On this episode of The Journey Heath gets a lesson in coyote hunting. Brett Hilliard gives Heath the rundown on the ins and outs of the coyote world. Heath’s only experience with the ever elusive creature is trying to prevent his dogs from trashing on them. Brett talks about some behaviors the coyotes display when the race is on. He goes into the dogs they run and some qualities they look for. He credits some of the guys he hunts with for helping him get to where he’s at today. Let the Journey begin.
[00:00:00] The Houseman XP podcast Network is taking you on the journey. Your host, master trainer, Heath Hyatt, will combine his decades of experience as a homan and as a professional trainer that will light the path forward and make our PACS lighter on this lifelong journey to become better hunters and hounds men.
There are no shortcuts, so lace up those boots and grab a dog leash. The journey begins now.
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on this episode of The Journey, I'm gonna step outta my comfort zone a little bit and we're gonna learn about something that absolutely drives me crazy. And that is codes. We are going to Pennsylvania and we're going coyote hunting, and that means we're gonna do it on purpose, not having our dogs trashing.
So we put out a questionnaire here a couple months ago and Brent r Brett rolled out and said, Hey, X, Y, and Z and we got the talking back and forth. So today [00:03:00] we are gonna have Brett Hilliard on from Western pa. And Brett and I have talked through text messages and, learned a little bit about each other.
And the funny thing about Pennsylvania is, and especially you guys that live there, you know this, a lot of the surrounding states don't, but really the only thing that you can hunt with hounds is koon. Bobcat's in certain area. And then coyotes. You can't run big game and Pennsylvania's eat up with bear.
We know that. We all know that. But anyway, that's the background is how we ended up doing this podcast. So Brett, how is everything in Pennsylvania this evening? Oh, it's a snowy night tonight and we're loving seeing that for the hunting. It's been a slow winter for the snow up here, and so we're happy to see it.
So how long do you guys, how long how long can you guys run your codes like for us? You can run 'em year round if it's on private property, and if there's a hunting season on National Forest, you can run [00:04:00] 'em on National Forest. How does that work with you guys? That's the same way it is with us. We can run 'em year round.
No, no problem. The only Pennsylvania has a law that on Sundays you're supposed to have written permission on Sundays to run your train or run your dogs, but other than that, you can run 'em year round. Gotcha. No. Good. Yeah, I like, I can't stand, it's so hard for me it's hard for me to break my dogs off coyotes because either you have to have snow on or you have to see 'em.
And as you and I have talked, that's one of the things that intrigues you about the coyote is they're so smart. You don't see those scoundrels very much here. Yeah you'll see one or you'll see one here and there, but it's not something that you see on a daily basis or a weekly basis, and probably not even on a monthly basis.
They're so skittish. Yeah that's for sure. We drive the snowy roads, looking for tracks and there's days you'll look for hours before finding the track. They're, they don't, and then to see 'em in the daytime here in Pennsylvania is [00:05:00] pretty rare. Pretty. Pretty rare semen. Yeah. I know when I was up at the Great American Outdoor Show, I had, I had numerous guys come to the booth that go wild. And, they were talking and most of the guys that I talked to, of course, we were in Pennsylvania, so it got all kinds of fits together. Most of those guys were co hunters.
And I cannot remember where the big hunt was, but, Most of them guys were talking about this hunt. And you can use dogs, you can, predator to call 'em, you can do whatever. Do you know which one I'm talking about? It has to be Mosquito Creek. Is that it? Yep, that's it. Yep. Musk, I knew it was Creek, but I couldn't remember the first name.
Yes, mosquito Creek. And these guys were excited, they were pumped. And I think that was the next weekend that that was happening. All those guys, they were looking at our Cajun lights that we had and was looking at those. Even some, even the the night hunters without dogs were looking at the lights.
That was something that was interesting to me and I did talk to a lot of those [00:06:00] guys and like I said, I'm just not familiar with your guys' world and I wanna learn. So that's why we've got you on. And I'm, I'm really thrilled to. To learn today about what you what you've got to teach.
Brett, tell us a little bit about yourself. What you do, where you're from, and we'll just roll from there. They mean a whole lot to me. We are from Western Pennsylvania and we haul logs for a living. That's a pretty booming business in this part of Western Pennsylvania. But basically all I do really is haul logs, chase, coyotes, and that's really about it, honestly, a little bit in the summer, ride my motorcycle, but works so busy in the summer.
Basically all we really do is haul logs and chase coyotes mainly. Yeah. And how, so how often, how much do you think you hunt? Do you hunt a hundred days a year? 150? 200? What do you think you get in? Honestly, I'd never counted, but it'd probably be pretty disgusting. In the winter, like from end of deer season till Turkey season, we're probably out.
At least three [00:07:00] days a week, usually four or five days a week. If work permits, if I can get away. It's quite a bit. Quite a bit. Yeah. And I guess running the logging business, if the weather's bad or snowing or stuff, that gives you a day off, is that correct? Actually the colder it is, the better it is.
But this winter has been somebody in lot of the winter. Yeah. And muddy. So I can sneak away. I have two other trucks and drivers, so I can sneak away pretty good. I haven't been able to sneak away as much lately as I'd like to, but yeah, it's in the summertime, it's pretty dang busy. But I still try to get out a day, a week in the summertime.
Keep, try to keep the dogs in shape, but it gets still hot in the middle of the summer. I usually don't go out too much, when it's really hot. Yeah. I, yeah, I would I can see that. So tell the listeners a little bit, like what is it that drives you to hunt coats? I know you had told me before, but what is it that really makes you wanna pursue these animals?
Oh man. When I was young, they just intrigued me. I tried calling 'em, I went and bought the call and the spotlights and stuff, and I just, this never really worked out [00:08:00] too good. And then I'm like, oh, I'll trap 'em, so I go out, went and spent all kinds of money on traps and all the tools and all the cent and everything, and it didn't really work either.
And my buddy was running coyotes. He didn't have his own dogs yet, but he told me, he was like, this is the way to do it. This is the way to do it. I've heard of it before. And he finally took me one day, and the first day I went, I shot a coyote. And I'm like, this is the way to do it. This is the total way to do it.
And ever since then, I've been hooked. I, when I was young, I hunted deer like an arch season every day. And now I literally sold my bow and everything. I don't even bow hunt anymore. Anything I care to hunt anymore is coyotes and bear. That's it. It's just, they just, I just think they're the smartest animal in the woods.
They just drive me nuts. Yeah. I when I started running Hounds, Back in the early nineties I was an avid bow hunter, bow hunt, bow hunting and spring Turkey were my absolutely my two favorite things to do. And when I started competition hunting, I realized that I couldn't lay out all night chasing [00:09:00] dogs and get up.
Cause I'm, I I'm a morning person, like mornings is when I really like to hunt. And I just couldn't do it. So I did the same thing. I give it up and just started concentrating on the hounds and it just went from there. So tell us your background with dogs. When did you have dogs?
What started you and the dogs? What drove you, and I know you just said that you, your buddy took you out with dogs and you were able to catch one, but what what, lit that fire under you for the hounds? Wh when I was young at the time he was my uncle was through marriage and he had his name's Ronnie Cumberland.
A lot of people would know that name. He has outstanding English Coon Hounds. And he would take me, when I was little, I'm talking third and fourth grade, and I remember there was nights we at home at, two and three in the morning, and my dad would just be, just speak jacked, and his coonhounds were extraordinary.
And I just thought at that time, when you were young, I just assumed that everybody's coon dogs were like that. They were just all, they were just that good. You went out every night and got all kinds of Coon Street [00:10:00] and then his life went on, same thing. Went out with some rabbit guys with beagles, and they had some really good beagles.
And I just assumed that every, that's just how it was. I always wanted to, I really wanted to, when I was young and my dad was like, no, not happening. He wasn't really a dog guy anyway, especially hunting dogs. He didn't like them. And so I had, in my head I'm like, someday when I move, I'll get my place.
I'm gonna have. At the dog and I didn't know what if it was gonna be like, the chi dog weren't even in my head yet cause I didn't even know about it. But I said, see Coon dog, grab a dog something. And it wasn't even the house. Even the, a friend of mine had a good bird dog and I would take it out on my own, after school and stuff.
And I just loved it, just kind of anything, the hum of the dog. I loved it. And I just assumed, like I said, I thought they were all good and I got out, went hunting and I got, like I said, the first day I went and I'm like, I gotta get a dog. And I got a dog and I'm I found out pretty quick than not every dog is a great dog pretty fast.
And it's, there's more to it than what yeah. It takes a lot of work, a lot of boot leather [00:11:00] and a lot of knowledge. And some of us, sometimes we eat, cuz I'm one of those people man, I just lucked into a really good dog out of the. Out of the gate and set the bar high for me for my hound experience, that's for sure.
Yeah. When I got started when I got my first dog, he was a young dog. And I, the guys that I started with, they weren't too, they didn't wanna give too much knowledge up, and so that was, that made it tough. And he didn't work out. And I rehomed him to a, just a house dog.
And met some other people during you, through the time. And I found a, I bought a he was about three years old and I still have him today. And he wasn't completely finished, but he taught me more than any person, or I could have taught myself. He taught me, a lot.
He taught, he showed me what a good dog is, and he got into him, he got finished off, he taught me more than anything. And I got lucky with him. Very lucky. So how long have you been running Hounds on codes? I'm gonna say end [00:12:00] of either end of 17 or beginning of 18.
I'm gonna say when I got my first one is what I got into it, but I was as green as grass. I was, I couldn't, when I started, I couldn't tell you the difference between a fox track and a kayak track. I was green as grass, literally. And how, so tell us about that experience. Tell us, tell us how you got started and what how you got to where you're at today.
Yeah. I just, a lot of it was self-taught as far as like the tracks and, where the coyotes hang out, I found out pretty fast. They hang out in the same spots. But I met a good friend of mine a lot. His name's Earl Schweitzer. He taught me a. Ton about dogs and tracks and things about that and how I find 'em and how I don't have to make, dumb mistakes when you run 'em, jamming the dogs in the road or anything like that.
And then after him I met another great friend, which cus and he taught me anything about coyotes. He can look at a track and tell you if a coyote has a bum leg. He taught me so much and I'm so thankful for them [00:13:00] guys, and not just them. And a lot of people taught me a lot too, but them guys taught me everything.
And and I'm not gonna act like I know a lot, but every time we go out I, I learn something else about the dogs or the coyotes or something. But they, them guys taught me a ton. I owe, I owed a lot of my knowledge to them. And like I said, the dog that I got, he taught me between them two and that dog I owed it all to them.
If it wasn't for them, I probably wouldn't be too and too good at it to this day. So talk to me about what you just said about the bumping at the road. Talk, talk to me a little bit about that and explain what you're talking about. Let's say you got a coyote coming towards the road, trail road.
Everybody wants to race up there, see the coyote, shoot the coyote, whatever. If they're on a trail and coyotes are smart, if they win you or see ya, they'll spend right around, they'll do a 180 and run right back into the dogs, around the dogs. And that is very tough for them dogs to pick up on.
And it makes a big loss for the dogs. And they could lose literally minutes, on that kayak by doing that. First I didn't know that. I just, you see the arrow on the Garmin, 200 yards. I'll [00:14:00] get up there and then it gets to the road and the coyote's not there.
The dog has a big loss and you don't even know what happened. Oh, it just disappeared in thin air. It just didn't disappear in thin area. You turned the coyote and they went back, that's what happened. And even, and I even try, if the dog's safe, I even try staying out of the dog's way on the road, when they see the vehicle, sometimes they unless come to you, but sometimes you can mess 'em up. I just try to give 'em as much room as possible, as humanly possible. Just give 'em as much room safely to let them get across on their own. But yeah that's, I call it jamming. A lot of guys call, but I call it jamming.
Jamming the kit. You jam right back into the dolphin. It's, and when there's snow and somebody jams a Kia, it's not horrible. You can get in there and get on the track and there's good enough dogs that'll pick it right back up. But sometimes you have to help 'em a little bit.
And when it's dry ground, it's tough. It's really tough. But, we got pretty, pretty good dogs that, they'll pick it up pretty fast when they see the scents not across the road or in the ditch. They'll usually go right back, usually. So let me ask you something, cuz that brings up a very good que a question that I have.
Like I said, I [00:15:00] probably run a handful of codes a year. And when I say a handful, if I have five races, to me that's a lot. There have been years that it's been more than that and there've been years that it's been less than that. But, so I've been bear hunting long enough that I feel like I know halla, bear travels what he's doing.
And when we get to those road crossings and stuff I feel like I understand what's going on and what's gonna happen now. Several of those races, which I feel like my dogs or air dogs running yos. One thing that I want to ask is water. Like we hunt along a creek. And when I say a creek, I mean it's a pretty good creek.
And I have noticed that a lot of times, like a barrel come across it, like no problems. Boom. It's in it, you just hang back. He's gonna pop up in the road here in just a second. But there have been several races. That we don't see the bear we get. And like you said, [00:16:00] everybody gets up and jams up on, on where the dogs are gonna cross.
We never see it. The dogs get to the creek cuz the road's right beside the creek and they end up parallel in the creek and then going back over the mountain or something happens and they never come across. Typically when the bear starts coming off of the mountain and he gets to that point he's gonna come across the creek.
So would, so water, talk to me about water. Is that something a coyo tries to stay out of or do they care? It depends if you have just slower dogs, just regular speed dogs behind them. They'll cross creeks like nothing but decent sized body of water. No they usually won't, they have no urge to swim, I guess that's point I, they have to swim. No, but if you got some fast dogs and you're putting pressure on that coyote, yeah. They'll, they will a hundred percent swim, but you gotta be pressuring 'em pretty good to make 'em swim. Now, Uhhuh, they just gotta get, they just gotta get their feet wet or their chest wet.
They're [00:17:00] fine, but when they gotta swim, you gotta be driving 'em pretty hard to make 'em swim. And so back to the whatever it is we're running, cuz we never see it, so I don't know. My educated guess is a code. So you're saying if I'm up, like I am with the bear trying to wait till he crosses, the CO's going to win me or hear the vehicle or something and he's gonna turn and he's not gonna come across where I'm at a hundred percent.
Don't get me wrong. There's coyotes out there that they have it set in their mind, they're gonna cross and they don't care if there's a hundred trucks sitting there. I have seen that, but if it, if they're smart enough and they're not, have it set in their mind. Yeah. If they hear you, the wind's blowing.
If they have the wind, they're not coming across that road. I can about guarantee it. I've seen 'em hit the road, see somebody and go right back. They didn't even finish crossing. They're, they're, Nate, when I have seen 'em, when they have it set in their mind, they're crossing, or like I said, you got some dogs that are really driving it.
They will, I seen 'em cross. It didn't matter who was sitting there, they would cross right in front of the pickup. I have a video, one [00:18:00] that ran clear down the road to me. I had on video. He came right beside the pickup and jumped up in the brush beside my door. He just, he had it his head that he was coming down the road and that's what he did.
And were the dogs like putting pressure on him or were they laid, were they back off of him A little. Yeah. They were definitely pressure 'em. Yeah. That's when they get, get stupid. Yeah. Guys don't make stupid mistakes, but when they get stupid is when they're getting questioned, and they're really really getting hard. Yeah. I can see that. And like I said, I can actually visually picture some of the things that you're talking to me about. One of the things that I've noticed with coyote races here, and it may be different, so I'm, that's why I'm throwing this out there.
If my dogs start doing a lot of zigzagging and back and forth and circling, that's normally not a bear. A Bayer will circle, but it's usually a little bit bigger circle. And if you've, if you're running a sow with cubs she may make a tighter circle, but when you start getting a bunch of [00:19:00] zigzagging and just off the wall tracks on your Garmin It's fairly easy for me to say that's not right now, when what's not right is it's not a bear for me.
So what's your take on that? How do those things act when y'all are running them? They, they're usually like a big rabbit, when they get to where they're comfortable, I think that their, where they live at, they'll circle just like a big rabbit. Sometimes they'll make a 200 yard circle.
Sometimes they'll make a hundred yard circle. Sometimes they'll make a mile circle. But usually they will be back. If you get in there and you bust it outta there, you give it time. Usually it'll come right back. But I have seen 'em just run, line right out.
But like I said, usually when they get somewhere, in my opinion, it's, I think you're catching 'em where they don't live, is my opinion. But when they line, because it always happens, you'll line out, and then they'll get somewhere and start circling, just like a big rabbit.
That's my theory. But they usually, they circle. Fairly fast. Some of 'em don't, but they usually it will eventually, circle. But I've heard of guys, I've heard of guys that'll stand right [00:20:00] where they jump the coyo and it might take 10 minutes or it might take three hours, but they'll stand there and stay in that exact spot and they'll kill the coyo eventually, where they jump, the coyo. So I guess we should back up. What kind of terrain are you hunting? I don't know if you've been down 81, but we're in a mountainous area. We're on the, in the Appalachians and Elevation, our highest points like 5,200 feet. Most of our hunting is around three to 4,000 is where we're at.
The north parts of the mountain are steep, the south are sloped. We've got a lot of timber cuts and cutovers. And then Laurel Thicket. Stuff, stuff like that. The open timber is down off the mountain in the flat ground is what we call it. So what kind, was that the same type of area you're hunting or are you hunting a different No, we don't have near, near mountains like that.
We have hills and stuff, but basically here you can walk and any direction you want without much trouble. Long, like we have basically here it's just a bunch of rolling heels. Like we don't have great big mountains and stuff. Like you guys. I've [00:21:00] traveled through there. We don't have that.
We, we've traveled to places like we have been to New Hampshire and there are places that are like that. But here it's just it's just constant rolling, rolling ground. It's not flat, it's rolling ground and there is hills and valleys and things like that, but you can walk pretty much wherever you want basically.
Much trouble. I gotcha. So go back, walk us through the process of where, you got You got dogs and you're on your first couple hunts. What was that? What was that like? Oh man. It was just constant running. Not knowing how to, first, if you're lucky, we were lucky enough to find the right thing and, get on them.
That was step number one. And then we got rolling. It was basically just running my poor dog in the dirt all day. Cause we didn't know how to get the dang thing killed. And it was a lot of water running shore until I figured out how to get done. But he's gonna be eight this summer.
I bet. He, I'll tell he's about a million, million miles on him, but he don't have to get, run that hard anymore. But [00:22:00] it's it's definitely a learning as every, as is everything. But it's a learning process and it was tough. Tough. And I'm always eager to learn. Even now I'm eager to learn everything, so I feel like I.
Was able to learn pretty fast. I wasn't stuck in my ways at all. If somebody had anything to offer me, and any kind of information I took it, rather it probably right or wrong, I probably should have took all of it, but I, I took it all in, it come in my head and it every little thing helped. And I think we came a long way pretty fast in my opinion. And I'll be like I can't, it wasn't on my own. I know that for sure. So how long was it before you were able to take your dogs and go out and consistently catch gain? I'm gonna say probably a solid look at him.
He probably two years before it was, steady, confidently. I, like I could confidently go out today and not have a chase, not always have a even days, we do, we still get skunk now, but I can pretty much, go out and get a chase, probably a year and a half, two years is what it took, I would say.
And I went through a lot [00:23:00] of lot, I bought a lot of dogs and lot of, not all of 'em, about, only two of 'em worked out that I actually bought and I figured out pretty quick puppies was the way to go if you wanted to make what you wanted. And it took a while, that's for sure.
Yeah. Yeah. And I do, we don't catch a whole lot of coyotes. We gunn most of ours, we don't catch a whole lot of them, with Paramount, but not we gunned most of ours around here with our style dogs. I'll say that. So what, and so let's talk about that.
What what kind of dog, are you're running straight running dogs or you wouldn't have a need for a tree and dog in yours? No. We don't we're running all running dogs, some July mixed in there, some krogan. Blood, stuff like that. But they're all they're all running dogs that we have.
And like I said, a lot of the blood comes from guy mesh for Earl. Probably my best dog I got be, which my female, I got her as a puppy from him and she didn't even wanna sell her to me when [00:24:00] she was a puppy. I was supposed to get out of a different litter, and he did. And and I got some other good blood poppies outta some other stuff.
And they're doing exceptional in most people's eyes, but they're all, like I said, they're all running dogs. Just different, a lot of different colors in my yard, that's for sure. So where do you go to get so where does y'all's you said your buddy has the line that you're hunting?
Yeah, he yeah he, both my friends, they have both of what I run. Earl is the first Earl Schweiker. He's the where I got the first puppy from. And that one is she's exceptional one. Butch. I had the dog that I bought at two or three years old also was outta his breeding. And it's pretty much what we have stuck to.
Some out crosses and stuff and, but yeah that breeding there between them two guys it's, in my opinion, acceptable. They have plenty of nose, most of 'em have plenty of speed, a lot of track control. You definitely need that around here. A lot of track control and jumping node.
I don't have, I don't have a whole lot of want or need for just a, a running dog that [00:25:00] don't have a whole lot of nodes. I like something that can get in there and get one rolling. We have a lot of times, they'll trail for miles, not all the times.
Sometimes they'll jump in an 800 or a thousand yards, but we do have tons where they trail for a long time. So you need a good, you need a good nose around here for sure. So what what, how long of a track, so when you say they got a trail, so how old is that track if you guys are trailing that track for.
How old a tractor, you guys you want your dogs to be able to take, six hour, eight hour, 12 hour, 14. What is your guys' kind of your standard that you guys go by? I'm gonna say our average is probably, I'm gonna say between six to eight hours, probably some definitely fresher and some older.
We, we can help our dogs lot around here. We have a lot of blocks around here. So say you have a track going into somewhere, you guys may do the same thing. I'm not sure. You go all the way around on the block to make sure the kite didn't come out of there. Do you guys do that too with the bear if you have snow?
Yeah, if in, in certain areas, if we have the [00:26:00] availability. But I don't know how your blocks are sectioned up. Is it like mile by mile or yeah, a lot of 'em are within, a lot of 'em are probably a couple miles by a few miles, something like that. There's some smaller ones and a lot of bigger ones.
Yeah. But if there if there's roads all the way around it, I'm not saying, if it takes you, if it's a 15 mile square, but if it's, if you can do it in a good amount of time, we always check the squares to make sure the Kitts still in there. And if it comes out, we go to the next square.
If it comes outta there, we go around that square. We try to make sure when we're putting on a track that, that the coyotes in there, but we do miss 'em. I'm we've missed them in the deer trails and things like that, but sometimes, yeah, I have to get across the road, but we try our best to get 'em on, get 'em in the right square anyways.
But like I said, we do miss 'em, but I'd say average is six to eight hours, if I had to guess. Yeah. Yeah. So tell me a little bit about the running dogs, because that's, so I have three Kemp dogs come from Mike Kemp and they have, [00:27:00] they're three quarter. Walker Tree and Walker Quarter running Dog, or I could be, maybe I'm wrong on that.
Maybe it's three quarter running Dog Quarter Walker. Yeah. That's what it is. Three Quarter Running Dog, quarter Tree and Walker. I really like what I have with those dogs. They don't come out of the gate, just blowing the top out of the tree. And I'm a big I'm old fashioned when it comes to this, I want my dogs, they gotta be able to trail it and tur and tr jump it and run it down and catch it before they can tree it.
So I don't get too excited about that. But it's a different, I've never had let me take that back. I did have a dog with some July in it, and one time I had a dog with some trig in it. But now he was bigger, built up in the front end wider chest and stuff than the three that I have now.
They're more, they've got a deep chest to 'em. Good leg on them can run all day long, which I like, [00:28:00] but I don't hope it don't take 'em all day to catch it. But if it does, then they've got the tools to do it. Talk to us a little bit about the running dog and what you guys are looking for and, alright, so you talked about the trailing ability.
What else is it in there that you guys are looking for with those style of hounds? I, one thing I look at a lot is their feet. I like 'em to have a real nice tight foot they can hold up. Cuz like I said, they'll run, it's not, there's days they run 30 or 40 miles and that's no joke on the Garmin.
So they need to have, they need to have some tough feet. You said about that one dog having a, having deep chest and I. I love that. Like I said, my best dog, which she has is deepest chest and she just has a gas tank that can last all day long. And that's when I like them to have a huge gas tank that they just don't, they just don't seem to tire.
And and I like them to be able to do it day in, day out. But yeah, they definitely, Pete's one of the biggest things, nose, we talked about that about everything like that. That's [00:29:00] really about it. I'm not too big on how they look, like a good looking dog, don't get me wrong. But as long as they got the nose and good feet and they bark good and, cold trail and all that stuff, I'm fine with that.
I don't even care. I don't even want 'em to, I don't even care if they fight as long as they'll hold one. If they do bay one, I'm fine with that. I don't even care if they fight. That's what I, that's what I look for. Yeah. So you said something there that kind of caught my attention. You said they didn't you didn't care if they fight, which is fine.
Are your guys' dogs tight on the ground? Because two of mine are, one of mine is not. The other two are? No, they they're pretty open. Some of my, about half of mine bark pretty well cold. Then when they're jumped really well in the other half they're silent to jump and I don't really have a preference on that.
Sometimes I really like listening to a good cold trail, and then other times I, it just doesn't bother me a whole lot. But yeah they all bark pretty exceptional. I don't really I had a couple silent, not [00:30:00] silent, but they got, they would, when they would get in the front, they would tighten up, say if they took the chase over or they'd go out of, Silent.
And I just don't, I, I don't care for that. I like them to be, if they get to check, I like me barking. If they're out front, I like them to be barking. I like them to they're moving the track. I like them to be making noise, for sure. So is that common with the group that you hunt with?
Are they all across the board that way? Yeah. Yeah for sure. We all like dogs that bark a lot. Deal. The older guy wants, but they can't bark enough to him. They cannot bark enough. And they can bark too much for me, but I definitely like them to make a lot of, I like them to, they're moving a track.
I like them to be barking cold. I'm not, they don't have to bark cold. That's not a deal breaker for me. But when it's up, they better be tongue pretty good. Yeah. And mine do, once they'll hit or miss on the track, on the cold track. But once it's getting ready to get jumped, you're gonna know it.
And once it's jumped, I mean it's, there's a pretty constant roar. It's not a whole lot of downtime in it. So Do you [00:31:00] guys do any I mean I know they have competitions like running competitions. Is that something you guys do or is it just strictly the hunting side of it? No, we've never gotten into that.
I never went to them fueled trials or anything. They, I always wanted to, but I just never have. There's some puppy trials and stuff I always wanted to go to, but I just never made the time to go to, to go do it. We do utilize those pens, uhhuh, for training our, getting the scent in the pup's nose.
We do utilize them pens, but we've never gotten into the trials. No, never have. So do you have pens close to you that you can actually use? You just said you could utilize them? No, they're not legal in Pennsylvania. We gotta go outta state to get to them and they're quite a long drive.
And but the it's worth the drive, to get your pups, going and everything like that. It makes it a little bit easier to get 'em rolling than on the outsiders around here. There's a lot more game in the woods than just coyotes. You gotta worry about. So it's nice to get 'em rolling in a pen a little bit.
But it, the pen can hurt 'em as easy as it can help 'em too. You get running 'em too much. It's not good for 'em, in my [00:32:00] opinion. I don't think it's good for 'em to run 'em in a pen too much. And so what about Fox? Cuz I know there's some fox pens down on the coast and Carolina and stuff.
Do your, do you have problems with foxes or is it, are your dogs just pretty much staying on the oats? They, we probably have I'm gonna say like you, you're saying about trashing like five races a year. That's probably what we have and it. It drives me nuts and I try to correct them for, but it's hard to and it's there there's definitely more Fox than there is coyotes and I'm pretty sure they're, they smell quite a bit more than a coyotes.
So that I get it, but it, dr it drives me nuts. I try keeping 'em off it, but there are Foxs everywhere around here. But try to correct them for it. I don't have much of, a, much of a problem, more, more red Fox than Gray Fox. I hadn't ever had one, one Gray Fox Chase and I correct them on that.
And the Red fox is worse than anything. For sure. Wh so give me a little bit of lesson in that. What is the difference? It's like for me, and cuz like I said I don't know anything about your world other than [00:33:00] I'd prefer my not to be running them. So what is the difference in a Code and a Fox?
Is it just you strictly wanna run codes and the Fox has, is not. Yeah I, yeah, I strictly wanna run coyotes and to me, trash is trash. Some guys don't care if they run flocks, but I like it. And foxes they're okay to chase, but they're, they run a lot smaller, they're just thought as fun to chase to me.
So I just prefer coyotes as most of the guys do around here. There are guys that don't mind. They'll run either. But I prefer just to stay on coyotes and I don't wanna be out, trying to stay on a coyote and it gets tough and a tough chase and they smell a hot fox track and get on that fox track.
I don't want that to happen, that's the main thing. I don't want 'em get off on a hot fox when the coyote chase is tough. So I just try my hardest to keep 'em off things. So you guys are like us. You prefer to stay. Do you have trouble with any other game like Deere and Bobcat Bear, anything like that?
Yeah, Deere is the biggest thing around here. There we were just polluted with them, Uhhuh [00:34:00] and. That's a, we try to, I try not casting my pups at all. I try to be very careful with them about the deer. I have one here. He never ran a deer. I don't know what it's, he'll be three in June and he's never ran a deer.
And I just, I wish they were all like him. Cause the deer can just be so tough on us. Coons, they like a coon. I don't know what it is, but these kayak dogs can catch every coon on the ground that they see. I don't know, what is it, what it is, but they catch so many on the ground. It drives me nuts really?
The coons is, oh, they catch, I don't know what it is. I've been coon hunting so many times and never catch the ground. And you take these kit dogs out on a, warm day and they'll catch a raccoon so fast. It's not even funny. I don't know what it is about these dogs. The speed they got that get up and go.
Must be. And that, and I can tell you what, they can't fight a coon for crap. They suck at fighting one. I don't want 'em to do it, but I see 'em, they're not good at it at all. I've, I've coon hunted [00:35:00] for I don't know I've can say for 28 years. But there's been a big loll in that when I was competition hunting.
But man, we just, we didn't catch too many on the ground. You'd catch 'em up in a cornfield up in Indiana or Illinois or Michigan. You'd catch one in the cornfield every once in a while. But we just, in, in my, my, my hunting with my dogs, that just tells you they probably slow as meth then.
Cuz I can probably count on one hand everyone that I've ever seen caught on the ground. Oh man. It's horrible. Here I have a question for you. How your average bear chase before you tree. How long do you think it would be? I get that question a lot and I ha it depends.
There are times that they go up fairly quick and I, here's what I, here's how I feel about that. If my dog's trail an old track and they're beating and beaten and beaten, and they jump that bear, and if it's [00:36:00] cold out and that bear's been laid up, usually they go right up a, they go up a tree just pretty much instantly.
If that bear's been out moving you have more of a race with it. And then we have some bear that just have their Nikes on. In my 28 years of hunting, I've run bearer through three different counties. And that's, by the crow flies, you're looking at 10 miles. By the crow.
But if you go up, over one mountain into a valley, across another mountain, into a valley, up and over, another little mountain, down across the hard top, up over another mountain and crossing two, two or three more little hard top roads. Like you said, you're looking at 20 plus miles. So it depends. I can't answer that with a definitive answer because we've jumped 'em out of their beds and put 'em up. Just bang. And, we've run 'em, seven, 800 yards and treat 'em and we've run 'em 20 miles and we're nothmm. Usually if you running 20 miles, you're not catching it like it's done.
Yeah, [00:37:00] it's done. It's got his Nikes on, he ain't coming back. But and it's kinda like what you said, it's funny how all this crosses over is if you've got a young juvenile bear that's looking for a home he's looking for a home range. That bear may check out and be gone. And that's the bear you're gonna run 17, 18 miles.
Cause it's not his home. He's just traveling through there. Yeah. So re reason I ask, we, we've only got on a few of them, and I don't know if it's because the bears don't get ran here in Pennsylvania or it's because of the speed of these dogs or a culmination, but anytime we've ever jumped one, it doesn't last very long at all.
And I don't I always wondered that if it was, because they don't, they just don't get ran here. So they don't know to run, to run away or if it's just the speed of our dogs or what, but they tree very fast. Very, I've only seen it a few times with ours but it happens fast for sure.
Yeah. Yeah. And I would attest that to, they don't have any. They're hound, you're just [00:38:00] basically running up upon 'em and they're like, holy crap, I gotta, I need to catch a tree. So they hang the first limb they can get to, so do your act, do your dogs actually tree on them? Do they tree like a tree up, or are they just, once they get there, they're done.
It's only happened a few times. It's funny, it seems like I have white dogs get, with the July blood in them, and it seems like the white one's tree pretty good. I've had 'em stretch out on a coon too, and it seems like the other, like the tricolor dogs, they don't know to look up. But for sure the white ones they seem to know to look up.
And I've had 'em stretch right out on a tree, on a bear coon. I don't know what it is though. I don't know. The white ones definitely are different for some reason. Not all of 'em, but a few of 'em definitely know, to stretch right off the street. I don't know how that's interesting.
Very interesting. I would think, With my experience that I don't have any experience with that, so I can't really attest to it. But it's funny that your running dogs wh tree, that kind of puts anything that anybody thinks that they're just running [00:39:00] dogs. Puts that to a side, doesn't it?
Like I said, not all of 'em, and I've seen other guys treat 'em too, and not all theirs, but I have seen a select few that they'll sit right at the bottom looking up, barking or a couple of 'em will even stretch right out, like a ding a tree dog. I don't know what it is. And it's like I said, the ones that I have that do it are the white ones.
I don't, I have no idea. But I try. I, like I said, I, we haven't had that happen in a long time. I took, I tried to take care of that problem and I'm walking on wood, I haven't had that issue in a long time with a bear. And the coons, we've been pretty, pretty solid on too. But I'll tell you what, if somebody else is one of the buddy's dogs or somebody I'm hunting with a dog starts a coon, catches a coon or finds one mine or.
Definitely still will not turn it down. They haven't started one on their own in a long time, but they have a tough time turning them down, that's for sure. Oh, they can't have a party without 'em. Yeah that's right. They, they don't have a whole lot of self-control on the Koons, the deer.
The deer, the ones, the one mine that are broke. I will say they, they they won't all get dragged into deer, but man, if they see if the dog has a coon, they are gonna do it. It drives me nuts. Cause I just correct them and correct them and they still [00:40:00] do it. So how do you hunt?
So I think we've probably skipped over that. How do you guys hunt for coyotes? Like for me our early season, August, September, we do a lot of rigging. We've got plenty of roads and food crops and creeks and stuff, crossing the roads and stuff. We do a lot of riggings.
So that means we just, we drive around our truck, you know what it means, drive around our truck. We have the dogs on top, they strike, we put 'em down. And that's our hunting. Now towards the end of September, when the, especially like this year with the food crop got so good by September 20th, we had to get in the woods and hunt.
The bear were laying down, they weren't moving. They had plenty of food. And then of course, when we roll over into December, which is our harvest season, you've had two months of deer hunters, the bear are a lot more cautious. They're not coming across roads. So we free cast, we do a lot of free casting, just putting some miles on what, we just take off walking and hit an old logging road or hit the, [00:41:00] a ridge top or something, a path out the top of the mountain.
And that's what we do. So how do you guys do that? We de we depend a lot on the snow. That makes it very pretty simple to find them most days. Sometimes you have to drive for a couple hours but usually it works pretty good. But this winter we've had near the snow that we usually have, so we've been depending a lot on, locating 'em, getting 'em howling.
Some guys have been running cameras. Cameras have helped. I don't, we don't, most of us don't have any rigging dogs like you're talking about. But a friend of mine he does have a couple that he'll ride 'em down the road in this cup. He rides 'em all in a cab. He don't have a dog box.
And they will rig for 'em, they'll start barking and he'll let 'em out and by golly they'll go run a coyote. And I didn't believe him at first, but I've seen it with my own eyes. And that was them. His dogs are the first running dogs that I ever seen do it, that'll, park with a coyo track from the road, on, I'm talking on dry ground, not even on the snow.
Just riding down the road and, but I don't have, I don't have any that'll do that. Never really totally tried it, but I don't [00:42:00] think I have any that would do that. But snow is definitely number one. Locating 'em, getting 'em howling. Cameras have been a huge help this year with the no snow. And yes, and then we do cast we can't find that we do cast and in our, a lot of our good spots, that we get a lot of runs in we do that.
That's one thing that our, my dogs lack in is free casting power and ability. They, I have a heck they just if you take 'em outta the dog box on the road and there's no track there, they just do not like getting in the woods and get going. And I, I can walk 'em in there, four or five, 800 yards and they eventually will go hunting, get away from me, but they just don't have that hunt that I, that free cast power I'd like from the road.
And that's one thing I really wanna work on. And I, there's a couple things I wanna touch on here but I wanna talk about your free casting. So some of my buddies that have access to some of those pens, they take their pups, and I know you said that you didn't think that was a good thing, but they take their pups and put [00:43:00] their pups in those pens for a week or two weeks, and then that's about it.
But they said that's how they get their dogs. Like they'll just go hunting. Yep. So I don't know if that's something that, you're, you could do, but I know that for me, like I don't care if my, like for me, when I'm free casting my dogs, I like them to stay within here in distance. So for us, once they get past three, 400 yards, they're outta here for us most places. So I like my dogs to stay in that zone. So I work, that's something I work on. I, I tone my dogs once they start ranging out too far to keep 'em back in that bubble. But I feel like you, how do you raise them?
How do you do, how do you do 'em when they're puppies and are you just taking 'em out and putting 'em on tracks when they're crossing the road? Is that the whole process? Or are you actually taking 'em for walks in the woods and seeing which dog does what is your process like? [00:44:00] Yeah.
When they're young, I have a lot out. My girlfriend, Cassie, she walks in the puppies every day. She'll take 'em on walks and, get 'em crossing creeks and stuff like that. Watch 'em hunt, letting 'em play, letting 'em smell everything and stuff like that. And I get a little bit too, but like I said, I'm a busy lot, at that time of year.
But she does that a ton. And then when we're running, e even if they're too young to run I still like taking 'em in the pickup, getting 'em acclimated. They're riding in the truck or in the blocks. Stuff like that. And maybe that is what's wrong. When I'm, when they're young, I'm putting 'em on too many hot tracks.
I'm not making them go hunt, but you're so worried that they're gonna trash. You never run to run a deer. You're so worried. You hold 'em back till you're sure that they ain't gonna, trash. And I don't know if that's what it is. I tone break all my dogs. I'm not sure if they handle too good.
I'm not sure what is. Now, if I stick 'em with a dog that'll hunt, like one little, that will cast, they'll go just fine. If that, if they have a dog to drag 'em in, they'll get in there and hunt like no other. They're fine. But just getting them off the road and getting 'em away from you. So it is just a headache and it drives me nuts and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong [00:45:00] or it's just how they're bred. I'm not sure, but I'd love if somebody knows or has a good tactic, I'd love to hear it. He's driving me nuts. I have, you said that your buddies dogs that are same bloodline now, they'll go on hunting, right? The one guys, yes. He, his kind of half to hunt because he had a stroke 10 or 12 years ago.
And so everybody that he goes with, a lot of guys, they don't wanna walk, they don't wanna walk dogs in the woods and ain't theirs, so his dogs just had to learn how to cast and he said the same thing when he was younger and could walk. His dogs back then weren't near as good as hunting either, because he walked with 'em, he walked 'em in there, got 'em rolling, all that stuff.
So he say, he even said the same thing back when he was, when he could walk, that his dogs lacked that hunting, that free castability too. Like I said, I think he just made his do it and they just go hunting and his his art all tone broke and they don't. I don't think they, they're the style of dog, adult blunt caught, but they don't like being caught.
I dunno if that's part of, they just don't care to be around you, but that's [00:46:00] about all I can really, all I can figure out on, on, on his end. But the other buddy, his, he struggles with the same thing. He's been trying really hard, he can get 'em to go hunting, running 'em down trails, logging roads and stuff like that.
That's how he's been getting his to go hunting. But still we mean between me and him, we don't have a dog. It'll just go hunting in the woods, just stopping on a road, kicking 'em in the roads. We have to have a road or a trail or something like that. And so two things to me is the, if your dog is ranging out with another dog, that's a confidence issue.
Not that your dog can't do it because he can, he's doing it with the other dog. So he's got it in him to do it. So he's he's lacking the confidence to, to do it solo. And I can tell you from my experience with dogs you ha and I know a lot of people have mixed feelings, everybody some, there's people on different sides of the fence and some that's on the middle of the fence.
But, I've seen it with my own [00:47:00] dogs is if you keep putting them out and putting them out and putting them out where they don't have to, they don't have to go look for it. They don't have, it's right here. Okay, here's the track. Dad puts me on it, it's a good track. I can take it, and I'm outta here.
Then dogs are lazy. They're gonna cut every corner and shortcut every process they can. Because that's just the way, that's just the way they are. They're gonna do what's best for them. Yep. So a couple things there with what you're telling me in your dogs, and I think I would, I think the next time I had a pup, I think I would try putting it in a pen for a couple days or a week or however you guys, you said you can't because you're not, don't have 'em there.
Yeah, I would have your girlfriend spend a little bit more time with them in the woods taking on walks and if they range out and they go to running junk don't fret over it. You, that's stuff that you can reign in. It's easier to back a dog down than it is to get him to go.
If that makes [00:48:00] sense. Yep. Yeah, no, that, that's true. You said about getting 'em out and putting 'em on a, putting 'em on a cold track, putting 'em on a good track and even harking 'em in. A lot of my dogs. You get 'em out of the box, the first thing they do is pick their head up and listen.
They're listening for a dog barking, because you're packing a lot. Yeah. And if they ain't a dog barking, then they get out and they're smelling every, they're smelling up and down the ditch, so you're right. I, it's, and I have thought of that before, that I'm just, constantly putting 'em on tracks, constantly putting 'em in a chase, all the time.
And it is our fault. I've thought of that, but I just, even starting out, I've tried, I just don't know how to get 'em to, I thought I said, these next pops, I'm just gonna take 'em down a, dirt road. That ain't busy at all. I'm gonna let 'em out of the truck with the gar with callers on.
Yep. I'm just gonna sit in the pickup. I'm just gonna sit in the pickup and this, they're gonna, they're gonna get bored eventually, and they're gonna leave. Yep. And I'm just gonna try that and just sit in the pickup until they leave me. If I gotta sit there all night, that's what I'll do. Yeah.
No, I think, and I think that would be a good start. Like I said don't fre over. I don't want my dogs running junk either. Let's just make sure we're clear on that. I don't, but if [00:49:00] my six month old pup. Picks a, picks his head up and takes off on a deer. I'm gonna stop him. I'm not gonna electrocute him by no means I'm gonna cut him off at the next road or the next trail or whatever, and I'm gonna I'm gonna work on that, but I gotta put him on the right game.
And something else there on, on yours. You said your dog will cold trail, right? Oh yeah. Yep. I, yep. All of ours will. They don't, then we don't. But you're finding the track for them. Yeah. That or, getting 'em in the woods and get them, like I the woods far enough, they will leave ya and go hunting eventually.
And they, but yeah they all will cold trail. Yes. Yeah. So spend a little more time give your dogs a little bit more. And one of my good friends Wes and he's been on here a time or two, he's got one of the, one of our pups he was worried about that too.
He was holding these dogs and worried about this, and I'm like, just turn 'em loose. They can't learn nothing in your truck. They can't learn nothing on that lead. [00:50:00] And if they go out here and run a deer, we fix it. No problem. We got it. We'll fix it. But you gotta give them that opportunity to explore and to learn and to develop.
And maybe that's a little bit of the hole back there, but I think you're on the right track for sure. That's one thing my friend taught me. A lot of guys, when their pup runs a deer, dog runs a deer. They get, they just get so upset. It's the end of the day, pack up your toys and go home.
And he taught me. And I'm a firm believer, when that pump runs a deer or runs. The best thing you can do is get that thing on a, on a coyote or whatever you're running bare, whatever you want it to run that same day. That's the best thing you can do for that dog is get it off the trash and put it on what you want it to do.
That's right. Yeah. That same day. Don't wait till the next day. Don't put it up for the rest of the day. Your worries gonna do wrong. Just get it on that same day. And that's just the best thing you can do for that puck. Yeah. And I'm firm for sure. Yeah. No, that's exactly right.
And one other thing I want to hit on real quick before we have to wrap this up. You're talking about Rigg and Coyotes. My Spook [00:51:00] dog, which is, threequarter running Quarter Tree and Walker when he's on the rig he'll rig a code every once in a while and the difference, and so my buddy.
So last year we were, it was September, late September, and we went down over the hill and my buddy's truck blew up, and then my other buddy's truck blew up. And then I come along my dogs didn't say anything except spook and spook barked one time. And I'm like, it's a code. And they're like how do you know that Spook will have, he has this he has this anger in his bark when it's a coat.
And I can't, I can hear it, but he has this he's mad, like he's mad. It's like you punched him in the face and he's just a roar. When he barks on a yacht is he for sale? No. But so this year my buddy was in from Indiana Bryceson. We were rigging around the mountain. This is in December.
Same thing happens. We're going out the top of the [00:52:00] mountain. Spook gives that big, loud roar. And he jumps outta the truck and I'm like, what you doing? He's I'm gonna turn the dog. And I'm like no, we're good. He's what do you mean? I was like, it's a code. He's like, how, you know it's a code?
And I said, the bark, like the bark tells it all. But yes, my dogs will rig a code too, and I've never asked them to do it. Never wanted them to do that. So I feel you, you're just, you need what I got and I need, I don't need what I have. Yeah. It's strange, it's crazy the things yep.
Brett, to wrap this up, is there anything else you, anything you'd like to add, take away? Anything you wanna leave us with? On the kind, like I said, I really appreciate you taking the time to educate me. And this is something I'm probably gonna try to dive into a little more because I wanna know I wanna learn your world.
No I, we covered. Quite a large, quite, quite a lot of it. I someday, I wouldn't mind, talking about puppies and stuff, that, that's a lot of fun. [00:53:00] Never, that's, that never would make it worth worthwhile to me. But getting started and how they act and what they do I think we covered, good chunk of it.
Yeah. Is it, like I said, some of the stuff that you were talking about when we have dogs coming to the road and we're not seeing the bear and the dogs are turning I know, I know like it's not a bear. I've run bear too many times in those areas and those, same, we can pretty much tell where the bear's gonna cross.
They use the same pass, whether it's a bear you caught this year or the bear you catch 10 years from now, they say they use the same highways. Coyotes are the same way. You can kill. Every coyote you run the same block in the same spot. I don't know what it is. They cross in the same spot every year, every, and I'm not talking the same coyo that you don't get the first five times.
I'm saying different coyotes still run the same every time. I'm not sure what it is that interests me too. Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, I appreciate you bringing us into your world. Like I said, this is new for me. I did pick up some tidbits and learn some [00:54:00] things because I see what my dogs are doing when they're not running a bear or I'm not seeing the bear, and some of that behavior you explained very well.
So I appreciate your time and we end every podcast the same way. Brett thank you for teaching us about the Coyo. Yes. And Trisha, you have me on. I love the podcast. Listen to em. It's a pleasure blessing to be able to be part of it. For sure. We appreciate it.
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