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Event: Conestoga Vizsla Club 2008 Spring Hunt Test
Date: 04/05/2008

A lovely April morning for an all-breed hunt test at Strawberry Hill Farm outside Thurmont, Maryland.
Some milling around the horse barn and chatting as folks get ready.
 
Some milling around the horse barn and chatting as folks get ready. Image ID: 20-001000

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Judges, Marshal, Bird Planters - they've all got things to talk about before the first brace gets under way.
 
Judges, Marshal, Bird Planters - they've all got things to talk about before the first brace gets under way. Image ID: 20-001010

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On any farm where thousands of game birds are released, the local fox population tends to jump much too high. But controlling them doesn't mean wasting pefectly good pelts . . . And here, some are drying in the barn.
 
On any farm where thousands of game birds are released, the local fox population tends to jump much too high. But controlling them doesn't mean wasting pefectly good pelts . . .  And here, some are drying in the barn. Image ID: 20-001020

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It's a nice chance to check out the farm's classic old structures, and get to know some classic new friends.
 
It's a nice chance to check out the farm's classic old structures, and get to know some classic new friends. Image ID: 20-001030

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Saddling up.
 
Saddling up. Image ID: 20-001040

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Vizla Xing, indeed. Strawberry Hill is home to many.
 
Vizla Xing, indeed. Strawberry Hill is home to many. Image ID: 20-001050

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The marshal accompanies two handlers down to the breakaway area, where the judges will meet them.
 
The marshal accompanies two handlers down to the breakaway area, where the judges will meet them. Image ID: 20-001060

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A Shorthair in the first brace has some time to kill before the judges arrive, and he's looking out over the back course. Yeah, maybe he can smell the birds from here.
 
A Shorthair in the first brace has some time to kill before the judges arrive, and he's looking out over the back course. Yeah, maybe he <i>can</i> smell the birds from here. Image ID: 20-001070

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How do you get this sort of focus from the dog? Take your camera, and get in between the dog and the birds.
 
How do you get this sort of focus from the dog? Take your camera, and get in between the dog and the birds. Image ID: 20-001080

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A quick word between handlers, the marshal, a judge, and the AKC rep visiting the event.
 
A quick word between handlers, the marshal, a judge, and the AKC rep visiting the event. Image ID: 20-001090

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A Pointer is locked up on a chukar, and waits as gunners move into place.
 
A Pointer is locked up on a chukar, and waits as gunners move into place. Image ID: 20-001100

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And the pointer's bracemate is swinging around the other side of the bird field, on his own hunt.
 
And the pointer's bracemate is swinging around the other side of the bird field, on his own hunt. Image ID: 20-001110

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While their dogs are working, the brace's two handlers stroll into the bird field. These are master-level dogs, and can be trusted to be patient. Handlers carry prop guns, as well as blank pistols for use over birds flushing on the back course.
 
While their dogs are working, the brace's two handlers stroll into the bird field. These are master-level dogs, and can be trusted to be patient. Handlers carry prop guns, as well as blank pistols for use over birds flushing on the back course. Image ID: 20-001120

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Her staunch dog staying on point, this handler and a gunner give the dog some room, and walk around to prepare for the flush and retrieve.
 
Her staunch dog staying on point, this handler and a gunner give the dog some room, and walk around to prepare for the flush and retrieve. Image ID: 20-001130

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On the brace's second bird, the shorthair's handler has just kicked up the partridge in front of his watching dog. The gunners take aim as the handler raises his non-functioning prop gun. That's part of the test - to make sure your dog is steady, even as you swing your own gun.
 
On the brace's second bird, the shorthair's handler has just kicked up the partridge in front of his watching dog. The gunners take aim as the handler raises his non-functioning prop gun. That's part of the test - to make sure your dog is steady, even as you swing your own gun. Image ID: 20-001140

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Fairly close quarters, on this one. The pointer is patient as the team flushes and hits the bird.
 
Fairly close quarters, on this one. The pointer is patient as the team flushes and hits the bird. Image ID: 20-001150

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It's a busy brace. Working another bird, the GSP's handler marches in for the flush while the Pointer honors.
 
It's a busy brace. Working another bird, the GSP's handler marches in for the flush while the Pointer honors. Image ID: 20-001160

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Honoring the other dog includes watching patiently as the other dog runs right past with a bird on a retrieve.
 
Honoring the other dog includes watching patiently as the other dog runs right past with a bird on a retrieve. Image ID: 20-001170

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Bringing the bird on home.
 
Bringing the bird on home. Image ID: 20-001180

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Coming up off of the back course, the judges (one on a radio to let the marshal know they're entering the bird field) accompany a handler.
 
Coming up off of the back course, the judges (one on a radio to let the marshal know they're entering the bird field) accompany a handler. Image ID: 20-001190

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The back course is way down yonder, through the trees. Another brace works its way towards the bird field.
 
The back course is <i>way</i> down yonder, through the trees. Another brace works its way towards the bird field. Image ID: 20-001200

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Jim and the Weim he's handling head down the slope into the bird field.
 
Jim and the Weim he's handling head down the slope into the bird field. Image ID: 20-001210

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In a senior test, judges will allow a handler to collar a dog once it has acknowledged another dog on point.
 
In a senior test, judges will allow a handler to collar a dog once it has acknowledged another dog on point. Image ID: 20-001220

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As a judge and gunner watch, the handler works out in front of the pointing Weim to kick up the bird.
 
As a judge and gunner watch, the handler works out in front of the pointing Weim to kick up the bird. Image ID: 20-001230

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Rats. The chukar has just flushed right over the dog's head, between the gunner, and right at the mounted judges. No safe shot. . .
 
Rats. The chukar has just flushed right over the dog's head, between the gunner, and right at the mounted judges. No safe shot. . . Image ID: 20-001240

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. . . and the judge nearest the going-away bird naturally lowers her head, but the gunners have long since decided to pull the shot.
 
. . . and the judge nearest the going-away bird naturally lowers her head, but the gunners have long since decided to pull the shot. Image ID: 20-001250

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If there are too many unproductive flushes out of the bird field, the judges may call for another bird to be planted. A sporting bystander jog the bird bag out from the gallery.
 
If there are too many unproductive flushes out of the bird field, the judges may call for another bird to be planted. A sporting bystander jog the bird bag out from the gallery. Image ID: 20-001260

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A steadying 'whoa' from Jim as the gunner neatly drops a partridge for the retrieve.
 
A steadying 'whoa' from Jim as the gunner neatly drops a partridge for the retrieve. Image ID: 20-001270

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Off of the testing grounds, in an idle agility enclosure, a couple of Vizslas get some romp time.
 
Off of the testing grounds, in an idle agility enclosure, a couple of Vizslas get some romp time. Image ID: 20-001280

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Agility smagility. This is off-duty time, and the poles are just scenery.
 
Agility smagility. This is off-duty time, and the poles are just scenery. Image ID: 20-001290

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Just some high-speed goof-off time.
 
Just some high-speed goof-off time. Image ID: 20-001300

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Strolling the grounds.
 
Strolling the grounds. Image ID: 20-001310

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Vizsla and handler cresting the hill, and headed into the bird field on the Senior course.
 
Vizsla and handler cresting the hill, and headed into the bird field on the Senior course. Image ID: 20-001320

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A German Wirehair bounds into the bird zone.
 
A German Wirehair bounds into the bird zone. Image ID: 20-001330

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Doesn't skip a beat, even with a hot tongue, and follows the scent wafting up from the piney area downhill, where earlier birds were worked.
 
Doesn't skip a beat, even with a hot tongue, and follows the scent wafting up from the piney area downhill, where earlier birds were worked. Image ID: 20-001340

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A chukar goes up in front of a Vizsla, and breaks for the barn.
 
A chukar goes up in front of a Vizsla, and breaks for the barn. Image ID: 20-001350

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A quiet caution for high-pressure, up-close point.
 
A quiet caution for high-pressure, up-close point. Image ID: 20-001360

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Gunner One. He's an over/under man.
 
Gunner One. He's an over/under man. Image ID: 20-001370

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Gunner Two. He's a side-by-side man.
 
Gunner Two. He's a side-by-side man. Image ID: 20-001380

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Two judges, riding in, and discussing what they've seen on the back course.
 
Two judges, riding in, and discussing what they've seen on the back course. Image ID: 20-001390

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It's getting warm out, but scenting is still possible for Canon, a shorthair who's charging into the bird field after a clean run through the back course.
 
It's getting warm out, but scenting is still possible for Canon, a shorthair who's charging into the bird field after a clean run through the back course. Image ID: 20-001400

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The handlers walk in behind.
 
The handlers walk in behind. Image ID: 20-001410

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Working at comfortable gun range. But in a senior test, handlers do not need to carry a prop gun - only a blank pistol.
 
Working at comfortable gun range. But in a senior test, handlers do not need to carry a prop gun - only a blank pistol. Image ID: 20-001420

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A looping drive-by. But they're each working . . .
 
A looping drive-by. But they're each working . . . Image ID: 20-001430

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. . . their own way.
 
. . . their own way. Image ID: 20-001440

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That-a-way.
 
That-a-way. Image ID: 20-001450

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It's a virtual vortex of Vizslas.
 
It's a virtual vortex of Vizslas. Image ID: 20-001460

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Waiting up at the farm's office is a box of the AKC's recognition for those pointing dogs that exhibit what the judges are looking for.
 
Waiting up at the farm's office is a box of the AKC's recognition for those pointing dogs that exhibit what the judges are looking for. Image ID: 20-001470

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Speaking of which - a nice haul for this handler.
 
UplandLife.com Image ID: 20-001480

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And a nice job by this lovely solid-liver shorthair girl, too.
 
And a nice job by this lovely solid-liver shorthair girl, too. Image ID: 20-001490

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