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Jeff Rigby: Going to the Dogs

Habit puts Riverside man in national spotlight

Ellen Cook

Leader Editor

Dogs have been toted as man’s best friends.  Riverside resident Jeff Rigby will definitely agree with that adage.  In fact, dogs – specifically bird dogs – have taken over his life, and he loves it!

Rigby, who grew up in Providence, said he has always had a good dog or two around and awaiting the opening of the upland bird hunting season each year was like anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas.  Hunting was a family affair and everyone joined in.  The tradition continued even after he married and moved to Riverside.  He still enjoys the annual trek to the fields with his canine companions to scare up a few birds.

But about seven years ago, following a hunting trip to White’s Valley, his weekend bird dog excursions developed into full-blown competitions.   Rigby is into some serious tournament hunting and travels all over the country with his dogs in tow.  His efforts have put him in the top ten at several National hunts and earned him spots at World contests, as well.   He will even be hosting a tournament hunt of his own on Nov. 17, in Deweyville.

Tournament hunting falls into several different categories and requires a variety of dogs, Rigby said.  Open dogs are animals over three years of age, while amateur dogs are three and under.  Those dogs are then divided into two divisions.  The Flushing division is for dogs that flush out the birds for the hunter, while the Pointing division is for dogs that go on point when they spot a bird and the hunter must kick them out themselves.  Rigby’s dogs, all yellow Labrador retrievers with top bloodlines, are flushers.

For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.


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