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Why did the founders of HT split from FT??

  • They wanted to replicate an actual days hunt more than FT do

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  • They wanted a place where the average person could play

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Some combination of the two

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • None of the above (please explain)

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Uncle Bill said:
How ironic was it for the Wolters,Tarrents et al to break away from the trialing crowd because it "no longer represented what you'd expect to find in a normal days hunt", only to start up an organization that ignores basic physics.
I have a question for those who have been around longer than I have. I posted this quote from Uncle Bill because it is the second time I have seen a similar quote in the last week or so. It was always my understanding that the HT founders split from FT because the "average" person could not compete against the professionally trained(or highly skilled Amateur trained) dogs in Field Trials. It was my understanding that the primary reason for the split was to create a place where everyone could play versus wanting to represent what you would expect to find in a "normal" day's hunt (I think certainly part of it but maybe not the primary reason). Since I frequently find myself being wrong on my assumptions, I'm curious what your take on it is---which is the case (or maybe/probably it is some combo of the two???)


Thanks,

John
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Meleagris said:
None of the above (please explain)
Someone already screwed up! :wink:
 
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I too suffer from newbie-isms. I'm basing my opinion on what I have read and heard from more experienced folks.

I voted for a combination of both. I think that the intent was to test those traits, both natural and trained, that are useful in a hunting retriever and get away from the 'mechanical dog' syndrome.

If HRC were to successfully duplicate (to the extent possible) an actual days hunt afield, and judge it like a hunter would (did pup bring home the chicken?), then I think we would get more participation from the average person or hunter.

Someone that used to be involved with HRC and is no longer, explained to me that initially, folks who were hunters first and trainers second were welcome and participated at all levels (HRC). This person's opinion now is someone needs to be a trainer first and a hunter second, a distance second.

If the intent of HTs were to provide a venue for the average 'joe hunter' (no offense H20fowl) to participate in, then I would have to say that they have fallen short. Now I know I might get flamed for that one, but for every hunter that you can name that runs HTs, I can name ten more that don't. I've been to JH and SHR stakes where 40 - 50% of the dawgs are pro-trained. Is that bad, nope. But what kind of impression does that leave with someone new?

Should they stay with it and finish their JH or equivalent, then what? What they see is that the vast majority of MHs, and many HRCHs, are pro-trained. So, either the new person ceases to be involved or to continue must either become a trainer first and hunter second, or shell out about $4000 in training fees for a SH and even more for MH.

I'm addicted to dawgs at this point in my life. I've tried to get other folks involved with dog games, but the scenario I described above resurfaces time and time again. What I described above is simply a testimonial of what I have seen and heard in the past two or three years, not a soapbox.

-My Two Yen
 
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Re:

John,

Note sure about ametuers not being able to compete in FT with pros, but I always heard that the HT came about to reward and test hunting skills. Here's a thought, when would you ever have to send a dog on a 400 yard blind while hunting???

Seriously, I know that my shotgun does'nt reach even a fourth of that length. Maybe if you duck hunt with a 270 or a 243 you might need a dog that could make that kind of blind.( Hats off to those that can and do make these blinds everyday.)

So, like I said before, it was my understanding that HT came around to address things like this and to simulate the actual hunting experience. Also, HT seem to be more practical for the average hunter who does'nt want or need a dog to perform the FT tasks.


Delta Dog
 

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I am a HTer, but in the defense of FTs, I want to say a couple things for the newbies --

-- "Mechanical Dog Syndrome" has generally disappeared with the advancement of e-collars (adjustable levels) and the advancement that comes from experience with their use (most notably the introduction of indirect pressure). Nowadays, the average FT dog is a happy, independent but responsive worker.

-- The retrieving concepts inherent to FTs are the same concepts inherent to HTs and hunting itself. The difference is the difficulty level. FT dogs are hunting retrievers, it is just that they are trained to also perform at difficulty levels the average hunting retriever will never see in their whole lifetime (and this is what the founders of the HT movement had in mind).
 
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Kevin,

I heard the AKC HT program removed the trait of "nose" from those qualities evaluated during a HT. Do you know the reasoning behind this?

Thanks again from a newbie,
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hunt'em Up said:
If the intent of HTs were to provide a venue for the average 'joe hunter' (no offense H20fowl) to participate in, then I would have to say that they have fallen short. Now I know I might get flamed for that one, but for every hunter that you can name that runs HTs, I can name ten more that don't. I've been to JH and SHR stakes where 40 - 50% of the dawgs are pro-trained. Is that bad, nope. But what kind of impression does that leave with someone new?

-My Two Yen
Hunt'em Up:

I hope you didn't take this thread as picking on HRC--I was just curious about the initiation of HT in general. I copied part of your statement which interests me. I too share a tremendous passion for training and wanting people to get involved in our fine games. It is my belief (and maybe I'm off) that HRC is a fantastic venue for hunters. In my opinion it does test skills valuable in a hunting retriever (realizing that tests can NEVER truly mimick hunting). Just getting the birds does not a hunting retriever make. I think we have all hunted with dogs that got the birds but made our hunts miserable (either being out of control or vocal or...). Started marks are pretty easy but a totally untrained dog most likely would not/should not pass. You have to put some effort into training your dog.

How would you make HRC more accessible to the average hunter??? I'm interested!!!

Delta Dog:

I'm not talking about amateurs totally here. It was my understanding that Omar and some of the other founders were pro trainers. I'm just curious.....

By the way-- the last week of goose season Tina and I hunted with 5 friends who are pro guides. Of the 28 geese we killed, 6-7 required blind retrieves of over 250 yards and one was probably 500-600 yds away. That's not uncommon at all in this part of the world--- so I say the ability to run a 400yard blind was a plus in a dog!!!
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Hunt'em Up said:
Kevin,

I heard the AKC HT program removed the trait of "nose" from those qualities evaluated during a HT. Do you know the reasoning behind this?

Thanks again from a newbie,
I'm not Kevin, but...

No reasoning, b/c it is simply not true. A dog with no "nose" won't get far in a FT, as anyone who has ever watched a FT can tell you. Some HT'ers perpetuate this myth b/c for some reason they just have to find some reason why their dog is really better than those FT dogs. :roll:
 

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Re:

Delta Dog said:
John,

Note sure about ametuers not being able to compete in FT with pros, but I always heard that the HT came about to reward and test hunting skills. Here's a thought, when would you ever have to send a dog on a 400 yard blind while hunting???

Delta Dog

It is quite common that you will have a duck or especially a goose sail and go down 250 - 300+ in the fields of AR.
 
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To the long blind folks:

With all due respect....300 yards is 3 football fields, not to mention the fact that a 500-600 yard retrieve is around 1600 ft which is quarter mile!

You know, I have been hunting my entire life and have NEVER seen this kinda stuff. If you guys say it's happening then o.k., it's not my place to say otherwise, but I have not seen it.

To me a 100 yard retrieve is not short, especially if its in water. Sometimes things we think are 300 yards away are more like 175. But just to be straight forward with you guys, I can't see birds landing a quarter mile away from you when a shotgun only shoots about 40-50 yards max on a good day. Much less sending a dog on that kind of retrieve, that's astronomically long!!!

I'm I the only one who has'nt seen this???Really???

Delta Dog
 

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Re:

Delta Dog said:
John,

Note sure about ametuers not being able to compete in FT with pros, but I always heard that the HT came about to reward and test hunting skills. Here's a thought, when would you ever have to send a dog on a 400 yard blind while hunting???

Delta Dog
Its really pretty common around here. Shoot at geese over the dekes, some fall but ten watch the flock as they sail away and once in a while you'll see one(or more) drop out and hit the ground. I've had to send te dog across the quarter section road into the next pasture several times to pick up a bird.
We are flat and open country around here and it sure helps to see this happen.
 

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Re:

Delta Dog said:
To the long blind folks:

With all due respect....300 yards is 3 football fields, not to mention the fact that a 500-600 yard retrieve is around 1600 ft which is quarter mile!

You know, I have been hunting my entire life and have NEVER seen this kinda stuff. If you guys say it's happening then o.k., it's not my place to say otherwise, but I have not seen it.
Delta Dog
I've never seen a dog pick up a goldeneye, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen regularly to some folks. :wink: I know how long 300 yds is. It's ridiculous, but it happens dang near every goose hunt out here, and 100 yds is not uncommon for ducks here - but that is probably related more to my lousy shooting, and the never ending west Texas winds. Geese are tough - sometimes it takes a couple of hundred yards for them to realize they are dead. If HT's want to cater to "ordinary" hunts, that's fab. Me, I want a dog that can go get that goose that sailed into the next county. It's all good, as long as it gets folks out working their dog! BUT - just b/c my dog is accustomed to sailing waterfowl and hunting off a platform smack dab in the center of a playa doesn't mean I think it would be a great test set up. It's too big a pain to set up for real hunting, much less a test! 8)
 
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Kevin,

Not all FT dogs are happy enthusiastic performers. I saw one this past weekend at a picnic trial that was afraid of it's own shadow. Of course, I've seen HT dogs react similarly. The collar can be a wonderful tool...in the right hands...and is always much better than a steel pipe...

I definitely agree there are some core concepts that apply to FTs, HTs, and hunting. However, I do feel there are some FT situations/scenarios that are not beneficial to developing a multipurpose hunting retriever.

"Independent" is probably the last trait I would associate with a FT dawg. Is there anyone who runs their field trial dog on wild upland birds? Anyone?


Turkey genus,

Man, I don't have many answers in getting more folks involved, I wish I did. And I certainly agree, just getting the chicken doesn't count. A good hunt can be really spoiled with dogs out of control and those that don't honor (poaching is a pet peeve). I think that HRC has the potential to be the hunters venue. I don't believe the expectations of the various levels are unreasonable either. The Grand should have 200 yd. blinds, they happen.

I think if we can start to put the realism back into HRC, we'll gain some hunters. I've been successful at getting a few folks to show up at training days etc. by explaining how the components of HTs will help them bring more ducks back to the boat. I guess it isn't obvious we're trying to accomplish when sitting out in the middle an open field on a white bucket with three decoys.

What I see as an impediment for some newcomers is how performance is sometimes judged. I saw a nice seasoned dog last year three whistle a blind and get dropped for it. We all know that judges have good days and bad days, just like the rest of us. This was a bad day. Those of us that are committed to dog games have come to accept and understand this. The problem is, newcomers don't always see it this way.

There is a friend of mine, a dog lover at heart. Been a hunter all his life. In fact, I would call this guy a dog's best friend. Dog games are in his blood, now... his first experience with HTs (I won't say where) was very negative. Without going into the details, the judging that day was subpar and bordered on insulting. Fortunately, this guy gave HTs another shot, met some great folks (aren't all dog folks great?), and is now hooked. The problem with this is that my friend is a lot more dedicated dogs than most of us and I really doubt the 'average guy' would have ever made a second attempt.
 
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KJB and others,


IMHO,having a dog that can do those long blinds is more than desirable it's awesome. Thats the reason we all do what we do in a sense, to have a dog that can perform in any situation. I guess I did'nt realize that this was so common in other areas. Down here, hunting flooded timber, slooes, and corn fields, I have'nt seen birds land that far off. When they go that far I often assume I did'nt hit the dang thing, which I might have. Perhaps there is not as much "open space" in the delta.

So, this leads me to my next question....

Which one of you guys is going to take me hunting next season? ha ha :D

Delta Dog
 
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For what it's worth, the longest retrieve I have ever seen was a heart-shot rooster that sailed approximately 175 - 250 yds away. I think our advanced level HT retrievers should be able to get that done, just as long as it's not a triple or quad at that distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Ok:

I had no intention for this to be a HT versus FT thread or a how long a blind hunting dogs need to be able to run. I simply was curious as to which theory was behind the HT split from Field Trials. Somebody who I respect a lot (Uncle Bill) suggested a reason other than the one I had always heard so I was curious. I was hoping some folks here who might have known some of the founders would know the "true" story!!!

I'm sorry if anybody felt like I was saying HT needed to be harder or was putting them down. Not my intention in any way!!!!

John
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