NORTH AMERICAN GUN DOG ASSOCIATION RULES
Revised March 2019
The most important rule is to have fun! Providing a safe and fun environment for the Competitor, Gundogs and Spectators is of the utmost importance! This will ensure that everyone has a fun, family-oriented experience!
1. When not in the field hunting, all firearms must be unloaded with the action open.
2. Always treat firearms as if they are loaded, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction; keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
3. A participant shall be disqualified for unsafe gun-handling. A negligent or accidental discharge is a disqualification. Dropping a loaded firearm will result in a disqualification. Gun may be laid down on the ground as long as it is unloaded. Gun may be handed to judge during hunt as long as action is open.
DOG WELFARE GUIDELINES FOR NAGDA COMPETITORS
4. The scorekeepers may excuse any dog which they feel is unfit to compete.
5. Bitches in Season- A dog in season will be allowed to hunt, however their run time will be after the last male has run. (Example: if the dog in season draws the No.1 slot it will be moved to follow the last male, not necessarily to the last position).
6. Dogs that have had recent surgery must have a veterinarian written permission release to participate.
7. Any dog that has become hyperthermic (body temperature greater than 104.0 F) will not be allowed to compete again until the following day.
8. Dogs must be on a leash or in a kennels when not running or being aired out. No loose dogs.
9. Any bitch that has whelped within 14 days prior to a competition will be ineligible to compete.
10. If a dog goes down for any reason, the dog has 10 minutes to recover. If the dog does recover the field will not be flushed or replanted and the run will proceed. If the dog cannot recover, the dog and handler must leave the field, and the field will be flushed and replanted for the next competitor(s).
11. Orange vest or cap must be worn during competition.
12. Any species of upland bird may be used.
13. Ignorance of the rules will not be grounds for protest.
14. All hunters will compete with good ethics and sportsmanship. Poor sportsmanship will result in immediate disqualification and all entry fees will be forfeited.
15. No Alcohol or Non-Prescription drugs may be consumed before or during your run(s). Automatic disqualification will result.
16. All hunters, judges, scorekeepers, bird planters, etc. must sign a liability and promotional release prior to running or working in any NAGDA event.
17. All clubs and contestants must be members in good standing with NAGDA in order for scores or events to be sanctioned.
18. A contestant may only protest his/her run and no one else’s.
19. Arguing with the scorekeeper will not be tolerated! If you have a discrepancy, your time and issue will be noted and the run will continue. The contestant, the scorekeeper and the Grievance Committee will resolve the issue at the end of the run. Host clubs have the right to amend rules for certain regulations or hazards as long as they are clearly posted prior to the event.
20. If you win the Amateur National Championship the Handler & Dog as a team will no longer be able to compete as an amateur in that same division. If you win the Women’s National Championship the Handler & Dog as a team will no longer be able to compete in the Women’s Division, they as a team will be allowed to compete in the Amateur or Open Divisions. Any dog & handler as a team who places in the top 5 two times at Nationals in the Amateur Division will be required to move up to the Open Division. The Board of Directors reserves the right to deem a participant as a tournament hunter and require them to compete in the Open Division.
21. No more than 6 runs will be allowed by any hunter or handler at Nationals. However, a host club may use their discretion as to the number of entries by any one person.
22. Electric collars will be permitted. Only one collar may be worn on a dog and must be on the dog’s neck. No dog will be allowed to hunt with a collar on the flank. Abuse or misuse will result in immediate disqualification. Beeper collars will not be allowed if close field proximity will affect the other contestants
23. Communication Devices – Absolutely no cell phones, walkie talkies or any other kind of communication devices can be in the blind or in the field. However certain circumstances will permit the contestant to hand their cell phone to the scorekeeper to carry for them during their run. If on-call for work or for emergency etc.
24. It is the hunter’s responsibility to keep track of the running order. There will be no excuses for not being in the field on time. A field will not be planted until hunter(s) and dog(s) are in the blind and remain there until the field is planted, at which time the scorekeeper will tell the planter to plant the field. Failure to abide by this rule will mean immediate disqualification.
25. Hunters in Blind – When birds are being set, the next hunter (s) up must be in the blinds with dog, gun and ammunition before previous qualifying run has been set. The hunter(s) is/are to leave the blind and enter the field without contact with outside persons. When your run is over you must exit the field without making any contact with the next contestant in the blind.
26. All runs will be drawn for position, 30 minutes before the event starts, with the exception of the Nationals. The only exceptions are if the same dog or the same hunter is to be run, back to back, or the hunter will be in another field at the same time, at which their name will go back into the hat and another name drawn.
27. The hunter or the scorekeeper may call a safety, but the final decision will be up to the scorekeeper. Safety is called for any unsafe condition involving injury to man, dog or property. A safe shot is always the responsibility of the shooter. If a safety is called for any reason, the BIRD CAN’T BE SHOT. If the bird is shot, it will result in an immediate disqualification. Remember, it is always SAFETY FIRST.
28. No running. The hunter must have one foot on the ground at all times and will receive a warning. A ten point deduction will be assessed for the second warning. A third warning will be a disqualification of the run.
29. No bird is to be shot unless safely in flight. Failure to abide by this rule is grounds for disqualification.
Senior Dog – Amateur Pointing & Flushing – Open Pointing & Flushing - Youth - Senior – Doubles– Women Puppy
*NEW* SENIOR DOG:
a. The dog must be a minimum of 10 years old.
b. One of the below items is required for proof of age.
a. Registration Documentation
b. Letter from your Vet stating the dog's age
c. Proof the dog has been a NAGDA competitor for at least 9 years
c. FOR THIS DIVISION ONLY: If the dog is in the NAGDA Gun Dog Hall of Fame or has been nominated for the Hall of Fame, that dog may only run in this division. Any senior dog competing in this division can not compete in any other division.
d. Flushers and Pointers will run in the same Division under Flushing rules.
e. A dog can only make 1 run in this Division at each Nationals competitions.
f. Qualifying for the National Championship, a Hunter and Dog must compete at two events in the Senior Dog Division, placing 1st-3rd at one of those events or attend 4 NAGDA events in one year.
g. Any dog that meets the criteria for the Senior Division and was a Top 5 finalist in any Division at the previous Nationals will automatically be invited to compete at Nationals the following year regardless of who the handler is. Them must compete in at least two events prior to Nationals.
h. Each run will be 4 birds in 20 minutes, but the field size will be smaller whenever possible.
i. At Nationals, this Division will be one-run-and-done. The high score will be declared the National Champion.
j. National awards will be based on number of entries. Example:
10 entrants = 5 award placements, 5 entrants = 2 award placements
k. Entry fee will be reduced because of there only being one run.
l. This division counts towards the six-run maximum per handler at Nationals.
a. The youth must not turn 18 years of age prior to the Nationals to compete in the youth division. Once the youth turns 18, they must compete in the appropriate amateur division. Their youth runs will count towards National Qualificaitons.
b. A parent or guardian must accompany the youth in the field.
c. All youth must have proof of completion of a hunter safety course.
d. Each run will be a 20 minutes with a 4 bird plant.
e. The hunter will have a total of 8 shells to use during the run.
f. Age brackets will be divided into two brackets with a minimum of 8 hunters in either age bracket.
g. The youth hunter must handle the dog, not the guardian. The youth must control the collar at all times.
Amateur Pointing/Amateur and Open Flushing, Senior, Women:
a. A dog can only run one time per handler, per division, in any singles division and the handler must designate whether it will compete in the Open or Amateur Division. A dog and handler may progress from Amateur to Open but thereafter that same dog and handler may not compete in an Amateur Division.
b. If a dog has run in the open division and the handler has run in the open division, they as a team are unable to run in the amateur division, even though they have not run as a team in the open. An amateur hunter is able to take a dog that has run in the open division and still compete in the amateur division.
c. Each run will be 20 minutes with a 4 bird plant.
d. The hunter will have a total of 8 shells to use during the run.
e. Pointer must hold point for 3 seconds for a point to be awarded for a bird find.
f. Qualified Point: To be awarded a qualified point the dog must hold point for a minimum of 3 seconds, determined by the judge only. Also, the point must result in a bird that takes flight, unless in the judge’s opinion the bird is deemed unable to fly. After the 3-second minimum has been met, the handler must attempt to flush the bird, ahead of the dog, before the dog will be awarded any points. The key is the bird must be produced to the air for the gun. The competitor must wait 1 minute to pursue the bird IF it lands in the competitors field.
g. Find: In the flushing division, a find will be awarded when the dog traps, catches or in the judges opinion causes a bird to take flight. In the case of a trap or catch, a shell will be forfeited, this applies to both divisions. The competitor must wait 1 minute to pursue the bird IF it lands in the competitors field.
h. *NEW* AMATEUR DIVISION REVISION - Upon winning an Amateur National Championship, the Handler and Dog as a team will no longer be able to compete as an amateur team in that same division and must move up to the Open division. The Board of Directors reserves the right to deem any participant as a tournament hunter and require them to compete in the Open Division.
a. In the Doubles Division, the two handlers and the two dogs are considered a team and can only enter that division once. As long as one of the team members change, a new team may be formed. (Example: the same two handlers may make up a different team as long as they change one of the dogs or vice versa.)
b. In the Doubles Division, the handlers must stay within a maximum of 50 yards of each other at all times. If a handler has to leave the field to retrieve a dog or bird, the other handler and dog must cease hunting until his/her partner is able to resume hunting. Any birds pointed or flushed during the hunter's absence will not count. Failure to abide by this rule will be cause for immediate disqualification.
c. In the Doubles Division, points are awarded for birds produced rather than pointed or flushed. In order to get points for a produced bird, the dog must produce the bird by point or flush within the field boundaries. Each run will be 20 minutes with a 6-bird plant. Each run will be a 20 minutes with a 6 bird plant.
d. In the Doubles Division two hunters have 10 shells (5 shells each). Each hunter must shoot at least one shell. If one hunter shoots all 6 birds the other hunter must forfeit 1 shell. Shells may be shared by the hunters.
Puppy as Applicable:
a. A puppy may only run one time per sanctioned event per hunter and the handler must designate if the puppy is a pointer or flusher before entering the field to hunt. (All Single Division Rules apply)
b. Any puppy qualifying during the year will run at the National Championship as an Amateur pointing or flushing division.
c. A puppy can not be over 18 months of age.
d. Each run will be a 20 minutes with a 4 bird plant.
e. The hunter will have a total of 8 shells to use during the run.
Open Pointing Division:
a. Qualified Point: To be awarded a qualified point the dog must hold point for a minimum of 3 seconds, determined by the judge only. Also, the point must result in a bird that takes flight, unless in the judge’s opinion the bird is deemed unable to fly. After the 3-second minimum has been met, the handler must attempt to flush the bird, ahead of the dog, before the dog will be awarded any points. The key is the bird must be produced to the air for the gun. The competitor must wait 1 minute to pursue the bird IF it lands in the competitors field.
b. A bird that is a wild flush that is not pointed or flushed by the dog is still eligible to be harvested, however there will be no points awarded for a point or a find in this situation.
d. All other rules for Open Pointing will apply if not mentioned above.
30. An amateur handler may compete in Amateur Division with one dog and the Open Division with another, as long as that dog has never run as an Open dog.
31. An automatic safety will be called if a scorekeeper produces a bird. The total points awarded will be fifteen and the hunter may decline at that time. No shell will be forfeited.
32. Multiple Birds Rising – If your dog goes on point or flushes a bird and multiple birds rise, you will get credit for the point or find for every bird you bag. Other than the first bird you act on, if you miss the other birds you will not get credit for the point or find on those birds and a shell will be taken away for every shot you make. You can’t accumulate extra finds or points on missed birds you don’t bag in a multiple bird rising situation with the exception of the first bird you act on.
33. A shell will be forfeited for each bagged bird.
34. All runs are scored not judged.
10 points – for a point in the pointing division. (Must hold point for a minimum of 3 seconds).
5 points – for a caught bird in all pointing divisions. Cannot be scored as a bagged bird also, but will count as one in the total birds bagged.
10 points – for a flushed bird in all flushing divisions.
20 points - for a bagged bird in all divisions, except for a caught bird in the pointing divisions.
10 points – for a full retrieve. Hunter must keep one foot stationary until the bird is in hand. Hunter may kneel down but not lay down. If time has elapsed and a bird has been shot, the hunter has a 60 second grace period to complete the retrieve. If the retrieve is not completed within the allotted time no points will be given for a bagged bird or the retrieve. If the dog has a bird in its mouth at the end of the first 30 seconds of the grace period points will stand for points or flushes.
5 points – for a partial retrieve. The dog must find, pick up the bird and make an attempt to bring the bird to the handler.
2 points – for each full minute left. Time is called when the last bird is in hand or if a safety is called on the last bird, time will be called when the safety was called. Exact time of completion must be noted for tie breakers, but for points time will be rounded up.
10 points – for each shell not used as long as points have been scored.
No Points – will be scored until the first bird has been legally produced. (pointed or flushed, depending on the division.) If no points have been scored, the run is scored as a zero.
If a safety is called one shell must be forfeited and there will be a two point deduction on the final score.
Hunter may not use gun as a tool to rake the bird closer to them.
3 Second Point – When your dog goes on point you must verbally tell the scorekeeper point. At that time the scorekeeper will start the 3 second count. The dog must not make any advancement towards the pointed bird during the 3 second count. If the dog advances the count will start over. However the hunter does not have to stop moving and can verbally whoa the dog if the dog is creeping. You can whoa a dog on the initial point – penalty will be no credit for the point.
35. Tie breakers will be as follows:
1. Total time in minutes and seconds
2. Time first bird is bagged
3. Number of shells remaining after run
4. Flip a coin
36. All Score sheets must be read and signed before being turned in. If the hunter has a protest, he or she should not sign the score sheet. The scorekeeper will sign all score sheets when the run is complete whether protested or not. Protests will be handled by the grievance committee.
37. If a bird enters and lands inside the boundaries of the field, this bird is considered a legal bird and can be pursued immediately.
38. Scorekeeper will call time for any of the following:
a. Hunter ceases to hunt without bagging all of the birds. No points for remaining minutes will be added to the score or for remaining shells.
b. Time has expired.
c. The hunter has all the birds.
d. The hunter has used their limit of shells. e) An infraction of any other rule, which would cause the end of the run.
e. An infraction of any other rule, which would cause the end of the run.
39. A hunter will receive a warning for an apparent intentional safety. A second warning will mean disqualification.
40. No shells larger than 2 ¾ -inch will be allowed for 12 gauge guns. Magnum shells will be allowed in 20 gauge or smaller guns. No shot larger than #6 shot will be allowed. All rounds must be factory made ammunition.
41. All dogs must be leashed immediately after their run. Hunter, dog and scorekeeper must exit field at the closest boundary.
42. All birds and bird parts must be removed from the field. Intentional leaving of birds or bird parts will cause disqualification.
43. Dead Bird – If the dog goes on point and you find that the bird is dead, you must tell the scorekeeper that the bird is dead. The scorekeeper will stop the clock and inspect the bird. If the bird is cold or stiff you will not get any credit for that bird. If the bird is warm, the hunter will get full credit.
44. If a dog interferes in another field and bumps a bird out of that field, the hunter in that field will get full points (a find, a full retrieve, a bagged bird and have a shell forfeited) for that bird. The hunter can choose to stop the clock until the other dog leaves the field. The offending dog will get a 10 point deduction to their total score.
45. If a shot bird falls over a fence that the dog can’t get through, the hunter may assist the dog over the fence and still receive full points for the retrieve. The hunter may also cross the fence to help the dog back.
46. Hunters intentionally cleaning or loading the field for the next run will be disqualified.
47. All fields are to be clearly marked
48. If a safety is called and the bird lands back in the field. To count as a different bird and/or find, the bird must fly and land a minimum of 50 yards or more from where the safety was called. It can then be hunted and pursued as a different bird, provided the hunter & dog don't go directly to the spot where the bird landed. They must re-establish a hunt and dog work first.
49. All birds must be produced within the marked boundaries. The hunter and/or dog cannot hunt purposely out of bounds. If a hunter has a bird and it sailed out of bounds the dog can retrieve the bird and the dog can take as much time as it needs to complete the retrieve before the allotted time expires. If your dog accidentally goes out of bounds the scorekeeper will instruct you to get your dog back in bounds. There is no harvesting of any birds outside the boundaries of the hunting field.
50. Scorekeepers will not carry bagged birds, but can help put birds in the bag.
51. Club employees, bird planters and scorekeepers may compete in all events at their club. They must wait a minimum of 2 runs before competing in a field they have been a scorekeeper or planted birds in.
52. 60 Second Grace Period – If you shoot a bird and time runs out you will have an additional 60 seconds to complete the retrieve. If your dog does not retrieve the bird before the 60 second grace is up, you will not get credit for the bagged bird or the retrieve. If your dog goes on point with seconds left on the clock and time runs out before you are able to flush the bird, you will still be allowed to flush and harvest the bird provided you get the bird back in hand before the 60 second grace is up. If you have a flusher and time is running out the bird must be in the air before time is out, you may then harvest your bird and use your 60 second grace period.
53. In case of disqualification, no money will be refunded.
54. Any hunter receiving 2 disqualifications in a twelve month period will be sent to the BOD for a review which may include penalties that could result in banning from NAGDA events.
55. The Board of Directors may amend rules at any time. Rule changes will be sent to all host clubs after a change has been made with an explanation why the change was made.
56. If a dog qualifies for Nationals, the same handler that qualified that dog MUST run the dog. No substitute handler will be allowed.
57. A dog may be qualified in pointing and flushing during the year. BUT MUST DESIGNATE WHICH DIVISION THEY WILL RUN IN AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, POINTING OR FLUSHING. No dog may run in both pointing and flushing at Nationals.
58. At Nationals, all Single runs will have a total of 4 birds in the single events. And all Double runs will have a total of 6 birds. It can be a mixed bag of pheasants and chukars or it can be all the same species of bird. It doesn’t matter what birds the hunter qualified on during the year. Host Clubs may use what birds are available during the year.
59. Qualifying for The National Championship, a Hunter and Dog must compete at two events, placing 1st – 3 rd at one of those events or attend 4 NAGDA events in one year.
60. “Top 5” finalists are automatically invited to compete at Nationals the following year. The handler and dog must be the same NO substitutions. They must compete in at least two events prior to Nationals.
61. *NEW* Qualifying in the Doubles Division - Some circumstances prohibit teams from being able to qualify together because of the distance away from each other (such as living in different states). Any Doubles team can be formed to compete at Nationals based on the following criteria:
a. Dog & Handler as a team must have qualified with another Doubles team for that year's Nationals. All other qualifications criteria apply.