Why NSTRA

Are you a bird hunter with limited wild bird hunting opportunities? Are you looking for a way to include your entire family in your hunting experience? Do you have a hunting dog that needs to get out more? Are you willing to learn more, make new friends and enjoy the company of other sportsmen? NSTRA just may be the place for you!

Reasons

  1. Extend The Season!

    National Shoot to Retrieve Field Trial Association, Inc. (NSTRA) was conceived by a group of hunters in the late 1960's as a way to extend the normal open upland bird hunting season from a few weeks to a longer period of time. Their common goal was to foster the growth of walking style quality type field trials for all pointing breed dogs. Incorporated in 1978, NSTRA is a non-profit association with service to the members and sportsmanship as its goal.
  2. Over 1000 Local Field Trials!

    Over the last 40+ years, NSTRA has developed as an organization that sponsors field trials across the United States and Central Canada. Over 1,000 local field trials are held annually for seasoned competitors and dogs as well as amateurs. Points earned in these trials are accumulated to earn championships for the dogs as well as qualify them for regional and national competitions. Judging seminars are held annually by instructors who actually compete in our sport to train our judges in a fair and consistent manner. Our rules are easy to understand and points are scored for each find and retrieve, ground coverage, obedience and backing. Using this points system, the dog with the most points wins! Depending on local weather conditions, trials are held all year long in various locations. You can check out your local trialing information on the website NSTRA Regions page. Trials are held either by clubs or individuals. Each region elects officers to make sure that all trialing is held to NSTRA standards. Seasoned members often take on the role of mentor for new members.
  3. Family Fun!

    Our trials are held in family friendly environments. Many families take advantage of our reduced membership pricing for associate members (spouses and children, 18 years of age and under still living at home). We have several young members who own and run their own dogs. The minimum age to be in the field is 10 years of age. To gun for oneself, you must be 16 year of age and hold a current Hunter's Safety Course card.
  4. Championships

    NSTRA dogs earn points by placing in the top 3 of local trials or the top 4 of National and Regional trials. For every 18 points (9 of which must be 1st place points) a dog earns another championship. We have an amateur program established in several regions that allows a dog to earn an amateur championship before going on to compete in open trialing.
  5. Regional Championships

    Each region holds a championship trial at the end of their trialing season. Qualified dogs are allowed the change to participate for a regional championship and to qualify for our premier National Trial the Dog of the Year.
  6. National Championship Trials

    NSTRA holds 5 National Championship Trials annually. Two of these (Trial of Champions and Dog of the Year) are held in our home location at the Conservation Bird Dog Club in Amo, Indiana. The other 3 trials are held elsewhere throughout the United States.
  7. Membership

    To participate in NSTRA events, you must be a member. This includes entering a dog, handling a dog, shooting for another handler, judging, bird handling and performing field marshal duties. Membership is a privilege and you must agree to obey all NSTRA rules and regulations. In addition to a current rules booklet, members receive a numbered membership card, a window decal and a patch. Full members receive our bi-monthly magazine and are allowed to vote in all regional and national elections of officers and on all proposed rule revisions. A lifetime membership is also available. Regular memberships are $50.00 per year; Associate memberships are $20 per year (Spouse or child of a regular member. Child must be 18 years old or younger and still living at home); Lifetime memberships are $500.00.
  8. Sponsorship

    For many years, we have had a special relationship with several well known companies. Each of these companies provides us with the means to continue to provide a quality trialing experience for you and your family.