Tuesday July 18, 2017

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Hosted by the National Retriever Club of Canada. Daily reports, photos and drawings by Dona Martin
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Test 2 - Land Triple with 2 Retired Guns

Another gorgeous morning nestled between the mountains in the Fraser Valley. It was sunny albeit hazy with a starting temperature of 18C, scheduled to reach 25C later thar day. There was barely a breath of air about 2 km/hr from the South. The test was run NW to NE. Test 2 was a land triple with the left and centre guns retired. There were a few dozen goose decoys in the field off to the left that were not apparent from line. The order of the guns was left to right around the clock. Distances to the marks were: left retired 262 yards, centre retired 312 yards and right hand go bird 104 yards. The right gun station was set up to mimic a flyer station with a tent, 2 gunners, a bird boy, and a bird crate. The go bird was launched from a winger and there were 2 shots fired at the top of the arc. All birds were thrown left to right. Drake mallards were thrown at the left and centre marks and a hen mallard was thrown for the right hand go bird. The field was a relatively flat hay field with a cedar trees along the back edge. The holding blinds for the 2 retired gun stations were amongst the cedars. The left retired mark was thrown angled back to the right along the hedgerow, behind a large clump of dead grass. The centre retired mark was thrown towards a clump of cedars in the back of a small clearing.


Once again we had Raya with Doug as female test dog. Raya went directly to the go bird and the left retired. For the centre retired she went under the arc and looped over to the bird. Driver had a bit more difficulty. He had a great go bird, and then for the left retired he hunted to the right in the trees and deep of the bird before working it out. For the centre retired he did a few loops at the holding blind before hunting his way over to the bird. The first running dog #14, was called to line 8:15 am. Some bears repeatedly came out into the field to the left of the test to watch the dogs run and had to be chased away. Apparently there are a lot of black bear in the area due to the fresh berries in season.
Mountains through the haze

The calm before the test


The bears continued to take an interest in the goings on and they didn’t appear to have a fear of guns or people.
The test appeared to change as we progressed further into the running order and dogs began having more difficulty. The wind speed has increase minimally and of course the lighting has changed. The gunners for the left and centre marks were adjusted so that they remained in the sun, but the birds they were throwing were completely in shadows. There were significantly more handles in the last half of the running order. There was a air quality statement issued for the area. It became very hot with no shade and a long walk to line.
Callbacks: 42 dogs were called back to the 3rd series. Dogs 44 and 50 were not called back. Dog 24 starts.

Test 3 - Blind

Test 3 was a combination land and water blind. The line to the blind was tight along the left shore of a slough. When the slough turned left out of sight, the dog should exit the water on the right shore at the end of the visible water. There was high grass and cattails to the left of line when the dog exited the water. However, there was a slight dip beside the cover where the dog went out of sight briefly. The blind planter was in white and obscured from view by the high cover from line, but was immediately visible as the dog passed the cover. The blind planter was about 45 yards short and to the left of the blind stake. The blind stake was approximately 10 yards in front of a dirt road that crossed the field. The stake was in line with a tall poplar tree in the background. Instructions to the handlers were that the dog must be on the mat to be sent, and the handler could move up immediately after launching the dog. They could move up to the edge of the water and laterally as far as they wanted to see their dog.



First up was Doug and Raya. When Raya ran the water blind, the line to the blind was along the right hand side of the slough and on to a hard point. However, the bank at the point was too steep for the dog to exit on line, so the mat was moved over to the left so that the line was down along the left side of the slough. Male test dog Driver ran the blind that was used. Jane kept Driver tight on line through the water. When he exited he saw the bird planter and had a difficult time staying on line to the blind. Dog 24 was called to line at 3:50 pm. The wind was variable but mostly from the SouthWest angling across the test from left to right a 19 km/hr, gusting to 29 km/hr. To speed up the test, dogs are supposed to return on land.
Callbacks: 41 dogs were called back to the 4th series which is planned to be water marks. Dog 29 was not called back. Dog 38 will start.