Upland Gundog Association

upland gundog

upland gundog Association

Rules

The Upland Gundog Association (UGA) is an upland hunt test and trial organization dedicated to all sporting breeds and upland bird hunting.  The UGA focuses on providing a genuine, realistic and educational upland experience.  Our hunt tests and open challenge events showcase superb gun dogs and give hunters, trainers and handlers a fantastic upland venue to enjoy.  We also offer comprehensive, hands-on demonstrations and clinics that focus on training top quality bird dogs from the earliest puppy stage up to a finished level gun dog.  We can create a demonstration or clinic around your needs!

 

UGA Hunt Tests, as well as the Gundog Open Challenge have hosted some of the most talented bird dogs in the country.  If your hunting dog hunts, we strongly encourage you to participate and enjoy a great day in the field not only with your gun dog, but others like you who love to hunt upland birds and train bird dogs.  We have something for people and gun dogs of all experience levels, from beginner to seasoned veteran!

Upland Gundog Association (UGA) events are unique:

 Upland Hunt Tests for all sporting breeds

Tests offered at “Beginner”, “Gundog” and “Advanced” levels

Pointing and flushing divisions – Pointing Labs can earn pointing title

E-Collars allowed in “Gundog” level tests and Open Challenge

UGA Titles can be earned in one event (2 runs per entry; 2 passes required for title)

Beginner Division – ideal for youth, new handlers and young dogs

Great outing for club members

Great social event for kennel programs and their clients

Handlers shoot their own birds

We offer the following HUNT TEST:

  1. Upland Gundog – Retrievers/Flushers

  2. Upland Gundog Advanced – Retrievers/Flushers

  3. Upland Gundog – Pointers

  4. Upland Gundog Advanced – Pointers

 

Beginner Division

This division has been created to allow both youth and newcomers of all ages to the sport of Upland Hunting. It is a platform to participate and be educated in the field during an actual hunt test. This test will be conducted with the handler, judge, and dog (in case of youth handler, legal guardian is permitted). Though an adult is not required to walk with the youth handler, it is encouraged by the UGA and may be required legally depending on the location of the event.

During this test, the handler will be given tips and encouragement by the judge to help make their experience with their dog in the field safe and successful. No handler will be judged on birds killed or bagged. This division is to educate and further the passion in the individual to continue upland hunting and working their dogs.

All dogs participating will still be held to the same requirements regarding level of obedience that is in the UGA Gundog Division rules. This is to ensure that everyone in the field or surrounding fields are unaffected by a run. Keeping dogs in the boundaries of the field and good obedience are key. Dogs that are not trained to stay in range or respond to recall commands will be ran on a check chord.

*Note- All handlers’ youth or adult must have a certificate from their state for a Certified Hunting Course. If they do not, or are not old enough to get (under 12yrs), then they may still walk with their dog and guardian, but will not be allowed to carry a firearm.

 

Guidelines for Flushing and Pointing Breed Hunting Tests.

Published by The Upland Gundog Association, L.L.C. 2012.

 

General Regulations

Section 1. Entry Requirements and Discipline.

No registration is required on a hunting dog to participate in UGA events.

Only the contestant, involved persons, or club host will discuss any ruling up to the point the JUDGE declares his/her ruling is final.

No interference or harassment of any event staff will be tolerated. This includes but not limited to the Judges, Bird Planters, Hunt Test Secretary, etc.

Section 2. Bitches in Season.

Bitches in season (heat) shall not be eligible for entry in any UGA Event (Hunt Test or Open Gundog) and shall not be allowed on the event grounds. Entry fees paid for a bitch withdrawn because of coming in season shall be refunded in full but only if the withdrawal is done earlier than 7 days prior to event start date.

Section 3. Disqualification by Judges

The Upland Gundog Association and its event representatives reserve the right to disqualify any person or persons for any violations of club rules. Disqualifications may be for a run, an event, and/or participation in any future UGA events. Disqualifications may include forfeiture of any moneys paid.

The Handler shall not intimidate any entered hunting dog during any UGA Event. No Handler shall possess any training aid or equipment that could intimidate the hunting dog in any manner. These aids include, but are not limited to whip, prod, cane and quirt. Any handler exhibiting these actions will be immediately disqualified.

Any hunting dog that attacks another hunting dog or person on at any UGA Event, no matter when will be disqualified and handler will be asked to remove the dog from the event grounds.

In the Open Challenge; any handler that throws an object (shotgun shell, golf ball, etc) to aid their gundog in retrieving a shot bird will be disqualified.

Section 4. Judges’ Eligibility and Approval.

A UGA Judge will be at least 18 years of age, one whom has participated and successfully completed a UGA Event, and has been approved by the UGA Event Management for any particular event.

Section 5.  Ribbons and Rosettes.

Any participant that completes successfully an Upland Gundog Test, Upland Gundog Advanced Test, will receive a single ribbon signifying their title.

Section 6. Spectators and Gallery

Reasonable silence, good manners, and sportsmanlike conduct are required of all spectators. Any spectator interfering with any test will be directed to leave the hunt grounds. No hunting dogs that are participating in a UGA Event are allowed to watch from the spectator’s section.

Section 7. Hunters Safety Course

It is highly encouraged that all Handlers take and pass a province or state certified hunter safety course.

Section 8. Handler and hunting Dog Rules for Grounds

While attending any UGA Event, ALL HUNTING DOGS are to be on a lead at any time they are not participating in a hunt test or competition in a field. This includes to and from the field, and in the gallery area. Event Host will be required to provide an off leash area to “air” out hunting dogs. All persons will be responsible for any damage caused by their hunting dog(s) while on the host grounds.

Section 9. Optional Hunt Test Gunner

All Handlers can shoot their own birds or provide a gunner at their discretion.

Gunners will be held to the same hunt test rules and requirements by the UGA as their handler partners.

Section 10.  Birds used for UGA Events

The primary bird used during UGA events is the Bobwhite Quail, unless otherwise specified in a particular events information.

Section 11.  Use of Launchers by Upland Gundog Association

A flusher or pointer is expected to show eagerness to hunt all available cover enthusiastically. However, when conditions exist that prohibit the use of natural flushes or flushes over points (e.g., poor birds, weather, insufficient cover, etc.), certain devises may be utilized to aid in the event but must be sufficiently camouflaged in the field. When such devices are used, the live bird will be released, launched (or thrown) in full view of the dog.

Section 12.  Immediate Failure of Hunt Test

The hunting dog shall immediately fail the test if a Gunner or Bird Boy is required to help or assist in any way. Failure to pass any hunting test will not prevent a hunting dog from

participating in subsequent tests, unless the Handler is unsafe in handling a gun. A bird unfit for the table resulting from hard-mouth shall be grounds for failing the test as well.

 

Hunt Test Categories

Pointers

To pass a hunting dog must locate birds in the field, point, and retrieve within one step the birds to handler. Missed shots will not count against the dog and handler. Flushed birds with no point will not count toward the qualifying score. Advanced dogs must honor and retrieve to hand and be steady to shot. We are judging the hunting dogs hunting ability and the hunting dog’s ability to produce birds and get them from the field to the bag. Birds deemed unsuitable for table due to a gun dog chewing, hard mouth, or eating the bird before it arrives to handler will count against the retrieve score for the test.

1.1. Upland Gundog Test

This test will be in single dog braces. E-Collar use will be permitted in this test. If at any time a judge feels an abuse of the e-collar by handler, the participant will be asked to remove the collar from their hunting dog during the run or possibly be disqualified from the event.

Time limit will be 20 minute maximum per run. Each dog will need to point, hold point for 5 seconds or until flush, and retrieved shot bird to handler within the given time frame. If a gundog holds point for five seconds and the bird is flushed by gundog or “pops” on its own, the handler is still able to shoot the bird for full credit toward the run. However, if a hunting dog points a bird but creeps in causing the flush then the bird cannot be harvested and will not count toward the run.

Hunting dogs and handlers will be judged on Hunt-ability (is the dog birdy, and working the field adequately to find birds), Trainability (is the handler able to control the dog and dog respond in a reasonable fashion), style, (how the hunting dog works the field, holds point until flush, and retrieves shot or wounded birds back to handler). 

It is required a gun dog return the bird to handler within 1 steps of original shot taken to count as a retrieve. 

Running Birds.

If a dog is trailing a running bird, point must be established at least 2 times for 5 seconds each, after that the bird may be flushed by gun dog or handler and count toward the run.

Wild Flushes.

If a dog is running the field and flushes a bird or a bird pops before a point is established, then the bird flushed will not be counted toward run and cannot be harvested by handler.  If a bird is harvested by handler during any point that it should not, the handler will be warned by the judge one time. If it occurs again, the handler will be disqualified from the run immediately. During a wild flush, handler must be able call bird dog off the bird and continue hunting in a timely fashion. It is the Judges determination if the dog’s trainability is that of a gundog during a run and can fail a dog for lack of.

Retrieving.

A clean retrieve to handler consist of a “continuous” return of the bird. A bird dog is allowed to drop a bird 2 times in the field while retrieving it. If it drops the bird more than twice before reaching within one step of the handler, then the retrieve will not count toward the runs official score/tally.  NO AIDING THE RETRIEVE WILL BE ALLOWED BY THROWING OBJECTS TOWARD THE FALL AREA.  A bird dog will need to be handled to the fall area.  If necessary, a handler may unload their firearm and place the gun on the ground (where the shot was fired) with the action open.  They will then be allowed to move within a few steps of the area in which they shot to help handle the bird dog to the fall area.

1. 2.  Upland Gundog Advanced Test

This test will be in two gun dog braces. No E-collar is permitted in this test.

Time limit will be 30 minute maximum per run. Each dog will need to point, be steady to wing and shot, and retrieve shot birds to hand within the given time frame. A clean run with consist of 50% of produced bird finds, points, retrieves to hand, and a single honor of the other dogs point which will conclude that run within the given time frame.

All dogs retrieving the bird will demonstrate force fetch training (retrieving to a “heel” while holding bird in mouth until commanded to release). Failure to deliver to hand will result in a fail of the hunt test.

The Advanced Gundog test will be judged more critical and require the dog and handler to display more advanced skills and handling.  In this test, 2 hunting dogs and 2 handlers are run at the same time in the field. Like the Gundog Test, hunting dogs will be judged on hunt-ability (drive, intensity, how the field is worked), trainability (is the gun dog handling for the handler in terms of taking direction, staying in fair range, responding to whistle and voice commands, thoroughly covering the ground, and establishing a set quartering pattern), and style.

Pointing breeds will be steady to wing and shot, holding point until shot and also be required to honor another dog during the test.  Once a honor is established the honor dog may have his collar held by his owner so that the point dog may get the retrieve.

Running Birds.

If a hunting dog is trailing a running bird, point must be established at least 2 times for 3 seconds each, after that the bird may be flushed by dog or handler and count toward the run.

Wild Flushes.

If a bird dog is running the field and flushes a bird or a bird pops before a point is established, then the bird flushed will not be counted toward run and cannot be harvested by handler.  If a bird is harvested by handler during any point that it should not, the handler will be warned by the judge one time. If it occurs again, the handler will be disqualified from the run immediately. During a wild flush, handler must be able call dog off the bird and continue hunting in a timely fashion. It is the Judges determination if the dog’s trainability is that of a gundog during a run and can fail a dog for lack of.

Retrieving.

A clean retrieve to handler consist of a “continuous” return of the bird. A dog is allowed to drop a bird up to 2 times in the field while retrieving it. If it drops the bird a third time before reaching within two steps of the handler then the retrieve will not count toward the runs official score/tally.  NO AIDING THE RETRIEVE BY THROWING OBJECTS TO THE FALL AREA IS PERMITTED.  ADVANCED HUNTING DOGS ARE REQUIRED TO MARK A SHOT BIRD AND MAKE THE RETRIEVE.  A HANDLER IS PERMITTED TO HANDLE A HUNTING DOG TO THE FALL AREA FROM THE SPOT THEY FIRED THE SHOT FROM.

Honoring.

Once an honor has been established, the dog’s handler will be given the go ahead by judge to hold his/her hunting dog’s collar while the other dog gets his retrieve. If the honoring dog breaks or gets loose on the brace mates retrieve it will be disqualified immediately.

Flushers

To pass a bird dog must locate birds in the field, flush, and retrieve shot birds within one step to handler. Missed shots will not count against the bird dog and handler. Caught birds with no point will not count toward the qualifying score. Advanced hunting dogs must honor and retrieve to hand, sit on flush and honor another retrieve, etc. We are judging the hunting dogs hunting ability and the hunting dog’s ability to produce birds and get them from the field to the bag. Birds deemed unsuitable for table due to a dog chewing, hard mouth, or eating the bird before it arrives to handler will count against the retrieve score for the test.

If a bird is harvested by handler during any point that it should not, the handler will be warned by the judge one time. If it occurs again, the handler will be disqualified from the run immediately. During a wild flush, handler must be able call dog off the bird and continue hunting in a timely fashion.  It is the Judges determination if the dog’s trainability is that of a gundog during a run and can fail a dog for lack of.

Retrieving.

A clean retrieve to handler consist of a “continuous” return of the bird. A dog is allowed to drop a bird up to 2 times in the field while retrieving it. If it drops the bird a third time before reaching within two steps of the handler then the retrieve will not  count toward the runs official score/tally. NO AIDING OF THE RETRIEVE IS ALLOWED (i.e. throwing shells or other objects to help the dog mark). Dogs must mark shot birds, or be handled to the fall area.

 1. 1. Upland Gundog Test

This test will be in single dog braces. E-Collar use will be permitted in this test. If at any time a judge feels an abuse of the e-collar by handler, the participant will be asked to remove the collar from their dog during the run or possibly be disqualified from the event.

Time limit will be 20 minute maximum per run. Each gun dog will need to flush and retrieve shot birds to handler within the given timeframe.

Dogs and handlers will be judged on Hunt-ability (is the dog birdy, and working the field to find birds), Trainability (is the handler able to control the dog and dog respond in a reasonable fashion), style, (how the dog works the field, holds point until flush, and retrieves shot or wounded birds back to handler).  It is required a dog return the bird to handler within 2 steps of original shot taken to count as a retrieve. NO AIDING OF THE RETRIEVE IS ALLOWED (i.e. throwing shells or other objects to help the dog mark). Hunting dogs must mark shot birds, or be handled to the fall area.  Handler is permitted to unload firearm and place on ground with action open to handle the gun dog towards the fall area.  The handler is only permitted a few steps within the area they took their shot to handle their bird dog.

1. 2.  Upland Gundog Advanced Test

This test will be in two dog braces. No E-collar is permitted in this test.

Time limit will be 30 minute maximum per run. Each hunting dog will need to flush and retrieve shot bird to handler within the given timeframe. A clean run consists of 50% bagged total birds found per dog, clean retrieves to hand, and a single honor of the other dogs retrieve by returning to handler during brace mates retrieve, which will conclude that run. 

The Advanced Gundog test will be judged more critical and require the dog and handler to display more advanced skills and handling.  In this test, 2 dogs and 2 handlers are run at the same time in the field. Like the Gundog Test, huning dogs will be judged on hunt-ability (drive, intensity, how the field is worked), trainability (is the dog handling for the handler in terms of taking direction, staying in fair range, responding to whistle and voice commands, thoroughly covering the ground, and establishing a set quartering pattern), and style.

The Advanced Flusher test requires each dog to honor one time per run.  An Advanced flusher will be asked to either sit on commond, or be recalled to its handler while the other dog retrieves a bird.  Judges will instruct handlers to have their dog honor when the bracemate dog finds a bird, this way the dog that locates the bird ends up getting the opportunity to make the retrieve.  Honors can be at heel, or sitting in the field, as long as the gun dog does not break or interfere with the retrieve in any way.

All dogs entered will demonstrate force fetch training and must deliver to hand. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. NO AIDING OF THE RETRIEVE IS ALLOWED (i.e. throwing shells or other objects to help the dog mark). Hunting dogs must mark shot birds, or be handled to the fall area.

Beginner Division

This division has been created to allow both youth and newcomers of all ages to the sport of Upland Hunting. It is a platform to participate and be educated in the field during an actual hunt test. This test will be conducted with the handler, judge, and hunting dog. Though we do not require an adult to walk with the youth handler, it is encouraged by the UGA and may be required legally depending on where the event is taking place.

During this test, the handler will be given tips and encouragement by the judge to help make their experience with their dog in the field safe and successful. No handler will be judged on birds killed or bagged. This division is to educate and further the passion in the individual to continue upland hunting and working their hunting dogs.

All dogs participating will still be held to the same requirements regarding level of obedience that is in the UGA Gundog Division rules. This is to ensure that everyone in the field or surrounding fields are unaffected by a run. Keeping dogs in the boundaries of the field and good obedience are key.

*Note- All handlers’ youth or adult must have a certificate from their state for a Certified Hunting Course. If they do not, or are not old enough to get (under 12yrs), then they may still walk with their dog and guardian, but will not be allowed to carry a firearm.

GUNDOG OPEN COMPETITION GENERAL RULES FOR FLUSHING AND POINTING DIVISIONS

1) U.G.A. JUDGE’S RULINGS ARE FINAL.

Only the contestant, involved persons, or club host will discuss any ruling up to the point the JUDGE declares his/her ruling is final.

2) No interference or harassment of any event staff will be tolerated. This includes but not limited to the Judges, Bird Planters, Hunt Test Secretary, etc.

3) The UGA and its event representatives reserve the right to disqualify any person or persons for any violations of club rules. Disqualifications may be for a run, an event, and/or participation in any future UGA events. Disqualifications may include forfeiture of any moneys paid.

4) This event will be using a participants best score to compete. If a participant runs 3 times, we will take the best scored run and use against the other competitors when determining placement in the event.

While attending any UGA Event, All Hunting dogs are to be on a lead at any time they are not participating in a hunt test or competition in a field. This includes to and from the field, and in the gallery area. Event Host will be required to provide an off leash area to “air” out dogs. *Handler is responsible for any damage caused by their dogs.

Safety: May be called by the Judge or the Handler. A safety will be awarded if taking a shot might cause harm to any person or dog, ATV’s, automobiles, buildings, or in any way be deemed as dangerous. UGA Judges and Staff are encouraged to identify any areas prior to starting a run that would be cause to call a safety.

If the safety bird is the third bird bagged, time stops when the handler has the dog by the collar. If at any time, the gun is pointed at the judge the handler may be warned and/or disqualified at the judges’ discretion.

No Shot will ever be taken after a safety has been called.

Pulled Shot:  At no time will a handler willfully discharge a firearm off to one side of a dog or in air for any reason. Doing so will result in a disqualification.  Shots are to be taken at “in-play” birds only.

Shell sizes:

12 gauge limited to 2 ¾ inch sizes 9 to 6’s for quail & chucker. 9 to 5 are for pheasant. 20 gauge limited to 2 ¾ or 3 inch sizes 9 to 5’s for both quail, chucker, & pheasant.

Firearm Safety:

A firearm may only be discharged in the field while safely attempting to shoot a legal game bird, or in a designated area with the host approval. Any shooting otherwise will result in grounds and competition expulsion with the possibility of law enforcement action taken.

Non-performing bird:

After a dog has established a 5 second point, a handler may request from the judge that a bird be deemed a non-performer if a bird will not fly after several attempts. Full credit will be given for that bird (Flushers are permitted to trap birds).

Time:

Time stops when the third bird is retrieved to the handler, and bird is in hand of the handler.

Completed Retrieve:  

The dog picks up the bird and brings it to the handler within one step of original shot position. The bird can be picked up off the ground. If handler moves from original position where shot had taken place, and collects a bird from dog or on his/her own, the bird will not count.

Ties:

Will be determined first by total minutes and seconds used. Official times will use 2 digits (hundreths) to help reduce instances of a tie between dog/handler teams.  (Example: official time 6:25.43).  In case of a tie, the time at which the first bird of the run was found will serve as the tie break with the lowest time winning.

Unsportsman-like conduct will result in a warning and/or disqualification. Example: Intentionally flushing a bird towards the gallery, judge, or other unsafe area. Abuse of the safety rule. Dog abuse. Abuse of the judge, bird planter, host, handler, or spectator. Cursing (Bar talk) in front of the gallery. Etc.

Non-Retrievable bird:  

If a bird lands dead in a tree or on top of any obstacle (the bird must be dead and witnessed by the judge), across a road or on unsafe ice, across an boundary fence, or other predetermined area before the event starts, it will be deemed non-retrievable and full credit will be given.

Bagged bird:

A bird is considered a bagged bird when the bird is dead and placed in the handler’s hand/game bag. At the end of the run, all birds must be given to U.G.A. Staff and are not allowed to be carried out of the field and off site of the event regardless of any licensing possessed by handler.

No Running

Running will not be allowed. 1st time warning, 2nd time disqualification.

Out of Bounds

Handler cannot go out of bounds with a firearm. (Dog can work outside of the boundary line).

Reruns:

with the Judge and Host approval.

Hunter orange vest and orange hat required by anyone in an event field. Youth have a mandatory safety glass requirement. The host may require safety glasses for all handlers in the field.

Interference in the field by another dog: The hunt will not stop and a rerun will be given at the expense of the interfering dog’s owner.

HANDLERS MAY ELECT TO USE A GUNNER.  Handler and gunner must stay within 10 yards of eachother during the run for safety reasons, and minimal risk of manually bumping birds.  While a dog is retrieving, the dog must retrieve the bird to the handler, and the handler must be positioned even with or behind the gunner.

Gundog Open Competition:

The Gundog Open Challenge will be held at every hunt test event and be offered in flushing,and pointing divisions. This competition is open to all gundogs and no previous hunt test title through any organization is required in order to participate. Hunting dogs of all abilities will be entered into a single event and the best time wins.  The objective of the Open Challenge is for dog/handler teams to find, flush or point and retrieve shot birds (3 total) in the fastest time.

Pointing Division Rules

This event is OPEN to All Pointing Breeds, Any Age, and any handler. This includes Pointing Labradors.

(The club host may increase or decrease the run time due to weather, number of entries and/or property conditions.)

This test will be in single dog braces. Open Events will consist of one, 20 minute, 3-bird plant of Quail, Chucker, or Pheasant. Time limit will be 20 minute maximum per run. Each dog will need to point, hold point for 5 seconds, and retrieved shot bird to handler within the given timeframe. Dogs may be handled (casted) or directed to a fall area, but NO AIDING of the retrieve will be permitted (i.e. throwing objects to lead the dog to the fall area). The goal is to point, flush, shoot, and have 3 retrieved birds within one step to handler in the least amount of time. Handler must not move within 2 steps from original shot site of flushed bird. Fastest time wins. There will be awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place dogs.

NO point or bird credit will be awarded if the handler calls point and the dog advances before a 5 second point has been established causing the bird to flush.

NO point or bird credit will be awarded if the handler flushes the bird before the 5-second count is complete.

If while working a field, a random bird lands in the field, the dog may work the bird with no time delay. The dog will be required to establish 5-second point before the bird can be shot. The Exception will not apply on this bird.

If a safety was called and granted on a bird, this bird will be considered dead for the brace. No communication with the dog after the point is called until the judge states the point is good

Pointing: Credit is given when a dog points, handler calls point, dog remains stationary (dog does not advance) for 5 seconds. (The dog may stand, sit, or may shift its weight from foot to foot, but cannot advance in any way toward the bird). If the dog advances, the judge will stop the count and indicate no point established. When the dog stops (reestablishes a point) the handler can then call point and a new 5 second count will start. After 3 points are established and no bird produced, the handler may release the dog to hunt up the bird. At this time if a bird is produced and flushed by the dog, FULL Credit will be given for that find due to the established 3 points prior.

Flushing Division Rules

This event is OPEN to All Flushing and Retrieving Breeds, any Age and any Handler. (The club host may increase or decrease the run time due to weather, number of entries, and/or property conditions.)

This test will be in single dog braces. Open Events will consist of one, 20 minute, 3-bird plant of Quail, Chucker, or Pheasant. Time limit will be 20 minute maximum per run. Each dog will need to hunt and flush bird, retrieve shot bird to handler within the given timeframe. The goal is to flush, shoot, and have 3 retrieved birds within one step to handler in the least amount of time. Dogs may be handled (casted) or directed to a fall area, but NO AIDING of the retrieve will be permitted (i.e. throwing objects to lead the dog to the fall area). Handler must not move within 2 steps from original shot site of flushed bird. Fastest time wins. There will be awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place dogs.

Flushing: Birds must be flushed by dog and shot by handler, however, trapping of birds is permitted by flushing breeds as it is possible and realistic in upland hunting situations.  No penalty will be given for trapped birds in an Open Challenge in the Flusher Division.