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LEAP into fall ! - 9/16/07

Filed in - training - tracking - rottweiler

A week ago it was summer. Hot summer. Now it is 39 F at night, the leaves are turning colors and falling and it was a whopping 58F at 11 am. Don’t know that I am ready for fall but the dogs are! Come home from work and lay a track in the field behind the jail that was mowed just over a week ago. By now it is 69 F and is mostly cloudy with wind ranging from none to moderate gusts- of course at this field it is out of the east from the mountain (until winter anyway). It is opening weekend of bow season for both deer and turkey so I leave my sign at the field entrance indicating articles left in the field… blah blah blah and I’m wearing my red coat. Early in the evening, Bea and I head back up to run this and there is a pickup parked almost on a corner of the track. That will add interest AND crosstracks I am sure. Actually I am glad, we rarely have anyone to leave crosstracks so we’ll take inadvertant ones! Bea is raring to go, although it is now brightly sunny and 76 F. The first leg runs along the edge of the field that borders the farm road, crosses the road at a turn around and then heads off back across the road to the field again. This field is at the end of this road so part of it is dirt ruts with grassy middle, but most of it here is tires marks on short grass. There’s also been a good bit of pickup traffic along the left edge of the field. Bea tosses the start article in the air and is just excited to go. What a happy worker! She follows the track very easily from start to the point where it crosses the grassy portion of the road. She gets 1/2 across and I’m guessing hits the cross tracks/hunter foot traffic. She mills around a bit, wants to go to the hunter’s pickup (about 15’ away) and then makes it across. She acts like she wants to continue into the turn around, then checks the grassy edge, circles a bit, aims at the truck again (now just 5’ away), circles again, eats some grass and hits the corner. She acts surprised, double checks and then follows it back across directly in front of the pickup. Tries to check out around the truck, comes back, wants to follow the hunter’s track, changes her mind and gets to business again This leg crosses the flat bottom of the field and passes about 10’ from a large island of tall grass, brush and apple trees filled with deer trails and coyote pee. Bea pays the island no attention, but keeps drifing right and back to the track. I believe the hunter walked the same direction but about 10’ off to the right and Bea was following both tracks at once. Multi tasking. Just past the end of the grass/tree island she mills about a bit and seems to decide to just follow my track. She follows it fine now and at the next corner, a left, she nails it perfect. Comes back, reconfirms, checks where the hunter went towards the woods and then follows the track up the moderate incline and finds the first article. Bea then checks again towards the woods to the deer trail I assume the hunter entered on. After some of that circle stuff she gets right to business and heads right up the hill and makes the left corner with NO confirming/checking. This short leg runs somewhat down hill and enters the grassy/tree island. Bea checks up and down the grass edge and circles once behind me then finds my entry point on a deer trail and wades in. She briefly heads down the left deer trail but checks herself and comes back. She follows my track exactly and fast- none of the expected deer checking- straight through 2 deer bed areas, towards and under an apple tree and makes the right turn as if on rails dispite the fact that it is in the center of a large deer bed area! She quickly follows this next leg out of the tall grass along another deer trail and back into the field. Bea makes a very brief check up and down the edge and then goes directly to the next article. Bea continues up the moderate incline with little problem, she seems all warmed up now. This track goes right up to the woods and takes a left and Bea has little problem. Only brief checking as the next short leg is on top of the hill and has drifted a bit. The Bea follows this leg straight across and down a slight incline to the edge. She checks VERY briefly up and down the edge before finding the glove tucked into the tall grass! What a good girl.  The track was only 583 yards and 3 hours old but Fairly difficult scent issues and she actually did it well.