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Event: Mason-Dixon GSP Club 2008 Spring Hunt Test
Dates: 03/15/2008 - 03/16/2008

Some shots from this all-breed pointing dog hunt test, held along the Potomac River, in Maryland.
The judges and a handler from the day's first brace walk into the bird field behind a master dog.
 
The judges and a handler from the day's first brace walk into the bird field behind a master dog. Image ID: 18-001000

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While her gunner eyes a disruptive flock of blackbirds stirred up by a sunny break in the clouds, a handler (with prop gun) cautions her dog to remain steady.
 
While her gunner eyes a disruptive flock of blackbirds stirred up by a sunny break in the clouds, a handler (with prop gun) cautions her dog to remain steady. Image ID: 18-001020

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A handler and the gunning team (dog, just visible on point to the left) decide how to address a bird.
 
A handler and the gunning team (dog, just visible on point to the left) decide how to address a bird. Image ID: 18-001030

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Handlers and gunners chat on their way out of the field after the judges call time's-up.
 
Handlers and gunners chat on their way out of the field after the judges call time's-up. Image ID: 18-001040

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If you've ever been to the McKee-Beshers preserve in the week following any rain, you'll know why the test officials are glad to have horses when they cut between fields.
 
If you've ever been to the McKee-Beshers preserve in the week following <i>any</i> rain, you'll know why the test officials are glad to have horses when they cut between fields. Image ID: 18-001050

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A shorthair watches the bird field from the gallery.
 
A shorthair watches the bird field from the gallery. Image ID: 18-001060

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This level of concentration (on bird 100 yards away) is just a hint of what's to come in the heat of the test.
 
This level of concentration (on bird 100 yards away) is just a hint of what's to come in the heat of the test. Image ID: 18-001070

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Serious. So very serious.
 
Serious. So very serious. Image ID: 18-001080

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A judge looks back over his shoulder as a brace of dogs works their way through the bird field's sorghum cover.
 
A judge looks back over his shoulder as a brace of dogs works their way through the bird field's sorghum cover. Image ID: 18-001090

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A handler directs a gunner into position.
 
A handler directs a gunner into position. Image ID: 18-001100

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A German Wirehair on retrieve tap-dances past his Weimaraner bracemate.
 
A German Wirehair on retrieve tap-dances past his Weimaraner bracemate. Image ID: 18-001110

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Just off the field, this Weim's being checked by his handler to make sure that a minor scrape near her eye isn't an emergency.
 
Just off the field, this Weim's being checked by his handler to make sure that a minor scrape near her eye isn't an emergency. Image ID: 18-001120

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This handler's watching the brace of dogs working the bird field. Her two dogs are fixated on the box of quail at the gunner's station.
 
This handler's watching the brace of dogs working the bird field. Her two dogs are fixated on the box of quail at the gunner's station. Image ID: 18-001130

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Focused on the bird box, indeed.
 
Focused on the bird box, indeed. Image ID: 18-001140

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A wirehair stops in his tracks while honoring another dog on point.
 
A wirehair stops in his tracks while honoring another dog on point. Image ID: 18-001150

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Pointer on retrieve.
 
Pointer on retrieve. Image ID: 18-001160

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To hand!
 
To hand! Image ID: 18-001170

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Pointer, leaving the field with her prize.
 
Pointer, leaving the field with her prize. Image ID: 18-001180

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The last brace's scores in hand, the judges ride back to the breakaway to meet the next team of handlers.
 
The last brace's scores in hand, the judges ride back to the breakaway to meet the next team of handlers. Image ID: 18-001190

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Never, ever spoil your bird dog. In this case, she's just being lifted up so as to get a better bit of scent from the bird field. You know, because it's, uh, windy, and whatnot.
 
Never, ever spoil your bird dog. In this case, she's just being lifted up so as to get a better bit of scent from the bird field. You know, because it's, uh, windy, and whatnot. Image ID: 18-001200

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As a handler kicks around in the cover for the bird his Vizsla is pointing, the mounted judge moves in for a better look.
 
As a handler kicks around in the cover for the bird his Vizsla is pointing, the mounted judge moves in for a better look. Image ID: 18-001210

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The judge watches carefully, the gunner makes ready, and the handler is kicking cover to flush a bird.
 
The judge watches carefully, the gunner makes ready, and the handler is kicking cover to flush a bird. Image ID: 18-001220

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A gunner lines up on a quail flushing from his right. Note the mounted judge, watching the other dog, to the left.
 
A gunner lines up on a quail flushing from his right. Note the mounted judge, watching the other dog, to the left. Image ID: 18-001230

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And he does the most important thing a hunt test gunner ever does: he chooses to pull the shot. The judges (who really appreciate not being shot) will make sure the dog gets another try for a retrieve.
 
And he does the most important thing a hunt test gunner ever does: he chooses to pull the shot. The judges (who really appreciate not being shot) will make sure the dog gets another try for a retrieve. Image ID: 18-001240

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Walking back from the bird field after dispensing quail from the bird bucket.
 
Walking back from the bird field after dispensing quail from the bird bucket. Image ID: 18-001250

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A field events rep from the AKC will sometimes make an appearance at hunt tests, ensuring safe conduct of the event, and providing event officials a chance to learn about rule changes and to get guidance on handler and administrative issues.
 
A field events rep from the AKC will sometimes make an appearance at hunt tests, ensuring safe conduct of the event, and providing event officials a chance to learn about rule changes and to get guidance on handler and administrative issues. Image ID: 18-001260

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Pointer profile.
 
Pointer profile. Image ID: 18-001270

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Pointer profile, II
 
Pointer profile, II Image ID: 18-001280

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The decorative arts.
 
The decorative arts. Image ID: 18-001290

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One of the gunning squad heads into the senior bird field with a bag of quail to plant.
 
UplandLife.com Image ID: 18-001300

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The test Marshal's horse eyes the gallery area between runs to plant birds on the back course.
 
The test Marshal's horse eyes the gallery area between runs to plant birds on the back course. Image ID: 18-001310

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A handler approaches his pointing Vizsla, barely visible in the cover, as his gunner waits for events to unfold.
 
A handler approaches his pointing Vizsla, barely visible in the cover, as his gunner waits for events to unfold. Image ID: 18-001320

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But the quail flushes straight for the gallery, so the gunner holds his shot.
 
But the quail flushes straight for the gallery, so the gunner holds his shot. Image ID: 18-001330

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See, blondes do have more fun - they spend cold, windy weekend mornings watching bird dogs work.
 
See, blondes <i>do</i> have more fun - they spend cold, windy weekend mornings watching bird dogs work. Image ID: 18-001340

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Spinone Italiano
 
Spinone Italiano Image ID: 18-001350

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A young GSP gets a nose full of recently retrieved quail from the bird field. The sights and sounds of a hunt test can broaden a pup's horizons.
 
A young GSP gets a nose full of recently retrieved quail from the bird field. The sights and sounds of a hunt test can broaden a pup's horizons. Image ID: 18-001360

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Give! Good boy.
 
Give! Good boy. Image ID: 18-001370

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One more time. Good boy.
 
One more time. Good boy. Image ID: 18-001380

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Nope, not a chew toy.
 
Nope, not a chew toy. Image ID: 18-001390

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A senior brace, warm in the sun, come around the last bend in the back course, and enter the bird field.
 
A senior brace, warm in the sun, come around the last bend in the back course, and enter the bird field. Image ID: 18-001400

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Hard-charging, younger dogs are always easy to spot.
 
Hard-charging, younger dogs are always easy to spot. Image ID: 18-001410

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Oops. Well, back to some stop-to-flush training.
 
Oops. Well, back to some stop-to-flush training. Image ID: 18-001420

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Solid Liver shorthair.
 
Solid Liver shorthair. Image ID: 18-001430

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Field events can be a great melting pot. A great chance for green dogs to see their counterparts from other breeds and to get more comfortable, socially.
 
Field events can be a great melting pot. A great chance for green dogs to see their counterparts from other breeds and to get more comfortable, socially. Image ID: 18-001440

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And, they're a chance to get re-acquainted with cousins.
 
And, they're a chance to get re-acquainted with cousins. Image ID: 18-001450

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Over in the Junior Test area, we're treated to the less common sight of a judge on mule-back.
 
Over in the Junior Test area, we're treated to the less common sight of a judge on mule-back. Image ID: 18-001460

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Ready when you are.
 
Ready when you are. Image ID: 18-001470

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Handler, Weimaraner, and Chukar partridge leave the bird field.
 
Handler, Weimaraner, and Chukar partridge leave the bird field. Image ID: 18-001480

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A shorthair shows admirable staunchness - he's on point well down the field, and has a bit of a wait for his handler.
 
A shorthair shows admirable staunchness - he's on point well down the field, and has a bit of a wait for his handler. Image ID: 18-001490

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While handler and steady dog watch, a gunner lines up on a flushing chukar.
 
While handler and steady dog watch, a gunner lines up on a flushing chukar. Image ID: 18-001500

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Dogs passing or not, it's always encouraging to see two handlers come out of the field smiling and chatting.
 
Dogs passing or not, it's always encouraging to see two handlers come out of the field smiling and chatting. Image ID: 18-001510

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Finally, the sun stays long enough for those on the gunning and bird planting team to get out of the treeline shadows and warm up a bit between braces.
 
Finally, the sun stays long enough for those on the gunning and bird planting team to get out of the treeline shadows and warm up a bit between braces. Image ID: 18-001520

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Good idea.
 
Good idea. Image ID: 18-001530

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A Weim ploughs through the cover.
 
A Weim ploughs through the cover. Image ID: 18-001540

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And another, head-high to the wind, comes in from the back course.
 
And another, head-high to the wind, comes in from the back course. Image ID: 18-001550

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Bookends?
 
Bookends? Image ID: 18-001560

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A handler and his Spinone thank the judges at the end of their run.
 
A handler and his Spinone thank the judges at the end of their run. Image ID: 18-001570

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Backing.
 
Backing. Image ID: 18-001580

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Still backing, and pointing steadily. Both shorthairs are staunch enough to not mind a photographer stomping around near the bird.
 
Still backing, and pointing steadily. Both shorthairs are staunch enough to not mind a photographer stomping around near the bird. Image ID: 18-001590

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Very patient, these two. Incidentally, they're littermates.
 
Very patient, these two. Incidentally, they're littermates. Image ID: 18-001600

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A hen quail goes for a ride.
 
A hen quail goes for a ride. Image ID: 18-001610

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Quite a ride, in fact.
 
Quite a ride, in fact. Image ID: 18-001620

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And the ride ends with an intact (if somewhat slobbered on) quail gently placed in the handler's hand. The bracemate is allowed a quick inspection.
 
And the ride ends with an intact (if somewhat slobbered on) quail gently placed in the handler's hand.  The bracemate is allowed a quick inspection. Image ID: 18-001630

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A successful day.
 
A successful day. Image ID: 18-001640

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