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Thread: Hunt Test Time Management

  1. #1
    Senior Member Elliott Labradors's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    The Great State of South Carolina

    Default Hunt Test Time Management

    Large entries have us evaluating our time management practices at Hunt Test. What are some of the things your club(s) is doing to make the best use of the time during a Hunt Test?

    Some of our little things that we (Carolinas Retriever Association) do:

    *Request that Judges visit Friday afternoon to establish first series set ups. Have everything in place for a prompt 8:00 Saturday morning start.
    *On Friday, also ask Master Judges to consider the set ups for the second and third series. We did this at our last test and we had a crew setting up the second series prior to completion of the first series. Likewise for the third series. Everything including line equipment was waiting on judgers and handlers to move over. We felt this saved us 2 hours.
    *Have bird boys arrive a little early and make sure to have a winger for an orientation/safety class. Some bird boys will be new and a few tips will prevent several "no birds" during the day.
    *Make sure stake box check list have been gone over. The inevitable "We need poppers at Junior" will cost minutes.
    *Never have 2 inexperienced gunners shooting flyers without guidance. Split up experience levels.
    *Make sure the bird steward has lighting, their job starts before day. Also make sure the bird steward has a good count of birds needed for each stake. This number should be written on a note card . They need to be bagged and placed at appropriate winger stations for your prompt start.
    *Have the Lunch delivery person coordinate with the Marshals of various stakes to see when would be best time for a lunch break. Rebirds and series shifts are time saving opportunities.
    *Make sure signs and other location communications are clear so handlers aren't touring the back roads while you are waiting for them at the line.
    * Try to pre-plan potty breaks with bird boys. Carry as many as possible to the potty during lunch or during re-birds so that you don't have to carry them individually every hour .
    *ATV's and/or UTV's at each stake are a bonus.
    *The marshal of a soon to be completed test should notify the hunt test secretary and make them aware of the approximate time left on their stake. If the HTS is running a dog, with proper notice, they can make arrangements to be at HQ to meet judges and prepare ribbons.

    I may think of more and will add them if I do. I'm looking forward to hearing some of the things ya'll do so that we might incorporate them into our next test!

    It's 8:00........Guns Up!

    Elliott's Amazing Grace Of Diamond E MH, CGC
    HRCH Elliott's Rockin' Roxy MH30, CGC
    HR Elliott's Carolina Thorne MH, CGC
    Elliott's Dixie Lou MH, CGC
    Elliott's Carolina Duchess MH, CGC
    Elliott's Armbrook Go Tell It On The Mountain SH
    Elliott's Armbrook Lilly Of The Valley SH
    Elliott's Armbrook Set My Soul Afire SH
    Elliott's Armbrook Living By Faith SH

    America would be a different place at sundown if we all started with a devotion at sunup! Wally Elliott

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Pac NW


    I guess it depends on what you consider large entries.....almost every test in this area and every stake has to be split. Sooo.....

    1) Judges and Stake chairs set up ALL series on Friday. Chairs need a list of equipment and bird boys/shooter for each test. Judges NORMALLY (say the 4 Master judges) set up three series together. Then Master A starts at one series and Master B starts at a different one. First one finished goes to the unused series. Then the last one finished goes to the series just finished by the other Master stake. From there, they move to the one series that has not been run by their dogs. If one series gets really bogged down, you have the option to then have an additional NEW series. One stake should not wait for more than an hour or so for the other stake to finish a series. Bird boys and workers need to be there by 90 minutes before start time. Put one experienced person with one inexperienced person.

    2)We rarely "stop" for lunch. Its normally eaten on the fly or if we have to wait for birds or between series then thats when you get to sit and eat.

    3) Judges books prenumbered with scratches already noted helps too.

    4) Experienced marshals with a "helper" marshal can be great. Training new people at every aspect helps when you need fill-ins.

    5) The biggest time sucker is taking too long for series setups by judges (that's why then need to be ALL done on Friday), rebirding when the flyers are way far away. Start the stake with the correct amount of flyers if you can. Don't dictate to gunners a bird has to be in THIS exact spot. Wind/sun etc may make that near impossible and no birds are very very time consuming. If you can, have an extra popper and winger at the stake. Malfunctions of equipment that has to be chased down is also very time consuming.

    6) Be ready to start on time and make sure your pros with lots of dogs are spread evenly. If you have several pros with lots of Master dogs and lots of Junior dogs for example, start some at Master and start some at Junior. Hustle the pros through Master so they can get to Junior and vice versa. Have a "closer" parking spot for those people with lots of dogs. Less time walking to get a dog, less time waiting around. Make sure you have bye dogs and pickup dogs lined up and close.


  4. #3
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Have the Marshals Map out the Pros and other multiple stake entries, and Assign Pros which stake to start @ then which stake to go to, usually starting at a stake which the pro has the most entries and the lowest running numbers. Keep communications open (txt messaging is your friend) and be flexible with running order, only allow marshals to put a maximum 4-5 dogs on the board, depending on how long the test is running, to allow for changes when entrants show up and you know they have to make it to another stake. Yes People complain about running out of order and pros being moved up and pushed through, but they complain more about having to wait for an entrant to finish a stake . Overall if you can arrange pros at different stakes, adapt running order, you can keep all the stakes running efficently which is much more important to the club, especially when you have high entries. Also know if both SH and MH have an honor during the first series, discourage this from happening. Honors hold up dogs at other stakes, they make pros stay @ a particular stake twice as long, and you always end up waiting for someone to put inbtw or have to run extra By-dogs.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 11-26-2012 at 12:43 PM.
    "They's Just DAWGS"; "I train dogs, Not papers"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"

    GMRH-I HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
    GMHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
    MHR HR Storm SH (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)

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  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Cape Girardeau Mo.


    "Assign Pros which stake to start @ then which stake to go to, usually starting at a stake which the pro has the most entries and the lowest running numbers.

    If the pro has only one jr dog and 6 master dogs it is a big mistake to send him/her to the masters first ...we usually send our's to the lower stakes first so they don't hold them up on the turn around...The lower may have to wait on finishing up the 2nd series but it is usually not a problem if it happens ...Gives judges time to go over the books..Master has 2 days , jr / sr only one ...they need to run smooth....As far as running numbers go, I never worry about the order unless the event starts on Friday and it is the only one running.....Steve S

  7. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Boston, GA


    I'm not a big fan of having 4 judges set up tests together. However, I am a big fan of setting up two and possibly three series Friday afternoon. Also, have the judges arrive at noon or 1pm Friday. That will give the needed time to set up 2 or 3 series.

    Have the pros directed to a certain stake and communicate that to the stake marshalls.

    As a side note, if you ever get a chance to have Wally as your equipment marshall, you will see how efficiently it can be done. He's a master at it.
    Tom Dorroh
    Boston, GA

  8. #6
    Senior Member suepuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    South Central Virginia


    The last few time I've marshaled in both junior and senior, I was provided by the secretary, a list of all the stakes with the names and cell numbers of their respective Marshall's. We texted and phoned back and forth when we were looking for people. it helped us get through the lower stakes smoothly and the people that needed to be back to master, there on time.

    When I Marshall, I explain the time management thing to any that seem to have a problem with it. In general it tends to be the newer people, who appreciate the explanation and the chance to watch the test more and see the pitfalls and opportunities.

    Our club, Down East HRC (now Neuse River), does a good job of providing details to the Marshall. In fact, now that I think of it, on that sheet is a list of what equipment is at what test so we can keep track of it.

    I have found the above to be very handy.

    Sue Puff
    There are no secrets to success. It is the results of preparation, hard work and learning from failure. -Colin Powell

    Sue Puffenbarger
    Wirtz, VA

    GCH Boyne's Avian Investigator MH WCX CGC 'Ziva' (number 73!)
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    ShadowGlen Roundabout Campfyr SH CD CGC 'Coal' (the best)

  9. #7
    Senior Member Ron in Portland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Portland, Oregon


    All of those things you've mentioned are important for not just time management, but also for a smooth running test in general.

    One other thing that can shave hours off a test is the time management skills of your judges, and how well you can "assist" those that don't have it. Watch the set up and see where time can be saved.

    An example of this is, can the blind be planted when the dog is coming back from the last mark, and get planted before the dog reaches the line? This saves the time from moving back to a holding blind to recieve the final bird, waiting for the blind to be planted, then moving back to the line. When you start saving thirty seconds a dog here, sixty seconds there, while running fifty dogs, now you're saving 30, 40, 50 minutes and more. Even something as simple as yelling "guns up" when the dog is returning with the last bird. That way as soon as the last bird is received, the next dog can come to the line immediately. Doesn't seem like much, but it can add up to hours. I didn't appreciate good time management by judges until I saw not so good time management.
    Ron Rhodes
    A Lab has no appreciation for the artistic value of a bonsai tree, but does appreciate their potential as chew toys.

  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    Those are some good time saving ideas. At our last Hunt test we assigined site managers, marshalls, and a helper to each stake and it saved alot of time and head ache for everyone. As someone already said Mr. Wally does and awesome job of running a test weekend.
    HRCH Johnny's "Tucker" Out Splashin' SH
    SHR Drew's Outback Girl "Bindi"

  11. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Tulsa, Oklahoma


    On set up day, hold off on the dinner until after dark to give everybody ample time to make a plan.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    As Tom said, just have Wally as your stakes marshal!
    I'd add a couple of things -
    Dead birds and set-up dogs so you can look at how the tests really work and get a good time estimate the day prior. Don't wait until Sat AM to start throwing birds and adjusting wingers.
    Remind the judges that the sun normally comes up in the east and sets towards the west.
    Make sure the stake marshal - the one with the clipboard - knows the importance of keeing the dogs moving to the line. You don't need to line up 6 dogs waiting in the sun in holding blinds but the next working dog has to be ready to rumble as soon as the previous dog goes to the line.
    Last, don't be bashful about pushing dogs to the judges. A friendly reminder, "Judge your next dog is #% and is ready for you" is usually all it takes to stop the chit-chat.

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