2004 Inductee – Jager
(1986 – 1999)
Owner/Handler: Bill Urseth
1991 US OPEN TOP GUN
GAVE BIRTH TO:
“MICH”- US OPEN & NATHA DOG OF THE YEAR 3X
“LISL” – US OPEN 1ST PLACE PUPPY CLASS
“GUS” – US OPEN 1ST PLACE PUPPY CLASS
Jager was only 35 pounds, a small German Shorthair; she was trained in one day in 1986. Bill Urseth and Terry Correll took her out with six chukkar partridge; she was six months old. They introduced her to the bird and gun. It went very well, so they decided to place chukkar in the and see if she could hunt it up. Seconds later the dog was on point over the first bird. They put it up, shot it, and the dog ran over and retrieved it to hand. The boys were quite surprised, so they placed another bird in the field. It, too, went perfect and then a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Each time she made a perfect stylish point and a retrieve to hand. Finally Terry said to Bill, “Do you want to train this dog to sit?” He replied, “No, I don’t like my pointing dogs to sit”. Correll then said “Well, I think we’re finished then, cause I don’t know what else to teach this dog.”
One of the quickest studies ever, this dog could hunt by 7 months. She was competing, not winning, but competing well and this in the days of one class tournaments. There were no puppy competitions, no top guns, no classes, old dogs, young dogs, pointers, flushers, professionals and amateurs. Just one class winners take all events. By the following year she began to win and then never stopped until that fateful day.
At age five, she had established herself as one of the best tournament dogs in the country, she had birthed a litter that would include legendary Mich, who would win three U S Opens, eight State Championships and be a Three-Time NATHA Dog of the Year.
The October air was brisk and fresh in the Ortonville, MN area, the corn was being picked, beans were all harvested and the hunting party that Bill was guiding too big. Ten guys are too many to keep track of, but they’d break into two groups shortly. Most of the guys he was guiding only hunted once a year and they were excited. Within minutes of arriving Jager struck point suddenly. The group, expecting a pheasant as they approached the dog, saw a huge covey of Huns produce from the cover. The Huns flew low and explosively and the shooting began. Seeing immediately the problem, Bill yelled “don’t shoot the dogs, don’t shoot the dogs!” It was too late. Jager had 22 pellets in her head and her left eye was shot out. The vet thought she would live, but probably never be the same again.
For one year she never hunted, the eye being too sensitive and the healing went slowly. Finally at age six she returned to the field. No one had a clue what was left of this one-eyed dog packing 22 pieces of lead. But hunt she did, with the reckless abandon she was famous for. In 1991 she would win the U S Open Top Gun with Bill and then she retired for good. Jager lived to 13 and produced another litter that include Lisl and Gus, both of whom would win U S Open firsts in the puppy class. Today her genes still effect the outcome of most major tournaments and her offspring continue to fly with enthusiasm and the love of the game she had.