Hay Creek Kennel - May 2018 - Wrap Up Report

May 5, 2018 Hay Creek Kennel Wrap Up
East Grounds, Des Plaines SFWA

Twenty-one handlers enjoyed a beautiful spring day while learning how to better communicate with their dogs. Co-hosted by GSPCI and VCOI, our third Hay Creek Kennel Training Clinic was attended by a mix of new and experienced handlers. Hay Creek Kennel’s, Sonny Piekarz did an outstanding job addressing the needs and questions of both our brand new and repeat seminar attendees.


Sonny trains, guides and presents seminars with Rick and Ronnie Smith of Huntsmith fame. With over eighteen years of training experience, Sonny shared his understanding of the foundations of how to open our dog’s minds to learning. With our club’s training program being based on the Huntsmith method, the workshop was a great way for the handlers to learn first-hand the fundamentals of the system and tools used.

We look forward to our second workshop with Sonny on Saturday, July 21 st

2018 - Top Gun - Wrap-up report

Top Gun Competition Wrap-up Report

April 22, 2018

What do twenty minutes, four quail and a stopwatch add up to? A morning’s worth of fun for the handlers in this year’s Top Gun Competition. 

Event Photos



Congratulations to committee members, Dave Wolfe, Frank Susi and Chuck Horvath for continuing to do a great job building Top Gun into one of our club’s favorite events. Twenty-six dogs were entered between the single-handler and two-man teams. While billed as a competition, Top Gun is a fun event for dogs and handlers of all levels. We were excited to see so many new entries this year.

Top placements for the day were:

Single-handler                                              Two-man

Judged by Matthew Dlugie                        Judged by Nathan Selep

1.       Rosie – Andy Caron                             1.    Dodger – Matthew Dlugie, Perry Dlugie

2.       Tater – Brian Jungles                          2.    Dakota – Connie Susi, Frank Susi

3.       Rony – Ivan Bivolarov                         3.    Lucy – Rodger Robak, Andy Caron

We thank Al Haseman with help from buddy, Ed for grilling up lunch for everyone. Pitching in to help out with marshaling, bird planting and whatever else was needed to keep the day running smoothly were Andy Caron, Rich Gilloffo, John Dimonte, Ivan Bivolarov, Marty Kyes and Tony Mattingly.

We thank everyone for their help in making the day such a success and look forward to next year’s event.

2018 Spring Hunting Tests - Wrap Up Report

2018 Spring Hunting Tests

April 7 and 8, 2018 -  Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area

Saturday Pictures            Sunday Pictures

Being such a talented and hardworking group, many of our volunteers helped in more than one area on more than one day. We greatly appreciate all of them and sincerely apologize if anyone was inadvertently left out of the report.

First time handler with a AKC hunting test pass ribbon

First time handler with a AKC hunting test pass ribbon

Temperatures in the low twenties greeted our handlers, volunteers and judges both mornings of our 2018 spring hunting tests. Fortunately, the morning chill was followed by sunny skies for the largest number of entries in years. We thank all the handlers, volunteers and judges who helped us to run over fifty dogs each day.

Due to the large number of junior dogs entered, a second field was added. Evaluating the junior dogs were judges Bill Padovano and Hunting Test Chairman, Sean Audy on Saturday, and Bill and Paul Kosowski on Sunday. A good number of our junior dogs and handlers, including two junior handlers, were running in their first hunting tests and appreciated the guidance provided by our judges and volunteers. Keeping the handlers on schedule and in line was veteran line marshal, Steve Selep. Steve was assisted over the weekend by a full crew of Avian Placement Specialists including Hans Hansen, Adam Anderson, John DiMonte, Nate Gustafson, Sean Audy, Marty Kyes, and new member and future junior handler, Lucas Burrows.

Across the road on the Master/Senior side line marshal, Andy Caron kept everything in check and running smoothly. Judging the Master/Senior dogs on Saturday were our favorite Hoosiers, John Prikosovich and Brad Wise. John was joined on Sunday by GSPCA NC Board of Director and long-time GSPCI member, Sharon Fitzpatrick. Handling the placement of our quail for the Master/Senior braces were Ivan Bivolarov, Christian Messmacher, Bob Gerstner, Chris Lewis, and Joel Lucasey.

Carefully assembled by Hunting Test Director and Captain of Guns, Frank Susi our top-notch team of Avian Artillery Specialists for the weekend featured Volunteer Wrangler, Nathan Selep, Hank Freitag, Jacob Schatz and Dave June. Having two fields going simultaneously is quite a challenge. Fortunately, we had Dave Wolfe and Frank Susi managing the fields from set up to take down, and everything in between.

If you have handlers, you need someone to wrangle them. Getting them to the line and keeping everyone on schedule, our Handler Wranglers for the weekend were Christine Selep, Marty Kyes, Darryn Cross-Caron and Jennifer Tanner. This was the first time as wranglers for the four of them, but the large number of entries turned them into veteran pounders of the pavement in no time.

The score desk was a hub of activity throughout the weekend. Deftly avoiding doing anything resembling work, as he does every year, was Test Secretary, Perry Dlugie. Covering for Perry by checking in handlers, recording scores and handing out ribbons were Tony Mattingly, Julie Burrows, Rich Gilloffo and Kevin Henthorn.

As mentioned previously, many of our volunteers worked in more than one area over the weekend. The record for multi-tasking had to be held by club Treasurer and GSPCI Grill Master Extraordinaire, Al Haseman. Assisted by his brother, Brad, daughter Keri and Darryn Cross-Caron, Al added grilling lunch on both days to his signature event, the Saturday Night Cook Out. Helping out with dinner reservations and filling in where needed was super sales person, Scott Ludwig. The Saturday night dinner was set up complete with white table cloths thanks to Patti Nowak with help from Joe Vicari. We thank everyone who added to the festivities by bringing along a side dish or dessert to share.

Photos taken by John Singh and Kevin Henthorn can be viewed at the Photos section of the GSPCI website. Though he was in the field judging on Sunday, GSPCI’s own Mr. Hospitality, Paul Kosowski made sure that Saturday’s handlers and visitors were all warmly greeted and made to feel welcome.  

Al Haseman capped off his duties on Sunday afternoon by handling the bills and with help from Paul Kosowski, sweeping out the building to officially put an end to the weekend.

We want to thank our handlers, judges, volunteers and folks who came for dinner and to hang out. We particularly want to thank those of you who travelled from out of state and considerable distances from within the state to participate in our tests.

We also would like to thank Purina Pro Plan and their field Rep, Terry Trzcinski for their continued support for our tests by providing gifts for the handlers.


2018 - Foundations of the Field Seminar

2018 - Foundations of the Field Seminar - Wrap Up Report

On Saturday, March 3 we kicked off the 2018 training season. 

(Seminar Pictures)


This seminar was an introduction to the Foundation Level of the Huntsmith Silent Command System (www.huntsmith.com).  GSPCI President, Perry Dlugie led the workshop.  Perry has been training in the Huntsmith Mentoring Program and worked alongside pro trainers Rick Smith and Sonny Piekarz in learning the Huntsmith training system.

We started at 9:00 a.m. in the East Grounds Clubhouse with a classroom full of eager members. Perry introduced the Foundations of the Huntsmith Silent Command System, basic equipment, training concepts, testing programs and events. After a short break for lunch we went outside with our dogs and put to use the basic foundation concepts learned. Everyone had an opportunity to get some hands on time with the use of Wonder lead, Check chord  and Whoa Post drills.

GSPCI has worked with Dogs Unlimited to create a training package geared towards the Huntsmith system. If you are interested, We encourage you to order yours at - http://www.dogsunlimited.com/i/4648/gspci-training-package.htm, or search GSPCI Training Kit on their website. 

Additional Upcoming Training Opportunities

GSPCI Foundations of Field Training sessions are scheduled for April 21, May 26, June 16 & June 24. Watch the GSPCI website events section for updates and more information.

John Singh (GSPCI - Obedience Director)

Fall Hunting Test - 2017

2017 Fall Hunting Tests Wrap Up Report - September 16 & 17

(Hunting Test Pictures)


Thank you to everyone who helped to make our Fall Hunting Tests a success. We are fortunate to be able to continue to have such a great turnout of GSPCI volunteers for the weekend. We apologize if anyone was inadvertently left out of the report.

After a relatively mild summer and a cool week, the weekend saw temperatures hovering in the low eighties. The hard work of Des Plaines SFWA staff paid off and the fields were groomed and in great shape. Saturday morning found the Chuck Horvath designed field ready to go, along with tubs filled to the brim with cool water, thanks to test chairman Sean Audy and committee members, Dave Wolfe and Frank Susi.  

Saturday’s judging team of Joel Petersen of Kenosha, WI and Rick Torres from Burlington, WI were in the saddle and ready to go right on time. The guys did a great job giving the dogs and handlers a chance to qualify while battling the heat. Sunday’s judging team of local stalwarts, Joe Delaney of Minooka, IL and GSPCI’s own Paul Kosowski of Lockport, IL put the dogs to the test with similar results as the day before.

Taking the reins as Volunteer Wrangler, Nathan Selep did a great job recruiting and scheduling our volunteers. Nathan is the latest in the long line of Selep Family volunteers. Dad, Steve is a staple at the line, greeting handlers and sharing bits of advice on the course. Older looking younger brother, Andy couldn’t make it for this test, but his gunning skills have knocked many a quail from the sky. And of course, holding everyone together with her smile and enthusiasm is mom, Christine.

Another GSPCI hunting test family is the Odells. Mom, Mary, also known as the Queen of the Parking Lot, keeps everyone updated and to the line on time. Her friendly personality is as much a part of our tests as the GSPCI banner on the fence. Dad, Steve prides himself in his skills as an Avian Placement Specialist and granddaughter Chloe helps in the parking lot and behind the control desk as needed. Assisting as marshals were Andy Caron and Chuck Graack.

Filling out our expert team of Avian Placement Specialists for the weekend were Frank Susi, Dave Wolfe, Ivan Bivolarov, Dennis Sibley, Chris Lewis, Christian Messmacher and Matthew Neill. Our APS are the heart and soul of our tests, taking pride with each quail lovingly placed for the dogs to find them.

Hunting Test Director and Captain of Guns, Frank Susi had gunning duties well covered with his team of Avian Artillery Specialists. The weekend’s AAPs featured John Morrison, Nathan Selep, Hank Freitag and Dave June. Frank’s crew did a great job for the handlers, and their extra efforts in the heat were appreciated by everyone.

While the dogs pounded the cover in search of birds, Hunting Test Secretary, Perry Dlugie, ably assisted by Justin Erserski, did his best to look busy and keep out of the way of everyone who were doing all the work. Covering his duties at the control desk were Tony Mattingly, Mike Moskal, Scott Ludwig and Chloe. Keeping them company and helping to welcome the handlers on Saturday was long time GSPCI member and teller of tall tales, Paul Kosowski.

As is the GSPCI tradition, Saturday night’s cook out was well attended. Assisted by Scott Ludwig, Patti Nowak and Alice Graack, club Treasurer and Grill Master, Al Haseman and brother, Brad put out a heapin’ helpn’ of steak, grilled chicken, pork chops and fixin’s that more that satisfied even the hungriest of handlers. The evening was made even more special as we shared in the celebration of Patti Nowak’s birthday. Thank you to everyone who contributed with side dishes and desserts.

Sunday’s test concluded with a flurry of activity in cleaning and packing. Sean Audy, Frank Susi, Al Haseman, 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. With his judging duties completed, Paul Kosowski stayed late on Sunday afternoon to make sure that GSPCI club President, Perry Dlugie did a proper job in sweeping out 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 thank all of you for helping to make that happen. We look forward to seeing you at the spring tests on April 7th and 8th, 2018 . In the meantime, be sure to check the website for webmaster, John Singh’s pictures from the tests and updates on upcoming events. (Hunting Test Pictures)

Your 2017 GSPCI Fall Hunting Test Committee Members

Sean Audy, Perry Dlugie, Frank Susi, Jacob Schatz, Hank Freitag, Al Haseman,  Merri and Steve Odell, Steve Selep and Dave Wolfe

Hay Creek Kennel - Seminar with Sonny Piekarz (August 26)


Click for pictures

On Saturday, August 26th a follow up Hay Creek Kennel Seminar, with Sonny Piekarz was held on the East Grounds of the Des Plaines SFWA. Joined by his wife, Shannon, the seminar was once again very well received by all. After a quick review Sonny took the group to the field along with one of his nearly finished dogs. Demonstrating the cooperation, style and handling that Sonny’s training can lead to wetted everyone’s appetite for the rest of the day.

This being the second seminar for most of the handlers, we were able to spend more hands-on time with our dogs in the yard and in the field. A delicious lunch was once again prepared by Dennis Nowak with the assistance of wife, Patti and Alice Graack. Thank you to all the handlers who contributed to the meal by bringing along a side dish. Before the end of the day’s question and answer session the group was asked if they would be interested in spending a few days mentoring with Sonny up at his kennel in Gilman Wisconsin. A resounding YES, will lead to a road trip sometime next spring or summer. Thank you again to Sonny and Shannon and everyone who helped out on the 26th. For more information on Hay Creek Kennel see Sonny’s website at www.haycreekkennel.com, or www.facebook.com/HayCreekKennel.

XI Annual Dog Days of Summer Field Training

Our eleventh annual Dog Days of Summer Field Training sessions were once again well attended. Several current members were joined by 10 first year GSPCI handlers.

A huge thank you goes out to our volunteers who helped with instruction and gunning: Paul Kosowski, Chuck Horvath, Andy Caron, Dennis Nowak, Nathan Selep, Christine Policandriotes, Dennis Sibley,  Hank Frietag, John Offerman and Perry Dlugie

2017 Top Gun Competition Wrap Up Report

Great weather, great participation and great volunteers made for another great GSPCI event. With a sunny afternoon, high of nearly 70 degrees we couldn’t have asked for a nicer spring day for the 20 teams and over 30 participants including volunteers. With half of the entrants participating for the first time, the Top Gun Competition is on its way to becoming GSPCI’s most popular field event. Everyone had a great time with the format and while this was a competitive format, no one let that get in the way of having a fun time in the field.

2016 GSPCI Awards winners

See 2016 Award Winners

GSPCI members with dogs who, in the previous year, have earned a title or award from a nationally recognized association (for example AKC, UKC, NAVHDA, NSTRA, IABCA and many more) are eligible to receive a GSPCI Award Plaque. Award candidates must have been a member in good standing in the prior year, titles must be earned during that prior year, and the member must be a paid member for the current year to be eligible to receive Club Awards.