How to Not Get Kicked Out of a Hunting Group

Show Notes

After training season and a trip to Maine a conversation came up about helping make the hunt successful hunting as a group. Both Heath and Brent hunt in groups. Knowing how to navigate group hunting etiquette can mean the difference in being successful or not. The two break it down from:

  • Training season
  • Trip to Maine 
  • Equipment
  • The best road men
  • Knowing the dogs
  • PACKING
  • And the dreaded hole

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned houndsman, the excitement of the chase sometimes clouds our thinking. This is a great chance to make your journey a little bit better.

www.houndsmanxp.com

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] The Houndsman XP podcast network is taking you on the journey. Your host, master trainer, Heath Hyatt will combine his decades of experience as a Houndsman and as a professional trainer that will light the path forward and make our packs lighter on this lifelong journey to become better hunters and Houndsman.

There are no shortcuts, so lace up those boots and grab a dog leash. The journey begins now.

I've been a member and supporter of Go Wild for over a year now. Man, how time flies. Their social media platform is 4Hunters by Hunters, and if you followed me for any length of time, you know that I'm in the woods or on the water if I'm not working. And yes, some ask, do you work? Unfortunately, I do. It's a place that I post all of my [00:01:00] trophies, no matter how big or small.

Mine, mostly small. I get tips, tricks, tactics, and advice from people who eat, breathe, and sleep the outdoors. I log all of my outdoor adventures, including the time spent listening to the best podcast in the land, The Journey, hosted by no other than yours truly. So when I need anything outdoors, I just log on to the Go Wild store, pick out what I need, and that's anything from hunting, fishing, camping, optics, outdoor wear, and yes, hound supplies.

I'm proud to partner up with the Go Wild team. So let's get your journey started today. Here on Go Wild.[00:02:00]

Alright, it's way past my bedtime. It's pushing nine o'clock. That's what happens when you get old. And we are coming live from the man cave. On the eastern part of Virginia. So we're back down here at Bee's. We hunted today. Had to catch the dogs off. Bear kept coming through blocks that we weren't supposed to be in, and after about the third one we was able to round them all up, so we're going to get back after it tomorrow.

Today we're going to talk, we're going to do a little recap of training season. BB just got back from Maine, we're going to talk about it just a little bit. And then we're going to go into group hunting. How can we be successful, what are some do's, some don'ts. We had a conversation today and it's brought the topic up, we're just going to nail it down and we're going to, we're going to dive into it. And, hopefully it'll help what I have learned. In fact, I was talking to a guy [00:03:00] from Idaho, Casey, just the other day, and, we were having this conversation, he said, do you guys hunt, in groups?

And we're like, yeah, we, pretty much I do hunt by myself some, not often because somebody is always with me or somebody is hanging out or whatever, and he's we pretty much hunt by ourselves. And, I, I do that for training. purposes. I like to be off by myself and I know you've heard pal, pal wine about it, that I'll get off by myself and strike and turn dogs loose and then I'll say, Hey guys, we got one going.

But that's just kind of me. That's what I like to do. So we'll dive into it. So BB, I know I've We've been at it all day today how's things in your world? The journey on Houndsman XP has teamed up with OneTDC. This dual action support for oral health and mobility in our dogs. This unique supplement is so [00:04:00] effective that it is recommended by top veterinary experts worldwide to maintain and improve our dogs health in four different areas.

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They're doing Yeah let's talk about the new edition because That's a new thing. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's yeah, that's a new thing. Yeah, he... My little boy, he's, definitely a handful from time to time. So two months old. Yes. Yep. Yep. So still getting used to the hunting environment and having a little boy but it's [00:05:00] still fun.

It's so I'll tell you a funny one. So we was in the kitchen earlier and Julie's she's yeah, I got to go back to work the end of this month. And I'm just worried about it. I don't know if maybe we can take care of this or not. So she's going to probably have people coming in and checking on him to make sure of it.

The little one's all right, I'll figure it out. Yeah. He learned trial by error and we have a lot of error. That's for sure. There's no pampering on raising a kid. That's for sure. So tell me a little bit about your main trip. I know you didn't do a whole lot of hunting because. Yeah. Main main was good.

The first week there was a lot of rain. So it rained most. I think just about every day we hunted the first week. Hunted pretty hard. I think we got three the first week hunted with some different guys, never hunted with them before. But, we ended up making it making it making it work.

I think we took three bears the first week, actually four but three, [00:06:00] three bears take it with the folks I was hunting with. And then the Friday I went to where I was going to be hunting in North main woods. And we got a pretty good bore that Friday. I think we ended up with nine total in two weeks.

So first two, the first week the dogs didn't do too good. They could have done a little bit better or I could have done a whole lot better, but we ended up the second week, they, we got through some hurdles and they came around pretty good. So it worked out. Pretty good. And this was all new territory for you too, wasn't it?

Yes, everything was new. So up in that North Maine woods, this big country, and it had to learn how to get around and what roads were actual roads and what roads weren't roads. And so it was a lot of learning involved in that. Yeah, I can, like I said, I, in fact, I was up there this summer and, we were up around some of the same area that you were in, there's a lot of distance between those roads.

It took us one [00:07:00] hour to drive from one side of the block to the other side of the block. Yeah. So it definitely, that timeframe and trying to work around that and to be efficient in that area. Is key for sure. And you said some issues. Do you care to elaborate on that? Or do you want to keep that to yourself?

The dogs, they just We had a hard time. I carried a lot of young dogs this year. We could jump bear and then I had, some off game issues that I had to work through, but that off game it and around here. So I don't have to, I don't have any way to, to break them here until I get up there.

So did a little bit of that. Did see some impressive dog work. We did, I did have I did have three dogs swim a lake, 220 yards across the lake, and then another fella, he had a dog or two that swam it as well but that bear, he didn't want to get caught. He He swam a lake and then 800 yards later, he swam another lake and they made the first [00:08:00] lake, but they didn't make the second.

So he got away, he got to run another day. That's absolutely draining. I had, I was up in New York several years ago and the dogs went through this big section of country. Like what you're talking about. And they were on the other side of the lake and the lakes. It's not huge, but you're right.

It's a couple hundred yards across it. And. I got to hollering and they got in and started swum swimming to me. They weren't running. They were just coming to me. They got halfway out of the lake and then turned back. And of course I started, I got, I went over to my box and rattled my box and got everything barking and then they made that loop and they turned and they come back and the time they got to the, when they got up out of the wall, I helped them up over, over the bank.

And the dogs were in pretty good running shape at that time too. It wasn't like I hadn't been hunting. But yeah, it absolutely just drained them. Yeah. A couple of hundred yards swimming is, especially after they've been running a little bit, that's definitely it [00:09:00] can it can separate them, so I was impressed. I had a 14, 15 month old puppy, make it crossed and then a two and a half year old dog or so, and then an older dog, but they did pretty good. Up there, it was some mountains where we hunted the first week, it was a little bit more mountainous.

That might've played some issues in it, but overall it was more the rain just trying to work through the conditions and weather conditions and everything. And learning the country, if I'd known some of the country prior, if we went back there now. I would be much better off. We would be I could, I could help, some of the flaws that happened, make sure I was there get around and save a little time.

Whereas at that time when they're running and things like that, it's key to get around there to, one, make sure they're right. Or two, if you need to pack dogs in or. Or, even if you, if it's time to harvest the bear, that knowing that learning the country is [00:10:00] definitely a key aspect to it and the more, it, the definitely more effective you can be.

You're losing two to three days of hunting, really. I, like I said, I've, I was thinking about it today. I've been very forward. You travel more than I do right now. Hopefully as the next couple of years come off, I've had, you and I had this conversation the next couple of years, I'm looking to be more vested in more hunting.

Traveling throughout, I've hunted Maine, I've hunted Canada, New York to Florida when I was coon hunting, I basically hunted every state from Texas to Iowa East. So my bear hunting has been pretty limited to, Virginia, North Carolina, being able to come in here and hunt with you and Doug.

And I haven't been to Maine in a couple of years. And I hadn't been to Canada since oh two. So we're getting ready to make that trip in the spring. I'm really looking forward to that. Maddie's going with me and I'm like, I'm just, I'm stoked to be able to go up there and [00:11:00] hunt, and then you and I may, we'll talk about it later.

Cause we don't know if it's going to come to Coming to terms yet, but if not, we're going to take a big trip in the fall next year. That's what, something I want to do. I want to travel more and get out. But when I did travel and hunt, it takes you a couple of days to, to know the shortcuts and the roads and this and that.

And I always find myself just like what you're saying. He is well, if I went over there to start with, I could have cut those dogs off or I could have packed right there and I wouldn't, they wouldn't have gotten this big country. And yeah it's and traveling to, when you're carrying dogs, it takes them some time to get acclimated, really.

In all honesty, it takes probably two weeks of being somewhere to get them really tuned in to really see that full potential come out of them. And, to do what we did in two weeks. And last year I was in, in Maine for three weeks and by the third week they were firing on all cylinders.

But this year it was rainy and hot. It was definitely a lot warmer this [00:12:00] year than what it normally is. Which. Normally doesn't bother us too much since we deal with the heat down here. But I didn't run as much this year with the little one here prior to going up to Maine. I they won't really where they needed to be before I went up there.

Yeah. Yeah. I knew, like I said, I knew you hadn't hunted because of, him being born and. It was hot when we were up there in July, we, we talked, we, I had, we got to hang out with Brandon and Mark and they said that it had been a lot more, it had been wetter up there than normal.

So anyway, yeah, so I'll. I'm gonna talk about my training season. I know that I hit that in a prior podcast. I'm just gonna re Just go over it real quick. Tell you what I'm working with where I'm at And then we're gonna get into some just like PB and I was talking today about group hunting, how to be more [00:13:00] successful, some do's and don'ts, some things that we see, cause we do get to travel around and see other dogs and see other people work.

And what, what brought this up is I've been coming down here for a couple, two, three years now. And. I just, I told Bebe that the first year I was down here, first time I was down here, my dogs were out of pocket, like they didn't really understand what was going on, different type of hunting, different style of hunting, different country, thicker.

And then, I come back the next year and got to come back a couple of times and you could see an improvement. And then today. It was just like I'd turned loose at the house. There was no, there wasn't no hazard there. It was just like me hunting at home. And I'm glad that I'm seeing that with them because I feel like to have a true hound, you should be able to dump it anywhere and catch bear, not just where I'm at or where you're at.

That's just my thought process. But so I didn't my Kate female, which is. [00:14:00] Her, Kate Spook are four and a half, there'll be five this winter coming first of the year. Kate I bred her, so I didn't hunt her, I've not had her out since last December. So she missed a whole training season. This didn't take her.

I was hunting Spook and Maggie's an older black dog that I have, that I bought to replace my blue dog. And so I was alternating spook and her. Take spook one day, take her one day, take spook one day and her one day. And in several days I took, when I say the young dogs, I'll just say, this is what it is.

I've got a Houdini and Hart are two and a half years old and I've got Attica and Axe. Who are 19 months old and I've got rogue, which come from BB. He's 16 months old, somewhere right in there. He may be 17 now, but 16 months old and I've got trip is three turn three and set into September. So he just turned three and [00:15:00] I've got, y'all heard me talk about SAS little.

Female I got from some of my buddies up in West Virginia, and she will be eight months old at the end of this month, which is October. And I am having to contain my excitement because she has so much potential. I see the potential in her. She runs hard. She's, I had her out a couple of weeks ago and I was walking into an area.

So I turned her loose and golly, geez, about the third track she struck and run through the country. I was like, I got to put her back on lead. I'm going to be catching her in the next zip code. So I ended up catching her up, putting her on lead. And she walked with me the rest of the time, but, and I said this prior, like I'm so scared something's going to happen to her because I like her so much.

That's just my luck. That's how things roll. And I'm excited about the potential that I see. I don't know that she'll ever be a top notch hound because she's not even eight months [00:16:00] old yet, but when I'm looking at dogs, I see a world of the things that I like in her. And I like her. She's got a great personality.

She is personable. She don't want to be caught when she's running. I'll tell you that she gets gone. And when she's running something, she will avoid you like an old dog. So I think that's a positive, even though it's a pain in the butt at this point. So that's what I'm hunting right now. And a couple of days that I was out either by myself or just one other person hunting with me.

I'd take the younger dog. So every dog, every female had come in heat. So Hart was out of service for, 21, 25 days from August till second week of September Attica, same thing. She come in, she was out of service till. The right after Labor Day. So she missed a whole three [00:17:00] weeks of hunting.

So I only had the male dogs and Maggie had come in, but she went out. So I was able to hunt her after the second week of August. So she missed a couple weeks too. So I just took the young dogs a lot, not a lot, but I took them several times, give them opportunities. And I was telling BB we rode down to the feed store today and I caught a bear with him one day.

I had a long race one day with them, and one day, I don't know what they did. They run something, and I'm still not convinced it was a bear, but I didn't see it. I can't smell it, and I don't know what it was. And then, one day, they actually split off from Spook. Spook took a bear across across a mountain drop down and across a road.

Bear jumped right out in front of me. It was a small bear. So I ended up, I was able to get out in front of him and catch him off of it. And they went on around the mountain, which I'm sure it was a sow and a cub [00:18:00] because it was a small bear and they ended up treeing about a 150 pound bear. But they went another two miles around the mountain and treed.

It was just them, the younger, and I don't know how people categorize their dogs. What do you call a two and a half year old? Is that a young dog? Is that a yeah, I would, I would say it's a young dog. Some people will call it a puppy. Yeah no, but no. Yeah, I would say that's a, probably a younger dog, but two and a half year old years old, I think they should be start, they definitely should be, you should have a little bit of confidence in them, with what you got there.

And you say that, and I'll just put out my preference. If it's a puppy, it's under a year old, if it's a young dog. I usually one to three is where I hang with that. And then after that that's where I'm at with the older dogs and nothing I had, like Maggie, she turned seven in May, like I said, spooking Kate or four and a half and then everything else is three and under.

But one [00:19:00] thing that you said there that I want to touch on. Is, I'm getting to the point and they're, like I said, they're two and a half. I free casted them several times during training season where I, free casting for the guys that don't know, or maybe don't, big game hunt is I take off on foot, I'm just hiking a trail or a ridge top, or I hit the at or something like that and I just leave some dogs loose.

I always have a dog or two on a with me. And I was able to turn those two, the two and a half year old dogs loose. And surprisingly, even when Sass would go in there and strike those tracks, which I'm very confident, it was a deer they would go and they would follow her for 50 or a hundred yards and they'd turn and come back.

So that's starting to build that reliability. Okay. Okay, I know that they're doing this and I feel pretty comfortable with it. Give heart a lot more. Leeway, then I [00:20:00] give Houdini and Houdini, I seen a coyote cross the road one day and I jumped out, got the dogs out of the truck, turned them loose and he went out of there screaming and before I could get, I wasn't prepared as I should have been.

I honestly didn't think they would take off, but he did. I just turned, I just tapped him a little bit. He come right back. I don't trust him as much. Hart did not do that. He did. I'm still a little bit Lurry of what I allow him to do. And that's okay, because he's two and a half years old.

I'm not going to be completely upset. Now, if he was running deer like that, then that's on me. Because I've had several opportunities to fix that problem. And you guys heard me talk about it before. I take every opportunity. If I'm out hunting and I see a deer walking down the side of the road or across the road in front of me, I get my young dogs out and I give them the opportunity to go.

Now I don't let them go. [00:21:00] Usually I'll in fact I've been working on Rogue. He had a couple trash races in the beginning of August. And... As I got to see deer and got that to put him out, like I've got him now where he'll get out, put his nose up and come right back to the truck. So just taking those opportunities to do a little training and a little, trash breaking sessions.

Like I take everyone I can get because you just don't know, but yeah. So the two year olds are doing better and I'm able to, like I said, heart would then really good. There's a couple of days that I had her out and free casted her one day. She never opened her mouth. During the early kill season, I'm pretty sure her and Attica opened on the track that Ring Ring, that Spook ended up jumping and bringing down in front of us.

They went up in this little, it was a dried up creek bed that went up towards towards the top of a ridge, it was in a hollow, and they opened a couple of [00:22:00] times. Anyway, Spook went up there when they opened, and he never came back, but they ended up coming back, crossing the road, they went down over the ridge, and opened a couple times and went down to the main creek.

Well, Spook stayed up there and was making circles. And, anyway, he ended up coming out the top side of that. He opened a couple times, crossed a couple ridges, and then by the time he hit that third ridge, he was moving. I feel like they hit that track. And just didn't stick it. I could be wrong.

They could have been doing something else. I don't know. But just through my experience with what, travel patterns of bears, stuff like that, I feel like they hid it and just didn't have enough experience to stick it out like he did. And we ended up, catching that bear too, anyway, but yeah, that's where I've been. Had some good days, had some bad days. And I, like I said, me and BB had this conversation today. Get the, the bear that we was on today was a runner like that bear did not want called. And, at home, [00:23:00] I had a lot of races that were longer than normal.

Normally. A five mile race is about average, seven mile, maybe a long one. I caught my dogs off of a race one day that was right right at 16. When I had my buddy down from Kentucky, the race was a little over 11 miles. Had several of those races this year, more so than not.

I think it's due to a couple of things. I think it's due to hunting pressure the areas that I hunt. Is very populated with hunters. And I think, the bear just get I don't know if you can say they get accustomed to it, but I think they learn that if I just stay down and keep running, I can get away.

So I, I think it played a part in it, but we had a lot of long races, longer than normal still not catching any bear of big size. But normally during training season, we may see one or two, have not the last couple of [00:24:00] years, doesn't mean they're not out there. We're just not seeing them in the areas that I hunt.

So yeah, training season was good. And we'll go talk about that here in a little bit when we get to talking about groups and stuff. But I tried to give my young, younger dogs and I'll say younger, more opportunity to learn. Because I would hold, there was several days that I didn't even turn spook loose or Maggie loose.

I let them do it. And then if I needed to, I would pack the old dogs in and I'd some, I don't even think I'd done that. Actually. I think I just left it up to them. So yeah, it was a good season. Don't, I don't know how many barely treated. I keep a log of it at the house, but it's more for who done what?

Not how many for me, I want to see the progression of the dogs and. I'm very pleased with the, a litter. They're not, like I said, they're 19 months old and both of the dogs that I have will take their own track. They'll start their own tracks. They'll run by their self. They don't need [00:25:00] help.

They have not treated a bear by their self, but they'll go on with it. So I feel like you and I talked about that today. I feel like they'll come along. With, you don't, just keep after it. Yeah. For me, it's, you're always looking for it. And when it comes to the young dogs, you're always looking, or for me, I'm looking for the dogs that always put out that little bit of extra do something.

Real. That surprises you and does something, a particular day that you consider a good job or something that's or even if they outdo the old dogs, that's, or the older dogs, that's what I look for is with the younger ones and those are the ones that I like to focus on and for me, it's I've, yeah.

You know recently moved some dogs Along that were older just so that way I could start make sure I focus on some of the younger dogs. So Yeah, that's my thing I mean I had them for Maine just because I like to have two separate packs for Maine so that way I can alternate every day [00:26:00] and have fresh dogs every day, but here when we're hunting in a group, you don't necessarily need that because you don't need the number of dogs when you're hunting with other folks because if they have dogs to to be able to have fresh dogs every day.

And then make sure that you give those younger dogs as many opportunities as you can. So that way you can see what you got, with the, with. What you got coming up. And then it just gives you a better chance to learn them, to understand what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are, and then maybe what you can work on to try and bring them over the edge to make them those outstanding type dogs.

So what do you say to a newcomer that Is, has gotten, or let's not even say a newcomer, let's say somebody's been hunting for a couple years and you've got a dog that's reliable. I don't care if it's an older dog, a three year old, four year old, five year old, 10 year old. I don't care.

A reliable dog. How do you talk yourself into leaving that dog at home? [00:27:00] No one. Because I, I hear this a lot, knowing that if you take old Billy up here, you're going to catch a bear. But if I leave Billy at home, my chances of catching a bear are slim, I've got to let these young dogs learn and do their own thing.

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Not having them available. I hate leaving a dog at home, but at the [00:29:00] same time, at least I'm fortunate enough to be able to hunt enough to that I can alternate dogs every, every time I hunt and they still get plenty of experience. But yeah, it's hard. It's it's not easy to do.

I'm always the type that I'd rather have them in the box and have them there in case I do need them. Not have them and then need them. But at the same time, sometimes you've got to make a little bit of a leap to get to that next stage. Especially with those young dogs, you've got to have some faith in them just based on what you've seen and what their progression has been throughout, their life, some of them are pretty young.

When you start relying on a 15, 16 month old dog to help you in a pack, that's a, that's one of those things that's a special instance, when you can reliably say that or have confidence that, that dog at that age is going to help you out. For me, that's what I'm looking for.

And to be honest, that's what I expect. And if they can't do that at that certain age, then, I'll give them away to a deer [00:30:00] hunter or something like that, because they're not going to make what I'm looking for. What broke me or it broke me of doing it, but help me change my thought process is I had a couple of older dogs bell and ring and those dogs that I could go out and catch bear with.

And when I brought up the young dogs behind them, I always put the old dogs down first. And then when those dogs got old and they couldn't go, I was stuck. I had me too dogs or dogs that were standing there looking for somebody else to go along with them. And I had to change my, I had to change my training process.

I had to say, okay, I have got to, if I'm going to continue to hunt, this is a long term, this is the big picture, not the short term. And this season, like I know that if something happens to Spook and Kate or Maggie. [00:31:00] I'm going to have to do it with the dogs that I have, or I'm going to have to go out and buy me another dog.

I'm going to have to. And, I know that I can catch bear with those dogs. But I know that if I don't allow these young dogs the opportunity to learn, then when something does happen to them, I'm going to be right back in the same boat, even though I've got... six or seven other dogs here. And it was a hard lesson for me.

I got in that predicament. I relied on Ring for everything. And then I had Jimmy and Buster. And I would even let, I would even let Ring rig the track and then put Jimmy and Buster down to run it. And then I got where I ring got sold. I ended up leaving him home, but Jimmy was a medium nosed dog.

She was not a a dog like ring and Buster did not rig like ring at all. So my, my bear catching, my bear tree [00:32:00] literally almost fell in half from him to them. And I didn't I didn't like being in that situation. So I started changing my, and then I went through a rebuild and changed my philosophy a little bit about I got, I've got to let these young dogs, I've got to, I've got to get them lined out, get them on bare, understand what you're running, getting them, opening them on them.

And then I take the older dogs away. That's what drove me to that decision. And it's not easy. But at the same time, it's exciting too. When this year, the, the first day I had four dogs. I had Houdini and Trip Axe and Rogue. Had my four young male dogs and come around the side of the mountain.

The dog struck on top of the truck and I turned them loose and they made a loop. Come back out the mountain, dropped off the mountain. [00:33:00] Of course, we're getting ready to talk about this in a second. Hot Rod and Wes was down at the bottom and I told them, I'm like, Hey guys. I can't tell you what they're running.

I said, they sound good, but they're coming off the mountain. And I said, before you pack your dogs, you better make sure because I don't know. And sure enough, man. Old Slewfoot stepped out in the road there and they loaded him up and went about 200 yards and treat him. That, that was exciting.

For me, that was the first time with those dogs, without the old dogs, that I was able to run and catch a bear. And then, like I said, I had a couple other days where I'm scratching my head going, Ah, what are we running? I didn't see it. I'm not seeing it cross the road. I don't have ring in the truck where I can put him up on the rig and rig where they crossed the road to make sure.

So it's a guessing game. So anyway, that's just my experience with that.

Maybe let's get into the [00:34:00] conversation that you and I had talked about earlier and we didn't even really talk about it. We said, Hey, we're going to talk about it. So let's talk about hunting in groups, how to. Be successful, some things that we should do when we shouldn't do. Like I said, guys out West, I'm sorry.

I know you guys solo hunt and I'm envious because when I was 20 30, that's the way I like to hunt is by myself. But here nowadays it's, with the roads and the land cut up, it's hard. So we, we do hunt in groups or, there's a couple. Our group's probably got about six or eight main people in it and that's it.

So what's on your mind? Yeah, this conversation I guess is driven basically from the first week that I was in Maine I hunted with some guys and they had never hunted in a group, they've been solo and just some of the efficiencies that come from hunting in a group.

If you understand how to do it, and then there are [00:35:00] certain things that you can do to try and, or to be a little bit more successful within hunting in a group. And then as far as whether or not you're trying to get in front of or around blocks, big pieces or things like that and packing dogs or even down to, equipment, when you're hunting with a group, you can disperse that equipment around and cost of equipment.

There's a lot of positive notes to, to hunting in a group. To me I think there's a time and a place to hunt by yourself if, if you have that ability. I think as far as making and understanding what your dogs are doing, hunting by yourself is key. But when it comes to actual hunting season there's some definite benefits to being able to hunt with a group.

Just different situations that play out, whether it's a walking bear and you're trying to hit him or, cover different, routes that he could go and and working together to, to, have some success there or whether it's a busy roads and things like [00:36:00] that that you're trying to make sure that the dogs end up being safe or or different blocks that you don't want to go into because they're big or they're it's posted or things like that.

So there's some definite benefits to hunting with a group. But it's I do think it's important to be able to hunt by yourself because that's how you're going to learn. Your dogs and then that knowing your dogs is even more important, I think, than when you're hunting with a group because in order to help that group be successful, you have to understand the dogs and be able to communicate, potentially what or really what your dogs are doing.

So that way how that group can act to, to be successful. Yeah, so equipment, we won't really go over that. You got to have a tracker, you got to have collars. But I will say one of the most beneficial parts of that group is a good truck, man. And that, I think you just hit on that.

We've got several guys in our group that have dog boxes, have. [00:37:00] The Garmin alphas, long range antennas, and don't own a dog. But some of the areas that I hunt, from road to road, it's seven, seven miles through there, eight miles through there. And if I get in the middle and strike and they go over the mountain on the opposite side of me.

I can't get out of there fast enough to cut them off. And especially if they go off the mountain, they're going to be on a hard top. So a truck man to me is invaluable. I can't say that enough. And we have, so we've got several really good people that do that. They come around and they pick us up.

You've heard Chris talk about Claytor Claytor is. He was a great truck man, even though now we've got him set up with a dog. So now he's going to be a dog man, but you got to have people like that to, to help and help you function and be like I said, dogs getting in a road is a biggest, a big thing.

We were hunting a couple of weeks ago [00:38:00] and it was just me and Wes and the dogs went over the top of the mountain, went into another big Valley. Made a big loop in there and come back across the mountain down off the mountain. When Wes tried to cut them off on one road and I went off the mountain to the hard top and I couldn't get down there fast enough.

And I'm telling you, I was sweating because Spook was getting right across the road. Busy road. And I'm like, dear Lord, please just let him get across, let him get across. And by the time I got up to it, he was already 200 yards across the road and gone and the other dogs were coming through. So I was able to I let a couple that weren't far behind him go.

And then the rest of mine ended up catching up, but I don't like this, it makes me nervous, very nervous, especially with your good dogs. So truck man is definitely. Part of it, for sure. And [00:39:00] having somebody who's able to being able to read a situation, whether it's if you have somebody that's if you were hunting in a group and you're wanting to pack dogs or that person's wanting to pack dogs and being able to understand or hear or listen to the dogs and understand if they're running, if it's a running foot, or if they're walking and baying, or different things like that, and then how to act, or whether to pack or not to pack, that's probably a question all in itself or when to pack there's different situations, if he's walking and baying, you pack him it really doesn't matter the direction so much if he's walking and baying, but if it's a running foot and he's coming right for you sometimes packing head on might not be the best thing to do because it can blow it up, or maybe you're better off to sit back and let the bear cross and then pack them with the dogs that are That are, as they cross, because I don't know how many times I've gone and packed, as soon as you've seen the bear and you try and get them going the right way, and they, all they [00:40:00] hear is the dogs coming to the road, or, and, or to the path and then they end up going backwards and they can, basically add more time that you put behind the bear.

Just understanding that and understanding your dogs, if you got a dog or two that you know that they're gonna, if you can get them the right way from the get go, you might be able to save a little bit of that time and put a little gain on that bear if you're able to pack them.

So just understanding that part versus just pulling up and dumping a box every time you hear dogs and packing is having some thought process behind that before you do it is important when you're hunting in a group. Let's talk about packing because that was something that you and I had talked about and we had talked about face packing and today we actually did that but there was a good reason why we did what we did, but let's just define face packing and.

If the bear or the dogs are coming straight at you, you turn the dogs into them. So it's [00:41:00] just you're going to have a head on collision. You got dogs coming at you and you turn your dogs loose and they're going away from you to the dogs that are coming at you. If the bear is caught, then it can be done.

If the, if like for me a couple of years ago, and I actually talked about this on a podcast, I don't remember which one it was, that they had the dogs, they had the bear caught on ground and I've got two dogs that are very, they don't babble, they don't leave out of their running. They're not going to bark until they get to it.

And I know when they hit the track that they're going to line it out and go the correct way, they're not going to go backwards. I've done it, I've done it enough with them that I knew, but the bear was caught on the ground and I facepacked them I packed one dog in, when he got there, I turned the other dog loose and when they got there, there was more of a roar, more going on, and we were able to get a couple more dogs in there and get the bear treed.

If that bear is [00:42:00] running and you facepack them, You're going to cause a train wreck 99 percent of the time, right? Yeah, for my experience, it's you just run into, there's too many ifs in that situation. And if they're hitting, hit that track and, and a lot of times you're packing young dogs in, so they might hit that as soon as they whatever direction they're headed when they hit it usually is the way they're going to go. And then that's just going to run into the, to the pack that's coming and it can blow it up and it, don't get me wrong. They might be able to sort through it, but at the end of the day, it, it adds that time that, that bear can put a little more distance between him and the dogs and that's what you're fighting against.

That's your goal with packing is trying to make up that time versus Trying to add more time Yeah, and so let's talk about it crossing because I think this is a very so I'm just gonna throw it out there One of my pet peeves is freaking dogs barking in the box [00:43:00] when you drive up the road And them dogs are like, And you're all the way up the road.

I can't stand it. You want to see my blood pressure go up? That does it. If a bear's coming and going to cross the block that you're in and you're sitting in the road. The best thing to do is let it cross. Don't you think? Unless you're trying to kill it, if you're trying to kill it, that's a different story.

But if it's if you're trying to catch him and, or whatever or if he's gotten a big enough lead on that, you can't hit him good enough or well enough to To kill him, you're, you're better off to let him cross and then either. To me, I, and I've gotten excited and done it too.

You see the Bear cross and you turn dogs dump a tail kick as soon as you, as soon as you see him and especially if he's got a lead on the dog's pretty good. And it depends. Some places we have, if the wind's blowing right? Yep. You can hardly hear the dogs coming sometimes and you might see the bear cross out.

Today was example. Yeah. Let's use [00:44:00] today's example. Yeah. So BB was in a different block and I didn't, I never heard the dogs coming. Like when you said they opened and whatever But I seen the dogs coming towards me. So I stayed back. I didn't ride right up on where they were going to cross. I stayed back.

Bear pops right out in front of me. I go up the road. I get Kate out, I send her and I overrun the track. So this was on me. I overrun the track about 50 yards and she run back down the road, hit it and went the direction I did not turn any of my young dogs loose until she. Got started, like I did not dump the box.

I didn't, but I'm very everybody says I'm a butthead because I like to do things like very organized. But by the time I got back to the truck and was getting the young dogs out, your dogs were, they were there. So I fed them right in behind yours, with yours when they crossed. [00:45:00] That's another thing, if your dogs are barking in a box, you got to stay back, you're going to turn it.

And if that's what you want to do, we tried that last time to turn it, that's fine. But when you're just driving up and down a road and them scoundrels were just making noise for no reason, like I, I can't take it.

And it pulls dogs to the road, like it will pull the dogs on the track because your dogs sound like they got it caught. Dogs are pack animals. Let's go back into the, to the pack mentality. Dogs are pack animals and if there's more noise coming out of here than what's going on up here, they're going to go check that out.

And then, like BB just said, then we just lost five minutes trying to get everything redirected, straight and line back out. I just lost time. So if you have a box of hyenas, just lay back, let things cross and then let the dogs cross.

And like I said, my, my box is built where I can shut it up and my dogs don't have [00:46:00] no business barking and I made it that way for that reason. So yeah, just let it cross and then pack it up. That way, or like I said, I'm, we're a big, I'm we lay back a lot, I'll stay back where I can see that straight stretch or I can get right in that curve where I can see up, where I can see up the road, but I'll stay back off of it the best I can.

If you pull up, especially if there's a group of you and there's three or four or five trucks, you got the truck noise. Then, then you have the dogs barking and what happens is the bear pops out and then he turns and he goes right back in on his track and then you roll up there and you pack on that and then you have that train wreck again because dogs are coming both directions.

And. It takes a pretty seasoned, I've seen it happen. It takes a seasoned dog to figure that out. Oh yeah. I've seen bears get thrown away where they've popped out in a road and whirled back and gone on the same track they come on. And I've seen at times where it takes [00:47:00] you a long time.

To get that straightened out, to the point you're catching dogs up and you got those seasoned dogs that you know and trust, and then you send them back at, you're, and you might even have to walk a loop in the woods to get back after him, and, hitting them like that, hitting them tight, if you're hitting them tight and trying to kill him, that's one thing, but even then, And it's hard.

When you're, if he's got a lead on him, you don't know, you don't know exactly where he's going to pop out. If they, if he's pretty close, if they're tight on him, you can hit him pretty tight and try and get up there and get your shot. If you want to, if you want to do it that way. So it, it just depends.

We had an instance in Maine this past year where We hated them and we were hitting them pretty tight. And the bear come right up to us. We saw the bushes shaking and he whirled and just paralleled the road and then duck back, maybe parallel the road, 10 yards and duck right back.

And then all, every dog that was running that bear swung out into the road and then you're trying to send them back and it's that's time when they swing like that, that's. [00:48:00] That's time that bear is getting out further ahead of them versus making up that ground, it takes a, no, and they'll swing, all of them will swing there.

You might have some that, that, that will stick that track, but in all honesty, if they're sticking that track too much, they ain't making no time up. So most of the ones that we hunt, at least that I've seen. And just the experience of hunting with folks, they're going to swing a little bit and they'll swing into a road and a lot of times if they come up to a road, them dogs will swing out and across that road and check 10 yards within on the other side to see if he went that way.

That happened today, where, when we turned them back, they swung in the road. And they swung back around in there and hit it off and took it on. But when we caught them dogs, the reason we called them is because we turned it back and they swung up there and we didn't try to sick them on after him again, and that bear and I want to go back and reiterate something, but that bear went back on his track about a hundred, 200 yards and then swung off of it. And that's something [00:49:00] that goes back to what I just want to talk about. You gotta know. If your dogs are right up on it, like if you're sitting in a road and you see the bear pop out and you look on your Garmin and they're 250 yards behind, then you know that you probably should, and it pops back up in there, you're going to have a train wreck.

If they're 50 yards and the bear pops out, you're going to run him right back. You may catch him right there. Yeah, you may catch him sometimes, but I've seen it where I think that bear goes right through the pack and. I don't know. They just miss it or it's here. It's thick enough where that bear could be, 10 feet away from them.

They don't seem or smell him or they're smelling bear anyway. And it turns into a train wreck anyway. So that's one of the biggest things as far as trying to be efficient and not add time between the dogs and the bear. When they turn back, it's hard. It's one of those it's not an easy feat to get past when you do that.

And if you do that [00:50:00] multiple times, it just adds more time between the dogs and the bear, yep. Yep. So do we cover everything on packing? Don't face pack. Let it cross. If you are going to let it cross, lay off of it a little bit. Don't ride right up on it because that's just going to cause it.

Either to turn back or, if your dogs are barking, a lot of times it's going to pull dogs to the road. Do we cover all that? Yeah, I think as far as packing goes, one thing about a group, and this is a segue, but. When it when his actual season, when the season's in and you're trying to harvest that bear, working together as a group is so important.

So if you got somebody who has dogs and they're still in the box and you're still, you're actually working to try and take that bear. Having them back off or having them in certain places where if a certain scenario plays out that then they send them or something like that, thinking ahead of the game a little bit as far as the what ifs while you're hunting and not everybody does [00:51:00] that.

It's, and each group is different. Each group is going to have the different dynamics. And usually it's going to be somebody who's been doing a whole lot longer that he's going to call you out on it if you make a mistake. But when you're actually trying to get in front of them and actually take a bear working together as that group to try and cover those potential places, just take a walk in Bayon Bear for instance one of the big things we could try to do here is one is radio communication So you can talk and know where people are and know what's covered And then two, if you have the certain people who are going to have whoever's shooting with them trying to have that track code for their box so you can see where they are so you can, if you see that person is coming up behind them.

Walk, if that bear is walking in band and they're walking on down behind them, then you can try and get in front of them and try and hit them. And then if if he's walking in band, he smells you or sees [00:52:00] you or whirls back or whatever, then that person who, who's behind them has that opportunity to potentially take that bear, so working like that, running bears a little different, you have to know.

Or understand how them bears are traveling wherever you are, whatever type of terrain you are, it's different here than it is in the mountains and versus Maine, they travel differently and trying to understand that, whether or not they're going to cross in a bottom or follow a topo line across a road or something like that and trying to hit them to take that bear and then working as a group to, cause some of these places that you hunt, It takes so long to get around, you might have one person go one way and one person go to others.

So that way, whichever way he goes, you got him covered, so thinking about that when you're hunting as a group, it's, it can be very, it can be very efficient. If you got a group of people who is, understands that and is able to thank for themselves and doesn't have to [00:53:00] be told what to do.

Those groups that can, that can work as a group and understand how to function to meet whatever kind of goal that you got for that particular day that you're hunting or running. Yeah. And I want to hit on two more topics cause we're going to run out of time.

One of the things that I've, I was thinking about when I was driving down here the other day that like when, and I'm going to go back 15 years ago, 20 years ago. Like, when I first started rigging I'd rig a track and I'd holler at everybody to come where I was at and we would all turn loose a dog or two together and what I have found through experience is that the longer you sit there and wait, the less chance of your dog.

Being able to take off that rig and find that track, especially if it's an older track, the wind changes. Like I said, we talk about the environment all the time. It's changing. Microsecond, it's changing. Everything's changing.[00:54:00] We find a track in the snow years ago, everybody come and put a dog down and hunt.

And we don't really do that anymore. And for me, like I said, I know why I do what I do is because. I ride, I get a rig going around the mountain and I drive on by it and I hollered everybody say, Hey, come on up here, I've got a strike and I go back by it. I may or may not strike that again.

Cause everything's changed. The wind may changed. So that's my reason. Cause everybody kind of picks on me about turning my dogs loose, but if my dogs strike, I'm putting them down, letting them go get it. I don't wait like I used to, and I don't know if that's bad or good. I can't say, some people don't care.

Some people fuss at me, but that's why I do what I do is because I learned through the years that, everything it's changing quickly. And, if that, I struck several bear this year, that was three, 400 yards off the road. Dogs had to go get [00:55:00] them. And I feel like if I sit there for 30 minutes waiting on everybody.

It's like it is in our tracking, our law enforcement tracking. Like I can be tracking a suspect, but if I keep pulling my dog off the track or having him down and wait on the team to catch up with me. The longer and the more I do that, the more distracted he becomes or everything else becomes interesting.

And it takes away from that enthusiasm. And I feel the same way with that is, what I do. Any input on that? For me, I don't read much. If they read, if mine really gets hot, it's pretty hot. I'm, we're a little different here. And just from my experience I will say that, one thing that I just from going different places and even hunting around here, we do tend to split up a little bit more to cover more ground which is the same thing, when you're trying, it's one thing when you're hunting off a bait, you got a starting point, but if you're looking for that track and trying to [00:56:00] strike it, it's you're way more efficient when you spread out.

And then if somebody does strike something, then that's when y'all. You pick up and go and help to try and head or, try and get yours in on, on that particular race. For us, it doesn't really matter who strikes it or where it is, when we're hunting. Like here in Virginia, you're spread out and trying, just trying to get after him or get after a bear, versus going to say Maine or North Carolina, where there's a bait, that you have a central starting point.

So it's a different hunting style, no matter where, for each situation and we don't have the topography here that you got. It's not like we're going to have different currents up and down, elevation Where they, you know, if the wind's right, they might smell them off a road, but for the most part, they'd have to be real close for them to be rigging out of the box or have just recently crossed.

Yeah. And today, I was just in the right place at the right time today, because if I would have followed you around, I'd have missed everyone. I'd have missed [00:57:00] all that. I just happened to be goofing around in the right place today. And another thing I see some comments on, and every state's different as far as their laws are concerned, but I've seen several people comment about tying dogs up at the tree.

For me, as soon as I get, before I do anything at the tree, I grab my old dogs and tie them back. And then I work my way up to the youngest dogs. So for Virginia, it's, you're not supposed to rerun that's a law here. And I see a lot of things, a lot of things on social media about don't tie.

Why y'all tie them dogs up? Why y'all do that? Our law says we have to, and plus I don't want my dog getting pummeled at the tree. If he's made that whole race and he's clean and like unharmed, I'd prefer to keep him that way or keep them that way. There's a lot of times we get in the tree and they bail out before you can get there.

That happens. So [00:58:00] I see that a lot, each to their own, everybody does something differently. But if you see guys in Virginia doing that, that there's a reason why, because the law pretty much says they have to, yeah. For us. And I'm going to go to more of the harvesting side of the case, because, usually if we're training, we're hunting only a handful of dogs or running a handful of dogs.

But when it comes to like actual hunting season and you're going in there to harvest that bear, there are situations that we do have here where you can't tie him back because he's up a bush. He's, he might be just out of reach of a dog and. You can't get underneath him because as soon as you start or if you even if you get that close He's gonna he's gonna come out and then again, then you got a Another nasty situation at your you know hands that you're dealing with.

So you just have to look at each situation and Figure out the best way you're [00:59:00] gonna approach it, you know So, here, we time back, if we're able, we're going to time back, especially if he's way up in a tree, cause there's nothing worse than a bear falling out and hurting a dog, cause.

That, that can happen even if you're not harvesting them, I've seen bears fall out of trees, they get scrounging around or it's a dead limb or something or something like that or bark breaks away from the tree, for the rotten tree or something like that.

It just depends. Each situation is different and you just have to evaluate it. When you see it, let's talk about, and I want to talk about holes too, because I hate holes, but one thing that I've noticed down here that I see more at home is packing the trees.

Y'all don't pack to trees like, and I'm a proponent. I don't I've went through a stage in my life where I did that some, because I didn't have dogs that would tree a bear. And during some of my, those stages, like I done it, [01:00:00] but now I'm not putting my dogs to a tree, either they're making that race or they're staying in the box.

Now you've got a 300 pounder that won't stay up, I may give you some help, but I don't see you guys doing that as much as I see some of the guys at home doing that. I don't. I don't see the benefit of it. And if I do pack, if I have a young dog, I'm not, I will walk the way the track went into the tree, hoping that dog will pick up the track and run into the tree.

And I have not done that any this year. I've everything, I've either turned it loose from the get go or where I've packed in. But I'm not a proponent of that. Yeah. The only time here is if, last last week we had a sit or I had a dog that got out by himself and he ran and, you know how the garments are, they show treed, but here they're just as likely to be on the ground.[01:01:00]

As he is to be treed. And so if it's one single dog or something like that, I'll send dogs in and some dogs, you can tell when they're treed this particular dog, he has the same bark, whether he's treed or obeyed especially by himself. Last week I packed some into it and he had already treated.

But I didn't know, I didn't know if it was treated. I didn't know if it was on the ground, it was one of those situations where I'd rather get some help there versus going in there, finding out he's on the ground and then trying to get somebody to send dogs to him and, or something like that.

No. That, that's the only situation here that you could run into. But we don't, if we know it's treated, that's just more dogs that we got to lead out and here it's so hard to lead a dog through this thick stuff that It's if we can avoid it, we don't do it. And, I'm like you, I'd rather the young dogs, I'd rather them run it and tree it, and if they don't, if they're not a part of that race, then, as far as I'm concerned, they're, they can stay in the box.

So let's do a little training here. Let's talk about [01:02:00] drives and let's talk about, if you're packing the trees. I'm telling you guys I train dogs for a living. Dogs are cheaters. Dogs are always going to do what's best for them. They are going to take the easy way out.

If you pack your dogs to trees and pack your dogs to trees, the more you do that, you need to understand that the less you're going to get out of that dog because he does not have to work to earn it. It's just like when I was going through decoy school with Franco Angelini. Top, he's one of the world, two top decoys in the world.

And Franco said, he, you always make your dog attack the decoy, which means the dog has to be coming forward to grab the decoy. You never feed it to him. And I'm demonstrating this with my arm to BB, which I know you guys can't see it. So if I stick my arm out in front of me, then the dog can come and get it.

But if I push it out [01:03:00] to him, then I'm putting it in his mouth. So I'm like doing room service for him. And Franco, you say Heath, it's like you going into yard and having one rabbit to choose from the dog's got to work to get that rabbit. Or I walk into a yard with 20 rabbits. And the dog don't have to work to do that.

The same thing goes in for some of the behaviors that we cause with these dogs. Is if you're packing the trees, your dog is going to be like, Oh, I get to go in and have fun and bark and carry on. And I don't really have to work for it. So you got to think of the long term effect of some of the things you're doing, so if you do this over and over. You have to understand that your performance of your dog is going to be less and less, because it's just like you feeding him in a food bowl and holding it up to his mouth. He don't have to work for it. I'll say that packing into trees. I think that here, one of the big things that I've seen or issues that we've run into is when you got dogs that are like the tree.

And if one [01:04:00] dog trees, when we get, if we're hunting particular block where there's a lot of water and they're right on the river and it's, waist deep water. And, the river might be chest deep, neck deep, in different places and things like that, they get to the edge of that water.

And the first thing they want to do is pull up entry. And all it takes is one dog. In some of them situations to pull up tree. And the next thing you got another train wreck and you got a slick tree, 1000 yards into, thigh to neck deep water and there's nothing more aggravating than waiting into a slick tree in that type of water.

And yeah, that those dogs we tell people not to bring them back. No, it makes perfect sense. I don't want to climb to the top of the mountain to a slick tree either. I don't want to do it. Guys, just think about, the long term effect.

If you want really good dogs, they've got to earn it. They've got to work for it. And they've got to be rewarded for the work they do. Not that they, the [01:05:00] work that they don't do. It's pretty, that's pretty simple. They earn what they do. They do not earn what they don't do. And holes. And this is where I hate As many times, we've not had a hole down here.

Do y'all get in holes much? They'll get into stumps underneath stumps falling over trees where the, like the root, the roots are lifted up, they can get under them or even hollow trees where the base is hollow. We've had that happen. We had a one get into a hollow stump last year down in North Carolina and that got a little gnarly.

It wasn't too bad because, no, no other dogs could really get in there with it. But it's a little different here. Usually the, our holes aren't, but so big. We've had instances where Dogs have been, bearing a bear, in a hole and had the bear come out and pull a dog in, into the hole.

And luckily it was one of them holes that was, it was so small, he couldn't really do anything. So next time the bear come out to [01:06:00] grab another dog, that dog come out, and wasn't hurt too bad. But yeah, holes are tricky. They can get really tricky, really fast for sure. And that's where I don't like the cheerleaders because we had this happen during early season, we ended up catching in a hole that I did not know was there.

And we got in there and I'm like, crap, and here come 10 dogs that was not there. And a lot of the front dogs were getting pushed up in there. The cheerleaders were in there barking at the back. I don't like that. I, less is better in those situations. This was a bad one because it was funneled.

There was no way out except to come right where we had to come to catch the dogs. Yeah I don't like holes at all. I'd just soon stay out of them. And here, if you want to talk about the like dogs that are cheerleaders, our briars are so thick that it's the same. It's just like a [01:07:00] hole.

If you have cheerleaders and that bear breaks at them, they they can't get out of the way, especially one because of the briars and two, if there's dogs behind them they can't move and get out of the way. quick enough for the, to get out of that reach of that bear. So here briars are just so thick and we have some briar bunches that literally the barrel get in.

And the dogs that sit there and bathe that bunch and next thing you'll see a dog that gets brave enough and goes through it where that bear son slipped out the backside and the dogs didn't know that he slipped out. But in the next thing, he's got a little bit of a lead on them and they catch him again in the next Briar Bunch.

And we have a lot of bears that do that. They'll go from Briar Bunch to Briar Bunch and stuff like that. So it's, it's definitely different. At least there they can get it out the back, but some of them will just sit there. I've crawled in, I've literally crawled into a skidder rut, and water laid down in the water, crawled on my belly.

To get in there to a bear and, be, five feet, six feet from the bear and he's [01:08:00] bayed up and dogs are baying him and have to pour the water out of the gun barrel to get him killed, so it's, here. We don't have holes as much, but some of them briars, they act like a, like a hole, for them.

So it's, and when you're hunting as a group like that, understanding that, like if you got one that's walking and baying. Or you got a bear, a lot of times the bears down here, that might be a little rougher if they're baying real hard and they just go silent all of a sudden, understanding that when they do that, that bear is running scattered and chasing them and understanding that depending on how many dogs is and depending on the ground, More might be better, less might be better.

It just depends on where they're at in a particular situation. And the bear. The bear is a entity of its own. And understanding and trying to be able to read what the dogs are telling you on what, how that bear is behaving. And then what, how you need to act based on that. When you're hunting together.

That's for sure important. [01:09:00] Yeah. And we'll wrap this up. I've, there's been several times that I have not packed dogs on a walking bear because too many, because I can't get out of the way. We had a pretty rough bear a couple of years ago, had 11 dogs on it. Six of them went to the vet. Three of them got stapled and sewed up right there on the tailgate.

And I think two of them is the only two that did not have holes in them. Everything else was vet or stapled. so Just knowing that, I don't, I didn't have any dogs on it. And I was doing my best to help them try to get it killed because it was tearing dogs up. But yeah, piling more dogs on there wasn't gonna help that matter.

Yeah, I mean it's You know, we ran into one of those and we ran into one of those in Maine last year where it was a rough, it was a rougher type bear. And then it, once you realize that, especially during kill season or something like that, it's time, you need to work together as a group to get him killed and being, [01:10:00] having that communication to work together to kill him is real important, especially if that's what you're trying to do.

And I, I'm a big fan of killing those rough ones. Yes. I'm a big fan of it. There's nothing that. The, that's, I like, I hate to say it, but I do like it when we kill those rough ones. Yeah. We've had an instance where we've been called, here you can deer hunt and we had hunted all day in, in North Carolina and got a call into Virginia.

I think a particular bear ended up killing, I don't know, it was four or five deer dogs and hurting a whole bunch more. And she was mean, but the thing is, you knew it. So it wasn't no playing around. It wasn't no, it was definitely, get it killed and get it killed as quick as you could.

And the deer dogs are a little different temperament and they didn't, they don't know any better. It's a little different when you put the bear dogs behind a bear when. They do that. We were lucky there. We didn't get nothing hurt [01:11:00] too terribly bad, we did end up getting it killed, but, that's and having a good group of guys that you can rely on is so important when you do get on them rough ones or I say important it just makes it so much Less dangerous for the dogs and even the people itself.

That that's definitely an important part of it. Yeah. And that gets into a whole nother topic that we'll say for another day is, killing bear on the ground is it takes patience and experience because they're, the dogs are, they're the main driving factor of that.

And I know that I seen a Paul Laney just post. That one of his dogs got killed last week by a hunter. Oh, yeah. And I hate that because dogs are so valuable. Not only as a hunting tool, but as a partner and part of the family, we spend tons of time with our dogs, like everybody else does, but they're a part of our life and we're with them every day and we're doing stuff with them every day.

And.[01:12:00] You never want to see that happen. So bear on the ground stuff. Yeah. And again. We take a lot of people in. Most of the people that we carry in to kill a bear, it's usually their first or their very inexperienced and going in to kill a bear. And we're taking them in, and then usually we have a couple, two or three.

People and then usually there's a, somebody who's more experienced with them. And that's where that group comes in to be such a big factor to be able to work together and make sure one it's done quickly and then also done safely, for you and the dogs. Cause I've had instances that, any bear hunters is had.

instance where things can turn Western and get a little wild, Doug has, he said that's just bear hunting. That that's probably one of the biggest things about hunting with a group is. being able to have that person, if you're, you've got that person that you trust and rely on, that's covering that road and with that particular shooter that day and being able to [01:13:00] trust them with your dogs or whoever, whoever else's dogs that might be in there and having that trust that one, that they're going to do the job that needs to be done.

And then to make sure that it. It's done as safely as possible. That's a big thing that we do. For us, like I said, we're carrying so many people and even in Maine, a lot of the guys that go in Maine, they don't have that experience and I don't know how many people I've carried in that.

Yeah. You look at their hands or the end of that gun barrel and it is shaking like crazy, like a leaf. In trying to understand that and then talking them down and trying to calm them down to be able to get it taken care of and but it's It's definitely that and then also being in shape enough to get to the places that they need to be that's probably the number one thing we run into is trying to have somebody that's fit enough to move To be able to hit or get into a bear or whatever it is, even if it's a tree bear, some of the ground we got, they might be crawling for, hundreds of yards [01:14:00] to be able to get in there.

Tommy, I carried a guy into a tree one time. He said, I'll never do this again. Smoked probably five cigarettes at the base of the tree. Never even went and looked at his bear. He shot out and he said, this is too much like work. Yeah that's right. Baby, let's let's. Cut this off and get in bed.

Like I said, you cut me up way past my bedtime. We're in the midnight hours now, and hopefully we can get after one, maybe two tomorrow, and have a couple good races. Yeah, hopefully we can find one. They're eating the peanuts pretty good now, yeah. Yeah, we took a little walk about this season, didn't we?

It looked good. I'll tell you that. It looked real good. But guys, thanks for joining us. Go to our website, helmsmanxp. com. Look at the merchandise. We got a lot of shirts going out and look at our sponsors. You got, Go Wild, Cajun Lights, Onyx. All those have discount codes. Dogs Are Treed. I can keep going.

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