Split Race

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
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Walkerdirt
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Split Race

Postby Walkerdirt » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:56 am

I’m curious how you guys would handle one dog on a jump race and two other dogs still trying to figure out a tricky bob track.

Here’s the scenario... I’ve got a cold nosed walker type dog, a trigg/walker/leopard pup, and a near silent walker. Cold nosed walker strikes in an area I’ve seen a bunch of bobs, silent walker joins race but is still silent. I dropped pup and he joined race. All three dogs blow up and start running tight circles. Pup and cold nosed dog get stuck in the circles but my tight lipped walker found the out track and it turns into a sprint. It was great to watch but tight lipped dog didn’t make a peep once he left the other dogs. I waited to see if the other two would find out track but once the tight lipped dog got about 3/4 of a mile away I called the other two to the truck, hauled ass and dropped them on the track to help them catch up. Bob ended up running back into where they first struck track and shaking my dogs but still was a great race.

My question is how would you experienced guys handle that situation? Would you let the other two figure it out?
pegleg
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Re: Split Race

Postby pegleg » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:18 am

I dont have any silent hounds. But given all the dogs are on the same track i would have just let it play out if in a vehicle. On foot or horseback i would have moved forward which probably would have encouraged the other two to put more effort into that area and likely led them into the right direction or into bumping the cat back as it tried coming back through. However all my dogs are closely related and work similar and are open. I have had many dogs over the years and one thing i believe is that there are many types of dog that can and will finish a track. However some extremes just dont help each other out. And often one type or the other ends up looking great while its opposite looks foolish. Another side effect is they stop honoring each other or you begin to get disinterested dogs. Ofcourse im talking hounds that are significantly different not just a few degrees here and there.
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Re: Split Race

Postby felbedp » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:19 pm

I am a coyote hunter, I can tell you this, if the dogs tracking ability is about the same the silent dog will sooner or later be alone and out front. Here's why: On a loss the other dogs can't hear him pick it up. Just depends what you can live with.
Last edited by felbedp on Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
david
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Re: Split Race

Postby david » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:21 pm

That was an awesome story. Write some more of them when you have them!!

Your style is so much like mine was. 2 dogs, and one apprentice. I might have done exactly what you did in that situation. And then when I didn’t catch the cat, I would analyze the race for weeks so that I could hopefully do better if that situation comes up again. Some of them I am still trying to figure out. I had seen enough to know that my decisions as a handler often made the difference one way or the other.

My decision in your situation would have depended on those weeks and months (years?) of analyzing this particular pair of dogs as individuals and how they work together.

And it would depend on what my goals are. If my hard and fast goal was to catch the cat for someone, I would NOT have added the pup. The pup is probably why the other dog had no chance of leaving that circle when the cat did.

If my goal is to get the next “world beater” trained up, then of course I would have added the pup and accepted the results of undermining the effectiveness of my pack.

If the lead dog had enough grit to handle a cat by itself, and I wanted this cat caught, I would never have fed those two back in to it. And I am saying that for an area where bobcats don’t climb. In an area where they usually climb and I wanted that cat, I definitely would not have fed the other dogs. In my mind, if that dog is what I think it probably is, you would have caught that cat if you had not distracted it with dogs calling him backwards and sideways and whatever. ESPECIALLY if we are talking about snow. Let that dog focus. Caught cat.

If you are not needing a caught cat, you did exactly the right thing, in my opinion. The breeding on that pup, again my opinion, might show you the best solo bobcat dog you ever saw. But it deffinately won’t if it doesn’t get tons of experience.

Thanks again for a great story. You gotta keep us up on how that pup is doing.
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Re: Split Race

Postby david » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:04 pm

Just a quick thought. If you put a bell on that silent dog, I think your pup might have enough sense to actually pay attention to that bell. Possibly even the cold tracker, but not as likely. Those good cold trackers sometimes loose themselves in their own world. That dog might still be working that circle if you would let it.

If your focus is to make that pup all it can be, I would pull that cold tracker out of there as soon as it’s job was done, if I had the chance. In other words, as soon as the cat was up and moving. Let the pup focus on the faster dog; and on the cat. If that cold tracker is like most great cold trackers I have known, it is only keeping that pup from moving ahead like it naturally would without that dog in there.

Either one of those dogs (pup or cold tracker) might have been aware that the silent dog was leaving the circle. The two together had no chance of it.
Last edited by david on Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Split Race

Postby Jeff Eberle » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:22 pm

My dogs are silent on track for the most part if one slips out on the others its not for long , even fanned out looking for the out track they keep tabs on each other pretty good. My question to you is how long have them two older dog been hunting together? And does this happen a lot on cat with them ? I’m with David on putting that pup with the one that slips out on the other dog
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al baldwin
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Re: Split Race

Postby al baldwin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:13 am

If I trusted the silent dog to not break track & run trash would have did as you did. Yes those silent dogs can make short work of a bob track sometimes, if they will tree. but. not much fun to hunt alone, for I. Al
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Re: Split Race

Postby pegleg » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:53 am

Im obviously missing something and probably will continue to. There seems to be alot of favor for silent dogs. To define this a silent dog is silent on track only barking treed or bayed.
I'm not real open minded on the subject to be honest. But do like to learn when im able. At one time i was sold on silent fast moving dogs, told they had something to offer and gathered some up. My results weren't spectacular. Each of these dogs could and would catch their cat in good conditions. But the number of cats they started and treed was dismal. And being full of hope i hunted them nearly every day they just didnt start that many tracks. They sure covered alot of country busy type hunters. But until i put a dog with them that would work a track when needed i really was just out exercising dogs.
Anyway it led me to the conclusion a dog just has to be capable of some trailing work before its useful in this area.
Another conclusion ive reached over the years is that some areas consider a cold nosed dog the type that will stick to a heavy scent and be unwilling/unable to move out of it.
If that dog just mills around one spot within 100 yards or so and keeps open when it passes over that spot its not cold nosed at all. In my opinion this is one of the worst types you have a dog breed to trail on the ground but it doesnt have the nose or brain to move over the faint scent areas. Now some young trailing hounds might do this a bit untill they learn to keep moving the track. But that is akin to false treeing in my mind its opening on a track it already passed and obviously the game is to catch something.
On the other extreme is the dog that gets some scent then rushes around looking at every bush rock etc in a 500 yard area and never really tries working the track out to justify the areas its searching in.

Now walkerdirt not any of thats meant for you other then in a abstract way and sorry for sidetracking the post. But hound terms are the same in many places but their meaning can sure vary.
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Re: Split Race

Postby lawdawgharris » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:24 am

Pegleg I agree with most everything you've said. A dog has to have brains over impulse. Just because a dog can smell it doesn't mean they know what to do with it. Giving mouth on track, in my opinion, can be good and bad. In this case, for the pup it wasn't in his favor. The experienced dog giving mouth was keeping the interest of the pup while the silent better track dog pushed on through, a diversion so to speak. The cold nose is a hindrance if it isn't track savvy. I'm in no way calling this dog a bad dog, just this scenario didn't play out in his favor. Me being a southern hog hunter I prefer silent trailing dogs. Our hogs are really wild so a dog needs every advantage they can get. I had an outside bred gyp. Solid dependable gyp that found a lot of hogs. She had a really good nose but she would open on a hot track. The hotter it was the the more she put out naturally. My younger gyp 3 year old is dead silent until bayed. I cast them one morning and they hunted the area out very well but no hog. They just kept pushing in deeper and deeper until they finally got into some sign. They were working the same area but not right together for a little bit and finally they started overlapping each other. These are quick locating type dogs and it was thick where they were at. I knew it had to be a cold track. Finally the open gyp give up on it. About the time she got back close to us, the silent gyp put up bayed. She kept after it and grubbed it out. I say this to say I don't believe silent or open has anything to do with track working ability, that's between the ears. I have another example with my same 2 dogs and a pup. I took the open gyp and a pup and cast them. The open gyp struck and left a set of woods headed for another set. It was a hot track and she was telling it pretty good. As they were entering the second set of woods, the hogs were exiting 350 yards further down in a run. The pup would get ahead of her but several times came back to her. I figured from watching on the garmin it was overrunning the track and just coming back to her to restart it, but it could've been confidence too. We finally caught and bayed one a mile and a half away. Go back to the same place,, different day, with the same pup and the silent gyp and catch 4 in those same set of woods that the other gyp pushed them out of. Silence was the biggest difference along with track speed. Brains enough to override impulse is a must. If they have a cold nose that's great, but they have to be able override the cold trailing impulse and work the track up hotter, not let getting bored with it be what makes them decide to push on through. In this case walkerdirt's silent dog outwitted the cold trailer. Myself, if I had these 3 dogs, I would have to decide what the pup was bred to be, more like the cold trailing dog or the more like the silent dog. The other thing is if I put him on the ground with the cold trailing dog, seeing that he might hang up sometimes, I would make sure that they had a direction on track before I sent the silent dog to them that way the pup has the opportunity to drive on ahead with the silent dog if he's the faster track dog. Silent doesn't mean fast it just means stealthy. I hope this makes sense to y'all lol. My twisted mind understands what I'm trying to say I hope it reads that way.

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Re: Split Race

Postby macedonia mule man » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:27 am

I don’t know much about a silent dog other than it can really damage a good race of any kind. Anytime I have one that starts silent or starts going silent with age, it has to go. I had much rather have a babbler in the pack. Sounds like you are running a unbalances pack. Balance your pack with the type of dogs you like . You should be able to tell what you have in just a few hunts. Watch the Garmin and listen to your ears. Listen to what you see and hear, don’t pay attention to the fact that you paid to much for the dog or you like his personality, if he don’t fit, he don’t fit. Get rid of him quick as possible.
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Re: Split Race

Postby Jeff Eberle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:54 pm

Lol so if a dog is silent it can't track ? Or it messes up a race ? Or it's not smart ? Or it doesn't start many tracks ? My best year was just shy of a 100 cat and fox combined not counting bear & lion I must of caught all the easy ones that year. Guess I better go cull my pen.
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Re: Split Race

Postby david » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:04 pm

pegleg wrote:Im obviously missing something and probably will continue to. There seems to be alot of favor for silent dogs.


Pegleg, how bad do you want to see some good silent dogs? Are you willing to travel?

I am not putting a value for or against silent dogs. Nor am I putting a value on cold nosed dogs that might get stuck in a circle.

And beyond that, I get the impression the dog is open on a hot track. I got that impression from his ability to feed the dogs back to it. But maybe I took that wrong. Maybe he found the covered track again and put them on it. (If that is the case, that will knock the wind out of your sails, sir, unless those dogs absolutely won’t bark on a covered track.)

I’m trying not to put a value on any style his individual dogs might actually have. First of all, I don’t know exactly what their style is. We have one description of one hunt.

And if any of you have a super cold nosed dog that has NEVER got hung up, I really want to see it, and I would put out the money to travel to see it. Because I have yet to see one, but would love to.

His dog has a cold nose and it got hung up. That’s all we know. And we don’t even know that for sure, because there could have been more than one wild animal involved, as Al hinted at, except we have seen more than one cat together even if the dog is perfectly straight on bobcat. Walker dirt says it is “in an area I’ve seen a bunch of bobs”. Bunch of bobs to me would signal the probability of a secure birthing area or some other lasting attraction.

There could easily have been a cat still somewhere in that circle. In some places they are in there because it is thick, brushy or boggy and they can stay in there all day and hide. We have seen this situation and dogs passing within feet of a squatting cat, and the cat changing locations within the boundaries of the protection. It takes more than dogs to get it to leave that kind of protection unless they just get lucky. This was a shocking discovery for me back when there was no one to tell me about it. I thought I had stumbled upon one of the hidden secrets of the universe and I was the only one besides the Creator who knew it. But, It is a very risky move for the cat to charge out across open terrain when the dogs are close and he knows he is visible to anything that looks his direction, and trailing is straight forward.

And you make a really good point Mule Man. But I feel it comes from the large pack fox hunting tradition of the south. If this mans goal is consistent with the goals of the southern foxhound tradition, you are 100% correct. And another recent post from pegleg makes the same point most eloquently. He likes his dogs of the same type.

But

(Again, like pegleg points out, some dogs considered cold nosed are not going to be anything but a hindrance to bobcat hunting.)

But myself,hunting areas where bobcats are few, if I find an old track, I want a dog that can take it and steadily move it. It doesn’t need to be a fast dog. It needs to be steady. And as I advised this young man, I also like to get that dog out of there when it’s job is done. But without that dog, there are many days and even periods of days where I don’t get to have a jumped bobcat race. When I was young and had snow, I could be that cold nosed dog. But that got old when I got old, and I don’t like being limited to snow hunting.

This philosophy will not sound good to anyone from the large pack foxhound tradition. And probably not to anyone where game is plentiful. But it might sound fine to someone where cats are few and they just want some action. With that type dog in my box I almost never went home without some action. Even in areas where cats were few and far between.

I believe this man could end up catching a lot of cats with what he has if he plays his cards correctly and the dogs are on the better side of the stereotype of each one. And they get plenty of experience.

It might not be the wonderful amazing hound music tidal wave to swim in. But it would be the wonderful, amazing, sometimes overwhelming experience of caught bobcats.

Great posts up there. I appreciate it when any of you guys take the time to do that. I know it takes time.
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Re: Split Race

Postby al baldwin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:21 pm

Jeff Eberle wrote:Lol so if a dog is silent it can't track ? Or it messes up a race ? Or it's not smart ? Or it doesn't start many tracks ? My best year was just shy of a 100 cat and fox combined not counting bear & lion I must of caught all the easy ones that year. Guess I better go cull my pen.


Jeff, I have owned some verry tight mouthed dogs that could track with anything I hunted them with. Hard for a tight mouthed dog to mess up a race, unless one thinks getting out on other dogs & treeing the cat is messing up the race. I liked one tight mouthed dog in my pack, over the years numerous times those tight mouth dogs put the cat up & open dogs trailed in & treed. I had no problem with that. Just was not much fun, for me, to hunt those tight mouth dogs alone. Especially in the days before tracking collars. Have talked to numerous hunters who stated those tight mouth dogs were smarter than the open trailers. Could be, to each his own. Al
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Re: Split Race

Postby Jeff Eberle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:14 pm

al baldwin wrote:
Jeff Eberle wrote:Lol so if a dog is silent it can't track ? Or it messes up a race ? Or it's not smart ? Or it doesn't start many tracks ? My best year was just shy of a 100 cat and fox combined not counting bear & lion I must of caught all the easy ones that year. Guess I better go cull my pen.


Jeff, I have owned some verry tight mouthed dogs that could track with anything I hunted them with. Hard for a tight mouthed dog to mess up a race, unless one thinks getting out on other dogs & treeing the cat is messing up the race. I liked one tight mouthed dog in my pack, over the years numerous times those tight mouth dogs put the cat up & open dogs trailed in & treed. I had no problem with that. Just was not much fun, for me, to hunt those tight mouth dogs alone. Especially in the days before tracking collars. Have talked to numerous hunters who stated those tight mouth dogs were smarter than the open trailers. Could be, to each his own. Al

Al, nothing could be more true then your last four words (to each his own) . To tell the truth this line I hunt will make a liar out of me if I labeled them silent. I’ve tree bear lion bobcat and fox with out any barks other then locate and tree barks and I’ve tree all then same animals with them opening like they should , the only game they will run and open on 99.99%of the time is fox other then one time and I’m sure it was a lay up because the guys dogs that went to mine never tree til we got there and the fox started moving in the tree. Only reason I ever commented on this post was because of the comments made about silent dogs was just flat silly , and if some young Hunter was to read it that had or wanted a silent dog would has a positive on them.
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Re: Split Race

Postby Walkerdirt » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:45 am

I opened up a can of worms on this one. Ha. Thanks for the reply’s.

I like the idea of handling the situation with whatever the end goal is. It was definitely great experience for all three and myself seeing as how me and my dogs are pretty green. I’m just fun hunting and enjoying watching my dogs and myself progress. With that said I feel pretty good about the way I handled it after reading all your post but if I would have stayed put I probably would have had the bob run past my truck.

My cold nosed dog has been guilty of getting stuck on more than a few tracks but there have been days/nights where he’s the only dog to strike and nine times out of ten he’ll be the first one to strike. Sometimes my dogs and my buddies just watch him trail because they aren’t smelling anything. In this case the brush was thick and has been on most tracks he gets stuck on. In the open he can normally move them. I’m still trying to figure his intelligence level but I’ll say this, he’s the only dog I have that can open kennels and I can call him off a track from a few hundred yards and he’ll stop on a dime.

As far as the silent dog goes, the guy I got him from said his dad was the same way. Super focused on track and silent until it was jumped or trees. He caught a good number of snow lions with his silent dog as his track starter. It took me a while to realize that even though he was houndy that he was going to be on the quite side. Myself or my dogs aren’t far enough along to know if it works for me or not.
Just to be clear he will open with the other dogs occasionally but when he’s on his own he’s head up moving the track on a trot, dead quite. The way I see it is that he might end up shortening races for me one day.
As far as the pup goes it’s just good to hear him trailing and running to the race at 8 months. But I could see how the cold nosed dog cold be teaching him bad habits by going over the same track over and over.

I’m missing a lot from your responses but I appreciate you guys for taking the time.

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