Sept 24 Saturday morning..cool, cloudy, dew on the grass, good breeze & no mosquitoes
Pounce did an extended "yard work"session..continuing the focus of consistent, precise "reps"....worked in the grass, up and down the drive and out into the road (no traffic). The neighbor's noisy "lap dog" provided a good distraction.
note: This initiative is a seven month plan aimed at next spring's testing.
note: Pounce is kept in drive (excited and animated).
note: A segment of each session involves some work "with bumper in mouth"
and short retrieves entrenching proper, automatic "delivery reps".
note: The first half of a session is on lead.....last half off.
note: The sessions feature developing - focus, responsiveness and control. note: The expectation/standard is "This is what I do because it is all I know
how to do." and from the "van to the line".......it is the same.
note: There are no corrections.....other than "No.....let's try that again."
note: Pounce has remained on Hillmann's re-enforcement approach and his
philosophy of precise, consistent practice.....correct "reps".
note: This approach was not an instant "thing". Realization and change comes
slowly at my age mostly because who/what I am is nearly "set in stone".
Fortunately, I have learned to avoid taking a lot of things for "granite".
note: afternoon checked Pounce and she is most definitely in heat which may
may explain the "not so good blinds" from yesterday
journal entry from March 22 (last heat cycle)....trained at the Winnebago Co. DTA.
Pounce did a Hillmann "Pin Point" marking drill and then ran three cold blinds
(first two were good.....last "not so much") walking out helped some...but she
went into "ditz mode" and we muddled our way through it (did not make a big
deal out of it, but we will see next time).....definitely well into her heat cycle and
definitely out of character......but predictable
Sept 25 & 26 days off and mostly KISS training for awhile...just see how it goes
note: end of heat cycle??.....before Illinois duck/goose opens Oct 15th
Sept 27 coolest morning for a long time with 56°F at 9 pm, trained around noon...set of
six "Ya-Ha" singles as "solo stand alone/send backs" (easy, fun and low pressure)
Sept 1 started the day working on the duck boats & then mowed the lawn....cool in the afternoon and had time to drive 5 minutes to the Thorson Pond DTA....Pounce did the HRC "line time" drill.....1st "go" three mallard singles and a diversion. 2nd "go" double then single with diversion and 3rd "go" a triple with a diversion
note: line = bucket, pump shotgun (primer loads) & elevated "placeboard"
finished with two mallard blinds = one land & one water
Sept 2 trained in the afternoon at the Winnebago Co DTA first setup was Hillmann's "Pin Point" marking drill "solo", orange bumper, primer pistol & "stand alone/send backs"
first four singles had small hunts then the "I need to focus more because hunt mode is not getting it done" kicked in and she nailed the next five........second setup was to be a
wide triple.......did not take into account that for the last few months all marking was
done with no white coat gunners or "stickmen".......all three marks had her getting "sucked" right to white and then going into hunt mode.....eventually, she ran a very good, long blind.........need to either not do "stickmen" (at all) or mix them in regularly, starting short & wide..........balance is better
note: sold the 1800 Series Beavertail Boat Blind & finished tearing down
the chukar/quail Johnny House......time to "streamline"
Sept 3 Saturday (early morning), put "camo" cover and "layout " doors on the Migrator plus almost completed the stern "mount/fit" of Pounce's Avery UltraLow Dog Hide
Sept 23 did a quick thaw of a mallard after the thunderstorms did not materialize and drove to a different area in the Roscoe Riverside Park DTA to continue the check down, "in line" expectation...used the mallard as described in the yesterday's entry and the session went just as planned...another day of imprinting the "easy" cue, with time to spare drove to the "New Place" to run three long blinds.....placing them was not easy, out of the wind, mosquitoes were many and very aggressive.........fortunately, the line had a stiff breeze..and more pleasant conditions...the blinds were just OK, she's done better,
note: added September from Sept 24th......Pounce is in heat
stopped at the Winnebago County DTA (check-out the cover height) and ran one blind
note: early evening Pounce did a lengthy "yardwork session" (fun & upbeat)
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Sept 22 drove to Roscoe Riverside ParkDTA and moved to the northeast area to continue the "inline" sessions - today's plan was to move on to an "easy" cue and begin dealing with the "check down" concept......knowing full well Pounce's drive for retrieving is dynamic.......changing focus off a longer "go mark" may prove very
interesting. However, she does pick up on challenging concepts rather quickly.....I just have to be "on the ball" about showing her. Used two remote wingers (one long and the other half-way"), short mark thrown first and the long second....."easy" cue used to "bring her back" off the long mark focus....to the shorter mark (check down)
note: first run, she blasts past the short mark and was handled back to it
without much trouble....and then easily remembered the long mark
note: took her back, put her up and repeated....literally, the same result
note: decision time....do another?.....getting wrong reps....simplify or quit?
rationale - she's smart, always been a quick study, third time will have
three AOFs for the short mark, good nose, more scent & there 3Xs
note: "easy", quiet cue again and she checks down (don't know for sure,
but guessing scent was a key factor....don't care....it's a start)
note: next time, the long mark will be a bumper....short mark a mallard,
use a play on Hillmann's memory bird concept..."make it memorable"
note: used "Gunz Up " with a Bluetooth/iPhone connection to a boom box
for "atmosphere" and set up a camera for trainer's video perspective
note: This is a public park....no shooting....yet the boom box "sent out" a
"Dog to the line." call and gunfire after a judge's "Guns Up!" request
almost in sequence with Pounce's training session. Initially, this was
discovered quite by coincidence.....use this segment regularly now.
note: cutting back on "stand alones" with the fact that Pounce (and I) need
a great deal of "together line time"......more of "us" and less of just her.
Besides that....I need the additional exercise. Wingers require more.
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Sept 18 early morning trained Pounce (temperature in the 50's).....repeated yesterday's "yardwork" with the primary focus on the correct heeling position plus the continuation of working on an automatic, precise "delivery" sequence (in the yard)....including eye contact
note: eventually, the delivery focus will be modified to "looking out" at the next mark left around noon - mallards, three wingers, "stickmen" and two field setups at the "new place"
setup a triple with two blinds to the west from the east side of the area using mallards for each mark and orange bumpers for the blinds....."line time" precision was another focus, primer loads in remote wingers and used "noise"....at the line a boom box was playing GunzUP while the two older dogs were barking "on and off" in the van, finished the first setup.....Pounce had no problems with memory and ran very solid blinds......second setup (triple and two blinds) was run by moving the line to the west, running toward the east and adjusting the location of each winger slightly to fit the tree/terrain (kind of a "flip/flop" technique)....this area is not wide open
note: these setups were "kind of easy" for Pounce....."two thumbs up" on memory
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Sept 16 day off from training...garage got a major overhaul...more storage & better access
Sept 17 trained - small window of time early...Pounce did an extended "yard drill" session
Worked on the proper heeling position (loose lead & both sides)....forward, backwards and pivoting....remote sit and down....then proceeded to do the "Split Lining Drill" with two bumpers
note: precise repetitions with focus and control maintaining animated body language
with good eye contact (happy, "upbeat")
note: at dusk Pounce worked "in the yard" again revisiting the morning's "heeling"
standards (both sides), remote sits, recalls to front sit and the heel positions....off
lead......energetic....building espectations using many correct repetitions as the
rationale for OB behaviors becoming similar to automatic reflexes (focused and
responsive)...."This is what I do because it is all I know how to do."
note: the time fame on this "project" will be seven months (September - March) before
moving back into testing mode.....to finish Senior and begin Master
note: using the following two links as motivational guidelines
link toYou Tube Video
"Pounce the Hunting Retriever"
Sept 10 day off from training, in morning worked on the Migrator/hide improvements, then later, the Saturday great-grandchildren day care center was open (as usual)
Sept 11 did maintenance on the Phowler boat...."pushed" grease in lower unit, engine oil changed, checked charge on both batteries.....greaseed wheel bearings and all engine fittings, filled main tank with fresh gas and made sure the extra, portable tank was full, changeed fuel filter, checked water pump and running lights, sprayed muffler with WD40, cleaned air filter and checked all bolts & nuts.......day off from training
Sept 12 trained in the morning......Pounce's second Migrator/hide training session at the same boat launch....more relaxed, entry to hide much better with repaired ladder, brought the big Goose Dokken...and it was no issue, worked from in the boat this session. If we have a few teal to retrieve later this week, the hide will become an "old hat" routine.
note: drove to a small lake in the Sports Core and ran Pounce on five cheating
blinds in lunging water......she really "wanted the bank"......"a lot", threw
some cheating, splash singles just "short of the bank" with no cheating
issues...straight out & back ???? She...we will be visiting this pond again.
note: lines on the "lining drill" photo/diagram are what they were supposed to be
note: a drainage pond created by a new four lane highway has developed into an
inviting spot to run a few singles......stopped on the way home and ran one
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monthly hunting and training analysis through September 30th
trained - 16 days
time off from training - 14 days (in heat part of this month)
Thursday (Sept. 15th) Pounce scouting trip to the Mississippi
note: Illinois Early Teal season was September 3-18.....weather too warm and pleasant,
regular duck and goose season for northern Illinois is Oct 15......not going to do
Iowa ducks this year...too warm (like last year) & probably a very late "push" (again)
note: instead of Iowa ducks, Pounce will be "introduced" to upland hunting later this fall
"freezer mallards never go away......they just keep coming back"
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Sept 28 no training....cool. breezy morning which was perfect for two hours of "weed whacking" the shoreline around Thorson Pond.....geese and ducks are more likely to "loaf" in a pond where the shoreline cover is short and cannot conceal predators plus a grassy area is an inviting resting place near water next to the bean field (better for training, too)
note: Zinger Winger "Uplander" arrived, Dogtra receiver easy to program (#4),
uses will be "hidden" walk ups, short marks and upland training, "some
assembly" means a Velcro strip plus four spring arm bolts& springs
Sept 29 there just too many "projects" to put off and cool weather makes work much easier, decided to fix a bunch of things that have been let slide for too long (big list) also, managed to assemble the Zinger Winger "Uplander". It was much easier than expected.
Sept 30 trained about noon, cool with a good breeze - Pounce ran 4 remote ABCD singles (three with Gunner's Up wingers and the fourth with a new Zinger Uplander....then did four more using the "Flip Flop" technique...slightly moved two wingers and the "Uplander"
note: Pounce had a break between setups as Kooly and Daisy did several,
short singles in tandem
note: each "station" had a white stickman
note: I would have to rate this a "smilie" session...."lights out marking"
and very fast......still in heat
link to YouTube Video
Sept 19 train - Pounce did a morning of "Yardwork", all three dogs were Dremel'd followed by a trip to the Vet's appointment at 10:30 am.....shot updates for Pounce, rabies shot for Kooly and an opinion on the aging atrophy in his left hind leg...start
on Novox of this month's journal
note: one day onNovox & Kooly appears to be more comfortable moving around
Sept 20 day off for everyone
Sept 21 thunderstorms this morning - trained in the afternoon at Roscoe Riverside Park DTA.....dodging storms....Pounce did her "intro to inlines" and pretty much nailed it with zero issues.....three remote wingers with noise (no primer report) doing the long single before the double and making a distinction between louder vs. soft sends
note: a little more than ankle deep cover and downwind
note: decided to make this a short session 1) she did it right and 2) storms
however, on the way out Pounce did an old, long pattern blind because a
strong crosswind made a "good factor fight to hold the line" (it's been
months since running this one.....lined it)
Sept 8 day off, no training - located a place where the Migrator can be launched to test the hide mount and then intro/train Pounce about how to use it
Sept 9 training "test" day for Pounce and the Migrator....Rockford Sports Core Launch
Sept 4 day off from training...worked on duck boats...and a "bunch of odds and ends"
Sept 5 trained late morning at the Rockton Road DTA...Pounce ran three sets of remote winger doubles with mallards (flat and angle back.....Y-drill "Momma Popa"), two white coat "stickmen"....moved "station" laterally about 50 yards each time which provided Pounce with a break before each double....."off the van, into a holding blind and then to the line (placeboard) three times"......after pickup up the third station, two blinds were planted and run by Pounce......good session......home before noon and it was quickly getting warm
note: Kooly and Daisy had a few "in tandem" exercise singles
Sept 6 day off from training
Sept 7 trained with the intent of "hitting it" in between rapidly moving thunderstorms, drove through the gate (someone came in just before us), they were setting up in the northwest corner.....went to the southeast corner & setup for walking, "send/back", "stand/alone" singles....two white "stickmen and a "placeboard" at the line, then carried a white stickman with me in the field throwing singles (primer pistol and a flagged 2" black and white bumper).....threw nine singles....put Pounce up with water and a fan....then planted/ran three blinds
note: singles and blinds were downwind...good training session!!
note: Kooly and Daisy got their geriatric exercise in and pickup was easy
note: it quit raining just as we drove in...later (right as we finished) the sun
came out and it was instantly hot & "muggy", home by 9:45 am where
radar soon revealed a severe thunderstorm right where we had trained
Sept 13 moved Migrator from its trailer to the "piggy back" position on the Phowler (big boat) with a teal hunt on the Mississippi River scheduled for Thursday
note: moving it off the small trailer and on to the bigger boat (on its trailer)....
alone was "interesting"....tight lower back now, but thanks to physics
an old man managed..it's much easier when both boats are in the water
note: garage is now back to normal (room for one car)
note: no dog training today
Sept 14 finished "real" yard work (mowed) & the hunting rig is ready...day off from training
Sept 15 Thursday.....today began the "test" to find out if an "old man" is still up to hunting on the Mississippi River without having the duck camp trailer access.....trial run, pleasant
weather and doing nothing in the dark.......left home at 10:30 am, put in at the Spring Lake launch after moving Migrator forward to tender position....scouted two isolated pot holes mostly because of high water...saw zero ducks...then went to far north end of Lake Edict, never been able to do that in normal water levels...no ducks.....over to Iowa side for a quick look and finally south down the main channel to the cable crossing...then back to the launch. It was a fun ride with spectacular, big river scenery...home by 6 pm.
note: When I finally decide "being out there" is too much, I will really miss it.