get him a gig as bird boy at our local trials.

    One weekend he was the blind planter for the land blind in the Amateur. Around lunch time is was slow, as the judges were waiting for some of the pros to bring dogs over from the Open. Someone noticed a trail of smoke coming through the trees beyond the blind area. Without a radio, they were left to walk out and check on the source.

    Our bird boy had become both bored and hungry, so he field dressed a duck, built a fire, made a spit, and was roasting it over an open fire. Did I mention he was pretty self sufficient?

    "Prepare your dog in such a manner that the work he is normally called upon to do under-whelms him, not overwhelms him." ~ Evan Graham

    “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    ― George Bernard Shaw

    The Smartwork System for Retriever Training (link)

  5. #55
    Senior Member John Kelder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Catskill Mts. New York


    I was the BB .Sitting on the bucket , 40 yds. from the line , middle of an open ,cut field ,throwing short,middle ,breaking bird .The collar didn't have adjustable intensities . Trainer brings Chessie to line .Chessie creeps . Chessie gets burned . Chessie turned around and ripped off his pant leg ,never touching flesh .I hurt myself laughing so hard ,rolling off the bucket .

  6. #56
    Senior Member 1st retriever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Rapid City, South Dakota


    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelder View Post
    I was the BB .Sitting on the bucket , 40 yds. from the line , middle of an open ,cut field ,throwing short,middle ,breaking bird .The collar didn't have adjustable intensities . Trainer brings Chessie to line .Chessie creeps . Chessie gets burned . Chessie turned around and ripped off his pant leg ,never touching flesh .I hurt myself laughing so hard ,rolling off the bucket .
    That is a good one!

    Brittany - Border Collie/Springer Spaniel CGC - 03/03/1999 - 12/05/2014 My everything!
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    A good friend helps you up when you fall. A best friend pees their pants laughing and trips you again!

  7. #57
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Wetumpka, AL


    Years ago at a JH test in Nashville...

    Huge test...70+ dogs. Terrible weather. We were nearing the end of the land (boredom had set in) but there was still a large group of folks there.

    Birdboy steps out from under the tree where he hides for the #2 mark. He's ready. Handler signals he's ready. Judge signals the birdboy who throws the bird. Everyone in the crowd knew instinctively what was going to happen but we could do anything about it. The birdboy had thrown the bird about 30 feet into the air...straight up. While he looked around for where it landed, it came straight down and knocked him out cold. By the time we got out there he was waking up in a somewhat dazed condition.


  8. #58
    Senior Member John Kelder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Catskill Mts. New York


    Quote Originally Posted by Breck View Post
    This one was pretty funny.
    One training day John Cavanaugh was the bird boy throwing one of the water marks with a splash. Dog is sent and proceeds to cheat the water, run the bank and slip the whistle. Rather than let the dog get the bird John launches himself and dives into the water to retrieve the bird before the dog could get to it. It was a total crack up. Now that's dog trainin'. LOL
    I think a nice Motorola radio ended up being destroyed too.
    John always "walked the walk"

  9. #59
    Senior Member Andy Symons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Coal City, Illinois


    Finished water in Cental Wisconsin in May. Weather was more like December. Bird boy in a skiff comes over to the dike for birds. Our earlier instructions were "don't stand up in the skiff". I go down the dike to the waters edge, trying to get my footing and the bird boy stands up. Rut ro. Only thing to grab onto was me and he pulls me towards him, his eyes were big as saucers, and in what seemed like slow motion, him and I go in the lake.

    I'll never forget the look on the poor kids face as he was going backwards and me facing him, just before we hit the water.
    "Perfection is the enemy of good enough" Vince Stone
    GRHRCH UH Slammers Bullet From Nowhere MH**

  10. #60
    Senior Member Miriam Wade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    A club test some years ago and one of the guys sends his dog for the blind. Fairly young dog and she does a nice job, but we're thinking she's blinking the bird. No-she picks it up, but she seems to be struggling coming back & dropping the bird, readjusting it, etc. Handler's squirming a bit. Finally she is back to line and we see it's a Canadian goose she's been lugging in and it has a note attached to it. Handler opens up the note: "We're watching! Signed, The Flock". The handler almost had to be resuscitated he was laughing so hard.

    This one isn't so humorous, but I gunned for a FT once and whenever one of the judges would come over to either let us know what they were looking for in terms of fall, cadence, or just to thank us-it was like I was invisible. I really think she thought I was just hanging out, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. I was silently steaming and so I told the guys the next time they called for a bird to just sit down- and I shot the next couple on my own. I have no idea if the judge noticed, but I felt better!

    "You can put pressure on a dog, you can’t take it back…"

    Mitch Patterson '07

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