Cold Trailing

A Place to talk about hunting Bobcats, Lynx.
mike martell
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby mike martell » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:30 pm

Pretty hard to move a track fast if you can't start it. I had a female bobcat stand out race a couple years back over on the east high desert, I was listening to the hounds bring that bobcat straight towards where I was parked and thinking them hounds are moving that track right along. The bobcat broke into enough of a clearing to where I watched to my disappointed amazement, it was just trotting along. Once it crossed the road it was jumped and treed in five minutes.

Talk about make you doubt a dogs ability to trail much of an old track? Had I a witness along? I would have used the old "scent withholding" theory line. Good thing I was hunting like I always do, alone! All I had to do then was scratch my head and say, Huh?

I had a tom bobcat the last day of season cross the road in wet snow, it couldn't be more than an hour old track, heading in a block of timber that was the same as a hard rain from the dripping snow. I struggled trailing this track up to where the dogs finally got it jumped and treed. I suspect if it was a little female that was dog wise, I wouldn't have treed it.....This too my way of thinking is what separates the straight bobcat hounds from the rest, it might not sound or look like much, but it's a game of seconds and sometimes minutes are deal breakers depending on the ground, conditions and the individual bobcat.

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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby mark » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:21 am

David, not very often but thats not what has me pondering all the time. The dogs do fine, I just keeping hearing and reading about guys that spend a lot more time trailing than i seem to be able to do. I hit tracks every time i go out that the dogs cant do anything with. I got to hunt with a guy this winter (he will know im talking about him but i already told him this to his face) that hunts dogs that have been known to be real cold nosed. I was excited to see how old of a track his dogs would take after mine rigged them. We hit several tracks that nobody could trail out on that i thought were just out of my dogs reach judging by their tail action and the way they worked at it. I have been wanting to try a dog out of his stuff for awhile now and was disappointed when they couldnt do what i had hoped they would,and i told him as much. It wasnt a competition thing or my dog better than yours, i really wanted to see them grab a track my were struggling with and go with it. I to have trailed up tracks that took me back to a place the dogs couldnt trail hours before and caught the cat but i chalk that up to other things than the dogs being awesome trailers. Maybe its all in how a person looks at it. Savor the amazing trail job you see that you know is old old and dismiss the one that you see cross the road and dont get a bark. Lol
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby merlo_105 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:01 am

Mark, Maybe there dog's make it seem older then it really is. Maybe yours are covering the ground faster getting a jump faster? If there making a warm track cold then that cats got a good lead on them dogs keeping a cold trail cold till something happens IDK. But Maybe... Doubt it, who knows. I was having the same thoughts earlier this year and I got Bear and things picked up. But when I go and see Jimmy work a wheel track behind 15 dogs and get it going it's like damn. That's what I want a whole pack of that stuff
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby dwalton » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:04 am

Mark cold trailing is all about conditions. I have had dogs that were better than others at cold trailing. This winter I did not hit many tracks that the dogs had to go far to get jumped. I had several rained out,on frozen snow and other conditions that made them tough to trail but most of them they got jumped. We had a winter where the conditions were never constant for a long period of time, where the scent could not hold for a long time. Days with little wind,with no rain, cloudy and constant temperature is when one can get a long cold trailing job. With the type of dog you have now they move a track fast enough that it may seem that you are not cold trailing also. Just a couple of thoughts I had. Dewey
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby al baldwin » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:34 am

Mark we also trail tracks some days the dogs cannot get a jump, Tom calls them bits and pieces. I am never sure how old those tracks are & don/t believe anyone else can say for sure. I do not believe hounds exist that take a 12 hour old bobcat track and move it like a jump, unless, dogs have learned to sight trail in snow. I often hear catching lots of bobcats require dogs that cold trail fast, in my experience keeping enough pressure on a bobcat to break the cats pace, during the jump has caught more cat than cold trailing fast. Granted, dogs working a feeder track have to move at a pace that gets the cat jumped. The bob track that I spoke in my other post, is an example of trying to determine how old a track is, think Tom & I both thought that track was made a few hours ago. But sure, we all have seen enough to realize aging a cat track is just our best guess & don/t believe there is anyone out there that has it all figured out. If I was wanting to catch cats in big numbers, health permitting, I would hunt snow country, in good conditions & try to select an area where the cats had not been dogged hard. Just seems that is common sense. Al
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby South Texan » Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:46 am

Mark, it could be them guys you keep hearing & reading about that spend a lot more time trailing than you do. Maybe their trailing jobs wouldn't last near as long if they had your dogs mixed in the bunch.

I guess all cat hunters are looking for that better dog to help improve their pack. Quite a few years ago I had a guy from New Mexico come down & go cat hunting with me. We had a good hunt and caught some cats can't remember how many. But when the hunt was over he made a comment that he thought his dogs were colder nose than mine. Now...I thought to myself how can you make that assumption without your dogs being here and on the ground working the same trail at the same time my dogs are. But.....he sure got my curiosity up. About 10 years latter I finally got a big game hound pup raised by this feller. Raised that pup up and trained her with my dogs. She made a good cat dog but she wasn't any colder nose than anything else I had.

But when in doubt just do as you did before. Put your dogs down with them supposedly cold nose dogs and see if they can trail away from yours. I think you will be surprised.

I love to hunt with someone that suppose to have good dogs ever now and then. With all dogs on the ground. If he's got something better than I got, I want to know and then try to get a pup out of that stock. But the only true comparison is your dogs & his dogs have to be on the ground at the same time. A feller should know the capabilities of his dogs. They are your measuring stick when hunted with someone else's dogs. You gotta see how they measure up!
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby merlo_105 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:21 am

I don't see how putting two pack's together your going to see a difference unless it's very dramatic. I think it need's to be one on one or even two on two. But that's just me I'm also not very smart. South Texan It would have been a neat difference if he raised and trained the pup with his so called colder nosed dogs. What I'm saying is a dog can learn to cold trail more or less even pup's out of the same litter. So me buying a cold nose pup from you and then buying one from John Wayne if these pup's are trained by your current dogs then chances your not going to see a drastic difference unless it's from a fluke pup sometimes fluke litters. I bet I can take a cold nosed dog and turn it into a hot nosed dog in one winter. Also I could buy a colder nose dog and turn my dogs into colder cold trailers. If any of that made since.
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby al baldwin » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:29 am

Mark want to add, also hear some saying a dog should never return to the same spot twice. That track I spoke of log & maggie had gone up to three hundred yards off the road a couple times searching for the cat. I had walked a side spur with a couple dogs , while tom & other dogs walked a another spur, there was enough cat scent all over to have the dogs flagging. If those dogs had not return to the spot where they had worked before, they would not have jumped the cat. In the beagle video Merlo alerted us to, the trainer talked about important for dogs to return to the last spot they smelled the cat. Bobcats move back over there tracks often when observed in the snow at times. For sure one will never know if your dogs are colder nosed than another/s unless they are put on the ground together & may take more than one hunt to determine. Al
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby South Texan » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:45 am

Merlo, pack vs pack is just about the same as one on one. Is my pack doing more trailing than your pack? Whose pack is consistently picking up the most looses? Whose pack got the jump? Now sometimes this might be 1 or 2 dogs within a pack getting most things done. These are the dogs that I'm focusing on! But you can see a difference.

I agree that it takes a cold trailing dog to help train dogs to cold trail but also believe it takes more than just a cold trailing dog to turn a pack of dogs into cold trailers. Breeding comes in there somewhere. My thoughts.
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby merlo_105 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:14 am

You put it like that I agree 100%. Very true on the last paragraph I probably should have worded it better. If a person had dog's out of good promising cold trailers hunted them for two to three years and then added a better cold trailer them other's will pick it up.
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby david » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:28 am

Can't add any thing, but just confirming what has been said. Yes, there are cold nosed dogs that every one thinks are hot nosed dogs because of the way they move a cold track at times. One of the coldest nosed dogs I have witnessed was this way, he was a short legged dog, but somehow moved a cold track on the run with head up. You would never know it was a cold track until you put your best cold tracker with him. In my experience, He was a freak of nature. Somehow it is out there. Maybe there is a line of dogs that breeds true to this but I don't know. I am wondering if it comes from bird dog blood. ? I never owned a bird dog, but have heard unbelievable stories about their noses, and I think they trail head up.

I wish big and blue would chime in because he has owned the fox bred bobcat dogs and also the big blue southwest lion hounds. I would like to experience the southwest lion blood just to gain that perspective. What do you say Blue?
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby merlo_105 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:34 am

David I have heard and read a lot when the old time Fox hunters and hounds men needed more nose they bred to Bird dogs. I have been around bird dogs most my life I just recently gave away the best I have ever owned and will probably ever own, She no doubt had a better nose then any hound I have. Yeah, Blue... I would like to hear what you have to say as well. Mark how much better can your dogs get? If your catching most you run then where does a person go from there. Beside's keeping young prospects in there.
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby dhostetler » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:49 am

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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby dwalton » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:17 pm

Snow hunting is not as easy as a lot of people that have not done a lot realize. 25 to 30 degrees with a fresh snow a piece of cake. 10 below or colder with a couple of inches of fine blowing dry snow or wet snow that freezes over with a cat walking on top not so easy. Even a track made in wet snow when the cat walks on top when it freezes in the night, strong wind and the dogs hit an open cap rock with blowing snow or starting a cat on the north slope in great snow, dogs trailing to the south face where the snow has melted and ground froze then the sun hits it, all this things and more will kill a track most days and may take a different type of dog to get past the loose. I believe there are dogs out there that are colder noses and can get more tracks jumped but what one person believes is colder nose is just that what he believes, compared to what. A dog from the southwest lion hunters that will pound a track, track from track works great for them, a dog that opens on every little bit of scent standing in one spot opening repeatedly impresses some people or a dog that works the same hill side for hours opening and rehashing a track also is cherished by some but all these cases are not for me but if it works for you great. One thing about hound men is that they don't usually get far from home it is good to see guys going different places to hunt and experiencing different dogs and conditions and letting others know what they have seen on here. As with everything related to humans the biggest nay sayer are sometimes the ones with the least knowledge. What works for you hunt it until you see something better. It is kind of like guys when they are fancy free checking out the girls some of the best looking ones are just that and not the best by far. Each to their own. Dewey
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Re: Cold Trailing

Postby fallriverwalker1 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:35 pm

well mark im on my way to town to bye me a new pair of glasses so I can see the time stamp on these tracks / so I know how old they are, shoot maybe I got one of them cold trailing dogs and don't know it jim

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