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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:58 pm 
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Silent Mouth
Silent Mouth

Joined: 16 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Nevada
I am no expert by any means when it comes to hounds, but I thought I would make a journal of my do it yourself training with my dog. I have always wanted to hunt over hounds as a kid, but never had a chance. I grew up in rural Nevada, and have since moved to the city after graduating college. I have always been an avid archery hunter, and a big time trapper. Now that I'm finally a home owner I was able to convince my non-pet friendly wife to allow me to get a hound pup.

I didn't really convince her. I bugged her so much about it that she said out of frustration to just get the dog, with the hopes that I would see her frustration and not do it. Haha four hours later I was on my way home with my Redtick hound pup Ginger (red hair and freckles so I couldn't resist). This is the picture I sent my wife on the way home.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:27 pm 
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Silent Mouth
Silent Mouth

Joined: 16 Feb 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Nevada
When I first started asking about hound hunting, most people told me it was impossible to do without already trained hounds to teach it. I got my dog for $25 and there was no way I could afford a $1000 dog to train my pup. They guy I got the dog from said he trains his puppies alone and doesn't run them with other dogs until they prove they can hunt alone so I knew it was possible.

I read up everything I could on training hounds, and emailed a few houndsmen and they all had different ideas, but the one thing they had in common was let the puppy be a puppy and make sure you work on obedience before anything else and take her out as much as I can. So that's what I did. I made sure to take her hiking in places where she could learn how to cross water, jump logs, go through fences, and climb rocks. Here's our first hike together the day after I got her.
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I made sure to take it easy at first and within a few weeks she was keeping up with me on half day sheep hikes.
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On a couple of them she started using her nose and finding all kinds of cool things like this dead bighorn lamb
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Thats when I knew it was time to start doing a little bit of scent training.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:50 pm 
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Silent Mouth
Silent Mouth

Joined: 16 Feb 2016
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Location: Nevada
I don't have picture of my training with her on scent. I started out with playing with her with a bobcat foot and grey fox foot from the trapping season before. I would let her chew on it, and play tug of war, and as soon as she would really start getting into it, I would put it. Everytime I would get it out I would tell her to find it.

After a couple weeks of that I started hiding them in the yard before I would let her out (I'm in Vegas so my yard isn't that big). I would say find it and she would start looking for it. I wanted her to be able to air scent something before tracking. The tracking part comes naturally. Soon I started dragging it to different hiding places, then up the tree it went. Everytime she found it I would play with her with it for a little then take it away. It was the highlight of her day.

These drags got longer and longer till soon she was going a mile or so and barking at the tree or rock cliff letting me know where it was so I could get it down for her.

Once trapping season got here I started cage trapping some grey fox. I would let her bark at the cage as I drug the cage around and hang it in the tree. The first time I took the cage down and opened it, she figured it was like her other toys and she would get to play, but that fox took off and she stood there and stared at me like "what the heck". By the next one she was ready and soon she found it was more fun to chase them then play with them. After a few chases one of them finally went up the tree. After petting her and telling her good girl, I pushed it out of the tree and it was off to the races again. The only bad thing was once I started shooting them she seemed a little disappointed because she didn't get to chase it. I was starting to think I ruined her.

The first couple trapped bobcats she barked then up but you could tell she was hoping for a waste. Even in this low fur price year, are cats are way to valuable to release and hope the dog trees it especially when you are trying to save up for a tracking collar. Once the cat was dispatched she would smell the cat, bark a little more, then be off looking for something else. Then I was really thinking I ruined her.

Then I caught a big mean Tom.
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This tom brawled, and hissed and was making all kinds of noise. Normally they go down quiet, this guy was not liking the catch pole. Ginger must have thought that I was fighting that cat that the cat was winning because she jumped right in there and got in it with that cat. Luckily it went down fast. The dog got cut up a bit but would not leave that cat. Every once in awhile she gave it a little bite just to make sure it was gone. Now she likes to chase, but also like to make sure then anything hits the ground, that its not moving.

She was finally able to catch her own animal a couple weeks ago. Since I had just pulled my traps I took the saturday morning to look for fox or lion tracks in the snow. I checked a wash I had seen a lion track in before and sure enough the cat had been back recently. I let her out and she smelt around and she was off. It didn't take long before i heard her choppy bark. Just as I see the lions face it takes off, but I noticed it wasn't moving very fast. It quickly treed and as I got to the tree I saw a very weak lion. I let the dog bark for awhile, praised her well, and then pulled her off. I didn't not want that lion running again. She looked like life was tough enough.

Now the snow is melted and things are starting to warm up, I decided I need to find something for her to run. I was reading an article in Predator Hunter magazine about a guy who had dogs that weren't good on lions or bobcats so all summer he ran coons, and his dogs turned into awesome lion and bobcats dogs. We don't have many places with coons in Southern Nevada, but with a little research I have found a few places. I have a couple cage traps out so hopefully I can get something to work my dog a little before I take on the night a the few coon locations near me.

These last post have been a summery of my dog training so far. Ginger is now 13 months old and I'll keep up the Journal on how her training is going. Once again, I am not expert with hounds, nor do I claim to be one. I'm making this post so hopefully someone else out there who is interested in this sport will realize that it can be done.

Thanks for reading!


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