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There was certainly a gob of good stuff being discussed in January of 2003. I must have been hunting, or just lurking :roll: back then, eh?

Pretty sure I also "evolved" much like Tim did, coming early from the oooold school of "The Bible" as authored by James Lamb Free. Back then most folks used the hand as a tool, where the dog was never allowed to go unless the hand was down. I believe it was used more for non-breaking purposes and dealing with honoring, than direction.

Most recently, I also only use the hand on 'long' marks, but always on blinds and for 'no-ing' a nearby poison bird or mark, as is sometimes required in HRC hunt tests as well as hunting.

Even when the dog is spine-aligned on a blind, I use the hand so I know the dog is 'looking' the same way it's spine is aligned. I don't put it in front of it's eyes, but above the head, so it can verify it's looking where it should be sent.

It also does serve as a tempo adjuster, working in combo with all the other adjusting when setting up for a blind. The dog leaves the line, IMFWBDAO, with an attitude of awareness...expecting to hear a whistle, and listening for it, rather than being on it's own as it is when sent for a mark.

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