Volunteer Descriptions

Field Marshal

  • The field Marshal will stay with their team for the entire day making sure the handlers are prepared and ready for every portion of the test when it is their time.  It is their job to keep the test moving smoothly. They will identify and hand out running orders to the handlers on their team before opening remarks.  If a double test is being run there will be one field Marshal for each team.
  • They are responsible first thing in the morning to gather all equipment needed for the test and make sure it is on hand and ready. (ammo, guns for handlers, etc.)
  • They will make sure the workers are doing their job at each site and have all the necessary equipment needed.  He or she will have radio access to one of the judges as well as the bird planters.
  • The test marshal should have a list of the workers for the day on hand and any major problems will go through this person.
  • At the end of the day they will ensure all equipment is picked up and returned to the right place and ready for the next test day.

Assistant Field Marshal

  • This person assists the Field Marshal in all assigned duties. They will also ensure the judges and workers are supplied with snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

Bird Planters

  • There will be two bird planters in each field if possible.  If not enough workers are available then one experienced bird planter will be acceptable.  Bird planters are responsible in making sure the birds needed for the day are transported to the venue site, two bird bags, and one 4 wheeler should be on hand as well.  This can be done during opening remarks. 
  • At the end of the day all equipment will be brought back to the home base and returned to appropriate places.
  • They will have radio access to the judges and the field marshal.  
  • Bird planters are responsible for cleaning game that can be harvested in between each field run. (you should bring any cleaning equipment needed , a small cooler) The baggies and cleaning wipes will be provided by the chapter. 


  • Gunners should have experience and must meet the criteria shown below as established by the St. Croix Chapter Executive Council.  Gunners will bring their own break action shotgun to the field. 12 or 20 gauge shells will be provided by the chapter Gunners will answer directly to the judges team and the Field Marshal.
  • Gunners must be international chapter members
  • Gunners must be a local chapter member
  • They will have read the NAVHDA Aims Programs Test Rules and abide by them
  • Gunners must be mature adults who regard safety above marksmanship and are physically able to keep up with the handler.
  • Gunners should:
    • Have handled a dog in a NAVHDA utility test
    • Participated as a gunner in a minimum of three training sessions under a member that has gunned for a utility test.
  • The gunners are also responsible to fire the two blank rounds required during the natural ability field portion of the test.

 Duck Thrower

  • Before morning remarks, you are expected to make sure the winger is set up and you have performed a throw of a test duck to ensure you know how to load and run it properly. The same person should perform this job the entire day and for both teams when necessary.
  • The duck thrower is expected to have the ducks to be used in a cooler until ready to be thrown. (These ducks will come from the drag site) 
  • This person should be familiar with the steadiness by the blind and retrieve of duck sequences for the UPT and Utility test. (Pages 17 and 23-24 in the Aims rule book)
  • The duck thrower will have access to radio communications and answers directly to the Field Marshal.

Distraction Gunner for Remaining by the Blind

  • This person will fire a blank from a single barrel break action shotgun at the command of the judging team. He or she should bring hearing protection, as numerous shots will be fired at this location daily. This person should be familiar with the Steadiness by the blind and retrieve sequences for the Utility and UPT tests. (Pages 23-24 in the Aims Rule book)
  • The distraction gunner answers directly to the field marshal and judging team.

Duck Handler – Search for Duck

  • One duck handler will be needed at the water site.  They will make sure that the ducks needed are at the site in a location away from the dogs and their handlers.  They will need to have on hand: Two large bird bags, a handler gun, blank ammo, steel shot ammo, a gun for the live ammo and the boat is on hand. (This can all be done during opening remarks)
  • At the direction of the judge, they will go out in the boat and place the duck in the marsh. Upon returning, the boat should be pulled away and hidden so it will not distract the handler or dog.  Once the dog is far enough away from shore and in the marsh they should get the next duck ready in a quiet fashion. (Primary feathers on both sides should be pulled and discarded in a garbage bag)
  • At the end of the day you are responsible for getting the equipment gathered and back to the appropriate places.  This includes the boat.