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Thread: marks in cattails

  1. #1
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    Default marks in cattails

    Scenario- A mark lands in the middle of a stand of cattails about 50 feet long by 30 feet wide. There no other marks in close association with it. It is the last bird down of a triple and is approximately 60 yards from the line. No alligators in this part of the country or unseen hazards exist in this case.

    let's have a discussion;

    Is it a component of a "good" test as relates to marking and perseverance?-Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

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    Senior Member DoubleHaul's Avatar
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    Even in cases where it is safe and you can see all around, so you can assume the dog is in the area when you can't see it, I am not a huge fan. By the end of the series, there tends to be a clear path in and out and the area where the bird lands is mushed down, so I don't think you get the same level of perseverance testing for all the dogs. Also, particularly early. the bird can get hung up above the reach of the dog and it isn't clear what happened from the line.

    That said, we see them in the cattails a lot around here, so I am certainly not going to grumble about it if that is what you have to work with.

  3. #3
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    I like to test perseverance on an older dog and have used a bird in the cattails twice as a judge. The problem I had was that on later dogs in the test some of the ducks sank. Probably because they were too wet and maybe young ducks. A lone patch of cattails should give the dog something to mark off of.

    Tom

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    It may be difficult to see the dog work. Was at a test once where the mark was on the other side of some cattails and landed on a little hill which was the only thing to be seen past the cattails. If dog got off line in the slightest, it could not be seen. One dog marked a little off and entered the cattails where it could not be seen. Dog did not reappear and no one knew why and handler eventually called the dog in. Where I was standing in the gallery, I could see the dog and noticed the dog sat at the report of a gun from the other test across the water. So basically the dog was sitting on the other side of the cattails being steady to wing/shot but neither judge or handler could see him. Probably a freak occurrence and I did let the judges know what I saw.
    Erik B.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Definitely a Hunting scenario, but I'm not sure a mark directly into thick cattails has a place in a HT, Can't see the pick-up and can't see if the dog gets into trouble. Unsafe, I've ran tests where some of the birds floated into thick cattails, 3 dogs got caught in them, 2 got out on there own after a long struggle but one had to have the bird guy paddle out and pull the dog out of them, he was completely tangled. I wouldn't want to think what might've happened if we couldn't have see them. I don't mind them utilizing cattails, putting marks on the edge or requiring a dog to get past them as long as you can see the dog. I wouldn't hesitate to put my own dogs into them to hunt a bird, we hunt them all the time, however I know my dog, she's really good at negotiating them and she doesn't panic if she gets caught up. I've had to save her from them once, she sort've just floated there until I motored over and picked her up. I've seen dogs that panic when they get caught up, that's a bad situation, I wouldn't want to chance that happening in a test.
    "They's Just DAWGS"
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Mike Peters-labguy23's Avatar
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    I don't like tests where you can't see the dogs in the AOF. For all you know the dog flew through the AOF and hunted deep for a while or it was on top of a bird that sank. I don't like judging with a stop watch.

    I also almost lost a dog to heat stroke in a test as described. He was in the AOF but couldn't find the bird. I needed the gunners to help him to get him to find the bird. When he got back he was full of air and had a temp over 106. Still surprised he made it.
    Mike Peters

  7. #7
    Senior Member Good Dogs's Avatar
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    I like to put my birds in cover, or just past cover, as long as I and the handler can see if the dog is truely in the AOF or has gotten into trouble. Besides, "you can't judge what you can't see." Sometimes you're stuck with what's available but I try to not intentionally set a fall where the dog is out of sight.

  8. #8
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    We hunt cattails a lot up here. I wouldn't have an issue on putting a bird into a small patch that we inspected for safety. As a judge I would call the whole patch of cattails the AOF and let them hunt it out of there. You would definitely know dogs that are hunting out of the AOF. The other issue could be one of fairness as later dogs might have a more open trail to the bird created by numerous dogs returning on line.

    John

  9. #9
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    I like this kind of mark for HT's. I feel I can judge whether the dog is hunting in the AOF or not. I make sure that only "floaters" are thrown into thick cover like this so that if the dog that shows it will enter difficult cover and persevere until the bird is recovered I can reward it with a good score.

    Excessive heat is tough on dogs. No doubt about that. If the air is hot but the water is cool, I feel this type of mark is safe. If the water and air temps are both hot, the judges need to consider this and act to make it as safe as possible for the dogs.

    I agree that trails will be formed and that the cover will be compromised somewhat as the series progresses, but any kind of emergent aquatic vegetation is subject to this, and even mashed down cattails in water present a considerable challenge to recover. -Paul
    there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mike Peters-labguy23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Robinson View Post
    We hunt cattails a lot up here. I wouldn't have an issue on putting a bird into a small patch that we inspected for safety. As a judge I would call the whole patch of cattails the AOF and let them hunt it out of there. You would definitely know dogs that are hunting out of the AOF. The other issue could be one of fairness as later dogs might have a more open trail to the bird created by numerous dogs returning on line.

    John
    How would you definitely know they are in the AOF if you can't see the dog or past the cattails? Every test I have ran with cattails you couldn't see the dog in the AOF or past it.
    Mike Peters

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