In Southern California all the clubs do double junior, double senior and a master as routine. All the clubs shoot a live flyer in the land series and a live flyer in the water series for ALL levels (junior,senior,master) and both days. I am trying to get some of the clubs to shoot a live flyer in all 3 series of master, maybe spring?
The way it is now no dog in junior or senior has to retrieve a duck in the water series that was in the water before it was thrown for that dog. Typically all the birds from Saturday are given away Saturday night except for a few to start senior (blinds) and master 20-30 of the best ducks before any are given away.
Getting gunners to use correct chokes is probably our biggest problem now. Once we explain to gunners blowing ducks apart and shooting the heads off cost the club money they get it though.
I can't say for sure, but I have had the feeling this season that I have seen more events start with thawed frozen birds than in the past. It would make sense, given the cost and the shortage around these parts at any price. I have not noticed that the birds are any worse on Sunday than in the past, so clubs are probably following culling those birds ASAP. I have seen it done in the first series, in fact, so that by the second the birds are pretty nice.
It seems to me, clubs that put up a tent for judges to sit under and have the bird dryer under the tent and out of the sun tend to have better birds on sat. afternoon and sunday. I understand that there are somethings that you just cant control so mushy ducks to me is not inexcusable - if your dog is properly FF then they will pick up the bird - they may not like it but they will pick it up and bring it back.
At the next hunt test you should be at the equipment shed to help rack the birds so they will dry overnight and be in good shape for the next day. I know my club tries very hard to have good birds at the start of all our tests. Mary Veitch
I didn't say it was a test I even went to, so it would be hard for me to help them rack birds. I didn't accuse any club, especially yours. Just some rumors I have been hearing.
We usually shoot our birds before the event, usually cost the club more to keep them alive & feed them. Still we never use them and freeze them fluffy, take them out Fri to thaw & keep cool overnight. As they've been allowed to cool, These bird usually last and stay fluffy longer than the shot flyers. When it's hot, birds that haven't been allowed to cool quickly go to junk, fresh shot or not. So they're mainly frozen birds, but they're very nice fluffy frozen birds. Sat evening birds are collected dried (yes dried and fluffed ;)), bad birds tossed, then they're placed in trailer to hang, and cool. If needed we'll pull out a couple of bags of fluffies from the freezer, and thaw.
Still I don't believe bird quality has anything to do with whether they were frozen or live shot, it's how many times the same bird gets retrieved and how those birds are handled through out the day, if you put a bird steward at each stake to fluff and dry you can keep birds very nice for mulitple retrieves, multiple days. If you keep throwing the same wet carcasses over and over they quickly go bad.
I think that the condition of the birds at an AKC licensed event should be of the utmost concern to the registry...........with the blind eye approach to the abuses of the regs relative to the availability of two live birds per entry ,It does not appear to me that it is.
We use all fresh dead birds and have 2 AC units in the equipment building to hand them over night. We do all we can to get JR. fresh birds on Sunday. I've not attended a HT where frozen birds were used to my knowledge.