I am a fairly new judge and I have a question about a specific "NO BIRD" situation I encountered last year. It was my first go-round judging. We were running the water series Senior level. We were setup with 2 dead bird stations and the question occurred with the GO bird. That station was equipped with a "Bubba" kick-winger.(launches the bird extremely high and far)about 80 yards total with a short swim. We needed to re-bird and exchange some of the helpers before we were to continue. The memory bird station went off without a hitch. The GO bird however, only made it about 15 feet high and about 20 feet out. The cover was the same in both fall areas. I paused for a second mulling over if "No Bird" should be called. The dog appeared to mark the fall so I called their number. The dog crushed both marks (Thank You Pup!) and the blind.
In my opinion the malfunction actually made the series less difficult because of the proximity of the fall to the blind and gunner. I didn't want to send the team back to a holding blind after making it to the line, seeing the birds, and being steady. I've been there and the extra time in the holding blind waiting to run again has been absolutely nerve wrecking for me and my dog. My thought process, which may be flawed, is to save the "No Bird" for the falls that put the dog in a considerably tougher scenario. Just looking for some opinions and some advice.