Hello from NW Montana

Tell us a little about you and your hounds.
bdibb5
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Hello from NW Montana

Postby bdibb5 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:11 am

Hi, been reading on/off for awhile. Don’t have any dogs yet but looking into picking up a pup soon. Father had coon hounds when I was growing up and I’m looking forward to getting into cat. Any tips, info or hands on is always welcome.
david
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby david » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:34 am

Welcome. It sure helps when hounds are part of your family heritage.

These days, hounds should be fun, so have fun and enjoy the process.

For starting out, an unimportant tip and possible strategy might be: do your research and find a popular registered line of tree hounds; or popular registered cur dogs.

Get the best bred female puppy you can possibly find and afford. Pour yourself into her and make her the best hound she can be.

If she is good, do your research again and find the best registered stud that would cross well on her pedigree. Spend whatever it takes and get her bred to him. You will have some awesome pups to choose from and you will have no trouble selling the extras for a good price.

I am not being color blind here, from what I have seen through my life is that the treeing walker breed is the breed to beat. Aside from the fox hounds, People seem to either have treeing walkers or they are trying to beat them/become like them/ with some other color. If you had the best bred walker female, put on a high quality stud you can ask a real good price for the pups. That is the only reason I am mentioning color at all. There are other colors that can get a good price too.

Another reason for good treeing walkers is that they are automatic: many are almost impossible to ruin completely. They will make a dog in spite of all your mistakes if they are bred right. There are plenty of things I don’t like about treeing walkers, but it is kind of a foolproof way to get started. You will end up with something of value to someone.

The above is a “slow/and easy does it” strategy. You might be in more of a hurry than that and need to buy a trained dog.

But whatever you do, we hope it goes well for you.
bdibb5
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby bdibb5 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:23 am

Thank you for the advice. We had walkers growing up and I’ve always liked them.
My father has a few winters under his belt, but I’m sure he won’t be able to keep from helping with the training. That “should” shave off a few mistakes.

The slow/and easy does it strategy appeals to me. While breeding might be beyond me at this point, it’s working with the dog I’m most interested in.

As far as buying pups. In your opinion is the classifieds on here a good source? I don’t know of any other.

Thanks again for your knowledge.
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Rossco
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby Rossco » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:13 am

The hound world is a tricky ordeal. There are people that have a lot of people run them down that deserve it. There are people that have a lot of people that run them down because they are jellious. Most of the best houndsman in North America don't give a hoot about the internet and never put anything on it, but you will hear their name from time to time. And of course there's everything in between. My best advice is to look around and get a pup or two and just start hunting them. The longer you do things the more people you will meet. And go off of your own opinions you make on people. With patients and time, if you have the desire to make good dogs, things will fall into place
"Life is hard, its harder if your stupid." John Wayne
david
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby david » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:52 am

bdibb5 wrote:
As far as buying pups. In your opinion is the classifieds on here a good source?


Classifieds are pretty scary to me. I get a bad feeling about some of them. And some of the people have been dishonest. At the same time some very good people also use them. The first thing I do is click on their name. It takes me to their information and I can see how long they have been on here and how many posts they have made. Then if I want to know more, I go to their posts and start reading them.

If the only thing they ever post is dogs for sale, I get suspicious. It doesn’t make them bad, but there still are too many unknowns for me.

If they joined back in 2007 and have a lot of information on here about hunting and about their dogs, I begin to have more hope; People like Melanie and Cassandra in this thread in the link below. I have not hunted with this line, but that is my loss because they have stood the test of time:

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=19845


There are some very good walker breeders on here that have been on here ten years or more.
I hate to mention people because I know I will be leaving out a lot of good people, but Mike Leonard and Twist on here also have some happy mountain state registered Treeing Walker customers out there. I think both of them have a high demand for pups and repeat customers.

And, like Rossco said, some good breeders have never said a word on the Internet. You have to dig for them. But a ton of them do not keep registered dogs. And you don’t have to go registered, and might drift away from registered dogs as your dog needs and desires become more tightly focused. But there are a lot of advantages to Starting Out with registered dogs.


And Sometimes good breeders do not advertise on here because they have a waiting list for the pups. You have to look them up and talk to them.
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Rossco
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby Rossco » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:44 am

I'm not knocking David or anything thing he says, I've never met the man. But personally, when it comes to hunting hounds, the term breeder is a huge red flag. When you are looking for a quality pup that has a great chance to turn into a fine hunting dog. I figure your best chances are to go with someone that is having puppies because they need puppies themselves. The best litters out there are crossed when the person that makes the cross wishes they can keep the whole litter but they just don't have the room. My opinion, take papers out of it. I've had decent dogs that could be registered, and I've had decent dogs that are basically a complete mutt. Instinct and exposure are your 2 main factors. When it comes to getting pups, personally, I would find a few people that cosistantly catch game in your area and start from there. When starting out, any pup from the internet is a shot in the dark. At least until you learn more about people. Pictures and internet gossip can lie like non other
"Life is hard, its harder if your stupid." John Wayne
david
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby david » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:37 am

Rossco wrote:when it comes to hunting hounds, the term breeder is a huge red flag


Point well taken. “Breeder” could mean a lot of things.

On any set of papers the “breeder” is whoever made the cross which produced that pup. Or the owner of the female that had the pup basically.

But as a bobcat hunter, I am using the term “breeder” more to mean a person who has kept the same family of dogs for many years and whose hunting dogs consistently reproduce themselves.

There have been a few of these breeders in my life. And I would rather get a dog from them than from a random hard hunter crossing old Handy to young Ready, even though the Handy Ready pup might actually turn out better. But I don’t know what I’m getting. It is a gamble. And what I get when I eventually breed my pup is even more of a gamble.

The breeders I have known, in their hunting and breeding practices they developed or refined and protected a line of dogs that were “prepotent”; where the percentage of great dogs in each litter was very very high and you knew precisely what they would be before they were even born. A great example is Ray Mears who was a great hunter and a great breeder whose efforts had a tremendous influence on the cat/big game dogs of the Northwest, and coon dogs of the nation. There was a time when it would have been hard to find a good dog without at least a little of his blood. breeders like Ray stand behind their dogs and if you are not happy with one, they go out of their way to make it right.

The other advantage to getting a pup from an established pre-potent line from a knowledgeable hunter/breeder is that the chances of your dog throwing pups just like herself/himself is very high. (Unlike a dog from a random mating of very good totally unrelated dogs).

Breeding practices and theory is an ongoing discussion and there are always diverse opinions. That is my opinion based on thirty eight years of studying succesful cat hunters and trying to find my way through the maze.

And having said all that, my all time favorite dogs were cross bred. But that is another function of pre potent lines of dogs. When you breed two prepotent but unrelated lines together you might see the magic of hybrid vigor. And that is the stuff that fills you with wonder for the rest of your life. So even though I love crossbred dogs, I still owe them to great knowledgeable breeders of prepotent pure lines of dogs.

A person can loose several years sorting through dogs that are inferior. And when a beginner pours his life into his first dog and works his heart out on her for two years, and finally figures out that the animal does not have what it takes to be a cat dog, it is beyond brutal. It can be devastating. That is why I am recommending this route to bdibb5. The research takes a lot of time and even some money for travel etc. and the cost of a pup can be high if this type cat hunter would even sell one of his line. But in my experience, this route is cheaper in the long run; and especially when you start adding up wasted years.

And I am recommending registered for this reason (assuming the papers are legitimate):
There is a lot of creative cat dog breeding going on out there, and some of the dogs now used by long time experienced hunters are going to be a train wreck for a beginner with one dog to do everything. For one example, the tree is very light in some lines, and this is by design. But it is not a good place for a beginner to start. And those advanced traits are not needed to have success snow hunting cats in Montana. By saying registered I am hoping To eliminate dogs whose “automatic” instincts have been fooled with. The 7 registered coon hound breeds are bred for independence. Many modern cat hound breeds are bred for inter-dependence and are not suited for hunting solo. But, yes, I can agree there are ways other than papers to figure these things out about a line of dogs. And I know of more lines of cat dog that are Not registered than those that are.

But mainly I say: have fun, bdibb5. And you really can do that with a hound from the rescue shelter.
macedonia mule man
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby macedonia mule man » Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:10 am

Dbibb5, the best bet is find the man in your area that had rather hunt than have a family ,job or anything of value except his dogs. Make friends and study. Stay away from big names, usually there is not much there. Or you can go find a few young dogs that you like the looks and keep them in the woods and become that guy in the area. Breeding,feeding and care can’t make good dogs, they gotta have a lot of hunting time. You may not know anything but a week of hard hunting is more learning than 6 months of internet.
bdibb5
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Re: Hello from NW Montana

Postby bdibb5 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:19 pm

Lots of great information here gentleman. I’ll check out the link above and keep a weary eye on the classifieds. I’ll be checking around locally the best I can to see who I can meet.

I guess my first hunt is going to start for the pup Itself.
Thanks to all for the input.

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