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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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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 6 – Flight B – Test 4 – Mallard Pond-Land/Water – Thursday, October 22

Flight B: Dale Langhorne and Ed Sullivan
Mallard Pond-Land/Water – Land/Water Triple, Double Blind, Walk-up

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. Water 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.

Flight B set up their third test late in the afternoon. There were 87 dogs called back. We watched eight dogs, before this test wrapped up for the afternoon. All of them picked up the marks clean. The whistles on the blinds ranged from 2-6 as the handlers kept their dogs on a tight line to the blind. In fact, we counted the total whistles for eight dogs running a total of 16 blinds and the number was 68 – that calculates into an average of 4.25 whistles per blind.


Day 6 – Flight D – Test 3 – Goose Pond-Water – Thursday, October 22

Flight D: Martin Bell and Bruce Bachert

Goose Pond-Water – Water Triple, Water Blind, Diversion Shot

Goose Pond is a Water Triple with a water blind and a diversion shot. It was mid-afternoon when we arrived at the third test site for Flight D. Bird number one was thrown to the right of the handler, up a slight slope, landing dry at 70 yards. The second bird, at 91 yards, was also thrown to the right landing in low cover. Bird number three, on the handler's far left, was thrown to the right making a large splash at 33 yards. After the dogs picked up this left-hand go-bird, they ran the water blind at 61 yards. Next, the dogs picked up the right hand bird and finally the middle bird.

We arrived at this test late in the morning, greeted by a west wind blowing at one mph. After a couple of dogs, the wind picked up, giving the dogs the advantage of winding the blind. Today, most of the dogs we watched took the water, only one stayed dry, an improvement over yesterday.

Noah Spitzer describes Goose Pond-Water


Day 6 – Flight C – Test 3 – Palmetto East-Land – Thursday, October 22

Flight C: Carol Hynes and Tellus Calhoun
Palmetto East-Land – Land Triple, Land Blind and Honor

This Land Triple with a blind and honor contained an out-of-order flyer and a blind run under the arc of bird number three. The terrain was a strip-mowed field with wide strips of cover. Standing on the mat, bird number one was a flyer shot to the left at 118 yards in front of the mat. Bird number two was thrown to the right, landing 84 yards from the line to the left of the flyer. Bird number three was 55 yards below the line, off to the right hand side of the field, thrown to the left. The blind was at 107 yards and the line to it was under the arc of bird number three, the go-bird.

Flight C is the second group to visit this test site and the conditions today were different than what the previous flight experienced, because there was little to no wind. We arrived early afternoon to this test, fully underway. Of the six dogs we saw, we saw one good job, two handles, one not invited to run the blind and one break on the honor. 

On Thursday, we visited this test site again in the middle of the afternoon. The wind had picked up from yesterday, so the pheasant flyer was flying higher and further, resulting in a significant increase in no-birds. Four of the five dogs that we saw today, had to be handled on the flyer.


Day 6 – Flight B – Test 3 – Palmetto West-Land – Thursday, October 22

Flight B: Dale Langhorne and Ed Sullivan
Palmetto West-Land – Land Triple, Land Blind, Honor

We arrived at this third test just as Flight B was finishing this test up for the day with just a couple of  dogs left to run.

Flight B's third test is a Land Triple with a blind and an honor using all pheasants. Bird number one was thrown to the left at 80 yards. The left-hand second bird was thrown to the right, 60 yards from the line. The third bird was a flyer landing 150 yards from the line; this bird was shot to the left; the line to retrieve this bird was under the arc of bird number one. After the dog picked up all three marks, the blind was at 90 yards under the arc of bird number two.

As we visited this test for the second time, we paid particular attention to the fact that the middle flyer continued to cause the most problems. This is as a result of the fact that the flyer had a wide area in which it was falling. Sometimes it was under the arc of the right hand bird, and other times it was in line with the right hand first bird down.

Jack Morris describes Palmetto West-Land


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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