Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Share your hunts and discuss your dogs
joecool7296
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Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Thu May 28, 2020 10:35 pm

Hi all,
I've been a long time reader but decided to join since I'm planning to get my first hunting dog next spring! So, with a little background info, I was hoping you all could point me in the right direction.

My goal with a hunting dog is to provide it the most opportunities to hunt as possible, therefore, the species I want to hunt reflect that with their abundance and long seasons. I'm looking for a dog that will hunt squirrel, coon, coyote, and bobcats when I can find them. Hunting will be squirrel during the day, coon at night, bobcat on snow only (I know this is the most challenging thing on the list to run, however, I'm not expecting a superstar - I'm just looking to play the game if I find a track, regardless of the results), and coyote (running - not decoying) in the winter with other hounds, since one dog may not be particularly safe. This combination of species should provide hunting/training opportunity nearly year round. The dog would also be asked to blood track (I'm color blind) and join me on the trapline.

I am leaning towards a leopard hound/cur, a gold nugget or Stryker bred kemmer cur, or maybe a stephens cur. The dog will be as much a companion as a hunter, so I'm looking for a dog that is smart, trainable/obedient, and cares what it's owner thinks; all of which should make life in general easier. As for hunting ability, I'm looking for a dog that will not forget about squirrels once it learns what a coyote is (I've read some account's of dogs losing interest in smaller game once they are hunted on bigger animals), and I'd also like a dog that has enough nose to take a track in the morning that was made in the night, with good snow conditions. I'd like a dog that also isn't too open on track (so squirrels don't timber out before the dog arrives), but I'm also not looking for completely silent. I'm also looking for a dog that has plenty of drive and bottom for a long trail or chase (I've read that some of the squirrel bred curs dont have the stamina, either mental or physical, to deal with a long coyote or bobcat race). Lastly, I'd like the dog to be somewhat biddable (even in the presence of game) for safety reasons and to help blood trailing and trapping run smoother.

I start my PhD at PSU this fall. After my first year of preliminary courses, I will transition into research which is very flexible in location (home/office), times (I can make my own hours as long as I get ~40hrs/week in), and when (it doesn't matter what days I work, as long as I work 4 to 5 days a week)...So my schedule's flexability should easily accomadate a hunting dog after my first year, which will be next spring.

I am open to suggestions if another dog breed/strain would check all the boxes I've listed, however as I mentioned before, I'm leaning more toward the cur type dogs.  I feel confident that the right dog is out there - it's just a matter of finding it, so I'd like to hear from people that have done these things with their dogs and what breeders/strains you would suggest.

Thanks in advance,
Joe
SASS
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby SASS » Sat May 30, 2020 12:08 am

I think you have the right idea with the three types you listed. If you look around you can probably find someone who is using their dogs on at least two of the species you list possibly even three, though you might find it hard to find anyone using those breeds on coyote unless you are talking about decoying and then people do use Kemmers for that all the time. Good luck and let us all know what you get.
joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Sat May 30, 2020 2:16 am

Thanks for the reply. Ive worn out the search function here and agree that finding people who do squirrel and coon is easy; squirrel coon and bobcat is rarer but exists...

Is there a reason that people don't use them for coyote except decoying? I'll be an area where mixed ag butts up to big track's of wooded public land. I would generally think the most effective technique would be pushing them slow with open hounds to shooters that cut in front of the race. It seems like an open cur would fit that bill... it may not bark as much as a treeing walker and it may not have the stamina for back to back races like a running walker, but for one or two coyote hunts a week, they seem as though they would be suitable.

I don't want to fall into the bias trap and think one of the dogs that I suggest will work because I want it to in my head... So is there a reason people aren't trailing coyotes with curs?
pegleg
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby pegleg » Sat May 30, 2020 2:39 am

Well go hunt with dogmen that hunt the various game you have listed and watch the dogs and how they hunt. Coyotes are not easy for dogs if you put rules or expectations on them and a single dog makes his job more difficult the time of year also affects how coyotes behave at the wrong time it takes one hell of a dog to hit coyotes hard enough to make them actually run instead of fight a hang around the den. I don't claim any greatness at running coyotes but if the dog can't kill one alone and knows it they don't have much chance of pushing a pair off a den.
Also if it's a smaller dog some areas coyotes are still packed together during the hungry times and not adverse to dog.
Squirrels are a all senses and alert type dogs specialty . Bobcats in most areas are a specialist dogs work or the odd accident. Not saying the dog doesn't exist just to expect variables
joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Sat May 30, 2020 12:01 pm

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Deff
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby Deff » Sat May 30, 2020 3:11 pm

You need at least two dogs for coyotes that will work in tandem and watch each other's backs. I have had Black and Tans, a Plot, mixed breeds and currently have a very promising Blue Tick that have all been "trashy enough" to run about anything. They have been "ranch hounds" that would work coyotes , bay up bears, run cats, then tree coons at night. We can't hunt bears with dogs here in Montana, but I do let the dogs run interference ahead of me when hiking through the brush while fixing fences and have observed quite a few bears hanging from trees in passing! A well bred dog will hunt anything you don't tell it not to! Each will have their preferred prey, but mainly just want to go hunt! I had a Plott that was very good at blood trailing and recovering lost deer and elk during hunting season. She would ignore everything else then try to lead you back to any varmint scent she had crossed after the game was recovered. All of my dogs have come from proven lion hunting lines, sleep in the house at night and accompany me all day as I do my ranch work. My training method consist of shocking them off from chasing deer and elk and praising them for going after almost everything else. When I go hunting, the dogs just seem to know what I am looking for!
SASS
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby SASS » Sun May 31, 2020 12:42 am

joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Sun May 31, 2020 2:06 am

joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Sun May 31, 2020 2:07 am

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Deff
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby Deff » Sun May 31, 2020 1:36 pm

My hounds are very clean and well behaved inside as long as they get the couch! Lol They seem to regard me as the leader of the pack and keep track of me and follow my lead for the days activities. They tend to hunt a bit too close for running lions, since they check in repeatedly, but they did put one up a tree once for me. We lost the blood trail of an archery elk and showed the Plott the last blood spot we had found. She took off after it and ignored everything else until we recovered it. After that, we used her to try to find several other difficult deer or elk. She just seemed to understand what we wanted her to do.
joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:13 am

Sounds like some nice dogs!
BSheets
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby BSheets » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:37 am

If you want to send me your number I will give you a call. I have leopards and I live in PA. I run my dogs on coon and bear. I have a litter about to hit the ground and if all goes well next spring I should have a litter out my other female.
joecool7296
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Re: Help choosing/finding my first hunting dog

Postby joecool7296 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:55 pm


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