Sunday, February 22, 2015

Veteran's Park, Tracking Practice

Mike and I took Spice and Kirk out tracking this afternoon.

Location:  We tried using Veteran's Park in Pendleton for the first time today.  It had nice short grass.  There are other places to track at the park besides where we tracked- some with grass and then lots of other cover.  When we get back home I decide to get a map of the park so our tracking support team can see where we were.  I found this lovely map... except parts of it didn't quite look right.
Veteran's Park - the plan

I dig around on the internet for a satellite image for comparison....

A satellite image of Veteran's Park
Wow - one of these is not like the other!  The satellite image and the map don't match much at all.  We tracked on the ball field side of the park today. The satellite image of the ball field area is much more accurate than the public planning map above.

The area where Spice tracked

The area where Kirk tracked

A view of the park across from the parking area -
rolling hills and a path

Camera:  We had a camera malfunction today. It must have gotten full during Spice's track.  I've cleaned it off and am recharging the battery for our next outing.

Weather:  It was 54F with 96% humidity.  The pressure was 30.14 inches and rising.  The winds were calm. (info via weather underground iPhone app).

Tracking Critique Spice:
  • Video is here
  • Traffic:  I had Mike put Kirk's track next to the road and tried to keep Spice away from the road.  She still seemed worried about the traffic (or something else).  She did get back to work and finished up really strong.  
  • Track Map:  My mapping needs to improve but hey we've started trying to keep better records.  Perhaps I need to using engineering paper?  I'm clearly struggling freehand sketching in a journal.  
  • Execution:  The track was 150 yards long with 2 turns aged 30 minutes.  There were articles on the 2nd and 3rd leg plus the glove. She found the articles fine. Spice over-shot the turn on the 2nd leg but recovered nicely.
  • Plan Forward:  Two start flags so I have better visual on the first leg.  Articles closer to start to reward her quicker for working.  Her track could be much longer.  She happily tracked me walking back toward the vehicle in a huge circle across the ball outfield.
Spice's track map
Tracking Critique Capt'n Kirk:
  • Video is here.  
  • Traffic:  I had Mike put Kirk's track next to the road.  Kirk did get distracted by the traffic but went back to work.
  • Track Map:  Mike gets a much better mapping grade than me.  
  • Execution:  The track was 130 yards long with 4 turns aged 20 minutes.  There were articles on the 3rd and 4th legs plus the glove. Kirk found the articles fine.  He overshot the 4th turn and needed help - it was close to the road and the scent pattern likely shifted close to the turn.
  • Plan Forward:  Two start flags so I have better visual on the first leg.  He is working very well.  We need to continue to make the tracks longer and age them a bit more very slowly.  He is learning to love this game and I want to keep the joy in it for him.
Kirk's track map