Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Talk about Big Game Hunting with Dogs
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Tue Apr 23, 2024 4:01 pm

Don/t remember Mom ever canning any meat. From the big gardens lots of things were canned. Remember as a small fry looking down those rows of corn, brothers & I hoed, thinking will I ever reach the end. The way that land claim system worked, The large coal owned the land, but they permitted folks to find a piece of land suitable to build a house on & farm the land, squeeze out a living. Dad would use horse & turn plow in the spring plowing 3 big garden spots, until dark after working his shift in the coal mine. Suppose dad could have worked for Dorchester coal company as lots of others did & would have had an easier life. But he chose to find a seam of coal get a few people to work with him and split the profits after he sold the coal to the coal company. One needed to have some sort of certificate, that required taking a test and passing before the coal company would allowed one to open those small mines. It could work out well if all went good with the seam of coal, but on the last coal seam he opened, things were really going well, then they hit what they called slate. Most times after spending a lot of time shooting, loading and hauling slate that brought no pay day, the seam of coal would turn good again. But after days, slate continued, dad and others gave up. Dad came home and said we are moving to Oregon. Some folks dad knew had sent him a message, they were working in the plywood mills in Coos Bay Oregon, about 50 plus miles from Powers, making a living wage and got two 15 minute breaks a day. They worked inside out of the elements and had family insurance. Dad sold his house, barn & etc. to the coal company, who already owned the land, Built a wooden cover of his 56 Chevy pickup, packed up what could haul and headed for Oregon. How worrisome would that be, wife & three kids, depending on you, not sure if you would get a job? But found place to rent in coos bay, was told they were hiring in Powers, made the 50 mile trip. Was hired and told to return to work swing that evening, Dad loved it here. After a couple years he got the job as swing shift mill wright, that meant working lots of overtime & better pay. Dad was used to overtime in those small coal mines, but here he got paid for it. Soon bought a older place in town, He & Mom did a lot of work on it. Dad passed away from black lung, leaving mom living comfortable, with a decent income. Know couple year ago, my niece benefitted from savings dad had earned. Then sold the old place for over two hundred thousand. I drive by it each day if I go to town and it brings back memories, True story as i remember it. Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Tue Apr 23, 2024 9:14 pm

That’s a heck of a story! They don’t make’em like your dad anymore.


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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Wed Apr 24, 2024 1:32 pm

Lawdog, thanks for the kind words. We arrived in Coos Bay August 59, move to Powers just before Christmas 59. Folks found an old place think 40 a month rent. Roof did not leak, warmed by wood, mom was a very clean house keeper, expert at making place look good as possible. Remember the water & sewer bill was 7.50 a month, use all the water you wanted. Population in powers was over 1800, three taverns & they all served food. At least one resturant. Three gas station & two of those also did auto repairs. A veneer mill that employed about 70, a western auto store, a hardware store, small drugstore that sold a lot of liquor. Of course the Powers Market for groceries, meats & they had a variety section where you found about anything one needed. Coos Bay lumber ran a large crew of loggers, with different camps scattered thru these hills, plus several gypo logging out fits. The work was if you did not your job, quit & if you were a good logger, you would find another job before dark. Daily logs were hauled from the hills, dumped in a couple different ponds and railroaded out to Coos Bay. Plus numerous loads of cull peelers were dumped in the large pond that supplied the logs for that veneer plant. We had no more settled in new rental, mom got a letter from her mom wanting to come live with us. Mama had a 25 dollar per month income from mom/s older brother, in her mid eighties and that was her only income. Still, dad traded that Chevy Pickup for a 59 Chevy station wagon. Few days off at mill for xmas. we were on our way to Norton Va. Drove strait thru, believe stayed one night motel in Norton, picked up Mama next morning and head for Powers. Mama lived with my folks until she passed. True story as i remember Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Wed Apr 24, 2024 2:33 pm

It amazes me how much technology we have today and how much more complicated life is. To me, in my opinion, the quality of life is lesser than back in your childhood. I’m sure the adults of that era said things like “what is this world coming to” back then. What would they think if they could see it now?


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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Wed Apr 24, 2024 7:52 pm

Yes Lawndog, things have changed. It was a cold rainy day had worked long shifts that week. Was not going to let rain stop me. Belle had proven she could tree coon bear and bobcat, threw her a couple younger females in the Nash, drove about 4 miles up river. Not knowing any better on foot started walking those dogs up an old grown in logging road that went into a very nasty, brushy terrain that sat underneath a very nasty bluff. Dogs got out of my sight and i soon almost by accident, a deer came charging down that old road. Quickly heard those two you dogs sounding excited, those dogs came right to me and I wore out several switches. Where is belle, foolish I though maybe, belle refused to join in on the deer chase. After climbing to a ridge top heard belle, she would run a few circle and barking would stop, I listened to belle repeat that circles and stop barking several. I made my self think that is a bobcat, she is making loses and picking them up. I was pleased, just sat down to listen. Those two young females, made no attempt to join belle, even as green as I was, should have got suspicious. Then belle drove that track closer to me and shut down. Decided to head in the direction belle last baked, one of those young females headed in front of me and in a bit started baying. Other female remained by my side, hurried on down to the bay, proud as could be, thinking belle has caught that cat on the ground. Well belle had killed a full grown doe, I furious took my flustration on belle and gave her a good trashing. She slipped her collar, ran and hid, refused to come when called. Finally gave up and with my head hanging low, headed to THE NASH and home with two young females in tow. Threw down old shirt, found belle next am on that shirt. Not proud of this story, was not belle/s fault. I would catch her one time and she would run another and get away with it. Being consistent and keeping young dogs away from other trash runners, is how one produces dogs that can be depended on to run and tree desired game. True story as i remember many years ago, Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Wed Apr 24, 2024 9:19 pm

It’s funny you mention this. SASS and I were just talking this morning about dogs trashing and methods of correcting that we have seen. My old Clyde dog trashed one time in all the years and it was a real half hearted attempt at that. I heard him bark twice and then say nothing for about 30 seconds or longer and then another couple of barks. I decided to go see what he was doing as it was very out of character for him. When I got in there, it was a half grown coon that was sitting at the top of 8’ tall tree trunk with no top in it. He would look and turn his ole head side to side trying to figure what it was then a two barks and study some more. I scolded him verbally and he went on and never trashed again.


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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Thu Apr 25, 2024 6:01 pm

Yes, some of the methods used to break dogs from trashing were harsh before the E collars. Recall asking person I bought Belle from as a five month old, if he had any advice on trash breaking. He said he had loaded shot gun shells with rice, get someone on a stand in deer crossing and blast the dog in the act of running a deer. Never tried it. This hunt took place in the fall, tom picked me up and headed out to one our best road system areas. I took no dogs, Tom/s dogs soon found good track and the race was on. Those dogs ran that track for hours, crossing several gravel roads and crossed some of those roads more than once. There was numerous downs, dogs would have to trail and then get it running again. Tom was an expert at finding a varmint track in those situations, but today never found a track. Tom had decided it has to be a road running cat or a coyote, Getting late in day, we had driven up to a high point and found those dogs were bayed solid near the bottom of sugar creek. Tom handed me a shot gun and said go down there and kill that coyote. He would drive back off the mountain. drive up sugar creek and I would not have to climb back up that steep rough ridge. When I arrived, found those dogs had a bear in a very short tree, barely out off dogs reach was a bear that looked to be less than a hundred pounds, That bear/s sides moving back and forth so fast, reminded me of someone playing an accordian very fast. I was not about to shoot that bear with a shot gun, sure way to get dogs hurt. Started on down the ridge to get a 30-30, only gone short ways, met Tom heading to the dogs had 30-30 in hand. Tom they have a bear treed, you have to be kidding! True story as I remember many years ago.
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Thu Apr 25, 2024 6:41 pm

Some people have harsh methods for sure. They usually aren’t the best dog people.

Sometimes it isn’t what you think. He thought it was yote and it was a bear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people take a pup out on its first hunt early because they thought they knew exactly what the hogs were that they were going to be baying and catching. They were told by the land owner or saw for themselves a group of sows and shoats and figured that’s what they would find. As sure as they take that green pup that wasn’t quite mentally ready to be started, they find muey grande with a mouthful of ivory. The lessons he teaches are much more harsh than the ones those sows and shoats teach.


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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Thu Apr 25, 2024 11:44 pm

Fast forward into the mid nineties, I am hunting dogs that are very good about only starting bobcat, once in a while they did tree a cougar, a dog named skinner was one nice hound and had about three helpers for him, skinner was a different style dog than belle, open real nice on cold trail, very good box dog, good cold trailer, good speed,, locator and tree dog. Think he was my all time favorite. Got a call from the person who was the local trapper. He had received a call from a rancher near Powers, cougar had killed a calf ask if I would go help him look for that cat. Next am we were in the area where that cat had been seen a few times. Searched couple ranches no luck, decided to take a new logging road and search an area where we knew cougar like to range, Low and behold, had only trotted dogs a short ways hit a real good track, Dogs went backward short ways, turned that track and came right back by us. In less that five minutes dogs sounded. like they were bayed We had not got our chalk boots on when they moved that track over the ridge and out of hearing. We made our way to the ridge top and found dogs treed solid, maybe a couple hundred yards away. Course we were thinking bobcat, but arrived at a tree with a nice size cougar, barely out of dogs reach. It was a little, nerve wrecking, but got no dogs hurt Got the dogs and got out of there . Skinner was a like a great grand to belle, I loved that dog, passed and buried here on the place. Memories. Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby macedonia mule man » Fri Apr 26, 2024 10:55 am

Al, I’ve lived through those days also. It was not a matter if you wanted to do something or not, you just sat down and figured out how to get it don. You took care of family regardless.
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Fri Apr 26, 2024 5:16 pm

Yes Muleman that was just the way it was. Recall when Mama passed mom/s older brother paid for funeral services. Mama had most of that 25 dollars a month saved and that was used to help with funeral expenses. This hunt took place in the Elliott state forest located near Coos Bay Or. Bobcat season was open, a young friend invited me to come hunt with him, at the time don/t believe he had any hounds. i hunted skinner, spike, a son of skinner & a young dog called target, blue in color but carried b&t walker & running dog in his blood. Recall just before day break Target struck from inside the box. We turned skinner down to confirm target was striking good game and those three dogs soon treed a nice bobcat. There was slight snow so we chose to drive and search for tracks in the snow. Around noon we found an older track in the snow, turned skinner down he soon opened and we turned spike & target in. We spent an hour or so before jumping this cat and after a good race had our second cat of the day. It was getting late in the day, we had covered miles of road and was headed toward home. When skinner struck from inside the box, it would soon be getting dark, pondered a bit, but, turned him down. He opened and we let spike & target join him. Those dogs got that cat treed, we made our way to them. Shot our third cat of the day got back to the rig just at dark. For sure that was an excellent day of cat hunting. Not all cat hunts went like that, there was days when skinner & spike would work a cat for hours and never get a jump, lots of those dog wise cat was just moving ahead of them and they never got a good jump. Then other times had a good jump cat would start hitting roads and eventually the cat won. True story as remember. Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Sat Apr 27, 2024 10:24 am

This hunt is one will always remember. Very near Powers is a drainage called baker creek, over the years lots of good hunts took place here. I was no spring chicken, hills seemed much steeper, canyons much deeper. Dogs hunting that day were skinner, spike and a younger register walker female, Brain Souza had given me. She was out of a male called Korn that I had heard good things about, but this female was a late starter and Bryan had given up on her. However, i got her about the time she decided to start being a hound, having sold target, she was working real nice with skinner & spike. Several days prior had found where a nice tom bobcat was scratching on an old grown in landing & this was about the third time I had check and today he had been there and hunted all over. Those three must have trailed about four different times out little hog back ridges, and returned to that landing. But this time they found where that cat had exited and started trailing in the direction of Rowland creek. Satisfied dogs had the right end this time, I headed back to my rig to help keep better track of the dogs. On my way to the rig found where a cougar had made a fresh scratch, now was thinking are they on that cougar track. By the time I drove up to a ridge that dived baker and rowland creek. Discovered those dogs had traveled thru rowland drainage and were near Eckley road. I had no vehicle access to the dogs. As i pondered my next move, heard dogs jumped, it had to be my lucky day, those dogs came all the way back to that old landing they had started that track on made a few trips around a very rocky, steep point and Skinner located and treed solid. Still not certain what they had treed, I made my way to the dogs and was elated to find a very nice Tom bobcat. Skinned the cat right there, fed dogs a little cat meat, headed for rig counting my blessings. True story as I remember it. Al
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Sat Apr 27, 2024 11:00 am

I assume from this story and the others that you preferred bobs over Mt lion? I think
I know the answer, but why do you prefer it?
How old was that walker female when you got her?


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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby al baldwin » Sat Apr 27, 2024 3:56 pm

Lawdawg, at the time those hunts took place it was against the law, to run a cougar with a dog, unless I had a special permit from the wildlife biologist office. Could only take cougar on the land where it was killing livestock, if you started the cougar on that ranch and it was treed on a land owned by a different person, legally you could not take it. Also with dogs like skinner and spike they could cold trail cougars for miles into roadless areas, in my early sixties not a chore looked forward to. If dogs started and treed a cougar, you were allowed to go to the tree, get your dogs and leave the cougar unharmed. You were not allowed to even take pictures of the cat, if you did you could receive ticket. If game officers could prove you put your dog on that cougar knowing what they were trailing, you could receive 5 thousand dollar fine, loss of hunting license & up to a year in jail. Officers made an example of a few hunters they caught violating those rules, sure they wanted others to know they were serious. Where as a legal caught bobcat here on the coast range could bring up to 185.00 was the most I ever got for one. The money was not the reason I hunted bobcat i liked the challenge of bobcat, love to hear the dogs work and it was my only form of recreation. I think that female was about 18 months old & showing no desire to hunt, when Bryan gave her to me. Told me she was sired by Korn & I thought worth a chance and she proved me correct. However at that time in my life seemed every fall I received a few calls from hunters looking to buy a dog they could bobcat hunt that winter. Can/t recall the hunters name, but he was well know in the dog world and from Idaho, called I made the mistake of pricing her and he sent someone the next day paid me and took her to Idaho. Few days later received a call from owner telling me how pleased he was. Stated she was just as I described her, trash free good road dog, opened just about right on track, sit looking up at the tree but did not bark treed. He had a dog that treed to run with her and he seemed elated. Talked to him year or so later, he had started using her on bear she was treeing and a real dandy. True story as I emember.
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Re: Hunts I remember. Al Baldwin.

Postby lawdawgharris » Sat Apr 27, 2024 7:40 pm

That’s a good story and makes a ton of sense. I didn’t realize it wasn’t legal to run the big cats at that time. Your logic was very sound indeed. It makes you feel good when dogs perform like you know them to.


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