It all starts with why, why we do what we do.
On a short trip to North Carolina for a spring bear chase, Heath and Brent have a great conversation. They talk about the why, why do you hunt with dogs? why do you train dogs? They talk about what drives their why.
As the conversation continues they get into their most memorable hunts. Brent tells the story of having his granddad on a hunt and was able to harvest his first bear. Heath reminiscences how hard it was to catch his first bear by himself, which took years to accomplish. They finish off with one of the most scary moments they’ve had while chasing one of the most magnificent animals the east coast has to offer. This is all about the Journey. How did yours start?
Brent: [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
Heath Hyatt: now
we are coming live from Studio B, which is actually Bebe's Mans. She, which is his garage. We've been here before. But yeah, got to come down to North Carolina for a couple days and hang out with him and Doug and I can't. Express how grateful I am [00:01:00] that these guys, let me tag along. We don't have a season in Virginia, so being able to come down and hang out with them and just do a little extra work with my dogs is a blessing.
Yesterday I rode Doug's shirt tails, and then this board of BM BV got after it and had a good race and we was able to catch the older dogs. And when I say older dogs, mine are two years old. And you had
Brent: what? I had I had one that's five that we used to start with, but the other ones
Heath Hyatt: are a year old.
Yeah. So we're running, we're running young stuff, so we let our year olds keep on keeping on. And I just told Bebe like the best part of the whole hunt and we pulled the dogs off of it, but. Man, it broke through this big section of Timber and Bebe City, he's out in the field, so I had to drive around and I could see the dog he'd done, crossed the road into another field and I could see the dog Bebe's, look out in front and I could see the bears standing way out through this wheat field.
And [00:02:00] Bebe drove around and caught the two dogs that got through, was it two? Yeah. And then I caught everything else that was coming through. But yeah, I was pretty fun. And they were, all the dogs were a year old or less actually, yeah. 11 months. Yeah. Rogan M's. 11 months.
Brent: Yeah. The two, two that were out in front were 11 months old.
Heath Hyatt: So that was a good time. I enjoyed that part of it, even though, like I said, we had to pull the dogs off, but today we're gonna just talk about it is something that's been on my mind a lot. About hunting. And it's not about the hunting part, it's about the why. No matter what you do in life, you always ask yourself why do I do this?
What am I doing this for? And I'm a why person. Like I ask a lot of questions. And it's not that I'm being hard to get along with. I wanna understand the why. And, in, in leadership, if you, anybody's in leadership, you look at the Simon Sinek, it starts with why. So I've been asking myself this a lot, like, why do I do what I do?
As far as the outdoors, [00:03:00] I grew up in a small, rural community. 1700 people was in my town. And there was nothing to do. You had to drive 45 minutes to a big store. Like we didn't have, there wasn't no Walmarts, there wasn't no, we had a couple little gas stations and a couple little mom and pop grocery stores, but.
We spent the summer on the creeks and in the hay fields, and, you spent the fall playing football and hunting. And that's all I've known. And I enjoy it. I see these posts come up all the time about, the best therapy in the world is outdoors. And I couldn't agree with that more.
I sitting on my boat when there's not a lot of people out, and I'm just, even if I'm not catching fish, it's just so peaceful and it's so relaxing and I enjoy it. But I want to get into the why. Why do I use dogs to hunt, and why do I like to train dogs? What's the purpose of it?
Mimi, I'm gonna start with you. I'm gonna let you say, I'm [00:04:00] gonna let him tell your why and then I'll get into mine.
Brent: Kinda like you I grew up on the family farm, so I was all the time if I wasn't riding in the tractor with my grandfather, I was riding in the truck with him hunting or going around looking at crops and stuff like that.
And so I grew up and my grandfather had a pack of deer dogs. So every fall after he got all the crops in, he was always deer hunting with the dogs and always liked that and always wanted a coon dog. And never got that while I was in around here at home. Didn't get into the de Koon dog world until Until, shucks, sophomore year of college, I believe, freshman or sophomore year of college, I put a post out on U kc and I met some real good lifelong friends up there who agreed to let me tag along coon hunting.
That's how I met you Heath. But then so for me, I've always liked the dogs and I've seen, I've been exposed to the bear hunting world through Doug. [00:05:00] And I just thought that was just the pinnacle of, training performance, how they handled what they did.
It was just different than the deer dog world. And I wanted to get to that eventually. And then, so I ended up getting a coon dog, the first one, and with the overall goal of down the road getting a pack of bear dogs. And so it was a long road, but finally, I finally am getting halfway there. But I guess the reason why
my grandfather, so my grandfather always, he took me deer hunting and always deer hunting with the dogs. And, but he always even held at a high respect, the bear hunting and always wanted to kill a bear. And had been with the guy, with Doug bear hunting and stuff. And the stories he'd come back and tell me, or call me when I was in college and tell me about, how the bear dog, how the dogs did and the dog work.
And so I was just [00:06:00] hooked after that and especially after I went and tagged along with it. And the adrenaline that comes with actually seeing that bear for the first time. It, you can't match it. To know that you hear that stick crack and it's not a deer coming, and then you see the bear come out in the path across the road or whatever, and man, it's just something different.
And so the original why was just because of, I held the kind of the bear hounds at the Pinnacle standard. And then it's evolved to the more of how much I enjoy the process of training. And then I really enjoy the process of trying to develop or make crosses that succeed where you got a higher percentage of.
Of dogs or puppies that end up making good dogs. So really I got I got into a wormhole of genetics and traits and trying to match [00:07:00] traits. And then I've gone down this long path of you could almost call it an addiction of being able to plan something in your head across and then try and see those traits come out when those switches click in those young dogs.
And that's really what brings me back and why I'm all, I usually raise 1, 2, 3 litters a year. And that's my addiction is really watching those dogs work and watching good young dogs start and being at the, responsible for that. So that's definitely why I do it.
Heath Hyatt: Yeah I think it's it's an, it is an addiction and the challenge is what magnifies that on top of everything else.
So I, I get it. And, I think about my why why do I use dogs to hunt? And my list is pretty long. You, you've guys have heard me say this before on this podcast. There's never [00:08:00] been a time in my life that there's not been a dog with me. From the time that I was, nehi to a grasshopper, I remember the dogs that we had.
I mean my, when I was young, and young dad had great Danes and then he switched over to labs and we raised labs for a long time. In fact Gus, which was our last lab he's probably been dead about 10 years, and dad. Had slowly switched over to the healers. He had blue healers and a couple red healers, and now he's got one.
It's an old mountain colly. But the dogs have always been a part of my life and I never understood the love that I have four dogs. As we were driving up the road today, cuz I was thinking about this, I'm like, okay, I love animals, believe it or not, even though I am a hunter. I love wildlife.
I love watching animals and learning.[00:09:00] The bear to me for our area is the apex predator, just like the Musky that I fish for. And, people don't get to see I never seen a bear in the woods until I was in my twenties. And I stayed in the woods, like I lived in the woods. So having something that would catch that type of animal just overwhelmed me.
But the training process, like what you're talking about Bebe is I, when I first started, I didn't know. I didn't know anything. You fed 'em, you give 'em a place to stay a house. And that's what I knew and I learned a lot by watching monkey see Monkey do. And a lot of that monkey see, monkey do is not stuff that I'm okay with.
Now. I d I've learned, I've evolved. I'm continually to learn. But it's like what you're saying. I like to take those. Young dogs [00:10:00] and watch them evolve. And I know with good guidance and being able to, stop bad behaviors, I e trashing putting them on game, doing stuff like that and, the dogs that are genetically programmed to do what we're asking them to do, it's amazing sometimes to watch them evolve.
Alls you have to do is put 'em on the right game to turn from running the wrong game and they do everything else. Basically. I go, I turn 'em loose and I pick 'em up. That's my job. But I do like the training aspect and to get into this a little deeper the police dogs, cuz that, that's another why do I do what I do?
Again, it goes back to I've always had a dog around me and my love for. Ha dogs, period ha is stronger than I ever realized. And then when you get into the police section, and this is gonna circle right back around to the hounds because it [00:11:00] all has a purpose. Like we have a purpose for these animals.
The police dogs, we're training them to detect odors. What, no matter what it is, we're training them to track, which they do naturally. I have to train the handler to, to read the body language. And then you do the apprehension and the obedience and the agility. There's so many facets that go into training a law enforcement dog.
And I like the challenge. Same thing as you. I like that challenge. I like being able to understand what drives that animal to do this, and then being able to channel those drives into a function that is good for us or. Can perform a task for us to either make us safer or stronger or whatever it may be.
And then, like I said, that goes all the way back to the hounds, okay. Right back to the why, because a hound has a purpose. If you tie that dog up in the backyard and you leave him there, he's gonna [00:12:00] drive you crazy. And we, we talked about one of my young dogs, like he's at that point, like he's driving me crazy.
Having him out for the last couple days and actually getting him around stuff, bam. You can see that change already happening and we know it's gonna happen. Genetically I like, I suck at it. Like I could, I can write this stuff out on paper X Y equals Z and W and I can put it together and I'm gonna end up with A and b I'm on the plump, I'm on the other end of the spectrum with whatever I'm getting.
But being able to match those. Jeans up and produce a quality hound is a feat that a lot of people struggle with.
Brent: Oh, for sure. No, and and Doug's even said it, I think on this podcast that, not many people, and I'm of the same opinion, that not many people have actually seen a good dog work.
And when they do see it, once they do see that [00:13:00] a what I would classify as a good dog. And sometimes those dogs are, for a lot of people, they're only a once in a lifetime dog, but those are the type of dogs that I want to produce. And they don't come every day. And so when you it's nice to be able to see 'em start to click, but you're always looking for that little bit of extra and that, and trying to get that, the genetics thing.
You can try any, there's so many different things you can try and you never know what you're gonna get. But I've kinda always been that philosophy of I'll try it once and just see what happens and then you never know and learn from that experience and move forward. But you gotta be honest with what you got and what and how you evaluate what you're, look, the dogs that you're looking at.
But yet, those good ones they'll stand out in your memories and the stuff they do will just, it just
Brent: you in awe. You just don't ever know. You think about like how in the world did that dog accomplish that feat or over, achieve that task based
Brent: the obstacles that it had to overcome doing it, whether it's, one dog that's [00:14:00] constantly up ahead, out in front catching or something that's cold trail cold trailed, works it up and finally gets it jumped, at one, one o'clock in the afternoon and you've been working at it for four or five hours.
Those type of things sit you back and really make you think what you really look for or help help you set your standards too. Because a lot of people, if they've never seen that, they don't know it's out there. And that's, that's my thing is I like to see good dogs work and it doesn't matter whose dog it is, because I'm always looking for that next potential cross.
That's another reason I, what I do, why I do what I do is, try and meet people with dogs and go see 'em hunt or hunt with them
Brent: see 'em work. It's a lot of it, it's definitely one of those things that once it gets in your blood, you, you can't really get rid of it.
Heath Hyatt: Yeah. And I'm gonna backtrack a little bit on some of the stuff that you said it's hard when you've got a pack of dogs, let's just take six dogs pack, and if you don't [00:15:00] separate those dogs, you don't know what you have. Yeah. That dog may be running out front a little bit, but can he do it?
Will he do it by his for me, my ultimate indicator or my what's the word I'm looking for, but my ultimate, okay, yes. I'm take, I'm taking that dog outta this category is, can he do it by himself? Consistently every dog, there's always, we say this, we have the saying is, blind hole, find an acre every once in a while.
And I've had dogs that could not tree a bear by theirself, pop up and tree a bear by theirself. That bear decided I'm not running, I'm gonna go up. And then lo and behold, old June's down there, treat on it and it's the best dog in the world, but she can't do it day in and day out. You taking those dogs out of that pack that's the tape measure for me.
And it's hard to do that. It's hard to separate that sometimes. But that's how I measure what I have and what I [00:16:00] don't have. And I wanna go back again, and I maybe we talked about this on the other podcast that you and Doug had done. So Wendell, was he the first one that got you at all?
Brent: No, I actually I found a dog on, I think U kc.
It was a plot.
Heath Hyatt: We all started with plots. It's okay,
Brent: dude. And he would, he had a heck of a mouth, but he would run a coon track and as soon as he hit the tree, he'd turn around and run it right back the same way he came. And he never would fall or never locked down tree. And I ended up deer hunting him for a little bit, and actually ended up selling him for a deer dog down the road.
But yeah, that was where I started. But yeah, I started, reached, Wendell, reached out to me and then Uhlin price. Yeah. So I was hunting with them 2, 3, 4 nights a week when I was in college. Oh, they hunted hard. Yeah. I was, I said I'm here to learn and I'll help lead a dog out or do whatever I can to help, and learned a lot from that and it started me a long way.
It started me down my road at, I was gifted a puppy by Buck Ratliff.[00:17:00] My autumn feed, aum. Aum. And she was a once in lifetime dog for me. I, I didn't know what I was doing. I don't know how many nights I sat on a log in the woods just right by myself and or sat on the dog box or laid down in the dog box and looked at the stars, fell asleep, woke up and she finally got to the point she'd go off and get treed.
And I think I granted her out before she turned, right before she turned three, but I traveled all over competition, hunting with her and she was she was definitely an inspiration. And then I would take my buddies that, that deer dog hunted and they would see how that dog handled, I could call her off a tree, she'd follow me to the truck.
When she was younger, she picked the coon up, carried onto the truck with you, she was, just that special dog and they couldn't believe how the dog handled. And that's just driven me even more to produce and have dogs that handle and dogs that can, and I'm not, I got some decent dogs, but I'm not where I want to be yet.
I got a ways to go, but I feel every year they're getting better and, it's something that I see is the more time I'm able to dedicate [00:18:00] to 'em and really, and then single 'em out, knock the numbers down to, taking two or three young dogs, four young dogs at the time.
And taking them out and letting them do it on their own. It's just made better and better dogs. And it's hard to do when you got so many of the kennels and so you gotta hunt a lot in order to be able to alternate through 'em all to keep 'em in shape and to keep 'em tuned up halfway through the training season and everything.
Cuz I'm always wanting to train the young dogs and, but I've always got older dogs that are in the kennels at home or something like that. But I always got to, I always do leave something behind usually because when I'm during hunting season I'm alternating dogs, I'm hunting fresh dogs every, every day I the hunt.
And then when I go to Maine, I have two sets of dogs that I can take and hunt since we're limited to the six.
Heath Hyatt: Yeah. And that, that brings me back to the why and like I said, I've thought about this and I'm gonna exclude the police dogs out of it cuz that's a whole separate. It's a whole separate thing, but why do [00:19:00] we train our hounds?
And when I say train, I don't mean put 'em in the woods and let 'em run. That's part of it. But we, why do we train our dogs to handle, to load, to lead, to not bust out of the box and run over top of you and break your fingers when you get 'em accidentally caught in the d-ring of the co. Cuz that's happened.
You guys listening probably had it happen too. Why do I train and somebody asked me on, I don't know if it was on a podcast or I don't know if it was just talking about how much obedience is too much. And as long as you are not breaking that dog down I don't think that there isn't enough.
That dog should be consistent in recalling that dog should be consistent in X, y, and z. I'm a professional trainer. I do it for a living. And my dogs are not where I want 'em because me training one police dog, I e pinot, I spend eight hours a day with him. Two, two [00:20:00] Mondays a month, sometimes three Mondays a month, and he's singled out.
It's him. Boom. We're out working, we're doing obedience, we're doing tracking. We're working on his aggression control. But when I've got, just like what you said, I've got nine hounds that I am currently able to take hunting. That's not counting the pups that I have at home. That I'm, I've got, so I've got another little pup now that I've started and we're calling her Sassy.
And I've already started putting her on a place board, elevating her, making her get up and down and it's the place board's only I think 10 inches tall right now. But like I'm already working her because I want that mannered behavior. I want my dogs to listen. I want my dogs to mind.
And it makes me, it makes the whole experience more pleasurable. You're not beating and swapping on dogs and, getting your arms pulled outta socket and it just makes [00:21:00] everything much better. So when I think about the why do I train my dogs? It's because I want a pleasurable experience.
And I think we've all, just like you're talking about autumn, and I can go back through several dogs that I've had over the past which is gonna bring us into another segment here in a minute. But, my old frosty dog my bell female I had that walker dog. Now I comp I didn't bear hunt him, but I just, competition coon hunted him and I didn't have to put a lead on him.
They tried to scratch me one night at a night hunt because I called him off the tree and he walked out beside me and they said I didn't have control of my dog. And I'm like, wh what? What do you mean I don't have control of it? He's standing here. What if another dog barks and takes off? I said, he's not going to.
I tell him to. Hey guys. The journey on Hounds Man. X P is teamed up with Go Wild. Go 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, [00:22:00] you know what a huge outdoor enthusiast I am. I love being in the woods.
My hands. There's nothing more exciting than hearing the thunder, the 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. 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 Gary 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 [00:23:00] at the bottom, and get signed up today. 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, Iman XP to it.
The journey on Hounds Man XP has teamed up with one tdc, this dual action support for oral health and mobility in our dogs. This unique supplement is so effective that it is recommended by top veterinarian experts worldwide to maintain and improve our dogs' health in four different areas. Their oral health, hips, joints, and muscles, skin coat, energy and recovery.
Guys, I've [00:24:00] been using this product for the last six months. And it has been a game changer for me. If you're looking for something to help with the overall health of your dog, go to work so well.com and give this product a try. It is highly recommended by Hounds Man XP here on the journey. Those dogs, I never had to get on them.
And that makes the whole experience so much better is not having to yell and fuss and do all these things that we do. When you have a dog that's well mannered and some dogs are geared differently, just my ax dog the pup, the a litter it's like he drives me bonkers, man.
He's gotta loose screw, like he's rattle headed. But I can see some natural ability in him and the tendency for most of us, and I bb I think you're in his category, I'll tolerate a little bit of silliness if he can produce results. My ring dog that was one of the best dogs I've [00:25:00] ever owned was hardheaded as all get out.
Aggravated the snot outta me, literally give me gray hair at 20 years old. But he was a game catching machine and I tolerated some of that nonsense because of that. Does that resonate
Brent: with you? Yes. No. I, there's some things that are that, that set me off certain traits that I, that are no GOs for me, that I, that I don't like.
And I'm the type of person that I've got to like a dog to have him around. There's gotta be something about 'em that I really like for me to keep him around and keep hunting them. But no I'll let a dog get away with a lot. And really, when it comes down to it, they're, I, That hardheadedness or that that con that, oh, what's the best term for it?
The, that drive the, some of those hard headed dogs have are the, for me is that trait if that turns in, if they turn that drive [00:26:00] into staying with a bear by themselves on the ground and some of the thick stuff that we have or putting that drive into getting that extra gear to pull out and run to catch, that game.
That's what I see a lot of it. And I will say that my, the bear dogs for the most part probably don't handle as good as my coon dog does. Or did but again, it was a singled out coon dog. Yeah. You're
Heath Hyatt: toting. Yeah. I'm just, you and me were toting six dogs apiece today. So it's hard to single those dogs out.
Brent: Oh six dogs. And for me, I, in my truck I had. One five year old and then one 14 month old, a 12 month old and three 11 month old. Yeah. They're very young. But they, for their age and what they're doing I really like what I see there.
So I let 'em get a, I let 'em have a little bit of that. And just as I've evolved. I've learned that the patience and the consistency of taking them and hunting them while [00:27:00] maintaining that patience and cool headedness takes you further and doesn't set you back is if you potentially lose your head and get upset with them or over, correct.
Or something like that. When it's training season, it's not that big of a deal. That's the whole point of training season. There'll always be that next hunt that you can work on things as you see 'em when it's appropriate to correct things or, intervene in behaviors you might not
Heath Hyatt: desire, so well, and that and it just brings up, like that second race we had this morning, like we had, everything we had was under a year old or younger.
I, we had, I had no expectations of catching that bear. Like in my mind I'm like, let 'em go, let 'em run. If they catch it, then heck yeah. That was a bonus. And if they didn't, and it's okay, that's a learning experience, and there was no pressure there. I had no reason to be upset like none.
But yeah it's thing, it's things like that help, help us. Become better. And again I have evolved [00:28:00] from 20 I'm, I'm 28, 29 years now. I'd have to count. I, I mean I still have flashbacks to, to some of my off of this, but it's it's tenfold better. And I understand the dog's behaviors and what I can do.
And I understand. The biggest thing that I take away from the why, and you said it in yours, it's a process like, one of my buddies texted me today, Rome was not built in a day. These pups are not gonna be built, especially for me. Now, you guys get to hunt more than I do, but for me, I'm looking probably two years before I start getting a handle on what, what's going on.
So it's a process, I've gotta get from A to Z and I've got a lot of letters in between and, for me, each time I take 'em out. Okay. A little bit of progress here. Okay. I had a setback here. I don't get as upset when the dogs don't perform to my [00:29:00] expectations. Like my expectations are one of my biggest downfalls especially when you have people around and you want your dogs to perform, have that extreme performance and they just fall short because they're dogs.
It is what it is. So I'm gonna we, we tapped into this and we're gonna go ahead and roll with it. So he was talking about some dogs of old, and I want to hear about some of your. Most memorable hunts. And I know, and you and I have already talked, we've already talked about this.
I'm gonna, I'm gonna talk to you about my, my, one of my most memorable ones first, and then I'm gonna switch it back to you because this goes back to the why and the excitement that filled me for days upon days after I accomplished this. My one, my most memorable hunt bear hunting is the [00:30:00] day that I treat a bear with my dogs.
And it was three of them. It was Frosty Bell and Clyde Frosty was a black and tan walker cross. He looked like a black and tan, had a big old white patch in his chest and he had to frost right across his nose. That's why he got his names from Frosty. I was hunting an area in behind my dad's and.
I had struck a bear and the dogs had went down into a valley and made a big loop and they crossed the road behind me. Of course, bell was my little blue female that I got from Dale Cameron, and Clyde was the other Cameron dog that I had. They crossed him behind me and went over into another big long valley.
And of course back then we had the Bebe collars. You didn't have, so that dogs went outta here and I knew where to go to get up on a high point where I could listen down that valley. So I had pulled up to that high point and I could still, the beat the well. So the tree and switch went off.
Everybody knows you go from the steady beep to the beep. [00:31:00] So the tree and switch was going off, but I couldn't hear the dogs. So I kept walking and I don't know, they were a couple miles in there and they were right on the creek. So I had to drop off the. The top of the ridge, the drop, the top of the mountain down into the creek, and they were treated in it was so dark down.
And I, I have pictures of this. It was so dark down in there that you couldn't hardly see the flash on the camera. That's how old we are. Because I had to carry a camera and have my film developed. The flash on the camera made it look like coon eyes. Like it was so dark down in this hollow, and it was just covered in laurels and ro addendums and the bear was sitting in a, in the bottom fork, and it was probably a hundred and fifty, a hundred seventy five pound bear.
But those three dogs did it by theirselves. They were mine. I was hunting by myself. No one else was with me. And I'll never forget that, [00:32:00] like the excitement. I'm like, I can, my, my heart is actually speeding up now just talking about it, because that was the first time I ever accomplished that. All the hard work, like you and I were talking this morning, people don't get that.
You're spending hours and hours out here running these young dogs by themselves, letting them learn, picking them up, spending gas money, paying vet bills. People don't, people lose track of that and especially the people that get to see it one or two times and maybe the non hound hunters, you guys, if you guys are listening and, you don't see the amount of time that goes into what we do, but yeah, I was just I mean I sat under that tree probably for an hour and let the dog's tree, I took pictures and I'm telling you when I come back up out of that valley and hit the at and headed back to the truck, I was probably the proudest person on the earth at that point in time because that's something that I had been chasing for [00:33:00] years.
And when I say chasing for years, I was chasing that for years. And it happened to come together and then, the seasons were still tough. I'd catch a bear or two. And I think the first season that I actually caught bear by myself, I think I caught five bear that season. And I was hunting hard.
Like it was every chance I had to go every, I got up mornings and was like, why am I daughter ask? And I was able to catch I think four or five bear that year, and I think I only killed one. We only killed one of those. Fred actually killed one of 'em. But that's one of my most memorable hunts is that first one by myself.
Let's say you Bibi,
Brent: I got, there's several memorable hunts that I've had. I've had some ver, some ones that got a little Western. I've had some, but probably the one that comes out as far as my most is probably like I said earlier in this, in, in this, I took my grandfather or my grandfather took me, started taking me deer hunting when I was a little kid.
He took me to kill [00:34:00] my first deer. So probably the most memorable was I gotta take him to kill his first bear. And that was a, I'll never forget that day. It, it wasn't necessarily all my dogs. It was the normal group of us down here that hunt. We were at a hunt club that my grandfather had been in since he was in diapers.
We had, went and looked for tracks. It was sandy roads. So we went and looked for tracks, found a decent track, started it. And that thing made some loops in there and finally got treed off this one particular path that we killed. This one particular path in this lease that we had was where we killed probably 80% of the bears we ever got after.
But my grandfather was probably in his late seventies, mid to late seventies. And I think there were about a hundred yards off the path. So not, not. Too, not far at all. But just a perfect opportunity. So we the dogs had him treat up a little tiny pine. It was probably about 180 [00:35:00] pound, 200 pound bear four bear.
And I remember I carried my grandfather's shotgun in. And cut a path. And then I, some other hunt club members helped him in because, older and that cutover that we have here, it's not easy walking. Especially if you can't, get a, if you're not as nimble on your feet, it's definitely hard to get through.
I think you, I don't think you fell down on the way in there, but I'll never forget it cuz it got in there and it was so thick, short pines and everything like that. You almost had to shoot straight up with him because he was, he had to be so close in order to see him. But he was sit up there on a nice, and it wasn't a very big, probably, a inch and a half diameter limb where he was for the most part had a lot of his weight, but he was in the top of that little pine and it was right.
Funny, my, my grandfather, he shot we, after we got all the dogs tied back, he shot. And I looked, I could see it outta the corner of my eye and I just see the kind of gun barrel go back. And the other hunt club members that were [00:36:00] standing beside it, like right beside him they ended up, I think, catching the gun.
He gets knocked over by that shotgun. Oh. And they, it just falls over nice and graceful because they helped him. They actually called him and just and led him to the ground. And I remember I was looking at the bear cuz we were so close that if he fell out, he was gonna be right at our feet.
And that's never a fun experience that they fall on you. No. When they come out. So I look over and he's sitting on the ground laughing and we looked back up and the bears stealing the tree. I killed him dead. But that thing was stuck in that little pine tree. The li, them little limbs had him stuck in there.
So we ended up leading all the dogs back and cut a street, with the machetes getting in there and follow. Helped get my grandfather out and we were like, how are we gonna get this bear outta this tree? And like I said, that one limb had most of his weight and I think I had a 20 gauge slug gun.
I said, if I shoot that limb out, he's liable to come out. And I, I didn't think I was gonna hit that thing, but [00:37:00] I reached or aimed and shot and cut that limb. Two and now come to bear. Just as pretty as you ever wanted to see. And there's been since times I've had 'em stuck in trees and it didn't work out like that.
It looked, it worked out perfect. But I can tell you he was proud and I was proud of that whole experience. And, we. Came back to the house and my mom's always big in the pictures, so we had to make sure we got the photo opportunity and and had him, had the pictures on tailgates and stuff like that.
And he's been lucky to, to. To get some more bear since then, a couple, couple more bear since then. That to me was, the fact that he took me to kill my first deer and I was able to take him to kill his first bear. That to me is just something I'll never forget. Even it, that it just, it's still mounted in his living room to this day, so it's a constant reminder and, stories like that, it's the western ones are the ones that touch you or that had that sentimental value, and being able to share them, that's part of what, why I do [00:38:00] this too, because I'm gonna tell you, if it wasn't for bear hunting I don't know what I would talk about cuz I don't know if I'd have many stories.
Heath Hyatt: I, yeah it, it would it would be difficult and I don't know what I would do with all my extra money. Like I thought about that the other day. I'm like, golly, geez man. I spend so much money on, the dog food alone, is horrible. And then, I've got, and I'm looking, over my shoulder here.
You've got a row of tracking collars. I've got, a row of tracking collars. We've got extra GPSs and, or the handhelds, we've got tablets strapped to our truck, we've got antennas, I've got ready. It's what would I do if I had all this money? What would I waste it on?
I guess. But it, it's such, and I've gone right back to memorable hunts. What would I do without these memories? And I think about, I've got a lot, I've been blessed, man. I've met some of the best people in the world through hunting. All my guys in New York. [00:39:00] Or like family, I got Rodney and Bob and Anthony.
Those guys take you in just like they're your family and they've treated me like family. They are some of my closest friends. Just like this bear this past year, that I was out on that top of that cliff and it was in a hole. That's a whole story within itself.
But while you were sitting there talking about your grandfather, two of them popped up in my head and it was the first time that Tyler, which is my son, I took him to his first bear tree. Now Tyler's not he's not like Maddie. Maddie loves outdoor now. Tyler does too, but he's not a big hunter. He don't, he likes to fish a little bit, but he does.
He loves to shoot guns. But I was hunting with Scott Mustard and Nim back then, and we treated a bear off the site on the south of the mountain, and Tyler got into that tree and I've got that, I've literally got that picture at home. I've got a female named Sky and Ring, and it was Bell, my little blue female.
And Tyler's standing behind it, beside the tree [00:40:00] looking up. And Skye is stretched up on that tree as far as she can stretch, barking. That resonates with me. And then Maddie, the first tree she was ever at I woke me, it was me and Forest and Jordan were together and we were in this area and we had all the kids, like Addison was there, Maddie was five years old, five years old.
And the bear come out. We didn't have all the dogs tied. I had to walk back in there about two miles to get the dogs, and she went every step of the way with me. And she still does that. She's getting ready to turn 14 and her love for these dogs are probably as much as mine, if not more.
She could care less about taking an animal. She doesn't care about it. And another memorable moment, and like I said there's a hun there's a lot in between. But this year Maddie and I went, was basically hunting by ourselves [00:41:00] and we had five or six dogs. Probably six dogs.
Yeah. Yeah. Had Spook and Kate, Maggie, den, Hart, and Tripp. Yeah. So we had six dogs and they treed four and a half miles in, and we got in there. Got to the tree and she's dad, you gonna shoot it? And I'm like, no, I don't even have a gun. What would I shoot it for? So we sit down on the rocks, we take some pictures, she pets the dogs, she loves on the dogs, she takes pictures of the dogs.
And we spent some time there and we get the dogs and she's leading three, two or three dogs. I don't remember. We let 'em out and, she talked about that hunt for three days. And that that's a lot of my why I get to spend outdoor time outdoors doing what I love to do.
And I get to spend it with my [00:42:00] daughter who I love more than anything. And just a little caveat to the end of that. So we get home that night. And she takes a shower and she comes and she sits on the couch. She's always sitting on the couch and throwing her feet up on me. And I look at her feet and she's got blisters and blisters on her heels and on her toes.
And I'm like, Maddie. And she was like, yeah, them shoes hurt a little bit. She never once said a word about it, not once. And I want to cry because I know how it feels. Like them muck boots wore, they wore, I got blisters on my heels from yesterday from them. But it stains like that, that those memories, those times with my family and friends, close friends that make it a worthwhile.
It makes it all worthwhile.
Brent: Yeah. I, taking folks, and I've taken a lot of people in to kill bears, and a lot of 'em times it's their first [00:43:00] bears and some of 'em are easy. Some of 'em, it's treat, they don't get a really full picture of what's going on.
But I tell you what, the ones that really, you're gonna, you, I sit back and think about it, a lot of those people, they're gonna remember you for the rest of your life because of what you did. And I've carried people into the woods And, helped them be successful in taking a bear and everything worked out all right.
And I don't remember their names, but they remember me. And I had a, in, a hunt. It's been a couple years ago now. I had a, this, we had a big bear, a really big bear. I think he was 6 57. And we had a, I think he was 13, 14, maybe 14 year old kid. And we walked that bear down and I said, look, I said, you need to be in my back pocket.
I had to give him a pep talk. Oh yeah. The woods. And you need to be in my back pocket because when he stops, we gotta be there. And he. He pushed through and he did it and put in a heck of a shot. And I said, you'll never kill a bear that big a ever again in your life. That was a good one.
That was a monster bear. [00:44:00] And the fact that he pushed through it and found out, that in himself. Cuz you know, I've been in situations, I'm crawling through the briars are going across the water and it's why do I do this? That, why, but guns out. But, that drive and then motivating somebody to, to come with you to do that.
I don't know how many people I've had with me and, they never forget. Or after the first time they don go with me and if they don't have the leather gloves with me the next time they will.
Heath Hyatt: I'm bringing them after the last two days. I've got two machetes that's laying in my basement up behind my bench, my, my dog bench.
I'm putting it back in my truck. Like I'm tired of eating them briars. But it's funny you say that. You talk about people remembering your names. So one of the guys that I work with was up in Richmond back in the 1st of April. And he texted me outta the blue and he's Hey, you remember a guy by the name of Matt Harris?
Do you remember Matt? So he Coon Hunt, he used to Coon Hunt in Richmond. And he, again, we're going back to Wendell Bond [00:45:00] and David Link because that's where they hooked up. So Wendell and M brought him down and took, I took him bear hunting. So my buddy that I work with says, Hey, I'm down here Turkey hunting with some some family of some family friends.
And he said, we were sitting around drinking a beer last night. And he said, yeah. He said I come down there and went bear hunting with a guy by the name of Heath and. Nate's like Heath, he's you went bear hunting with Ethan. He was like, yeah, man, it's been like 20 years ago. And he said, I'll never go back.
He liked to kill me. Of course, you hunting the mountains. And 20 years ago I was in decent shape. But yeah, I remember Matt, but I, it had slipped. And when he brought that up, I was like, you're kidding me? And he's yeah, dude. He knew like he knew everything. And he's I work with him.
I know exactly who you're talking about, but you're right. People never forget that. And I have not seen him since. It's probably been 18, 20 years and I have not seen him since and like it was
Brent: yesterday. Yeah. No, that, that's something, that [00:46:00] memory's, and a lot of it, I think, the adrenaline I don't know, there's something about memory and adrenaline, whereas, if, and accomplishing or pushing through something to get, makes you or helps to remember thing, helps you remember to a degree.
But I, I know faces better than I do names, but it's hard for me. Sometimes I feel bad. I'm trying to do better about, about trying to keep up with it. But it's yeah it's definitely something that'll, it'll catch you off guard every once in a while. For sure.
Heath Hyatt: Yeah. What's, let, before we wrap this up, what is your most scariest hunt?
Brent: I had a so probably my worst. We were down helping an outfitter out. And down here actually let's back up. So my scariest hunt and I'll never forget this hunt either. We were, we'd, we were in the same block we were hunting today. Oh, same exact block.
Oh, yeah. And we had a, had folks in, they were recording for a TV show. And so we were trying to
get a [00:47:00] bae bear. On video with a bow Oh boy. Or walking band bear, and that place there is about perfect for it because of the streaks. Yeah. So you can hit him on those cut pads. Cuts. And when he steps out, most time he'll step out if he, step out and he can get a decent shot on him and it's thick enough there.
The dogs a lot of times aren't necessarily ahead, but sometimes they'll come out ahead of the bear and everything like that. So just has to be a perfect situation for that to actually work out. And it's really it's not an easy task to do. And so anyway, so we were doing that. It was raining and and I was in, we had this a good bear and we were walking in and been walking him and being him, walking him and bearing him.
And it was just getting late in the day. Dogs were getting worn out and I had a buddy of mine and his son down and they, cuz they wanted to go bear hunting and Doug said go ahead and kill him if you get the opportunity or go. So I, we carried one gun in and it was a semi-automatic 20 gauge shotgun.
And we'd been crawling through the [00:48:00] bushes trying to stay downwind of the bear to keep, to try and get him to cross that street. And he wouldn't do it. He would go, he was just gonna go where he wanted to go, and he wouldn't cross the street. So anyway, so I handed this shotgun to my buddy's son and and how old was he?
He was probably, let me think. He was older. He had, he's probably in his twenties, I think, because he was, I think just got out of the Navy. He, yeah. He just got outta the Navy and I think getting ready to go to college. After getting outta the Navy, and so here comes this big bear, just, I think he was four 20 something.
And he's just walking along in front of the dogs and it was in the end, just a little more clear so you could see. A pretty good ways. I don't know. They were probably 20 yards or so from us. And he's just walking along and he's goes to shoot the first time and he drills a tree.
Shoots a tree. Just right. Just drills that tree. And then the second shot, he shot him and he high spine him, in that front sh but he got him in the spine. So he was he was. He was put down, he was incapacitated in pa [00:49:00] yeah.
So I grabbed the gun from him cuz the, the dogs, once that happens, the dogs are gonna be all around him. So I grabbed the gun up there and just gonna go finish him off where the bear sees me. And he was probably 10 yards. That Dier closed that 10 yards. Ooh. I put the gun up and I put the bead right between his eyes and the gun went click.
Oh. And that bear, if he wouldn't have been sped or if I'd have turned to run, he'd have had me. Cause he come and he got up on his, tried to get up on his back legs, but he couldn't quite do it. But he was trying to grab me with his claws. Oh wow. And he's, so all I remember seeing was his mouth open and the slobber between the two, Dr his upper and lower jaw and lips.
And the only thing I could think to do is to stick that gun barrel right down his throat. So I stunk that, stuck that gun barrel probably. I mean he was, his bottom jaw was near about touching the forearm, the, for forearm gripp. So he actually bit. Was biting the barrel, bent the bitted rib to the barrel Uhhuh.
And I held him down. [00:50:00] Luckily, like I said, if he would've been, if he wasn't spine, then he probably would've had me. And then I racked it. And was, and this was automatic, semi automatic It semi-automatic, yeah. So I racked it cause I don't know, you know them inertia, guns, if you don't hold hold 'em tight. Yeah. They don't cycle. Sometimes they don't. Yes. And so anyway the dogs got his attention where he turned and I racked it and put one more in him. And I think somebody else, he went a little bit further and I was shook up at that point. But any somewhat he got finished off.
But the bear, he was, he would've died anyway. But it was just one of the things you needed to get it done. Yeah. Just before dogs started getting hurt. But yeah that to me, I will never forget that. And that's, I don't care, don't have shotgun anymore. Your
Heath Hyatt: vision of the de, your detail of that vision oh, I, Dr and the Yeah.
Yeah. Like nothing. I saw the
Brent: slobber. I saw the slob, and I, that is no joke. I can see it to the, I can look back at my memories and see it right now. Because the only thing I can think to do is to stick that [00:51:00] gun barrel down his throat. Now did
Heath Hyatt: you go home and have to clean your drawers?
Brent: No. I tell you, if it would've been, if it would've been about 30 seconds later, the camera crew would've had on the film. Oh, wow. The camera crew. And I was sitting there. It shook me up a little bit. Ain't no doubt about it. Did they see it? No. They were probably, they were they too far behind?
A little bit. A little bit. Ah, probably 20 seconds behind from missing
Heath Hyatt: it. What about the kid, the boy and his
Brent: dad? They, I think they were shocked. Yeah. That, that, did they ever come back? I don't think he, he's made it back. He would go now since, since his, they're, they were big coon hunters.
So that's how I met them. They were coon hunters. But yeah, that was probably the sketchiest situation I had, when they seen you see you and they lay them ears back and they come to you and they close 10 yards. And a lot of times you'll get a fake, get a, a blow Yeah.
A bluff charge. And that happens a lot. You can make yourself look as big as you can and everything. I don't know how many times I've people go in there and you're like, oh, go look at 'em, baited up. And you talk, you hear 'em on the radio, but you [00:52:00] don't hear no dogs in the background.
Because they ain't very close. That's right. They're not getting,
Heath Hyatt: they're not getting that close. I'll tell you yesterday, and then I'll tell you one of my FPAs, but like yesterday I was trying to get video of that bear coming down. Wade had taking all the dogs and I was just sitting there and it stayed and stayed.
Finally it come down the tree and it. It started huffing and blowing and I was 20 yards back and behind some little trees. No bigger than your arm. And it finally come down to the base of the tree and then backed off the tree and started popping its teeth and wolfing. And I'm like, crap.
So I eat. There's a it's a finger, it's three trees together. And I lean in behind him and I'm like, this dude comes at me, I don't know where to go. These trees aren't big enough to help. And he was a. That was a good bear. And I hollered away and I was like, yeah he's at the bottom of the tree.
And I was trying to video it, but it, I respect them. I'm not trying dare to cause you any problems. Just don't cause me any.
Brent: No. That and that's definitely you got to respect them and the ones that ain't afraid of [00:53:00] you. Yes. They're the ones you got to really be aware.
You got to keep an eye on them because if they look you dead in the eyes and they don't care. Yeah. And I've had 'em where they'll actually smell you and look for you. That's what he was going. Yeah. I've had 'em where they, the dogs will be banning them, but he smells you. And you can tell he's smelling you.
You'd be up winter and it's, a lot of times they'll break if they smell you. But I've had, had 'em actually come to me. Yeah. Because they smelled me. And that's a little eerie cuz I try to get around behind the dogs, and and, you got to definitely respect them. You can't you definitely can't get too too laid back with them because they'll, they're allowed to put you in your place.
I know a guy in Maine that's yeah, he's been bit twice, two years in a row.
Heath Hyatt: Wesley's dad got bit this year, but he was trying to get dogs off. It was a small bear and a timber cut and we were trying to pull dogs off of it. And he reach you in to grab one of the dogs who was biting the bear in the high end and the bear just swirled around and got him in the arm.
But yeah, I, like I said, that made me a little, little [00:54:00] uncomfortable yesterday. Like he was swaying back and forth and he was looking and he would huff and I'm like, yeah dude, just go the other way. Just go the other way cuz I'm not outrun you in a swamp. But yeah, so one I can't say that I was scared, but it was an inexperienced, me being inexperienced and again, hunting by myself and being.
I don't know. I was hunting by myself. So I'd hunted this area all morning and I had three dogs with me. Frosty, which was a, frosty was a dog that catch a bear by myself. And then I had two pups. They were ex exactly a year old bear and halls. And that's the two pups that I had. And I had hunted this whole valley out, and it was coming and walking back out and got halfway down the logging road to the truck.
And it, and like I, I still remember this as plain as day. It was like you dropped a cinder block on Frosty's head. He was just trotting down the road. He went, [00:55:00] smashed to the ground and then Belling outta there crossed, he went down off the, over the bank crossed the big valley and the two pups went with him.
And they didn't know anything. They didn't know anything at the time. He went up the valley, pulled halfway up the mountain on the other side. Intrigued. And so I pull in there, it takes me probably almost an hour to get to him. I maybe 45 minutes to get to him from where I was at. I get in there and again, I have this picture.
It's in my basement, in my little man room. With the date on it. September something, 2012 maybe. No, I don't remember. But the tree was leaning. It was a big oak tree and it was leaning just a little bit, not a lot. And the bear was sitting in the bottom limb and he was turned facing the base of the tree.
And [00:56:00] frosty was literally cuz he could, the tree was leaning, frosty could run up the tree, and every time Frosty would run up the tree, this bear would woof and smack the tree. And how he was not hitting Frosty is beyond me. So inexperienced me cuz I was green. I grabbed the two pups who were doing nothing and tied them up first.
And then I get frosty now. I did have big Charlie and Eddie were with me that day, but they were in the truck. They weren't with like in the woods. So I go to catch Frosty and I step now and we're on, I gotta put pre references. So the hill going down to the tree is steep and it's rocks.
It's like a rock. It's like a rock. Ravine kinda. So I go to catch Frosty, so I'm standing at the base of the tree. Frosty decides to run up the tree as I go to grab his collar. So I'm literally stretched up, pulling him back off the tree. When this [00:57:00] bear spins around and decides to come down the tree, I have nowhere to go.
Like I'm stuck. So the bear literally, Hits me in the back. So to vision this, my back is to the base of the tree, the bears backing down a tree, and his rear end just drives me in the ground. Plasters me in the ground. Yes, I'm by myself. I, so I re, I retake, I redact that. It did scare the crap out of me because I didn't think I, I didn't know if I was getting eat up or not.
So anyway, how I managed to hold onto Frosty is beyond me. But I remember Frosty spinning me around on the ground on my belly, pulling me halfway down the hill before I could get stopped. Now Frosty was a big dog in shape. He was 88 pounds. So I get him tied up and I get up and I'm wearing Carhartt, the double need Carhartt jeans, and it's got a perfect split.
Vertically down. My kneecap, [00:58:00] my knee is numb. And I'm like, okay. So I sit down, I pull my pants up, I've got a pretty good gash in my knee, like pretty good gash. So I holler at that biggie and I'm like, Hey man, I'm gonna come out, but I'm gonna come out down the valley. I said, I've cut my knee pretty bad and I don't feel like walking back up, so I'm gonna come down and again, an hour and 45 minutes to get out of there.
So I've got frosty and the two pups. Of course, once I get away from the tree again, frosty was one of those dogs that you didn't have to put a lead on. The pups followed along so I didn't have to lead any dogs after I got out of there and hour and 45 minutes Eddie brings my truck around, they look at me and they're like, you probably need to go to the doc, the hospital and get that soda up.
And of course, by then my whole legs drenched. That's why you should probably carry some type of first aid stuff with you. I actually have a, I don't, can't put a tourniquet on it, but I carry a tourniquet on my chest rig now. But, so I get out, I decide I'm gonna go to the doctor. So I [00:59:00] drive all the way back to town and go to my doctor's office and they're like, we don't stitch stuffing up.
You're gonna have to go to the emergency room now. And of course at the time I'm driving old blue, which is my 94 Chevy, which is a stick shift. So I'm driving with one leg, clutch brake gas. Because my knee had gotten really stiff by the time I got out. So I go to the hospital and I check myself in the emergency room and they take me back there and they ask me what happened?
And I was like I got run over by bear. You would've think the world had come to an end. You did what? I'm like I was bear hunting and bear, run over me and the doctor's Hold on a minute. And he left the room and I'm like, what's he doing? I'm like, am I in trouble? Like I didn't do anything.
And he comes back in there and he was like, can you explain this to me again? And I explained to him that I'm on, I tell him where I'm at. I said, I'm in a rock bar. The dog's a treat. I go to reach up to get the dog. The bear comes down, I'm turning away [01:00:00] from it. The bear literally sit on my back, pushes me in the ground and runs off.
He said, so you weren't attacked? And I'm like, no, I was not attacked. Like the bear's trying to get away and I'm too dumb to know better. So anyway, they put 18 stitches in my knee. But he wanted to x-ray it to make sure my kneecap wasn't broke. I don't know why. But yeah, that's one of my two close for calls encounters.
And like I said, if I had to do that again, I'd done something differently, but by myself in the woods, like I said, I was an hour and a half to any road. To get out. But yeah, I respect the animal. I think they're a magnificent animal. I love to take pictures. I think it's one I feel most close to nature too.
Like when you're, just today you and I are sitting there. We're in the woods and I, we've got this again, magnificent creature setting, 20 foot above our head, and how, how many people get to see that? How many people get to, to experience that? [01:01:00] So we'll wrap this up.
Bibe, what's your lasting thoughts here? Oh, nothing.
Brent: Thanks for coming. Yeah good talk. Yeah. Hopefully some folks will find those stories interesting. I know there's a whole bunch more I have that, that we could talk about, but it's, those are the ones that definitely jump to mind when you
Heath Hyatt: Yes.
Start talking. And that's one thing about hunting and hunting communities, especially the hound community is like our whole group. Is family oriented. Like my family goes, I mean forced as kids go, Wesley's wife and kids go hot Rods, wife and kids go like it's a family outing. And those are memories that those people and especially our kids will never forget when I'm long gone outta this world, I hope Maddie can look back and.
Enjoy the times that she has spent with me and with us. So it gets me a little emotional because it's that heartfelt for me. Yeah, [01:02:00] guys, hope you enjoyed it. Like I said, ask yourself what's your why do you train dogs? It's not so much about hunting with dogs.
Dogs have a purpose and that's why, that's what my why is. But I enjoy animals and I love dogs and I love having that partnership. It's kinda like me at work. I have pinot with me 12 hours a day every day I work and. Out of the 70 people that I work with, there's only two of us that have that type of bond with something.
And that kind of relates back to my hunting. So bb thank you guys for having me down. Hopefully I can make another trip here shortly and we can have another race with him. Puppies like that today. Yeah, we catch him out in that field again. He's gonna be hurting.
Brent: Yeah, I'd
Heath Hyatt: say so. All right guys. Thanks for listening.