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I am using my own version of stickmen, which are white cardboard triangles or white t-shirts with pool noodle arms, on plastic fence posts for marks and blinds.

Some questions:

1. Should I use my stickmen as blind markers? Or will that confuse the dog as to whether it is a mark or a blind?

2. On beginning marked sight blinds, how far away from the marker do you put the bird/bumper for an inexperienced dog? I am just trying to build confidence/trust for my dog that when I cue for a blind and she runs out, she will find a bird/bumper but I don't really like putting the bird/bumper at the base of the marker. Seems too

3. In training, do you ever run blinds straight into the wind?

4. Someone once mentioned a way to attach a stickman or t-shirt to a winger that "retires" when the winger is launched. Can someone explain how to do that?

Happy hunting season to all!
 

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I would not make a regular practice of using Stickmen as blind marker. On occasion, you might want to work on a Bird Boy Blind (pretty standard fare in the Open). In a Bird Boy double blind situation, a short blind is placed close to the bird boy (maybe 10 feet in front, or right or left of the bird boy). You run that blind first. Then you run a second blind tight to the bird boy that is typically much deeper than the short blind. I would not want to run to stick men too often for fear that I was teaching my dog to run to guns.
 

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I am using my own version of stickmen, which are white cardboard triangles or white t-shirts with pool noodle arms, on plastic fence posts for marks and blinds.
Why? What program uses white stakes to run blinds? If the location is marked so that a dog
can see where it is going, how does that progress to running a real blind?

http://www.dannyfarmer.com/dannyfarmer.com/Training_Tips_files/Starting%20Cold%20Blinds%20by%20Danny%20Farmer_1.pdf z

Actually, there is a "white stake" approach to to running blinds. Hillmann does a program
that begins with white stakes and it works well. I have done both Farmer's and Hillmann's.
They are effective.....if done properly. :geek:

https://www.kwicklabsii.com/star-drill---handling.html

Hillmann's progression includes "point blinds".

https://www.kwicklabsii.com/point-blinds.html
 

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<<1. Should I use my stickmen as blind markers? Or will that confuse the dog as to whether it is a mark or a blind? >>

NO do not use them YES it will confuse your dog. Never heard of such a thing.

<<2. On beginning marked sight blinds, how far away from the marker do you put the bird/bumper for an inexperienced dog? I am just trying to build confidence/trust for my dog that when I cue for a blind and she runs out, she will find a bird/bumper but I don't really like putting the bird/bumper at the base of the marker. Seems too>>

I would encourage you to use an established training program to teach your dog to run blinds. "Sight blinds" are not a big part of any program I know of. I do not use them. They are a straw man approach to teaching blinds...they really are just teaching your dog to run to a white object, nothing more. It only builds confidence and trust in running to a white object, not running blinds.

<<3. In training, do you ever run blinds straight into the wind?>>

Not typically. We do not want to encourage our dogs to use their nose when running blinds. Again, if you make a practice of running blinds into the wind, you are simply teaching your dog to use its nose which is contrary to good training.
I will say I ran a Qualifier last year that had meaty water blind, down then shore then over a point, that was run directly into the wind. We saw lots of pops, noses down, cast refusals especially on the point. Wind introduced scent off the blind, while the dog was en route, so they put their noses down early and hunted. Not good. I asked the judges why they set this up and they said the wind shifted 90º from what they expected, but they just went with it. Interesting results. Good test but bad training. We were testing that day.

<<4. Someone once mentioned a way to attach a stickman or t-shirt to a winger that "retires" when the winger is launched. Can someone explain how to do that?>>

I would encourage you to train with live gunners rather than contraptions. Train with people who know what they're doing.
 

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I will attempt to describe how to "retire" a gun using a coat hanger, white t-shirt, water bottle and string. A live gunner is MUCH better and an electronic retired gun that can unretire is also. Necessity and lack of funds is the mother of invention.

I typically do this with the winger behind a round hay bale and the t-shirt and coat hanger in front. Tie the water bottle to one end of the string and loop the coat hanger to it. Run the string over the hay bale to the winger and pull the string into the pulley of the winger. The tension of the rubber should hold the string in place. As the winger releases the rubber rolls in the pulley and the string releases. It is much easier to show than try to describe. You can also put the t-shirt over a branch or stickman if hay bales are unavailable.

Another option is to walk out and throw the mark. Walk back to the line and send the dog.
 

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4. Someone once mentioned a way to attach a stickman or t-shirt to a winger that "retires" when the winger is launched. Can someone explain how to do that?
You can do that by using a white t-shirt or dress shirt on a wire coat hanger. Tie a short cord or ribbon to the hook on the coat hanger. Slide the other end of the cord under one of the upper pulleys holding in there under the band. When the winger goes off, it will fall to the ground.
 
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