The truth about starting out with pups!

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
tradslam
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Re: The truth about starting out with pups!

Postby tradslam » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:46 pm

Well I haven't been able to hunt much, been testing for a new job.
Been out a few times since my last post but mostly worked on handling given the bad weather (rain and in the 40s).

This morning I head out, 16 degrees snow covering the ground, south facing slope 80% bare ground. I told myself I'd hold out for a lion track given the snow conditions and the chance of treeing a bobcat was slim.

So I hit the road, bobcats have been moving with several tracks being cut (more on this in a bit). I'm able to cover ground good with the side by side with the limited amount of snow. I don't go 1.5 miles before I hit a lion track. Smaller track looks like a female but old, I cut this track 4 times without being able to freshen in up. I circled the canyon and climb to high spot to glass. I felt like there was a kill in the canyon given the amount of track but never did find it.

As I'm hitting the last few miles of road I see a yote run across the road, trash breaking time. Drive up dump the dogs about 50 yards from the track and walk them through. Both females don't give it a second thought. My male opens up and starts running, a loud "NO" shuts him up. I let them run around a bit longer, male hit the track again. He opens up and then the females, join him. I run up just to make sure its a yote, sure is..............alpha out, yip yip yip back in the box.

I try not to do any trash breaking without being able to run something right after. I run down the road a bit and find several fresh bobcats tracks headed into a snow covered canyon with little to no bare ground.

Dump the dogs, they open up and run in circles unable to find the out. The amount of bobcats I have in this area is crazy.I let the dogs work it for 20 minutes of so and load them up. As I get to the bottom of the ridge, I find a single track.

A picture of the area I let them rebuild some confidence after the yote. Yes those are all bobcat tracks, some older some newer, you get the idea :beer
Image
Image

I take Annie out, (my oldest pup) put her on the leash and walk her on the track, 10 yards in shes pulling eager to go. I turn her loose, takes off like a bat out of hell across the canyon. I give her a few minutes and head her direction, as I close in on her I round a bend and shes doing circles on a large open hillside. No go the trail ended here. I loaded up and head to a new area, on my way my girlfriend calls. She had a rough night at work, I decide to call it and head home. I've been getting alot of questions on this thread by some newer guys and will address some of the questions in my next post.
tradslam
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Re: The truth about starting out with pups!

Postby tradslam » Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:18 pm

Ok some guys were asking some questions regarding this post and getting started. I am nowhere near a pro or a 'die hard' hound guy. I just like to run dogs mixed in with my bowhunting (this is really my true passion). Most of the hound guys I know live for hound hunting and nothing else.

I would say I'm a fair weather hound hunter, meaning I take days off if I feel like it. I don't hunt everyday or for the most part don't hunt long periods of time. I know guys that hunt months straight, I do not. I just like to go out and once in a while catch a cat. If the conditions suck, I'd rather go call coyotes or fish. On average I hunt 2 days a week, with a week or two long vacations in the winter for hounds is about it. I start running the dogs in July and stop in April so almost year around ( I hunt about once every other week in summer)

Guys seem to be asking all the time should I get a pup, 2 pups, do i need a started dog so on......YES. Do what u want and be realistic. If you buy a started dog you'll catch cats right away. Starting with pups don't pound them into the ground when their young and set your sights on lions and coon, and running lots of bobcats without much catching. I really feel unless u have loads of time and hunt weeks on end regularly, 2 dogs is more then enough! I've had up to 9 dogs and the way I hunt I really have no business having more then 2 dogs.

If you're starting out with pups, "I'd" get two and plan on culling 1. I have 3 right now and can make it work, but after going over my videos and notes since I started hunting this summer there are defiant pattens.

My two females hunt together like one dog, I add my male in and trails seem to be over faster. I hunt my male alone, no problems, my male is by far my fasted learning dog and the best as far as tree power. My females together seem to work off each other and get things completed faster. I'm starting to feel that even a great dog could not mix well with another. Now I don't have enough data right now to say 100% for sure but really feel this is a fact.

As far as how often you should hunt (I've been asked this a ton!) I would say its up to you but the real question is whats your game population like? Do you have to run 100 miles of road to find a cat? Can you run a cat or several cats when u hunt? I can run out and hunt a few hours and 90% of the time have a race, so that helps with pups. If I hit it hard, several races in snow a day are more then possible.

And the most important thing for guys starting, take everything you hear with a grain of salt! No two hound guys like the same thing, same dogs, hunt the same critters, and most of them are rough, if you ask a question to a die hard hound guy you'll get this answer almost every time (this is the only way to go and don't get any other dog than_____________ just fill in the blank) lol. Take a little info from everyone and you'll be way ahead down the road.
Pagosa
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Re: The truth about starting out with pups!

Postby Pagosa » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:19 pm

Tradslam - Really enjoy your hearing about your hunts and dogs. You are in a good area down there by the four corners. Sounds like you have some really good dogs. I seen one the biggest bobcats by Durango West on 550 while going elk hunting in 2011, looked like a lynx but too low. I recently moved to MT about 2 years ago so I'm relearning and I'm starting out fresh with one younger dog. Its been almost 20 years since I ran hounds, due too work. For running your dogs in the summer how do you start them on tracks or are you mostly running coon? That country can get really dry in July-Sept! Like yourself I'm a die-hard rifle elk/deer/bear hunter but enjoy hunting with bird dogs/hounds. Big game seasons are short. Enjoy your season
tradslam
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Re: The truth about starting out with pups!

Postby tradslam » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:37 pm

Yes is does get dry summer and fall, I hunt private land off feeder normally. I don't have enough land to do it any other way. I'll also check ponds on the public real early, but 90% of the time I just let the dogs run around and screw off.

There are a ton of cats here but between our weather and roads closing early access is tough. Dec is our best month because some roads actually are still open. This year the 3 snows we had, south facing slopes were open by 10. The snow we have left right now is solid ice and melting as it warms each day. I wish it was dry ground again...........
leifalweapon
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Re: The truth about starting out with pups!

Postby leifalweapon » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:08 pm

Sounds like some promising pups, what breeder did you get them from?


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