Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

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Jeff Eberle
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Jeff Eberle » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:04 pm

[quote="Nolte"]. It all depends on conditions and how far away the critter has traveled.


I've struck and tree bears and lions that were see by others 12 plus hrs prior that were jumped and running only a 100 yards off the roads edge, In my opinion the dog were striking the game not the track. Have been called on the radio to help with a track that was made before it froze that night and by the time I get there it 10/11 am and the track has had a little time to thaw out, my dog leave run and I look like the hero and the inexperienced hunter stand there wondering how my dogs left running and his couldn't do anything with it 3to4 hours ago. Nolte has summed it up right here and in the earlier post about how much better a story gets with age. I use to hunt with a great story teller , he would be telling someone about a hunt we had and I'd think to myself wow what a hunt I wish I was there , O wait I was. He never lied he could just make going to the dentist sound fun. Up hunting one time with a old hunter talking about dogs of the past and what they did and could do, He looked me in the eye and said Jeff we ain't hunting old lost and dead dogs today we have to hunt with what's on the box.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby dhostetler » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:03 am

This weekend was hunting with a friend in Idaho. We were both in unfamiliar country and stopped at an intersection to look at maps etc. I rig my dogs loose on top and they were out milling around and all of a sudden I heard my one dog open up and I looked at the GPS and she was already 300 yards out. We got all excited and dumped dogs out and my dog returned and took the track out the other way. It was a very tough track and took about an hour to move it a mile and ended up with a bobcat treed. Out of about a dozen dogs we kept trying to get from running the back track cutting them off and repacking and onto the right end, we ended up with 2 dogs on a bobcat tree and 2 on a bear tree. Turns out what we thought was the bobcat back track was a bear track going the right way. After I left the bobcat tree I went back up the road to pick up some throwed out dogs and spooked a bear off the road. I helped my buddy at the bear tree etc. 2 hours after I seen that bear on the road I couldn't start it (dogs banged around on it for about 400 yards). It was around noon with the temperature in the 80s probably approaching 90, in a 10+ year old reprod unit. How old was the bobcat track???

The next day the dogs spent about 5 hours banging around on a bobcat that they never could get jumped.

I think weather conditions have a huge factor in how cold of a track dogs can move.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby mark » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:01 am

24 hours ??
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby dhostetler » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:05 am

mark wrote:24 hours ??


Haha, I have no idea how old the bobcat track was but I am sure it wasn't 24 hours old. My dogs aren't that good to be able to run 24 hour old summer cat tracks.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Redwood Coonhounds » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:11 am

Based on trail cam pics, I'd say with average conditions mine can fairly easily trial 8-10 hour tracks. I have seen shitty conditions not let them run a 4-6 hour old track, then you have those just crossed the road can't smell/run backwards tracks, and obviously in perfect conditions I have seen them trail near the 24 hour mark. But then again maybe they trailed a few hundred yards and switched tracks, or just happened to bump where it had more recently been thru, but the animals on the trail cams pretty well matched the critter in the tree in the end. I think conditions and terrain make a big difference. Its a mighty big picture to try and figure out cold trailing.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby dhostetler » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:51 am

Bear Hounder, if you ever have an impressive cold trailer do not ever pull him off a track on the next road crossing. The fastest way to ruin a cold trailer is not letting him finish a catchable track.
Also if you are running off baits you should have a good idea how the bears approach and leave. If you have a track your dogs can't start and you think they should spend a couple hours there and walk out the trails to and from the bait etc. Dogs should realize that you consider defeat unacceptable.
I don't agree with the idea of that bears travel a lot. In all the areas I have hunted bears stay very localized to food sources the exception is boars in breeding season. The cat family species have a much larger territory than black bears.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Bear hounder » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:53 am

D Hostetler thanks for your shared experience now that u say it I'd say you are absolutely right about not taking a dog of a catchable track it makes sense it would not help them at least and would down tight discourage a dog if that was done time after time but I'd say I'd definitely be tying that dog back first at the tree that's what I do now I grab my tuba dog first then my joy dog those 2 are propley the best 2 trail dogs then I starnt tying back the next dog that I know will grab the bear first in that kinda order I tie dogs up so to speak I can't stand the thought of loosing a good bear dog to that bear coming down been their done that . Ya I guess if I'm going to get colder nosed dogs I'm going to have to find the oldest track every morning instead of the freshest and give the dogs time to work it out I've aways walked my dogs behind the bait and down game trails to find a certain bear and if it was a big bear and more often than not they find it and tree it that feels good but I'm going to starnt it more often not just for big bears I'd like to hear more cold trailing stories on bear any body ever take their dogs on o for shure cold 24 hr ish track and what were the weather conditions another question someone might know the answer to what happens to a track in the fall when you get a heavy frost after the bear has hit the bait this happened to me last fall and the dogs had a hard time getting it going but did tree that bear but at the starnt I thought it was a no go I'm asuming a frosting on top makes it hard to find but if the bear steps on top of frost that would help hold sent is that right ? What has been your experience thanks again

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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby david » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:49 pm

dhostetler wrote: Also if you are running off baits you should have a good idea how the bears approach and leave. If you have a track your dogs can't start and you think they should spend a couple hours there and walk out the trails to and from the bait etc. Dogs should realize that you consider defeat unacceptable


This was such a great post.

One problem that is common in tree hounds I have known is they can be "sticky" in places and instead of moving forward and progressing the track, they bog down where pockets of scent exist. I have a dog now who is naturally that way. He is extremely gifted in other ways to the point that I won't cull him for this fault. Instead, I found him worth training out of it. I worked on it by hunting coon in daylight hours. By getting in with him I taught him a sound from me that means "move on!" I actually learned the sound from Finney Clay. He used it to encourage his dogs. They tried harder and got busier with some added adrenaline when they heard him. I use it in a little different way with my dog, because mine also carries the "move on or else!" Message. And it means don't come back to this spot again!

And what dHostetler said about finishing the track and failure being unacceptable has been amazing with my dog. He remembers! And after a few times, he really understands that he has got to keep moving to get his reward of fighting a coon. It is a lot of work for both dog and man though, and I have had it take hours to get the crazy winding circling patterns of a coon feeding all night worked out and the coon caught. But the cold trailing practice was very powerful. He strikes tracks much colder than most people would allow a dog to fool with. But I enjoy the cold trailing adventure so much that I let him do it, and he gets better and better at the trailing part.

I did this in North Dakota in an area where I had no cats to play with. Coons there often sleep within reach of a dog because there are no den trees. It might not work as well in other areas where they sleep in den trees, because the reward is not nearly so intense.

It pretty well ruined him as a bobcat dog though, because he loves coon so much now. So I can't recomend coon hunting for a cat hunter. It causes problems. But as a bear hunter, I would think you could do the same with your bears. As dHostetler said: get in there with the dogs, watch them, and don't let them keep coming back to the same spots. It involves a little guessing on your part, but you will get good at reading where the bear probably went and pushing your dogs forward.

Notice that dHostetler said "spend a couple hours" he did not say spend a few minutes.
As said before, if you want a cold tracker, you need time. If you don't have time, there are other ways to catch game, as you know.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Nolte » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:55 pm

dhostetler wrote:Bear Hounder, if you ever have an impressive cold trailer do not ever pull him off a track on the next road crossing. The fastest way to ruin a cold trailer is not letting him finish a catchable track.


I don't necessarily agree with this. It is fairly common practice around here to pull a cold trailer after a bear has been packed. Or even to pick behind dogs and try to put them back out in front. They still seem to be trail with the same effort. I do think though that when they are young and starting to put together the trailing piece that you should let them trail until the jump. It gets them to push through some of those last tough spots to get to the reward. Our difference on this might just be the catchable track part. At the start of the season with my fat dogs a catchable track is about as common as a unicorn. :D

dhostetler wrote:Also if you are running off baits you should have a good idea how the bears approach and leave. If you have a track your dogs can't start and you think they should spend a couple hours there and walk out the trails to and from the bait etc. Dogs should realize that you consider defeat unacceptable.

Completely agree. The best way to get dogs to pick and poke is to get in there and try to help them out when it's bogged down. Cut the number of dogs to 1 or 2 and look for grass that is knocked down or trails to have them check out. Eventually you'll find the out and the dog will see you're trying to help them. With that said though, I don't help the dogs figure the out at the bait to start. I let them check each trail and determine where to go. Now if they go out one way and come back, I'll probably try to get them to go out the other way or down a different trail. I've found that sometimes where I "think" they should go isn't right. Until I can get my sniffer on par with theirs, I'll let them do their thing.

dhostetler wrote:I don't agree with the idea of that bears travel a lot. In all the areas I have hunted bears stay very localized to food sources the exception is boars in breeding season. The cat family species have a much larger territory than black bears.

We can't hunt but in the tail end of breeding season, but those bears don't seem to travel much. Or I should say they aren't far from where we found them that day. They can be miles away and never show up again 2 days later. However, our fall bears can really travel. It is not uncommon to trail 5+ miles on a fall track and not ever get it jumped. It's usually boars going on a walkabout or even heading back home to where they den.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Nolte » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:23 pm

Bear hounder wrote:another question someone might know the answer to what happens to a track in the fall when you get a heavy frost after the bear has hit the bait this happened to me last fall and the dogs had a hard time getting it going but did tree that bear but at the starnt I thought it was a no go I'm asuming a frosting on top makes it hard to find but if the bear steps on top of frost that would help hold sent is that right ? What has been your experience thanks again


Best thing you can do with a frost is have another cup of coffee and wait. When you see that frost start melting then give it a try. But don't wait too long, that scent won't last real well and it will vanish if the breeze gets at it.

I've heard a few verified tales of tracks over 24 hours but it's pretty rare. One was they trailed to a gut pile that happened the day before. A few others were blood trail type stuff. Just so happened to be stable conditions with a little moisture but not washouts. I wouldn't expect it to happen much though, just talk about it when it does. The best I hope for is dogs that can run or move the majority of overnight or evening before tracks.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby dhostetler » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:22 pm

Nolte, what I was referring to more was about pulling the cold trailer out of the race entirely. Yes it is common practice for me to repack dogs on a hard runner. Sometimes on a 10 mile strung out race all you need is repack several dogs perfectly to have a tree in several hundred yards.

The 24 hour old bear track going 5+ miles is still a minor distance compared to what interior western cats/Lions can cover in 24 hours especially in summer/falls months when the game is dispersed.

I have never run a bear track that I knew was 24 hours old. Most of my bear hunting is rigging so my guess is most of my races are less than 6 hours old actually probably more likely less than an hour old.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby david » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:19 pm

Nolte wrote:
dhostetler wrote:Also if you are running off baits you should have a good idea how the bears approach and leave. If you have a track your dogs can't start and you think they should spend a couple hours there and walk out the trails to and from the bait etc. Dogs should realize that you consider defeat unacceptable.


...I've found that sometimes where I "think" they should go isn't right. Until I can get my sniffer on par with theirs, I'll let them do their thing...



Nolte, I know what you mean about being wrong when you are guessing at the direction the critter went. I have been wrong even when I could see tracks in the snow. And yes, I depend heavily on my dogs nose, and that is why I watch his every move to give me clues. If I also have a pup I am training I pay close attention to him as well. While he lacks the confidence to follow all alone, I sometimes have been shown the clues I needed by a dumb pup.

Although I will suggest things to try (by moving in a direction myself, for example), I am not so much telling him which way the animal went, but more telling him the one thing we know for sure is that animal IS NOT HERE, so we shouldn't be either. Now let's find the way out of here! "Defeat is unacceptable" to quote a famous houndsman.
Last edited by david on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Nolte » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:35 pm

dhostetler

It kind of depends but I will pull out a cold trailer completely at times and it doesn't seem to phase them the next go round. Now on a young up and comer it might but on a finished one it doesn't seem to for me. But I might just have some real rattle hard heads too :D . The reason being is that a real good trailer can be a rare commodity. I'd much rather have other dogs doing in close battle with a bear than my only dog who can really grind out tough old tracks. I know some guys have truck fulls of these types of dogs but I sure haven't. My odds drop dramatically if I need to put a dog or two on the shelf. What works for me might not work for others.

You are right that those western cats can really travel. They seem to really cover country at times. But don't discount bears. My 5+ miles just means how far we trailed them. I don't know how far they went because we never caught up with them. :D I've seen times where they've went much, much farther. Then I've seen others times where they didn't leave a mile square in a week. It just all depends. I wish I knew before we tried them, it would save a lot of messing around with critters that are out of the next 5 zip codes. A friend of mine shot a bear that was tagged 80+ miles away in a different state less than a week before he got it.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby dhostetler » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:24 pm

Nolte, My guess is you probably got colder nosed dogs on bears than I do. Even though I catch more bears than cats in a year my dogs will put a lot more effort into cold trailing a cat then they do a bear. In the summer if my dogs are really grinding a track and they get it treed it always ends up being a cat. I don't have any dogs that lick rocks to draw out scent etc. In fact my best bear dog has left bear trees and cold trailed a cat out.

With the dogs I got I don't have a prayer in catching a 24 hour old bear track in areas that I bear hunt. Even if I had a verified camera picture of the bear track being 24 hours old I still wouldn't believe it, knowing my dogs as I do, I would come up with explanations that the bear probably circled around and crossed behind the camera 20 hours ago.

In the northern Rockies I would have to personally witness a 24 hour old bear track being run to believe it, that is in the months from May 1 to Sept. 30. I can see it more likely happening before and after those months due to wetter and colder conditions. I also think west coast & upper Midwest areas probably have much better scent conditions then the northern Rockies.
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Re: Cold nose ? Fact or fiction

Postby Bear hounder » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:23 am

Well I think this is asome the truth is I love learning from people who have been doing what I love to do .one of the things I like about you guys is you are all talking about what has worked for you were u hunt and I love training hounds more than I enjoy hunting it it sounds like u guys do as well asome as for the amount a bear travels in a day or week I have some knowledge to this as the Mnr has Tage bears in one spot and then the hunter who harvested Mr taged bear reports that he shot the bear 300 km north of were he was taged their are other study were they put gps collers on a bear that throws out a signal every half hr and makes a map of travel by Mr bear and one intresting point they made was that young male bear will go for a walk about every 3 to 4 days and travel about 8p to 100 km on average over a 2 day period then return to the food source and stay in that area around the food source for another 3 to 4 days then they go for a 80 km walk about and one bear that they collers traveled from sudbury ont. To north of timmins ont. In less than a week to go to a food source blue bearies so food sources can make a bear travel well around 50 to 100 km per day to get to a well remembered food source and if you want to catch that big Boer of a lifetime a cokd nosed dog will be your only chance I don't think I'd experience 50 km dog but the bear might be catchable if you can trail him

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