"Flying" Pounce

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Mar 24 high was 70°F and trained in the afternoon at the 'New Place" DTA....set three remote wingers with three inch black & white, flagged bumpers ("cluttered" horizon).
Used the AKC line and finished the session by running four "repeat" blinds
              note: Pounce did a very good session and Daisy was "exercised" afterwards
              note: stayed on the main path in....to avoid more "tracks" in the dead grass
              note: The Winnebago Co. DTA is nearby and measured the surface water
                        temperature in the small. shallow technical pond. It was 63°F.  

Mar 7 trained at the "New Place" about noon - "temps" low 50's, sunny and very windy (20+ mph WSW)....changed the plan. 1st repeated yesterday's long blinds to take advantage of
the strong, cross wind factor. That went well with no hint of Pounce fading with the wind.
                 note: blinds left to right were 163, 192 & 193 yards (range finder)

The next setup used three Gunners Up wingers and a Zinger Uplander to throw four singles (down wind). The Uplander was first and it was a "walk-up". After the four singles, three much longer "concept" cold blinds were run. The last blind was 173 yards (and not easy).
              note: Afterwards, Daisy & Pounce went out together to "help" pick up the blind
                        stakes. They took turns dealing with a "no bird" cue. Daisy got her exercise.
              note: two months until first spring test (AKC Senior)

Mar 21-2 two days off
Mar 23 two HRC "Line Drills" & a set of "Walking Singles" at the "New Place" DTA
Pounce ran nine walking singles working from one side of the property to the other mixing distances up with most being 100-200 yards......those went extremely well.
Set up four remote launchers in a pod to run the HRC "Line Time" drill twice. The first time was four singles. The second was two doubles with diversions. The drill uses
a popper gun with primer loads, duck call, holding blind and the HRC "bucket".
                 note: distance was increased from previous sessions to about 40 yards
                 note: the "in your face" presentations are exciting by design
The rationale is consistently correct practice when done frequently will provide the "reps" required to establish an expectation (standard) expressed as a conditioned 
response. Then there is maintenance.
                 note: refer to the March 19th journal entry for a similar "Pod" photo

Mar 16 two doubles with blinds...8:30 am 17°F.....high of 42°F forecast. Trained at the "New Place" and parked right inside the gate on solid gravel...."greasy" mud from the recent, melted snowfall further in...."walked in" the wingers and setups.....good exercise
               note: After running the 1st double, Pounce did a "three-peat" set of blinds and
                         after the 2nd double, Pounce did a "single repeat" blind. All four blinds
                         are long and she has run them at least once before today ("repeats")
                note: used the AKC line routine with a "fake" gun....no "placeboard" 
                note: Pounce  had no issues with the doubles (very good memory)
                note: Daisy was exercised after Pounce finished

Mar 27 Pounce trained at the Winnebago Co. DTA. First was a set of nine "walking singles" with most in the heavier cover to the west (singles 100-175 yards).  Next up was the HRC "Line Drill"...four wingers in a pod at 45 yards...set #1 = four singles, set #2 = two doubles and set #3 = four singles. Also did three diversion marks. The focus is "getting comfortable with the busy action at the line" in an HRC test format using a bucket, duck call and shotgun with primer loads. In addition, followed the "off the van, airing, to the holding blind and line" routine three times (worked slowly, presented a consistent sequence and practiced). Daisy was "exercised" with several fun bumpers.
                note: in the 50's, cloudy with only a slight breeze.....almost perfect weather
Mar 28 weather very similar to yesterday....Trained at the "New Place" and setup an HRC Finished session....three marks (ducks) with a diversion and a blind. First it was run with an AKC "fake" gun. The second was technically "schooled" except this time used a popper gun with primers. Marks and blinds were done well and the real purpose in the  "repeat" session was "practicing the routine".  Worked at a pace that was slower that what is normal in a test. The plan is to "get up to speed" while maintaining control, focus and responsiveness. 
                 note: setup had two of the marks placed in a "concept" similar to what was
                           "covered"/taught in the Mar 26th training session

                 note: In a side-note, when arriving at home, I noticed the flower beds are

Mar 26 rain "window" again today...prepared (in advanced) a sketch of two inline doubles to reduce training time (two wingers with short distances to move for 2nd setup). After running the first double, the short "go duck" was rather obviously an "eraser".....Pounce had no idea of the area of the long fall, but left on her name. Body language was "I will find it, if I run around enough."......Changed the look of the setup to make the long mark more "memorable" by adding a white "stickman" to the long  station. Repeated the double and this time it was "easy". The second set was "stretched" more than in the original, tentative plan. In addition, the longer winger station was now identified with a white "stickman" (learned from the first). Pounce was very good with the second double. In retrospect, I should have anticipated the obvious and made the "intro" more seamless. 

Daisy then "helped" pickup the wingers and was given a few walking retrieves for exercise.  After her short break, Pounce finished the day by doing a lining/casting drill with good speed and enthusiasm ("zippy").  Refer to the March 15th journal entry for the drill diagram.
                   note: in the upper 50's, wind SW 6 mph and cloudy - ideal day to train

Mar 13 snow "storm" was only a couple of inches....hardly enough for the snow blower 
               note: still taking today off from outdoor training
               note: The left shoulder "issue" (weakness, pain) is improving...hydro exercises
                         in the swimming pool and almost daily shooting of 20-30 blank poppers

                         (with "spent" primers) has made a huge difference. Today is an off day
                         from training because of the snow. However, Pounce was sitting beside
                         me indoors getting more "reps" of the HRC "gun action" and once in
                         awhile picking up a bumper 25 ft down the deck.
Mar 14 more snow and cold - Pounce and I did more indoor  "reps" on the HRC "bucket"
              note: She needs the "reps" and so does my shoulder plus it has been seven
                        years since last running an HRC test. Received some very useful advice
                        because of asking for input about the video.

Mar 8 wind advisory - sustained winds of 30 mph plus wind gusts in excess of 45 mph are expected = day off.....and since we have trained five days in a row (good timing)
                    note: lost a very large oak tree in the back yard last night....at least it
                             fell in the right direction.....but another addition to the "money pit"

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Mar 5 trained trained in the afternoon - mostly sunny, wind out of the south and "temps" in the low 50's. Pounce ran two KRD's east to west with a "crossing" wind, used single winger with mallard and the four concept blinds were set out with the first and third being mallards, second and fourth "camo" bumpers. Pounce started out fading with the wind and the "fade"  decreased as the blinds progressed. Daisy was exercised when picking  "stuff" up.
            Note: blind concepts were 1) wide of the fall, 2) through the fall, 3) under the arc and   
                      4) tight behind the gun.

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Mar 11 at 8:30 am it was 18°F...with a wind chill 5°F and my Daffodils are not very happy. Trained in the afternoon at the "New Place" with 27°F and wind chill of 14°F.  After the wind died down some, it was not all that bad. Used all four remote launchers with mallards doing the "Line Drill" three times. Re-angled the wingers and moved the line each "go".  Run #1 was four singles.  #2 was a walk-up with a poison bird blind followed by three singles. #3 was two doubles and finished with a blind. 
                   note: Daisy was given several walking singles for exercise.
Mar 12 Pounce trained in the afternoon at  the "New Place" again. The weather was a bit
more pleasant (upper 20's, sunny and not much wind). Ran two Senior setups (doubles with a blind using mallards and no "walk-up).

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Mar 2 cold with snow on the ground = day off
Mar 3 not quite as cold, less wind, snow gone and sunny....Pounce trained at the Winn.
Co. DTA. Ran two sets of three ABC singles, remote wingers with mallards wingers. Did a
"Flip-Flop" and ran the set twice from two different lines. Afterwards, Pounce ran three cold
blinds (north to south), the full length of the field. Used the AKC gun at the line and no sends until ten full seconds of no "paws" motion. This is going really well....especially, after all the work on the "flush......bird in air sit cue". At the instant of no motion, the marker is simply a quiet "good". This is becoming predictable and more habitual.

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Mar 29 day off - van repair.........$$$$
Mar 30 rain all day.....another rest break
Mar 31 nine "Walking Singles" and an "In-Line, Stand Alone/Walk Back, Check Down" double......primer pistol, two black & white bumpers with white "Stickmen" stations
                note: walking singles - primer pistol and a 3" black/white flagged bumper... 
                          "zig-zaged" across the south-east corner of the property with marks
                          varying from 125-200 yards (guessing)
                 note: steady, speedy and accurate
                 note: on the double.....soft, "easy" cue - short mark and louder, "way out"
                           cue.....louder send on memory.......crisp, fast, clean and accurate
                 note: Daisy was exercised with "fetching" as we went out to "retrieve" the 
                           two white stickmen 
                 note: much was accomplished in March             

Mar 19 trained at the "New Place" DTA..."temps" about 50°F , sunny with a 14 mph south wind. Setup four remote launchers to run the HRC "Line Drill". First time
all singles, 2nd time two doubles and the third time two singles and a double. The focus is on "no motion at the line", "swinging with the gun" and waiting for the send.
Every "send" for a retrieve is after a count of ten. This training rationale recognizes that the "HRC line" can easily create action that is fast and exciting. Many "reps" in consistent practice will eventually cause the seemingly fast pace to "slow down". 
             note: Train a very fast dog slowly.
             note: When training alone often, one must be proactive and creative
                       in "supplementing" for the lack of balance in line time.
             note: It took some practice to be able to blow a duck call, run the launcher
                       electronics, "shoot & shuck" a pump shotgun and focus on running
                       Pounce.....on multiples. An HRC  hunt test should be a "piece of cake". 
                      (Probably should delete that last comment.)

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Mar 20  trained at the "New Place" DTA and did a set of four AKC singles (remote wingers with mallards) and ran two blinds "up the middle"
            note: 60°F, sunny and a pleasant breeze. After setting up with a lot of walking
                      the idea of running a second set in a different spot seemed like not such
                      a good idea. I was "gassed". Pounce did well with the singles and one
                      blind. The 2nd blind was lined to the "wrong" pine tree...."duh" trainer. 
                      Daisy got in some exercise helping pickup gear.

Mar 1 With about a 90 minute break in the weather, Pounce first ran two sets of the "Line Drill" plus a blind after each set. For the last segment of the session, the drill was run as a triple with a poison bird blind (before picking up the marks). Also, the session included the "from the van to the line routine" (three "reps"). 
                     note: Daisy "helped" pick up the equipment and had a few retrieves for exercise. 
                     note: Pounce's first test (this year) - AKC Senior at Wilmington, Illinois May 7th
                     note: at 3:45 pm it is 32°F, feels like 20°F, snowing with 20 mph winds WNW...the 
                               "Lion" showed up on schedule

Mar 15 trained early afternoon at the Rockton Sport Complex and Pounce ran the Modified Come-In Drill.......then shared some alternating, easy singles with Daisy 
                   note: found an area where the snow had melted away.....just grass  

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Mar 18 Saturday - trained in the afternoon.....middle 40's, cloudy with NW wind 14 mph
            note: ground too soft to drive in the "New Place" DTA...parked just inside the 
                      gate on gravel and "walked" everything in...3 wingers, ducks (for marks)
                      and "camo" canvass bumpers for the blinds plus "stuff" for the AKC line
Pounce ran two AKC "line" triples with two blinds...used the same line and moved wingers to different areas (quite a bit) for the second setup......"lotsa" walking and carrying......good workout (for both of us).....Pounce was sharp...marked everything well and ran very good blinds. However, the last setup was NOT supposed to have a "check down" mark for the last retrieve. The two marks were close to being inline and after giving her the "easy" cue (to pick up the short mark 1st), she fogged out, gave the short duck a brief glance and "jumped on out" to the long duck. She spun around at the line, gave me the duck and then was all over the short mallard.  Nothing seemed to phase her as she then lined the final blind right "by and through" the previous two old falls. Pretty cool!....even if she didn't do it the way I had planned. We need to review "check down" rules on "inlines". 

Mar 9 Pounce did two sets of the "Line Drill" at Thorson Pond's "Grassy Area"....used
three GunnersUp wingers and a Zinger "Uplander". The first mark in each set was a walk-up. The training focus included a package of standards labeled by "from the van to the line". The most important expectation in the sequence (for now) is no paw motions. She has begun to relish the intensity of zeroing in on the fall. This was a really good session......her best (no motion through eight straight, close, exciting singles).
                   note: the AKC "fake" gun/prop is being used to condition her to HRC
                             pointing/marking off the gun "thing" 
                   note: Daisy "exercised" while the equipment was returned to the van.
                   note: Today, the shoulder issue while "practice shooting" the HRC popper
                             gun (not in training) seemed to be a lot easier. Maybe it was because
                             I cleaned it.
Mar 10 middle 20's with "stiff" breeze out of the northwest......didn't want to go....for awhile. However, being "programed" to train the habit continued. Once there, it was not all that bad. Pounce ran a version of Hillmann's "Pin-Point" Marking drill in the higher cover to the northeast in the "New Place" DTA.....nine singles in several different "falls"  all around a stationary gunner. Ran it "Stand Alone/Send Back" and she "did" the full primer pistol load (nine rounds) like a "rocket ". Pounce had a rest break while I setup the first check-down double. That went well and so did the second one. Nothing phases her and cold weather is much easier to deal with when training goes smoothly. 
                    note: Got home and the huge tree in the back yard had been removed. That
                              was very fast service. (see March 8th journal entry tree photos)
                    note: did another HRC "pump gun, shoulder practice" (getting stronger) 

YouTube Indoor HRC "Bucket/Gun" Drill

Mar 6 trained late morning at the "New Place"....in the 50's, cloudy and windy.....finished by 1:00 pm.....set up "Line Time Drill".....four remote wingers in a pod and ran it three times. 1st time "walk-up" and three singles, 2nd time "walk-up" (reversed order) three singles with cold blinds past the first and forth marks......then took a break to plant three long mallard blinds,  ran those....then "re-birded" the wingers and ran the drill again (3rd time) making the blinds "poison" off mallard marks which were in plain sight.....and close
             note: the drill sessions were very short, exciting  and "busy" by design while the
                       "longish" blinds provided a stark contrast with mental relief
             note: Dealing with excitement and being high may be approached by doing things 
                       that are exciting...regularly. The challenge is having Pounce calmly function
                       efficiently in drive. The desired result is to arrive at a point in time where the
                       "once difficult" is easy. "Cool under fire" comes with correct "practice & reps".

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Mar 4 early morning snow on the ground....warmer in the afternoon (will wait)....Saturday
morning is "watch Granddaughter time"....did have a short time early to practice shooting the pump shotgun....fired thirty rounds (ten sets of three blanks.....already fired so no primer "noise") and the shoulder issue is slowly improving. Should certainly be "very good to go" by the time HRC testing starts in late May. Trained at the "New Place" and waited for a small group to finish.  It was cloudy, cool and windy. Set up three wingers with mallards plus three blinds. Pounce ran the singles first.....then the blinds.

Then moved the line about 35 yards to the west and ran "kind of" a schooled triple. With the wingers in the same position, the "look" was different. Used mallards for the marks and "camo" bumpers for the blinds. They were placed well beyond the falls so as to not conflict with any AOF. Pounce's line manners were good with the first set of singles. However, the higher "amperage" of a multiple made it into "not" an easy training day. The challenge was revealed by "busy feet" in the second set triple.  In spite of the anxiety displayed by Pounce's feet on the triple, her marking, memory and blinds were very good. 

Mar 25 Pounce ran two KRDs each with four concept blinds at the "New Place" DTA. 
                  note: cloudy 43°F feels like 34°F with an ENE wind at 17 mph....Trained
                            during a "no rain" window of opportunity on a mostly rain filled day.
                            Parked just inside the gate (on gravel) and "walked" the "stuff" in.
                  note: Used a rough sketch of the setup (prepared ahead of time) based on
                            the wind forecast. This provided for a more efficient session.

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Mar 17 trained early afternoon, upper 40's, cloudy and very little wind at the Square Pond DTA in the "grassy" area.....setup three remote GunnersUp wingers and one Zinger "Uplander" in a pod to run the "HRC Line Drill" (bucket and primer shotgun). Did the "off the van to the line drill" four times. Pounce worked two sets of four singles (left to right and then right to left) then two sets of two doubles (all marks were at 25-30 yards (using foam "camo" bumpers). Picked up the gear and finished the day by running four blinds angled across erosion strips in the nearby bean field.