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Thread: Hunt test distance change for master

  1. #41
    Senior Member jacduck's Avatar
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    As a hunter first, I would say that if my birds were consistently falling at 150 yards I have done something horribly wrong. Even 1 a day is an indicator of poor shot selection. True I have sailed snow geese as well as many other birds on rare occasion over the 62 years I have hunted. To add to my hunter qualifications I have hunted over 120 days per year for the past 6 years. So I feel confident that my experience afield is valid.

    I see nothing wrong with the ability to have an OCCASIONAL 150 yard mark in a hunt test but to make that distance the new standard is beyond common sense given the stated mission of HUNT tests. In a real hunting situation birds fall in all sorts of placements so that there is no way to decide what is good and bad placement. So if you really want to have a test that is common in the marsh give every dog a swimming cripple that dives when the dog gets close. That will separate the wheat from the chaff in short time if that is the true goal of a master test.
    John C aka jacduck


    "Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."

  2. #42
    Senior Member Kelly Greenwood's Avatar
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    I was thinking that perhaps we are looking at this wrong....Perhaps the since the clubs are supposed to pick people to judge with a lot of hunting experience that we should remove the distance ("should not normally excede 150 yards", and instead simply add "should not excede the distance birds are seen in hunting" In that other venue that allows 150 yards you really don't see a lot of really long marks (you do see some) because experienced hunters are really the ones they push to judge.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member badbullgator'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?
    Matt I think I did answer the question, but I will try again. I don't think it is because anything is broken. Nowhere does the change say that you must use the increased distance. My take is it has everything to do with the limited grounds available to many clubs. I have judged in several locations that while beautiful grounds, they lack cover or factors and make it difficult to set good quality marks. Some times on grounds that lack features it MAY be necessary to use some distance to get a good mark. I am not necessarily suggesting that all the makes in a situation like this need to be long, but I have looked at numerous places where due to the golf course like grounds you may be able to work out two marks with good placement at less than 100 yards, but to get a third good mark (instead to a mark just for the sake of making a triple) you need to extend the distance. I think this is even more true in the case of water marks. It is difficult to set a good solid master test on a pond that is nothing more than a hole with pasture surrounding it. To throw a couple marks in the wide open water is not much of a test for a master dog, but to extend the distance out and make the mark across the open pond and onto the land a fair distance beyond the water will tell you something about a dogs perseverance.
    ideally you have excellent grounds and with good grounds I can set a test with nothing over 75 yards that will be as difficult or much more difficult then anything you can set up at 150 in a wide open field.
    The big issue is grounds, grounds, grounds. Some areas are lucky and have an abundance of them. Others struggle to find enough to hold a test. This just gives judges another tool to make a good solid test of a dogs marking ability.
    I also doubt you will see many using that much distance just because they can. Time is a huge factor when setting up a test and I personally don't want to watch a dog take 15 minutes to run each test and god knows I don't want to watch 50 dogs swim for an hour and a half.
    I think this is much to do about nothing.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  4. #44
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    The AKC HT game started down "the slippery slope" MANY years ago. What we are seeing now is just the increased speed of that slide towards a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with hunting.

    Here's a short list of a few things that have changed over the last 21 years;

    -judges no longer are required to evaluate and score a dog's "nose". Isn't this a requirement for a good hunting dog? If we don't test for it, how will we know?

    -nearly exclusive use of ducks. Pheasants are a much more exciting flyer, and hen pheasant in particular, make for much more difficult marks at any distance.

    -less hunters involved as participants and judges.

    -fewer and fewer realistic scenarios.

    -water tests where trained technical behaviors are rewarded at the expense of what is actually required of a hunting dog.

    -inappropriate or meaningless use of diversion birds; today's tests predominately use diversion shots instead of a true diversion bird.

    -number and placement of decoys are inappropriate to what we would do hunting. most often, they are placed for convenience as an afterthought.

    I could keep this up for quite a while. Maybe some other old-timers will add to this......

    Now, some participants want to extend the distances at the Master level. They SAY that increased distance doesn't really change anything. To that point I submit the following famous quote by a very famous trainer; "distance erodes control". IT CERTAINLY WILL MAKE THE TESTS MORE DIFFICULT. My question to everyone is; WHY do we NEED to?-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  5. #45
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelly Greenwood View Post
    I was thinking that perhaps we are looking at this wrong....Perhaps the since the clubs are supposed to pick people to judge with a lot of hunting experience that we should remove the distance ("should not normally excede 150 yards", and instead simply add "should not excede the distance birds are seen in hunting" In that other venue that allows 150 yards you really don't see a lot of really long marks (you do see some) because experienced hunters are really the ones they push to judge.
    You would not want that. I have seen geese fall WAY past that 150 yards. I have seen duck end up well over 150. Anyone who has not has not hunted much or is full of crap. It happens. Just a couple of years ago we had a duck sail so far across a rice field that we had to take the dog on an ATV to get them close enough to send them to pick it up. I promise you every dog I own has picked up a bird while hunting that was over 150 yards away and in fact both of my boys have picked up geese over 300 yards. A trained retriever conserves game.

    I will ask the question again, Why are you so worried about a 150 yard mark? Do you really think your dog can't do it. Nonsense! Your dog will walk to the line and do what it is trained to do. Do you really think the difference in distance is going to be the deciding factor in weather your dog can run a mark or not? Here is a clue, dogs don't understand measurement, and I would bet my left testicle that they care far less about the distance than you.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  6. #46
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    " Do you really think the difference in distance is going to be the deciding factor in weather your dog can run a mark or not? Here is a clue, dogs don't understand measurement, and I would bet my left testicle that they care far less about the distance than you."

    Then why bother?-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  7. #47
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    The AKC HT game started down "the slippery slope" MANY years ago. What we are seeing now is just the increased speed of that slide towards a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with hunting.

    Here's a short list of a few things that have changed over the last 21 years;

    -judges no longer are required to evaluate and score a dog's "nose". Isn't this a requirement for a good hunting dog? If we don't test for it, how will we know?

    -nearly exclusive use of ducks. Pheasants are a much more exciting flyer, and hen pheasant in particular, make for much more difficult marks at any distance.

    -less hunters involved as participants and judges.

    -fewer and fewer realistic scenarios.

    -water tests where trained technical behaviors are rewarded at the expense of what is actually required of a hunting dog.

    -inappropriate or meaningless use of diversion birds; today's tests predominately use diversion shots instead of a true diversion bird.

    -number and placement of decoys are inappropriate to what we would do hunting. most often, they are placed for convenience as an afterthought.

    I could keep this up for quite a while. Maybe some other old-timers will add to this......

    Now, some participants want to extend the distances at the Master level. They SAY that increased distance doesn't really change anything. To that point I submit the following famous quote by a very famous trainer; "distance erodes control". IT CERTAINLY WILL MAKE THE TESTS MORE DIFFICULT. My question to everyone is; WHY do we NEED to?-Paul
    Paul I agree with this. I will go farther and say the MAIN problem is non-hunting judges and participants. It is very important that judges set as close to a real hunting scenario as possible including decoy and placement. I always try to duplicate how I would imagine a hunt going in the location I selected to set a test or train. Most of the time I incorporate something I have truly experienced while hunting. A problem that I often find is the handlers that do the most complaining are the ones who do not hunt and have no clue what happens in a duck blind, field, or goose pit. I don't have a problem with non-hunter handlers running but their idea of what a test should be is often not at all similar to a day in the field.

    News flash, it is called a hunt test because we are testing dogs ability to hunt and handle hunting scenarios.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  8. #48
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul young View Post
    " Do you really think the difference in distance is going to be the deciding factor in weather your dog can run a mark or not? Here is a clue, dogs don't understand measurement, and I would bet my left testicle that they care far less about the distance than you."

    Then why bother?-Paul
    Paul your ..... That statement simply means you dog is not going to go to the line and give you a no go because the mark is 150 instead do 75. That statement has everything to do with a dogs ability to go a distance and nothing to do with quality of the mark. I think I was pretty clear in my previous post that distance does not make a mark.

    you have run more than your share of dogs. Ever have one go to the line and no go on you because the mark was 150 instead of 125? Please try to keep things in context rather than nitpicking over you taking something out of context.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    Matt I think I did answer the question, but I will try again. I don't think it is because anything is broken. Nowhere does the change say that you must use the increased distance. My take is it has everything to do with the limited grounds available to many clubs. I have judged in several locations that while beautiful grounds, they lack cover or factors and make it difficult to set good quality marks. Some times on grounds that lack features it MAY be necessary to use some distance to get a good mark. I am not necessarily suggesting that all the makes in a situation like this need to be long, but I have looked at numerous places where due to the golf course like grounds you may be able to work out two marks with good placement at less than 100 yards, but to get a third good mark (instead to a mark just for the sake of making a triple) you need to extend the distance. I think this is even more true in the case of water marks. It is difficult to set a good solid master test on a pond that is nothing more than a hole with pasture surrounding it. To throw a couple marks in the wide open water is not much of a test for a master dog, but to extend the distance out and make the mark across the open pond and onto the land a fair distance beyond the water will tell you something about a dogs perseverance.
    ideally you have excellent grounds and with good grounds I can set a test with nothing over 75 yards that will be as difficult or much more difficult then anything you can set up at 150 in a wide open field.
    The big issue is grounds, grounds, grounds. Some areas are lucky and have an abundance of them. Others struggle to find enough to hold a test. This just gives judges another tool to make a good solid test of a dogs marking ability.
    I also doubt you will see many using that much distance just because they can. Time is a huge factor when setting up a test and I personally don't want to watch a dog take 15 minutes to run each test and god knows I don't want to watch 50 dogs swim for an hour and a half.
    I think this is much to do about nothing.

    One of my earliest posts saiid:

    "Barring very weak test grounds, there is no reason to have 150 yard marks for hunting dogs."

    Even with VERY limited test grounds here in New England, there are very few places that I have seen that would require distance to improve bird placement. I don't know what it is like in your neck of the woods, but I see this as a pretty rare situation. I think that lots of judges will use all 150 yards because they can. Maybe they don't understand good bird placement. Or maybe they have "0" hunting experience. Or maybe they train with a pro and see them running LOOOOONG marks in training. Or maybe they just do it because they think they should. 150 yard marks will become unnecessarily common.

    This is a "solution" to a non-existent problem.

    Leave the weekend tests alone!!!

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    Paul your ..... That statement simply means you dog is not going to go to the line and give you a no go because the mark is 150 instead do 75. That statement has everything to do with a dogs ability to go a distance and nothing to do with quality of the mark. I think I was pretty clear in my previous post that distance does not make a mark.

    you have run more than your share of dogs. Ever have one go to the line and no go on you because the mark was 150 instead of 125? Please try to keep things in context rather than nitpicking over you taking something out of context.
    Sorry- I misunderstood the point you were making.-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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