No Scent and Back Trailing

Talk about Cougar Hunting with Dogs
CouesHunter
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No Scent and Back Trailing

Postby CouesHunter » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:52 am

This is a two topic story and I am anxious to hear from you all. found a calf kill not long ago, we went back to it in the evening with the hounds but the lion had not been back. Rather than ride all the way in we just laid out for the night in the next canyon. early the next morning we rode over to the kill, not far from the kill we jumped a bear. When we got to the kill the calf was pulled out from where she had covered it and neatly eaten through the rib cage as usual. It did not look as if the bear had been there yet. There was a mound adjacent to the calf. Frustration #1. My hounds did not know there was a lion anywhere near there. We waited a bit an let them mill around and still nothing. Here is where I made a fatal mistake. I should have made some circles around the kill. Instead we rode off up the canyon to get on top of the mtn and ride the rim. An hour later were on top and my hounds strike, they first start out in a direction away from the kill but only go about 30yds. they come back to the original spot start over but then start moving the track in the opposite direction. Mind you this is a big boulder mtn. they are moving the track typical about as fast as you can walk. We stayed on top to see how it was gonna play out. About two hours into it I can see and hear the hounds when they come out from behind a prominent butte well below us. At that point I get that gut wrenching feeling we all know "shit were backwards". Not only were we backwards but they hit a lose about 175 yds from the kill up out of the canyon. they cant go anywhere. Its game over for us, its 90 degrees and I have no intentions of killing a hound, my friend agrees! I was told by a lion hunter that if he cant find a track soon he will turn his dogs around because he believes its easier for them to trail backwards. I have never done that. I look and look and spend more time off my mule when they are trailing than on but unless I find sign that tells me I do not turn then around. What do you all do? Any thoughts? Whats the thought on the no scent at the Kill yet scent up the ridge? I don't "think" I believe in the whole shutting off scent theory but damn it sure fits this story, haha. Kind of long winded but I thought this would be a fun topic for the hot Arizona summer blues! Lets hear it!
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TomJr
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Re: No Scent and Back Trailing

Postby TomJr » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:47 pm

Just need better dogs! hehe ;) Scent can burn off fast in hot dry weather... so maybe the area they could smell it was cooler later into the day? I know going up the exposed south facing slopes dogs can loose the scent but I will keep going in that direction and once we cross over to the other side pick it up again on the north facing slope. I know my area well though and have a good idea where a lion will go, as do my dogs.


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Re: No Scent and Back Trailing

Postby TomJr » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:57 pm

I trust my dogs to follow in the right direction too. I have 2nd guess it a few times and tried to turn them around and had it not work out at all. Story from last year: Was out looking for lions in one of the few snow storms with a good buddy and he found a track so I left off the track I had found lower down and booked it to him with the dogs. Well they started to go back wards so I turned them around and the trail just went cold after a mile or so... snow had melted off so we gave up for the day. I went back in there the next day and found new tracks heading out of the area in a small patch of snow. The dogs took it back wards again... this time with my buddy not with me I didn't care too much if we caught so just let them go. Figured they would turn around soon enough, they never did turn around and ended up treeing a lion about 2 hours later. So I can't help but think I should have trusted the dogs instead of turning them around the day before...


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Re: No Scent and Back Trailing

Postby Mike Leonard » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:17 am

Tom,

I don't know for sure but I think you dogs were right and not going backwards. May have seemed that way because you didn't get a strike right at the kill but I would bet that lion was laid up there pretty dang close and he sort of did the lay up thing and was no real scent in their close to go to. If you would have followed your gut and circled you would have bumped him. the dogs hit his older track coming into that kill area. they are colder nosed than you think on a traveling track.


As old Ben Lilly said, Lions are uncommon cautious. and that goes double around a kill when their is a nosey old bear in the area!
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