Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
BrennenHeddin
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Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby BrennenHeddin » Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:55 pm

How long do you do your scent drags? I have 3 dogs that run 500-yard trails no problem and one dog that's only a year old that doesn't trail really at all! The pup doesn't bark! Like at all! I've heard her bark one time! Other than that she is silent! Even in casual settings or on the trail with the other dogs! Nothing!!! She has a nose! She will trial with the other ones here and there but she is a pup and gets distracted a lot! I tried using a coonskin to get excited but she had no interest! Should I use a caged coon to get her fired up?? One of my older dogs seems to be getting bored with training! The first few times he tried hard and treed great! The last two time he runs a hundred yards and comes back! What do I need to do to get these dogs fired up?
I am brand freakin new to hunting with hounds! I have never done it and don't know anyone who does it! I bought 4 hounds from a guide and they seem to vary in experience and know-how! What do I need to do to get these dogs all on the same level running trails long distance?
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby GVBEAR » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:56 pm

I don't think I would get to concerned I do very little scent drags if at all used to try them when I had a pup around. Sometimes they would follow and sometimes they wouldn't. I don't always think the scent you buy smells like the actual critter. I have been to some bear trials that the drag goes about a mile. But I have seen damn good trial dogs look like a fool in the woods. Best advice maybe slow down on the scent drags and just keep them all in shape. So they can all run as a pack. And when you do a drag and a dog does good give them a treat. I am not sure if that is what's helping this year or the bears are just being nice to me, but if they tree the bear under 500 yards from a trail or road I give them a treat haha, the majority have been under 500. And on the dog not barking, i have a dog i am currently running turns 2 in October won't bark on trail unless he sees it, otherwise barks at the tree and a little at feeding time. The whole litter is pretty much silent, i talked with the breeder. So put a bell on him for now.
Good luck on the adventure mine has been a 20 year struggle haha but I wouldn't trade it for nothing
BrennenHeddin
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby BrennenHeddin » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:05 am

Thank you so much for the advice!
Cowboyvon
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby Cowboyvon » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:16 pm

where in New Mexico?
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Henry David Thoreau
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby Mehunter » Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:49 pm

I wouldn’t worry about the silent hound either. I have a bluetick who trails extremely fast but is 100% silent on track. He only barks on tree. Yes you do lose a little of the excitement of listening to a hound trail but he seems to have short races and I’m assuming it’s due to him being silent... as far as using scent drags, I definitely do use them to start a pup but only for a few times. Once he’s using his nose I think it’s best to get them on live game.
macedonia mule man
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby macedonia mule man » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:59 am

I never found never found drags and artificial training to be much help.ive tried it both ways and training off bait with one pup is the best and quickest way there is. Set up about 6 baited spots, walk the dog in and lean up against a tree and watch never saying anything to the dog. Do that for about a month a couple nights a week. If it’s not doing anything ,get another dog.
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby macedonia mule man » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:09 am

The silent dogs I’ve owned usually hot treed within 5-10 minutes after they left. They were usually close hunters using the wind to strike. If I were hunting to eat or sell game for money, I would keep a silent dog but I have always hunted for the enjoyment of the race. I personally couldn’t use a silent dog.
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby macedonia mule man » Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:10 am

The silent dogs I’ve owned usually hot treed within 5-10 minutes after they left. They were usually close hunters using the wind to strike. If I were hunting to eat or sell game for money, I would keep a silent dog but I have always hunted for the enjoyment of the race. I personally couldn’t use a silent dog.
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby Nolte » Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:14 am

Mule Man, I totally get wanting to hear the race but now hunting in wolf country I wish I had a few silent good dogs. Keep tabs on them and then just head in when its up or heated up. Have seen a few totally silent dogs that were bang up cold trailers and all around great dogs. They'd really have a spot now in the age of garmin.

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BrennenHeddin
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby BrennenHeddin » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:12 pm

I just picked up two Plott hounds! They have never hunted before! Should I train them on their own or with the older dogs that know what they are doing?
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby Walkerdirt » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:53 pm

I'd recommend looking at my old post and the responses i got!

2 years ago I was in the same boat as you with one started dog and 2 pups. I asked a lot of questions on this forum that at the time I thought were reasonable questions but now looking back they were really stupid. Since then I've caught a decent amount of game and my pack 100% runs to catch.

I've got a silent dog that will only open once game is jumped but most dogs will not open on a drag.

I used drags and grawes for the Mike Leonard training method for pups just to teach them how to use their nose and that there is a prize at the end of each track. In my opinion it won't help much for adult dogs that should be out hunting. They need to be on live game. Working pups with a "flirt pole" with a hide is good and can make them crazy to catch.

In my opinion rolling cage can help but they only need to see it once or twice. I'm a fair chase hunter and live trapping critters for my hounds to scare the shit out of isn't much fun and only helps so much.

What you need to do is put your dogs in areas where they have the best chance at starting a fresh track. The dogs that don't go at first might end up going the next race or the race after that once they figure out what's going on. They might not ever all be on the same level but will more than likely all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

I let my pups run everything and anything except coyotes (because they are thick around my house) until they get their confidence. In my opinion I wouldn't start breaking them until they are running hard.

At one point or another I've thought everyone of my dogs was a bust and i had to break it to my old lady that we are selling a dog. Now, everyone of my dogs hunts and hunts hard and I'm glad I gave them all a fair chance.

I'm only one step in front of you so take my advise with a grain of salt but I take great pride in starting from scratch with no one to learn from and getting my pack where it is now. I learned a lot of lessons and am still learning.
Last edited by Walkerdirt on Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Training bear and cougar hounds! HELP

Postby tom jr » Wed Sep 09, 2020 5:54 pm

Get them on some real game. Drags are for puppies and will quickly become old hat for good hunting dogs.

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