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LURE COURSING 101

Lure Coursing is a fast-paced, fun chase sport. Dogs run after a "bunny" lure (usually a white plastic bag) that is attached to a line that is controlled by a machine and a lure operator. The machine runs the line at the speed determined by the lure operator (and the dogs) and the dogs chase the lure.

There are two kinds of lure coursing machines: the "Drag Lure" and the "Continuos Loop."

A "drag lure" machine uses an open-ended line stored on a spool inside the machine. The operator pulls the line out of the spool as s/he walks and sets it around pulleys that s/he has set in a pattern in the field. When the motor is activated, it then "drags" the line and lure back into the spool and the dog chases it from the start point back to the machine. The operator must then walk the line out around the pulleys after every run.

On the Lure Baby (both Custom and Standard) there is a spool of string that's attached to the motor. For each run, you'll grab the end of the string (with the lure on it) that is on the spool and you'll walk it out into the field, laying it around the pulleys as you go; the spool will play out the line as you're walking, but the string is attached to the spool. When you get back to the machine, you'll still have the end of the string with the lure on it in your hand; you'll drop it about 30' from the machine itself. You'll then walk over to the machine, which is where your dog is waiting. When you hit the button on the hand switch, the motor will turn the spool and it will draw the string back onto the spool. That's one run. For the next run, you'll do exactly the same thing - grab the end of the string with the bag on it, walk out to the field, etc.

A "continuous loop" machine utilizes a continuous loop of line and has no spool. Instead of the spool, the machine has a drive "wheel": a large thin pulley that moves the line at the speed of the motor. When not in use on the field, the line is stored on a separate spool outside of the machine. For the first run, the operator walks one end of the line out and sets it around the pulleys just like a drag lure course, but when the operator gets back to the machine s/he ties the ends together to make a continuous loop. The line is then placed over the drive wheel (which has a groove in it designed to grab the line but not hold it) in the machine. When the machine is activated, the line is driven around the pulleys. With the continuous-loop machine, there's no "dragging the string back" - the string is simply a continuous loop that keeps going around and around and around. There's no spool at all in the L'il Monster, so it is totally different.


Here's an animation of a continuous-loop system:

 

Animation of a continuous loop machine


Walking the line out for each run sounds time consuming but it really isn't. The runs take anywhere from 16-40 seconds, depending on the type of dog you're running and the length of the course you've set. If you're running 40 dogs you're going to need crew - that way you have someone running the line out (this person is called Field Crew) and someone helping you manage the dog/handler (this is your Huntmaster) at the beginning and end of the run.

If you're running more than about 5-10 dogs in a day, you're going to need an additional battery no matter which machine you're using. If you have electricity where you're running, you can keep one battery charging while you're using the other in the machine then swap them when the one in the machine starts fading.

 

 

 

 

All photos this
site by Jen Petit
unless specified

 

 

 

 

 

 

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