Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

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Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Dakotazeb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:39 am

We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:57 am

You might try having some "Fun Trials". That has worked well for our Brittany club. They do it on an annual basis

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by bustingcover » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:35 am

Most common reasons I've seen have been time and money from the bird hunters and lack of promotion from the associations. Many people just don't know where, when or how these trials are run. Then there are the guys/girls who can't reason spending the resources driving to and from a trial, paying an entry fee and then running their dogs on (usually) pet birds for a few minutes.

I agree with putting on fun trials, also making pushes on social media advertising clubs and trial dates, putting on events to get people together. The key is to get people hooked on the social aspect of trailing. Getting together with friends, eating drinking, telling lies about dogs and hunts, and also running dogs. Without that kind of investment it's hard to get people to care.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:57 am

Zero personal interest in either competition or the potential social aspects of trialing.
And, as with driving to and waiting during Trap shoots......some elements of many activities get old quickly.
Kudos and thanks go to those who find value in the above.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by IsThisHeaven? » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:00 am

Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by nikegundog » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:09 am

Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
A quick couple of questions..... How much time do you devote to a typical trial day, from when you begin preparing to leave till you have the dogs put away at home for the day? At the event, from start to finish, how much work does your dog get?

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by V-John » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:14 am

nikegundog wrote:
Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
A quick couple of questions..... How much time do you devote to a typical trial day, from when you begin preparing to leave till you have the dogs put away at home for the day? At the event, from start to finish, how much work does your dog get?
This, is why I think a lot of guys don't necessarily come back. I think some guys go out to see what it's like, and then when the realization is, that much of trialing is 'hurry up and wait'.

With that being said, a lot of how much fun you have is how much effort you put into 'having fun'. If you just sit around and wait for your brace to come up, then yes, it can be absolutely boring. But if you ride on the dog wagon, or ride along, or walk along or whatever, then the process is more enjoyable.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Dakotazeb » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:59 am

IsThisHeaven? wrote:
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.
There are quite a few NSTRA field trials right in your area.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:38 pm

Most bird HUNTERS have zero interest in field trials, other than curiosity. It's all they can do to keep their dog's obedience trained from one year to the next. They don't want to give up their weekends. It's expensive. And on and on.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by GrayGhost » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:39 pm

Sometimes I think its hard to break into that kind of thing. I went an event where they had a NAVHDA booth and NSTRA booth. I really enjoyed watching the guys and gals work there dogs in a workshop. But when I went up to talk to them afterwards thinking maybe it would be something that would be fun and do some off season work like you said, I didn't get much of a response from them. Maybe it was the wrong time and place or the wrong guys, or maybe I came off wrong to them, but whatever it was it didn't lead me to getting involved with them.

If you can somehow make that first barrier to entry into a club like that easier by making sure someone chats up the new guy or shows them the ropes, I wouldn't be surprised if you could get more guys to come out and really enjoy it.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:09 pm

There is an expected bit of paying the dues but most FTers have always been very nice the few times I walked a brace or three. Respect and staying out of the way pays dividends in any endeavor.

Another nice positive...I was at a picnic at George Tracy's a number of years ago....nice mix of dog folks...believe it was a brittany guy who was the cook that evening. Anyway, once they learned I was a birdhunter with no interest in trials.....the offers of dogs came a swooping.
"Why, I got just the dog for you" :D
Heard that often.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by polmaise » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:33 pm

It may be the same over here !
Competition requires rules and personal judgement to those rules. That's where and when it differs from Hunting. I don't believe for a second either Bird Hunters or Field Trialers are afraid of either.

A good dog is a good dog. When it requires a person to say it's a good dog ..you have to have a winner . The dog..well it's another day at the office , just depends on what that office is like would determine any result .

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by SCT » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:52 pm

My bird hunter has some field trial blood in her. She's the one pointing 866 yrds out. Her first cast is usually 3/4 of a mile to find any birds within truck door shutting range;-)

Image

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by IsThisHeaven? » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:56 pm

Dakotazeb wrote:
IsThisHeaven? wrote:
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.
There are quite a few NSTRA field trials right in your area.
I am planning to check a few NSTRA trials out this year.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by polmaise » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:09 pm

SCT wrote:My bird hunter has some field trial blood in her. She's the one pointing 866 yrds out. Her first cast is usually 3/4 of a mile to find any birds within truck door shutting range;-)

Image
Looks like flat hard ground . Could you not drive the truck closer ? :lol: :wink:

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:34 pm

SCT wrote:My bird hunter has some field trial blood in her. She's the one pointing 866 yrds out. Her first cast is usually 3/4 of a mile to find any birds within truck door shutting range;-)

Image
This always sounds to me that there is not bird scent within that 3/4 of a mile. I have never had mine go that far I don't think but I will have to admit I have never been able to see the dogs that far away. There are not many places where the ground is level enough, the air clear enough, or the cover short enough that would hold a bird and you be able to see much over a quarter of a mile with out tools at least.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Sharon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:35 pm

nikegundog wrote:
Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
A quick couple of questions..... How much time do you devote to a typical trial day, from when you begin preparing to leave till you have the dogs put away at home for the day? At the event, from start to finish, how much work does your dog get?
I used to leave very early Sat. morning as you had no idea if you were going to be first up. (American Field Walking trials). Spent the day enjoying watching other dogs work and visiting. Usually a great dinner together. If I could afford it, I stayed over night to participate on Sunday too. (Pheasant in the Fall and quail in the Spring)
I started out knowing NOTHINg but found the experienced folks eager to help. I went as a learner.
Highly recommend visiting a trial at least .
You won't regret it, unless you think you already know it all. :)

PS There are many kinds of field trials. Cover dog trials are only on wild birds. Google "Cover dog Forum".

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by deseeker » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:51 pm

IsThisHeaven? wrote:
Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.
The Iowa Brittany club runs a 2 day Spring and a 2 day Fall hunting tests(open to all pointing breeds) not to far from you down by Eddyville. In hunting tests you are running against a standard to get a passing score--you don't compete against the other dogs. After you get 4, 5 or 6 passing scores(depending on level running in) you get an AKC hunting title. It is not as competitive as a trial where it is more a winner take all for title points.(Birds are shot over the dogs in top 2 levels, birds are blanked in the lower level). You might try this first and then move up to shoot-to-retrieve & field trials as your dog progresses :D

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by ezzy333 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:55 pm

deseeker wrote:
IsThisHeaven? wrote:
Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.
The Iowa Brittany club runs a 2 day Spring and a 2 day Fall hunting tests(open to all pointing breeds) not to far from you down by Eddyville. In hunting tests you are running against a standard to get a passing score--you don't compete against the other dogs. After you get 4, 5 or 6 passing scores(depending on level running in) you get an AKC hunting title. It is not as competitive as a trial where it is more a winner take all for title points.(Birds are shot over the dogs in top 2 levels, birds are blanked in the lower level). You might try this first and then move up to shoot-to-retrieve & field trials as your dog progresses :D
Good advice if you are interested in tests, trials, or just having fun with your dog

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Timewise65 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:01 pm

I can only speak from a point of view of those who own and hunt with Retrievers. I specifically have been a bird hunter since I was a boy. My favorite birds to hunt are Pheasant and Quail. But as my two son's grew up we had few quail or Pheasant to hunt, therefore we switched to waterfowl. It was then I purchased my first Retriever, a female Golden. Using a few books from the library we started training her, primarily on obedience, especially on recalls. We soon started taking her hunting for ducks and geese. What she did not get from our training she figured out in the field. Just that little bit of training made her a good 'marker' and 'Retriever'!

Sometime after that, I took her to a local hunt test, on a bet, from a guy I worked with. By the end of that day I had my eyes opened to what a trained gun dog is really capable of doing (blind retrievers, really?). I swore to myself someday I would learn and have a dog trained to that level for hunting. Since then I have never looked back. Now I am on my 6th Golden since that first one (I have two older ones and one young one now). All have had some professional training plus all I trained them all along. All have ran in hunt tests....and each dog became more fun to hunt with. Hunt testing with retrievers makes dogs much more fun and effective hunting dogs.....

If you can get a dog trained up for hunt tests or field tests (regardless of how you get the training done), you will find you have the very best possible hunting companion you could hope for, provided that you too, get trained on how to handle and hunt with that dog.

At least that is true for Retrievers, and I am suspect it is true on Flushing and Pointing breeds also.....until or unless you have been with a Field Test or Trial dog you cannot judge how those dogs would be to hunt with. :mrgreen:

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Garrison » Mon Jan 09, 2017 4:31 pm

I wouldn't say I am afraid of trials. There are a bunch of things I rather be doing and reasons that I never got involved. Cost, time with my wife and daughter, I would rather be hunting or fishing in my free time. I don't know if competition would bring me any more enjoyment. I go hunting or training to be alone or to be with the people I really care about. Me and my dog probably dont have the tools to win. I would much rather be here.
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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Up North » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:09 pm

My dogs and l are not refined enough for public scrutiny. :D

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by IsThisHeaven? » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:30 pm

deseeker wrote:
IsThisHeaven? wrote:
Dakotazeb wrote:We have thread "Are Field Trialers Afraid of Wild Birds" and "Are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trial Dogs" so I thought I'd ask "Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials"? I run NSTRA trials and in my home region, the Mid-North (Minnesota, South Dakota & North Dakota) we struggle to get new people involved in playing our game. Our region is a big upland bird area so it's kind of perplexing why the bird hunters don't want a venue where they can work with their dog in the off season. I know other regions are also struggling to gain new members. My guess is that it's mainly that they don't want the competition or feel their dogs are aren't trained well enough to participate.
I would love to get into trialing or testing. I have been to pointing dog trials, one NAHVDA event, and spaniel trials. In fact, I am researching my next dog and a main consideration for me is finding a dog that I could run some type of test or trial with during the offseason. I love training dogs. I am new to Gundogs, but not dogs. I hunt a lot. Testing and/or trialing would be a great way to learn from the best, watch great dogs, and improve myself and my dog.

For whatever reason, and maybe it's just an unlucky run, some field trialers I have talked to have not been great to deal with. That's as PC as I could put it. I have trained with trialers is multiple training groups. Neither have been good experiences.

This is not a blanket statement. I understand not afield trialers are like this. I am sure the vast majority are great people and good to deal with. This has just been my experience.

I am not scared of field trials. I work all week with bosses and people I do not want to be around. I have no interest in spending my free time, and paying money, in a similar environment.
The Iowa Brittany club runs a 2 day Spring and a 2 day Fall hunting tests(open to all pointing breeds) not to far from you down by Eddyville. In hunting tests you are running against a standard to get a passing score--you don't compete against the other dogs. After you get 4, 5 or 6 passing scores(depending on level running in) you get an AKC hunting title. It is not as competitive as a trial where it is more a winner take all for title points.(Birds are shot over the dogs in top 2 levels, birds are blanked in the lower level). You might try this first and then move up to shoot-to-retrieve & field trials as your dog progresses :D
Thanks for the heads up. I found their website and will watch for test specifics.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:44 pm

I think there are a number of reasons why bird hunters, even hard core bird hunters do not do trials , or tests.

First, as gonehuntin' said, a large portion of the birdhunters out there do not have a dog that is sufficiently steady to be competitive. This is NOT a knock or a slight. The fact is that most birdhunters neither want, nor need a fully steady dog. I hunted for years with dogs that were off to the races with the first wingbeat...and I was absolutely fine with that. Killed a ton of birds and since the dog was right there when the bird dropped out of the sky, I didn't lose too many either, even if my shooting wasn't up to snuff.

The stakes where the dogs need not be fully steady can attract some hunters, but, unfortunately, trialers who are bent on getting ribbons on their dogs often put in dogs that "ain't quite broke", and that can discourage the novice with a nice hunting dog.

I have been to trials and to the outsider, some of them must seem like a gigantic Chinese fire drill, with dogs and horses coming and going every which -a -way. I can see where it can be absolutely intimidating. Also when you see dually pickups in front of Living quarter trailers and a string of five, eight or ten dogs(or more) staked out by each of those trialers, it is easy to see why someone could take one look and want to run and hide, because there is no way they could financially get into anything like that.

I have been to trials as an outsider and I know that folks are often pretty wrapped up and focused on what it is they are about to do. As an outsider, it can feel pretty lonesome...and I AM a field trailer. I know how much time and effort is poured into each dog and how much blood sweat, tears and money is represented when you bring that 4 legged vacuum cleaner to the line. I know how much work the chairperson, the line marshall, dog wagon driver and bird planter have got to do to keep the trial moving...and that is when the weather is good and the trial is proceeding on schedules . I know how little time they may have for pleasantries and questions. I know how much time and effort is spent in preparation for that half hour performance. So, to me, it is not ahuge deal.

Unfortunately, the propsective newcomer, the bird hunter may have only a vague idea of all of that effort. They may only see a bunch of folks that are too wrapped up in their own little world to even give them the time of day. That is unfortunate and counterproductve to growing the sport.

I can understand how left out and alone the hunter must feel when no one stops to even answer a question. Been there.

Then there is the competitive nature of these events. Nobody come to a trial to lose and nobody comes to a test expecting to fail. That competitive aspect is a turnoff for many hunters who simply want to enjoy their dogs in the field and see the competition aspect as counterproductive to the goal of having fun with and enjoying their dog. All I can say about that is: "Those folks do have a point."
Field trialing can be immensely frustrating, especially to a highly competitive individual. Some days..it just ain't much fun, because the dog decided to to it THEIR way. And lets not forget...you get to have that bad day, where your dog basically gave you the 'ol fazoole... in front of the whole immediate world. Marvelous...just marvelous. :lol: :lol:

I will say this...we trialers could definitely do a better job of making prospective participants, onlookers, etc., to feel welcome. Many of the pros I know, do indeed make extraordinary efforts to educate and welcome prospective participants. A fair number of amateur trialers do make these efforts as well....but we can always do better.

I think that if the average field trailer just remembered how much courage it took for them to come out of their comfort zone and walk into the middle of a trial...the very first time... I think they might be a little more welcoming to the newcomer. But we forget stuff like that because it was downright unpleasant and uncomfortable.

If we field trailers remembered how nice it felt to have someone say "can I help you?" that first time, when we were just about convinced that this was a really bad idea and just about to turn and get the He!! out... and then ended up having a great day, seeing some really neat dogs, meeting some neat people and maybve even getting invited to ride along on a brace or two... 'nuff said.

I actually try to answer questions from folks, and try to find out what aspect of dog competitions might interest them...if I can. I can usually spot the poor soul with that vacant, lost look and I try to go and say Hi. If I can't..sometimes I will wave a hello. Sometimes that is all it takes.

RayG

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by SCT » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:02 pm

ezzy333 wrote:
SCT wrote:My bird hunter has some field trial blood in her. She's the one pointing 866 yrds out. Her first cast is usually 3/4 of a mile to find any birds within truck door shutting range;-)

Image
This always sounds to me that there is not bird scent within that 3/4 of a mile. I have never had mine go that far I don't think but I will have to admit I have never been able to see the dogs that far away. There are not many places where the ground is level enough, the air clear enough, or the cover short enough that would hold a bird and you be able to see much over a quarter of a mile with out tools at least.
Very insightful Ezzy, as that's the way I see it too. She comes out of the box and stands on the tailgate, lifts her head up and sniffs. Obviously trying to detect the slightest hint of warm bird flesh. Then makes a big cast to check the basin. I couldn't see her at that distance, but here's a couple of video's where both dogs are highly visible to 660 yrds and would be at almost twice that far.

Turn down the volume on this one as the wind is terrible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN3hCd7STIY

Kate again this past fall season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qKKaKeg-ho

Polmaise, I could've driven but was already a quarter mile from the truck;-)

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by SCT » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:14 pm

Ray, I think a lot of people that have never been to a trial, would be surprised what it takes to get a dog to a level of winning one. It's such a complicated thing and I can understand why most hunters don't want any part of them. The local club had a weekend horseback trial here a few months ago and in the broke dog stake no placement was given. I wasn't there, but have to believe not one of the dogs were steady enough on their birds to place. One reason why a lot of derbies never make into the broke dog stakes, it just takes a ton of work to get them to that level of training. I know I spend plenty of money getting my young dogs broke because I don't have the time (nor the knowledge) to do it myself. But, that's the way I like them.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:49 am

Then there's the point that many feel summer is for fishing', not field trailing.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Max2 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:22 am

You trial guy's will like this one. When I got my first shorthair my breeder asked me what I intended to do with the dog. I thought it a trick question at first . I replied "hunt" . He then asked ~ did you ever think about trialing ? I replied ~ no ~ I am not competitive by nature. A big smile came over his face and he replied ~ Start trialing - you will become competitive !

My speculation to answer o/p
insecure people who may worry how their dog does in other folks eyes. (The macho factor)
some people may feel funny in unfamiliar setting ( I couldn't care less :D ) wouldn't let this hold me back
Cost involved in campaigning your dog.
Not enough knowledge out there on how to get involved I would bet is the number 1 answer.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:35 am

Guys -

There is no question in my mind that the sport of field trialing can tend to become an obsession, slowly but surely displacing most other leisure activities. One more trial, one more dog, one more horse,, a bigger trailer... the hole we dig for ourselves just keeps getting deeper. :D :D But it can be fun, at least I think so.

I don't fish much anymore though. Too many dogs. :lol: :lol:

I do think the folks who do hunt tests are somewhat less prone to the most severe symptoms of this particular obsession. And it appears, at least in my area, that many more families participate, as families, in hunt tests, from what I have seen.

RayG

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by bustingcover » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:12 am

Hunt tests get a lot more participation because of the higher chance of coming home with a ribbon. It can be very hard to explain all the time and money spent going to trials and not having anything to show for it. Even more frustrating if there's no social connection. If you go out to dog games and sit around by yourself only waiting for your run, then you are in for a very long and miserable day. I have been on both sides of that fence. Nothing like driving 3 hours and coughing up some of your change just to sit around all day, not place then drive back home.

Thankfully I have been involved in some really terrific and active clubs. Both back east when I lived in New England, Tennessee, and North Carolina and now out west in Oregon.

I look at the dog games as a way to extend my hunting season, run my dogs and talk dogs with like minded people. But if I don't have a dog I feel capable of placing I won't bring a dog and will just show up to help out and see people. Right now I have two dogs past Derby age but not ready for SD unfortunately so I won't be running them for a few months but I'll still be out there volunteering and watching braces as much as I can.

With great promotion, the right kind of attitude from the clubs/organizations and an inviting atmosphere I think you'd see more bird hunters joining. Even if just to support with membership, raffle, etc dollars. Pretty soon they'll want to get a dog capable of joining in the fun. Dog guys/girls like being around dogs and other dog guys/girls the battle is half won there.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Timewise65 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:04 am

Just to clarify, as some seem not to understand the difference between a hunt test and a field trial!

On Hunt Tests all dogs are being judged against a standard. The standard is based on what is expected on the test level they are running on e.g. Junior Hunter, Senior Hunter, Master Hunter. All dogs that meet the standard for that test are 'passed'. Once a dog has enough passes, they are awarded a title.

On Field Tests all dogs are competing against each other, ribbons and awards on go to the top 4 dogs (generally)! This is much harder than hunt tests, as it is purely competitive. Your dog could run a perfect run, but may not win because of style or handler problems, etc.

Field Trials can be very costly because it can take many runs to earn a title.

Detail of all of this are on the AKC website...

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by gonehuntin' » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:47 am

If you're going to win at trials, you need a great dog, not just "a dog".

If you get a great dog, you have to train that dog.

To make that dog a champion, you have to campaign that dog.

To campaign that dog, you have to give up weekends.

To give up weekends, you have to give up fly fishing.

End of story.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by DonF » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:06 pm

I think the reason hunter's shy away is what they see if they go to a trial or what their friends told them. lot go once or twice and the cost of trialing is huge. Friend of mine hit a trial every weekend last spring, cost him $3000 in travel expense's and entry fee's. If a bird hunter goes to a trial, well horse back trial, they will likely be turned off. Can't imagine anyone wanting an AA horse back dog for hunting but I know people that say they do! What they see will be completely at odds with how they hunt. gun dog is quite a bit better but the pace is fairly fast! People with gaited horse's don't know that their horse's can actually walk! Pace is way past what most would consider reasonable. I went to the Chukar Cahmpionship a couple years ago. The staring line was several miles from the camp ground. I made arrangement's with the guy taking dog's up to ride up with him but he left early. From about 7am to noon I saw two people and had not a clue to what was going on. That's not the way to introduce trialing to someone new. I gave up and went home at 11:30am. When it come's to getting new trialer's, trialer's are their own worst enemy! Most likely the trial will not be posted anywhere a non trialer might see it. If there are any directions to the grounds, they are poorly marked. NSTRA club using the Buckhorn Ranch for trials did have the route well marked, that's a help.

But unless you make an effort to draw new people in, they aren't going to show up. Couple years ago a local AKC Club put on a stake anyone who hadn't run before could run in, dog's didn't need to be broke. Great idea and they did get a few people out, very few. Advertising it just wasn't there. I think most any competitive person would have liked it. I could see NASTRA trialers coming out to see what was going on, didn't draw one. Last of advertising! If people don't know about it, they won't be there. Could have been posted in Any Sportsman's Whse but wasn't! A lot of dog people go into Sportsmans!

And if you do go, it's overwhelming to see the money involved into pickup's and trailers and motor home's. Not much they can do about that, it is the nature of the beast. If they had more walking stakes it would help a little but, most hunter's just don't care about having a dog finished like a broke dog but, NSTRA is right up their alley. But again, you have to be in or know someone that is in to know when and where the trials are.

I belonged to two NSTRA club's years ago. One had a training day once a month and what it amounted to was an unsanctioned NSTRA trial on pigeons. It was a lot of fun but it was all they offered. The other club had a training day once a month and the first order of the day was training, just that simple! After about an hour of training, put on by club member's, they retired to a moderated field trial. To tension, winning and losing meant little and if you wanted someone to walk with you, there was some one that would.

The trial club's want to increase participant's then their gonna have to work at it a bit! As it is now, they don't work very hard. There's a club near here, AKC that has a training day every month during the summer. I have no idea ht they do there as it's just to far for me to go. But it's not advertised very well either I suspect they don't advertise well either or, it is a lot of work to put something like that on. I would suggest in their training day put together a program to work toward pointing dog test's, that seem to draw more people. The cost could get out oh hand is game birds were used but pigeon's are easily found. I will say that the program that was understandable to non trialer's are the pointing dog test. And test people don't often trial! But if you don't set up a program, they never will. If you want more competition at some point ya gotta say, here we are!

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by AAA Gundogs » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:34 pm

I've found that the horseback guys are very eager to help a new guy running in puppy or derby. When it comes to the broke dog stuff, they're serious and much more focused on their own thing.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Chukar12 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:08 pm

I don’t believe the most accurate portrayal of the barrier is fear. Undoubtedly there are those who might be intimidated, a kind word and a mentor may bring some of them along. I take a view of things that I often see as pragmatic but have a complete understanding why others may find it cynical. Field trials are competition, and my experience in competition has always been you are either in or you’re out, I have been in both camps in various activities over a lifetime.

If you believe in the premise that the extremes of any breed from a performance sense maintain the practical aspect of the sporting function, field trials or other forms of well crafted competition and tests may make some sense to you. If your view or opinion differs, or your engagement of the function and the future or legacy of the dogs is casual you may look at things from a different perspective, it won’t be wrong mind you, just different.

My typical trial starts with preparations for travel with four-ish dogs and two horses followed by 8 hours of driving with stock in tow. I usually participate and judge at a trial; feeding and caring for animals begins before daylight, I usually am in the saddle in some capacity all day long, with a horse change at mid-day, maybe some lunch. In the evening, I care for animals again, I eat, imbibe, socialize mildly to moderately; with full acknowledgment that fatigue, performance and the nature of my social interactions during the day play a role in how charming and or accessible I may appear. At trials end, I do my best to help with chores and prepare for a drive home averaging 8 hours and generally a return to work the following day. I do not approach hunting with a great deal less effort or intensity.

As short-sided as it may sound, the general social interaction at a field trial is secondary to me. It’s my nature to work and compete; I donate my time and my money to insure that the operational portion of the trial works. My goal for being there is to see something special in dogs that do something I covet greatly; my personal objective is to have that be a dog I developed. Either way it’s always the dogs first for me. I openly acknowledge that I am confused by a human’s need for recognition in their dogs work, I loathe the “everybody needs a trophy premise” for the affect I believe it has on behavior and culture.
All of that being said, if a club finds it appropriate and a performance/effort deserves it I will give a judge’s award of merit especially in an amateur stake. A pleasant demeanor and a kind word cost nothing. Measuring your words and demeanor about any humans loved ones (this includes dogs) is not politically correct, it is just respectful. We can all do better at the gas station, coffee house, our in laws and field trials to be polite. The individual desire, effort and ability in that order will then determine whether or not any given venue fits that individual.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by ezzy333 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:39 pm

It has been interesting to see the responses and see how many felt like I do, I pretty much kept silent as I didn't want to corrupt the responses. My original thought was fear is not the right word because it doesn't express the real feelings of many but beyond that I had no specific answers other thn just my opinion..

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Up North » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:05 pm

There is too maney things to do once Summer finally arrives. We fish,motorcycle,atv,trips,family functions,and have a house and cabin to maintain. Plus my dogs only achieve title of "meat dog" , and I'm fine with that. For I'm a meat hunter. I don't walk miles of trails looking for a perfect point. Sure it's a blast walking in on a pretty point,and shooting a bird. But birds don't always hold,and if I get a shot at a bird getting out of Dodge I take it. It don't always have to be pretty. :wink:

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Garrison » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:26 pm

My hat is off to the folks that do it, especially the amatueurs who have the means and know how to be competitive. Seeing dogs on top of their game in any venue is a sight to see. I don't blame folks especially the pros for the treatment that people perceive they receive when they show up and the red carpet isn't rolled out for them. They are at work and have to put their paying customers first or they probably won't have them long. I'm pretty sure they have some customers they are happy to see and most they wish would just stay home. The mentoring and the gate in to most trials for most people opens when you find the extra money for a monthly check and a pro you are willing to leave your dog with. A lot of folks don't have the means or choose to spend what they got on other endeavors or are just not comfortable with that arrangement.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:51 am

bustingcover wrote:Most common reasons I've seen have been time and money from the bird hunters and lack of promotion from the associations. Many people just don't know where, when or how these trials are run.
This was my biggest complaint getting into it as well but then I thought about it. With all the animal rights activists and the way most kids are raised these days to be liberal pussies the last thing any club needs is a mob of people protesting on trial grounds. Suddenly birds are set free, horses are untied, things get vandalized and dogs go missing.

I'd love to see these events advertised publicly but unfortunatly with all the bleeding hearts it won't happen.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RyanDoolittle » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:57 am

I don't know why most people don't get into it. It's really not any more time invested into trials than there is hunting, trials at the amateur level really aren't competitive as people think. It's not uncommon for you to run your dog one brace and scout another trialers dog the next. Alot of the time your scouting puts his dog over yours, but that's okay next weekend he will probably do the same for you.

The group of people you meet is awesome and the wealth of knowledge that's there is unreal and best of all its free.

Trialing will make your hunting dog better, it will let you meet new people, and it gets you off the couch.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by JONOV » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:48 pm

A lot of us have no idea where or how to start. I have my first bird dog, and while NAVHDA is a good organization and the chapters welcoming.

As to getting involved with the other stuff? It isn't easy to find information to help you get going. Even finding out about upcoming trials and whatnot takes some doing. For retrievers, there seems to be a little more out there, since those guys are more about Testing as opposed to Trialing, but all the same.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:13 pm

JONOV wrote:A lot of us have no idea where or how to start. I have my first bird dog, and while NAVHDA is a good organization and the chapters welcoming.

As to getting involved with the other stuff? It isn't easy to find information to help you get going. Even finding out about upcoming trials and whatnot takes some doing. For retrievers, there seems to be a little more out there, since those guys are more about Testing as opposed to Trialing, but all the same.

Actually there is some stuff out there that can help you to get started.

The American Field website has a calendar function that is accessible to anyone. It lists the upcoming trials by date and gives a contact name and number. Some(not all) of the trials have the ad attached. ALL American Field sanctioned trials MUST be advertised in the Field and appear on the calendar. Unfortunately, many trials are not advertised until about a month before they are to be held, so there is not as much prior notification as I for one would like.

The calendar has info on AF sanctioned trials as well as USCSDA(walking) trials and NBHA and ABHA(also walking) trials.

The AKC website has an EVENTS section. You can search for Hunt Tests or Field trials, by state. The AKC requires that clubs start to file their trial information a lot earlier than the American field, so two to three month lead times are more the norm, which makes planning a bit easier.

I do not know about NSTRA, but I would be shocked if there were not schedules out there for upcoming events. I know there is a website.

I can say with complete candor that EVERY single time I have called the contact person for a trial, I either got them or got a call back and they answered my questions.

I would like to make one other comment, and that is on the costs associated with trialing.

There is absolutely no question that field trialing at the higher levels can be quite expensive. A large part of that expense is due to the need for a horse and the trailer, tow vehicle and tack.

Horses are ungodly expensive, all by themselves, unless you have a place to keep them yourself. That is an unfortunate fact of life. Travel, to compete, is also getting pretty expensive.

However, there are PLENTY of trials that you can go to where a horse is not necessary to compete. Some are walking trials and some have wranglers in attendance, from whom a horse can be rented, by the race or by the day. You CANNOT ride a horse at a hunt test, unless you are judging. Participants and gallery must walk. That is the rule. A walking trial within 2-3 hours of where you live shouldn't cost more than a tank of gas and the entry fee.

Also, there are often pros at trials who, if contacted in advance, may rent you a horse for a few braces or a day. You just gotta ask. You never know what is possible until you do ask.

RayG

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by shags » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:38 pm

At AKC trials, walking is ALWAYS an option. While there are walking-only stakes, there are no horseback-only stakes. The rules are such that even if a walker is braced with a horseback handler, the walker is accommodated. Ask the trial secretary if there will be rental horses available.

Field trial grounds seem to be few and far betwen these days, so if you search AKC events, enter your neighboring states too. For me, several out of state grounds are about the same distance from home as my home-state grounds.

Once in a while the contact person won't have lot of answers for you ( they are club volunteers who may not be trialers themselves) but they can give you contacts for persons who can help you. So ask about that if you need to.

Contact your local breed club about their trials.

Also, when you search the events, check out trials for the previous year. Sometimes paperwork is delayed so an upcoming trial's info isn't posted, but you can contact the past secretary and get info or another contact.

Weekend trialing can be done on the [relatively] cheap. Fuel to get there and entry fees are a given, but accommodations for overnights if you want, food, and that sort of thing are flexible. Don't ever be intimidated by the big rigs, motorhomes, big strings of dogs and all that...the dog riding shotgun in a 15 year old F150 can be, and have been, the comeuppance of many a 1%er dog.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Sharon » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:23 pm

"The rules are such that even if a walker is braced with a horseback handler, the walker is accommodated. " quote

I wouldn't recommend that. Normally the horseback rider is ticked that he has to hang back for a walker .- understandably so- NOt a good experience for a newbie.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RayGubernat » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:04 pm

Sharon wrote:"The rules are such that even if a walker is braced with a horseback handler, the walker is accommodated. " quote

I wouldn't recommend that. Normally the horseback rider is ticked that he has to hang back for a walker .- understandably so- NOt a good experience for a newbie.

Been there. Happened to me twice. Once I was able to convince the walking handler to ride my other horse. I did without my scout for that brace. On the second instance, the handler was afraid of horses....sooo I got off and walked myself. I gave my horse to someone else tor ride for that brace, just so I would have him handy in case my dog did a Houdini.

Worked out OK both times, both ways.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by shags » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:41 pm

Regardless, that is the rule and a handler may walk any AKC stake, and the purpose here is to encourage a poster who expressed a desire to start out in trials. Why discourage a potential newbie trialer by telling him he'll be an annoyance if he starts out like a novice? An experienced handler should be able to suck it up and deal.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by RayGubernat » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:01 am

Yep , that is the rule. I have no problem with that.

There is no question that it can be a surprise to the mounted handler...BUT... as Shags suggested, you need to deal with it in the most constructive way possible.

I always try to remember that I was certainly a source of annoyance to the more experienced handlers I was braced with. I also DO remember how kind and accommodating many of the folks actually were, even though I may not have realized it at the time. We were ALL newbies once upon a time. When I think back...I pulled some real boners...because I simply did not know.

That new handler, coming to the line for the first time with their dog is the future of the sport. They showed up and are willing to put themselves out there for all to see. They probably know in their gut that it ain't gonna go al that well, but they showed up anyhow. That takes some heart. THAT is someone that needs to be encourage and helped.

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by deseeker » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:15 am

That new handler, coming to the line for the first time with their dog is the future of the sport. They showed up and are willing to put themselves out there for all to see. They probably know in their gut that it ain't gonna go al that well, but they showed up anyhow. That takes some heart. THAT is someone that needs to be encourage and helped.

RayG
I agree with Ray, They are the future of the sport :!:

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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Gordon Guy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:37 pm

Here's my $0.02 on why some bird hunters are afraid of field trials. First off I think "afraid" isn't the right word, but maybe "shy away from" might be better. As the word "afraid" elicits a negative, defensive response from some. I have attended and participated and volunteered in trials (AKC, NVHDA and NSTRA) off and on for the last 10 years. I'm amazed at the work that goes into an event. The folks that put these on should be paid... :) Maybe being paid would encourage people to help. Here are some of the challenges I and others I know have faced. Money and time are just a few of the reasons. Sometimes certain behaviors that are encouraged in bird dogs are a determinant to trial dogs.

The requirement to be steady to wing and shot... and fall in some cases is beyond the capability (Time and money) for most. As I'm a bird hunter first and a wannabe trial guy second, I suffer from the lack of discipline required to keep my dogs trained to the level required to be competitive. I bet I'm not the only one.

Field trials and bird hunting are two different things. Many get confused. There are some similar things involved, but the two should not be viewed in the same light. Like comparing the trip to the supermarket to competing in the Daytona 500. The same dog can win at one and be an outstanding bird dog (As defined by the general population) but it doesn't happen often.

I believe winning field trial dogs are developed. A pup has to have a high level of the following traits: independence, desire, drive, physical capabilities, grit, etc... I believe that one can take that pup and develop it towards competition or one can take that same pup and turn it into a great weekend hunting dog. However, If it doesn't have the prerequisite traits it will never be a competitive trial dog but it still could be the "Best " birddog that John Q Public ever owned.

This is where money and time come into play as it takes money...and time to have horses. Developing a pup includes Horse-back handling. If a dog only gets handled from horseback in a trial it will take a few events for the dog to figure out where the handler is. The first time I handled my Samie dog off horse back she didn't know where I was. She could hear my voice and would look for me but didn't recognize me up there. I had to get off and on the ground for her to think that all was right again. It took a couple times but she came around. But it took a couple times... Some would have quit there.

Also, I think a dog that's trained from horse back moves faster and forward more than searching in a flat pattern. Which is important in trials but only important to a select few bird hunters.

In trials chasing or following up after the bird, covey or singles are not a good thing and when it happens this behavior can take a dog out of competition. However most bird dogs are encouraged to chase after a covey. The bird hunters I know shooting birds is more important that the race or finishing to the front. This is a conflicting behavior.

Another conflicting behavior in field trials is "ho-hoing", which is frowned upon as this takes time away from finding birds. Ho-Hoing is where the dog comes back often to the handler for encouragement, water, to make contact with the handler. But the Bird hunters that I know generally like their dogs making contact often as it shows the desire to keep in contact with their handler, hunting to the gun and the handler knows where pup is. It all depends on your point of view. When the Trialers I know train they discourage ho-hoing by making sure there's always water out to the front so the dogs are encouraged to go forward and not return to the handler. OR I have found that I shouldn't carry water while on my short 30 minute run / walks in the field. But when hunting it's hard not to carry water and be considerate of the dog at the same time. I noticed that It doesn't take long for a hunting dog to figure out that you have water and behaviors change causing problems for trialing later on.

Another problem is many of the bird hunters I know don't "formally" train their dogs, therefore don't use pen raised birds. I have seen several bird hunters come out to a club sponsored events which are designed to get new folks into the fold. Only to see that their pup won't point a pen raised birds or pigeons. Now the owner is embarrassed and it's generally the last time you see them at an event. They were just told it's going to take more time with their pup. More time away from family and other responsibilities. They will be resigned to the belief that their pup won't point pigeons and not make the effort to change that, which can be done but it takes time and money.

Moving forward now, for me and many others I suspect, Horses are prohibitively expensive. I believe more walking trials would be helpful in getting participation, but tradition is a hard thing to change. Many of the "Old Guard" trial guys I know are older and can only get around these hills on a horse. Don't ask them to walk more than a brace. Some physically can't do it, but these are the guys deciding the types of events. Why would they put on a trial that would be difficult if not impossible for them to participate in? (Rhetorical)

Paying some or all of the people that put on the events which will less likely burn out the volunteers and encourage more events. Which in turn will offer more chances to participate. Trials are limited in my area because there simply isn't enough people to put them on. The volunteers are tired, and justifiably so.

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Sharon
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Re: Why are Bird Hunters Afraid of Field Trials

Post by Sharon » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:14 pm

Not everyone is as nice about it as you and Shags Ray. Certainly not out to discourage a newbie but starting out as a walker in a horseback trial is still not a good idea imo and based on my experience. I only participated in walking trials. Lots of walking trials available if you don't have a horse.
Last edited by Sharon on Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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