Starting from Scratch 101

Show Notes

The Journey on the Houndsman XP Podcast Network dives deep into getting started as a new Houndsman and some tips and tricks how to get in the game as well as keeping initial expenses down. 

Brent Bunch, a Virginia houndsman and repeat guest,  joins host Heath Hyatt for this step by step tutorial to ensure you are coming into the lifestyle fully aware and prepared. 

What does that include? 

-Heath talks about how he just decided on a whim he was going to buy two dogs without any thought. 

-How much thought goes into owning, housing, hunting a hound did you put into it?

-How will it change your life and become a lifestyle? 

Heath and Brent go through owning a hound from start to finish. Things that you should take into consideration. This is one every new owner, handler or potential hound owner should listen to. This is all a part of The Journey.

Show Transcript

[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.

Hey guys, the journey on Hounds Man XP has teamed up with Gow Wild. Gow Wild is a social media platform that was made for hunters by hunters. If you guys and gals have listened to any of the other podcasts that I've been on, you know what a huge outdoor enthusiast I am. [00:01:00] I love being in the woods. My hands there is nothing more exciting than hearing the thunder of a spring gobbler.

I love fishing for trout and the brooks and the streams, and I love being on the river chasing that ever elusive fish of a thousand cast, the Musky come, go Wild is the place that I can post my trophies, hunts, and memories without being censored. But go wild is so much more than that. It's a place to share your stories, sharpen your skills, hone your tactics, get gear views, and shop for anything outdoors when you make a purchase from the Go Wild Store.

Everything is free shipping, anything that you purchase anywhere in the country, no matter how big free shipping. So go down to the show notes. Click on the Go Wild link at the bottom and get signed up today. [00:02:00] And let's go wild. If y'all purchase anything from Go Wild, make sure that you're using the Hounds Man XP promo code, and that code is gonna be H X P 10.

So when you go in there and you download your cart and you come up to the bottom and it says, promo code, add hounds and XP to it.

On this episode of the Journey, BB and I had a conversation and he brought up a good point and we were talking about how we got started. Like so many things go into owning a hound and hound hunting that basically this is just gonna be a 1 0 1 class. You know what? What does it take to own a hound? Have you thought about what it's going to?

And it's gonna take, and the commitment that you're gonna have to have from, starting with your [00:03:00] first dog. And we'll go through that on what we feel like is the best route and all the way up to training it, finish it to the land that you hunt. So this episode is gonna be about the process.

The journey's about the process. We like to go from A to Z, so we're gonna start walking everybody through those steps. And you guys that have been doing this for a long time, it's just a way of life for you. What it is for us. And we just, we've learned and we've made errors and mistakes and we tweak and we twist and, we just go through life now.

It's no big deal. But, for somebody starting out, it's It's definitely a very big task to take on and I think we've got a lot of good points and good information that the people that are, the people that are trying to start hound hunting. This is gonna be a great listen for you guys.

So I've got BB with me, [00:04:00] Brent. I don't know why I just call you BB all the time, but I got BB with us again. He's the one that brought this up, so that's who I wanna talk to about it because I. He was the one that brought it to my attention through a conversation. So how's everything down east today be?

Oh, it's doing good. Doing good. We had a good little race this morning. I've seen that. I'm a little jealous. And then he walked and bathed for about a hour with 2, 2 2 year olds and a one year old. And then some other puppies. Yeah. Nice. And I knew exactly where you were at too. I was like, oh man, come on now.

Yeah. But, getting those young dogs out and was Doug was running today? Yeah. He brought two dogs. Yeah. Yeah. Good. I'm, like I said, I'm envious. Like I'm gonna, I know I couldn't get down there this week, but not this coming week, but the week after. If the weather's not too bad, I'm hopefully I'll be back for a couple days and we can get after 'em and at least get 'em in the right direction anyway.

Get mine in the right direction because after the last trip I [00:05:00] realized that mine are a little bit outta shape. And these the young dog, the puppy, and I call 'em puppies. They're the year old dogs. Like that's really, they, I had 'em down there last October, but they were seven months old. They're over a year old now.

And that train's just different. Like when I got home, and again, I'm on the shout out to the one tdc. I did not have my dogs on it right now. And when I got home, two of my young dogs, their joints were their front joints were swelled up. And they looked like they'd been through a bus saw in the front end where they got in all them briars.

Yeah, they can pick 'em for sure. Yeah. It was tough yeah, it was tough. And I thought to myself, next time Uhuh I'll get 'em back on the one tdc probably this, the first of this coming week and have 'em on it for a week or so before I get back down there because it does make a big difference in the doll, the dogs and.

Like I said I felt bad when I got home and Attica, man, she was swelled up and I'm like, I could have prevented that and I just didn't. So [00:06:00] that was on me, but good. So I'm just gonna start this out with a little with a brief. I'll do it as brief as I can about, I know I've talked about it on previous podcasts, but I'm just gonna give a breakdown of how I started, what a lot of the stuff that I didn't know.

And, it, it took me about 10 years to get the equipment that I needed to get headed in the right direction. And I had a pretty good mentor at that time, and we'll definitely talk about that as we go on. But anyway, so everybody knows that. A buddy of mine had shot a bear up on a elite lease that we had.

And at the time, I was dating my wife, my first wife I know, and dogs has caused two divorces guys. So just that's how it is. I laugh about it. But my first wife and her roommate Porter had bear dogs. And we had went out to dinner a [00:07:00] couple times and talked about it, and I was a big hunter, don't get me wrong, man.

I stayed in the woods. I was an avid bow hunter. I loved bow hunt and Spring Turkey was my other favorite. And I did deer hunt, but those two are the things that I like to do the most. And so one of my buddies shot a bear. We called. Porter to come track the bear cause we couldn't find it. And he come rolling up the next day, which we was like, why is he waiting?

Get on it now. I need you to come over now. And he was like, nah man, we'll be over tomorrow. And I'm like, no. So he rolls up in this big black 4, 2 50 diesel. Back then, the extended cabs weren't a big commodity dogs hanging out of that thing. He had a full size dog box across the back of it.

It was a topper basically. And I don't know how many dogs he had with him, but he rolled outta there and we went down the holler where he shot the bear, the dogs blowed up, barking, carrying on. And I, that, at that instant, I was hooked. Like it, it was done. That's all it took. And I bought [00:08:00] two dogs off of him, two plot dogs that were my first two dogs.

And I'd just done it on a whim. Like it got me so excited. I was already hunter and I just jumped in, bought two dogs. And I went to my granddad's and got two dog houses that he used to have, and I tied 'em up up above the barn at my dad's. I still lived at home, and that's how my journey started. And, as we go through this process, I didn't have, I didn't have a light, I tried to coon hunt those dogs, and that was a complete disaster.

I didn't have tracking collars, and that was another complete disaster. And, until I bought my Brandy female, which was the dog that I won plot days with and weren't a lot of other hunts with those two dogs were me too dogs. If your dog run a deer, they'd run a deer. If your dog run a tree coon, they'd run a tree coon.

If your dog's treat a bear they'd run a tree of bear. But they [00:09:00] weren't. And I didn't know any better. Like I chased him scoundrels all over. The area, Giles County, Virginia more, more than one night. And it wasn't until I got Brandy and started hunting. And that was about a year. Prob it was probably a year or two year, a year or so after I had bought those dogs.

And then that's when I had got up with my mentor and, Pappy, I call him Pappy Dale breeding, he started giving me pointers and I went to school with Tommy, his son. And that's how we hooked up. And Dale took me under his wing and showed me the ins and outs.

But I'd done a lot of hunting by myself, a lot of trial and error. And that's how I got started. There was no preparation. There was no planning. It's just. Dogs barked. I got excited and I purchased two dogs. That was the beginning of my journey. So we are gonna try our best to deter [00:10:00] you from doing that and having a plan in place, cuz BB was exactly the opposite of what I'd done.

So BB tell us your jour, your beginning. Yeah. So I always, so I grew up with my grandfather. He had anywhere from 10 to 20 deer dogs at the time since I was a little kid. And I hunted with him every Saturday. I was carried a BB before I carried a BB gun. I carried a stick. So I was all the time with him.

So I had been exposed to the dog world a little bit more. I would always ride with him to a local guy here that was right up the road. He was a black gold dealer. So when the truck would come in, I would go and help. Move a pallet of dog food cuz my grandfather would buy a pallet of dog food at the time.

So then there was always the hunt club dues and things like that. A lot of times the dog drivers would get a discounted hunt club dues. So I knew there was a cost associated with it. Fast forward I'd always wanted a coon dog. [00:11:00] And then I got got the opportunity to go bear hunting for the first time when I was a sophomore in college.

And when I did that, I, just was hooked from that. Killed my first bear and just saw, what I would consider the pinnacle of dog work that I would had ever seen compared to the deer hunting world. Things have gotten a little bit better now with the alphas and things, but what it did is it made me really think, how would I.

Get into the bear dogs how could I do it? So I put a post on U KC and started Coon hunting up at Virginia Tech when I was there. 3, 4, 5 nights a week with some mutual friends. And then I looked at into purchasing my first coon dog. Now the per first Coon dog was a plot, and that was a little bit not thought out and planned out as well.

And it was a young [00:12:00] dog. He wasn't even, he wasn't a puppy, but he was a young dog and he was green. He hadn't been started. I think the guy said he was running rabbits in the yard and stuff. But anyway moving on, I hunted the dog pretty hard. Window bond. He let me keep the dog up at his house while I was up at school.

And then I could hunt him, so it worked out. Perfect. Did that plot dog come from here? No, it came from Asheville. North. North Carolina. Yep. And like I said, he would just run a track and then hit a tree and then backtrack it. Yeah. But then I had actually gotten my old or my grandfather's, cuz at that time he had slowed off on the deer hunting.

So I actually had his wildlife box and the beat beats. So I actually started, started hunting with the beat. And before that, when I was a kid, we used to have a, or my grandfather had a old 7.3 liter diesel Ford. And we would ride the paths and the dogs would come out of the woods to that diesel motor.

We'd look behind us a lot of times and see 'em falling behind us.[00:13:00] But we wrote a burn, a mini, a gallon of easel fuel looking for dogs back then. But anyhow so yeah, started with the with the the wildlife box. So moving forward, graduated and then got my first dog. And the rest of this history.

She turned out to be one of those once in a lifetime type dogs for me coon hunting. But my intention with coon hunting, getting back to the topic, was I always had the intention of coon hunting leading into the beardo world. I got to see dog work, I got to practice handling dogs, and it just gave me a better idea to accomplish that goal, I feel and help me prepare for getting into the bear dog world.

Yeah. And I want to go back a little bit, but you and I both just had that conversation that I didn't know anything about bear hunting either. And once I got my coon dog, [00:14:00] that's when I really started learning dogs, and it took me a long time because I would've loved to have brandy now with the knowledge that I have now.

But, she taught me a lot. Of course, Pappy taught me a lot about learning to read the dog and, listen to the different barks and stuff like that. So that kind of seg segued me into. The bear world. I wanted to bear hunt from the start, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Cause I didn't have a plan.

I just started acquiring dogs and, going with anybody that would let me go. But you know how it is us bear hunters are clique-ish. If you ain't part of our group, you just don't walk in and, say, Hey, I wanna come hunting with you. Oh yeah, sure. Come on. We're not that way.

So it took a while for me to get in with some people to do that. And at the same time, here I am, a young man with, tra do worthless dogs really, if you [00:15:00] wanna be honest about it. Like I said, if yours would run a bear, they'd go with you. But and you know how the older guys look at there, they're like, I'm not, I don't wanna be chasing his dogs all day.

And they didn't like that was on me, spent many days chasing dogs. And they don't like you messing up the races either, that's a part of it. So the co the Coon hunting really was my foundation. That's what taught me what to look for. And before we back up, like I was very fortunate to have some of the quality, like you said, about Autumn, having some of the quality dogs that I had without knowing anything about dogs.

Brandy, like phenomenal ham. She had some holes. Absolutely. She was, no, not perfect, but I was able to win a lot of hunts with her. Have a lot of good times, a lot of memories like we talked about before. With that hound. And then, I bred her, I raised some pups outta her that was super nice.

And then I ended up getting the [00:16:00] walker dog from Pappy, that was a sack junior bread dog. And I was learning then, and he was a super, super nice dog. Was able to finish him out relatively well really quick with him. And then that's when, and I was bear hunting the whole time, but that's when I, the bear hunting really took a hold.

But baby, let's get the audience up to that point. What are some things that we need to look at before we ever get the doc? Because I didn't look, I didn't even ask my dad. I just brought him home and, he had that are you kidding me? Look on his face, because they were going on, of course we had a land and.

We had a, like a farm and had horses and a barn and stuff. So I was able to put the dogs back out of the way where they weren't a bother, but I didn't even ask. I just did it. So what were some things where are you gonna start? What are we gonna start with? You might, we might as well start with somewhere to keep 'em Yep.

At the house, where, how do you intend on housing them, [00:17:00] whether it's gonna be chain kennels crating them in, in, at night and letting 'em out during the day or something like that. I don't, and then the laws that can, are applicable in the location, in your location, or like locality.

Yeah. I think, and I'll run through that on the law enforcement side of it, the county that I live in, out in the county, there is no barking dog. There's no noise ordinance. But now in town limits where I work, there is, and. It would be almost impossible to live in my jurisdiction with multiple dogs like you and I do, and not be complained on pretty much 24 7 because the law allows that to happen.

Like there, from seven o'clock in the morning till 10 o'clock at night or eight o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock at night. The noise ordinance is lax, but at 10 o'clock tonight till seven, eight o'clock in the morning, [00:18:00] it's pretty strict. So that would change things if you lived in a an urban environment instead of the royal communities like you and I live in.

Something else that you have to think about real quick is dog tags. Like our county requires it. So every time I go to the vet, give a dog a rabies shot, they send a slip to the county. The board of supervisors, the county, and then they send me a bill for that dog, which I have a kennel license, so it changes for me.

But I think those tags are 12, 13, $14 a piece, yep. Yeah. I li you see where I live, when I was up at the farm we had a neighbor that was a mile away that called and complained about the dogs one time when I was actually on travel for work. And I usually when I'm there I can have a little bit of handle on, on making them be quiet.

But anyway, so yeah we've had that happen before. I've had that happen before and that, that [00:19:00] turned into animal control inspections. Yeah. E everything was good to go. I had a kill license and rabies certificates and everything like that, so it wasn't a, it wasn't a big deal.

And actually from that I actually went and met the neighbors where it came from. Cuz I did a four year request to get the call in. Yeah. And found out who it was and actually the owner of the property, he was apologetic cuz they actually had a Airbnb and it was customers of the Airbnb who we were out drinking late at night and ended up being drunk and called Uhhuh.

So that's how that, that played out. But it, now we have a good relationship, if there's any issues, he'll just gimme a call or if I, if some of his livestock gets out, I give him a call so it works out good. Yep. That's building that relationship with the people around you, but Yep.

So housing where you live is definitely the first thing you have to take consideration and like you said, are you gonna, can you legally tie your dog out? I know we talked about that. Chris and Chad and them had talked about that on one of their podcasts about tethering a dog. And can, can you or can [00:20:00] you not?

I, my mine and your dogs, you have a couple on runs, but we ha we have kennels for hours. And that's just the way I prefer to do it. It's easier for me with my setup. So how are you gonna house the dog if you are, I'm gonna acquire one. Yeah. Neighbors are a thing. Yeah, that's a huge thing.

And then you gotta look I guess the next thing, the step would be equipment. Another thing to think about too is, before we leave the housing, of a dog is who's gonna look after him if you're not there or have to travel? Yeah. That's a huge thing, especially, for me, I have to travel for work a decent amount.

Luckily I have a good neighbor who I can pay to take care of the dogs and she's real familiar with taking care of dogs. But, making sure that you have somebody that you trust to look after the dogs. And then, I'm a little paranoid, so I always have a buddy of mine stop by sometime during the timeframe that I'm gone just to make sure everything looks right and make it clear [00:21:00] that if they see something wrong and have questions to reach out to me and ask.

Because, if there's something like a, I've had some like puppies, if you don't don't watch them real close, they can get worm me and pulled down quick or something like that. So that's something else you got to really be thinking about is, cuz there're gonna be times that you're gonna, yeah, you're gonna be gone and, but yeah.

Family vacation or you and I travel, we have to travel some for work. Our me our jobs require it. That is a huge factor. And it's even worse for me because I have police dogs and nobody wants around them, so I have another canine handler that lives just two miles down the road where I live right now.

But if I move, that may not be the case and it may not be as easy for me especially, but, and another thing that you and I run into is the number of dogs we have. Like it's a chore. I tell everybody I'm going home and do chores, oh, you live on a farm? No, I just got 55 dogs.

Not really, I got a wholehearted dogs it takes me and I've got it down to a science just like you [00:22:00] do, but it takes me 35, 45 minutes in the evening or whenever I do my stuff. If I feed I water, I clean tens, I make sure everything's taken care of. Like it, it takes me that long.

And just like you said, every time I go out of town, something flipping happens, like dog jumps out of the pen or I've had dogs climb outta the pen and get hit in the road while I was gone, and that's horrible. I've had accidental breedings when I've been gone because I tend to double dogs up sometimes, especially in the winter because I, I, I want that more, the body heat and stuff, so I double 'em up.

So you have stuff like that happens when you're always out of town. So that's a huge factor for sure. Yep. Yep. So equipment. So my first I don't even know what kind of leads I had. I probably had some rope that I tied up or something, and then [00:23:00] my dad give me my granddad's old mining lights, his old wheat lights.

And I had two of those, and you had to keep putting the water and the acid in 'em because they kept, they were so old they didn't work. So that was the first lights I had and for a good even when I got brandy, so I would say a year and a half into my hound hunting career, I did not have a tracking system.

None. I had a collar with my nameplate on it. And that is a very cumbersome task when you turn a dog loose, especially if you got one that don't come back, you don't know what zip code you're gonna find him in. And I can attest to that. Cause I had, I mean that the, that first dog that I had was that way.

And then I had, then I got Brandy and she was valuable. I could tell she was different. She was Tri Koons for me. I was hunting her. She was getting better and better each time I took her. So a buddy of mine at work had a quick track [00:24:00] system, so I borrowed his collar from him here and there.

When he wasn't hunting, he'd let me take his collar for a night or two, and if I needed the system, I'd have to go wake him up or wait till the next morning to go get it. So that was a, that was an issue. And I finally was able to get me a system. I bought a caller first had to call her, and then I was able to get the tracking system.

And, back then, like we taught Bebe, like I had just gotten married, I had my first child money wasn't on trees, I, everything I was making was being sunk into a new home, baby diapers and formula, life. So I didn't have that extra money. I just had to make do with what I had.

And looking at it now, I would not recommend that for anybody. Because it's tough. And like I said, the, everything's changed too. That's almost been 30 years ago, so things have changed. So the tracking system was a issue. It took me a while to acquire it. I had a [00:25:00] collar and yeah, it took a while to get a light.

And then you look at the dog, Bo I had to have a dog box, which I built my first one outta wood. That thing was heavy as a kitchen table. It was heavy. But that's what I had, that's what I had to use the journey on the Hounds Man XP podcast Network is sponsored by OnX. The most comprehensive mapping system in the world is available by going to OnX and downloading their app.

Several subscription offers there. Highly recommend you using OnX, and here's a true story for you. We've all got that spot. Where when we turn our hound loose at night, they're gonna head that direction. The other night, my hounds headed in a direction for that property that had recently sold. I had no idea who owned that property.

I simply opened up my OnX app, found the landowner information, cut the dogs off, [00:26:00] and the next day I went to their house. And not only did I get permission to hunt there, I think I made some new friends. They are beef farmers and they do not like raccoons running through the feed bunks, leaving their mess behind.

Yeah. Go to OnX and download the app today at checkout. Make sure you use the promo code H X P 20 and get 20% off when you join us on Patreon, you will get a discount code for a deeper discount on OnX maps. Know where you stand with OnX. The journey on Hounds Man XP has teamed up with one tdc, this dual action support for oral health and mobility in our dogs.

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Yeah now With the invention of social media and Facebook marketplace and Craigslist and things like that. And then also with the release of a new Alpha 300, shortly after the 200 was released if somebody's looking to get into to the hunting, there's a lot of options for very good quality equipment at a reasonable, at a lesser price.

Like Garmins, older type collars, used [00:28:00] collars used collars, you gotta be a little careful with because that antenna wire will break for the gps. But, there's a huge, there's a lot of inventory out there right now. If you just go look on Facebook, look, at least I remember was it last week or when the Alpha 300 s dropped?

I would just. The numbers of collars and alphas that were being put on Facebook marketplace was comical. Nice. Skyrocketed. So if somebody's enter it, if somebody's looking into it, they can always do that secondhand option, and even with dog boxes, there's always dog boxes up there.

Now they don't, they tend to hold their value a little better for those aluminum type boxes. But there are still used stuff and equipment that's out there, light lights. I hadn't seen as much of the lights out, and around, but it's hard to beat a good quality of light For sure.

Yeah. And you're giving really good advice. You can always go, you can always get what you can afford. And I know some guys that are still [00:29:00] using the 300, the three 20 s, they haven't even upgraded from the three 20 to the 100. And, I still carry my 100.

That's the tracker that I have. The 200, I don't have the 300 yet, but I carry the two, the hundred with me all the time. And I guess I'm just used to it and whatever, and I don't have, no, it works. So it's, for me, it's not I don't feel like right this second that I need to go how, I don't even know what the 300 are, what the 800, $900.

I do that the collar on the new TT 25 s are smaller. I do that it's a little bit, should be a little bit light waiter, make it a little easier from dogs. But yeah, so gotta have a place to put 'em. And you gotta start looking at some equipment, whether it be you know what, whatever kind of tracking system you can find.

And a Ford, you can find a dog box, like you said. You can go on Facebook marketplace, or you can find a hand me down or use box, which, if I was going to start, that's probably where I'd [00:30:00] start into it. And then your vehicle, that's something else. But I think we left out some important stuff that we probably should backtrack on real quick.

Oh yeah. There's always just general medical maintenance type stuff. Like wormers and certain things that you're gonna have to have with a dog, whether it's, some kind of a ear cleaner or something like that. If you have a dog that gets bad infections or I'm trying to think of some, heartworm medic me medication tick medication is another, whether you choose to go topical or do the veto pill. There's, a whole bunch of, I'm just actually looking here on my equipment work bench here for all my dog stuff and, you got radios. I got radios. That I use hunting.

Let's see what else is up there? Some, what is that? Tough foot stuff. Tough stuff for feet. If they're running them, if you're running them hard, they're, they blow out a pad or something like that. Yeah there's all kinds of things that [00:31:00] just through necessity Usually it's one of the things, when something happens, you'll purchase something to try and help resolve it, whether it's some kind of wound care stuff or something like that as well.

Yeah I, I'm on me and you have the same setup. I have a workbench downstairs, it got all my chargers on it, and I keep my dog food over on the side of it. But then, it's got you're right, I've got all my medicines. I've got dogs are protected, the pad coat.

I've got the hydrate the system, from dogs treated of course, we use those products the one T D C. And now like I said, that's not counting your yearly, your really boost your yearly boosters. Like I said, you can get by with the Arabia every three years after your initial one so that costs kind, but then you gotta, looks like some vets.

Like you, you go to get a rabies shot now, hey, I just want a rabies shot. They charge you that, that office fee, which it used to be $35. I don't know what it is now. I'd probably double that. But[00:32:00] yeah, so you have fees and you and I talked about this before, baby, like if you're gonna hunt a do, I don't care if it's a coon dog or a bear dog, more likely with a big game hound, whether it be hogs or bear line or Bobcat or whatever, like the dogs are gonna sustain some injuries, like you said, even if it's just tearing a pad or breaking, tearing a toenail off, so on and so forth.

Or getting, for us, getting cut sometimes getting some puncture wounds. Like I said it before, even when I was competition hunting, I was up in Ohio and Brandy run through a barb wire fence and that barb wire literally. Looked like you took a razor blade and went from her shoulder down to her back hip and filet her open.

Nothing but the skin did not touch the meat. But I, she had a pile of staples in her for a long time trying to make that heal. That's even with your coon dogs. Yep. So yeah, you definitely never know when you're gonna turn, what'll happen [00:33:00] when you turn 'em loose. But yeah, as far as other just general equipment, depending on what your goal is and what you're hunting, you got to have your, your boots, your clothing, depending on your terrain.

Also, your gun if you're taking anything. Hunting license. Hunt licenses. That's another big one. To make sure you got everything covered there. In the truck, something that I always have with me is, I got one of those electric chainsaws now.

That's usually rides in the truck in the toolbox. And then, during bear season I have a gas powered cap winch. So there's all kinds of gear that you can acquire throughout your starting process. But you'll find yourself in situations potentially where some of those things are really nice to have machetes.

That's another perfect example of something. That's nice to have. Yeah. Especially in your terrain. I'm putting it back in my truck. Yeah. And you talk about the terrain, like what I wear with you is completely different than what I wear here. [00:34:00] We're just can give y'all guys a breakdown a little bit.

You talking about the, just the difference in the clothing. You need the briar bit britches or the chaps, because you gonna get into 'em. We wear, I'm wearing rubber boots. I'm wearing my muck boots down there most of the time because we're in water and, leather gloves.

Yep. The gloves, leather gloves are our must down here for sure. And then for me I can just wear regular, I used, I wore car. I mean I wore Carharts for a long time. And I've switched over a little bit and wear some different stuff now because the base layers. But I can't get, like when I wear my good stuff to your place, it shreds 'em, like it does, it shreds 'em.

And I don't wear my good, my boots down there either because I don't want 'em waterlogged nonstop because that's what you're gonna get. So yeah. Different difference in the train. And so let's and we left out one of the major factors. Dog food, if you're feeding Oh yeah. If you're feeding one dog.

You can buy a good quality food for probab, for [00:35:00] what, 40, $60 a bag? I would say that would be the range. I would say you can still get a, I think something quality for just over 30. But I would say anywhere from 30 to 60 is definitely a Yeah.

Where you, the mid range. Yeah. Where you'll be at. Yeah. Yeah. Dog food, if you're feeding one dog, basically the rule of thumb is one 50 pound bag per month per dog. If you're feeding multiple dogs, you start breaking that down and breaking it down and breaking it down.

I buy mine by the pallet because it's just cheaper for me to buy it in bulk. So dog food is another, that's a weekly or monthly expense. Though. That's something you have to definitely take into consideration. When you think about that and storage and if you're gonna buy in bulk Yes.

Storing it. Making sure it's in a place where one rodents it can't get into it and it's kept dry. Correct. Cause I've run into issues with that buying bulk as well. All right. We've got us, we've got, we've decided where we're gonna, where we're gonna house a dog, whether we live where we live.

Can I have one dog or can [00:36:00] I get a couple dogs? I live out in the country. We've got us some equipment. We got, we got us a tracker. We can keep up with a dog. We got us an old dog box. We definitely have a vehicle that we can get around in now. We need a dog. Yeah. Yeah. The dog would help the, something that I was thinking about that as far as getting a dog and stuff like that.

It, and it depends on a person's experience. Hopefully if you've been acquiring equipment right? Or already have some of this stuff and you're thinking about it hopefully you've been, either looking or trying to communicate with some other folks out there, whether it's a mentor situation or just talking to some folks and tagging along on a hunting to go hunting with them.

And I think that, that doing, so if you're able to find that mentorship or the mentor and then or have a base group of folks or hounds men that you can [00:37:00] communicate with, will definitely aid you in the looking for a dog process. Starting out if somebody doesn't have much experience with a dog or a hunting dog, I would definitely recommend not getting a puppy and not getting a a young dog that's, started.

I would start off with something that's, maybe a little older or old, really and is pretty much broke just to start to learn that process and how to hunt that dog and then maybe you could step in, if you have that broke dog, that might help you step into that puppy down the road.

But I think that's one of the most common mistakes that I see folks do is they get This itch. They want to get into bear hunting or coon hunting or, and coon hunting. I would say you have maybe a better chance of getting a puppy that is a natural. You just gotta have the go to go [00:38:00] out there and let that dog figure it out or set him up in situations where to help him figure it out.

Big game, it's a little different than that. It can be done with big game. But it's a little bit harder just because of the, there's not as many just population, there's just not as much a big population to say a coon would be. So getting that repetitions and experience is difficult when you're trying to start a young dog.

Without that older dog in that situation. But yep, that's, that'd be my recommendation is to definitely start with a older, solid dog with whatever you're trying to get into. Yeah. And I know that I think me and Chris and Mark Defra had this conversation and, I think Mark said the same thing.

Do not start out with a puppy if you don't know anything. And then you and I had this conversation to follow up on that. I feel like that if you are gonna Coon hunt, it's easier, [00:39:00] it would be easier to train a dog by yourself. We can watch videos and read books and talk to people, and you can take a dog and if the doll's got enough genetic promise that you're just gonna have to give him an opportunity to give him an opportunity.

Where bear hunting is a little different by far you're chasing two different animals. And it. It, yeah. It's just different. But I think what you're saying's and, if you're gonna get into coon hunting, you could probably get away with a good young start a dog going with somebody that has a nice dog, but you're gonna depend on them for a little bit.

If things don't line out for you, and then, if you're getting into bear hunting, you definitely want to go with some people that know what they're doing because I have talked about it before on this podcast, catching a bear by myself was it was difficult.

It was really difficult. And I had been hunting for several, like I said, several [00:40:00] years. And I had an old dog named Frosty and I could go hunting with somebody else. And that dog looked good. He always run up front. He always trailed and opened right when the dogs did, or maybe a little bit before or right there with him.

Rough Bear didn't run him off, but he never got himself tore up. He was one of those dogs. You ha. Yeah. But it took me a long time to, to tree a bear by myself, and that was a feat. It was not something that just happened. I just didn't luck up. But then again, back then, we didn't have the population of bear we have now either.

So that, that's a whole other topic, another story for another day. But yeah, I would suggest the same thing if you could buy a, an older dog that can teach you or show you or get you in the right direction. That would be my recommendation to. And then if you wanted to upsize and get you a young started dog, [00:41:00] because I will tell you, I trained dogs professionally.

That's my job. Like I trained dogs to put out here into communities to find narcotics, explosives, weapons, evidence. I train tracking dogs that are to train Pete to find people, which is, that's my specialty because of the hounds. That's what I really enjoy. And I've trained Pete dogs to apprehend and hold people.

And I have messed up more hounds than I ever have police dogs because I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't understand behavior. I didn't understand what drives a dog. So staying away from that puppy to begin with is solid advice. Yeah, it's one thing that the hounds will treat, teach you as patience for sure.

And I have to remind myself about it a whole lot. You really have to [00:42:00] be patient because you're gonna get aggravated and, especially more so if you're new and maybe not understanding exactly this whole situation. And I'm not saying that I understand the whole situation cuz if I, with a dog when it comes to a dog, because if I did, I wouldn't, I would have a whole lot better dogs than that too.

But a lot of it is, admitting to yourself that you don't know. And then also, Putting the dedication in to keep going. I don't know how many folks that I know of that have gotten frustrated and that they just burn out or they don't go enough. They don't, they get frustrated and then they don't go and, they take a break or whatever, and then they get frustrated the next time they go because they hadn't been hunting to begin with.

You know that, definitely if, the overall goal for a person, I think is to get into having a pack of bear hounds, I would say it's solid advice to start coon hunting. And maybe potentially, [00:43:00] start there. Learn a dog, learn to hunt and hunt hard enough to keep a dog up and in shape because one dog or two dogs is easy.

If you multiply that and have si, multiply that by three and have six dogs, eight dogs, or, or it can even go up higher, having that many dogs and then having them and keeping them in shape and up, up to snuff and in running, shape is very hard. You have to, it's a, how I look at it is it's, I want to go, but at the same time I make myself go too.

Because I know for me to have what I want with my goals you gotta hunt 'em hard. They're just, they're just like an athlete. I think that just segues into the next step is the commitment. Do you have are you gonna be able to hunt?

Let's just, let's just start back with the coonhound. Are you gonna be able to hunt two or three nights a week or are you gonna be able to hunt two nights a month? [00:44:00] And if it's two nights a month, then maybe you should go with a buddy that's got a hound. Like really? And then, let's talk about bear hunting.

Different states have different seasons. That's why I travel a lot. Even if I, like I said, I can get down and hunt, with you guys for a two days. That's two days that I can't hunt here and I can't, I can get my dogs off, piggyback off you guys a little bit cuz y'all been running, knock the dust off mine, keep their mind pointed in that direction.

Bear odor. And but I gotta travel to do that. I've, I got, I have to travel and so the commitment are you or are you gonna be a a part-time hunter? And I don't mean that, I don't mean that in a bad way at all, because there's been times in my life that I'm a, I've been a part-time hunter because of my life, because of marriage and kids and work that, Every other weekend on Friday and Saturday night.

Was it? Or, bear hunt. When I first started bear hunting, that was another thing. The job that I worked[00:45:00] I was only allowed two weeks of vacation. One week of that was spent with the family at the beach. And then the other week, which is five days, I, I took off during bear season and I had to do a couple a day or two in training season and a day or two in kill season, I took, tried to take the first week of kill.

That commitment, how much are you gonna be able to hunt, how much time are you gonna be able to spend? Then we get into one of the other biggest things, BV is location. This was a big thing for you. Yeah. Where you're gonna hunt is. When it comes to the big game world is, any game now, I would say is getting smaller and smaller.

So yeah. Are you gonna be close to that population that you're looking to hunt with the dog? Do you have a good coon population close by? And then do you have access and permission to hunt that land? Is it public, private and things like that. Here, I'm paying, hunt club leases and different things like that because most of the thing, most of the stuff here is private. So [00:46:00] you know, that's a tremendous amount that you have to really dedicate. To just have the access and everything. And then also I've been, pretty blessed with the mentor I have, Doug and the access that, that having that mentorship gives me so with him. That's that's I'm fortunate here now. I would imagine out west it might be a little different, with just, more federal land or public land. But at the same time too, a lot of the guys out west drives, I think they drive, they might drive a whole lot further out there to get to where they hunt, so they're still traveling.

For me, I'm tra I'll travel, I'll go to Maine every year, used to go to Ontario. Then I'm hunting, Virginia and North Carolina as well. And I'm I'd be open to go hunt. I hunt. In the middle part of the state as well when the, that season comes in. So it's definitely one of those things where you know opportunities and having a huntable population somewhere.

Cuz [00:47:00] for me if they don't have a bear, it's really no point in me hunting there, and a lot of people, they'll sit, they say they see a bear there in, in the summertime and, summertime is when the crops are in the field. So while you might have all this great crop land to hunt the wintertime, and if all that crop had been picked two months prior, they've already, moved back into those big river bottoms and things like that.

And especially in the central part of the state, it's probably one of the biggest places I've seen that where they actually move. So if you miss that timeframe that they're in that location, that access that you might have to that land. It doesn't do you any good because they're, that population has trans, is transient and has moved to a different location.

Yeah. Yeah. And for me, like I'm on the different end of the spectrum, I have to hunt national forest mostly our private land here only your dairy farms or your big farms have that type of land. And if they're cattle farms, most of 'em cut most of the [00:48:00] trees. So that, that, that changes the whole, the dynamics of the terrain.

So I hunt national forest and I've always felt this way and I feel this way. I live in one of the best places in the world because I can go. In the woods. I can get on the creeks, I can get on the river, and I can do all that from my house. I do have to drive and when I drive to hunt, it takes me a little over an hour, no matter which direction I go to get to where I hunt, where I live now.

And BB things have changed over the, the 30 at 30 years I've been doing this, especially in the last, I would say in the last 10 years, the uptick of bear hunting groups. So then we gotta look at etiquette. Okay. Okay, you got a dog and you're going hunting, and if you're hunting, like for you, it's a little different because y'all can keep in and out because of the private land, like for me it's national four.

Everybody and their brother, like anybody from any state [00:49:00] anywhere, can come and hunt where I hunt. Like it's not mine. It, I don't own it. I don't, They pay a license. They buy a license, they can come and hunt there. So I can go to my favorite spot in the morning and somebody already be piled up in it and running or taking dogs down, down the path, whatever.

So that's something else you have to think about when you're acquiring a dog. Coon. Hunting's a little different. Most of your coon hunters hunt pump farms and farmland and, I did hunt. I coon hunt a national forest quite a bit actually. And, so that's something that you have to take into consideration.

Are you gonna be able to find land leases, like what you have? Are you gonna have to hunt national forest like I do? And if you're out west, what is that situation like for you in that state or that area that you do hunt? So that's a huge that's, having the dog is probably the main thing.

And then I think that is probably the second thing for me is the territory. [00:50:00] Yeah. And Virginia is a little different, and North Carolina is a little different too. And then, just, another example of having that opportunity is Maine, a lot of places in Maine you have to, you almost need to be a registered main guide with leased bait sites or have land enough, landowner permission to run. So that's another area where it's just tough for some of those folks up there who want to get into the, to the beardo world. Just because the outfit in business is so competitive up there, it's a great opportunity if you potentially wanna make it a make outfit in a, your livelihood up there is definitely a great opportunity up there if you can get into it and find the right situation. But as far as a hobby it's very difficult to justify and get that access, to to bear hunt with dogs up there. Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, and that's, you and I both travel.

I go up north and I come down y'all's way and, I hunt here and, [00:51:00] you come here and then you go up north and you travel. So again, that goes back to your commitment. Are you gonna be able to hunt? Are you gonna be able to actually do the dog justice from when you either purchase it or you have it put, just putting a dog in a pen or on the chain especially a hound, that's not what they're supposed to be doing.

Like I said, they're supposed to be out and hunting. That's what they're genetically programmed for. Baby, if we go to wrap this up anything we've left out, anything that we haven't touched base with? We can run back through it real quick. Yeah, I can't think of anything off the top of my head.

The mentor, if you can, if you're able to find a good mentor it used to be the Ukc forums were real popular. But with other things and social media now, it might be a little bit easier to go that route if some of those mentors might be, might. Be starting to use or be familiar with Facebook and use it or Instagram or things like that or go wild.

That might be a good place. But,[00:52:00] for somebody that's looking to, for a mentor, you're gonna have to understand too that you know that a lot of times a good mentor is very honest about your dog and evaluating your dog if whatever you decide to choose you might not agree with them.

But it's definitely worth the, what the input they provide can definitely provide some value to you in the long run if you choose to heat it if you choose to use it. And that, that's one thing for sure that I would say that is can be a little tough when having a mentor sometimes.

And then too, if, it's not gonna be easy, there might be several times that you have to really help out and maybe not bring a dog or not even have a dog yet. And show, that you're willing to be in there and help lead a dog out or go, if it's the, help him around, doing help him went around doing whatever, I guess you could call it almost like a vetting process, to a degree.

But there's definitely time that you're gonna have to invest into it to build a [00:53:00] relationship in order to get that mentorship for sure. Yeah. Yeah. I think I wouldn't be where I'm at in, even in my job or. In my hunting career or even on this podcast if I hadn't built relationships and be mentored by people that, I think that's very important is finding, if you can find, and I'm pretty sure we're just reiterating what we had said before is, find somebody who will take you in their wing and do the extra work, leave their dogs, go feed their dogs when they're out of town or they're sick, go take care of 'em.

They see you putting in the work and they know how hard it is cuz they're doing it every day than they're probably gonna be more apt to, to pull you in and help you. Mentors. I important. Dog selection. I know you and I talked about that is huge in the beginning because it will make or break you.

I was just too hardheaded and dumb to know any better. Like really, I kept two dogs that were [00:54:00] not even mediocre. And chased him scoundrels around in the woods for hours and hours and days. Cuz I didn't know any better. I just didn't know any better. Selection is good if you can afford an older dog that, that still has a couple good years left in it and can teach you the ropes I think that's phenomenal.

And I go back to that, like that book that Ed Vance wrote, trained by a hound Brandy and Frosty taught me more about hunting coons and bear than anybody. As far as I was doing it by myself. I was hunting hard, I knew where to go Strike coons, I knew where to go Strike bear.

But the mentorship taught me about the dogs. That's, they, that's what is important about the mentorship is it'll teach you, it'll teach you things that dogs can't. So it's it's a partnership. But [00:55:00] yeah, go ahead. Yeah, for sure. I would just say, to, just to wrap it up, one of the biggest traps is, oh I'll, if you go to get that puppy or something like that, and then somehow or another you end up with two or three cuz it was a better deal, that, that's never a good option either.

That's always, that's that, that you could almost classify that as a trap. It's just starting now. Yeah. I'm not saying it can't work out, but at the same time it, it training three puppies at one time can be very, it's, multiply that time, dedication that's required for one by three and and that just shows you how much time it would take to actually give 'em all the fair shake.

They're the same shake I'm doing it right now. Look, I'm doing it. I got the three puppies out of the a litter, which are a year old and I'm struggling. I've got one that's ahead of the other two. I've got the second that is coming on and I gotta put some time in him, like I can start seeing those things [00:56:00] that I want.

And then the third one's been put on the back burner and it is not fair to her. And I I'm really battling like what I'm gonna do. She hasn't had the opportunity that the other the one female's had. And like I said she's not had the opportunity. And now those two. Or like moving forward, and I can't stop, you can't just stop and say, okay, I'll come back in a couple months and get y'all out after I take her out and get her started.

So I'm in that situation right now and I know, like I train I'm, this is what I do. But it's tough, man. It's tough. And I can't, I cannot justify, I cannot give her justification, let's just say that I cannot do her right by taking the other two and putting her on the back burner.

But then if I put them two on the back burner, I'm just messing. I'm just setting them back. Yes, absolutely. That's really good. [00:57:00] That's good advice. Yeah, and the other thing is just to have a goal, set your goal and then develop your own plan.

It's overall is develop that plan and modify that plan to meet your goal. If, if the goal changes, don't just go into this as a, on a whim because it's the time required to, to own and have a hound. A hunting hound is it's a lot.

It's a lifestyle for sure. It's, I would, I, some people might classify as a hobby, but, a hobby is I don't know if you get as frustrated with some of the hobbies like we do with these hounds. But it's definitely a lifestyle is how I classify and bbe, I think you, that, I think that hits a nail on the head with every Hounds man is.

It's a way of life with them. It's a lifestyle. It's not a hobby with them. And you can't be a part-timer. You're either in or out. And I think all hounds men who are true hounds, men who listen to this would say, yeah, like it's a lifestyle for me. A [00:58:00] lot of my vaca, most of my vacation time is revolved around hunting trips, going here, going there, hunting dogs, whatever.

Almost, and we set it on the other one podcast with Craig Kasick with the history, everything we do is for cause and with our dogs and it really is. Yeah, we spend time with our family and, but our family hunts like, mine are with me 85% of the time. 85% of the time.

I have one or two or three of them, or all of them with me. Yes, it's a lifestyle. It's not a, it's not a part-time thing. And I think all Haman would resonate with that. Yep. All right guys we are gonna wrap this up. Think about where you live. Think about how you're gonna house the animal, the dog and animal dog.

Do you have somebody that can help you take care of it if you're pulled away for work or vacation or whatever think about some of the costs that you're going to occur. BB and I both have wrote down what [00:59:00] we spent during a year, and we throw that away because we didn't wanna see it, because it makes you hurt.

So you need to, do you have money in your budget to, to buy dog food and to buy some of the equipment you need and do the extra the vet bills and the shots and stuff like that to, to provide adequate care for that hound. And then, are you gonna be able to be committed? Where you gonna hunt?

And do you have somebody that can take you under their wing and help you and mentor you? And you, I'm not saying you can't do it by yourself, because we know people that have and that do. But it just, it may take you a little longer to get there if you do it by yourself. So I think that's it in a nutshell.

And Bebe is a great topic. Like I said, I hope this helps anybody that's interested in getting a dog and starting to hunt, I hope this gives you some food for thought. And I think Bebe approached this the right way. He had a plan, he had a, he had an idea in mind where [01:00:00] I did not, man. I just went out on the limb and jumped.

I just plunged off there and here we go. And looking at it now yeah, I should have done things completely different, but I didn't. Here I am almost 30 years later and I still love it. So I was hooked that day. Yep. All right, Bebe, I really appreciate your time this evening and hopefully I can get down in a week after next and we can post some cool videos.

That one you posted yesterday or today of the coming outta the truck. I thought that was pretty cool. So yeah. All right. Now, today worked out good, so I appreciate it. Yeah, I'm jealous. All right. Thank you for helping us teach, train, and learn.