October 2012 Newsletter

Click here for printable PDF version

President:  Pam Felgenhauer

1st VP:      Rick Greenwell

2nd VP:     Donald Flanagan

Treasurer: Wendy Greenwell

Secretary: Randy Domingos

Board Members:

Joe Artes
Mike Linville
Ed Marr
Trevor Niarchos

Biff, Lance, and a stack of ducks in Alberta


Calendar of Events

November Training Day
Saturday, November 3, 8:00 AM
La Posta Road BLM area

General Membership and Board Meeting
Wednesday, November 14, 7:00PM
Animal Medical Center
600 Broadway, El Cajon

News and Notes

SDSDC Board of Directors Election

At the general meeting on the 14th of November, we will be electing our Board of Directors. An email will be sent out the week before so that you can review the candidates who volunteered, and be able to reply with your vote via email. Alternatively, you can submit your vote in person at the general meeting. The Board appreciates your participation!

Shotgun Raffle

Most of you know that the club is raffling a shotgun as a fundraiser. If you've not yet received any tickets to sell, please contact Pam. The shotgun is a Beretta 3901, and it's very nice! Click here for a flyer with more information. Feel free to print it out, or distribute it via email!

October Training Day

Here are some shots by Randy Domingos of October's training day.

The Board of Directors and General Meeting Report

SDSDC September 12, 2012 Minutes

Board members Present were Present were Pam Felgenhauer, Rick Greenwell, Donald Flanagan, Randy Domingos, Wendy Greenwell, Ed Marr and Mike Linville. Joe Artes and Trevor Niarchos were unable to attend. Also present were Mary Sarmiento, Mike Moran and Rafael Aguilar.

Old Business

Bird Boxes
Rafael Aguilar picked up 5, would like more if available.

The IVRC release looked more comprehensive then what we have. We will look at IVRC release and try to modify it for the SDSDC.

Gun Raffle
Ticket sales are going well.

Randy to is working on pictures for albums. Events page and By Laws pages are up to date.

Garage Sale
Ed. Marr, Mary Sarmiento and Randy Domingos volunteered at the garage sale. It was fun and we made $143.75. Mike Moran donated reloading gear. Mary is to send out email to sell to club members.

No new members.

New Business

September Training Day
Will be Sep 15th. Chukar will be $8 ea. We need to be there early around 7:00am. We will try use the NAVHDA pond. Ed Marr is to pick up the birds and Wendy is to give the check to Ed for the cost birds. 48 birds - $384.

SDSDC Election
Randy and Donald to run committee Biff Ellington has been recruited for 1st VP position, all other Board members are running again. Donald Flanagan will run for Secretary and Randy Domingos will run for Second VP.

Fall Classic
October 27th and 28th or Nov 10th or Nov 18th dates were all discussed along with a January date. November 18th was settled on. Location will probably be at Honey Springs. La Posta will also be checked for foxtails cover.

Ed Marr has volunteered to chair the event and Randy Domingos and Joe Artes are to assist.

Snake Clinics
Meeting at the County Board of Supervisors was scheduled for September the 11th. The supervisors approved changes to the regulations against using snakes and will adopt modified language at a future meeting.

DFG Junior Hunts
The dates are as follows:
11/17/12 – AM Family - Quota of Hunters - 18
11/17/12 - PM Junior - Quota of Hunters - 12
12/15/12 – AM Family - Quota of Hunters - 18
12/15/12 – PM Junior - Quota of Hunters - 12
01/05/13 – AM Family - Quota of Hunters - 18
01/05/13 – PM Junior - Quota of Hunters - 12
Joe Artes to coordinate the dog handlers.

Shoot to Retrieve
The last S2R will be Feb 23rd.
The first S2R’s will be Dec. 1st.
We have enough pheasant for 3 events and 75 chukar.

Training Days
Oct 13th, Nov. 10th, Dec. 22nd and Jan. 19th, were discussed as possible training days. No further action was taken.

SDCWF Report
There was no SDCWF meeting last month.

Treasures Report
$4635.25 in the bank.
Reloading equipment was sold for a $393 total for the garage sale.

Wags and Brags

NAHRA Hunt Test Hosted by the Inland Valley Retriever Club

Congratulations to Pam and Reed. Reed couldn't resist breaking for a flyer in his face on Saturday, but was a perfect angel on Sunday, for a pass in the Hunter level!

Congratulations to Brad & Caroline Fenton, whose Boise and Buck both passed the Started level on Saturday!

Biff and Misty passed the Senior level on both Saturday and Sunday- solid work!

Brad Fenton Published in Retriever Journal!

Brad wrote an article and submitted it to the Retrieval Journal, and was published. Brad and Caroline have given us permission to pass the article on to all of you...

A Dawg Named Tater
By Brad Fenton

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” -Will Rogers
We live, for the most part, hoping to find that perfect relationship... where our lives find meaning and impart a sense of well being. Many times, this comes in the form of a four-legged friend. But sometimes life is bittersweet. My path crossed a dawg named Tater and that short trip made me a better man.

Tater, a chocolate lab, came into my life when I needed some direction. I had no goals for myself, no children, and no passions. Tater was acquired from a fly fishing acquaintance. I figured Tater would be my fishing buddy. But he came from hunting stock and, since I had always wanted to hunt birds, I decided to take up the sport.

Tater loved to retrieve. I found a purpose: learning to train him in the ways of a hunting dog. Little did I know he would be training me. In time, there was a bond and a partnership that could only be seen in Tater’s light brown eyes and long wagging tail. Together we took classes, explored practice fields, and hunted down live birds. The partnership would soon be tested.

At seven months old, Tater was diagnosed with bilateral ulnar dysplasia. The long term diagnosis was sketchy. Although he might be able to run, hunting pheasants all day seemed unlikely. “Well, if he gets through this, maybe he can be a duck dog,” I thought.

A few trainers had their doubts and even suggested getting another dog if I wanted to hunt. Those comments raised my hackle and I supported Tater even more.

After five months of surgeries and tests, restricted kennel time (with mad dashes home at lunch time to air Tater out), he was given permission to start training again. Normally, five months of vet visits and kennel time would make any dog skitterish and depressed. But Tater surprised me and his vets with his happy demeanor and constant tail wagging.

While some would’ve given up on Tater, I was more determined to give him a chance he deserved.

In February 2010 we picked up where we left off. At 14-months-old he learned quickly. He made mistakes and we both learned and grew. I learned about dogs and their behavior, the history of training, and how to read Tater. I learned when to stop training and when to apply pressure. And I learned to do the same thing for myself.

With steady and gradual training, Tater did run all day after pheasants and quail during the 2010-2011 season. I loved the look he gave me after bagging a limit of pheasant... when he found another bird I could not shoot! With his look of disappointment, I am sure he thought I was an idiot for not shooting!

Tater passed a hunt test - showing how NOT to quit on a dog that has spirit. Tater never gave up trying.

He was getting stronger and faster. The training was a joy for us both.

In April 2011, at 2-1/2 years old, God decided I did a good job and took Tater to hunt pheasant on the big ranch in the sky. It was explained as immune mediated polyarthritis but the vets could never really isolate why. In less than two weeks Tater lost 12 pounds and needed oxygen and IV fluids to keep him alive. Right up to the end he never stopped showing us his love of life and us, but he just never had a chance.

I now have two wonderful yellow labs, Baked-in-the-Sun Boise Paw’Tater and Buckeye Twice-Baked Paw’Tater. We call ourselves Team Tater. But occasionally I step back from their training to draw from my experience with Tater and how it has brought meaning to my life. And I know the lump in my throat, when I think of that dawg named Tater, will never go away.

-Brad Fenton

In the Field

What It's All About

Adam Eidson brings us this report:
I attached a pic of Maggie's first wild bird retrieve. A blue-winged teal hen that I jump shot out in the Valley this past weekend. It flew close to 150 yards before it dropped into that cut hay field, but the pooch found it for me. Couldn't be prouder.

Waterfowl In Alberta, Canada
By Donald Flanagan

On October 6th, Biff Ellington and I loaded up his truck, and headed toward Alberta, Canada. It was a long, tiring trip (36 hours, including stops and a 2-hour nap). It was worth it, however, because as we neared the end of the journey, we were treated to a wonderful display of the Northern Lights! We didn’t get any photos of that, but wow, what a beautiful sight. I almost creamed a deer that jumped out in front of the truck while I was admiring the light show- that sure woke me up!

We ran into a hitch or two along the way. First, we stopped to get our licenses at Wally World, only to learn that the computerized system was down, apparently all over the province. Second, the next day was Thanksgiving in Canada, so all the post offices were closed, and we couldn't get the federal duck stamps. Thankfully, an acquaintance had told me that we could purchase our licenses online, and a friend up there let us use his computer and printer to order and print out our licenses. We couldn't get the stamps until the next day, so we scouted all day on Monday, and prepared our gear. We found some decent flocks working, but then hit the mother lode! A roosting pond that looked like the closed zone at Wister, multiplied 5 times! The water was covered with snow geese, specklebellied geese, lesser Canada geese, mallards, and pintails. Biff knows the farmer in the adjoining property, and we got permission to hunt his nearby fields.

Monday evening, we were joined by two other guys. Lance is a friend of Biff's, and he brought his friend, Dent, from Arkansas. These were really nice guys who constantly "jammed" on each other- what a couple of characters. Dent is a veterinarian, so it was nice to know that if anything happened to the dogs, we would have a professional on hand to help!

Dent and Lance

That evening, we went out to dinner, and I left Boomer in the bathroom of our motel room. He had some "separation anxiety", and tried to dig his way out! He tore up a patch of linoleum, scratched the paint on the door a little, ripped a piece of molding off the door frame, and chewed on the corner of the trash can. I don't know how much the bill is going to be, but it will be something like $300-500! Lesson learned- leave the dog in his kennel in the room, and he'll be just fine.

Tuesday morning, we got all the licenses and stamps squared away, and that afternoon, we did a duck hunt next to a pond in the middle of a field where we had seen thousands of ducks and geese working. We ended up taking about 15 birds: mallards and pintails, along with a single green winged teal.

Wednesday morning, the clouds were low, with a decent breeze, and a little drizzle. Conditions were fantastic, and we had a terrific duck hunt with limits for all of us, along with a single specklebelly.

We went back that afternoon. It went from drizzling to snowing. The geese were flying, but wouldn't come in to the decoys. We ended up getting a single snow goose.

Thursday morning was very cold- I was told it was 18 degrees until 10 AM. The condensation was freezing on the barrel of my shotgun as it protruded from the layout blind, and my poor dog was shivering in spite of wearing a vest and being in a doggy blind. The potholes (small ponds) had frozen over the night before, and it was comical when a duck flew in and tried to land on the pothole we had set up next to, with a THUD!!! There was no wind that morning, so we only picked off a couple birds that wandered by. Around noon, we moved a bit, and then the wind picked up, and birds started coming in! We ended up with about 24 geese and 2 ducks that day.

The next morning, for our final hunt, we set up near that same area, but with no wind, it was difficult. The birds that did come in seemed to flare at the last moment, and we were never really able to figure out exactly why. We ended up with 6 geese and 2 ducks.

Lance, Dent, and I flew back on Saturday, but Biff stayed for another week, getting in 3 more days of hunting. He took limits of ducks each day, along with 10 more geese.

I'll never forget my first, amazing experience in Canada. The hospitality was unbelievable, and the rolling prairie and aspen was beautiful. I learned a lot just sitting under that many birds in such a short period of time. I've got a lot more to learn though! I don't know when I'll be able to return, but I definitely will.

-Donald Flanagan

Around the Fire Hydrant

Newsletter Submissions:
To submit an article, brag, recipe or want ad to the SDSDC Newsletter please send an E-Mail to Donald Flanagan.

Training Opportunities:
Pam and Mary are holding obedience classes in Alpine, North County and Lakeside. Basic obedience for puppies and adults, behavior issues, rescued dogs, AKC Canine Good Citizen classes and Puppy Star classes. Also available for private in home lessons. Call for details 619-339-4801 or 619-442-5354 or email

Dog Portraits and other Art
Have your best friend and hunting partner immortalized in a commissioned painting. Visit the website of SDSDC member Ron Dotson. His work is now in private collections both nationally and internationally. If you are interested in any of his works or commissioning a painting, please contact him by e-mail or by phone at (619) 925-2606. 

Denise Rich is also an accomplished artist and club member.  Denise is also known as "The Official Happy Cow" artist. In 2006 she was commissioned by the California Milk Advisory Board to paint their famous Happy Cows of the Real California Milk campaign. In addition to cows, Denise paints dogs, pets, or really anything.  If you are interested in any of her works or commissioning a painting, please contact her at her studio at 619-933-5935.  Or send her an e-mail.  Please visit her website to see some of her work.

Health Supplements for You and Your Dog!
Donna Sarmiento has a new business endeavour called Nature's Tails, distributing quality health products for the care, comfort, and well being of both you and your pets! These include calming, healing, and joint products for humans and dogs, as well as other edibles for your pets. Visit for more information.

FOR SALE: Electronic training collar. Dogtra 2300 NCP Advance model, in good (or better) condition, $150.00. For more information, call James Reichstadt at 619-402-6755.

FOR SALE: Command Leads and Leather Collars – Call Steve Sarmiento for details: 619-701-2089.

FOR SALE: Bird Boxes - The club purchased several used bird boxes and we have some available for purchase by club members.  Cost is $20 per box.  These are the same orange transport boxes that we use for our events and sell new for over $70.  Contact Pam or Trevor for more info.

FREE TO A GOOD HOME: Dan Denhart has donated a very nice pair of leather boots in size 11 1/2D that don't fit him. If you can use them, please contact Donald Flanagan.


From the Kitchen

By HankShaw

I recently came upon what I consider the best, most approachable use of the giblets from any game bird: Cajun dirty rice. This recipe is an Italian riff of that, in which I use the giblets in a risotto made with red wine.

I first made this recipe with the hearts, livers and tenders (the inside of the breast that comes right off when you fillet it off the bone) from several sharptail grouse we shot in North Dakota. But the recipe will work with the giblets from any game bird, from pheasants to quail to ducks or geese. Be sure to chop up the liver as finely as you can — almost make a mush out of it — and dice the hearts well, too. They go in at the beginning, and the tenders go in right before you serve. I used red wine in this recipe, but white would work, too.

Serves 4-6.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

2 cups risotto rice: Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound livers, hearts and tenders from game birds
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red wine or white wine
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped black olives
Zest and juice of a lemon

Mince the hearts and chop the livers as finely as you can. Slice the tenders into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle salt over everything.

Add the hearts and livers and turn the heat to high. Stir-fry them with the onions until they are browned. Salt a little more.

Turn the heat back down to medium-high and add the rice and garlic. Stir well to combine. Saute for 2-3 more minutes, stirring often.

Pour in 1 cup of the red wine, stirring all the time. You will now need to stir the rice pretty much constantly — this is what makes a risotto. The rice has a special starch that long-grain rices don’t have, and stirring releases that starch to make a creamy sauce.

When the first cup of wine has mostly evaporated, add the other and let it cook down. Meanwhile, get your tap water running hot.

When the second cup of wine is mostly gone, add a cup of hot water. Keep stirring and adding hot water until the rice is mostly done: It will be al dente, a little firm but definitely not chewy.

When the rice is at that point, stir in the chopped olives, parsley and grouse tenders. Taste for salt and add some if needed. Let this cook for a minute or two.

Right before serving, add the lemon zest. Taste it one more time. Add some lemon juice if it needs a little zing. Serve at once.

-Hank Shaw

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