Cold trail surprises

Talk about Cougar Hunting with Dogs
Uncle Dave
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Cold trail surprises

Postby Uncle Dave » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:29 pm

I have been working towards the goal of having legit bareground capable lion dogs for the last few years, starting with a few pups and a tight budget. I think something finally clicked in my dogs this weekend and it took me completely by surprise. We went out for a walk about on Friday in an area that I have not been in before when I stumbled upon this lion track frozen in the mud. I imagine the track had to be from the previous evening at the freshest (last time that would have been thawed?) and I was about to make note of the location for the future and carry on, not thinking the dogs would be able to do anything. To my surprise, one dog decided he had other plans and opened up and off they went. At this point I was thinking about all the other critters that could have walked on that frozen ground and not leave a track that they were gonna trash on because no way they were actually smelling that lion track...well surprise again, they were actually on the lion trail (confirmed by several tracks along their route). Long story short, they trailed that lion for about 2.5 air miles over 5hrs and we ran out of day light still on a cold trail. How old was that track? Won't ever know for sure, but definitely seemed older than anything I've seen them work before.
frozentrack.jpg


Fast forward to Sunday when I take the dogs out with me to a different location to pull some trail cameras I had up. We don't make it 100 yards from the truck and all 3 open and take off at a pretty good clip. They trail their way about 500 yards from where they opened, past both of my cameras, and peter out about 50yds from my camera. I am guessing that they are on the backtrack as they have been in the same vicinity for about 20 min and about when I get them turned around it starts to downpour, so I pull my cameras and head back to the truck and call it a day. I check the cameras when I get home and sure enough the dogs were on the backtrack, but the crazy part is that the tom had passed by the cameras over 2.5 days prior to us being there! I thought no freaking way and had to double check the cameras dates about 100 times. I am still in disbelief that my potlickers could work something that old.

Granted we didn't catch either of these lions, but I am super happy with their work this weekend and feel we are headed in the right direction and thought I'd share some encouragement for other guys with young dogs or those starting from scratch with pups like I did.
david
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Re: Cold trail surprises

Postby david » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:11 pm

Great story. I enjoyed it. If you have time to hunt now, I would. Because there is something about the scenting conditions there that could change in a heartbeat if it hasn’t already. Fix up a survival pack and go when you can stay out there and walk him down. I’m not speaking as a lion hunter but as a bobcat hunter, so probably should keep quiet. Best wishes.
johnadamhunter
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Re: Cold trail surprises

Postby johnadamhunter » Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:06 am

Great story. Thanks for sharing. Got a question for you and or the other cat hunters reading this. Let’s say you got to the cameras early in the morning, could you have got the dogs turned around and jumped the cat that came through there two days earlier? Just asking. I’m not a cat hunter and I’ve never been cat hunting.


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Uncle Dave
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Re: Cold trail surprises

Postby Uncle Dave » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:02 pm

I think that it would really depend on what the lion was up to. Sometimes it seems like when they are in cruising mode they can go 10 miles overnight, so probably a low chance of us being able to overcome 2 nights of that kind of travel. However, it also could have made a kill or been layed up not to far down the rim or side drainage and we would have only needed to follow that 2 day old track for a little while before freshening up the track or getting it jumped. Hard to tell without letting the dogs take it. If we keep trying and eventually get that capture after really grinding a hard trail out, I think the dogs will really turn on for cold trailing. Too many quick easy tracks and I think the dogs start to get lazier.

I haven't been doing this all that long so take that all w a grain of salt!

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