Bohemian Griffon enthusiasts who live and hunt throughout the mountains and plains of the West comprise the Rocky Mountain Chapter. Current clusters of members reside in southern Idaho, Western Montana, central Colorado, northern Wyoming, and western North Dakota. Our Cesky Fouseks probably see more sharptails and huns than most, but this is also chukar, pheasant, blue grouse, ruffed grouse, and sage grouse country. Plus, spring creeks and prairie marshes offer some fine waterfowl opportunities.
Over the past several years, we have been holding field tests in late March or early April at Niagara Springs Wildlife Management Area near Jerome, ID. Typically, we probably test between 5 and 15 dogs split between Natural Ability and Intermediate Hunting dogs. It is a treat when we have an occasional Utility Dog. Some of the Montana contingent has been recently exploring potential places to hold a Fall test, but we have been a bit stymied over finding accessible land with all the right ingredients. Our area is typically very dry in late summer, so finding usable water is a real challenge for conducting an adequate track-of-the-duck test.
Sometime during the summer, one of our Bozeman families has been most gracious in hosting an exposure/training day. This is a fun event oriented towards the puppies in the region. There are two training objectives, one is to ensure that they young dogs get excited over birds, albeit game farm birds. This includes exposing them to deep enough water so that they must swim, in case they had not yet done so. The second objective is to demonstrate to both the dogs and their owners what the BWPGCA testing program is all about, especially because one, and often both of the two has never been to a test before. The remainder of the day is filled with talk of wonderful canines, of training ideas, and of possible Fall hunting plans. We conclude the day with a pot-luck barbecue. A number of folks always pitch in with logistics, from buying birds to planting birds to ordering steaks.