German shorthair pointer Pearl flushes a pheasant that she had found and pointed with handler/owner Stephen Bert and gunner Mike Swienton during the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club’s semi-annual Advanced Hunter Education and Hunting Dog Training Feb. 26. Team Pearl placed second in the Pointing Dogs division. Submitted photo

Rod and Gun Club

The Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club conducted its semi-annual Advanced Hunter Education and Hunting Dog Training event Feb. 26 at the Ervin Family Farm.

Fourteen hunting dogs, their handlers and gunners hit the field to hone their safe hunting skills and hand-eye coordination to find, point or flush game farm pheasants, and then harvest the birds employing safe hunting practices and good marksmanship.

Matt Massman and Dave DelToro pose with Labrador retriever Rye, named Top Dog in the Fort Leavenworth Rod and Gun Club’s Advanced Hunter Education and Hunting Dog Training Feb. 26. Submitted photo

The efforts of 15 volunteers; Larry Noell, club president who coordinated with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Hunter Education Office; and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Chief Recreation Officer Jeff Honey and FMWR staff, and terrific weather overall, made it a great day. The event was a safe, fun, family-oriented event where an English setter, Labrador retrievers, Brittany spaniels, German shorthair pointers, and a Gordon setter continued working to capitalize on their genetic potential. All 14 dogs qualified for the club’s “Qualified Hunting Dog” rosettes.

Top Dog

The Top Dog was Rye, a Labrador retriever handled by his owner Matt Massman and supported by gunner Dave Del Toro. Rye flushed four pheasants and several quail, the team harvested three pheasants, and Rye brought two pheasants back to Massman’s hand and one pheasant to within two paces of him. Team Rye scored 1,050 points.

Top Pointing Dogs

• First Place: Jessie, a German shorthair pointer owned and handled by Dave Brown and supported by George Mordica II as the gunner. Jessie pointed five pheasants, the team harvested four birds, and Jessie brought one bird back to within two paces of Brown’s hand. Team Jessie scored 810 points.

• Second Place: Pearl, a German shorthair pointer handled by her owner Stephen Bert and supported by gunner Mike Swienton. Pearl pointed three pheasants, the team harvested all three birds, and Pearl brought all three pheasants back to Bert’s hand. Team Pearl scored 800 points.

Top Flushing Dogs

• First Place: Ribbit, a Labrador retriever handled by his owner George Mordica II and supported by Dave Brown as the gunner. Ribbit flushed two pheasants, and the team harvested both birds. Ribbit also found a wounded bird from a previous team. Ribbit brought all three pheasants to Mordica’s hand. Team Ribbit scored 580 points.

• Second Place: Boom, a Labrador retriever handled by his owner Steven Fandrich and supported by gunner Bill Greer. Boom flushed two pheasants, the team harvested both birds, and Boom brought both pheasants back to Fandrich’s hand. Team Boom scored 540 points.

The Rod and Gun Club’s Fall 2022 Advanced Hunter Education and Hunting Dog Training event will be Oct. 22.

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