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South Carolina Chocolate Labrador RetrieversScott Vance Bio

Scott Vance is the Assistant Vice President of Conservation Programs with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Born and raised in the scenic mountains of North Carolina, Scott grew up killing squirrels and rabbits with his grandfathers and dad. He remembers tagging along with his grandpa's beagle pack before he was even old enough to shoot. “Grandpa said I was the best jump dog he ever owned!” Since then, Scott has traveled to just about every podunk town in the U.S. and just happened to land in Edgefield, S.C. to work for an organization made up of nearly a half million turkey hunting fanatics.

Before coming to the NWTF, Scott earned BS and MS degrees in environmental science and wildlife toxicology. He then worked as a wildlife biologist with the Florida Game and Fish Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). He ended up marrying a Midwestern beauty and stole her away from her hometown to move to North Augusta, S.C. in 1999. They now have a little boy named Damon Charles who is the love of their life and a future junior HRC trainer.

Scott has a passion for hunting, fishing, weightlifting and of course dog training. His labs and pointers have been featured on several national television shows and have earned numerous titles across the country.

“I first started training dogs when I got to Missouri. I was managing several large quail hunting units and I wanted a good bird dog, but had no idea what to get,” Vance said. “I was a 20-something year-old all alone in the middle of nowhere when I started with MDC so I drove two hours one way and went to the mall. That's where I met my first true love, Jesse Joe. She was looking at me through the glass at Pets Plus while the rest of her litter mates rolled and tumbled in the window display. She was the prettiest little pup I'd ever seen and I thought about buying her right on the spot, but I decided to go get one of those monster mall pretzels and think about it instead. When I returned to the window kennel twenty minutes later, Jesse was engaged in a tug-of-war over a fuzzy pheasant toy, but when she saw me she came back to the window and gazed lovingly into my eyes. She picked me that day and it was the beginning of an 11-year love affair.

“Jesse had no championship bloodlines, but she taught me more about dogs and dog training than any dog I've ever known. I learned how to read a dog and how to work within the limits of the dog's abilities and demeanor. I learned that there is no ‘timetable’ in dog training, that each dog sets its own pace for training. I also learned unconditional acceptance, something I wish people were born with just like dogs…I still miss my Jesse, but her memory lives on in the new dogs that honor my kennels and grace my dreams.” Click Here to see Jesse on point.

“There is nothing more satisfying than to see all the hours of practice and hard work pay off in the field. That's what it is all about. We train hard and play harder. These dogs hunt and I wouldn't have it any other way. All of the hunt tests, training and breeding that we do is leading up to one thing…producing a dog that is a pleasure and an honor to hunt with.”

Read Mark Hatfield's Bio