2017 Spring Hunting Tests Wrap Up Report

April 8th and 9th, West Grounds of the Des Plaines SFWA (Event Photos)

Thank you to everyone who helped to make our Spring Hunting Tests a success. Once again, we had a great turnout of GSPCI volunteers for the weekend. We apologize if anyone was inadvertently left out of the report.

Spring arrived at the Des Plaines SFWA just in time for the GSPCI Hunting Tests Weekend. After a week of rain and cold weather, the sun came out and treated everyone to a wonderful April weekend. Set up began in earnest on Friday afternoon with Test Chairman, Sean Audy, Chuck Horvath, Field Trial Director, Dave Wolfe and Test Secretary Perry Dlugie making final adjustments to the continuous course. 

The Saturday and Sunday morning set up team of Sean Audy, Hunting Test Director, Frank Susi and Dave Wolfe were welcomed by sunshine and a crew of GSPCI members eager to help out in the field, parking lot and sign in desk. 

Saturday’s judging team was Lynne Strelow, from Markeson, Wisconsin and Brad Wise, from New Castle, Indiana. Lynne repeated again in the saddle on Sunday, and was joined by GSPCI Secretary, John Morrison

Steve Odell, as always was on the ball in managing our Avian Placement Specialists. Steve’s team for the weekend consisted of experienced APSs Ivan Bivolarov, Kevin Henthorn, Dave Dziuba and son Joe, Chris Lewis, Hans Hansen, Chris Messmacher, Dave Wolfe and Brad Haseman. Frank Susi piled the miles on his ATV handling call backs and the back end of the master/senior course. 

Club Vice President and Captain of Guns, Jacob Schatz had gunning duties well covered with his team of Avian Artillery Specialists. The weekend’s AAPs included John Morrison, Nathan Selep, Hank Freitag, Kent Harter, Andy Caron and John Offerman. Jacob’s crew did a great job for the handlers, and their extra efforts in walking the course were appreciated by everyone. 

While the dogs pounded the cover in search of birds, GSPCI’s Queen of the Parking Lot, Merri Odell pounded the blacktop in search of the next handler to send to the line. Merri does a great job in keeping everyone posted on the day’s progress and is a key contributor to keeping our tests organized. Teaming up with Merri were line marshals Steve Selep and Christine Policandroites. Steve and Christine were instrumental in helping the handlers understand the continuous course and relaxing the new handlers on the junior field side. 

Greeting the handlers, taking scores and handing out ribbons may not seem glamorous, but Obedience Director, Rich Gilloffo, Tony Mattingly and the Odell’s granddaughter Chloe found a way to turn the score desk into a hub of activity for the entire weekend. Keeping them company and helping to welcome the handlers was long time GSPCI member and raconteur extraordinaire, Paul Kosowski.

As is the GSPCI tradition, Saturday night’s cook out was well attended. Assisted by Scott Ludwig, club Treasurer and Grill Master, Al Haseman put out a heapin’ helpn’ of grilled chicken, pork chops and fixin’s that more that satisfied even the hungriest of handlers. Joining the many GSPCI members who came out to share in the fun, Specialty Director, Deb Frederiksen stopped by to update everyone on our July 16th Specialty show. The evening was capped off by the 2016 GSPCI awards presentations presided over by Frank Susi. 

Sunday’s test concluded with a flurry of activity in cleaning and packing. Sean Audy, Frank Susi, Al Haseman, Tony Mattingly and Dave Wolfe led the charge, hauling equipment in from the field and making sure everything was put in its proper place in the trailer. Along with keeping everyone entertained, Paul Kosowski stayed late on Sunday afternoon to make sure that club President, Perry Dlugie did a proper job in sweeping up the building to put an official end to the weekend. 

We sincerely thank all the handlers, volunteers and friends who stopped by to enjoy the weekend. We also thank Purina Pro Plan and Cabela’s for handler’s gifts and continued support of our club. We take great pride in putting on the best tests that we can and all of you help to make that happen. We look forward to seeing you at the fall tests on September 16th and 17th. In the meantime, be sure to check the club website at www.gspci.org for pictures from the tests and updates on upcoming events. 

Your 2017 GSPCI Spring Hunting Test Committee Members,
Sean Audy, Perry Dlugie, Jacob Schatz, Hank Freitag, Al Haseman, Frank Susi, Merri and Steve Odell, Steve Selep and Dave Wolfe