April 2013 Newsletter

Click here for printable PDF version

President:  Pam Felgenhauer

1st VP:      Biff Ellington

2nd VP:     Randy Domingos

Treasurer: Ed Marr

Secretary: Donald Flanagan

Board Members:

Joe Artes
Mike Linville
Colleen Scruggs
Trevor Niarchos

Adam Eidson's Maggie
A Randy Domingos Photo

Calendar of Events

General Membership and Board Meeting
Wednesday, April 10, 7:00PM
Animal Medical Center
600 Broadway, El Cajon

Training Day
Saturday, April 20, 6:00 AM
La Posta

Memorial Service for Jimmie Phillips
Saturday, May 4, 12:00
Lemon Grove Rod and Gun Club, Alpine

Jimmie Phillips Memorial Shoot
Sunday, May 5, 8:00 AM
Lemon Grove Rod and Gun Club, Alpine

News and Notes

In Memoriam

In March, we said goodbye to long-time member, Jimmie Phillips. A memorial service will be held at the Lemon Grove Rod and Gun Club at noon on Saturday, May fourth. If there is any way you can attend, please do. In addition to a photo tribute, we have also been asked to have a representative from the club speak to the gathering. I have volunteered to do so, but if anybody else has something they would like to share, please do. Where we could use your help is with photos, stories, and other memories that you might be able to contribute. We need to have these no later than May first, so please send those to as soon as possible. Thank you so much for helping to make this an occasion not to be forgotten!

-Donald Flanagan

Jimmie Phillips Memorial Shoot

As noted in the Calendar of Events section, we will be having a safety shoot on Sunday, May 5th, at 8:00 AM. This year, we are dedicating the shoot to our long-time gun captain, Jimmie Phillips. For those of you who are new to the club, the safety shoot is important because not only is it a ton of fun, it gives our gun captain the opportunity to observe your shooting and firearms safety. Without his approval, you will not be able to shoot at club events (including training days and competitions).So come on out and shoot with us! After the shooting is done, we'll have a barbeque and pot luck lunch, so bring your family, your favorite dish to share, and your appetites!

Wags and Brags

Congratulations to Judge Biff!

Misty and I ran the HRC test March 2nd and 3rd in Seasoned and Finished. Passed both tests. I have now fulfilled the requirement, in passing all levels, to be able to judge this venue. Its a fun venue with a much more realistic hunting scenario Also Misty got a MH pass at the CSHRC AZ test in February. I am judging NAHRA events back to back this weekend and next. The first at WAGD in AZ and the second at CCHRC in Lost hills.

-Biff Ellington   

Congratulations to Pam and Decoy!
Decoy had a banner day. We went to Dock Dogs and he was entered in the Big Air and Speed Retrieve. Out of 40 dogs in his category, he came in 2nd! Since we placed in the first 6 places, he was invited back for the Finals. He came in Second! Speed Retrieve he came in 7th. We had a great time! To top if off, I'm hearing we were on CBS, Channel 8 (San Diego)! Decoy will be holding a press conference and has graciously decided he will put his paw print on anything you want to bring.

-Pam Felgenhauer

In the Field

Epic Turkey Hunting
By Randy Domingos

Two years ago I was lucky enough to hunt Lake Sutherland after my hunting partner won a draw at the Turkey Tune Up.  It was my first turkey hunt and if you remember the story I wrote after that in the newsletter you know who much fun I had.  We did not get a bird that day but it really didn't matter.  We talked about it and decided if the opportunity came up again would we hunt the Bloomdale area of the lake again.  It's the most remote, located up by the dam and a very large expanse of two watersheds surrounded by mountains covered in blooming sage.  A peninsula extends west towards the lake with lots of cover and the area is covered with oak trees.  It's considered the most difficult area to hunt at Sutherland with the Corral area being the most sought after.  It wasn't much of a discussion.  We have always shunned the easy hunt.  Always choosing the most remote and difficult terrain we can seem to find.  Those hunts for us have always been the most rewarding.  So when he won again this year Bloomdale was our only choice.

Two years ago we had scouted the area prior to our hunt.  It was a good thing we had taken GPS waypoints to navigate the lake that year, as it was pitch black and shrouded in fog that morning.  This year we would have a moon and a bit of light, but the reservoir is only at eleven percent capacity and there were several exposed rocks that we would want to avoid.  We went scouting the Friday before taking new waypoints across the lake.  We couldn't stay late enough to find roosting spots but we took waypoints for what looked to be the best spots for blinds so we could find them in the dark the day of the hunt.  Verland decided on a spot down along the oak trees in the main watershed 200 yards away.  I picked a spot across from where I sat two years ago.  Tucked inside a downed tree charred from a fire several years ago I had an excellent blind.  A nice meadow in front of me and being up on the hill I could see into the large meadow by Verland and I had a view of about 20 feet between two oaks of the meadow that ran along the streambed at the bottom of the hill.
The morning of the hunt arrives and we're on the lake by 4:30.  We heft our packs weighted down with an enormous amount of gear and wish the water level on the lake was as high as it was two years ago and off we trudge into the darkness.  We split up in the meadow wishing each other a good hunt.  I learned allot two years ago when I had to abandon my first blind due to ants.  There was no wandering around in the darkness with a flashlight trying to figure out where exactly I left the GPS and the shotgun while I was moving gear and waiting for the mountain lion to get me. This year all went smoothly and I followed my GPS track to my blind.
As dawn approaches the owls are going off.  The turkeys don't seem to care.  As it gets a bit lighter I hear Verland start calling.  Hmmmm, could be a short day for one of us I think to myself.  At the bottom of the hill between the oak trees I can barely make out the outline of a turkey in the predawn light 150 yards away.  Then another, and another, lots of them!  Using my box call they stop and look my way but then decide to continue in the meadow heading towards the lake away from both Verland and myself.  I sit there and call hoping they might swing around and head up the hill towards my decoys.  I've got 2 hens with a jake and he's lined up like he might have a go at the one hens so that's sure to infuriate any gobbler that walks by I'm thinking.
Verland and I tend to hunt differently.  He tends to be more aggressive and will walk and stalk just about everything.  With Wyatt I let the hunter with the biggest nose do the work while I hang back.  Without Wyatt I tend to pick a spot and wait it out.  We had talked about leaving the blind and not getting in each other’s way.  He would hunt north of the watershed and I would hunt the peninsula to the south.  I can't hear him calling anymore so I'm thinking to myself "what would Verland do?"  I haven't seen or heard those birds and it's been a half hour.  So I do what I normally don't do.
I grab the Wingmaster, the call and a hen decoy and covered in camo from head to toe I head west toward the lake trying to get a glimpse of those birds.  I worked my way out about 200 yards from the blind and got to a point where I could see into the meadow as it approached the lake.  Nothing there.  So they either turned north towards V or they turned south and are climbing the peninsula.  I edge back up the hill again and then work back down towards the meadow for another look.  It's hard because deer are everywhere and I want them to walk away as opposed to bolt away and go crashing through the brush.  I'm only moderately successful and I'm pretty sure I'm going to find a way to mess this up.  This time when I peer into the meadow I see two birds moving into a ravine about 150 yards ahead.  Things are getting fun now.
I flank my way up the hill and move towards them.  I cover about 100 yards and find a ravine.  There's a small opening ahead, the ravine that the birds were in is just beyond that.  I quickly put my decoy out and get back in my ditch.  A minute or two later I see two hens.  Hoping there might be a tom or a jake around I do a call.  The hens look over but don't really care and continue on up their ravine.  I leave the decoy and fall back, turn and flank again up the hill.  I'm near the top of the peninsula now.  I approach the ravine and find two trees close together and have a clear shot into the ravine 10 to 15 yards away.  I sat down right there and aimed down the barrel and waited. It seemed like forever, it was only a couple of minutes though.  I heard them coming.  The first bird was a large hen, the second and third birds were also hens a bit smaller.  The second bird seemed to think there might be someone with a Wingmaster pointed at them and was having a conversation with the hen behind her about it.  They decided the best idea was to keep walking and move past the next bush.  The next three were very small and it just went on and on, hen, hen, and hen.  The last two were ginormous butterball hens.  I counted 16 all together.  After I couldn't hear them anymore I slipped back and picked up my decoy and worked my way back to the blind.  I heard a gobbler on the way back but couldn't pinpoint his location.
I get back in my blind and after about an hour look who shows up.  The same hens.  They are literally walking through my blind from two years ago.  I love irony.  I let them wander around hoping a tom or a jake will show up but it never happens.  The birds wander off as I notice two hunters headed my way.  All hunters were told a dozen times not to leave their area.  Guys from the next area claiming to be lost out wandering around showcasing there poor hunting skills and even poorer hunting etiquette.  They wander off and end up not going back to their area and Verland sees them aimlessly walking out the peninsula.
It's now noon.  Verland edges up to my blind to check in.  He tells me the birds roosted next to his blind and flew down just past him.  I'm telling him what I saw when he goes into a rage.  We can see his decoys from my blind and there are birds there.  After my morning foray and now seeing this, it seems so appropriate that it's April Fools Day and I have to laugh.  The birds head west so V heads due north to try to cut them off.  Not a minute later they turn around and head east.  I had no intention of bagging his bird but I could help him by spotting them so I moved east until I put a oak tree between them and me then moved the 200 yards across a open meadow and got to within 20 yards of them.  The brush was heavy so I couldn’t get a real good look at them as they wandered up the hill.  V showed up a moment later and I using hand signs I got him going the right direction.  They slipped away though.  He found them later down by the lake.  One hen and two very young jakes that he chose not to shoot at.
I had another couple opportunities that didn't come to pass as the afternoon wore on.  We hunted right up to the 4PM close time without success.  I was not disappointed that I didn't get a bird.  That day will come.  We had an epic hunt and a great time.  I will never forget those birds marching like ducks in front of my gun.  Would I hunt Bloomdale again even though two trips haven't produced a bird?  In a heartbeat.  I saw 25 hens and two jakes and heard a couple more males.  It was one of those experiences that proves that sometimes on a great hunt a shot is never fired.  The area is fantastic in its beauty.  The volunteer for the NWTF was very helpful and the staff at Sutherland Reservoir is very supportive and helpful.  What a great hunt.

-Randy Domingos

Where Do Puppies Come From?

How We Got to the Lucky Number Seven
By Trevor Niarchos

I wanted to share a short story about my recent experience with breeding my dog Brandy. Brandy is a 5 year old female Vizlsa.   I brought her back from McKee’s Rock , PA on Christmas Eve. I knew Brandy was the one for me when we got about 200 yards from my house. Brandy looked up at me, got car sick, and puked all over my girlfriend at the time.   Daddy’s girl!!

 Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated with watching hunting dogs do their thing in the field.  It’s no secret I have always been a little partial towards pointers.  When I got Brandy I was lucky to get a dog out of an outstanding blood line.  Being new to the game, I didn’t realize how good the pedigree was until I did some more homework. Once I found out what NFC, AFC and DC stood for, I knew I had found the right dog.

Its been 5 years since…. And Brandy has proven to be excellent in the field. And for anyone who has been around her, she has a unique and friendly disposition. I’ve been getting the itch for another pup for the last year or so. I figured if I am going to drive an hour just to train, I might as well be training 2 dogs. So the decision was made to breed. I had NO idea what I was in for.

Fast forward a little more. I successfully found a suitable mate for Brandy. This was not an easy process. I highly recommend to anyone doing this that you take the time to see the potential stud dogs in person. Ask a lot of questions. Remember that disposition and personality is just as important as looks and prey drive.  After going through this process I ended up with Mudbone of Firestorm Cicatriz  or “Scar”.  Scar is a 2 year old male who is the son of a male I previously tried to breed to. Scar was not as accomplished as some of my other options. But after meeting him, seeing him run, and letting him sit on my lap for a half of a football game, my mind was made up. Scar is a field trial dog with a lot of upside in that arena. I figured it was a good match.

Now for the part they don’t tell you. I show up at Warren’s house, the owner of Scar to “drop” Brandy off until the deed was done….or so I thought. The next thing I know, I’m in a chair, Brandy’s head is in my lap, and Warren is doing his best to help Scar complete the task. Yikes!!! This is not what I signed up for.  It takes about 15 minutes of the magic dance before the two of them connected (another act I was not quite prepared to witness).   For those of you who do not know, once the male connector goes into the female receptor, the two dogs stand butt to butt for up to 30 minutes to consecrate the bond. The entire time, Brandy’s head is in my lap. You can only imagine the look on her face. It was kinda like “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?!?”  I tried to reassure her that it was equally hard on me to see her like this.

I think the best way to sum up the experience would be to relay a call that I had with my Mom on my way home from Warren’s that day. She asked me how it went. I told her to first imagine her ideal girl for me. Then I told her to imagine me losing my virginity to her while my head was in her lap over at her parent’s house! Awkward!!!

On January 18th at 2AM the first little red devil touched down while I was sleeping in bed. Without a single whimper, Brandy delivered 5 more.  I went back to bed at 8AM. I woke up at 930AM and there was one more for a total of lucky number 7; three girls, four boys.  I am completely stoked. The perfection in the entire process really makes you believe in God or some sort of higher power. I know I could never plan anything so complex out and make it look so simple at the same time.

-Trevor Niarchos

More Pictures from the February Shoot to Retrieve

Courtesy of Randy Domingos

The Board of Directors and General Meeting Report

February 2013 Minutes
Present were board members, Donald Flanagan, Randy Domingos, Ed Marr, Colleen Scruggs, and Pam Felgenhauer. Biff Ellington, Joe Artes, Trevor Niarchos and Mike Linville were unable to attend.

Also present were members Mary Sarmiento, Wendy Greenwell, Dan Denhart, and Rafael Aguilar.

Old Business

Treasurer’s Report
Dues, raffle, etc. $3768.00 came in with an expenditure of roughly $2100.00.
Opened a new account at Wells Fargo, deposited $3815.00.
$2706.22 in Pt. Loma.
Brought a form for check signers to fill out in order to sign checks.
Proposed that we start saving for a 50-year anniversary banquet in 2017.


Laptop is current with SDSDC items.  Randy has turned it over to Donald.  It has been behaving but because of it’s erratic behavior has been used mainly for backup purposes.

Snake Clinic
Need to talk to Country Kennels, and see if they’re available. Decision was made to go to a single day on May 25th, and canceling the April date.

Feb training day
Will be at La Posta on the 16th.

IRS Letter
No change/progress

DFG hunts
The final DFG hunt was held in January.  Thanks to Joe Artes for coordinating the dog handlers.

New Business

Feb. 15th work party.
Work party at Honey Springs training area.

Feb. 23rd S2R.
Randy purchased 250 rounds of 12 gauge from P2k for the club.  The cost was $114.81.  due to the ammo shortage this was all that was available. Location will be La Posta.

33 members have renewed or have confirmed that they will be renewing.  16 members have not renewed or responded to the renewal requests.

(Re)voted to affirm Russell Brand’s membership

Shotgun Raffle
Discussed purchasing another shotgun in order to use the raffle tickets remaining from the previous raffle.

Bird orders
Chukar: Ordered 125 chukar for Fall 2013.
Ordered pheasants for 3 events, totalling 250.

March Minutes, SDSDC General Meeting 3/13/13

Board Members Present: Donald Flanagan, Randy Domingos, Pam Felgenhauer, Ed Marr, Mike Linville, Joe Artes

Other Members Present: Ken Scruggs, Mike Moran, Mary Sarmiento, Rafael Aguilar

Old Business

Snake Clinic
Pam has talked to Doug Farrel, and all is good to go at Country Kennels. Frank Presson is good to go for the 25th.

IRS Letter
Email and call made to IRS, but currently at a standstill.

New Business
Treasurer’s Report

$1170.00 withdrawal for pheasants
$350.00  for pigeons
Misc. other expenditures for banquet.
$1600 in expenses

Deposited $3118.00 (birds, dues, all money from Pt. Loma Credit union)
Deposited funds from S2R, membership, bird box purchases

$6503.24 in bank

Pt. Loma account closed by Randy today.

Membership Report
38 members, 12 with renewals outstanding.
Many liability waivers turned in at S2R
Several prospective members completed requirements for membership, and were voted in:

Pete Hauser
Terry Jenkins
Ryan Gelardi

Randy will notify them of their acceptance into full membership in the club.

March Training Day
Sunday, March 17, at Prado. Bring your own birds. Contact Pam for info. Donald will send out a notification.

April Training Day
April 13th. No volunteers to organize.

Jimmie Phillips
Setback this week, pneumonia. Have to be careful about how many visitors. Discussed what we might be able to give him.

Interim Gun Captain
Discussed appointing an interim Gun Captain in Jimmie’s absence. We’ll know on the 20th. if there will be a safety shoot.

Decided to do it on Sunday, July 14th, at Dos Picos. Ed Marr says that he “will contemplate” heading it up.

Garage Sale
Purpose: help fund banquet. Proposed date: Sunday, June 9. Donations would be brought on Saturday, June 8.

Bryan Bonas
Went through surgery. Discussed sending him a gift or card.

2013 Picnic Gun Raffle
Wendy has an acquaintance who owns a gun shop, and offered the club a discount, will hold the gun, and will sell tickets in both shops.

Hat Order
Ed Marr would like to get an order together for a club-themed hats, from Jesse’s Outdoor Wear (

T-shirt order
Discussed interest in camo (or other) T-shirts. Short vs. Long-sleeved.

From the Kitchen

A Simple but Delicious Marinade

By Donald Flanagan

Here's a simple, yet delicious seasoning blend that you can use as a marinade, or you can simply brush it onto venison, pheasant, fish, vegetables, etc.

  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • High-quality, extra-virgin olive oil

Modify quantities of each to taste. Also, feel free to change it up from time to time! Last week, I mixed in some lemon zest and a dash of powdered thyme. This was basted onto skewers of cubed deer steak and pieces of onion, and WOW, was it good!

-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.

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. He has also donated some dog boots, leads, and an orange safety vest for a dog. If you can use any of these, please contact Donald Flanagan.

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