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Great Lakes offers a variety of events to its members throughout the year.  These vary from training days, to hunting trips, to picnics, etc.  This page is to help you see what we have to offer as a club on a regular basis. We are always looking, however, for ways to better meet the needs of our members. Please don't hesitate to make a suggestion if you think of something you'd like to see here! To see specific dates of upcoming events, you may also check out our Calendar Page.

Upcoming Events:

Charity Fun Hunt in Fenwick

What: Training Day Focused on Marking and Blind Concepts!
When: July 14, 2018 9:00AM
Where: Jim Sullivan's Property in Fenwick (Where we hold our hunt test!) (Click for Map)
RSVP: Please contact Phil Swedberg to let him know you are coming!
Cost: $15 per dog (Sorry, no maximum for multiple dogs this time. Please read below for explanation.)

This year, instead of the usual Great Lakes Challenge, we will be holding a fun hunt/training day in memory of Carol Ford. Carol was a long-time judge, leader, and mentor to many current GLHRC members and in her memory, some of her friends are working to fund a scholarship to be given annually by HRC. This fun hunt will be to collect funds to donate to this worthy cause!

So, here's the plan. We'll hold a fun hunt with higher than normal "fun hunt fees" with the idea that all proceeds will go to the Carol Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund. We'll meet at the training address in Fenwick (Note: Not the normal hunt test headquarters and not Jim Sullivan's (landowner) home, but at the kennel building across the road.), have a small registration meeting, then head to one of four different sites to train. Your entry fee will give you the opportunity to train as much as you like that day, but we will have setups designed for a variety of situations. The plan right now is to have a land/water marking setup for upper level dogs (Seasoned/Finished),and a land and a water marking setup for newer dogs (Started/Seasoned) and a blind running station. At the blind running station 5-6 blinds will be set up which include both land and water, as well as whatever other concepts we can come up with to test dogs on. This property gives us both room and opportunities to show dogs a lot of new concepts!

The focus of the day will be on great training opportunities and not so much on "test setups" or getting ready to run a hunt test. Our hope is that you will look at it as an opportunity to expose your dog to something new. Now, because it is a training day and not a hunt test, we are going to be asking everyone to help out. We will all need to help load wingers for one another, plant blinds, work out the running order, etc. We will have the trailer there, so all of our equipment will be there and each station will have a marshall that is coordinating who is going where and when, but that marshall will still need a ton of help to keep the setups running smoothly. Please plan to both run your dog and work the tests throughout the day. Since we want this fundraiser to be successful, we're inviting the members of all of the Michigan Clubs of HRC. We will all be training together, so please work together to keep things running smoothly.

Now for the details:

  • What: Carol Ford Memorial Scholarship Fun Hunt/Training Day
  • Saturday, June 14 - 9:00AM (Registration to begin at 8:30AM)
  • Jim Sullivan's Training Property )10357 Staines Rd. Fenwick, MI 48834
  • Why: To benefit the fundraising efforts to fund the Carol Ford Memorial Scholarship!
  • Cost: $15/dog (no mas for this event - no limit on how many dogs a handler may bring)
  • What else: Lunch! Burgers, dogs, buns, and condiments will be provided and grilled at about noon by Great Lakes HRC. Please bring a dish, a snack, a bag of chips, or whatever to share as well. We'll start lunch about noon, but you can eat as you get time, but we'll keep the training going right through lunch, as long as there are folks who wish to train.
  • Birds: Due to the extensive rain at our hunt test, we won't have real birds to train with. We'll be using Avery TrueBirds as well as any bumpers that anyone would like to share for use.

A couple of notes:

  • Please volunteer to help out and relieve someone who is or has been working so that they may run their dogs.
  • If you have multiple dogs to run, space them out throughout the day, so that you aren't running them all back-to-back at the end and others are having to service you.
  • Ask for (or offer) advice as you are comfortable. This is a training day. There will be many experienced trainers there that have great advice to offer. Most people, however, are hesitant to offer unsolicited advice, not knowing if it's wanted or not. If you have a question, don't know how to get the result you're looking for, or just wonder whether what your dog just did is good, bad, or ugly, turn to the nearest person and ask them. If they don't know, they'll help you find someone who does!
  • RSVP: Please email Phil Swedberg (philswedberg@gmail.com) to let him know that you are coming and how many dogs you plan to run.

We'll work from those numbers and the list of email addresses we collect to plan the day and communicate any changes in plans or extra information that is needed. We really hope you will join us to celebrate a great lady and get some great training in in the process!

Professional Training Seminar with Tim Doane

What: One-Day Training Seminar Hosted by Tim Doane
When: Aug 4, 2018 8:00AM
Where: McGreavy's Property in Ravenna, MI (Click for Map)
RSVP: Please email Phil Swedberg with a count of how many people you are bringing so that we can plan lunches.

  • If you would like to be considered to bring your dog and have your dog serve as a demonstrator for the day, please email Tim Doane to nominate yourself. Tim will handpick the dogs he wants to use, but you are welcome to offer!

Cost: None! This seminar is free to GLHRC members. Members not current on their dues or those wishing to become members to attend the seminar may pay online at our (Members' Page) or in person on the morning of the seminar.

Tim Doane is a very successful retriever trainer and an active member of our club. His intent for this seminar is to show you the entire progression of training a dog from puppy to Finished retriever in a short overview of the process. Each phase will be discussed and tips and suggestions will be made to help you progress.

Next, in the afternoon portion of the Seminar, Tim will have some members run their own dogs on setups that he has prepared. As members run their dogs on these training scenarios, Tim will comment on everything from what the dog is doing to what the handler is doing to how both of these might be more effective. In some ways, this is a chance to "hear" what is going on inside Tim's head as he watches dogs and handlers work and ask questions about how problems might be addressed. In the past, this has been an invaluable experience for those training their own dogs!

Lunch will be provided, so simply bring your lawn chair, sunscreen, bug spray, and something on which to take notes. We hope that many of you will join us and take advantage of this informative, FREE, learning opportunity!

New Handler/Puppy Class Offered by Chris Postma and Ron Dozeman

What: Introductory class for new handlers or young dogs, exploring the method of training and offerings of HRC
When: Aug 9 & 16, 2018 - 6:30PM
Where: Holland Fish & Game Club, Holland, MI (Click for Map)
RSVP: Please email Chris Postma to hold your spot.
Cost: None! This seminar is free to GLHRC members. Members not current on their dues or those wishing to become members to attend the class may pay online at our (Members' Page) or in person on the first day of class.

Chris Postma and Ron Dozeman attended the very first puppy class that GLHRC offered, nearly ten years ago. Each has since become an accomplished trainer and handler with multiple HRCH titled dogs between them, but perhaps more importantly, valuable members of the club. These two men will show you not only how to begin training your retriever puppy and the process of training that they follow, but also the valuable resources available through the club and how to get the most out them. If you are new to training retrievers, new to GLHRC, or have a young dog in need of exposure/socialization, you won't want to miss this awesome opportunity to learn from Chris and Ron! Please RSVP to Chris (email above) to hold your spot!

Annual Events:

Spring Regular Hunt Test
When: Mid-May
Where: 550 Snows Lake Rd. Fenwick, MI 48834

Our annual hunt test is our flagship event. This simulates a day afield hunting waterfowl and is sanctioned by the Hunting Retriever Club, Inc. Dogs will be tested on both land and water at three different levels of testing. For more information about these tests, please visit our Hunt Test Page.

Upland Hunt Test
When: Late March
Where: Wings and Rings Pheasant Hunting Preserve  (3365 146th Ave, Zeeland, MI 49464)

This test simulates a day of upland hunting. We usually use chukars or pheasants free planted and dogs must flush the birds as if they were upland hunting. On the flush, the dogs must demonstrate steadiness to wing and shot and retrieve the shot birds. We frequenly offer four tests in a weekend, allowing for the possibility of earning your dog's Upland Hunter title in a single weekend! For more information about these tests, please visit our Upland Hunt Test Page.

Club Picnic
When: June or July
Where: Location varies each year.

This is a social event where we meet to eat, play yard games, and basically socialize as a club. We vary the location and this is not a dog training event, but is a family event and always a great time with our club members.

Awards Banquet
When: Late January
Where: Brann's Steakhouse, 4157 Division Ave, South, Grand Rapids, MI

Another social event, the annual banquet is held in January to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of our members in the past year. After dinner, we hold a brief business meeting and then begin recognizing the titles earned during the year with trophy plaques and then hold a raffle for hunting and dog related equipment. This is another excellent opportunity to network with club members, renew old friendships, and share stories of our hunting and training seasons past.

Periodic Activities:

The following events are additional benefits of membership in GLHRC. While they don't all happen annually or on a schedule, we try to offer these events as frequently as possible and are always looking for suggestions for new ideas!

Fun Hunts

These events simulate a hunt test and frequenly feature set ups like you might see at a test. Setups are designed to be flexible enough to accommodate dogs at all levels of training or multiple setups may be offered. Sometimes ducks are used, other times bumpers. Usually, experienced members are on hand to advise newer handlers on training tips, handling advice, etc. These events are great for evaluating the progress of your training and for socializing your dog to performing around many other dogs and people.

Training Groups

One huge benefit of membership in the club is access to experienced trainers who've "been there, done that" and can advise you on how to train our dog. These training groups often form informally and develop into whatever the involved members want them to be. Access, though, to emails, phone numbers, and chances to meet other members make creating a group that meets your needs and fits your schedule possible.

Send mail to
Chad Miller with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2006