Sunday, August 9, 2009

Land Blinds, Pheasant Mark, Water Blind

Clevenger's Corner

Today Lumi and Laddie were the only dogs at our training with Dave, and I was the only handler. With temps in the high 80s, we used shaded areas as much as possible, but the heat may have still had some affect, especially on Lumi. Other difficult environmental factors were the unmowed hay taking the dogs out of sight on the first blind, and a pheasant escaping into the woods at the right while the marks were being thrown. Other, more normal environmental factors were the hilly terrain and the large bales of hay dotting the field.

SERIES A. Double land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

The first blind (WD) was to the right at 70 yards, slanting across a downhill slope and thru high grass. The second blind (WD) was 30° to the left at 120 yards, on a downhill slope and running beside a section of woods most of the way.

SERIES B. Land single with pheasant hen flier (Lumi, then Laddie)

Series B was a steadiness drill. Dave threw and shot a pheasant hen left to right at 50 yards. Both dogs were steady.

SERIES C. Double land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

The first blind (pheasant) was to the right at 70 yards. The line to the blind was over two rolling hills and across a downhill slope to the right. Dave set up a gate formed by two lining poles at 30 yards, and another lining pole at 60 yards, and the dog was required to sit at both the gate and the 60-yard lining pole as part of the handling to the blind.

The second blind (WD) was 90° to the left at 110 yards. The line to the blind was across a downhill slope to the left.

SERIES D. Water blind in open water (Lumi, then Laddie)

Dave threw two Dokkens into the middle of the property's pond and fired a dry shot.

I thought I could run this for Lumi as a 160-yard blind with the first 80 yards downhill thru the unmowed meadow, but I was unable to handle her into the water. When I then tried to run her from near water's edge, I was still unable to handle her to the closer Dokken. She clearly saw it but refused to take handling to it. At Dave's suggestion, I put Lumi on lead and turned her over to Dave while I ran Laddie.

Laddie handled well to the blind, which we ran as an 80-yard blind from near water's edge.

Finally, with Dave holding Laddie again, I ran Lumi to a "blind" thrown 40 yards out into open water, starting at water's edge. Of course she lined it, which as Dave expressed was a good thing, ending Lumi's session on a positive note.

Rolling Ridge

In the afternoon, we went to a nearby new-home development where we've trained occasionally in the past to run a couple more short but hilly blinds.

SERIES E. Double land blind (Laddie, then Lumi)

The first blind (chukar) was to the right at 70 yards. The line to the first blind was down a hill, then diagonally across a wide, dry ditch, then slanting across an uphill slope. The second blind (pheasant) was 90° to the left, also at 70 yards. The line to the second blind slanted across an uphill slope the entire way.

Both dogs showed excellent responsiveness to WSs, cast reasonably accurately, and carried their casts reasonably well.

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