Honestly, I'm glad to see layout blinds banned. This takes something off the table that is bird boys having heat strokes waiting to happen, let alone the risk of injury to dogs plowing into one at full speed as they burst through the cover. Using them for hunting in the winter where a dog is sent from beside one is a completely different thing as far as usage and safety. It's bad enough that I've seen judges have holding blinds set up to " wrap up" the bird boys on 80+ degree days and think nothing about it as the bird boys sit out and bake all day with virtually no air circulation.
EXACTLY, WALT -
Conditions and Common sense. I have not "wrapped" poppers/bird boys "in canvass" .. my approach has been to place the canvass on the ground behind a natural terrain feature such as a rise/depression, large dowed tree, irregation check, standing cover whatever.
The bird boys/poppers lay on top of the canvass.
The object is to minimize/prevent savvy trainers/handlers from "lining" dogs to blinds, brushed or otherwise.
AKC's general language "shall not lay on the ground" impact's this approach/option & is an area that needs clarification for the integrity of marking ... not lining tests ... that today separates the "chaf from the wheat".
The option should be available where, when & if cover and terrain features destroy effective bird placement and 'marking tests' reflecting natural hunting conditions ... not 400 - 450 yard falls thru varied cover in excessive weather conditions of heat & hunidity.
There's a time & place for most tests ... even an occasional "long fall" that simulates a "sailor" shot by a hunting companion, as the book says, may be appropriate. But 2 & 3 falls 400-450 yards ... "as the crow flies"... places dogs in jeopardy more so than a "disappearing gun station" properly used. These are lining tests ... not marking tests!
This unfortunate change needs to be rethought. Clear, practical, language, Common Sense conditions put in place so as to preserve a judge's options.
Trog you need to come see the grounds (exceptional they are) that Dr Ed has secured. You have pastures of several hundred acres with no tree or brush. Gently rolling terrain. Its the prairrie. To put a holding blind concealed or otherwise is not effective. Dont pass judgement until you have walked in someones shoes. The rule is knee jerk reaction. We have a far greater chance of getting a worker hurt with improper use of poppers that getting run over in a layout blind. I have throw a layout blind bird. Had a dog go over the blind. The dog and I both were unscathed.
The layout blind is a tool. It can be used properly - or improperly
The issue is that the RAC and AKC elected to remove the tool from the judge's discretion
This has been the direction of the RAC and AKC - to remove discretion from the judges
And unfortunately, the clubs have not stood up against the removal of discretion
Hi Dr. Ed,
When you get a chance check your mailbox.
Layout blinds can still be used in AKC Hunt Test. I was told that by Mr. Jerry Mann himself or at least it came from his email address.