Lovelock bird dog trials get big funding
Pershing recreation board grants Wesner $10K to help with hosting event
Thursday, July 14, 2016 1:00 AM
After a presentation at the Pershing County Recreation Board meeting, Western States National bird dog competition organizer Bing Wesner was granted his request for $10,000. These funds will be used to increase the cash awards for the flusher and pointer dog events.
The December event and a similar competition in Fallon will both be filmed and later televised on the “Pursuit” channel as well as YouTube and smaller channels that specialize in hunting, Wesner explained.
Last year, the broadcast attracted about two million viewers meaning “great exposure for Lovelock” according to Wesner.
The Pursuit Channel’s “Bird Dog Wars” series airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.
The series follows hopeful players in the bird dog circuit as they compete in event trials across the country to gain enough points to qualify for the national finals.
“This year we’re going to have a film crew at Fallon then they’ll come to Lovelock,” Wesner said.
“Our show just started two weeks ago. We don’t have numbers in yet but the feedback we’re getting so far is it’s great. Last year, we had two million viewers. We think we’ll blow that out of the water with this new show. It will give Lovelock a lot of exposure with the film crew here for the whole event.”
The previous bird dog competition generated room tax revenues from about 40 motel rooms for three nights during the event and Wesner said he expects 60 to 100 contestants and their families for the event. Some stay in their trailers at his Running W Ranch but most rent motel rooms, he said. Wesner also organizes the Big Meadows Upland Bird Dog Championship in February.
“With this event I’m actually worried,” Wesner said. “I think we’re going to get slammed and have trouble handling everybody with our fields and stuff. There about four guys from Nevada that bring their camp trailers but everybody else from far away pull dog trailers and will have to stay in town.”
Wesner said negotiations are underway to broadcast the 2017 Western States Nationals events on a “major network” providing even greater potential exposure for Lovelock and Pershing County. Production costs will be higher but revenues from sponsors will also be higher, Wesner added.
Board member Darin Bloyed called the national television exposure a “big bang for the buck” for the community and listing the county recreation board as a sponsor of the event would be a “slam dunk.”
“If we can get a five or ten second spot on the rec board or Lovelock in that episode, I would give the $10,000,” Bloyed said. “That’s beneficial to this county to get out to that many viewers.”
The vote was 4 to 1 with board member Maury Nelson voting against the funding request.
“I’m just not convinced that this is by any means a not-for-profit organization,” Nelson said. Wesner explained that both the Big Meadows Upland Bird Championships and the BDC have non-profit status.