Benefits of Membership

Harry Christiansen and Raven at Platte Valley's fall test in Cheyenne

Harry Christiansen and Raven at Platte Valley’s fall test in Cheyenne

What are the benefits of membership in Platte Valley HRC? Well there are several. The first and most obvious is probably what brought you to this site: getting a better performing retriever to hunt with. You get an opportunity to meet a lot of people, locally and from other states, with similar interests. You get access to a large number of acres of training grounds where you can train with live birds and live rounds. You get a monthly rag in your mailbox. If you find yourself in the market for a new retriever pup, you get an opportunity to see some potential parents work. You get kept up to date with the national news from Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. and the UKC, the national sanctioning bodies PVHRC is hooked up with. You get a chance to earn meaningful hunting titles for your retriever.

So how do you collect all these benefits? Well, you get involved in club events. It’s a two way street. You learn and benefit and the club is supported so its benefits can continue.

If you and your retriever will really benefit, you’ll spend some time at dog training on a regular schedule. How much time you put in depends on how much you want out of it. If you want just a good solid hunting retriever (the HR title) it doesn’t have to take too much time, but it will still take a commitment of time and some regular training. Should you decide you will not be satisfied short of developing skills that will take you and your dog all the way to its championship, you will spend a lot of time. But, for serious hunters who will not settle for less than a four-legged hunting companion that can do it all, this championship is worth pursuing. You will not end up with a Hunting Retriever Championship in this region without a dog that can do it all–as an upland hunter and as a waterfowl retriever. That is the benefit of the hunting test program. The tests are designed to focus on realism and really are a means to an end. The end is better hunting retrievers. Yeah, the ribbons and tiles are great. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. But, they are second to the improvement of the retriever’s hunting skills in this organization. As soon as the testing and priority for titles goes ahead of the hunting, then the game has gone astray and needs to be jerked back on course. Hunting tests are designed to simulate actual hunting situations. By participating in these events, you and your dog learn to handle retrieves that you will surely encounter in the duck blind or in the upland field.

A well trained retriever is a real source of pride and enjoyment in the hunting field. If you don’t believe it, ask anyone that’s got a Hunting Retriever title or is getting close to it, or who has a Finished dog or champion. They believe it!

The club is basically a bunch of hunters who are at various stages of experience in training their dogs. You may be a new member with a young dog. Or you may be an old vet. It does not matter. What matters, is that you come out and participate. There are plenty of people to help you, and in-turn for you to help.

One of the things this club is all about is sharing what we have learned with others. A few members put their dog out with a pro and don’t train, but mostly everyone from Hunting Retriever Champion owners to the people with their first Started fun hunt pass is benefiting from the help and support of other club members who themselves were helped earlier.

Your dog won’t get to be a better hunting retriever by virtue of you having a Platte Valley membership card in your billfold. But it is the ticket to better retriever work. You don’t have to have great seniority and moss on your north side to be an active and essential member of this club. We’ve got people with less than a year with us, taking on major club responsibilities. All you’ve got to have is the interest and a commitment to spend some time. What you get out will no doubt be more than what you put in, but as you stay involved, you’ll become someone special to some new member because you encouraged them at their first fun hunt, you took the initiative to stick out a friendly hand at a club event or meeting, or you picked up the phone and invited them to train.

For the women out there, this is not a good old boy club where men frown on female participation. Some of our best handlers are women. We encourage everyone to come see what PVHRC has to offer. We are certain you will not be disappointed.

Author: Rich Carpenter