Pay attention to the wind and the age of the tracks. Casting will be more common if there is wind pushing the scent off the track. If the track is in that, what I want to call, transitional stage where the scent is dissipating they will tend to cast and search more (I find the IPO2 track the most difficult for my dogs). The IPO1 the scent is still located fairly tightly on the ground and right around where we have walked (depending on moisture and how windy it is). It starts to spread the more aged the track with the air scent not as distracting after about 45 minutes (again, depending on the moisture and wind). I have found 1 hour old tracks are often the easiest tracks for my dogs.
Your field sounds miserable (sort of what our tracking conditions were from May through most of August) for tracking. I would help your dogs by making the tracks easier and to help motivate the dogs to continue to fight to find the track and keep going.
At Katya's IPO trial the judge said if he got out of his car and saw this, he'd put is dog back in the crate and leave lol. Its pretty challenging.. but I figure if we can track on that, trialing at your average club should be a cakewalk.
I do pay attention to all the above. We have a fair amount of wind at the normal field, but the past few times out it was manageable.. when its windy my dogs will consistently track a foot or so to the downwind side of the track. What I'm talking about is going both sides irrespective of the wind. They will only leave the track by a few feet usually, and so far have always found their way back and resumed, but its not pretty. Today I shorted the age to maybe 10 minutes, stomped in the track, and it was lush virgin field with no wind and I saw the same in both dogs which concerned me. I was trying to ensure an "easy win" in the hopes it would improve the really challenging track.. well that didn't seem to work. Perhaps doing an hour aged track on this same easy field?
Hunter, CWDC UScA Helper
Beschützer des Jägers v.d. Sportwaffen
Katya v. Hügelblick
SG Aska v. Ketscher Wald
Yōkai v.d. Sportwaffen
Arya v. Allrothaus