Former North Quabbin couple inducted into Shooting Dog Association’s Hall of Fame

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 03-25-2023 1:00 PM

Margaret Drew was afraid of dogs when she married her husband, Earl, in 1964.

But something had to give after their Orange home was burglarized, with the culprit making off with food and guns. So the two got a four-legged security guard for protection and peace of mind. Earl started bringing the pooch on hunts and, in his words, “the rest is history.”

Fast-forward from 1977 to last month, and the Drews are some of the newest members of the U.S. Complete Shooting Dog Association’s Hall of Fame.

“We’ve had a real good life,” Earl said in a recent interview. “We’ve been lucky.”

The Drews lived much of their lives in the North Quabbin region, opening Mount Tully Kennels in 1981, before moving to Hoffman, North Carolina, around 2000. Margaret explained she and her husband couldn’t make it to the association’s meeting in Pennsylvania in July but were later told they had been voted into the Hall of Fame. They were inducted on Feb. 11, the day before Earl turned 80.

“It was like an early birthday present,” said Margaret, 78.

The Drews, who celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary next month, were accompanied into the Hall of Fame by friend Bobby Phillips and the shooting dog of another friend.

The North Quabbin natives were nominated by Tony Bingham and association President Chris Catanzarite, who said he has known the Drews for 25 to 30 years.

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“Both of them donate so much time to the sport, for the betterment of the sport,” Catanzarite said.

He said Margaret is an exceptional secretary for field trials, competitions for hunting dogs, and a very good reporter for American Field magazine.

“When Margaret is taking care of it, it will be taken care of promptly. She prides herself on that,” Catanzarite said. “They’re just that kind of people. I don’t think I’ve ever known either one of them to say ‘no.’”

Catanzarite also said the Drews are wonderful caretakers of their dogs.

The North Quabbin natives have continued their tradition of raising shooting dogs, also known as bird dogs, one of whom placed second in the U.S. Complete Southeast Open Championship on March 4. Margaret said Ms. Lady W bested all but one of 40 other canines at the J. Robert Gordon Field Trial Grounds. She said trials are a test of dogs’ skills at spotting birds for their handlers. Blanks are used, she said, and no birds are killed.

“She was like a stone standing there,” she said of their 7-year-old English pointer. “She was beautiful.”

Margaret, a former educator and principal in the Athol-Royalston Regional School District, said she and Earl now have three English pointers and one English setter. They have had as many as 20 at a time, all starting with that protection pooch they got 40-plus years ago.

“It just snowballed,” Margaret said.

The Drews said they love what they do, but it’s not an easy or inexpensive lifestyle.

“It’s a lot of fun and a lot of expense and a lot of work,” Earl said. “All three.”

Reach Domenic Poli at dpoli@recorder.com or
413-930-4120.

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