Casts and blasts for the 2013 Master National hunt test in Kansas

A Lab hits the water on a Wednesday practice retrieve. About 700 of America’s top retrievers are in Kansas for the 2013 Master National hunt test at Flint Oak.

Lovers of good working dogs need to give serious consideration to spending some time at the 2013 Master National hunt test at Flint Oak. The event that has about 700 of America’s top retrievers is scheduled to run from Saturday through Sunday, Sept. 29. Here is some more of what you need to know -

– Flint Oak is about eight miles south of the town of Fall River, which is about 90 minutes east of Wichita on Highway 400. Following Fall River’s main street south will take you to signs that lead you to Flint Oak. The address is 2639 Quail Road, Fall River. Signs should indicate parking areas and where the public can find gallery areas for watching the dogs at work.

– The public is asked to wear mellow, natural-looking colors so the dogs aren’t distracted. White is especially discouraged. As with golf, the gallery is also expected to remain relatively quiet when a dog is working.

– There is no charge for watching the tests. Food and drink can be purchased and toilets will be available.

– Daily tests are scheduled to run from about 8 a.m. until about 7 p,m. Testing will probably wind-up early on Sept. 29.

– Cell phone coverage is spotty on the Flint Oak grounds.

– Roughly 600 of the dogs at the event will be Labs, about 45 golden retrievers, about 14 Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, about 14 are flat-coated retrievers, two are Boykin spaniels, one is a Nova Scotia duck toller, and one a standard-sized poodle.

– The Kansas-based Sunflower Retriever Club is hosting the event, and have provided much of the organization and volunteers.The club is dedicating their efforts, and the greatness of the event, to the memory of member Marcia Traylor. An avid club and retriever supporter for years, Marcia was tragically killed in an auto accident about two years ago.

Personally, I’ll always owe a debt of gratitude to Marcia. Knowing I was looking for a quality Lab in 2000, she called me when she heard of a solid litter in Missouri. Marcia also put in a good word for me with the owners of the litter, who were very selective in where their puppies went for homes. Her kindness made my life far better than before.

– Look for three articles, and about 100 photos about the Master National hunt tests in Sunday’s Wichita Eagle and on www.kansas.com/outdoors.