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Result: National Amateur Prairie Chicken Shooting Dog Championship

Location: Wiscosin Rapids, Wisconsin

Post Date: Nov 12, 2019

Submitted By: Frank LaNasa


The Winners. From left: John O'Hara, Judy Reisner, Doug Reisner, Ann Ihrke, Ed Liermann, Judge Dennis Sneed, Mark Johnson, Frank LaNasa with Jumpstart, Rich Boumeester, Scott Jordan, John Mathys with Strut Nation, Gary Wolfe, Judge Harold Ray, Aimee Atkins and Dr. George Ihrke.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WIS. -- Very few places in the country lacked rain during the growing season this spring and early summer. The Buena Vista Grasslands near Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., was no exception. With incredible and timely rains both the grass and the prairie chickens benefitted. We had an ample supply of both!

I am reminded every year why I enjoy this event so much. The venue is tough but fair. The birds are there year after year, but most important the local group of trialers do their level best to help each other, to step in and contribute and be a positive force for the event. It's always fun and is this reporter's favorite event of the year.

The winners this year rotated their titles from last year at this same event. Named champion was three-year-old white and orange pointer male Jumpstart, owned by Frank and Jean LaNasa of Isanti, Minn., and handled by Frank. Jumpstart is seventh generation offspring of LaNasa's competitors going back some 25 years. Runner-up was the multi-titled performer Strut Nation, five-year-old white and orange pointer male owned and handled by Scott Jordan of Grant, Minn.

Ed Liermann, president of Central States Field Trial Club, does an amazing job tending to details, coordinating jobs and making sure all participants feel welcomed. These grounds are managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Each year we hold an auction/dinner/bonfire to which trialers, local businesses, local landowners and DNR officials are invited. More than 100 attended the evening which started off with Prairie Chicken embroidered clothing and paraphernalia being professionally auctioned off to raise funds to help with the land management expenses of the grounds.

This year Ed started a scholarship fund for students at the local Stevens Point College which happens to be the state's largest supplier of students seeking a career in the Wisconsin Wildlife section of the DNR. This year's scholarship recipient, fellow students and Stevens Point professors attended the activities, rode horses and saw Greater Prairie Chickens in an environment they never saw before. They expressed profound enjoyment with their time spent with us and all expressed their excitement for next year's event.

A delicious chicken dinner with all the trimmings followed and the evening settled around a bonfire with stories and fun.

This year we were proud to have both Hall-of-Famer Harold Ray of Waynesboro, Ga., and longtime field trialer Dennis Sneed of Ewing, Ill., judge the event. This year happened to be the 50th Anniversary of Harold's very first championship, which occurred on these grounds in September, 1969. He handled the setter female Susan's Lady Bird for owners Elwin G. and Inez Smith to what was then the Midwest Championship.

Dennis has judged all over the country and competed successfully on these very grounds. Both he and Harold were a truly proud addition to our event, and we thank them for their help.

Mark Johnson, AFTCA trustee, co-chaired the event with me, planning and stepping forward whenever it was needed.

Gary Wolfe once again took nearly a week off of work to drive our dog wagon and all that goes with doing that. Gary carries a big smile with him everywhere he goes.

George and Ann Ihrke, Doug and Judy Reisner and Gary tended to the road crossings. John Mathys, Ed Liermann and Scott Jordan marshalled when needed.

The support of our sponsors -- Garmin, Purina and Bruce Fox Awards -- makes the difference between an event and a quality event. All of us who put on or compete in field trials across the country thank all of those who invest in our sport. You are a critical part of our event and your products make our sport better.

The event started at Friday, September 20, 8:00 a. m. sharp with three one- hour morning courses and three different afternoon courses.


First up were setter males Skydancer Flash Drive (Dennis Lutynski) and Chief's Rising Star (John Mathys). Flash Drive failed to stop with chickens in the air and was up before the first road crossing. Star hunted the course well but failed to score.

Confident Nation (PM/Scott Jordan) and Restless Red Toolman (ISM/Bob Gove). At 10 Toolman was perfect on a pair of chickens. Nation scored on a single chicken at 20. Toolman got hung up deep in a course corner. Nation continued to get stronger on the ground through his hour finishing with an unproductive at time.

Pointer male Bar P Inspired started well and hunted through the first half of the course but the relentless cover convinced Rich Boumeester to end his bid at 45. Setter male Grouse Feather Widow Maker suffered an unproductive at 9 and Dr. Allen Dunbar decided to pick him up at 25.

Skydancer Triple Nickel (SM/Lutynski) scored a nice find at 7. He showed strong and forward and finished with a big move. Thumper's Anything But (PF/Mike Duvall) failed to hit the brakes when chickens were in the air.

Erin's Wild Rum (PM/Mark Johnson) and Notorious King Ransom (PM/John Mathys) hustled through the cover and remained forward. King Ransom suffered an unproductive at 55. Wild Rum finished the hour without birds.

True Honor (PM/LaNasa) and Cedar Creek Talon (ISM/Ed Liermann). The cover on course No. 6 started out tough and then for the next 25 minutes got tougher. Talon suffered an unproductive at 20. Once the cover relented both dogs began to reach forward settling into a showing race. At 50 with no birds and a long stretch of tough cover ahead both handlers called it a day.

Desoto's Hidden Gem (PF/Dave Moore) and Upland's Rising Star (PF/ Lance Shulz). At 5 Gem scored on a nice covey with Star backing on her own. At 23 both Gem and Star divided a nice find on a single chicken with perfect manners. Gem suffered unproductives at 45 and 56. Star finished her effort forward.

Erin's Coin Toss (PM/ Brian Sheehan) was braced with runner-up Strut Nation (Jordan). Nation displayed perfect manners on a showy find at 8 and then hunted in a pleasant fashion never challenging his handler's directions. He was forward and consistent. He finished with the same jump he started with in an impressive hour of hunting. Coin Toss was doing a good job handling the cover and remaining forward. He suffered an unproductive at 47 and finished his hour without any game contacts.

Indigo made a couple of huge swings deep into the country and then was gone. Boumeester's Duramax (PM/R. Boumeester) stayed after it his whole hour hunting well but was unable to come up with any birds.

A pair of setter males -- Skydancer Hang Fire (Lutynski) and Grouse Feather Texas Ranger (Dr. Allen Dunbar). Fire had a stand at 5. After relocating Fire moved up on his own a few steps while the handler was flushing. Birds were produced. Fire went on to do a good job hunting the balance of the hour. Ranger was moderate through his first 20 minutes when Dunbar decided to end his bid.

Both Chief's Apache (SM/Mathys) and Cheyenne Nation (PM/Jordan) hunted the cover to the dike and turned into the wind continuing to make good forward moves. Across the clover pasture and Lake Street, Jordan picked up. Apache continued to buck tough cover for another 20 minutes before Mathys decided to call it quits.

Breaking away before the dike Erin's Hearts On Fire (PM/Sheehan) and Skydancer Flash Forward (SM/Lutynski) hunted well through good cover. With both dogs around the dike and headed into tougher cover, neither dog backed away from the challenge and were excellent through a really tough part of the course. Once into lighter cover they continued to reach for country. They both finished a strong performance but without any contacts.

Jumpstart (LaNasa) and Erin's Prometheus (SM/Mathys). At 5 Jumpstart and Prometheus shared a find on a small covey with all in order. Crossing Griffith Road Prometheus took the left side and ran strong. Jumpstart went deep wide to the right but managed to make his way forward and deep into the country. Both dogs were taken across Harry Story crossing and remained aggressive. Jumpstart was pointed out numerous times deep to the front. And although strong Prometheus' path forward wasn't as visible. As the course takes a U turn both dogs were in hand. Prometheus was driving deep into directly forward territory. Jumpstart started wide but swept the country working forward, both dogs requiring little handling but hustled through tall cover with strength to spare and speed making tracking them challenging. At 50 Jumpstart was discovered pointed forward and left on the course. While riding to him a single bird lifted from the staunch pointer. Arriving on the scene a second bird rocketed into the air while Jumpstart held his ground perfectly. With 10 minutes remaining both dogs were pushing the limits of the course making deep forward moves to finish far to the front.

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., September 20

Judges: Harold Ray and Dennis Sneed


2 Irish Setters

Winner--JUMPSTART, 1670197, pointer male, by Bar P Big John--Lil Miss Sunshine. Frank & Jean LaNasa, owners; Frank LaNasa, handler.

Runner-Up--STRUT NATION, 1658294, pointer male, by Game Strut--High Value Special. Scott Jordan, owner and handler.