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Through words and images, we are on a mission to share our passion for pointing dogs, upland hunting and sporting dog photography. 

A Field Trial in 1878

Pointing Dog Blog

The world of pointing dogs in words and images, moving and still.

A Field Trial in 1878

Dog Willing

From Harper's Weekly. New York, October 5, 1878


ON the next page will be found sketches made by our special artist at the field trial for dogs, held September 10, 11, and 12, at Westport Lake, in the vicinity of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, under the auspices of the Minnesota Kennel Club.

The first sketch shows some of the members of the club seated round a table and engaged in an ani mated discussion of canine points. In the heat of argument they seem to have rested from the labors of knife and fork. The second sketch presents the appearance of the camp in the evening; and the third, a tent interior, shows how hunters and dogs manage to keep cozy and warm on a frosty night. The large sketch is one of the field trials.

Our artist writes in regard to it: “From our camp on the lake we started off each morning soon after sunrise. The day my sketch was made we had had a sharp frost, and the wind from the north rose with the sun. Several of the party wore buffalo-skin overcoats, one had a blanket around him, and another mighty hunter had on a rubber overcoat over his business suit, and his hunting coat over that. A hunting cap, with visor fore and aft, completed his costume. Another wore alligator leggings, the result of his shooting in the everglades of Florida.

About fifteen States were represented by hunters and their dogs at the trials. “In my sketch I have given the moment when a dog has made a point on game. They hunted two dogs at a time, each dog being accompanied by his hunter. In the foreground are the three judges, the two hunters, and the superintendent of the trial. Just back of them is Dr. Rowe, of the Chicago Field, in the act of putting up a red flag, indicating to the crowd behind a point of merit. Raising a white flag indicated a demerit, The crowd was supposed to keep about seventy five yards in the rear, but such was the eager interest of the spectators to witness the exciting sport that it was difficult to restrain their ardor.”

The attendance at these field trials was quite large, and the entries were numerous. As the weather was clear though sharp, the occasion was thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part in it, except, perhaps, the prairie chickens and grouse that furnished the sport.

W. Rogers. Field Trial of Dogs near Westport Lake, Minnesota..jpg

And here are the actual trial results! (thanks to Steeple Bell).