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WELCOME to the Official Blog of the 2015 Master National Hunting Test, October 15-25, 2015, brought to you by the Retriever News and written by Tina Styan, Gwen Jones and Kelley Hall. We hope you enjoy these daily updates on the 2015 Master National, held this year in and around Cheraw, South Carolina.


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Sunday, October 18, 2015

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Day 2 – Flight E – Test 1 – Mallard Pond-Land/Water – Sunday, October 18

Flight E: Kay Scott and John Kinnard
Mallard Pond-Land/Water – Land/Water Triple, Double Blind, Walk-up

Flight E started their first test at Mallard Pond which is a Land/Water Triple with a double blind and a walk-up. The walk-up is bird number one. This bird is on the handler's right and is thrown to the left, landing 31 yards from the line landing in the woods. Bird two is up the middle at 85 yards, a duck flyer shot to the left, landing in the water with a splash or the grass cover at the edge of the pond. Bird three is on the left at 65 yards, thrown to the left, resulting in a splash in the pond. Blind number one has a 50 yard angle entry. Then they had to parallel the peninsula under the arc of the go-bird at 100 yards. Blind number two is on the side of a hill, directly in front of the mat, under the arc of the flyer at 100 yards. The Judge's instructions are to pick up one bird, then run the water blind. After that blind is completed, the handler is to pick up the remaining two marks and finish with the land blind.

We watched eight dogs at this location. There were two passing jobs, one handle and five pick-ups. The pick-ups were mostly from problems with the dogs not wanting to re-enter the pond for the water blind. There was a pick-up for creeping and problems with bird number two.

On the second day of this test for Flight E, we arrived right after lunch. When we arrived, we noted quickly that the blind had become a cross-wind blind with the wind pushing the dogs to the land. The land blind was now down wind, holding the side of the hill was difficult going under the arc of the flyer. It was hard to see the end of this blind, due to the shade at the end of the tree line. The work was better today on this test. We saw seven dogs run with no handles and only one pick-up and that pick-up, #129 will be getting a rerun at the end.

Judges John Kinnard and Kay Scott

Ralph Ardis describes the Mallard Pond


Day 2 – Flight D – Test 1 – Goose Pond-Land – Sunday, October 18

Flight D: Martin Bell and Bruce Bachert
Goose Pond-Land – Land Triple, Blind, Honor

This was a Land Triple with a blind and honor, using all rooster pheasants. The handler comes to the line on the crest of a hill. A well-brushed blind sits in front of the line at the base of a hill. This station blows a call, shoots, then throws to the right with the bird landing 103 yards from the line. Next, to the handler's right is a walk-out flyer. The gunners are in a blind, deep right of bird one. They walk out, blow a call and shoot to the left with the bird landing 139 yards from the line. Next, there is a pheasant call from a brushed-up station on the handler's far left.  This bird is thrown to the right, landing 75 yards from the line. The dogs picked-up the go-bird, next they picked up the flyer and finished off the test with the middle bird. After completing the marks, the dogs were asked to run a blind off the left hand side of the middle bird, located 127 yards from the line.

We arrived in time to hear the Judge's instructions and watch the first two test dogs. Test dog #1 had hunts on all three birds with a nice blind. Test dog #2 had a nice job on the go-bird and the middle bird, but had to be handled on a very long flyer. Quite a few problems arose while running the blind, showing the handlers the pitfalls of this bird. The Judge's initial estimate was that this would be a seven minute test.

This was the last test that we visited on Sunday at the end of a long day. The temperature had warmed to 63 degrees and it was sunny, but the wind kept the temperatures cool. As the handler stood on the line, the wind would be hitting them in their back left shoulder. The rumors going through the gallery said that they had had about a 50 percent attrition rate so far. Most of the problems were on the flyer. Once the dogs got deep of the bird, it was difficult to cast back into the wind. We watched seven dogs run and saw four good jobs, two handles and one pick-up.

Judges Bruce Bachert and Martin Bell

Derek Randle describes Goose Pond - Land


Day 2 – Flight C – Test 1 – Byrd's Campground-Land – Sunday, October 18

Flight C: Carol Hynes and Tellus Calhoun
Byrd’s Campground-Land – Land Triple, Blind and Honor

This test is a Land Triple with a blind and honor using all rooster pheasants. This land triple is held in a field full of hay bales. The wind is hitting the handler on his right side. Bird number one is a flyer landing 71 yards to the handler's left. Bird number two is thrown to the right, landing 95 yards almost in  the center of the field. Bird number three came out of a winger, landing 83 yards to the handler's right. So, the order was around the horn, left to right. The dogs first retrieved the last bird down, bird number three. The handler then turned to his left and picked up the flyer. Then, the handler turned to the middle of the field and sent the dog for bird number two. When the marks were completed, the handler ran a land blind off the left side of bird number two, planted behind two hay bales, planted at 118 yards from the line. The handler then moves to the honor box to the left side of the line.

Bird number two has been the problem bird today with dogs hunting all over the right and middle portion of this field, being pushed by the wind. Of the seven dogs that we watched, we had four nice jobs, one handle and two pick-ups. We arrived late in the afternoon. Of the 53 dogs that had run, we were told 31 had handled and seven had honored on lead.

This is the first test that we visited on Sunday and the wind was blowing into the handler's face and the temperature was 37 degrees. The problem bird continued to be the middle bird on this test. We watched six dogs run early today and four had to handle on this troublesome bird.

Judges Carol Hynes and Tellus Calhoun

Buck Shope describes Byrd's Campground


Master National Running Order

Flight Draw & Running Order

2015 MNRC Test Descriptions

Palmetto East-Land

Wood Duck Pond-Land/Water

Byrd's Campground-Land

Goose Pond-Land

Mallard Pond-Land/Water

Bruce's Farm-Land/Water

Wood Duck Pond-Water

Byrd’s Campground-Land/Water

Mallard Pond-Water

Goose Pond-Land/Water

Furr's Pit-Water

Palmetto West-Land

Goose Pond-Water


Meet Your 2015 Judges

2015 MNRC Schedule of Events

2015 MNRC Qualified Dogs