As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. The Roar was a bit of a fizzer for me, missing a good 12 point red in Gisborne, and then lucking out on the Sika a few weekends later near Taupo. However, Otamarakau Assassin is living up to her name, opening her account in style for her owner Brent from the Hawkes Bay. Despite her young age, she has had over twenty deer encounters, ten of those her own finds. We look forward to watching her progress and seeing how she goes on birds.
Conveniently placed in the middle of the roar, were our Pointer and Setter club natural game trials. As usual, they played out like a Sophoclean tragedy, in that you know the outcome but went and watched it anyway, and came away afterwards somewhat different. Plenty of birds, however it was the manners around game that let most (including myself) down. We experienced a new venue, thanks to the manager Calvin Rowe, which had an even spread of pheasants and quail, just enough to sort the dogs out, and a good mix of typical north island terrain. As veteran judge Dave Sheely mentioned, it takes a pretty good all round dog to run in the big open spaces here as well as hunting the closer cover. I hope that the club continues to trial there. The only placings I am aware of for the whole series were Robyn Gaskins’ GFCH & FTCH Gamemaster Tanner, and second place his granddaughter, FCH & FTCH Kilsheelan Stellar.
Next week is the start of our Gamebird season. Hopefully your maimais are prepared and decoys inspected for opening weekend. Up in Northland they had a short season for Paradise Duck in February, which Otamarakau Archies’ owner took advantage of. Here is a short video of ‘Willis’ in action at 6 months performing a retrieve on a wounded Parry. His owner, Damon, wants to add a disclaimer saying this is the first gundog he has ever owned. To that we say, if he’s doing it at that age, you’ll be fine. Well done Damon and Willis.