What is NSTRA?

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What is NSTRA?

Post by MTO4Life » Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:53 pm

This may be a silly question, but I checked out the NSTRA site, and isn't it much like field trials? Or are trials judged to a more strict criteria (I've seen both criteria, but have only been to one FT so far, and never to a NSTRA one).

Why would people look down on NSTRA? I'm lost as to what the difference is as I don't know, so maybe someone could shed some light on this?? Thanks.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:27 am

I have split this from the Buddy thread. This has in the past, over it seems 100 times, been a lightening rod issue. I will be extremely tight on this thread. Factual answers only, please.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:41 am

NSTRA is a different format of field trialing from AF which is different from AKC (and, I guess, CKC) which is different from Bird Dog Challenge, etc.

In NSTRA, while there are subjective criterion, there are objective as well. They all tally together to form a score.

Basically, 5 birds are put down in a bird field and a brace is released. The competitors have 30 minutes to work the maximum number of birds. High score at the end of the day wins.

My experience has been that it is highly competitive. The trials in the area I was in before moving here, at least, were always full. The national trials will have 192 dogs in them. Every one of those handlers will be trying like the very devil to beat everyone else.

Got to run to the daughter's cross country meet. Will return later...

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by snips » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:25 am

I guess people look down on them because the dogs do not have to be broke SWS, but steady to the flush. And they are run in fields instead of along a course. Dogs are still scored on good work, style on point, retrieves, ground coverage, ect. It is a fun avenue to take with your dog if you enjoy a good days competition and enjoying your dog.
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by RayGubernat » Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:20 am

The NSTRA format is baisically birds in a field with defined borders(out of bounds) and the scoring leans heavily on finding and retrieving of birds(which also implies that the handler has to actually shoot the birds). The dog with the most finds almost always comes out ahead of the dog with fewer finds(if the handler can shoot straight).

The traditional field trial format is a course which the handlers follow and on which the dogs hunt forward and to the sides. There is no "scoring" per se, just the overall opinion of the judges.

Both formats are "brace" formats, dogs running two by two.

The NSTRA format bears much closer resemblance to a preserve hunt format than an AKC or AF trial.

FWIW, several years ago, when NSTRA results were reported in and recognized by the American Field, I compiled the results for an entire year and compared the winning percentages of the four major breeds(pointer, setter, brittany, GSP). I found that for two separate years, the four breeds placed in NSTRA trials in the approximate percentage that they were entered.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by MTO4Life » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:43 am

Greg Jennings wrote:I have split this from the Buddy thread. This has in the past, over it seems 100 times, been a lightening rod issue. I will be extremely tight on this thread. Factual answers only, please.
Sorry Greg... I didn't know that this had been an issue before. I was just curious what it was. Thanks for filling me in on it!!!

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by gar-dog » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:27 pm

How do most people reconcile the fact that a champion field trial dog is not proven/judged as to the retrieve. I am under the impression there are "finished gun dogs" that have never had a bird in their mouths. Am I wrong? (I have no perspective here, only asking from a newbie standpoint.)

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:43 pm

In the AKC, some breed clubs require retrieving points for the AFC and FC. Some do not.

I like dogs to retrieve, but on the other hand, the callbacks for retrieve are a pain in the glutes and very unrealistic.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:29 pm

Im sorry I guess I dont understand your question. What is unrealistic about them?

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by RayGubernat » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:54 pm

Gary -

I think you will have opinions all over the lot on this one.

Mine is this...AF/AFTCA and AKC trial requirements for pointers do not require a retrieve as part of the standard. The role of recovering downed birds was traditionally the province of a retrieving dog that was kept in reserve until after the pointers and setters had done their jobs and were off searching for more birds for the shooters. So, for trials, since it is not required, I do not train or encourage my dogs to retrieve. It is tough enough to get them where they need to be and keep them there without adding the retrieve when it is not a requirement. End of story.

Now, in forty some years of dealing with pointers who, as a breed, have never been required to demonstrate retrieving capabilities in trials, I can say this...I have never had a dog that would not retrieve an upland bird naturally. Some were better at it than others, but all would find a downed bird and bring it. Labs and other retrieving breeds are in no danger of being replaced by pointing breed dogs, if mine are any example, but, in the uplands my pointers did hunt dead and find the downed birds and bring them.

I have to assume that the desire and ability to retrieve must be somehow linked to some of the other qualities that are present in pointing dogs and evaluated at trials, since over a hundred years of not being evaluated would tend to see that unused trait disappear. It is also possible, that since most hunters need and want their pointing dogs to retrieve downed upland game, that need and that ability was always considered by those who bred for the hunter.

As far as training a dog is concerned, I have been told by several respected pro trainers that when a dog is bored with the whole training thing, allowing such a dog to retrieve often has the effect of rekindling the dog's interest in delivering top quality birdwork.

In light of that information, I will not allow my dogs to retrieve until such time as they are no longer competing or until that is the last tactic I can use to get the dog excited about the birdwork.

RayG

BTW -

I have seen a few AKC callback for the "required" retrieve in retrieving stakes. As far as a true test of the dog, I have to say the callback left something to be desired and I do question its value somewhat. I would much rather see a bird shot on course and the retrieve done "on course", but I recognize that is just not really practical to do it that way.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:23 pm

Which brings in the difference in trials. NSTRA requires retrieving and is a large part of the score. NSTRA format caters more to the hunter who hunts his dogs on foot throughout the season. It is more realistic to what is expected of a good bird dog by the hunter. There is something of a trade off between the two formats. NSTRA requires a dog only to be steady only to flush but requires a dog to retrieve, and do so well. While the other requires no retrieve but requires the dog to be steady to wing and shot. Neither is better, they are both just different and it is a matter of personal preference. NSTRA gets snobbed because there is a larger circuit for the AA trials and the like and there is more money there so that is where the pro's compete. The fact is they are very different formats requiring very different things. An AA dog may not do well in NSTRA format and a NSTRA dog may not do well in an AA format.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Richard *UT* » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:40 am

An AA dog would blow through a NSTRA field in 3 min. I have hopes to train my dogs for NSTRA trials and part of the score is obedience and keeping the dog on the field. More like Gun Gogs, in that, run is still highly valued but bird work, backing and retrieve are king with most points for bird work. Come on out and watch a trial and see what works for you.
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:05 am

Guys, please keep this factual and leave the opinions for seed or this thread will turn into a fur ball in short order.

Ray, a few of the trials do shoot the first bird on course. Also, I wasn't aware that the tradition of no retrieve in AF came from there being a retrieving dog along to retrieve the birds. Interesting.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:28 am

Pretty sure I did but if I missed something please let me know. I love NSTRA and love talking about it but want to make sure i got my stuff straight.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:57 am

Greg -

I was always given to understand that the traditional field trail was modeled after the "traditional" southern plantation birdhunt which was hunter/handlers following the pointing dogs, at first on foot, but then on horseback. The pointing dogs found a covey and pointed. The hunters came up, flushed and shot. The dogs were collared and taken on, released to find the next covey. The helper with the retrieving dog then came in and cleaned up the shot birds.

In the pictures of the era, you will occasionally see a mule drawn wagon, with the retriever sitting up there with the wagon driver. The hunters woud stop their horses if they were riding, go to the wagon for their guns, load and go to the point.

As I said previously, the NSTRA format does seem to much more closely mirror the typical preserve bird hunt that is the type of upland sport most available to upland hunters today.

I won't so far as to say that the different formats "require" different dogs. The training and the focus to excel at each venue would obviously be different.

RayG

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:58 am

You have some facts wrong and there are opinons in the post.

Example of incorrect fact: AKC field trialing often requires a retrieve; sometimes even on the course.

Example of an opinion: "It is more realistic to what is expected of a good bird dog by the hunter." This varies by what each hunter wants of his dogs, the species of bird, the terrain, etc. It's not uniform at all. It can't be "proven". Thus, it's pretty much an opinion.

NSTRA is a different format. No more, no less.

BTW, I would also question your assertion that the AA circuit is "bigger" than NSTRA. I've NEVER, EVER heard of a AF horseback stake of any kind, much less AA that had 192 dogs. It seems that EVERY national NSTRA trial fills up with that magic number.

More money? Now, that's something to discuss.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:10 am

RayGubernat wrote:Greg -

I was always given to understand that the traditional field trail was modeled after the "traditional" southern plantation birdhunt which was hunter/handlers following the pointing dogs, at first on foot, but then on horseback. The pointing dogs found a covey and pointed. The hunters came up, flushed and shot. The dogs were collared and taken on, released to find the next covey. The helper with the retrieving dog then came in and cleaned up the shot birds.

In the pictures of the era, you will occasionally see a mule drawn wagon, with the retriever sitting up there with the wagon driver. The hunters woud stop their horses if they were riding, go to the wagon for their guns, load and go to the point.

As I said previously, the NSTRA format does seem to much more closely mirror the typical preserve bird hunt that is the type of upland sport most available to upland hunters today.

I won't so far as to say that the different formats "require" different dogs. The training and the focus to excel at each venue would obviously be different.

RayG
Interesting Ray. I grew up in the South, of course, but it could hardly be called "plantation". I'll have to look at the pictures. I'd rather mindlessly assumed that the pointer/retriever combination that I sometimes see was a modern invention.

As to the dogs, I think any careful examination will show quite a few crossover of dogs and lines between AKC/AF field trials and NSTRA. My own dog's sire, Fritz, is one example.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by DGFavor » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:11 am

NSTRA format caters more to the hunter who hunts his dogs on foot throughout the season. It is more realistic to what is expected of a good bird dog by the hunter.
Facts:
Native birds that hunters really hunt are not dropped off of a 4 wheeler and training dogs to track a four wheeler will be of no help in the real world.

Most hunters will not shoot birds, native or preserve, on the ground.

Missed shots out hunting don't put birds in the bag - it'd be the rare, rare, rare occurance to have a bird dog run down, kill and bring back missed birds.

Most hunters rely on the dog to find and point the birds for them, not vice versa.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:56 am

I disagree with everything except about the dog running down a missed bird. Some dogs in NSTRA track 4 wheelers but most do not because if those dogs are running in any brace but the first the four wheeler will have run through that field so much it would be a vain attempt to try and track them. Not sure I understand dogs being dropped off a four wheeler either. In the NSTRA trials I have seen the dog never touches a four wheeler. Shooting birds on the ground in NSTRA is clearly against the rules and if you do so you will likely be disqualified from the competition. I dont know about you but my nose is not good enough to help my dog find birds. I still rely on my dog to find the birds. I also hunt my dogs on wild birds as well so I am not really sure what you are driving at or what the point of those inaccuate statements were but they were in fact based not little truth concerning the matter regarding the NSTRA format.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by kninebirddog » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:05 am

NSTRA AKC AF NAVDHA etc

trial for the are just that a format that appeals to a person to have extra fun with their dogs...we try and come close as we can or as the birds allow..none of them are perfect they ALL have their faults BUT SO WHAT

I enjoy my dogs I have fun with my dogs

I enjoy watching others at their formats ENJOY what they do...

None are better none are worse..I may not care for one way but hey I don't have to run it..but there are MANY who are having a great time at it....That right there is the Bottom dollar on it....Is the Handler getting out having fun with the dogs

if it is Yes then guess what I is a great thing for them

I have said this before and I will say it again...I apologize when i refered to another format as lessor then what I enjoy ...that is arrogance at its best..it is what drives people aprat and that is the worst thing for us ALL...we need to stcik together and encourage all the venues out there whether we chose to run them or not...as that is what this country is about FREEDOM OF CHOICE and FREEDOM OF CHOICE means we ahve CHOICES out there to do what we as an individual ENJOY to do :wink:

PS edited to add
Birds unfortunately with permission of a judge can be shot on the ground but ..that is when the birds are poor flyers and are running BUT they Can not be shot on the ground with out the permission...I have seen the same poor flyers cause AKC and AF dogs get picked up with they only run and not fly or only fly about 5 feet causing a breech of manners
Last edited by kninebirddog on Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:08 am

Greg Jennings wrote:You have some facts wrong and there are opinons in the post.

Example of incorrect fact: AKC field trialing often requires a retrieve; sometimes even on the course.

Example of an opinion: "It is more realistic to what is expected of a good bird dog by the hunter." This varies by what each hunter wants of his dogs, the species of bird, the terrain, etc. It's not uniform at all. It can't be "proven". Thus, it's pretty much an opinion.

NSTRA is a different format. No more, no less.

BTW, I would also question your assertion that the AA circuit is "bigger" than NSTRA. I've NEVER, EVER heard of a AF horseback stake of any kind, much less AA that had 192 dogs. It seems that EVERY national NSTRA trial fills up with that magic number.

More money? Now, that's something to discuss.
What I meant by my statement of being more realistic to what the average hunter expects I was speaking about foot hunters. Since the average hunter does not hunt their dog on horseback or fourwheeler, and does not want their dog making 1 mile casts, the distances run by a good dog in NSTRA seem to be the distance preferred by upland hunters here in this region of the country. It also somewhat emmulates a preserve hunt as well. There is a field that must be stayed within but not a course so to speak. The whole game is find the bird, point it, handler shoots it and dog retrieves. All of which gets scored on how good each element is with the individual dog and bird. I dont want my dog running straight lines in a course. I want them hunting and covering ground out front a good distance but back and forth. It seems to me that is how the average foot hunter in these regions prefer their dogs to hunt. I wasnt speaking about terrain or anything else. Just the format under which the dogs are scored and run.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:10 am

kninebirddog wrote:NSTRA AKC AF NAVDHA etc

trial for the are just that a format that appeals to a person to have extra fun with their dogs...we try and come close as we can or as the birds allow..none of them are perfect they ALL have their faults BUT SO WHAT

I enjoy my dogs I have fun with my dogs

I enjoy watching others at their formats ENJOY what they do...

None are better none are worse..I may not care for one way but hey I don't have to run it..but there are MANY who are having a great time at it....That right there is the Bottom dollar on it....Is the Handler getting out having fun with the dogs

if it is Yes then guess what I is a great thing for them

I have said this before and I will say it again...I apologize when i refered to another format as lessor then what I enjoy ...that is arrogance at its best..it is what drives people aprat and that is the worst thing for us ALL...we need to stcik together and encourage all the venues out there whether we chose to run them or not...as that is what this country is about FREEDOM OF CHOICE and FREEDOM OF CHOICE means we ahve CHOICES out there to do what we as an individual ENJOY to do :wink:

PS edited to add
Birds unfortunately with permission of a judge can be shot on the ground but ..that is when the birds are poor flyers and are running BUT they Can not be shot on the ground with out the permission...I have seen the same poor flyers cause AKC and AF dogs get picked up with they only run and not fly or only fly about 5 feet causing a breech of manners
Great post Knine. I agree completely. I am not saying NSTRA is better or not. I say run the format that you enjoy. I enjoy NSTRA because to me it seems to emmulate what is expected of a truly good bird dog.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:54 am

I appreciate everyone trying their best to keep this thread straight.

As an aside, I've been told by AKC judges to blank birds on the ground in FT when they wouldn't get up and I've also had AKC hunt test judges tell gunners to shoot birds on the ground that refused repeated flushing attempts.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:13 pm

romeo212000 wrote: What I meant by my statement of being more realistic to what the average hunter expects I was speaking about foot hunters. Since the average hunter does not hunt their dog on horseback or fourwheeler, and does not want their dog making 1 mile casts, the distances run by a good dog in NSTRA seem to be the distance preferred by upland hunters here in this region of the country. It also somewhat emmulates a preserve hunt as well. There is a field that must be stayed within but not a course so to speak. The whole game is find the bird, point it, handler shoots it and dog retrieves. All of which gets scored on how good each element is with the individual dog and bird. I dont want my dog running straight lines in a course. I want them hunting and covering ground out front a good distance but back and forth. It seems to me that is how the average foot hunter in these regions prefer their dogs to hunt. I wasnt speaking about terrain or anything else. Just the format under which the dogs are scored and run.
Be aware that while it might be your experience and thus your opinion, that's definitely not the way we hunted where I grew up. On the grounds we hunted, the dogs had to hunt the edges, heads, etc. I.e., objectives. So, while a birdfield might be "more" realistic to you it is totally alien to my experience until recently. OTOH, it is akin to a lot of the cover we hunted in ND last fall, except for the short cover, that is.

Then there is the discussion (Doug Favor talked about it) about the AF wild bird trials. So, how do you address that NSTRA trials are "more realistic" than the AF wild bird trials when NSTRA is on planted pen birds and the wild bird trials are on wild birds in native habitat. And, btw, a lot of those guys hunt off horseback?

You might also look into some of the other AF formats that you aren't thinking about. US Complete, NBHA, etc. A fellow was promoting another one here recently. Those have far different rules than the more common AF trials. They are a lot like NSTRA, but are run on a course.

I'm not knocking NSTRA. While I don't do NSTRA, I do have friends that do and I do enjoy going to NSTRA trials and helping.

The bottom line is that people are far safer in saying "I enjoy <insert your format here>" and leaving off generalizations.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:47 pm

Point taken.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by gunner » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:22 pm

A picture of the 3 bird fields taken at a NSTRA Championship from the viewing stands at Amo, IN. Birds are thrown down in the tall fescue. No course or objectives.
Image

Championship brace running one of the bird fields.
Image

Typical cover of the two 3 hour courses at the American Field's National Bird Dog Championship at the Ames Plantation, Grand Junction TN. Contested on wild quail, woodcock and early season liberated bobs.
Image

The big runners must handle to the cover and terrain for their 3 hour brace.
Image

The dogs are finished to being steady to wing and shot.
Image


THE AMESIAN STANDARD for American Field's The National Championship

The dog under consideration must have and display great bird sense.

He must show perfect work on both coveys and singles.

He must quickly determine between foot and body scent.

He must use his brain eyes and nose to the fullest advantage and hunt the likely places on the course.

He must posses speed, range, style, character, courage and stamina, and good manners, always.

He must hunt the birds and not the handler hunt the dog. No line or path runner is acceptable.

He must be well broken, and the better his manners the more clearly he proves his sound training.

Should he loose a little in class, as expressed in extreme speed and range he can make up for this, under fair judgment, in a single piece of superior bird work, or in sustained demonstration of general behavior.

He must be bold, snappy and spirited. His range must be to the front or to either side, but never behind.

He must be regularly and habitually pleasingly
governable (tractable) and must keep uppermost in his mind the finding and pointing of birds for his handler.

Clarke Venable Nov. 20 1895
National Field Trial Champions…. William F Brown

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Ruffshooter » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:31 pm

A few things I like about NSTRA.
1) Dog vs Dog VS the group.
2) Man & Gun vs Man & gun vs the Group.
3) NSTRA Trials can be run on 50 acres min sometimes less. So it can be done most anywhere in the country.
4) You need to have a good handling dog.
5) Your dog needs to retrieve to hand or one step.
6) Your dog is scored on each find and the complete manner in which your dog ran.
7) There is less opinion involved, in the deciding factor of who wins.
8) I have run a few akc foot hunting trials (open and ameture)and found them a bit less exciting.
9) I have no horse.

To me it is another venue to do something when not hunting. That goes for all the other venues including hunt tests. So I am working on doing more in all venues available to me.

I like it all.
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:33 pm

Ruffshooter wrote:I like it all.
I think that sums it up best... :D

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Neil Mace » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:34 pm

Some facts:

NSTRA is run in a 40 acre field for 30 minutes, rarely are there objectives, but open fields.

Birds pointed out of bounds do not count.

Most birds are weak, poor flying and planted as singles.

All dogs of any breed will retrieve.

American Field has mostly been a wild bird or recently, early released bird format, and they took the retreive out in the 20's for the reasons Ray mentioned and when they decided to not take away the resources. Many American Field trials are run on 6,000+ acres.

All field trials are games, there are just different ways to play them. Any champion of any venue is a nice dog. None of the field trials I know have much to do with wild bird hunting, but American Field comes the closest. As said NSTRA is like preserve hunting, if a small preserve.

They all are good ways to play with our dogs.

Neil

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by BarkRidge » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:45 pm

Neil Mace wrote:
They all are good ways to play with our dogs.

Neil
That is the bottom line.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:28 pm

Neil Mace wrote:


All dogs of any breed will retrieve.



Neil
Not true. Just ask the guys who have missed a placement because their dog did not want to get a mouth full of feathers in the 80 degree heat, because they did not feel force fetch was necessary. Or some did retrieve it was a less than stellar retrieve and the dog was therefore knocked enough points to keep them out of placement.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:34 pm

Neil Mace wrote:Some facts:

NSTRA is run in a 40 acre field for 30 minutes, rarely are there objectives, but open fields. Yep, that's a fact.
Birds pointed out of bounds do not count.

Most birds are weak, poor flying That's an opinion that you can't statistically back up and planted as singles.

All dogs of any breed will retrieve. That's an opinion that you can't reasonably support..

American Field has mostly been a wild bird or recently, early released bird format, and they took the retreive out in the 20's for the reasons Ray mentioned and when they decided to not take away the resources. Many American Field trials are run on 6,000+ acres.

All field trials are games, there are just different ways to play them. Any champion of any venue is a nice dog. None of the field trials I know have much to do with wild bird hunting, but American Field comes the closest. Another opinion.. As said NSTRA is like preserve hunting, if a small preserve.

They all are good ways to play with our dogs.

Neil

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Greg Jennings » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:37 pm

Greg Jennings wrote:
Neil Mace wrote:Some facts:

NSTRA is run in a 40 acre field for 30 minutes, rarely are there objectives, but open fields. Yep, that's a fact.
Birds pointed out of bounds do not count.

Most birds are weak, poor flying That's an opinion that you can't statistically back up and planted as singles.

All dogs of any breed will retrieve. That's an opinion that you can't reasonably support..

American Field has mostly been a wild bird or recently, early released bird format, and they took the retreive out in the 20's for the reasons Ray mentioned and when they decided to not take away the resources. Many American Field trials are run on 6,000+ acres.

All field trials are games, there are just different ways to play them. Any champion of any venue is a nice dog. None of the field trials I know have much to do with wild bird hunting, but American Field comes the closest. Another opinion.. As said NSTRA is like preserve hunting, if a small preserve.

They all are good ways to play with our dogs.

Neil
All, please keep it to facts. I don't want to start deleting or editing posts.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:42 pm

Are we allowed to preface a statement with "It is my opinion"...?

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by kninebirddog » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:15 pm

No sense in splitting hairs

it is all about what we enjoy

I wish I could handle riding horses more...a few braces of riding hurts me more then walking 8 - 1/2 - 1 hour braces

it comes down to one likes coke someone else likes pepsi or another likes RC cola another likes Dr pepper some like regular and others like diet :wink:

personal preferences is just that Personal
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:46 pm

Really who likes RC Cola?

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by kninebirddog » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:52 pm

romeo212000 wrote:Really who likes RC Cola?
hey if you mix some Jim beam black with it ,makes it taste real good
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
"When I hear somebody talk about a horse or cow being stupid, I figure its a sure sign that the animal has outfoxed them." Tom Dorrance
If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall, try using the door.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:54 pm

I will have to try that. Better than Jack and Coke or Crown and Coke?

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by kninebirddog » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:10 pm

Hmmm

maybe I better have some side by side testing to make sure

Beam black, crown, old wellers, Wild turkey 101, jack

coke pepsi and Rc

hmm no matter how you slice and split that hair bet the feeling will be the same the next morning :lol: :( :lol: come on hair of the dog
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by PntrRookie » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:20 pm

I think the question of what is NSTRA has been answered and there are a few good opinions about many venues. I have successfully competed in NSTRA and could continue if I choose to. I have also decided to run AF and slowly get my feet wet there. As I look at the three pages of posts I think Ray stated it best...
RayGubernat wrote:...The training and the focus to excel at each venue would obviously be different. RayG
We all can play the games we like and the level of training a dog takes to compete at different venues differs for each.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by highcotton » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:34 pm

I wouldn't say level of training required. I would say type of training required.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Razor » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:01 pm

kninebirddog wrote:
romeo212000 wrote:Really who likes RC Cola?
hey if you mix some Jim beam black with it ,makes it taste real good
Best post I have ever seen!!!!!!!

Neil Mace

Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Neil Mace » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:14 pm

It is true, some of my post were not facts but my personal observations, to correct my previoius statements:

Nearly all of the 1,000+ NSTRA birds I have seen were poor flyers and were planted as singles.

I have only trained 300 or so dogs and hunted and trained with another 1,000, all would retrieve. I have never seen a dog of any breed that could not be trained to retrieve.

In nearly 50 years of hunting, I have never and I have never heard of anyone that would hunt wild birds in a 40 acre field for 30 minutes, not even woodcock. And it is a fact that many of the NSTRA fields are smaller than 40 acres.

Didn't mean to suggest that I have seen every NSTRA bird, every dog, and every hunter, but I do have a reasonable sample.

Still think NSTRA has great dogs, I enjoy watching them,

Neil

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by gar-dog » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:18 pm

kninebirddog wrote:
romeo212000 wrote:Really who likes RC Cola?
hey if you mix some Jim beam black with it ,makes it taste real good
NO OPINIONS!!!!!!!!!

Did you hear about the new rule? We have to PM Greg in advance with any post for approval. Hey, it's like China! I like chinese food, it is great.... oops, there an opinion, my bad.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:30 pm

Yes the birds are poor fliers. That is what happens when you use pen raised birds. Yes the braces are only 30 minutes admittedly. But when you have 16 braces to run in a day 30 minutes is all you can get in. I was not suggesting NSTRA was %100 true to actual hunting, just that the manner in which the dogs are judged and expected to work closely resembles what is expected of a good foot hunting dog in my experiences. The dog is allowed to run and hunt pretty freely. It is not restrained to a specific course. Part of a dog being good at any trial game is learning how to play the game. The dog learns how to seek out places that the bird planters might normally plant birds. Usually that requires a dog to learn how to reach out and hunt objectives, and how to use the wind to its advantage. No matter how good a dog is naturally, it will rarely do especially well when first brought into any trial format including NSTRA, because the dog has to learn how to play the game. Just like a new handler has to learn how to play the game.

If you think NSTRA trials are always run in cut fields you obviously havent been going to the same trials I have. Yes some are. But there are also many that exactly resemble wild bird habitat, and that is when you really get to see how good a dog is at hunting wild bird terrain. Also as far as I know birds are always planted in singles. Makes sense when a dog is scored for each individual find. I am not here to say NSTRA is the best or only way to go. It is my personal preference and the one I enjoy. Others have their merits and I may well get involved in others at a later date.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by snips » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:32 pm

The walking hunting I have done much more resembles a NSTRA trial (whether birds be singles or coveys, had some coveys in NSTRA too) than any trial I have run off horses.
brenda

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by romeo212000 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:40 pm

Neil Mace wrote:I have only trained 300 or so dogs and hunted and trained with another 1,000, all would retrieve. I have never seen a dog of any breed that could not be trained to retrieve.



Neil
For the most part I agree with you. But if retrieving is such a given why not make it an intricate part of every trial format? If it is something every dog should be able to do well without question, then making it part of every trial format should not be an issue. Ah, but perhaps its not. One trial requires steady to wing and shot with little if any emphasis on retrieving. The other requires a dog only to be steady to flush but requires a good retrieve otherwise almost half of the score from the find is lost. There must be a reason for the difference. All it comes down to is your preference as to which trial format you prefer. Each place an emphasis on different parts of dog work.

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:46 pm

In nearly 50 years of hunting, I have never and I have never heard of anyone that would hunt wild birds in a 40 acre field for 30 minutes, not even woodcock. And it is a fact that many of the NSTRA fields are smaller than 40 acres.
Neil, You will never be able to say that again. There are many times over the years we have hunted for a couple of hours or more in a 40 acre field with good cover. Have spent half a day hunting eighty acres and have had 20 points or more many times in Iowa.

I do pretty much agree with the dogs that retrieve though. There are many ways to teach a dog to retrieve that have been used for a hundred years or more. Over the 50 years or so I have had Brits I am yet to own one that wouldn't retrieve.

All of the games we play are just that and as long as there are people there will be new games thought up and played without a single one of them being better than the rest. Variety is the spice of life and allows more interest from more people.

Ezzy
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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by Neil Mace » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:58 am

Testing a dog for retrieving is like testing a PhD canidate for the alphabet, if they can all do something, there is just no need to test it. American Field figured out years ago that they had more use for a live quail than a dead one.

However, there is a very real need to test for tracking and hunting dead, NAVHDA comes the closest here.

Ezzy,

If you are spending hours in a 40 acre field, you either hunt with a really large party or you are all poor shots. If you can't hit 50% on pheasants, you need to spend more time at the clays range. You really spend 1/2 a day in 80 acres getting 3 pheasants?

I have yet to see this heavily covered NSTRA field, if there were one, after 32 dogs and hunters, with judges and bird planters on 4-wheelers tromped through it, it would be beat down. I have been to Amo, and my backyard has more cover between mowings.

All field trials produce good dogs, but all are games and artifical, none are wild bird hunting, for me, the ones that are run on wild birds come the closest. The purpose of field trials is to improve the breed, I don't know of any horseback guys that look to NSTRA for pups, I can tell you for a fact, most of the top NSTRA dogs come from horseback stock. The NSTRA guys I have talked with know way more about All-Age bloodlines than I do.

NSTRA has some really nice dogs, dogs any hunter would be proud to own.


Neil

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Re: What is NSTRA?

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:27 am

Neil Mace wrote: I have only trained 300 or so dogs and hunted and trained with another 1,000, all would retrieve. I have never seen a dog of any breed that could not be trained to retrieve.
While I trained professionally, I saw dogs of EVERY breed that would not retrieve a bird, no matter the amount of force used. That includes labs as well as pointing dogs. If a dog doesn't like retrieving, there is no way in this world you are going to force that dog to dig out a tough bird. It's impossible. They'll blink the bird first. So I find it rather odd that in 1300 dogs you haven't seen one that wouldn't retrieve. Strange.

Of the two attributes, I think for a hunter, the retrieve is more important than the point. You'll recover move downed birds with a good retrieving dog weak in pointing, than a good pointing dog weak in retrieving.

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