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Thread: Great Bird throwers

  1. #61
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    great story Bill!
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  2. #62
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Ok... Believe it or not... I actually work every now and then. Now that my wife is retired (April 1st), I have to work a little harder at pretending to work!

    Anyway... we were in Virginia, MN for the National Am and it was the 4th or 5th series. My training partner and co-owner of the dog was there, as was my wife... we were still somewhat newlyweds and she was all excited to be at her first National... Sherry was running around with her little handycam videoing everything we did. Even videoing from the gallery when I ran the dog... and unfortunately... threw birds..

    As is the case at most trials, the help at Nationals gets overworked to some extent... if someone doesn't show up or has to leave early and they were being counted on. Don't know what happened with the bird throwers... but Dave Rorem was in charge of the bird throwers and Dennis Bath was the gun capt... if memory serves.. (this was 2001) Somebody came up and asked me if I would throw the flyer for a round in the fifth series after I ran my dog. So I said Ok.

    At the gun change I got my white jacket and Dave or Dennis handed me one of the workers caps. I hopped on the back of a Rhino and they hauled me out to the flyer station. I was feeling pretty dang cocky. They came and asked ME to throw at a National! (I forgot the only requirement is to have a pulse) So, I'm standing there all puffed up ready to go... and John Parrot and the other shooter who I honestly don't remember... but he resembled Moses with a gun are standing there looking at me, when one of them says "you ever throw a flyer before?" Huh? Don't they know who I am? I got asked to come out here! "Oh yes sir! All the time" say I.

    So I launch a few practice throws and they shoot the birds... everything is going great! I'm one of the GUYs! I'm out here with the NATIONAL GUNNERS. These guys are legendary... My adrenaline is really surging... I'm feeling important. I'm part of the "IN" crowd at a National! Moses yells at me to wake up... guns up! damn! Get with it Bill!

    It's an out of order flyer. I have to pay attention and look for the judges little ping pong paddle painted orange. OK, I have my duck loosened up... she's ready to fly... the judge waves his paddle and I yell "BIRD" and launch the hell out of that duck. Best throw I've ever made! It's climbing straight into the blue sky! I look at John Parrot and Moses and they ARE BOTH LOOKING BACK AT ME!!! OH CRAP!!! I forgot the order!

    I look back at the duck and it's way out there starting to glide down. I take off yelling "I'll get it". Parrot and Moses sit down in disgust. Some blue blooded lady in the gallery says "who is that thrower?" My wife says "I don't know, but he sure is a dumba$$!!" How quickly they turn!

    So, I'm out there running around the field chasing a perfectly healthy duck through the grass... (I'm not perfectly healthy!, especially after that chase and two or three unsuccessful dives!). I finally catch the bird and trudge back to the flyer station to re-bird. The gunners are both looking at me and say in unison "we're number two"... Uugghh!!! OK... Got it...

    That was my first throw at a National... I'll never forget it.
    You should send that in as an article, very funny story and well written!

  3. #63
    Senior Member Goldenboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Bora View Post
    when I typed that I was thinking of who I have seen here in Vermont. While I do not know if it the same Rick Roberts Dr. Ed mentioned but he can place a bird very nicely. Same with Dave Mosher. When you try to take over for them and cannot make the toss that they made as if they were shooing a fly while holding a cold drink! You understand greatness.
    But you all who ran LCRC or Colonial trials in Stowe about 10 years ago will remember Stephen Patch. Nephew of the Butler Boys David and Bruce. He is the best of the best, that I have seen.

    Stephen Patch was terrific and, even though he'll tell you so himself, David Butler is as good as they come at throwing a live bird. Trained for a week with Ben Vallin who threw and shot and every flyer landed on top of the one before it. But, like many have said, most of the Pro's are terrific throwers. John Russell, who's a strong guy, also does a fine job.
    Mark

  4. #64
    Member Doug Grant's Avatar
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    Jerry Collingham of Caldwell, Idaho (who raised and supplied birds to trials) was the best thrower I ever saw. What an arm!

  5. #65
    Senior Member HarryWilliams's Avatar
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    Jerry was throwing a flyer at a trial and they were killing some birds to get started. First throw the guns were there and ready. Jerry said bird and then through two ducks at the same time and it was funny to watch the guns scramble. He's quite the character. Harry
    "Sometimes we just gotta do what is right". Jerry 2006

    See ya in the field. HPW http://www.sagaciouskennel.com/

  6. #66
    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Grant View Post
    Jerry Collingham of Caldwell, Idaho (who raised and supplied birds to trials) was the best thrower I ever saw. What an arm!
    Yes... Jerry was very good. Is Jerry still around?
    Bill Davis

  7. #67
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    Yes... Jerry was very good. Is Jerry still around?
    Saw him yesterday. He is doing well.
    Pete
    John 5 :30
    I can of my own self do nothing ,as I hear , I judge,,and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will,,but the will of the father which hath sent me
    John 7:16 -- Jesus answered them and said my doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.
    mark 16:9 -- So then after the lord had spoken unto them,he was received up in heaven, and sat on the right hand of God
    I Tim. 2:5 --For there is one God and one mediator between God and man ,, the man Christ Jesus

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    Yes... Jerry was very good. Is Jerry still around?
    Jerry used to throw for a fee in order to make the trip more lucrative - seems he was always building more pens & was always short of enough cash to do it - in our part of the country he was an asset as the one or two good arms had been worn out from lack of a reliable bull pen.

    We're doing a trial up here - AA stake - judged by a guy from Canada who would be as close as there is to a Roy McFall clone (knowledgeable & a successful dog guy) & a person who would shortly go on to judge a Natl. Am. Canadians in general do not like to call NO birds & the other judge was paying more attention to bonding with the gallery than the dog work.

    It's the last series - 9 dogs back & my dog is in real good shape - points are hard to come by as our circuit has several very good dogs of similar age with good handlers, some more famous than others - Grady's dad, Cosmo, Lean Mac, etc - a triple with all guns up with the go bird being a gimme if the dog gets to see it - the dogs are being eaten alive by the other 2 birds - so my dog's turn comes - one bird down, 2 birds down & the flyer unseen but 2 shots - I look to the other judge knowing the Canadian will not give a NO bird, & find they are visiting with someone in the gallery (I want to emphasize, this is someone who will shortly be judging at the National level) - my dogs number is called & he proceeds to go to the upwind echo, a monster in what he believes the area, out of the area hunt & fortunately gets a friendly gust of wind & gets the bird, then proceeds to hammer the 2 hard birds. We get a 4th as a team.

    The trial is barely done when Jerry is right there apologizing for the bird that never got as high as his head after leaving his hand - not his fault but it was a bad break -


    My Collingham moment - but he could also be counted on to clean up all the left over worker's lunches. A really good guy!!
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  9. #69
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Bill, I loved that story. It sure makes me feel a little better about some of my notable screw ups throwing in training or tests! If you can have that happen at a National and tell the story with such grace and humor, I sure don't need to hide my head. Thanks!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  10. #70
    Member Doug Grant's Avatar
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    No dog to run, so I was throwing at the Canadian National in Kamloops, B.C.
    Last test, water quad. I was throwing the last bird, a short 'breaking' bird from behind a wall of bullrushes about 20 yards from line. I couildn't see the other 3 birds thrown from where I was stationed.
    John McMurtrie was running his dog, and when I threw, the bird stuck in my hand and went over my back! Judges called 'No Bird', and when John came back after three dogs, he nailed the marks.
    When the trial was over, John came to me and hugged me......his dog hadn't seen the long retired bird thrown his first time on line, so I inadvertently saved the day for him.....and John won the National!

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