Friday July 13, 2018

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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 8 - Water Blind

Updated: 11:23 am
Friday started off overcast with 11 km/h S wind which made Test 8 a downwind test. Rain moved in later in the morning. Breakfast was once again sponsored by the Northern Ontario Retriever Association and was free to all of the contestants, workers and judges. Thank you N.O.R.A.

For Test 8, we returned to the same property where Test 7 was run but used a different pond. This test was run in a natural beaver pond with marsh grass surrounding it followed by dense bush, and dead white birches and spruce that have been killed off by the beaver flood. Test 8 was a 252 yard shoreline water blind. There was a boat 120 yards out tucked into a small cove and somewhat obscured from line with a person sitting in a white jacket. However, the boat was very obvious to the dog as it approached the area. There were snowmobile posts in the pond left of line. The blind was run from a mound that was created when the small pond up front was dug. There was about 30 yards of high marsh grass to negotiate before the dog got into the open water. A sparse point of willow came out from the right. It was romping water through this cover. A fence post just to the right of line as the dog went through the willow was a good indicator of the proper line. A number of coves and bays along the shore drew the dogs to shore, not to mention the boat with a person in a white jacket. The pond opened up to the right behind the last point. The bird planter was way around the corner on the beaver dam where the bird is planted.


Male test dog Jaeger ran first. He was handled early into the small pond up front and then again to get through the high marsh grass. Steve had a fight on his hands to keep Jaeger on line because he wanted to scallop back towards the boat and shore. Eventually Steve lost the battle and Jaeger disappeared into the cover on shore and was called in without picking up the bird. Next up was female test dog Lady. Jim kept Lady under control on a tight line to shore. After the last point she disappeared around the corner and went out of control before coming back in sight and being handled to the bird. There was a light coloured log on the beaver dam out of sight to the line that she may have been drawn to. A 3rd test dog, FTCH AFTCH Keys II was called to run the blind. When Keys ran they had the person in the boat cover up with a ghillie blanket. Keys did a good job and although he appeared to notice the boat, was not sucked in. Robert did a good job keeping him out from shore to the bird. The first running dog was called to line at 9:00 am.
Robert & Keys

Scoping Out The Test

At about half way through, most of the dogs stayed out of trouble but required quite a few whistles to do so. As the test progressed further, the wind picked up significantly and came around so there was a strong crosswind, making it more difficult to get the cast into the wind away from shore.
Callbacks: 19 dogs back to the 9th series. Dogs called back 4, 9, 10, 17, 19, 20, 23, 28, 32, 33, 35, 42, 44, 45, 49, 50, 51, 52. Dogs not called back. 2, 12, 13, 14, 34, 40, 41, 46. Test 9 will be a land quad with dog 35 starting.

Test 9 - Land Quad With All Guns Retired

Updated: 5:35 pm
Test 9 was a land quad with all guns retired. It was run from another location on the same property as the double land blind for Test 6. It was a cut hay field dotted with round bales. There were islands of bushes, heavy cover and rock piles in the field as well. Mixed poplar and alders surrounded the field. A treed hedge row with uncut hay separated the short right hand gun station from the rest of the test. A rooster pheasant was thrown into the high hay from right to left into the test. The long right hand mark was thrown along the treed hedge row out into the cut field between the road and the trees. There was a slot between 2 islands of cover where the long left mark was thrown right to left in the cut field, about 15 feet from the heavy cover. The short left hand mark was thrown into an island of uncut hay, The order of the guns was long right, long left, short right and finally short left. A rooster pheasant was thrown on the right hand mark. All other marks are drake mallards. The gunners for the long right mark retired into the trees. All other gunners were surrounded by hay bales when they retired. Distances to the marks were; 240 yards to the long right retired, 268 yards to the long left retired, 104 to the short right retired and 172 to the go bird retired. The wind was coming across the test from left to right. Rain started and stopped intermittantly but was not heavy.


For this test we had a change of the male test dog. NFTCH FTCH AJ Top Cruisin With the Pirate, owned and handled by Tom Sullivan. Just as Whiskey came to line it started to rain harder than before but didn’t seem to phase Whiskey. For the go bird, short left retired, he had a very tight hunt in the area of the fall. For the short right retired, Whiskey stepped on the bird for an excellent mark. For the long right retired, Whiskey headed wide left into no man’s land and ended up at a rock pile between the 2 long gun staions before making an abrupt right hand turn to go to the bird. Not sure if he got on the road that goes along the treeline and the back of the field. For the long left retired, he hunted around the gun station and then to the bird. The wind direction which was coming across the test from left to right probably gave up the bird when the dog got to the hay bales where the gunners were hidden. Next up was female test dog Lady with Jim handling. For the go bird, Lady went wide to the right of the island of cover and hooked in to pick up the bird. With the wind direction as it was, it would be difficult to get by the bird on the right. For her 2nd bird, Jim appeared to send Lady at the short right mark but Lady had other ideas and followed the road to the long right. She started her hunt a bit deep and to the left before turning back into the bird. For the long left, Lady hunted right of the hay bales, then around them and over to the bird. For the Short right which she didn’t appear to see thrown, Lady went slightly right of the holding blind, hunted deep under the arc in cut hay before jumping into the uncut hay to retriever her bird. The first dog was called to line at 4:05 pm.
Whiskey & Tom

Getting Ready to Rock

As the test progressed, some dogs had excellent work while others put on substantial hunts and/or handling. The rain continued to be on and off and the wind remained from the same direction but sometimes died down to a whisper.
Callbacks: 12 dogs called back to the 10th series. dogs called back, 10, 19, 20, 28, 32, 33, 35, 42, 45, 49, 50, 52, Dogs not called back; 4, 9, 17, 23, 43, 44, 51