2015 National Champion; Miller's Dialing In
Miller's Dialing In is owned and handled by Gary Lester.
Dialing In's Performance:
Written by: Brad Harter (National Championship Reporter)
Wednesday afternoon brought what could be called the “perfect storm” in the bird dog world. It was cloudy, the temperature was above freezing and the ground had begun to thaw. A snow storm coming out of Arkansas was predicted to hit in the late afternoon. This caused the judges to announce an early release for the afternoon brace in hopes of beating the storm. The dogs were put down at 12:42 instead of the customary 1:15. With an approaching front and moderating temperatures, any seasoned bird hunter would have picked this afternoon to be afield.
Turned lose; both dogs took the field edge digging into cover in the first few minutes. To the right of the Buster Graves Pasture before the first road crossing, John Invester, scouting for his Solid Reward dog, called point for Dialing In buried in a heavy thicket. Perfectly located, Specs birds boiled out of the thicket flying in all directions. It was the first time this covey had been pointed in this trial, although they had been ridden up on many occasions.
Across the road both dogs headed for Cedar Hill. Spec crossed the front going to the right side as we entered the big Horseshoe Bend. Mark Haynes scouting Spec found him standing along the far woods edge. Gary was summoned and quickly rode to his stylish dog. A large tight sitting covey boiled from the thicket in front of the mannerly dog. Number two in the book and the first hour was far from over. Solid Reward had not been seen and his scout was looking everywhere without any luck.
Spec was up front going into the area called the Chute. A large feed strip lays to the left of the course and Spec was seen standing on point in the middle of it. Gary moved in front of his dog and then broke into a run putting a large feeding covey to wing 40 yards in front of the mannerly dog. Walking back to his dog birds continued to get up flying in all directions. It appeared that nearly 20 birds had hit the air by the time the find was over.
As we entered the agronomy field Spec disappeared to the right over the hill. Once more Mark was sent to find the dog pointed and soon the distant call of “point” came. When we arrived Spec stood solid in a bushy fence row. Once again, a large covey exploded in all directions.
Back on course and sent to the front Spec threw up his head and went left into a milo feed strip slamming on point. As Gary rode to the rigid pointer, birds began to lift in front of the mannerly dog. Five finds in the book and all in the first hour.
By this time Reward had been gone a good while believed to have been left pointed behind. The Garmin tracking unit was requested and sure enough, the signal showed him pointed back in the same area Dialing In had his third find, a tough piece of luck for this old warrior.
Past the Prospect Church and into the old Dairy Pasture Spec disappeared to the left. When he didn’t show to the front it was believed he was pointed. Mark & Gary both searched and called but to no avail. Just when you thought he would never be found, Gary spotted him off to the side in a cut path near the old Dairy Pasture. He had no doubt been there for a good 10 minutes. His birds were in a wad and they blew from directly in front of the motionless pointer.
Through Turkey & Alfalfa bottom Dialing In took the big crop fields to their limits. Every cast directed him to one birdy objective after another. Spec had settled into a comfortable handling mode, always keeping his handlers course in mind. At the top of Pine Hill Spec stood on point near the same area Game Strut had pointed birds in the first week. Gary was unable to flush and when asked to relocate Spec acted as if he had seen birds lift and wanted only to be left to look for another covey.
Past the old agronomy shed and heading into his last hour Spec vanished off to the right side of the course near the old Jack Harris Cabin site. Mark was sent to look and soon came the call of point. Spec stood on the edge of heavy cover. His birds were right where he said they were and once more a big covey exploded from a tight sitting wad. Across Caesar’s Ditch and through Cox’s Ridge Spec continued showing to the front. When we reached Fason’s Bottom, Spec was rimming the entire field and showing no signs of fatigue.
With less than 10 minutes in his three hours Spec once more came from the right side showing up front as we headed for Bufford-Ellington Road. Gary was directed by the judges to take Spec to the left to finish the brace. Spec started cued to Gary’s horse but his nose told him something different. He stopped, threw his head up and swung back to the right into the wind that was coming across a milo feed strip. Ten yards into the strip he slammed into point, nailing his 8th and final covey. With less than five minutes in his three hours Spec was sent off towards the morning breakaway. At the call of time Spec was reaching for distant cover once more in search of birds. Gary’s son, his 10 year old granddaughter and a family friend were all riding to see this performance. The Granddaughter summed it up best when she kissed her proud granddad. I heard her say: “you did a great Job pa paw!”, and so did Spec!