Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hunt Test Preparation

Mt. Ararat Farm

Today we trained with Gaby and her Lab, Buster, at Gaby's farm. Gaby was kind enough to provide live ducks for Series B and C. In every series, Laddie ran before Lumi. For most series, Buster ran after Laddie and Lumi; for Series B, Buster ran after Laddie, then again after Lumi, so that each dog had an opportunity to honor another dog's series with a live bird.

SERIES A. Triple blind

Series A was what I'll call a Fork Drill, along the lines of handling drills I've used in the past, possibly with a different name. Today's version was a Water Fork Drill and consisted of two 80-yard blinds flanking a 50-yard sight blind. The 80-yard blinds were ODs marked with orange tape tied to a few blades of grass, while the 50-yard blind was a WD marked with an orange LP. The line to all three blinds crossed a pond. The dog was handled to each of the 80-yard blinds first, then sent to the 50-yard blind.

Photo of Series A

20090910 Series A 80-yard blinds and 50-yard blind
Series A, with 80-yard blinds on left and right, and 50-yard blind and diversion in center

SERIES B. Land single and blind, then honor

The single (clipwing duck) was on the right, thrown right to left from behind a holding blind after a shotgun blast toward the woods with live ammo. The 90-yard blind (OD) was 30° to the left of the line to the mark. After running both retrieves, the dog honored the next dog from a position a few yards to the right of the SL.

SERIES C. Remote single and honor

Series C was the identical mark as Series B, with the exception that the dog was on the outside of a holding blind at the SL, while the handler was on the inside of the holding blind, while the shotgun was fired and the live duck was thrown right to left at 30 yards from behind a second holding blind at the throwing station. Once the bird was thrown, the handler came around the SL holding blind to send the dog. After retrieving the bird, the dog honored the next dog running the same retrieve.

Photo of Series B and C

20090910 Series B and C 30-yard mark, 90-yard blind
Series B and C, with 30-yard mark (red) and 90-yard blind (blue)

SERIES D. Convergent land double

The memory-bird (duck) was on the left at 120 yards, thrown left to right from the corner of a section of woods to a low area behind a crest, so that the dog could see the trajectory of the throw but could not see the fall under running the retrieve and cresting the hill. After throwing the memory-bird, the thrower retired (that is, hid from sight).

The go-bird (WD) was on the right at 40 yards, thrown right to left in open meadow.

All the dogs did well with the memory-bird, and Laddie and Buster had no difficulty with the go-bird. However, Lumi chose to run the memory-bird first and then seemed to have difficulty remembering the go-bird.

Photos of Series D

20090910 Series D go-bird
Series D go-bird

20090910 Series D memory-bird
Series D memory-bird, with fall on far side of crest

SERIES E, F, and G Land doubles (Lumi only)

Series E and F were similar to Series D but in different locations, convergent land doubles with a long throw of a duck and a short throw of a WD. In each case, Lumi again decided to run the long memory-bird first.

Series G was a similar set-up in yet another location, but ducks were used for both throws. This time, Lumi ran the go-bird first, then the memory-bird.

SERIES H. Water double and blind

The memory-bird was on the left, thrown left to right at 70 yards. The line to the memory-bird was across a pond with an angle entry, thru high cover at both the entry to and exit from the water.

The go-bird was 45° to the right of the memory-bird, thrown left to right at 30 yards. The line to the go-bird was across the pond with an angle exit, thru high cover at both the entry to and exit from the water.

The 50-yard blind was 30° to the right of the line to the go-bird, across the pond, past a point on the left, and to the edge of the far shore. The dogs have run at least one blind on this line before, though not as part of a series with the same double and not with the placement of the blind at water's edge.

Photos of Series H

20090910 Series H go-bird
Series H go-bird

20090910 Series H memory-bird
Series H memory-bird

20090910 Series H blind
Series H water blind

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