What I learned in Idaho

Recently, I had the honour of speaking at the 2014 Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Club of America judges' seminar in Jerome, Idaho. I knew that the WPGCA folks are a dedicated group hunters and breeders, so I figured meeting them and seeing their dogs in the field would be a real treat. But I had never been to Idaho, so I had no idea what it would be like out there. Well, long story short, I was right about the WPGCA folks and their dogs; fantastic people, great dogs! But what about Idaho? Well, here are a few of the things I found out while I was there.

There is a great big, CRAZY sky in Idaho

The land is gnarly, but beautiful

And so are the plants

The WPGCA folks love their dogs

And their dogs love them

The WPGCA is like a big family 

Where even the youngest members are crazy about dogs

And the oldest dogs can feel the love

The dogs LOVE to hunt!

And point

And swim

And track

And fetch

And chill out with their people

The test is run in a beautiful valley in Idaho

And the judges are so focused on judging, they have little time to take it all in

But at the end of the day, I think they all know how lucky they are to be able to spend some time...

With good dogs

And good people

Under a crazy Idaho sky

To see more of the photos I took while in Idaho, click HERE


  1. How fortunate we were to have you with us for our weekend test, Craig. Your perspective on how all these breeds came to be, and especially how the rough-haired ones fit together, provides a perfect frame of reference as we in the WPGCA mentally wrestle with continuing to produce good, biddable hunting dogs. Personally, I think you hit the nail on the head with your observation of the WPGCA being a family. I am always struck how folks from so many walks of life come together in such a non-competitive atmosphere for the sake of advocating for our furry friends! It was obvious from our time in the field that you have a knack for understanding how dogs react with their hunting environment. So with a week's rumination behind you, do you have any observations or suggestions for us in running our tests, either from a logistics or judging perspective?

    --Rick Sojda, Bozeman, MT, WPGCA

  2. What wonderful set of photographs! Thank you very much for putting thee up on your blog.

    Laurie Connell, Winterport, ME

  3. This was a great weekend and I really appreciate your talk. The history of the huning dogs was fascinating and kept my interest piqued the entire time. The only dissappointment was when you had to stop! I would recommend you as a speaker anytime! The WPGCA has good family dogs that get along great with kids, have a good temperment and hunt extremely well.
    Thank you for your time!

    -J.J. Conner
    Townsend, MT

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit! Your pictures describe why I visit the Idaho test every year even when we don't have a dog testing. We certainly learned a lot from your presentation as well. Adding your blog to my RSS now!

  5. I listened to the recording of your seminar presentation and am reading through your book. Both are fabulous. I am so glad Judy got it for me! The people behind the breeds are as interesting as the breeds themselves. I thought these breeds were ancient but it is finally sinking home that most are not much older than my black powder shotgun. It makes me wonder why there were not more breeds developed in Canada and the U.S. I am speculating that, a simplified view would be, in the east and south they were happy with their setters and pointers; the grassland settlers didn't need dogs to shoot prairie chickens till they were gone and when the pheasants came it was with such speed that using proven breeds was the fasted way to get in the game. Thoughts?
    Jon Coil
    Kelliher, MN