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Message from the Director
by Frank O’Leary
Ussa vom Trocken Bach on point at the Derby in Walla Walla in May ’18. Ussa will be lead to the Solms by Denver Hodges in September.
Well the smoke is finally out of the Walla Walla Valley and the 107 degree temperatures are behind us, FINALLY!!
Fall testing in the Western Region will begin on Friday, September 7th & 8th, in Logan, UT. Tyler Smith will be the Test Coordinator. Tyler can be reached at 801-420-8076. The Friday test will be judged by Jeff Martin, Test Director; Jörg Kaltenegger, Senior Judge; and Mark Peasley. On Saturday, Jörg Kaltenegger will be the Test Director; Jeff Martin, Senior Judge; Manny Boutsikakis and Mark Peasley.
On September 29th we will have a Solms/Zuchtschau in Walla Walla, WA. Frank O’Leary is the Test Coordinator for this event. Frank can be reached at 509-520-7483. Judges for this test are Test Director John Calandra; Jeff Martin, Senior Judge; and Mark Peasley.
Leading up to the fall tests we will be having training opportunities in Walla Walla, WA. Please be aware, it has been extremely hot and dry in Walla Walla, the fields are dusty, and the water levels are very low. If you would like to participate in the training sessions please contact Frank O’Leary at 509-520-7483.
Enjoy what’s left of your summer and looking forward to the cooler and hopefully wet fall. Good of luck with your training. We look forward to see you at the fall test.
Western Regional Director
Big Bore Shotguns
by Rob Burns
Some dream of floating down the river and hunting Chukars up to the top of the canyon, luckily you are happily carrying that light short barreled 12 gauge or sub gauge gun and even in your dream it feels heavy. At the other end of the spectrum, some dream of sitting in a hide on Sheepy Ridge, pass shooting waterfowl along their flightpath using long barreled, large bore/gauge heavy waterfowl gun. Today a big gun shooting the waterfowl passes is likely a 3 ½ inch 10 gauge or more likely a 3 ½ inch 12 gauge, this was not always the case. Prior to 1918 in the US, one may have seen an 8 bore or even possibly a 4 bore on the pass. Sadly the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act banned use of shotguns larger than 10 gauge for migratory game birds. Even with the current management focus on bag limits this archaic gauge limit is engrained in our regulations. The intent of the regulation was to stop mass harvesting of the resources; but, it is doubtful whether this arbitrary line at the 10 gauge had a sizable impact on this goal. If you want some interesting reading on big guns and hunting practices around the early 1900’s, Harry Walsh’s book, “The Outlaw Gunner” is a great read with excellent pictures. I was bit by the 8 bore bug after I met Tom Armbrust who collects these large bore firearms. He is the only person in the United States, I know, who has published modern loading data for these large bore firearms. If you want more information, his book “4 and 8 Bore Shotguns and Loads” is a great place to start.
The question some of you probably have now is what the heck can you do with an 8 bore if it is illegal to hunt migratory game birds with them? One of the fun activities is long range clay pigeon shooting with light loads of 1 ½ ounces of shot or, if you are so inclined, use heavier 1 ¾ or 2 ounce loads. You may be thinking it would be impossible to miss. I assure you it is as easy to miss with an 8 as it is with your standard 12; you still have to put the pattern on target. That additional payload certainly helps to put more shot in the pattern so birds don’t slip through; but, you have to do your part to get that pattern on target. I am not saying the pattern gets tighter using a larger gun because that is a function of the choke. It is just that you have more pellets to work with (higher pellet density) assuming the same pattern percentage for a given distance. For example you may get 70% of your pellets in a 30” circle at 40 yards (considered a full choke) but with a 1 ounce payload we are talking about 70% of 350 pellets (245 hits) and a 1 ½ ounce payload at 70% of 525 pellets (367 hits). As some of the more astute readers may have surmised your fringe pellet count also gets larger. Also since you have more density it could allow you additional range until you hit the lower end of pattern density it takes to consistently make hits on your quarry (say 245 hits in a 30” circle is your magic number). On paper it all sounds plausible but remember it is a combination pellet energy, pellet density and skill that consistently breaks clays or makes clean kills. There are some days I think I am hitting most of my birds with fringe pellets and it is great we have dogs that assist us in cleaning up our mistakes as efficient retrievers!
by Michael Albert
My name is Michael Albert and I am an outdoorsman to the core. I was born in a small town outside of Los Angeles, California but my parents were able to raise me as if we lived in the country. I grew up with horses, chickens, cows, goats, and rabbits in our back yard which made for a great field trip for my classmates in elementary school. Throughout my childhood, my parents had springer spaniels that were great at lying on the couch, but not so keen on hunting.
My father introduced me to hunting when I was about 8 and we would frequently go to the San Bernardino or Sierra mountains in search of mountain and valley quail, chukar, dove, and the occasional pheasant. I quickly became a fan of spending quality time in the field with my father and (a few years later) brother who enjoyed wing shooting as well. We never had the opportunity to hunt behind a dog, but I always had the desire to. Around my high school years, I was introduced to waterfowl hunting in addition to big game hunting and quickly became addicted. The thrill of a mixed bag of ducks was something I was and still am passionate about. Waterfowl hunting is really where I found myself wanting a four-legged companion to hunt with.
Fast forward 10 years and I have graduated with my MBA degree, I am married to the most amazing woman in the world, I relocated from California to Utah, I have a 6-week-old son, and I own a wonderful Deutsch Kurzhaar; Briar von den Sieben.
I had always wanted a “German Shorthair Pointer”, and when my wife and I decided it was time to get a dog, we started researching breeders and kennels. We came across DK’s and were very intrigued as there appeared to be many benefits vs a GSP. The more we investigated DK’s the more we fell in love and that is when we found Max Barker’s kennel (Deutsch Kurzhaar von den Sieben Sohnen) in southern Utah.
Look for something positive in each day even if some days you have to look a little harder.
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