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Thread: Hunt test distance change for master

  1. #31
    Senior Member duckwater's Avatar
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    This is great news!! Now if they would put a minimum on short marks,Say- nothing shorter than 50 yds. It is not the distance of the mark, it is all about placement. You can have a qualifying with 100 yard marks and get answers if you put the marks in the right place. I get frustrated when you go to a master test and don't see 1 mark over 50 yds. Our Retrievers these days are not made to do 25 yd retrieves.

  2. #32
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas D View Post
    Part of the OP question was to ask about the RHTAC and how club members could get involved in the process. While AKC has it on their website, and we know who the key players are, it appears as if the actual process is somewhat vague. If I understand it correctly, the RHTAC sends the recommendation they are about to make to the club presidents. Comments by the club presidents drive the recommendations to either be shelved or sent on to the AKC.
    Maybe some club presidents could chime in and let us know if they receive those recommendations from RHTAC.
    Yup...and to generate discussion on the topic in general. Someone else said it....there is a difference between hunt tests and field trials. Lets keep them separate. If I knew I was capable of training and doing field trials myself, I would. I have no problem with EARNING my titles, so I'm not asking for easy master tests. I want to be able to spend a reasonable amount of time training my dogs to hunt and handle and prove them through titling. I unfortunately don't hunt except as pick up dogs at shoots. I want them to prove that they can mark, are biddable and thus can handle and can run down a cripple. I CAN'T train to field trial distances or whatever because I don't have the grounds, time or capability or to be frank, the money to send my dogs to a competant trainer.

    If all this is about making it harder to get to MN, then someone needs to stand up and say something. If tests need to be more challenging, then someone needs to teach judges about bird placement and challenging marks/concepts/whatever. These are THREE different topics: Master National, Hunt Tests and Field Trials.

    Regardless of what the rulebook says, there are a lot of judges out there that have never or don't hunt. I'm friends with them. I can't imagine that it doesn't affect test setups. I don't hunt, but train with people who do. When they look at a test we are entered in and tell me about all the possible things that can happen in a real situation I think it's great. Set it up! A lot of those scenarios don't include distance. Leave the white coats to field trials, let me handle my dog to a long bird that he/she probably didn't see because there were other birds going down all over.

    I reread the rule book again this year since there are so many updates. They are putting more emphasis on marking....I don't know if I agree, because of the above last sentence. I think handling is just as important...What do I know? shrug...

    Comments from a competitor who doesn't hunt, but wants dogs that can...and enjoys working them...

    Sue Puff
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  3. #33
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    So does anyone really think their dog has a magic distance beyond which they fall apart? Seriously if your dog can mark at 50 yards it can mark at 150 yards. If you have a master dog and you are worried about is a few extra yards you need to work on your head, not he dog. Unless your dog has a vision problem this is not going to matter. I bet if you could ask the dogs they flat out wouldn't care, it is just a mark be it 75, 125, 150, or 200 yards. Now if you could ask he goldens I am sure they would not be happy with a 125 yard water mark, but you know that is a whole different issue.....
    Again bird placement makes the mark, not he distance. I see this more as giving judges more to work with since many clubs have limited grounds and cover. I can think of one test that is on spectacular grounds.....to live on, but It is like a golf course and extending the distance will give a greater opportunity to set up a nice triple where without the distance you would be hard pressed to fit a good double.
    quit crying, put on your big boy/girl panties on and go train.

    BTW - 150 yards ain't FT distance
    Last edited by badbullgator; 10-30-2012 at 07:23 PM.
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  4. #34
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    quit crying, put on your big boy/girl panties on and go train.

    BTW - 150 yards ain't FT distance
    I didn't realize panties were required?!

    I know 150 yards aren't FT distance. But, as someone said earlier, do you really shoot birds at 150 plus yards? You may shoot them at 50 and then they fly that far, requiring you to handle your dog to them....so maybe we need to focus on both and not penalize for handling as the new rules state?

    There is no way in hell that we can recreate a real hunting situation unless we all just go out and spend time really hunting....but theres no way either, that you're shooting a bird at FT distances....unless guns have changed that much. Or maybe we're hunting with some type of automatic weapon? I don't know enough about that subject to say!

    Thanks for the discussion.....it's been good.

    Still....back to my original question? How do we have an impact or voice?

    Sue Puff
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    Wirtz, VA
    www.boynelabradors.com

  5. #35
    Senior Member J. Walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixidawg View Post
    Exactly right. Barring very weak test grounds, there is no reason to have 150 yard marks for hunting dogs.
    I don't really agree with this statement. While it's true most birds will go down within 40-50 yards, I have hunted the flooded rice fields of Arkansas in high winds and have had snow geese flutter and sail down 300+ yards away and mallards ride the wind about as far on more than a few occasions. I've also done pheasant shoots with many marks that were easily approaching 200 yards as the birds finally bled out or were still wounded but just couldn't stay in the air any longer. At one of the pheasant shoots, a guy with his "just hunting" dogs had problems all day because they would only go about 40 yards before they turned and started hunting. They had simply never been taught that birds could go down any distance farther than that. He actually had to walk out from his station whatever the appropriate distance was to send his dog so that it was no more than about 40 yards to the bird. He and I talked about it afterward and he said it just never occurred to him to train his dogs to mark and hunt farther than that.
    "When a good trainer stops learning about dogs, he stops being a good trainer." the late Gene Hill

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  6. #36
    Senior Member BlaineT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Walker View Post
    I don't really agree with this statement. While it's true most birds will go down within 40-50 yards, I have hunted the flooded rice fields of Arkansas in high winds and have had snow geese flutter and sail down 300+ yards away and mallards ride the wind about as far on more than a few occasions. I've also done pheasant shoots with many marks that were easily approaching 200 yards as the birds finally bled out or were still wounded but just couldn't stay in the air any longer. At one of the pheasant shoots, a guy with his "just hunting" dogs had problems all day because they would only go about 40 yards before they turned and started hunting. They had simply never been taught that birds could go down any distance farther than that. He actually had to walk out from his station whatever the appropriate distance was to send his dog so that it was no more than about 40 yards to the bird. He and I talked about it afterward and he said it just never occurred to him to train his dogs to mark and hunt farther than that.
    Exactly what I was trying to say with my earlier post. We see it a lot like that.
    Saw it in a pit blind in Missouri last year when my older Boykin marked and picked up 2 specks that sailed 250+ yards. Had to handle him one time to push him over a levee on the 2nd bird but it sure looked good. but Guy and dog on other end of blind asked if he should go after it cause his dog didn't mark them. "No sir, we train for that..."
    IMO so much can be learned for hunting situations by training on long marks. Yeah you don't shoot them 250 yards away but I ain't found a way to simulate a wind blown cripple sailing that far with our current methods. It's about focus, concentration and the ability for the dog to "look out" far watching birds fall way out.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Matt McKenzie's Avatar
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    Someone asked a very good question and I haven't heard an answer yet. What is currently broken with Master tests that increasing marks to 150 yards will fix? If the answer is "nothing", then what's the reason for the change?
    Matt McKenzie

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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas D View Post
    Part of the OP question was to ask about the RHTAC and how club members could get involved in the process. While AKC has it on their website, and we know who the key players are, it appears as if the actual process is somewhat vague. If I understand it correctly, the RHTAC sends the recommendation they are about to make to the club presidents. Comments by the club presidents drive the recommendations to either be shelved or sent on to the AKC.




    Maybe some club presidents could chime in and let us know if they receive those recommendations from RHTAC.
    As a club president I do not receive RHTAC recommendations. And I completely agree with the sentiment that there is nothing wrong with weekend MH tests and nothing needs to be fixed. Strikes me as nothing more than a move driven by the MN and is a rule change that should never be considered. Should I be accused of being fearful of long marks, I'll introduce you to my FC running in Texas this weekend. HT are not FT and the MN should never drive HT.
    Chuck

  9. #39
    Senior Member Meleagris1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt McKenzie View Post
    Someone asked a very good question and I haven't heard an answer yet. What is currently broken with Master tests that increasing marks to 150 yards will fix? If the answer is "nothing", then what's the reason for the change?
    Better dogs, better trainers, higher standards. Nothing is "broken", but then again nothing was broken with our local golf course when they moved all the tees back.

  10. #40
    Senior Member TIM DOANE's Avatar
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    I have no problem with 150 yd marks. I like running and training on longer marks. We also train for short test and dont have a problem with that either. As stated earlier bird placment is the key to a good test.

    What I do have a problem with is the excuse of "it happens while hunting all the time" I just had a client text me from Ontario where he was goose hunting. He brought his 12 month old lab with him. They had a single come in and wing clipped it. The bird landed 150 yds away. His young dog saw the bird in the cut bean field so he sent her. The bird got up and flew to the tree line, 596 yds on the range finder, landed and ran into the trees. The dog followed and came back with the bird. Would that make a great test just because it happened while hunting?

    In Michigan we have a prvailing west wind this time of year. On a windy day with no cloud cover we set up looking into the rising sun. This happens way to often, should we run our HT looking into the sun at 8am?

    I have run HT and FT where we had an 8am start and we were looking into the sun. Running due east, boy was there some bitchin going on then and I was do some of it.

    Not all judges hunt, every judge at some point is inexperienced. If you need to be a long time hunter to be a judge we wouldnt have many judges. If you needed to be a long time judge to be a judge we wouldnt have any judges.

    We need rules and guide lines to help keep test reasonable. We cant just say "that happens while hunting all the time"
    Not all 150 yd marks are good ones just like not all 50 yd marks are good ones.

    I also think a HT or FT committee need to be some of the more experienced people and need to take more responsibility for what the judges do. There is just no beating common sense.
    Last edited by TIM DOANE; 10-31-2012 at 06:41 AM.
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