Good responses to this man's post.
I'm surprised though that no one pointed out that is not a hobby, it's life changing addiction. I feel that I was born addicted since birth, but did not come full circle until about 4 years ago. This addiction takes all your time, money, and patience to a level that is impossible to put into words.
Tim made an excellent statement = 90% of the game is caught by 10% of the hunter's. That is so true, and if you are lucky enough to hitch a ride with one of those hunters, you will know why. I have had the pleasure of hunting with a well respected cat hunter named Curt Preston, that is in that elite group. I had no idea of the level of commitment, patience, and trust of the hounds it takes to consistently put cats in the trees. His drive, heart, modesty, and the dedication he puts into this sport is reflected in the hounds he hunts, and the cats he puts in trees. I hope that one day I can be half the hound hunter that Curt and that 10% are now.
That being said, I would not be hasty in starting out. I made all the mistakes new people to hunting cats will make. I got two pups and a young dog, had no clue what made a good dog, thought this was easy, could just hunt on the weekends, and that I knew more about the game I was hunting then the dogs. Looking back now, I can't believe I didn't just give up, but again, it's an addiction not a hobby.
What finally did it for me was getting a good solid broke catdog that could rig off the box. I was prepared to spend the kind of money it takes to get this caliber of dog, and I was lucky enough to have that dog even be available to purchase. I prepared myself for a week of trialing the dog, and as soon as I saw him work, I knew he was the one. Keep in mind, it took me over a year to find this kind of dog for sale. These dogs rarely become available, but if you are aquainted with the right guys, you will have the opportunity in time. It also worth noting that a finished rigging Bobcat dog is in the range of $4000 dollars or more.
In conclusion, if you really want to fall into this addiction, find an addict who is willing to share his/her time, knowledge, experiences, and then hope, pray, and beg that dog that will get those cats in the tree becomes available.
THE MORE PEOPLE I MEET THE MORE I LOVE MY HOUNDS