Event: Chasehill Little Speck is Champion; Daddy's Little Boy Butch is Runner-Up
Result: Northeastern Grouse and Woodcock Championship
Location: Frankfort, Maine
Post Date: Oct 21, 2021
Submitted By: Russell Ogilvie
It not over until the last dog runs and that is what occurred this year.
The Northeastern Grouse and Woodcock Champion for 2021 came out of the last brace of the day on this year's toughest bird course. Chasehill Little Spec, white and liver pointer male owned by Harley McClung of Craigsville, W. Va., and handled by John Stolgitis, broke away on Blueberry Hill as a bye dog. While some dog's run struggles without a bracemate, others are internally programmed to just go full throttle.
Speck tore up the trail like a rocket. He went deep forward then swung to the right before cutting back and sliced his way through the hardwoods and pole timber like a ghost. With all the early season foliage, a dog that likes to run on the edge of the bell can be a challenge to find when he locks up. This was exactly what happened when we took the sharp right at corner of the cut. Speck dug in and the bell fell silent. One would think that with a pair of judges, a handler and a scout, locating a standing dog wouldn't be difficult. Shortly after our search began, birds started popping up everywhere. Both grouse and woodcock took flight but no sight or sound of Speck.
As the frustration started to grow, handler and judge cut back up the hill and finally found Speck standing tall and sucking scent. With the flight of the woodcock , the report of the blank gun echoed through the hillside. In all, five grouse and three other woodcock were moved near Speck before he was located.
Speck was taken back to the course and cut loose. This young male rolled through the cover. He searched forward and deep. Might he have too much range on this day? Well with time running, it was almost the case. He was on a mission to locate more birds and he went deep forward into the last cut. Stolgitis called Speck in and as he was reaching for his lead, Speck took in a nose full of bird and dove in. After a period of plowing through the raspberry bushes, Speck was located with a grouse off his nose but was after time.
The runner-up champion, Daddy's Little Boy Butch, pointer male owned by Paul Scott of Wallingford, Conn., and also handled by Stolgitis, came out of the third brace. The Beaver Bog course holds birds but like all courses, it has its challenges.
Butch was braced with setter male Coal Creek Rip (A. Dubriske). The dogs were cut loose along the power line. Both heading forward and deep. While the alder run along the pole line is a prime bird spot, nothing was located. Both dogs crossed below the beaver dam with Butch swinging left and at 15 his bell fell silent along the brook. Rip moved forward into the cover. As the search started for Butch, the first grouse was walked up but no sign of Butch. As the search lengthened, the sound of a blank going off interrupted everyone as Rip nailed a woodcock at 17. Stolgitis still searching for Butch, the scout walked two more grouse up. This time Butch tinkled his bell and the handler went right to him, flushing a fourth grouse in front of Butch. The report of Dubriske's gun recorded Rip's second woodcock find at 20.
Butch was taken back to the course and he quickly regained the front. A strong runner, Butch is one that loves the go the edge of his bell. Butch's bell fell silent along the power line at 35. With Stolgitis searching, Rip came in and stopped as well. Rip was located first and as Dubriske started his flushing attempt, Butch was located on the edge and a woodcock was flown. Both guns reported for a divided find. Butch and Rip were sent across the power line. While no other birds were located, Butch sealed his placement with a strong, forward finish.
The Northeastern Grouse and Woodcock Championship was able to return to its home grounds for the 2021 season. The previous year, thanks to the help of Lloyd Murray and the Northern New Hampshire Bird Dog Club, we were able to hold the Championship at the Kilkenny National Forrest. Being able to run in Maine again was good for moral. With over two years of course work to be done, roads washed out, and flooding due to all the rain, the club had their work cut out for them.
The biggest help came from the town of Frankfort. We use mostly public ground, and the town stepped in and repaired the road in time for use to host the trial. Bush hogs were brought in to reclaim grown up trails and members rerouted others to improve the courses. A big thank you for the effort put forth.
The club also thanks Purina and Greg Blair for supporting our Championship.
Fighting through the thickets, over blowdowns, up and down hills is not for the faint of heart. I want to thank this year's returning judge, John Olfson for giving it another go. With things up in the air, I want to thank Mike Flewelling for stepping in at the last minute to judge for us.
Anyone that has attended this Championship knows that we strive to provide a great experience for all who attend. This year, we once again held our lobster and steak feed. Everyone may have had tired feet, but we also had full bellies! The effort to make this happen is tremendous with so much else going on.
Last but not least, I want to thank all the owners and handlers for supporting our club trials. We exist because of you. Seeing old friends and making new ones was a great start to the fall season. We will see you next fall!
Brace No. 1 Chasehill Little Lilly (PF/Stolgitis) and Whynot Pete (PM/S. Forrest) had the first go at Costigan Farm. Nothing exciting about the first half. Pete would stop at the 35 mark and with a long search, he was located and a woodcock was flown. Lilly had nothing to show for her hour. A grouse and another woodcock was seen during the brace.
Snuffmill Riley (SF/Dellenger) and Superstorm Nell (ESF/ Dubriske) tried their luck on Blueberry Hill. Dubriske had trouble getting Nell forward. Riley stopped at 40 and moved during the flushing attempt ending her day. Nell was picked up shortly after.
Brace No. 3 was noted earlier.
No. 4 had Duckhook (PM/Stolgitis) and Springbrook Sweet T had the second go-around on Cotstigan Farm. With the temperature warming up, both dogs took to woods. "Brute" laid down a very strong race. Keeping to the front and working with the handler. T responded well and ran smooth through the course. T would be rewarded when she popped out of the woods, crossed the stream and suddenly stopped. Handler was able to produce a woodcock for her at 40. "Brute" stopped 5 minutes later but was moved on. Both dogs finished well with a pair of grouse seen by the gallery.
Lakeside River (ESM/Dubriske) was braced with Panola Bacon (PM/Stolgitis). River was scratched due to injury. Bacon had the course to himself and covered it. A little aggressive at times, but he was strong on the ground. With 2 minutes left, his bell fell silent deep into the cut. A long search ensued. Unfortunately, the scout walked up a woodcock without being witnessed by a judge so credit could not be given. Bacon was allowed relocate in case another bird was in the immediate area but was unsuccessful.
The day ended with the pairing of Whynot Sully (PM/Forrest) and Magic Mist Sydni (ESF/J. Dahl). Racing down the breakaway, both dogs returned and entered the cover. Again, to the surprise of everyone, nothing was produce in the alder run next to the course. The action wouldn't happen until we crossed the beaver dam and into the peninsula. Sydni would stop first at 14. Dahl would flush without any luck and she was sent on. Sully's bell fell silent at 23 and Forrest fired as the woodcock took flight. Sydni would stop again at 27 but was self relocating and not sure of herself. Dahl realized this was not her day and picked her up. Sully would have the rest of the course to himself. He worked hard, running smoothly and to the front. At 49 his bell fell silent to the left of the course. An occasional tinkle of the bell gave the handler help in locating him. As Forrest approach, a grouse blew out and the shot echoed through the woods. The judges had another fine performance to consider.
Day No. 2, brace No. 7: Chasehill Poison Ivy (PF/Stolgitis) and Fernley (ISF/Donovan) had the morning run at Costigan Farm. Ivy stopped shortly after the breakaway at 2 but was sent on. This was my first time seeing an Irish setter run that carried its historically correct coat coloring. The white and red setter carried herself very well along the course. Ivy was the first to strike in a cut to the left on the course at 16. Stolgitis produce a woodcock for her. Both bells fell silent at 22. A short search produced both dog. The woodcock popped up and both dogs were credited with a find. With the dogs and handlers across the beaver dam, the handlers let them roll. Working their way through the apple orchard and down the hill. Crossing over the gravel pit road, both dogs were working on the left. With 2 minutes left, their bells fell silent. Again a quick search produced not only the dogs, but a grouse as well and credit was given to both. Very solid runs to start the morning.
Springbrook Maximus (PM/R. Ogilvie) and Little Miss Margaret (PF/Stolgitis) line up on Blueberry Hill. Both dogs were cut loose and took to the races. Margaret would return first and cut into the alders. Max still looking to burn of some steam returned but went deep to the right. As we reached the cut, Margaret stopped just before the turn. Stolgitis located her but nothing could be produce. She would start and stop and moved up while flushing which ended her day. Max worked his way forward in the cut and his bell fell silent at 20. The handler and judge made their way through the raspberry bushes. The sound of breathing indicating the dog's location. Just as point was called, a grouse blew out with all in order. Max had the course to himself and drove forward. Max's bell fell silent one more time at 40. He was deep and forward. Handler, scout, and both judges search for a long time without success. His bell finally started up just before time.
No. 9: Whynot Roscoe (PM/A. Robbins) and Elwood (PM/Robinson) had the last shot at Beaver Hole. Breaking away down the two-track, both dogs moved with little handling. Elwood struck quickly on the right at 5. Roscoe helped finding Elwood as he went in and backed. Robinson flew a woodcock with all in order for both dogs. Roscoe and Elwood moved forward and a hunted the cover well. At one point, Elwood showed some interest in an area that had produced grouse earlier in the trial but could not pin anything down. Both dogs crossed the powerline and finished without any more excitement.
Foxbrook Pokerface (PF/Stolgitis) and Iris (PF/E. Rizza) took off on Costigan Farm. "Tina" quickly stopped at 4 just to the left of the course. Stolgitis could not produce a bird. With the temperatures rising, both dogs worked the hillside and gullies. Once we cut back into the alders, "Tina's" bell fell silent to the left again at 17. This time a woodcock was flown. Iris stopped just up the course at 18 but Rizza was unsuccessful at moving a bird. With everyone across the beaver dam, dogs headed to the front. "Tina" would stop on the hillside at 30 just off the course. Handler decided to move her on and the judge witnessed a grouse leaving the scene ending her day. Iris would stop at 35 in the alders but nothing was home and was moved on. She stopped again shortly after and with nothing produced, the handler picked her up
Brace No. 11 with Chasehill Little Speck was noted earlier.
Frankfort, Me., September 7
Judges: Mike Flewelling and John Olfson
NORTHEASTERN GROUSE AND WOODCOCK CHAMPIONSHIP
[One-Hour Heats] -- 15 Pointers, 5 Setters and 1 Irish Setter
Winner--CHASEHILL LITTLE SPECK, 1684441, pointer male, by Daddy's Little Boy Butch--Porter Meadow Bette. Harley McClung, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.
Runner-Up--DADDY'S LITTLE BOY BUTCH, 1655649, pointer male, by Chasehill Little Bud--Richfield Stella. Paul Scott, owner; John Stolgitis, handler.