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A Field Trial in the Land of Canaan
Posted on 02/01/2013 in Notes From The Field.

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A Field Trial in the Land of Canaan - as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey

By Jackie Hutwagner

The Epagneul Breton Gun Dog Club of Georgia held its first field trials of 2013 the weekend of January 12-13, open to all pointing breeds, at Canaan Farms in Pine Mountain, GA. Canaan Farms is located in West Central Georgia in the southern part of the Piedmont Plateau. The terrain is rolling, hilly, well-drained and well watered with small, rocky streams interspersing the hills.

The Georgia Club will be forever grateful to Dr. Cecil Whitaker of Columbus, who has been friends with the Avery family and hunted with Mr. Curtis and Hal for many years, for introducing us. This property is truly the Promised Land when it comes to quail habitat in

Georgia. Not only is it a veritable delight to hunt, but those of us who have had the pleasure to become friends with Mr. Curtis, Hal, Maurine, Zak and Amanda, and the many others who help work this land, are truly blessed.

According to Mr. Curtis Avery, “Canaan Farms has been transformed into the habitat of years gone by with a mixture of working fields of grain separated by Long Leaf Pine plantations, old growth hardwoods, and hedgerows intermingled with wildlife food plot strips to provide the best quail habitat. This has only been possible through the hard work of my son, Hal, and our farm hand, Michael Williams.” Hal declares, “If success is measured by the sight of a good dog on point followed by the thunderous roar of wild wings, then our conservation efforts have been successful. We enjoy sharing our home with our friends, both 2- and 4-legged, and look forward to seeing you all again.”

From 1937 until 2005 the land was primarily devoted to cattle. Wooded areas were fenced out and open areas were managed for grazing, utilizing native and introduced grasses and legumes. Soil conservation, water quality, erosion control and wise resource use have always been paramount on Canaan Farms. Presently corn, soybeans, wheat, and sorghum are grown in a continuous no-till operation. The farm has a very active conservation program in place, recognized by the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) in competitively based rankings as one of the best in the state. Practices include: field edges and corners utilized for food plots; hedgerows and fencerows enhanced and widened; native grasses planted in drains and watercourses; native legumes planted in food plots; riparian buffers established; long leaf pine plantings; management of timber by thinning and fire for wildlife; and eradication of introduced sod-type grasses. Upland habitat restoration has been the chief benefactor of the Averys’ efforts, but deer, turkey and non-game species have enjoyed increased habitat quality as well.

The grounds replicate some of the best quail habitat in the state and provided a phenomenal field trial experience of hunting conditions for the dogs. The weekend was a bit warm, with temperatures reaching the mid-70’s, producing some stress on our dogs who have all been used to some cooler weather, but it proved very comfortable for the rest of us. Nonetheless, we had some exceptional dog work as the scenting conditions were still suitable and our dogs found birds as they typically do.

There were a number of excellent runs regardless of whether a ribbon was earned. On Saturday, Judge Larry Ellison oversaw Fred Overby’s Pride handle four quail with exceptional style with solid points and steadiness to shot. With just seconds left to produce a placement for this really nice tri-color, the fifth bird was found but ran, proving too much for Pride to handle.

Also evaluated by Judge Ellison was 13-year-old Ashley Ambos who handled her dog Abigail with a stylish run, earning a TAN and also a HNQ ribbon. According to Judge Ellison, Ashley showed interest and intelligence in the way she handled her dog, learning more and more and improving her handling skills as the weekend progressed. We look forward to seeing more of this young lady and her young Epagneul Breton in coming events.
Hal Avery handled Gypsy Rose of Canaan who earned 1st place and her TAN on the maiden run of her trial career in an open timbered area of pines with an understory of broomsedge, briar, and native grasses. A few minutes into her enthusiastic effort she was checked by a whiff on the breeze from the windward side of her route. A few seconds later she was locked in a committed point to her front and right.
As the shooters were positioning themselves, the gunner on the left flushed a bird 3 feet behind and to the left of the pointing Gypsy. The gunner dispensed the bird while Gypsy remained staunchly convinced of the veracity of her find. The gunner on the right then produced the pointed bird who managed a weak hop of about 15 feet before landing and seeking cover. Gypsy remained steady while the shooter followed and tried to flush the bird. On the gunner’s failure to produce a flush, Gypsy was released with the consent of Judge Mark Bird and eased forward into another intense point. This time the flushed bird

eluded 2 shots and disappeared into the pines. Gypsy remained steady throughout this entire sequence. She was called to heel and the judge requested a blind retrieve attempt be made on the first bird. A shot was fired, Gypsy was released and a long, deliberate search began. During this blind retrieve and throughout this search Gypsy followed the directions and calls from her handler like a seasoned pro. Once in the area of the downed bird she quickly found her quarry and picked it up immediately, making a direct run to her pleased handler who was rewarded with a perfect retrieve to hand. Gypsy not only handled the rest of her run with style and perfection





that day, but also went on to do so on Sunday where she won 1st place again. This Epagneul Breton is unquestionably special. Ember, affectionately known by her adoptive mother, Lori Hutwagner, as “Tiger Heart,” performed up to her nickname. Ember covered ground thoroughly and swiftly in a nice quartering style not missing a bird under very warm conditions across rolling hills into a rocky creek crossing and up to what is called the Deer field where she found and handled two finds with perfection as father and son gunners Andy and Ed Roddenberry never missed and Ember loyally delivered to the hand of her handler. As we continued on the course, Ember went on to point again, but after relocating no birds were found so she continued covering the ground as she went and disappeared around a hedge row of “privet” vegetation into what the Averys call the Kudzu field. As the gallery made their way around the hedgerow with approximately 2 minutes remaining on her run, there was Ember on a staunch point 75 yards into the field. The handler and gunners could not produce the bird so Ember was instructed to couler, which she executed with decision in front of her
handler in an energetic and efficient manner, slamming to a staunchpoint when her handler stepped near the bird, flushing it for gunner, Ed to dispense. In the final seconds of her run, Ember completed her coup de grâce over the competition as she was sent and completed her third perfect retrieve to hand, earning her a well-deserved 1st place from Sunday’s Head Judge, Mark Bird.
Running on the Gun course on Sunday was the lone non-EB, Dashes Princess of Pause, a lovely Llewellyn setter owned and handled by Bradley Davidson. She covered the ground well and had a solid run, finding and holding steady on 3 birds. Unfortunately, the 4th bird was her undoing, just shy of the end of her run. We really appreciate Bradley and his Llewellyn joining us, and hope he will return and that we will get other pointing breeds to participate in future events.





“All of the dogs that ran showed strong qualities in one respect or another. The training everyone has done was evident in each dog,” stated Judge Larry Ellison. Judge Mark Dinsmore remarked that Fred Overby’s Brique’s style in the field was superior to the other dogs on the field and demonstrated the qualities of what we want in the breed. Judge Dinsmore also commented that Lambert Johnson’s Ghillie covered the grounds in an exceptional fashion on the Gun course he judged.
During the field trials there were also two new field trial judges who apprenticed and will be joining our Judges ranks. We wish to thank Billy Cannon and Bud Shipp for spending their personal time to apprentice. Additionally, we had three excellent judges for this field trial, Mark Dinsmore, Mark Bird and Larry Ellison who volunteered their time and efforts. The judging was superior and we all gave them plenty to think about as we ran into all types of scenarios to hone their skills.

Results: Saturday, January 12, 2013

Open Brace

Reserve – Eclipse De Hannahatchee owned by Jackie Hutwagner

Open Solo

Pass with Honor – Esquire Du Mas D’Pataula owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Pass with Honor – Ember De Hannahatchee owned by Tate Hutwagner
Pass – Brique De L’Ardour owned by Fred Overby
Pass – De La Ferme Sur Le Delavan owned by Clint LaFary

Gun

1st Place – Gypsy Rose of Canaan owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Pass – Aimee De Pataula owned by Dr. Cecil Whitaker
Pass – Dakota Du Cabaret de Pins owned by Wallace Huey
Pass – Delaware De La Savane Rouge owned by Gregg Beck
Pass – Ember Du Mas D’Pataula owned by Chris Kimbrell
Pass – Ghillie De L’Arbre Croche owned by Lambert Johnson
Pass – Gina De L’Ardour owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Pass – Harriett des Deux Pierres Bleues owned by Jackie Hutwagner
Pass – T. Jean-Luc du Pure Point owned by Jim and Fatmi Anders

Results: Sunday, January 13, 2013

Open Solo

1st Place – Ember De Hannahatchee owned by Tate Hutwagner
Pass – Fergus Sur le Delavan owned by Clint LaFary

Gun

1st Place – Gypsy Rose of Canaan owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Reserve – Gina De L’Ardour owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Pass – Baron Maquis De L’Escarbot owned by Jim and Fatmi Anders
Pass – F’Nat du Mas D’Pataula owned by Fred Overby
Pass – Ghillie De L’Arbre Croche owned by Lambert Johnson
Pass – Harriett des Deux Pierres Bleues owned by Jackie Hutwagner
Pass – T. Jean-Luc du Pure Point owned by Jim and Fatmi Anders
HNQ – François Ashley’s Abigail De Pure Point owned by Ashley Ambos

TAN - The following dogs received their TAN designation:

François Ashley’s Abigail De Pure Point owned by Ashley Ambos
General Getz Orage du Goodbye owned by Drew Ambos
Ghillie De L’Arbre Croche owned by Lambert Johnson
Gina De L’Ardour owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Gypsy Rose of Canaan owned by Hal and Maurine Avery
Hera de L’Etoile du Nord owned by Clint LaFary
Houdini Du Mas D’Pataula owned by Fred Overby
Scout Bordeaux owned by Brian McGee