Training/Test/Hunting Journal Archieve


Journals result in efficient progress

      The Journal - "Yesterdays" (Dec-Feb, 2003)
Dec.26  two canvass dummy manners drill – front yard, push & pull, "no-ing" off,
27  day off (Go "whoa’s")
28  yard lining drills, canvass &
SLOW! (go "whoa’s" drill for uplands)
29  KRD & triple at "Sand Ponds": launcher, canvass &
! (field whoa’s")
      KRD - 200,180,150 yard blinds with remote launcher single marks at 145 yds
      followed by an easy (short) 45 ° spread short triple & blind angled across a dried up
      pond bed
30  day off! wet
31 "The Hills" (west) multiple (5) blinds with canvass dummies,
      right to left – 150, 200, 250, 225, 188 yards tough cover, hills, "Ľ ‘ing" wind
      (responded to whistle well, a few wrong cast responses, poor lines (for her),
      didn’t hunt very much, a pop or two at first due to rust, distance & "nice" bird
      cover (present hunting mode), overall good "mo" & excellent return speed
Jan. 1  2003 Day off!
2  Day off!
3  KRD at "The Hills": launcher, canvass dummies,
    south to north direction with cross wind and hills – ran well, responded
    to whistles, good initial lines and kept them ("poppy" on first one), weakest
    area was angle backs (not much of an angle, scallops), super out & return momentum
4  Sand Pond multiple (5) blinds 
5  Day off!
6  walking two dog "poor man" marks at Ledges golf course – Taffey’s longest

7  two freshly killed chukars used to review hold (mouth session - inside)
    six pointed flyaway chukars at the Sand Ponds (eight points with cap gun shots)
    handling birds pointing work & steadying (went well!)
8  Blonhaven Hunt Club – 5 chukars/3 pheasants  one at a time with launcher
    silent work (no gun "flyaways" first six) shot last two roosters – Taffey was holding
    point well & long - steady to wing and shot (she retrieved 1st & I picked up the 2nd)
    also, did seven stickmen marks 150-200 + yards – "back" to remote line - first
    two difficult handling back to remote line (done before - not recently; afterwards, did fine)
    (tough factors - "poorman", crossing wind, hilly + small gully, sorghum strip with angles)
9  Four dead bird (2 chukars & 2 pheasants) slow fetch/holding/lining drill in yard (fun!)
10  Day off! (snow, wind, cold)
11  5 blinds (125-225 yards, birds) at "The Hills"
12  "Euro" - ton of marks, picked up 40 pheasants, afterwards cleanup - excellent hunting,
      pointing & retrieving while working with two steady, titled flushing labs (HR & MH)
      (Very cool!)
13-14 Days off!  S - Drill
15   Eagle Training Area, WI – 6 chukars (two launchers) pointed, steady, shot and retrieved
16   Day off!  S- Drill
17   Day off!
***** IN HEAT! ******
18   OB & a few retrieves at Brad’s - OB very loose
19   Two marks at Brian’s – very cold & did poorly  diagnosis - time off
20 -31  Days off! very cold, in heat, took a big break (for her)  only did S- Drills
Feb. 1 Day off!   Start back Sunday   Emphasis - very SLOW  & patient at the line

   UPLAND PREPARATION - HRC Upland tests & APLA Master Pointing Retriever test 
                                        HRC rule - dog must flush    APLA  rule - dog must not flush
       APPROACH - teach difference with "get it" vs. "whoa" commands 
       RATIONALE - THIS is a smart dog = teach  (warning - not normal approach!)
   RETRIEVING EMPHASIS - line manners - go slow;  literal casting - review, drill, teach;
                                        factors - systematic exposure (establish & maintain standards)

KEY - through March HRC and APLA tests - upland and retrieving balance

2   Launcher "flushes" steady to gun Macktown area & five short blinds with poison
3   Day off! rain **** (appears to be going out of heat) ****
4   S Drill (inside - wet out)
5   Run at Ledges (golf course) - walking singles with Lick (other lab)
6   Run at Ledges - walking singles with Lick
7   W drill at "The Hills"
8   5 quail at Hoffman’s, went well with excellent points & retrieves
                (one "get it")
9     OB in yard
10   OB in yard
11   Bong, WI - 10 quail; 6 with launchers & 4 planted, OB in the field   (three "get it")
          (alone with gun & took several digital camera pictures - very solid on point!)
12   3 easy blinds off 3 remote launcher singles
13   "poorman" two dog walking singles with Lick + 2 cold blinds (100 & 140 yards)
             marking not very sharp - too much hunting season & time off

14  start refreshing straight line, sight marking skills due to hunting season erosion
      2 sets of 3 easy (60/80/100 yards) remote launcher singles black/white canvass
1st - crossing wind small hunts (looking for chukar - all nose) at "The Hills" 
    2nd - different place with the wind, pinned all three (looking for bumpers)  
               (add 10 yards a week and do variations of this drill twice a week)  

door to door>  total time - 45 min
   (18°and windy)  good start!
2 sets of 3 easy (60/80/100 yards) remote launcher singles black/white canvass  
       placed in different areas of "The Hills" (tough cover patches on two - straight line!)

       field OB upland - quartering, "whoa's", hunt close, remote sits
                door to door>  total time - 1 hour   (cold and windy with 4°degree wind chill)

16   2 sets of single slot blinds at "The Sand Ponds" between two stickman remote launcher
       singles (60/80 yard marks & 110 yard blind - different areas with wide angle spacing )
concept intro    SLOW DOWN!
17  OB yard drills - slow delivery, precise positioning, "whoa" goes       
18   Bong, WI - 10 quail (four "get it" flushed - not good, difficult to get off point!)
       plus in the field OB, 75/100/60 yd piles with 3-50 yd  remote launcher marks
       (small KRD)  trained with Bruce & "Ripley"
19   OB yard drills - slow at the line "no-ing off" drill, "whoa" goes, S-drill  

 flushes not working well,  this needs more work, try
       TAAAFFFEEEEY! get it! release on "Whoa-go", drill

       observation/question teaching to flush off a point seems to be enhancing the point
           and making it more "personal" like, "No, I prefer to point."
           analogy?   instinctive "bark" vs. "no bark"  both as acceptable behaviors
           dog barks 'cause it wants to and that's OK, but no bark is an acceptable alternative  
           therefore,  accept & enhance "point" while "flush" on command is an alternative
           all acceptable behaviors determined by handlers choice    
                        hhhhmmmmm???  too tough on a dog? teacher?
20   Blonhaven – 9 chukars, 3 pheasants,  "point release" to flush, OB in the field ,
       "whoa-go" drill, 6 launcher releases - controlled review of steady to wing and shot,
       release from point to flush not solid, but getting better, S-drill  

 points looking very solid; even when "hassling" her to flush, the point doesn't
       break down (moves in to flush with a stalking mode - hope judges will accept this),
       (work this out next fall during hunting season)
21   "whoa-go" drill with release command, bird pile line manners drill, S-drill    
20 minute controlled upland quartering run at "The Hills" (exercise)
  Ready for two HRC Upland Hunt tests!
Feb.22  Bong Rec. Area – Wisill HRC   2 Saturday Upland tests   2 passes & UH Title
                1st pass - work on handler position vs. gun rack at start, make sure gun pointed up
                                for gun safety shooting poppers, flushing difficult off point, very steady
                                and good retrieves     (OK test - nothing to write home about)        
                2nd pass - set-up ideal for a pointing lab, simulated  wild flush, then a
                               launcher simulated flush (good release off point) followed with
                                 a sudden second wild flush, finished on a quartering hunt back
                                 to the line with an at heel walk-up honor, Taffey had solid sits to
                                 flush and marked the falls well (both through a heavy willow tree
                                 line into deep marsh grass - this test went super!)

                NEW  NAME =
 MPR HR UH Kwick Taffey of JoeMac's SH      (2 year old)
Feb. 23 Blonhaven "Euro"  450 pheasant & 17 mallards - 5 Badger State HRC handlers & 6 dogs

              Lick gets 2 out of every 3 retrieves - this was a wild day, birds dropping everywhere
              between the two dogs they picked up close to 70 pheasants and several ducks
              clean-up hunt afterwards with Taffey and two flushing labs went well
24   Day off!         

**** 15 days ****HRCH winger singles (60%), doubles with singles, a few concept triples + blinds
            prepare for Finished HRC tests & train at Master level distances
            work on primary vs. secondary selection, poison birds, right/left side & remote sends
              (FOCUS - control, no movement at the line  Sit,....Means Sit! - SLOW DOWN)  
            every fourth day do upland training on pheasants, chukar and/or quail (4 days)
            emphasis on field OB, control, steady, & I'm flushing birds! (one month 'til APLA test!)

   Day off!    bitter cold at -2°    (work inside on remote wingers)
26   2 sets of 2 slot blinds at "The Med Center" between three remote launcher singles
       run three singles followed with 2-blinds; marks simple; blinds very "hacky"; too tight!
       (80/100/120 yard marks & 130-150 yard blinds with wide?angle spacing & zero factors)
27   Stoughton Field Trial grounds - remote launcher singles 250, 200, 150 yards
       250 yd straight (didn't cheat the heavy cover patch at 100 yards) over-ran checked back
       quickly, 200 yd didn't see, practiced go as sent, 150 yd - pinned
       four simple down wind blinds - 200, 175, 150, 125 yards
(two pheasants & two chukar)
       4 long range Retrieve-R-Trainer single marks shot to the left of each blind
              200 yd good initial line, broke down (veered to the right) at 150 yards - 4 whistle;
              175 & 150 yds broke down at 125 yard hay bale (too close) both very "hacky" (literal
              casting skill, didn't see much of it, very rusty?); 125 yard  blind - lined  (keep
              distances out to 250 yards)
        note:1) the long marks got some straight line momentum back (hunting erosion) some
                    improvement in blinds, but not close to last fall's skill level - two more weeks?
                2) remote launcher marks - ran to the area vs. Retriever-R-T'r marks - ran to a spot
                    (recall marking improved dramatically when started using R-T-R last summer)
                       total door-to-door-3 hours; 90 miles; sunny, 32°, very slight north-east breeze

28   morning (at "Med Center"):
angle back casting drill - 150 yard back pile three remote
          launcher marks & three dummy pile, six dummy left/right side piles at 135 yards & 50 yds
          off line - ran all dummies, did all all angle casts well (used attrition twice - minor), no'd
          off last mark, kept up "mo" - no need to do this anymore (answered question - sloppy, weak
          angle back & literal casting due to hunting season degradation, it'll come back quickly)
               total door-to-door - 1 hour; five minute drive, 
sunny, 28°, no wind
          afternoon (at "The Hills"): full remote launcher KRD marks at 80 yards in heavy cover,
          down-hill  & up-hill, 45 °total separation, all initial lines were left of piles, took excellent
          angle backs and kept "mo" through entire drill (9 pheasants & chukars in piles at 175,
          150, 125 yards), poison second (no'd off nicely) & reverse order third, quick improvement  
               total door-to-door - 45 minutes; 3 minute drive, dusk 
          Today: e-mailed "someone" with a lot of experience - need to do MORE MARKS!!!
                     (balance !!)