Amite River Hunting Retriever Club

    "Conserve Game - Hunt with a Trained Retriever"

Hall of Fame

To qualify for the Club Hall of Fame, a dog has to have to achieved: Grand Hunting Retriever Champion title or FC/AFC title or 1000 HRC points

 

GRHRCH ABIGAILS'S CRUSADING GRACE,MH Owner - Chad Diamond Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH UH ALICE AND DAKOTA'S ELVIS, MH Mark Evans - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH BASIC'S CAJUN ROUX, MH Owner - Ryan Engquist Handler - Steve Riggins

GRHRCH BEAU'S LAST BLACK MAGIC, MH Ron Anderson - Owner and Handler

FC AFC BRIER LAKE'S SOUTHERN COMFORT Mark Sehon - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH CENAC'S HOT AND SPICEY GUMBO, MH Owner - Louis Cenac Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH CLUBMED'S SMOKIN DEL RIENZI, MH Owner - Kieth Clement Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH DAKOTA'S PRIDE BLACK BUCK II, MH Owner - Bob McCall Handler - Chuck/Bob McCall

GRHRCH DAVID'S MALLARD MACHINE, MH Owner - David Olinde Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH DAVY OF SWEETBRIAR, MH Owner - Bob Kennon Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH EBAS BIG BOSS MAN, MH Ron Anderson - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH HAZ-MAT BUDDY BEAR Owner - John Contois Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH HUTCH’S TOUCH OF DAKOTA GOLD, MH Chuck McCall - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH KATIE’S LITTLE TEX, MH Owner - Jeff Esnard Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH KB KATHERINE OF STAR HILL Owner - Kevin Bearden Handlers - K.Bearden/BillMorgan

GRHRCH LEAN LITTLE LUCY Owner - Mark Struve Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH LOST N FOUND IN A TEXAS TOWN, MH Owner - Louis Dunigan Handler - Ron Anderson

GRHRCH RIPARIAN’S RACE LIKE THE WIND, MH Mark Lanier - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH RON’S MADDIE GIRL, MH Ron Anderson - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH ROUX’S CAJUN DRAKE, MH Owner - Kent Delcambre Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH ROUX’S SPECIAL CHIVAS Owner - Rourke Feerick Handler - Chuck McCall

GRHRCH THUNDER’S GUMBO MAYA Kevin Norman - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH VEDGE’S LIL KATIE, MH Dennis Weber - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH WOODSWITCH’S BAYOU BOOMER Owner - Justin Williams Handler - Steve Riggins

ACTIONS'S BOOGIE MAN  Owner - Lee Bellue Handler - Ken Johnson

ANIMAGUS MARIE Owner - Donald Finger Handler - Barry Lyons

CANDLEWOOD'S ICEMAN Scott Arceneaux - Owner and Handler

DAKOTA'S COMEBACK SUSIE Bill Morgan - Owner and Handler

HARLEYS MAGIC BEAR John Contois - Owner and Handler

JENNI'S BAYOU BLAZE Owner - Joe Garrett Handler - Bill Morgan

LAKE'S FAST BAMIN EBONSTAR Owner - Charles Mitchell Handler - Scott Arceneaux,

SHAMBO'S PISTOL PETE CHAVEZ Owner - Gerald Geisler Handler - Dale Johnson

SIR HUCKLEBERRY OF BAINS Bill Morgan - Owner and Handler

GRHRCH UH ELVIS'S CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK Mark Evans - Owner and Handler

STORIES

GRHRCH+1000 Hutch's Touch Of Dakota Gold MH

 

Owner: Chuck & Susan McCall

Chuck McCall on his dog Dakota.

The first hunt test I attended was in february of 1994 to watch my dad's dog, HR Bob-n-Gayle's Hustlin' Hutch, run his first finished test. When I saw the work that these dogs were capable of doing, I was hooked. I knew the puppy that would be born that same week would be competing in these tests. Later that month I received my first HRC magazine with write-ups of Grand Hunting Retriever Champions, and right then I set my goal with that five and a half week old pup. A Grand Hunting Retriever Champion. Only now, looking back over the past six years, did I realize how far-fetched that goal was.

We took Dakota home at just over five weeks of age. From the day we brought him home, he loved to retrieve. We started with a sock in the hallway, and he retrieved his first dead dove at six weeks. I was obsessed with this pup and was more determined than ever to reach my goal. We passed our Started tests at six months, and we met some wonderful people along the way. Everyone in this tremendous organization of ours was always more than willing to help with any problem we may have come across.

After we got our HR, I was concerned that we may have problems in the Finished category. You see, Dakota did not really understand what a stop whistle meant. We made it through Seasoned by lining blinds and steeping on marks. Unfortunately, I knew I would need a lot more control to make it to the next level. I purchased an electronic collar and read everything I could and asked questions because I was afraid of ruining what was already an excellent dog. After Dakota passed his first Finished test, I spoke with Barry Lyons and he mentioned a seminar he would be doing later that summer. I learned more in one weekend with Barry and Becky than I had learned in all the books I had read put together.

Dakota and I were back to basics. After two months of going all the way back to force fetch, pile work, the double T, pattern blinds, marks, marks and more marks, we were ready. We passed eight straight Finished tests. It was a thrill to know that I had total control of this marking machine that went to my side, Finished test after Finished test.

After going back to Barry and Becky's advanced seminar, I knew we were ready for the Grand. At our first Grand we went out in the third series, but I was more convinced then ever that we would reach our goal. After a grueling month of pre-Grand training in the heat of June with John Contois and his dog Bear, I was extremely confident as we made the trip north to Canada for the spring Grand. John and Bear came back with their Grand Title, and while we didn't pass, I was again convinced I had the dog to compete with the best.

My pre-Grand training for the Fall Grand was just as grueling, but a little cooler. Andy Simon and I trained hard, and finally, the hard work paid off. Dakota got his first Grand pass at Rend Lake in fall 1998. We left Illinois on cloud nine, but I knew the next Grand pass would not be an easy one.

Three disappointing Grands followed. I was beginning to wonder if we would get that elusive second pass. Preparing for the 2000 Fall Grand at Rend Lake, I decided to try something a little different. I knew I had the dog that was capable of doing the work. My mission was to make sure he peaked at the right time. We eliminated all drill work for a month prior to the Grand. Dakota had always been an excellent handling dog, and I knew he would handle for me. I had to make sure his marking was sharp in order to achieve our goal.

After a handle on the middle mark in the first series, Dakota was absolutely flawless the rest of the way. He ran a perfect second and third series quad, and his blind work was excellent as usual. In the fifth series, Dakota was in hot pursuit of a running chukar. When it finally flushed, and he sat to the flush, I knew we had reached our goal.

A grand Hunting Retriever Champion has never been achieved by one person alone. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to my local club, Amite River, and all the wonderful people of HRC. There are three people that I owe a special thank you.

Scott Arceneaux was there anytime I needed training equipment. He let me borrow his wingers, his dog box, his training grounds, and his advice. He also allowed me to run his fine dog, HRCH Drake, providing me with the all-important experience at the line that you need at the Grand level.

Ron Anderson has been my main training partner for the past two years. We think alike and believe in the same training philosophy. He also allowed me to handle his fine dog, HRCH Ron's Maddie Girl, to her first Grand pass. See you in Texas, Ron, as you go for her title.

My Dad, Bob McCall, has been my number one support person. It was his dog, Hutch, that got me started in this game. Before we had dogs he was my best friend. Now that we have gone overboard with these dogs, we remain best friends; and there is no way Dakota and I could have achieved what we have without his support, encouragement and help.

This journey to the Grand with that five and a half week old pup of long ago has been filled with wonderful memories, and I am honored that Dakota allowed me along for the ride.

by: Chuck McCall

GRHRCH Alice And Dakota's Elvis, MH

Mark Evans on his dog Elvis

“All I want is a hunting dog.”

These words were the answer I gave to Chuck McCall when he asked me what I planned to do with the puppy I was buying from him. I had been referred to Chuck by a mutual friend when I decided I was too old and fat and out of shape to sludge through the mud and muck at the mouth of the Mississippi river when retrieving my ducks. We agreed on a price and Chuck asked me if I wanted him to go with me to pick out the puppy. I asked him if he would pick it out as he was the pro trainer and I had never picked out a puppy in my life. He said he would and I went to get the dog when my wife and I got back from vacation one week later. I’ll never forget Chuck opening the door with the puppy cradled in his arms. Talk about love at first sight!!! Chuck asked me what plans I had for training the dog and I told him I was going to train him myself as I had read Water Dog and knew what to do. (Ha, ha, ha!!!) He told me if I ever had any questions about training, feel free to give him a call. I’m sure he regrets saying that more than anything he’s ever said. Needless to say, I called him quite frequently. I’d take Elvis out to his house once a month and see what Chuck had to say about his progress. Every time, he’d say he was doing fine, just keep up what we were doing. Elvis was five months old when the duck season opened in 2003. I’d take him with me and my hunting partner and leave him at the camp when we left to hunt at daylight. After the morning hunt, we’d come back in and eat breakfast then go back out and bring Elvis along. I’d hold him while my partner shot the birds. It did not take me long to see that I had a special dog. I told my wife that it was not fair for me to train the dog and she agreed to send him to Chuck for a few months. Chuck forced him and got him through the T drills and when I picked him up, invited me to train with him and his group anytime I wanted. I took him up on his offer and began training with the “Big Anderson” training group. As Elvis progressed in his training, all of the members kept telling me I ought to enter him in hunt tests. I’d never contemplated it and did not take their advice. The next duck season arrived and Elvis was great. We hunted in the marsh and in flooded timber in North Louisiana. The duck season ended and I thought, “Now what can we do?” You guessed it. I entered the Lake Charles hunt test. We ran seasoned and he promptly broke on the walk up both days! Being a former high school coach, I was not about to quit after failing. We corrected his breaking behavior and he promptly passed four straight seasoned tests for his HR title and moved on to finished. I failed him three straight times with my handling errors, then we passed four straight tests for our HRCH title and set our sights on the Grand. Coincidentally, our club hosted the next Grand. I told Chuck I knew Elvis was ready to run the Grand and then asked him if he thought I was ready to handle him in a Grand. His reply was, “You’ll never know until you try it.” So we entered and fortunately passed it. On the way to the ribbon ceremony, Chuck commented, “Now we know.” I did not realize what he was talking about and asked him what he meant. He said, “Now we know you are ready for the Grand.” Talk about an emotional high! From there, we set our sights on getting the Grand Hunting Retriever Champion title. The guys in our training group had titled thirteen Grand Champions at that time. I asked Chuck if any of them had passed their first two Grands, and was told that none of them had. So, that became the goal- to be the first dog in the Big Anderson training group to pass its first two Grands. We went to Stillmore, GA that fall and went into the fourth series needing to run clean as we had handled on a mark in the second series. Coincidentally, Kevin Bearden, one of our club members, was one of the judges at that series. He came back to the holding blind and asked me if I had any questions and I told him I didn’t. We picked up the marks clean and all we had left was a 137 yd blind to run. Elvis ran about a hundred yards straight at the blind pole then slid off to the right a little. I stopped him, gave him a “left angle,” and he promptly ran as if I had given him a left “back.” I stopped him and gave him a left “over” and he took it about two strides and turned “back” again. I stopped him and gave him another “over,” which he took and picked up the bird. I knew we would not be the first dog in our training group to pass our first two grands. We got ones from each judge and did not get called back to the fifth series. We went out on the second series in the next Grand, again due to handler error and then out on points again in the fourth in Michigan. By the time the Georgia Grand rolled around, my wife had retired and told me she wanted to go with us to Georgia- that she was going to bring us good luck. Boy, did she. We passed and, finally, got that ever elusive Grand Hunting Retriever title.

No one can achieve a Grand title by themselves. It takes an unbelievable amount of help. I’d like to thank the members of the Big Anderson training group who helped me so many times: Ron Anderson, Jason Moore, Bob McCall, Scott Arceneaux, Mike Chamberlain, the late John Pritchett, and Dennis Weber. Also, Jay Rabalais, Chuck Dowling, and Nalton Thompson- guys that live close to me and trained with Elvis and me from time to time. There is absolutely no way that I can thank Chuck McCall enough for all he has done for Elvis and me. He has ALWAYS taken the time to answer any questions and explain his answers to me. I had no idea how “technical” training a dog can be. Chuck has helped me to understand why we do what we do, if that makes any sense. Finally, I want to thank my beautiful bride, Lea, for allowing Elvis and me the time and money that it has taken to achieve the absolute ultimate in hunt tests, the GRAND HUNTING RETRIEVER CHAMPION title. We were gone many hours and spent many dollars training and testing. Elvis and I appreciate it and we both love you more than anything in the world.

 

GRHRCH Beau's Last Black Magic MH

 

Owners: Ronnie & Vivian Anderson

Trainer: Ron Anderson

Writer: Scott Arceneaux at the request of the owners


We have all read Grand articles, but the story line of this one reads out like a Paul Harvey's commentary. Ronnie and Vivian Anderson are the prototypical farm family. They live on property passed down from generation to generation. Mr. Ronnie a rancher and horseman all of his life and Vivian school teacher of over 30 years. They live in a white farmhouse with a white picket fence were they raised their two children.

Their involvement into the retriever game came as an accident. Like all good parents, when their son Ron wanted a dog to hunt over they obliged. After answering an ad in the local paper. They bought Ron, Maddie (GRHRCH Ron's Maddie Girl MH). Ron, a college student at the time raised Maddie in his apartment and hunted her every chance he got. It is when Ron got involved in the HRC program it seems things took off. Ron, Participated with Maddie but, realized he wanted a dog bred for competition. Once again, Mr. Ronnie and Mrs. Vivian stepped in. They searched for the best possible breeding and what they found exceeded everyone's expectations. Purchasing Ron a black Male puppy that was FC sired out of HRCH MH dam. That breeding produced HRCH Ron's Super Black Sambeau. Beau was like no other dog we had had in our group. We were struggling to pass test but, here was this young dog just blowing up everything we put in front of him, there was no blind or mark he could not do and he was barely a year old. As things seem to go in the retriever game success comes with hard work, a good dog and good training grounds. Which Ron had a corner on the market.

Time passed pretty quick and before we knew it all the dogs in our group had earned their titles. Beau and Maddie now were both Champions. The next logical thing for the Anderson's to do was bred the pair. Why not, they both exhibited the traits that could make great dogs. Maddie's temperament and brains, Beau with his desire, trainability and his pedigree it could be a no mlss breeding.

In May 99'', Maddie whelped their litter. Mrs. Vivian being the nurse mother to all the animals on their farm raised this litter. It was she who picked Magic, for Mr. Ronnie, who wanted a dog of his own to hunt over and that Ron could train and compete with. During this time, we all started to have that Grand dream, could it be possible? So, the training and preparation started for the Fall Grand. The summer and fall training went good. Our group had grown by leaps and bounds. We all had new retrievers modeled after the template Mr. Ronnie and Mrs. Vivian had lain out with Beau. But, the world seemed to crash in October of that year. Ron and Chuck Traveled to Rend Lake to try to capture Chucks Second pass, and Ron's first at the Grand. The first Morning Ron awakened to find his young champion had passed away in the night. Beau's death devastated the whole Anderson household. Ron then had to focus his time energy into Maddie and Magic. Maddie later became a Grand champion passing an unbelievable 6 grand's. But magic, much like her sire, was always above the mark she ran with style and enthusiasm. Her, Ron and Mr. Ronnie were on a mission to finish what Beau never had the opportunity to do, become a grand champion. She blow through her seasoned and finished level test not failing a test and passing 14 straight finish test. After a few tries at the grand things looked bleak for Magic.

Ron, with the encouragement of his parents, continued and everything seemed to come together in the fall grand in Louisiana. Magic came through with her first grand pass. Ron unable to participate in the spring grand in Memphis saw her make another exit. Not deterred, knowing she could do the work they traveled to Anderson, South Carolina. What a more fitting place to complete this journey. Everything seemed to be in the cards for the Anderson's. Ron had all four of his dogs in the fifth when the dust finally settled he stood proud with his newest grand champion GRHRCH Beau's Last Black Magic SH. Magic is the third Grand Champion for the Anderson's and the fourth trained by Ron. Magic had finally completed a chapter that no other dog could have done. Mr. Ronnie and Mrs. Vivian would like to say thank you to the big Anderson training group for all of their hours in developing all of their dogs. A special thanks to Chuck McCall for handling Magic in Ron's absence. And To Ron the amount of pride any parent feels when they see any of their children succeed is hard to describe." We are so proud of you" Though no thank you should ever be received from them. You are always greeted with a warm smile from Mrs. Vivian and a firm handshake from Mr. Ronnie. It is because of their generosity. That not only have they contributed to Ron's success but, every ones who has ever trained on their farm. We all enjoy the success, which they have made possible. They have contributed to 8 grand Champions, 24 grand passes, and over 25 Hunting retriever Champions. Now you know the rest of the story.

GRHRCH Ron's Maddie Girl MH

 

Owner: Ron Anderson

Ron Anderson on his dog Maddie

I’ll never forget that day in 1994 when I went on a duck hunt in Gibson, Louisiana. I was out hunting with a friend who had a Hunting Retriever Champion lab named Smoke. I was amazed to see Smoke stop on a whistle and take hand signals to retrieve a duck he had not seen fall. Although I had hunted with retrievers before, I had never seen an owner have that much control over a dog. After the hunt, my curiosity led me to question Smoke’s owner, Cleban Trahan, about the training of this remarkable dog. That cold night in January 1994, I was convinced i wanted to own and train my own retriever. The next week i spotted an ad for Lab puppies in the classifieds of the local newspaper. Following up on the ad I immediately went to check out the litter. I fell in love with the larger of the two black females that had not been sold. At the time i was a full time student at Louisiana State University with limited funds, so i turned to my parents for a little help. They agreed to at least see the pup that I had my eye on. After seeing the puppy, my parents agreed to pay the $150 and Maddie came home with me that day. Maddie’s first four months were spent beer huggies and socks in my one bedroom apartment. During this time I bought two books, Water Dog and Game Dog, and started training Maddie. We worked almost everyday, and by the time the 1995-96 duck season opened, Maddie was ready to hunt. Maddie and I hunted almost everyday that hunting season with our best friends and hunting buddies, Casey Parker and brad Taylor. Maddie continued to improve and gain more confidence with every hunt. After hunting season, I attended a boat show in Baton Rouge. It was there that I met Ken Johnson and learned about Amite River Hunting Retriever Club. Of special interest to me was the yearly hunt test, and I accepted an invitation to attend their upcoming spring test. There I watched the Finished water test. After observing three or four dogs, I was completely hooked. i thought to myself - Maddie and I could do this! We now had a new goal to work for. A few weeks later, I joined Amite River HRC and the Hunting Retriever Club. Maddie and I trained hard all year, and i entered her in Amite River’s hunt next spring. She ran Started on Saturday and passed with ease, so on Sunday, I entered her in Seasoned. Needless to say, the whole experience was a disaster. About the only thing Maddie did right on the land series was not break. When I left the hunt site that day, I vowed I would never be that embarrassed at a hunt again. Determined to succeed, Maddie and I trained even harder; I bought more training books and tapes; but best of all, I got more involved in Amite River HRC. In May that year, I attended Joel and Tina Soprano’s Started Dog seminar hosted by Amite River HRC. I learned more in that one day of “hands on” training than I had learned in two years of book reading. It was “back to the basic’s” for Maddie. In the meantime, my dad bought me a new black lab puppy named Beau. Beau was going to be my hunt test dog. He had it all - a great pedigree, a FC sire, and a HRCH dam, intelligence, style, and tons of desire. After I took Beau through the basics and filled in some of the holes in Maddie’s original training, I realized my dogs needed more than the collar, yard drills, and hand thrown and Retriever Trainer Shot marks to improve. Again I turned to Amite River HRC for help. At a fun day on my family’s property I discovered what my dog were lacking - a training group. I convinced Chuck McCall, Scott Arceneaux, Dennis Weber, and John Pritchett to let me join their group. In spring 1998, Maddie passed both days in Seasoned, and Beau passed both days in Started at Amite’s hunt. By the next spring, both Maddie and Beau had earned their Hunting Retriever Championships during the same weekend. Over the next few months we trained for the Fall Grand. During this time, beau continued to improve while Maddie stayed at about the same level. October finally came. I was so excited and eager for the 1999 Fall grand that I could hardly stand it. The Sunday before the Grand, I woke up in my hotel room ready to do some last minute training, only to find that just one of my dogs had awakened with me. Sometime during the night, Beau had died in his sleep from and aneurysm in his heart. i was totally devastated. I wanted badly to pack my clothes and leave the grand, but i felt that I couldn’t let maddie down. She had earned the right to be there and deserved her chance. However, maddie went out in the first series. My first experience at the grand was not a very good one. After the Grand I had to decide whether to put my dream of a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion on hold until I got another dog or to train harder with Maddie. I decided I could not wait until I got another dog ready for the Grand. Maddie just had to get better. Chuck McCall, my training partner, handled her in the Spring 200 Grand, but she had another early exit. After the Grand I decided to simplify my training and Maddie really started putting it all together and running with a lot more confidence. That fall Chuck handled Maddie to her first grand pass at Rend Lake. With that first pass under her belt, the pressure was now on because we needed that second pass for the GRHRCH title. After hunting season, Maddie picked up right where she left off, running with more confidence with each test we attended. A month before the Grand, my training partners and I trained every chance we had, and in as many different places as we could. By May 19th, Maddie and i were ready for the Grand. After somewhat of a slow start with a handle on a mark in the first series, Maddie improved and got stronger with every series. I was so relieved and excited when she sat to flush in the 5th series because I knew we had achieved our goal - a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion. There are several organizations and many individuals who have helped Maddie and me achieve this title. I would first like to thank HRC for giving us the forum in which to showcase our dogs. Through HRC I have met many wonderful people and developed many friendships. I also owe much to my local club, Amite River, and all it’s members who supported me. Dennis Weber is one of my training partners. I want to thank him for his help, support, advice and most importantly, friendship. I want to congratulate him and Katie on earning their first pass in Texas. I’m looking forward to seeing them in Mississippi as they go for Katie’s title. Scott Arceneaux was always there to keep me motivated and positive when things weren't so good. He has always been willing to listen to my training problems, answer my questions and offer his advice. He also recommended the breeding and promoted the sale of maddie and Beau’s first and only litter of puppies. And for that i can never thank him enough. Chuck McCall is not only my main training partner, he is also my hunt test traveling partner. I appreciate his patience, his willingness to share his experiences, his knowledge, and his help in making Ron’s maddie Girl a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion and a Master Hunter. We couldn’t have done it without you Chuck. Thanks for everything. My parents, Ronnie and Vivian Anderson, helped me financially to get into the dog business. Without their support and their belief in me and my dream, none of this would have been possible. I cannot repay them or thank them enough. Christy and Anna Kate, my wife and 14-month old little girl, allowed me time away from home to train and run hunt tests. Their sacrifice and understanding permitted me to chase my dream and to do the thing I enjoy-training and running dogs. For this, I thank and love you. Lastly, I want to thank Maddie, the wonderful dog that made this all possible. Thanks for sticking with me through all my training and handling mistakes. You are a really special companion.

GRHRCH Eba's Big Boss Man, MH

Ron Anderson on his dog Boss.

It seems like just yesterday I sat down to write my first Grand Hunting Retriever article. Actually, it was exactly two years ago that I wrote an article for my wonderful female Grand Hunting Retriever Champion Ron's Maddie Girl MH.

After my two and half year old male, HRCH Ron's Super Black Sambeau, died at the 1999 Fall Grand, my wife and I decided that the best way to get over the loss of such a great dog was to start over with another male pup. To begin in this journey to try to find my next great pup, I turned to two good friends and training partners, Chuck McCall and Scott Arceneaux.

I was looking for a pup that was out of a Field Champion male and a Grand Champion or Master Hunter Female. Chuck McCall told me about an expecting litter from Lagniappe Kennels, which was exactly what I was looking for. The breeding was between Bob and Adrienne Willet's Grand Hunting Retriever Champion female "Classy" and the 1998 National Field Champion "Eba".

I looked at the breeding on their website, and then gave them a call to find some additional information. After talking to Bob Willet on the phone, I was convinced that this was the breeding from which I wanted my next male retriever. I quickly put down a deposit and would have the second pick black male.

After I decided this, I once again turned to my parents, Ronnie and Vivian Anderson and asked for a little financial assistance in purchasing the male pup. They were more than willing to share the expense. ln early December, I got a call from the Willet's informing me that the pups had been born and would be ready to go to homes in late January.

When the end of January 2000 came around, the weather was too cold to ship the pup from Greenfield, Missouri to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With the pups seventh week birthday fast approaching, my good friend and training partner, Chuck McCall who worked for an airline at the Baton Rouge Airport, volunteered to fly to Greenfield and deliver my male pup home. I gratefully accepted his offer, and Chuck brought him home under his seat on the plane. When my wifie and I picked the pup up at the airport, he was the biggest, most beautiful lab pup I had ever seen. After spending a few days in the house with us, my wife and I both agreed that the perfect name for the pup was "Boss".

Very early in Boss' training, it was easy to see that he was a very special dog. He was the best true marking dog I had ever trained. Since I already had a fine retriever in Maddie, I decided to really take my time in training Boss and concentrate on his basics. At about 18 months old, Boss really understood what the whole retriever game was all about, and the rest is history.

Boss earned his HRCH title in perfect fashion by the age of 26 months. His first experience at the Grand was cut short with an early exit in the 3'd series at the 2002 Canadian Grand. The 2002 Louisiana Fall Grand proved to be more successful. Boss ran extremely strong only handling on one mark in the third series and running good blinds. After passing the Fall Grand we set our sites on Memphis to earn his Grand Title. When the dates of the Spring Grand were announced, I determined I had a major scheduling problem. My last and final week of the 2 year Mississippi Banking School was the same week as the Grand! Not wanting Boss to miss the chance to try to earn a Grand title in Memphis, I once again turned to Chuck McCall. I asked if he would run Boss at the Grand. He agreed and he took Boss into training several months before the Grand. Prior to the Grand, Chuck ran Boss in several Finished tests and a Master test, passing all of them. I was unable to see it, but I heard Boss passed the Memphis Grand in true grand fashion, not handling on a mark and running really strong blinds all week. This journey began with the closing of one chapter in dog training and handling with the death of "Beau" and the beginning of another chapter with "Boss." I believe this is not the conclusion of this chapter, but the beginning of a novel Boss and I will hopefully write together for many more years to come.

Boss's Grand Hunter Retriever title could not have been accomplished without the help and advice of the members of the Big Anderson Training Group: Chuck McCall, Scott Arceneaux, Dennis Weber, Bob McCall, John Pritchett, JB Esnard, Mike Chamberlin and Kevin Donaldson. Our training group now has 21 grand passes and 6 Grand Champions. I would also like to thank my local club, Amite River, and its members who supported me.

There are also a few individuals to whom I owe special thanks: Bob and Adrienne Willet for breeding Eba and Class and producing this wonderful dog.

Scott Arceneaux, for all the advice, and always keeping me motivated and patient during Boss' early training. I also would like to thank you for always helping me promote my dogs and for being a true friend.

Chuck McCall, for finding the litter, picking up Boss, and handling him in various hunt tests and in the Grand. For doing this, I can never thank you enough. Almost everything I know about dog handling, I have learned from you. We have really developed a special friendship through retriever training.

My parents, Ronnie and Vivian Anderson and all my other family and friends, I thank you for always being there and supporting me.

Lastly, Christy and Anna Kate, my wife and three year old little girl, for allowing Boss to live in the house those first few months and allowing me the time away from home to train and run hunt tests. For this, I thank you and I love you.

I cannot conclude without thanking the special retriever that made all of this possible, "Boss". It was his talent and trainability that allowed us to achieve this goal... So now another chapter begins...

 

GRHRCH Lost and Found In A Texas Town MH

Owner: Louis Dunigan, Zachary, Louisiana

Written By: Scott Arceneaux


This is a story with an ending to rival most fairy tales. Louis Dunigan started out to buy a lab to have for hunting. His first lab was a bust to say the least. This sent him on a journey to find a top notch retriever. When he traveled to Shreveport, LA, to the kennels run by Mike & Michelle Blackley his excursion ended. Mike had a two year old for sale. Louis being relatively new to the retriever game asked Mike to put Tex through his paces. Liking what he saw, Louis purchased Tex. Tex was a rambunctious youngster to say the least. Still needing some finishing touches, he enlisted the help of Ron Anderson.

It was evident early on that Tex had the talent to be something special. It was under Ron's patient approach that Tex became a consistent performer in both AKC and UKC hunt tests. He went 4 for 4 to earn his HR and did the same to earn his HRCH. Ultimately passing 11 straight finished tests at one point. Tex's first venture at the Grand was a good one, going to the third series at the Mossy Oak Grand. After running in limited hunt tests in 2002, Tex was ready to tackle the Grand again. This time is was the "Summer Grand" in sunny Canada. What a Grand! Tex, not handling on a mark and being impressive in each series earned his first grand pass. Not to be out done, with a quick turn around for the fall grand in rainy Louisiana, Tex matched his performance from Canada by not handling on a mark and earning his second grand pass. Though Tex was still short one finished pass for his Grand title, however it was earned at Bay Area this spring. Tex is also one Master pass short of his MH title.

Louis would like to thank first of all his family for their support and understanding. Mike and Michelle Blackley for the early training and rearing of Tex. Also, to the "Big Anderson Training Group" for their support and encouragement through all of the ups and downs of training and hunt testing. Finally, to Ron Anderson. It is under Ron's hand that Tex has hit his stride as a competitor and also as a producer. All of Tex's success is due to you. Thanks for your compassion, expertise, and friendship.

So, now the next chapter starts for Tex as a performer and now becoming a great producer much as his sire 2XNAFC Lean Mac. For a journey that first started with a backyard bargain, now ends in finding a retriever of a lifetime.

GRHRCH + 500 Dakota's Pride Black Buck II MH


Written by Chuck McCall at the request of Bob McCall

As I stood in the holding blind of the 5th series at the 2002 Louisiana Cajun Grand, my mind drifted back to the hundreds of hunts that I had made with my Dad, Bob McCall, and my Grandad.  I realized that this is what HRC is all about.  Family, hunting traditions, and a great dog to make the hunt that much more enjoyable.

Buck was a product of the breeding of my dog, GRHRCH Hutch?s Touch of Dakota Gold and Mr. Harold Benoit's HRCH Cracklin Rosie a.k.a. "Dolly".   Dakota's first all-black litter.   My Grandad had just given up driving due to his failing eyesight at nearly 90 years of age, and I offered him Buck to keep him occupied and young at heart.  At first he refused, saying he would rather wait for a yellow pup, but after seeing Buck for the first time at 6 weeks, he couldn't turn him down.

Buck's first year was spent lying at my Grandad's feet and having his belly rubbed.  Buck was a natural retriever though, and at 10 months I took him and ran him in Started, and Grandad was able to watch him run for the only time in a hunt test.  I can't begin to tell you how proud he was of those first ribbons.

When Buck was 2 years old, Grandad's  health became such that he was unable to take care of an 80 pound lab.  I brought him to the kennel and began his formal training.  My dad has always been my training partner and best friend, and I realized after a few months of training, Buck would be a perfect hunting partner for my dad.  Buck is very willing, a good marker, but most of all very calm and level-headed at the line.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, Buck became Dad's dog as my Grandad's health deteriorated.  Dad ran him as he got his Hunting Retriever and Hunting Retriever Champion titles.  I was fortunate to be able to run him as he passed the Canada Grand and the Louisiana Grand in succession to achieve his title.

No one deserves a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion more than my Dad.  He has spent endless hours helping me; loading wingers, keeping kennels clean, keeping dogs quiet, and loading poppers.  He has also been there with financial assistance whenever it was needed.  I'm very proud of him and very proud of Buck for this tremendous accomplishment.

This Grand Hunting Retriever Champion title could not have been achieved without the tremendous help of the Big Anderson Training Group:  Ron Anderson, Scott Arceneaux, Dad,  Dennis Weber, John Pritchett, JB Esnard, Kevin Donaldson, Mike Chamberlain.  Thanks also to Keith Clement for his help at the Louisiana Grand.  Our training group now has 19 grand passes.  The hard work is paying off.

A special thanks to the Amite River HRC for its continued support.  Also thanks to Mr. Benoit for the breeding of Dakota and Dolly producing this Grand Pup.

And finally thanks to my Dad and my Grandad for getting me involved in hunting and dogs.  My Grandad no longer understands the significance of a Grand Hunting Retriever Champion, but something tells me in his eyes, Buck always  was one anyway..