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Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:08 pm
by mrburneisen
If you hunt long and hard enough you’ll see a lot of things most “civilized” people only read about in books. I have stopped counting the box turtles, copper heads and other snakes. We have seen red tail hawks, Bald Eagles, several species of wood peckers, and owls in the daytime. When fishing we have seen King fishers and a Loon on the Catawba River. I only knew that it was a loon because my father had taken me to Quebec as a boy to go fishing on Lake Hunter. I do stop to look at herons only because I admire their skill. My Dad called them feebs. He’d say “Those fish eatin’ bastards can clear out a crick in a day.”

One of the biggest benefits of living in NC is access to game lands and mountain trout waters. I am not a wealthy man and my ambitions in life will not lead me in that direction, so public access to hunting and fishing is my only real option. It is not that I do not possess the skills and intellect necessary to be successful in business, it is that I have no desire to pursue that career. If I were to put my mind to use in business I could be very successful and make enough money to buy or lease land to hunt. The problem is that by the time I would get to that point my children would have grown up and I would be too old to pursue game the way I can now. I would prefer to spend my time with my children while they are young and take them hunting and fishing. The only way for a boy or girl to become a hunter is to be taught by another hunter. As an adult, hunting and fishing have been a family undertaking. As a father of 6, I see little point in spending time alone in the wilderness when I could be bring one of my young apprentices along with me. I had plenty of time before becoming a father to be alone in the forest, and spent many days and nights alone on hunting and fishing trips. My journeys in these mountains would all become lessons for the next generation of hunters and fishermen. This is why we began to acquire hounds.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:16 pm
by bearsnva
Mr. B,
Don't take this as being offensive but think about it and then do as you see fit. If the Grace dog takes off flying and then starts hunting you aren't hunting with her, you are hunting for her. You are a mile away and if she jumps anything you are out of the race. The dog that stays about 500 yards away and checks in is what you want. If that dog jumps you can get over there and see what is going on, you can find out exactly where she was and maybe find a bed or tracks. If that happens, and it will, and your other dogs are nowhere around then you don't have three dogs you have one. We free cast and try to keep the dogs together to a reasonable degree, if a bear is jumped you have help to turn in on the jump and put some pressure on the bear. That pressure is what is going to tree your bear. I seriously think you need to work on keeping the dogs closer to you (at least the two that just take off) so you can watch and tell what your dogs are doing and if that is what you want them to do. Not being critical but give this some thought, the sooner you get them working as a pack the better off you will be. Keep at it and good luck.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:24 pm
by mrburneisen
Thank you, I appreciate the advice. I hunted deer and squirrel for a long time, and when I started getting into this I realized pretty quick I have a lot to learn when it comes to hounds. I took my boys to a youth outdoor festival and met an old man whose family likes to bear hunt. I sat and listened to him tell stories until my boys came back and told me they had been to every booth at the festival twice and they wanted to eat.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:46 pm
by NCDOGMAN
I know exactly where you are talking about. I’m not sure why you are having such a hard time finding tracks? There is a good amount of bear in that country and if you have any skill at all you should be finding hot tracks at least a couple times a week. Give me a call sometime if you would like 828-634-6843

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:20 pm
by mrburneisen
You're right there are a lot of bear in my area. I figured if even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile, why can't an old deer hunter dumb across a bear track every now and again assuming I do my part and put enough miles on my boots. It's nice to see another 828 area code on here, I will give you a call. The nice thing about hunting by myself or with my sons is that I know I am the source of the problem (or something going on with my dogs) so I should be able to correct the problem or change the way I go about things. Now changing the way I go about things is becoming more of a struggle every day, but I'm more willing to change if it means becoming more successful in the field.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:40 pm
by NCDOGMAN
Just remember if you ain’t seeing any sign your dogs ain’t either. Do your work to find the game and your dogs will follow. But whatever you do don’t give up. If hound hunting was easy everybody would do it. The more miles you put on your boots the more chances you have of a good race.

If I was hunting dogs that were young and not broke I would not be free casting. Put them hounds on a lead and don’t let em off until you see sign. If a dog strikes on lead don’t turn em loose until you find that track let him pull you on a lead and find the track before you let em go. Once you have a broke dog THEN you can judge the rest of your dogs and cull if necessary. Not having a broke dog is a hard and long process to get into this sport. But it will be very VERY rewarding when you see that ball of black fur sitting in a tree.

Just put miles on boots and tires and sooner or later you will make it happen. Just don’t give up.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:51 pm
by Gritty dogs
Well i was hoping to hear that you had been treeing a few! I free cast mine alot of the time but one thing that happens is they will start a lot colder track than they will rigging them. This means a lot of cold trailing some times before they jump it and for inexperienced dogs lots can go wrong! Hope you catch something soon but my advice would be hunt where you can stay on top of them so you can help them all you can and get to the tree quickly till they get it figured out because you don't want them leaving the tree when that starts your in trouble.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:42 pm
by mrburneisen
Update: I'm still hunting those same dogs and putting them on tracks. There seem to be more bear moving this fall in the areas I'm hunting and we are having a real good time with it. I'm still trying to get that first one treed on our own. I realized I'm the problem and that freecasting them was not the way to go where I hunt. I have found that by hiking 3 or 4 times as far into the mountains I'm able to cut way more tracks than in seasons past, and avoid chasing coyotes and deer. Thank you to everyone for your advice.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:29 pm
by mrburneisen
still alive, still running my possum dogs. spent some time talking to old timers around here this fall and learned quite a bit. they'll talk for days and all you have to do is listen & be respectful.

Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:34 pm
by lawdawgharris
You said a mouthful there. I could listen to them for days. They have knowledge and experience that is forever gone when they leave this old world. I can honestly say some of the stories told to me were just about as good and educational as any hunt I've been on. Your lucky if you have those kinda people that you can sit and listen to.

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Re: Pack size for bear hunting

Posted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:34 pm
by mrburneisen
The mountain hasn't taken me yet! yes I'm still runnin' my possum dogs. Thanks for keeping this forum running. I use it as a reference, there is a ton of good info on here!