Maybe someday I'll get a chance to put a good dog in front of you Paul. I would in a heartbeat despite whatever disagreements we've had here.This poll has been up and running for nearly 5 days. There have been 76 respondents. Is it representative of the portion of the Hunt Test community which runs Master Hunt Tests? You decide.
Few tests actually start 60 dogs due to scratches. All of the tests I have judged which started more than 50 dogs took all of the 2 days we had allotted to complete.
In my opinion, A good Master hunt test consists of well placed marks that are spread out enough that it is obvious whether the dog has marked them or not. If a dog switches it's hunt that should be a black and white situation. The blinds should use terrain features, scent problems, courage, especially in the case of water blinds, and place(s) for the dog to get out of sight of the judges and handler if appreciatively off the line to the blind. There should be enough room, however, for a good handler to save the situation if the dog refuses A cast in one of these critical areas en-route.
In the case of judging, SAFETY, TIME MANAGEMENT and FAIRNESS are paramount. The dogs deserve safe tests. Judges need to use their time wisely, and not make manpower demands that the club cannot support in a timely manner. Every participant should feel like they and their dog were judged fairly and impartially at the end of their run, win or lose. Some on this thread have expressed their displeasure with how many dogs are carried to the next series. The rulebook tells judges they should be GENEROUS in their callbacks when time allows. I am one who tries to do this whenever possible.
Over the 20+ years I have been judging, my co-judge and I have had many participant's who failed approach us at the end of the day and thank us for a great test. In my mind, this is the greatest compliment judges can receive.
It's not rocket science, but there are A LOT of moving parts. One does not just wake up one morning and know how to accomplish what I have outlined. Experience is built out of successes and mistakes over years and dozens of judging assignments. Newcomers should consider what is actually going on before condemning judges as being inept or casting aspersions as to their fairness and impartiality. Paul