You all are missing the point.
Anyway, to be clear, the PB was in plain sight lying on cut grass.
After being a pro for forty years and sending home dogs that were only going to make good house pets because lack of talent to be a good retriever..A high majority of British labs did not make it.I have have seen some good ones but not many.Your field labs are bred for the whole package.
At HT distances, 10 degrees works nicely. If you see a 50 foot over towards the end of a blind, rest assured that the score will be ugly. Likewise, if you have a bunch of scalloping angle backs enroute, it will be equally ugly.
5 degrees works fine for a FT blind where the poison bird is at 150-200 yards and the blind bird at 3-ish. If the line to the blind is down wind of the line to the bird and the wind is angling in towards the mat, the dog is in the scent cone a loooong time, further strengthening the mental image of the bird that was thrown.
There are poison bird blinds and then there are POISON BIRD BLINDS.....
I think I'll start a new thread. This is really outside the original discussion.-Paul
Bottom line, the FT requirement differences between us and the UK, mixed with the high amount of breeding to FC's (here) and FTCH (there) has led to a distinguishable difference in the Labradors which requires distinct differences in training to reach the maximum potential of each dog. I know there are exceptions to these generalizations, but when talking about merely Gundog training (not the games) I certainly don't believe any more British dogs are culled than American dogs. If this is the case, the issue may be too much pressure... The same as teaching steadiness via British methods to a fire breathing FC American lab just may not be sufficient to keep her from breaking.
There are a few here that purport to have 'dual purpose' labs, usually some show folk that dabble with 'working' their dogs in the field, but don't usually make the heights of trialling. On the whole, these dogs are "jacks of all trade,.....".
So, folk that trial here will look for pedigrees that have purely FT CHs or FTWs in them and are totally 'working bred', and likewise, show folk will not want FT CHs in theirs, but go for purely CH. We breed for our specific discipline, thus making training so much easier, as we have the right material to start with.
Sadly, I think the majority of dogs that are exported from UK to USA are dogs that haven't made the grade here! (otherwise they would be staying....) They are either not going to go 'all the way' and get made up to FT CH, or they have an eliminating fault (which may be acceptable in USA but not here), or are too hot perhaps.
Finally, on the 'placement' of poison birds thing. In our UK Field Trials, none of our birds are 'placed' as it is all a natural, live shooting situation on a 'real' shoot or walked up shooting. So birds are taken as they come, or in the case of driven stakes, the judges may move the competitors if they want to make slightly more challenging retrieves, but the birds themselves are never moved (indeed, if one is touched by hand then it will be removed, as no bird that goes into the dogs mouth should have hand-scent on it, or have been picked by another dog).
Hope that clears a few things up.