by Jerry D. Mann, Field Director, Sporting Breeds
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a young man from Puyallup, Washington named Jeff Lusk. Prior to actually being able to shake hands with Jeff, I had communicated with him via e-mail regarding a question he had about the Retriever Hunting Test Seminar Program. Jeff had been involved in the Retriever Hunting Tests for approximately a year, and he was interested in knowing the requirements to become a judge. I explained a person has to be twenty-one years of age to judge, but I went on to encourage Jeff to attend a seminar in his area. It would be beneficial if for no other reason than to learn the official interpretation of the Regulations and how judges should view and score a dog's performance.
Jeff is a seventeen-year-old senior attending high school in his hometown of Puyallup. Amazingly, up to approximately eighteen months ago, he had not been interested in hunting and certainly not in training dogs. By chance at a Sportsman Show in Puyallup, Jeff picked up a business card of his now mentors, Cindy and Bryant Meyers and from there, a change in his life has come about.
Jeff bought his first Labrador Retriever, a yellow female named Sage from a local newspaper advertisement, teamed up with Cindy and Bryant and started training dogs. Since that early start, Jeff has completed two legs of the Junior Hunter Title on Sage and his plans are to get ready for the Senior. When asked if he planned to continue on to the Master Hunter his reply was, "if Sage is capable of doing the work and I can train her to that level of proficiency."
Jeff has already accomplished a major part of this goal by attending a Retriever Hunting Test Seminar for Judges and Handlers conducted in Puyallup in February. From the few hours he spent in the classroom he gained some very valuable insight into the interpretation of the Regulations and Guidelines for Retriever Hunting Test. At the same time he learned what the judges of these events should be looking for at all three, Junior, Senior and Master levels of testing. During his time in the field, and with the assistance of very capable mentors, Jeff can now work on each aspect of training needed to reach the ultimate goal of having a Master Hunter. And, having began his hunting career this year, going on fifteen to twenty hunts, with some good luck taking ducks, geese and pheasants, Jeff already has plans for his newly found �best friend."
So, if you happen to be at a Retrieve Hunt Test in the Seattle or Portland areas and see a nice young man with a great looking yellow female Labrador, stop to say hello and wish him luck!
Jeff, good luck to both you and Sage on your future endeavors!
|Jeff Lusk with his Lab - "Sage"|