Favourite Set-ups: Picture Perfect Multiple Blinds (with a teaching bonus)by Dennis Voigt
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Favourite Land Blinds
In this series of Favourite Set-Ups, I have been describing only marking set-ups. In this issue, I will discuss favourite set-ups for land blinds. Previously, I have described several concepts important to consider when designing blinds. One of the most important is the idea of 3-Peats. Three-peats are a set of three blinds which emphasize a similar concept. The repetition allows additional opportunities to practice and reinforce teaching a dog to deal with a factor. Examples are 3-peats with a crosswind, angling a road or ditch, a patch of cover or crossing a pot hole. The concept of factor repetition in a set of blinds will become part of our Favourite Blind Set-Up.
The second concept for blinds is to seek a picture that the dog can identify from line. If the dog can look way out and recognize a line to a distant spot, then prospects are high for a very good line. The most obvious way to create a situation that the dog can look out and identify is to use parameters or borders to a blind. Remember, we are talking about cold blinds, so that memory blinds, marked blinds or white jug blinds do not qualify here. (However, use the same concept on those blinds to help teach a dog about slots.) Slots are usually created by physical objects such as lone trees, brush piles, rock piles, large round hay bales, gunners or chairs. I use chairs when ideally located natural obstructions are absent. Chairs can be used to set the other border of a lone tree for example.
Picture Perfect Multiple Blinds
The favourite set-up for blinds includes the concept of 3-peats and the concept of picture slots. The set-up will involve 3-5 retrieves, each of which have a picture or slot and ideally repeat some concepts. An example of this is shown in Figure 1, in which three blinds cross a cover swale and four large trees create three slots.
When it is difficult to find three slots and also repeat a concept I use mobile border definers such as chairs, gunners, stickmen, ATV’s, etc., in these circumstances.
Adding More Teaching
This winter, our training group in Florida is employing a new twist to the usual Picture Perfect 3-Peat Blind. It is based on the idea that early in the off-season, we ought to be teaching more and reinforcing basic skills like casting overs, lining past gunners, solidifying come-in whistle. The general consensus was that it would be good to work on a particular skill for about three days in a row and then to try and maintain with a weekly reminder session. However, our experiences to date suggest that our formula is suitable for almost daily lessons, perhaps throughout the season. Each set-up repeats concepts, has picture blinds, teaches or reinforces a basic skill but still includes challenging big league blinds. The dogs’ attitudes have blossomed and their skills have improved. We also enjoy doing these set-ups.