Sunday, March 6, 2011

training and cameras.

I've been spending a lot of times in the last five weeks chasing birds and dogs with my camera. At the same time I've been trying to do a little training. I found it just as futile to try and train while trying to get that perfect picture as it is to train while hunting. The only way it works the way it should is if you have another person shooting the gun or camera while you're training.
Two days ago I was out trying to get a picture of Riley and the chukars flushing while I approached from the front. I never did get a good picture but I proceeded to let Riley start breaking at the flush. The same procedure he was doing towards the end of the gun season.
Today I left the camera in the truck. It took about 30 minutes to have Riley back into form. Proper training depends highly on applying stimulus at the right time. No matter what the stimulus is, e collar, rope, whoa, or whatever else a person might use. If a person tries to shoot a bird or take a picture and then apply the stimulus it is too late.
I was on the mountain for two hours with Riley and it took two corrections for him to remember what he is supposed to do on flushed birds. As we came off the hill we had three more hun pairs pointed. I flushed one pair and the other two pair flushed wild, but each time Riley stood fast until I released him. Because of prior mistakes in my training methods he won't release with an o.k. I have to slap my hands or leg or he'll stand steady.
I know that part of the way through the hunting season he'll start back with some of those bad habits but I usually live with it or put the gun up for a reminder lesson.