Deer, deer dogs, deer men, bun fights and ego

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ben_in_the_woods

Well-Known Member
George,

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Because I expect you would prefer to keep the pinned UKSHA post for write ups of successful tracks I have started a new thread to reply to your post.

I thought that I should just clarify what you said below in post #286 on*17-10-2016, 15:04*:

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“What leaves me scratching my head Ben is you have been offered to come and do an artificial track with your dog on more than one occasion after you asking me to look at you and your dog on a track and everytime you've not managed,so you have been offered more than once to "work with others",you have attended our Strathdon seminar and said it was fantastic,so again we are helping others also.


So I do not understand when you say we are not open to working with people.We are helping all,including yourself as a member of an Association with unrecognised tests and teams.


That is where the working together stops,why......please read below…..”

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My response is thus:

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Story of assistance

I called you once about cold scent tracking prior to me actually getting a pup home.* It is true you kindly offered to show me how you would start off a pup, but I could not meet up around that time, so we left it there.

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One lunchtime early this summer I called primarily to talk about the LDNS deer management groups and during the call we discussed deer dogs and tracking and the progress of my pup.* At that time I was getting some advice from a member of the UKDTR group who had just moved up 10 mins from my house.* He has an HPR and as my pup is an HRP too, so I ended up getting into some serious tracking training with him.* You expressed your belief that this help would not come to much, my experience was different.

During that call I listened to you one the phone for about 60 mins run through the following (correct me if I am wrong):

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·*********The ‘UKSHA mantra’ and about how no other tracking groups or handlers could measure up to UKSHA with their links to VH and KBGS.*

·*********About how Niels Sondergaard was not an expert tracker as he wasn’t a member of VH/KBGS.

·*********About how the other tracking organisations had no approved standard and how the judges where not impartial judges, just friends of the organisations office holders.

·*********I also recall that you mentioned (and I paraphrase) ‘that once crossed that was that’ – which was an interesting statement and made be chuckle as it reminded me a bit of Gary Glitter’s hit – ‘Do you wanna be in my gang?’

However after all that I thought bugger it, I might learn some nuggets of useful info from someone so passionate about tracking, so when you offered to lay a track for me this summer when one of the German hound judges was over I was ready to come over and learn from you both.* We had a week roughed out to meet, but I understand that you were too busy (you never actually got back to me after), and that is absolutely fine with me as life is busy, and it was good of you to offer even if nothing came to fruition.

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They are the facts regarding your assistance with helping me learn about cold scent training as I recall them very clearly, but you choose to spin them as you want George.

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Since we first spoke about tracking dogs I carried on training my GSP to track cold scents and reading around the subject.* I got him up from 4hr old tracks to tracking 20hr old tracks (no blood) at 9 months and at 15 months old he had done a few 40hr tracks (no blood) and I was mixing up tracks (3-4 per week) from 8hrs to 30hrs in a variety of conditions, heather, conifer, broadleaved woodland, stocked pasture.* I was using red cleaves with hair and bone at the shot sights.* I was doing back tracks, figure of 8 crossing tracks, laying 400m to 1.5km tracks along and then off paths regularly used by Reds and roe so that I was confident that he was following an individual training track and not just any old dear that crossed.

I understood that using this HPR I was not going to be ‘in your gang’, but was relaxed about that as I was reading about and watching clips of HPR’s doing such work in Europe including Germany where GSP’s and Wires do both a 20hr and a 40hr tracking tests called Verbandsfährtenschuhprüfung (VFSP)

Here is one such club Jagdgebrauchshundverein Schleswig - Holstein e. V. (formed in 1908) where dogs are tested on deer and boar tracking.* The link to the photo gallery is here:*http://www.jgv-sh.de/Bildergalerie.html.* Have a look at the images from Verbandsschweißprüfung 2014 in Mönkloh where BMH, wires, short and long hairs feature in the dogs awarded passes.* I suspect that 1 hours searching the www could bring out multiple similar situations.

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What I am getting at is that perhaps there are blurred boundaries when it comes to dogs/hounds that can recover deer on a cold track (over and above a traditional UK deer dog).* Some hounds are great (possibly top of the tree), some hounds from the same litter are not so – this was stated at Strathdon by Joachim.* It was also discussed with judges of the BMH GB group (who you also dismiss as unofficial and presumably all below par) whilst my pup was doing a Level 1 test (he got a first grade pass, granted it was a young track, with blood).

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Other breeds will no doubt also have variation of ability and this can possibly be brought out in tailoring the training methods for each breed and individual temperament. There will be an overlap of abilities between breeds as there is natural variation and there is variation in training time and effort.* The extent to this I would take advice from trackers with far more experience than you George, and ones with less of a personal stake in it.* Your German speakers said as much at the shot site seminar!

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In my study into all things tracking I came across the Paul Ventres presentations which again like the shot site weekend were very informative.* By the way what ever happened to Paul Ventres he seemed a pretty good communicator? Is he still in UKSHA or did he leave along with Iain Toibin? Anyway in his presentation on YouTube he talked about the number of training tracks required to pass the VH/KBGS test which he thought was around 70.* My ‘wrong breed’ dog has done this amount of tracks over the 14*months that he has been training.* Given that he has done very well at these*how far*behind*is he the*average ability*scent hound trained trained to your standard?***I fear in know your answer, but I speak to other European trackers who work with other VH affiliated groups who have seen my dog work and I know what they think and say which is that naturally air scenting dogs can be trained to cold scent on the ground, but it takes work.* This is borne out by the use of Weimaraners in the US (see Practical Scent Dog Training, by Lou Button).*

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Looking at the density of tracking teams from all*of the several UK organisations*(the BDS website lists them)*there are very few compared to Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden etc.*Given that 40% of the tracks in Germany are following deer/boar shot as a result of UK style stalking (60% from driven shoots), I guess that we would agree that there is a fair degree of under reporting of clipped deer that have gone down as ‘missed’.* Cultural change in the UK deer management community is required, and as it does calling a cold scent tracker at the right moment becomes the norm.**I suspect that this change is coming, but it is not being helped by squabbling over standards which very much puts people off calling anyone (I hear this comment).* When the change in culture does come the UK*why not cut cloth accordingly and do what the Danes do and test a wider range of dogs/hounds so that there is coverage?* That was my inference in the previous post, but I got the mantra in reply from both Wayne and yourself.***I understand that the number of breeding bitches for HS and KBGS is low due to the occurrence of health issues (elbows, epilepsy) and therefore there are few very pups available*so can the UKSHA cope alone?

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Your reply about driven boar is interesting*and I guess that evidence from other Countries would be interesting, but we are not currently in this situation, except perhaps on movement days in fallow areas.* We are talking in the main about single or multiple deer shot with a potential track of one or two.* Is a hound and only a hound from your school*the only effective way of recovering*these deer? Could it be with the training and knowledge that you now possess that you could achieve similar results with your tracking labrador given its time again?* Certainly it was suggested by the German trackers at Strathdon that a fast dog was very useful, and ones that can cold track very useful.

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Strathdon Shot Site Seminar

Then we come to the shot awareness day that was badged and supported as a LDNS and was also badged as a BDS event.* The event was really well put together and credit must go to you for bringing two very good speakers over from Germany to give such excellent talks and outside shot scenarios.* As a member of the LDNS I was keen to attend and learn more from these guys as also learn more from you (was the event part funded by the LDNS?).*

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Having just come back from a similar weekend with the UKDTR I was struck by the similarities in approaching the shot site analysis, but the questions from the attendees brought more information out and this was really useful.

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I thought at this point that even the infamous George Ritchie is actually a fairly level headed fella, with a fair bit of banter (but banter makes the world go round).* So when you suggested that the Danish trackers who had just been over to the UK to present to and test other dogs/hounds the weekend before were “**** at tracking” I took this as terrace banter.** On reflection and having seen the UKSHA mantra yet again and your attempt to spin my friendly/polite post on your pinned posting I assume that you actually meant that comment as fact!* If this is the case George it does not say much for your high office in the UKSHA or your respect for the affiliations of VH.* The two Danes that I met and judged my pup in September each track and recover between 200-400 tracks a year on deer and boar.* Some of these tracks are many kilometres long with a few being well over 10km.* These guys are certainly not “**** at tracking”.* Perhaps you might want to respond on that point in your reply.* If it was banter that is fair enough, but if not I would like to hear something more substantive to back up your comment.

So the above is the dig at me and my new Danish friends aired.*

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The dig at the UKDTR is the cut and paste bit that appears in much of your written responses (this group appears to be the main focus, which suprises me a little given that another group is directly impacting on the breeding of hounds as the UK breed society.* My clear understanding is that there is no one cold scent standard in the UK or in Scotland, though there is talk of a developing such (probably as a voluntary approach). Given that you have managed to perform a ‘one man wrecking ball act’ whilst in front of many influential people in the deer and forestry sector (I heard from a few foresters that your presentation to the Forestry Groups in Huntly will go down as ‘unique’) the VH/KBGS standard might not be greatly appreciated in the UK.

In all this ‘it is all about deer welfare!’, yeah right it appears to me that it is very much about ego’s and power.* Imagine being the Chief Judge and the controller of all hounds entering the UK?* What a powerful position that would be?

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Then consider the other ‘rules of engagement for UKSHA members’



·*********…There is only one way into these societies in the UK, that is through UKSHA.
No other way, leave UKSHA or join any other organisation and the membership would be cancelled….

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·*********…People wishing to join UKSHA from other tracking organisations would have to leave these,otherwise there will be no membership within UKSHA…

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No wonder*your teams*are calling the ‘other’ organisations*to assist them in obtaining tracks to do*(they are getting little or no work because egos at the top of the tree are spouting off).* These barriers are easily overcome if ego’s were put to one side, but power is a drug George.

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In the meantime I will continue to train my ‘wrong’ dog for a role that he is pretty good at in order that he will get even better (three successful recoveries so far).

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All the best George hope to hear from you soon.* Look forward to the catching up in person at the LDNS meets and hopefully we can work productively together, water under the bridge George.

Regards
Ben
 

HS Tracker

Active Member
Ben
i will be surprised if you receive anymore than a "cut and paste " reply from Wolverine as you have stated facts and he will doing everything he can to get thread removed not actually answering his takes on the yarns he has been spinning. I will sit patiently waiting to read his response .
 

6pointer

Well-Known Member
Ben that was a long and thoroughly thought out post and I would need to agree with most of it Knowing George as I do I think he will agree with quite a lot of that post. The deer stalking world needed to clarify what a trained dog was regards tracking and follow up. The reason for this was the night authorisation and how it was worded. Now George heads a group of trackers who work to a standard and that standard in Germany has no movement and has been set in stone. If George believes in that set standard then why should any one try and change that. It is a very high standard indeed and not many will aspire to it, Including me and my hound. I have chosen to use my dog as I have for many many years. UKDTR seem like a great bunch of lads that really enjoy there dog work and power to there elbow. But!! if the sh +it hit the fan and I had a lost deer and I had a choice who to call it would be UKSHA. Because I know the dogs have past a set test to the highest standard. Why have a trainee lawyer when you can have a QC.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
This is not the place to air disputes of this nature, this is some sort of Dog in house matter that needs to be kept there! We had a spate years ago of troublesome posts on the dog section, I thought all that was in the past and we will not tolerate the reappearance of all that nonsense again. Any dog politicking you wish to do please do it off site, all it does is encourage the taking of sides and drawing up of battle lines, causing people to post some pretty strong things. I am going to close this thread as I will any others that's start off down this path, anymore of them will be removed and if people have trouble accepting this they will be removed along with them. I hope this is understood by all.

John
 
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