Sunday, December 30, 2012

Indian Head Outlaw

Jessi was delivered from Harris Kennels, Fort Scott, Kansas, October 10, 2012, via Delta Air Cargo.  Her lineage is what drew my attention to the breeding; her Sire a frozen semen son of HOF Ch. Guard Rail x Kraftsman's Ko Kane, her Dam coming from Pike Creek breeding's to Ch. McAdditional Class, Ch. Pike Creek Mike, and HOF Ch. Additions Go Boy, the bitches bread to these sires all being of Fiddler stock (Ch. Fiddlin' Rocky Boy and Ch. Fiddler's Ace). Her training to this point is as follows:

Jessi was about 10-weeks old when I picked her up.  Her yard work started upon her arrival to my kennel with a new collar and an introduction to her crate; the collar established a point of contact, the crate a place of security and rest. I am fortunate that I could take her to work with me, by doing so I fed her 3-times a day, let her out every couple hours for exercise, and got her accustomed to her crate.

At 12-weeks of age I fastened a short check-cord (piece of 1/4" nylon rope) to her collar, just long enough to be dragged between her rear feet. She dragged it wherever she went, slept with it, and basically broke herself to the lead. This is important because when the pup goes to the field she'll be check-corded or running with the cord in search of birds.  If she didn't have the association with the check-cord prior to go to the field she would be fighting the cord and not hunting birds. The next month consisted of, continued socialization, riding on the ATV, formal crate training, initial recall work, walking, and learning how to stand on objects; board, barrel, bench.

At 4-months old she was pulling pretty hard on the lead so I introduced the half-hitch around her waist.  This introduction was important because her initial whoa-work will be done from this point of contact. The half-hitch also gives some relief to her neck when she is pulling. At this time, the game of standing on objects became more demanding and she experienced her first bit of pressure; the half-hitch is pulled up, the chin bumped with a short piece of PVC to get the head up, and a moment of steadiness is requested.  There is no talking at this time, no verbal commands.  In the field she was running and bumping, having a good time, becoming bold.  When she came in from a cast I would throw a pigeon and let her chase; doing this, the pup associates birds with the field and me, and keeps to the front, which is where I want her.

In the picture above Jessi is just over 5-months old.  She has learned to accept the pressure of being stacked-up; her head and tail are both high, her head forward, and she is steady, stylish.  Initially the pup will tuck it's tail, not want to stand still, and constantly move it's head. Sooner or later, after a lot of bumping, lifting, and stroking, it all comes together.  When we go to the field now she makes her initial cast and comes back to me, about ten yards out she stops with head and tail high, and I throw her a bird; her reward for standing with style.

Putting a good foundation in a pup is the key to successful training.  The building blocks that support the foundation are established incrementally and placed in sequence, so that when you have a sticking point you can take a small step back and do not have to apply more pressure than necessary to get the job done. Minimizing pressure will keep a pup stylish and upbeat.

At about 6-months of age I will begin her collar conditioning, start formalizing her whoa work, and begin introducing pigeons in launchers in her field work.  JT

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Indian Head

Indian Head (Keefer Summit) is a rock outcrop that overlooks the property on which I established my kennels, and the inspiration for my kennel name. The snow-covered meadow in the foreground is my bird field, at rest now under a blanket of heavy snow.

The Raw And The Cooked

I purchased this book some time ago, and after reading it filed it away with the other favorites on the bookshelf, where for most of the year they sit collecting dust. But winter has a way of creating opportunities for dust-laden books to be resurrected from the shelves, to be dusted off and, if interest is peaked, opened for review. Such was the case for "The Raw And The Cooked". This book is a compilation of letters to friends, and articles from magazines, in which author and poet Jim Harrison goes into detail about fabulous meals, prepared both by himself and others in locales across the United States and the world. It is a must read for the hunter/epicurean.  JT

Friday, December 28, 2012

ASPCA settles racketeering suit - HSUS still on the hook

ASPCA pays $9.3 million in racketeering settlement - what will HSUS do when the hammer drops?

CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle, who paid a key witness for testimony in the fraudulent suit ASPCA and HSUS brought against the owners of Ringling Bros. Circus. Now the tide has turned.

From Humane Watch:

Humane Society of the United States Still Faces Millions in Potential Damages for Alleged Role in Fraudulent RICO Scheme
Washington, D.C.—Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom calls attention to the breaking news that Feld Entertainment, owner of the Ringling Bros. Circus, has reached a $9.3 million settlement with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in connection with a federal lawsuit filed by Feld under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act. Feld’s litigation will continue against other animal rights defendants, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and two of its attorneys, Jonathan R. Lovvorn and Kimberly D. Ockene, who could be liable for tens of millions of dollars.
Feld’s lawsuit alleges that ASPCA, HSUS, Lovvorn, Ockene, and others took part in an illegal scheme to pursue fraudulent litigation against Feld that dragged through the court for years. Federal judge Emmet G. Sullivan dismissed this previous animal-rights lawsuit in late 2009 after finding that the key witness for the animal-rights plaintiffs was “essentially a paid plaintiff and fact witness who is not credible.” In his dismissal, Sullivan exposed a system by which animal-rights plaintiffs funneled at least $190,000 to this witness. Feld alleges that the Humane Society of the United States sent six payments earmarked to pay this witness through a nonprofit front group controlled by plaintiffs’ counsel. Evidence from court documents shows some of the money was paid to the nonprofit group with an HSUS check signed by CEO Wayne Pacelle.
The massive $9.3 million settlement by the ASPCA indicates that HSUS and other defendants could face tens of millions in damages if they are found to have acted illegally. Feld has stated that it spent $20 million dollars defending against the failed animal-rights litigation, and the RICO Act allows for triple damages.
“While HSUS has spent this holiday season raising money with tear-jerking ads featuring pet rescues, the group really ought to be asking for money to pay for their defense attorneys and shady dealings,” said CCF Executive Director Richard Berman. “This whole racketeering scheme reeks of something out of a mob drama.”
According to public polling, 71 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that HSUS is a pet shelter umbrella group, and 68 percent wrongly think that HSUS spends most of its money on grants to pet shelters. A recent survey of over 1,000 HSUS donors found that the vast majority gave to the group to help pet shelters or reduce pet euthanasia, and upon learning that HSUS gives just one percent of the money it raises to pet shelters, 80 percent of these donors felt HSUS misleads people.
“HSUS cynically scams pet-loving Americans into giving money based on the false impression that HSUS is an organization devoted to sheltering abused dogs and cats, when it doesn’t even run a single pet shelter,” said Berman. “Every dog gets its day—and in HSUS’s case, that day should be in federal court.”

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Maggie under the tree

Thought others might enjoy this picture ...  Maggie looking very sophisticated under the Christmas Tree, with just a bit of ethereal blue glow.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Possibles bag

Found a fun toy yesterday, and my sweet wife indulged me ...  quite frequently, when I hunt with a friend from their vehicle, I find that I have left some important piece of kit back at my truck.  An e-collar or a whistle or a box of shells or a warm shirt, something.  I have been looking for a large tool bag that would hold all of those possibles but then ran across this in an antique store:  an old doctor's bag.

Leather is not too bad, hopefully it will respond to some conditioner and then give me a few years of good service.  Certainly better looking thany anything from Husky.  And it was not too expensive, if it falls to pieces with a bit of use I'll be just a bit disappointed.


Maggie's feeling a bit independent

Early yesterday morning I spent 45 minutes running my three setters in the local hills.  When we got back to the car Maggie (the 11 month old puppie) decided that she was not done yet and took off for one last cast.  She's done that before without too much problem, but this time she ran directly into a 50 acre burned area that was populated by 500 dove.  I could always tell where she was by the swirl of birds coming up.   Her puppy brain was locked onto bird overload and there was nothing I could do but follow her around, hoping that the birds would thin out.  Which did not happen.  Apparently the feed was great so the birds would fly 200 yards and then set down again.  Twenty minutes later she was still going strong.

Finally I noticed that she was frequently flash pointing small bushes where the birds had been feeding.  The next time that happened (close to me) I called "whoa".  She locked into a goregous point and held it until I got there.  I spent 30 seconds stroking & praising her, then clipped the lead and took her back to the car.

Maggie shows great nose, strong point, and good range.  I think it is time for a bit of discipline.  My e-collar is on the way back from Collar Doctors and I think we'll start a bit of yard work soon.  She's very smart and generally pretty good with "here" and "whoa".  I bet she's staunch in a few months.