National Shoot to Retrieve Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The National Shoot to Retrieve Association is a nonprofit organization of bird dog hunters in the United States. NSTRA is a non-profit origination that conducts sanctioned field trials across the country. Based in Plainfield, Indiana, NSTRA is divided into 30 regions that compete in local and national field trials.


The 30 NSTRA regions hold local trials in their region. The local trials are held at clubs in the region that let NSTRA use their fields. The trials are open to all regions but distance keeps the trials to mostly local competitors. All dogs that place in the region trials go to their respective Regional Elimination Trial, where they compete against the best dogs in the region. The Regional Elimination Trials award prizes and the winning dog is recognized as that year's Regional Champion. The points from placing in local trials and in the qualifying rounds of the Regional Elimination trial count towards a dog's championship status. 1st place gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 and 3rd place gets 1. When a dog gets 18 points and at least 3 first places they become a certified NSTRA champion.

NSTRA holds five national trials annually. The Dog of the Year, Purina Endurance Classic, UKC Performance Classic, Trial of Champions, and Quail Invitational. For the Dog of the Year trial each region sends their top dogs. The Trial of Champions is for all dogs that are champions. Both trials are held in Amo, Indiana. National trials are several days long and the winning dogs are considered national champions.


The National Shoot-to-Retrieve Field Trial Association's field trials were started by a group of dedicated bird hunters who were looking for a way to extend the fun they enjoyed with their bird dogs after their season ended. Field Trials, under hunting conditions, were the answer. They not only extend the season, they also provide a sportsmanlike environment where they can compete with others who enjoy bird dogs. The Association was incorporated in 1978, and is a non-profit association with service to the members and sportsmanship as its goal. [1]


While NSTRA is open to any registered pointing breeds, the breeds most commonly used are the Brittany Spaniel, the English Pointer, the English Setter, and the German Shorthair Pointer.

Field trials[edit]

NSTRA sanctioned field trials are open to all pointing breed dogs and are conducted under conditions closely resembling actual wild bird hunting. Each trial consists of sixteen braces of two dogs. The two dogs compete against each other for points. Five quail are put into a field and the two dogs hunt the field to find the birds. There is a time limit of 30 minutes. The dogs are scored on how well they perform in the field. The dogs are judged on ground coverage, obedience, finds, retrieves, and backing. Each find and associated retrieve are judged independently and are awarded points from 0-100 each. A dog has one opportunity to back the other dog on point for 0-75 points. Ground coverage is scored 0-100 for the brace, and obedience 0-75 for the brace. The dogs' total points are taken and the top three from each field win.[2]

Scoring system[edit]

Ground Coverage is determined by how well a dog hunts the field. Obedience is determined by how well a dog obeys, and how well they act in the field. Finds are scored on how well the dog looks on point, and how well he holds his point. Retrieves are scored on how well the dog retrieves the bird to the handler.[3]


NSTRA Regions[4]

  • Alabama Region
  • Arizona Region
  • Arkansas-Louisiana Region
  • Big Sky Region
  • Central Canada Region
  • Dixie Region
  • Florida Region
  • Georgia Region
  • Gulf Coast Texas Region
  • Illinois Region
  • Indiana Region
  • Kentucky Region
  • Lone Star Texas Region
  • Michigan Region
  • Mid North Region
  • Mid South Region
  • Mid West Region
  • Missouri Show Me Region
  • Missouri-Kansas Region
  • North East Region
  • North West Region
  • Northern Illinois Region
  • Northern California-Nevada Region
  • Ohio Region
  • Oklahoma Region
  • Rocky Mountain Region
  • South Carolina Region
  • Southern California Region
  • Virginia Region
  • West Texas Region
  • Wisconsin Region


External links[edit]