Heartland NAVHDA, LC 




In Remembrance...

My Echo passed away March 25th, 2009.

I've added a page to my site in his remembrance:

Rufnit Kennels, LLC Braque du Bourbonnais Echo

Thanks to everyone that supported us during our journey together!

Shari / Rufnit Kennels, LLC


January 2009 Newsletter from the President



            I hope this finds all of you well and that you all had an enjoyable bird season. I enjoyed the bird season and was able to enjoy watching all of my dogs in the field this year. I was able to shoot several birds over my new pup, Tyra or T-Rex if you prefer. I also was able to hunt my oldest companion, Darby who is 11, more than expected this year. Amber’s young dog Zoe proved that she could run with the “Big Dawgs” this year and was very successful for Amber and I both during the 2008 campaign. Zoe was invited on my Montana trip this year and did very nicely on Huns and Sharptails as well as the Pheasants here in Iowa. Needless to say my fall and winter were pretty full of hunting and fun!!!!


            The chapter has arguably enjoyed more success this year than ever before. I am very proud of all the hard work that our members put forth. To quote the old saying “the proof is in the pudding” we will send 6 dogs to the Invitational in 2009. This is quite an accomplishment for a chapter that is as small as ours. Congratulations needs to go out to Kris Hill, Shari Stueck, Pam Robinson, Ken Hamele, Larry Woodward, and Tracey Nelson. It also needs to be noted that Ken and Pam are first time handlers and have also successfully passed the Kris Hill school of bird flushing. I have had the opportunity to watch most of these dogs in various training venues and some in tests. I can pay each of these dogs  no higher compliment than that I would be proud to own any of them, pass or fail in Ohio. Although, I am expecting 6 new VC’s in 2009!!!!


            The rest of the chapter has not sat idle this year though either. Many members ran and successfully passed dogs at all levels of NAVHDA testing in 2008. Many of our members also have tested in other venues as well. Amber Tolzin passed her Brittany in the UKC TAN test. Pam Robinson also had her Small Munsterlander pass the HRC started retriever tests. This was a quite feather in Pam’s cap as these tests are dominated by Labradors. Robin Nelson completed her show title in the AKC ring with her German Wirehaired Pointer. Some members also competed and received legs of their AKC hunt test titles as well over the past year.


            The year was not just about the dogs though. Amber and I along with Shari Stueck and Terry Krueger of Rufnit Kennels spent some time in Clarinda, Iowa for their Dog Days of Summer celebration. We had a booth for the better part of the day in the hot August sun and I spoke to an audience about NAVHDA as a whole and why we do what we do. We also had 2 members recognized by the International. Kris Hill was asked to be the Director of Promotions and to sit on the Executive Council. Tracey Nelson was also asked to be an Apprentice Judge Coordinator and to serve as a Clinician. Both of these women have taken on assignments that require generous amounts of time. If you think of it thank them for what they do for the organization. Remember that they do this in addition to judging and helping make sure that our chapter is on the right path.


            As always we do have some general house keeping things that we need to mention. First and foremost are the memberships at Skyline Lodge. Memberships are $100 and entitle you to access to training fields and water. The cost is $10 per day if you are not a member to train with us. It does not take very many trips to eat up the $100. Just ask someone that has tried to not join…As always when attending a training day or test your dogs need to be leashed, tied out, or in a crate when not in the field. Be courteous to the other members about this and let common sense be the rule. Regardless of how well your buddy is mannered at home, other dogs, strange smells, and different people can make Fido/Fifi forget how obedient he/she really is. It is also safer to have your dog contained as we train next to a fairly busy road.


            Test dates for the spring test have been set for May 2 and 3rd and the fall test will be held October 9, 10 and 11th. As we always do, training days will be held the first Saturday of the month beginning in April and ending in October unless otherwise noted on the website. July and September will be the second Saturday of the month. All training days will begin at 7:30 to try and beat the heat. Birds will only be available if you contact Tracey Nelson by the Wednesday before the scheduled training day. We will have a few extra birds on hand, but these will be reserved for new members that are unaware of how to reserve birds. Only if there are no new members present will the extras be sold to existing members. Get your orders in or bring your own!!! Our Chapter’s Annual meeting is going to be later than usual this year and has been scheduled for March 1 at 3:00 PM at Skyline Lodge. Memberships will be due at this time as well. Each Chapter member must also be a member of the International as well.


            Once again, I cannot tell you what a pleasure it has been to serve as your chapter President this past year. I truly am proud of each and every accomplishment that we have made this year. Ask the people that have qualified dogs, it truly is a group effort most of the time. The family aspect is what sets NAVHDA apart from most other sporting dog venues.   Good luck to everyone testing this year from NA to the Invitational. I am looking forward to helping you and your dog become better.




                                                                                                Darin W Tolzin

                                                                                                Heartland NAVHDA President


DarinMiaClarinda_small  HeartlandClarinda_small

Clarinda Iowa Chamber of Commerce

Dog Days of Summer



The Heartland Chapter was requested by the Clarinda Iowa’s Chamber of Commerce to have a representative at the cities 2nd annual Dog Days of Summer. It is an idea that the city set up to promote itself and the heat of August. The theme encompasses anything and everything dog. There was a doggy talent show, a dog costume contest, a dog show that included the longest tail, tallest dog and the best mannered. There were also talks and demonstrations about working and sporting dogs.

The Heartland Chapter had 4 members, Shari Stueck and Terry Krueger of Rufnit Kennels and Darin and Amber Tolzin, volunteer to represent the chapter and NAVHDA. Rufnit brought 3 Braque Du Bourbonnais, or the off breed as they are known fondly throughout the chapter. The Tolzins brought a German Shorthair, German Wirehair, and a Epagnuel Breton. For those of you going “What?” it is a  French Brittany.

The goal of the chapter was to increase awareness in the area for NAVHDA. This was done thru passing out brochures and an informative talk by Chapter President, Darin Tolzin that explained the basics of how and why NAVHDA was created and how it has evolved in the last 40 years. A note of AKC recognizing our registry and our sponsors were also mentioned. A brief overview of each test was given and a plug for the chapter’s testing dates and site may have been thrown in along the way.


Six members invited to the NAVHDA 2009 Invitational

The Heartland Chapter has six companions that will be participating in the NAVHDA 2009 Invitational.

Larry Woodward - Aux Lake Astral

Pam Robinson - Hunting Hills Gunnar

Kris Hill - Looses Jaika

Shari Stueck - Rufnit Alex

Ken Hamele - Jerry Vom Buchenberg

Tracey Nelson - Campbell's Boz Upland Hunter



Our Chapter has two breeders that received Natural Ability Breeder Awards in 2007:

Kris Hill / HuntHills Kennels / SM

Shari Stueck / Rufnit Kennels / BB


January 2008 Newsletter from the President

January 11, 2008




I hope all of you had as an eventful year as I did. 2007 was a big year for the Heartland Chapter. We hosted a very successful annual meeting in January. It could not have been done without all of the volunteers. I was appointed as a NAVHDA judge at this meeting, marking a very satisfying personal goal for myself. We kicked off the training season in March at Skyline lodge and met every 1st Saturday thru the month of October. Our Spring test was held May 11-13 and the Fall test was October 12-14. We also held a NA test in conjunction with Small Munsterlander Association in June that Tracey and I were invited to judge at. Once again our tests were full and a waiting list started. People want to test at our chapter, because of the hospitality and the accommodations. You all should be proud of this. There are judges that want to come judge at our tests for this fact as well. We had many successful dogs pass at all levels this year. Numerous Utility and Natural Ability dogs were added to the chapter this year. Special recognition must be given to Tracey Nelson and Kris Hill who both took dogs to the Invitational and earned Versatile Champion titles. Kris also is an apprentice judge and applied to become a judge this year. Good Luck Kris!! Many of our members participated in Hunt Tests, Field Trials, and the Show Ring with success throughout the year.


Some events planned for the upcoming year are the tests. The Heartland Annual Meeting will be held February  9th at Skyline Lodge in Thurman at 4:00 PM. There will be a no host dinner following the meeting. We also have scheduled a Handlers Clinic for April 19 and 20. The cost of this is $75 per person or $125 per couple. This clinic will provide useful hands on information from 2 NAVHDA senior judges on how NAVHDA judges score the dogs and an overview of the testing rules will be given. It is very enlightening and informative for first time handlers and veterans as well. Mock tests situations will be held and judged by all in attendance. Common handling errors and useful tips will also be discussed. Unfortunately we can only accommodate 20 people for this seminar. If you are interested in attending contact Tracey Nelson via e-mail at quickpup25@wmconnect.net.  The spring test has been moved up 2 weeks this year to May 3-4. The spring test is almost full. If anyone has a dog that they would like to test, contact Amber Tolzin at dnatolzin@hughes.net  for space availability. The Fall test will be held October 10-12th. We will need volunteers for both of these tests, plan your schedule accordingly. Everyone had better be there or have a note from their parents!!! LOL


There will be some changes in the chapter’s officers this year as well. Tracey Nelson stepped down as President this year after several years in the office. (Thanks Tracey). I was voted to be the new President by a total of 6 votes. It was a close race with Santa as a write-in I guess. Kris Hill will be the new Secretary. Tom McDonald will be stepping in to fulfill the vacated Vice President position. Shari Stueck will remain as treasurer. Tim Raglin will be the new Training Director and we are currently trying to recruit a Promotions Director. Heartland Chapter dues are due the first of January. These can be paid in person at the annual meeting as well. If you are not a member of Skyline Lodge ($100) there is a $10/day fee to train on the grounds. Many Chapters do not have this advantage and have to pay $25 - $50 per day to train. There will be some etiquette rules posted on the website for training day, please read and become familiar with these before attending. They are mostly common sense, but we all could use reminding at times.


I hope you all had a chance to get out and hunt your dogs this year. I spent 10 days in Montana hunting Huns, sharptail, ruffed, spruce  and blue grouse and 2 porcupines (long story). I had so much fun I took Amber and went back for another 5 days. The hunting and dog work were great. We also had a very strong finish to our pheasant season after a dismal start. Amber’s new French Brittany pup pointed and retrieved several wild birds this year. My female Mia really turned into a consistent bird dog the last half of the season and retrieved a bird or two herself. My old female Darby, started her retirement by not making any trips and only hunting half days this year. I was pretty torn up by the realization that she still had the will, but not the youthful legs.


I am looking forward to working with all of you and hope that we have another productive year. I hope to see you all at the meeting in February.




Darin Tolzin

Heartland NAVHDA


2007 VC's awarded to Heartland Chapter Members:

Cody Vom Apfelbaumbach (SM) - Kris Hill

JJem's Julia (GS) - Tracey Nelson


Presidents Newsletter:  Winter 2007


NAVHDA UT 10-08-2005 All Women Trainers/Handlers

Heartland NAVHDA Utility Test October 8, 2005
The first known NAVHDA Utility Test consisting of all female owners/handlers!
Kristine Hill (Small Munsterlander), Sally Jo Hoaglund (Weimaraner)
Shari Stueck (Braque du Bourbonnais), Cheryl Asmus (German Shorthaired Pointer)
Photo courtesy of Tresha Moorberg


Heartland NAVHDA members...

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