National Shoot to Retrieve Association

National Shoot to Retrieve Association

The National Shoot to Retrieve Association is an organization of bird dog hunters in the United States. NSTRA is a non-profit origination that conducts sanctioned field trials across the country. NSTRA is divided into 30 regions that compete in local and national field trials.


NSTRA Field Trials

NSTRA sanctioned Field Trials are open to all pointing breed dogs and are conducted under conditions closely resembling actual wild bird hunting.[1] In field trials two dogs compete against each other for points. Five quail are put into a field and the two dogs hunt the field to point the birds. The dogs are scored on how well they perform in the field. The dogs are judged on ground coverage, obedience, points, retrieves, and backs. The trials consist of sixteen braces of two dogs in two separate fields. The dogs’ total points are taken and the top three from each field win.

NSTRA National & Local

The 30 NSTRA regions hold local trials in their region. The local trials are held at clubs in the region that let NSTRA use their fields. The trials are open to all regions but distance keeps the trials to mostly local people. All dogs that place in the region trials go to the Indiana Region Trial where they compete against the best dogs in the region. The region trials award prizes and the dogs are recognized as region champions. The points from placing also go to becoming a champion. 1st place gets 3 points, 2nd place gets 2 and 3rd place gets 1. When a dog gets 18 points and at least 3 first places they become a champion.

NSTRA holds several national trials. They have the Quail Invitational, Trial of Champions, Dog of the Year, Grand National Invitational and Endurance Classic. The Quail Invitational is an invitational trial determined by your points in local trials. The trial is held in Florida. The Trial of Champions is for all dogs that are champions. It is held in Amo, Indiana. For the Dog of the Year trial each region sends their top dogs. It is also held in Amo, Indiana. The Endurance Classic dogs are determined by region points. The Grand National is an invitational determined by points. National trials are several days long and the winning dogs are considered national champions.


The National Shoot-to-Retrieve Field Trial Association's field trials were started by a group of dedicated bird hunters who were looking for a way to extend the fun they enjoyed with their bird dogs after their season ended. Field Trials, under hunting conditions, were the answer. They not only extend the season, they also provide a sportsmanlike environment where they can compete with others who enjoy bird dogs. The Association was incorporated in 1978, and is a non-profit association with service to the members and sportsmanship as its goal. There are currently 30 NSTRA Regions serving our members in the lower 48 States and Canada. More information on the history of NSTRA can be found at our display in the National Bird Dog Museum - Field Trial Hall of Fame - Wildlife Heritage Center located in Grand Junction, Tennessee. [2]

Scoring System

Ground Coverage is determined by how well a dog hunts the field. Obedience is determined by how well a dog obeys, and how well they act in the field. Points are scored on how well the dog looks on point, and how well he holds his point. Retrieves are scored on how well the dog retrieves the bird.


Alabama Region

Arizona Region

Arkansas-Louisiana Region

Big Sky Region

Central Canada Region

Dixie Region

Florida Region

Georgia Region

Gulf Coast Texas Region

Illinois Region

Indiana Region

Kentucky Region

Lone Star Texas Region

Michigan Region

Mid North Region

Mid South Region

Mid West Region

Missouri Show Me Reg.

Missouri-Kansas Region

North East Region

North West Region

Northern Illinois Region

No. Calif-Nevada Region

Ohio Region

Oklahoma Region

Rocky Mountain Region

South Carolina Region

So. California Region

Virginia Region

West Texas Region

Wisconsin Region

Dogs Used

While NSTRA is open to any pointing dogs there are four main breeds of dog used.

Brittany Spaniel

English Setter

English Pointer

German Shorthair Pointer








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