The conditions were cool and overcast, about 60 degrees. The grass was thigh high and, just like last time, moist with bug spit. The breeze was light and changing direction frequently. There were a LOT of game trails. Gimme's track was aged 2½ hours and the track was 645 yards long.
The lime green spot at the top of the picture is where we were parked, close to the start of the track. Gimme did a good job on the first two legs. She hesitated only briefly before crossing the road and finding the track on the other side. The orange circle off the end of the third leg was a large game bedding area. Gimme was drawn to it, missing the turn. When I realized we'd passed the turn, I used an organized search to help her get back to the track. The purple line is an approximation of her search. Once she found the fourth leg, she motored down it to a wonderful stuffed toy article. She really thought she should get to keep it forever, just saying.
She had no trouble following the dirt trail up through the woods; however, when we came out of the woods, we ran into a sizeable snafu in our planning. Nadine and I talked before we laid the tracks and didn't think it would be an issue if the tracks were close together, as it would be a different distraction. For Cricket, the first dog to run, this was true. There was no sign she even noticed the track Nadine laid. For Gimme it was a very different story. When she came out of the woods, there was a nice fresh track of Nadine smell (red line) right in front of her and only 20 minutes old.
Gimme really thought she should follow this new younger track. When I held her back, then she backtracked it - after all, it was still younger than the track she'd been on. (purple is what she did in this situation) It really was an honest mistake on her part, caused by us not thinking it through (stupid tracklayers!). She was just sure she was right and I had to move her alongside the road and away from the bad-track, to help her find the good track. From there to the end she did a great job.
May 24th field tracking video - What you'll see at the beginning is Gimme finding the track direction when we approached the start sock at 90º. The track through the tall grass is clearly visible, so after she stepped off the track to pee, you can see how cleanly she picks up the track when she circles around to it. When she crosses the road, you'll see she basically goes to the other side and then searches for her track there. If you watch carefully, you can see a head turn as she passes the third turn, but then the irresistible bedding area draws her forward. I thought she did a lovely job committing to the track on the dirt path so quickly. The business of backtracking Nadine and Cricket's track was a terrible mistake on our part. The good news is how readily she took up the original track once we got her away from it - certainly a challenge she would never face in a test. She's such a good girl.
I do see Gimme did most of this track with high head carriage. With all the nosework and barn hunt she does, her tendency is to air scent. For this reason I wouldn't want to do a lot of tracking when the grass is this tall, in an effort to encourage her to keep her nose closer to the track/ground.
It is interesting to see the track from the camera-eye view. I notice the microphone only picks up sound very close, so you never get to hear what Nadine said.