Mark Lance Memorial Shoot!

We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual RMC NAVHDA Mark Lance Memorial Shoot to honor our friend and fellow chapter member, Mark Lance, who passed away from cancer in 2022. All of the funds raised at the event will support the conservation-related activities of RMC NAVHDA, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This event promises to be full of fun! Join us for an opportunity to shoot sporting clays, fellowship with RMC NAVHDA members and other shooters, and most importantly, raise funds for the RMC NAVHDA chapter.

Event Details:

  • Date: August 25, 2024
  • Time: Check in 9 am, Shoot begins at 10 am
  • Venue: Great Guns Sporting, 16126 County Road 96, Nunn, CO 80648
  • Activities: 100 clay Sporting Clay Course with opportunities to use mulligans and shoot Game Clays for additional raffle tickets. After the event, we will hold Cash Prize Trap Games for additional fun.
  • Extras: Raffle items include a Yeti Cooler, On-X Elite Membership and so much more! 
  • REGISTER NOW as an Individual or a Team of 4 Shooters.
  • Every shooter gets a T-shirt, lunch ticket and a raffle ticket for attending the shoot!
  • Fun event for the whole family as non-shooters can enjoy lunch and get a t-shirt as well!

Sponsorship Opportunities: 

Small Business? Breeder? Individual? We invite you to partner with us as a sponsor for the Mark Lance Memorial Shoot!

Sponsoring the Mark Lance Memorial Shoot provides your organization with an opportunity to provide a donation to a 501c3 organization as well as the following benefits:

For detailed information on sponsorship packages and benefits, please contact Sara Heesacker directly.

More details about the shoot can be found on the Mark Lance Memorial Shoot website page or feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or require further details.

Can’t wait to see you on the range! 

2024 Introduction to the RMC NAVHDA Training Program

Hello Rocky Mountain NAVHDA Chapter!

As the training committee has always done, we have asked for more people to come to the committee meeting, be a part of giving input, or become a committee member. We had our meeting and had over a dozen members attend. We feel we were very productive and have a great plan this year.

We had some positive feedback about the stations and drills. Some of the not so positive feedback was that people felt confused about which station was the next station. The answer to that question is…. the station(s) that you feel your dog needs to visit before going on to the next progression or out into the field.

The Committee also did some self-evaluation, and with the new folks in the room, it helped us confirm what we were feeling. We felt we failed people by not giving you a better foundation, progressions, and goals. Even worse, we felt we let you down by not doing what was best for your dog by letting you go on to your next progression or into the field to shoot over your dog when your dog wasn’t ready. I get it, everyone wants to see birds shot over their dogs. Is shooting the birds you bought the best use of those birds for your dog? Should you take them home and work live bird drills in the backyard? Should you run your dog in the dry fire field? Should you be using launchers, check cords, etc? Should you dispatch them, freeze them, and use them for the next 30 days? If this is currently your only venue for getting your dog on birds or shooting birds over your dog, consider reaching out to members/non-members w/ pigeons/chukar that may be training in the next 4 weeks. Join Facebook training groups and, most of all, work your dog for 15 min every day. Your dog will learn more from a little training 15 minutes a day than they will from a full day’s training 4 weeks apart. Andy Leslie showed me a great quote the other day “Beginning trainers want to work on intermediate drills, Intermediate trainers want to work on advanced drills, and advanced trainers work on the basics”. This is what we call foundation, and once you develop a good foundation, you can take this NAVHDA thing as far as you would like to progress or reach any goal you set outside of NAVHDA.

This year we are taking the training sessions to the next level, Checklists! What are checklists?

Checklist are to:

  • Help you evaluate your dog
  • Set goals and track them
  • Help you w/ your progressions
  • Show you what your dog needs to work on and what your next station should be…lol
  • Remind you where you left off w/ notes on what went well and not so well
  • Show whether your dog should go into the field or not
  • Will your dog work in a cooperative range?
  • Will your dog recall?
  • Will your dog stay steady to the shot?
  • Will your dog retrieve a shot bird? To hand?

I have to get checked off to shoot birds over my dog? Yes, to run your dog in the live-fire field, you will need to check off the green sections of the checklist. The reasons for this change is if your dog cannot do the above 4 things to a high level, you are

  • Putting your dog in an unsafe situation
  • Putting our gunners in an undesirable position if your dog can’t stay steady
  • Not setting your dog up to be successful and it can even set back your progression.
  • Taking up more than your fair share of field time when you should have really been working your dog on the drills

There will be mainly 2 sets of checklists: a Daily version for a training day, and a Full version for the season. The Daily will be simple so people can get the most out of a training day and get checked off for the field. The Full training checklist will be similar criteria to a judges card for you to judge his progression in most areas.

I also created two videos explaining the checklists — one for NA handlers, and one for UT handlers.

I hope you are excited about the upcoming training season and not apprehensive. See you at the end of the month!

Pete Corso

February 3rd chapter meeting

Rocky Mountain NAVHDA Members,

The kick-off to training season is just around the corner. The first chapter meeting of the year will be on Saturday, February 3rd, at the Thomas McKee 4H Youth and Community Building in Loveland, CO, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Due to certain rules about the use of the event center, participation will be limited to 50 people; sign-up will be through the chapter website with a small sign-up fee of $5. There will be a potluck lunch, and a sign-up for that as well on the website. The meeting is meant to be social-informative, and the Board is working on getting speakers to give presentations on various hunting and dog-related subjects. We will also take this opportunity to have some fun with a little fund-raising by having raffles, silent auction stuff, and fund-raising games. The chapter would appreciate any items you would care to donate as silent auction or raffle items.

Registration for the chapter tests will also be opened on February 3rd, by either submitting test registration forms and fees at the meeting, or having them POST-MARKED ON OR AFTER FEBRUARY 3rd, 2024 and mailed to Jake Heesacker.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the February meeting, and at this season’s training days.

Tim Griffin
RMC NAVHDA President
Dogs with Altitude

First Annual Mark Lance Memorial Event

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (RMC-NAVHDA) is hosting the first annual Mark Lance Memorial Event on Saturday, August 26 at the High Plains Shooting Club. Register now!

Registration closes August 23rd.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. MT
Saturday, August 26, 2023
High Plains Shooting Club (WCFW)
38997 Co Rd 51
Eaton, CO 80615

The event will honor our friend and fellow chapter member, Mark Lance, who passed away from cancer in 2022. The event will feature the gathering of friends, a sporting clays course, food, and a silent auction. All of the funds raised at the event will support the conservation-related activities of RMC NAVHDA, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, notably Team Elevate, the youth development program.

Please come help us celebrate Mark’s life, passions, and what binds us together.

About Mark
Mark Lance loved people, wild places, dogs, fishing, and photography.

His passion for dogs and hunting started innocently enough when he was hired to take some professional photos at a hunting preserve in Colorado. He had no experience with bird hunting or hunting dogs. However, his amazing photography skills in the fishing world landed him at the preserve lodge for his first hunting photo shoot. The connection he witnessed in the field between the dog and its owner changed the course of his life forever, as well as his wife Sharon. The couple was already passionate about the outdoors, but the spark to get a hunting dog was lit that day! After some research and family negotiation, Mark’s journey with versatile hunting dogs began with the purchase of Zeke, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.

Mark first came with Zeke to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NAVHDA for a training day to see what training a hunting dog was all about. This started his journey training and hunting a versatile dog of his own, like the one that he witnessed at that preserve lodge. Many people create lasting friendships through training their dogs with other NAVHDA members, and Mark was no exception. He quickly made friends, and by the next hunting season, he had a trained hunting dog and a group of friends to take Zeke into the field. That first hunt brought all his passions together-people, dogs, photography, wild places, and adventure. He appeared to love every minute of it. Mark had found that special bond with a hunting dog, Zeke, who he had trained himself, with the help of his NAVHDA family.

Where does the money go? About RMC NAVHDA’s Team Elevate:
RMC NAVHDA is the local front range Colorado Chapter of NAVHDA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the responsible hunting community, wildlife conservation, and well-trained versatile hunting dogs.

The Rocky Mountain Chapter includes over 100 members focused on the following goals:
 Support youth upland hunting through our youth program Team Elevate
 Promote upland hunting with versatile hunting dogs
 Foster ethical hunter behavior and conservation practices through education programs.

The funds raised at the Mark Lance Memorial event will support the conservation-related activities of RMC NAVHDA, notably fostering the next generation of responsible, ethical, conservation-minded upland hunters through Team Elevate. The youth development program engages participants to learn dog training, hunting, and outdoor skills through mentorship and volunteering. Participants also learn responsibility by caring for and training their dogs. Team Elevate youth participate in Aims & Rules Clinics, train and volunteer at training days, and test dogs.

More about the event:
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. MT
Saturday, August 26, 2023
High Plains Shooting Club (HPSC)
38997 Co Rd 51
Eaton, CO 80615

$100 per adult ($50 for youth) includes sporting clays course and lunch!

Also, participate in our online Silent Auction with many great items, including:
Vacation stays in Silver Thorne Colorado, Estes Park colorado
A custom fly rod
Boss shot shells
Yeti cooler
Artwork and more

What you can do to help:
Join us Saturday, August 26!
-Donate items for auction (contact Hunter Townsend)
-Bid in the online auction.

January 2023 Member Meeting

Greetings Fellow RMC Members,

I hope this message finds you wrapping up a successful hunting season, and everybody, member, family, and dog alike, healthy coming into the New Year.

We have some quick chapter business to take care of, and a chapter meeting is in order to wrap this business up. The meeting will be at 7:00pm on Sunday, January 15th via Zoom (information to join is at the bottom of this email).

The NAVHDA International Annual Meeting is being held at the end of January in South Dakota. There are several motions proposed by other chapters for consideration before the International Board of Directors. We as a chapter have a chance to vote on these and express our position on these motions to the International Board. At the bottom of this message are links to the motions proposed by the other NAVHDA chapters for you to read; there are an unusual number of motions for consideration, but thankfully, a number of them are related to the same subject. As a chapter, we will discuss each motion, comment, and as a Board vote on the motions; the Chapter’s Annual Meeting delegate will present our positions on the motions to the International Board during the Annual Meeting.

Secondly, Pete Corso/Director of Training will present information regarding this year’s handlers clinic.

Third, I’d like to organize an in-person Midwinter Meeting sometime in early February – mid-February; I’ll try to have something in place then, with announcements to follow on the Chapter Facebook page.

Lastly, we will open the floor for other discussion.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
Call the Meeting to Order
Take Roll of the Board Members present
Discuss Motions presented to NAVHDA International
Vote on each Motion
Presentation of the 2023 Handlers Clinic – By Pete Corso
Open Floor for Other Discussion
I look forward to the meeting and the upcoming training season.


Tim Griffin
President, RMC NAVHDA

Meeting information:
Time: Jan 15, 2023 07:00 PM Mountain Time
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 859 0857 5090
Passcode: 054816
One tap mobile: +16469313860,,85908575090#,,,,*054816#

Proposed motions for discussion:
Bushkill Chapter (4 motions)
Deleware Vallery Chapter
Potomac Chapter
St. Croix Chapter (motion 1)
St. Croix Chapter (motion 2)
St. Croix Chapter (motion 3)
St. Croix Chapter (motion 4)

August 2022 Test Photos

The photos from the August 2022 test are now available. A huge “Thank You” to Dana Crego and Sharelle Gonzales for taking great photos.

Friday, August 19th | Saturday, August 20th | Sunday, August 21st

Click on an image to make it big. Once you have one open, you can scroll through the rest. In the gallery, the images are sorted by title, and the titles are over the photos so that it’s easier to find a particular dog.

May 2022 Test Photos

The photos from the May 2022 test are now available. A huge “Thank You” to Dana Crego, Erica Sparrow, and Sharelle Gonzales for taking great photos.

Friday, May 13th | Saturday, May 14th | Sunday, May 15th

Click on an image to make it big. Once you have one open, you can scroll through. In the gallery, the images are sorted by title, and the titles are over the photos so that it’s easier to find a particular dog.

Next Annual Chapter Meeting, August 20th, 2022, 6:00 pm

The Board of Directors would like to inform members that the annual chapter meeting will be held Saturday, August 20th, 2022 at 6:00 pm at Jake and Sara Heesackers. As stated in the chapter by-laws, the purpose of the annual meeting is to:

a. Elect new board members
b. Present Treasurer’s report
c. Appoint a delegate to the International meeting
d. Vote on changes to the by-laws
e. Present a proposed schedule for the following year’s events

Included in Item (e) is to set test dates and training days. A major reason for moving up the date of the annual meeting is to allow the chapter test secretary a better opportunity to schedule judges for our tests.

I hope to see a good turnout for the meeting as it’s been so long since we’ve been able to get together as a chapter. See you all on the 20th.

Tim Griffin
President, Rocky Mountain Chapter – NAVHDA

UPDATE: The chapter will be providing dinner. Please RSVP.