Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blood Dogs Are Not Hard To Find

And neither are lost and wounded deer if you have a good blood trail dog!

If you are getting ready to take home a trophy buck or meat for the family this coming hunting season, and you want to push your game plan to a whole new level of success, you won't want to miss out on the opportunity to be fully prepared for avoiding the most difficult aspect of deer hunting; losing a wounded or dead deer because of not having a blood trail dog. There will be lots good times ahead at the camp this season, and lots of hours of waiting patiently on stand. Make sure you don't forget to have your best friend close by when you need him most.

Elijah, a five year old son of Patch and Ruby, and he will trail.

Many people not aware how simple it is for a dog to find wounded deer, because they have never used a dog for trailing blood. Many times we are not allowed to use a blood dog because of state legal restrictions or hunting club rules, but we need to lobby the law makers and rule makers to open the opportunity for us as deer hunters to make every effort to find and take home the deer we shoot.

For me, I have for the most part always hunted state land in Louisiana where there is no restriction on me using a blood trail dog. And because I hunted close to home for the most part it was never an issue to go get a dog out of my yard if I needed to.

Little Ray, a double glass-eyed, yellow leopard, house broke, well travelled, and eager to please.

Also the fact that my dogs eat a raw meat diet all their life, made them naturals that did not need any special training to figure out that a blood trail led to a tasty meaty meal.

Jesse guarding a frozen block of raw meaty bones as it thaws on my driveway.

Most of the people calling me about blood dogs are shopping around, and it seems they think they can call me at the last minute during deer season, and find a trained dog and the dog will work a blood trail, if it is trained to do that.

And I say yes, if it is trained by me it will work for me, but if it doesn't know you, and that takes a few weeks or maybe even months for a dog to get warmed up to someone, it may not work for you come hunting season if you have not bonded and warmed up the dog prior to the day when you need it to find the deer you cannot find.

Bud is a two year old, black and white, neutered male, house broke, very quiet and shy, but eager to please and gamey, when there is blood on the ground.

And in my opinion, a good blood trail dog should ideally be a loyal, obedient, well socialized member of the family or even better to be working in some way and feel usefull year-round.

Just like you prepare the stand, feed plot, camo, boots, ammo, weapon, scope, ATV, boat, etc you should be planning to have a dog that is familiar with you, the people you hunt with, and your style of hunting, your camp, other dogs, etc, so come deer season, the dog is not only trained to trail blood, but also not distracted by anything new. Because dogs are neauvophobic any new smell, sound, person, animal, or locality,is a cause for fear. And if a dog is worried about anything but finding what is at the end of the blood trail, his performance is diminished.

So to get the elite high performance you need from a Catahoula blood trail dog you need to get the dog months before you need it and haul it to the camp, ride it on the ATV, or boat as you scout and fill your feeders in the off season, allowing the dog to know your routine, locale, and hunting buddies.

Big, a three year old, glass-eyed, red leopard, neutered male, house broke, well travelled, in boats, around horses, has a great nose, and like most of my finished dogs will catch, if your deer gets up and tries to run.

I have several started dogs at all times that are almost a year to 3 years old that are well socialized, obedience trained and are gamey and ready to hunt for you should you have a situation where rain washes away the visible trail of the deer, or it crossed water, or worse stopped bleeding externally.

All of the above are no obstacle for a well bred, and well started blood dog, because the smell of blood is so powerful to a hungry, raw meat fed Catahoula from de la Houssaye's Catahoulas.

Always feed your dog raw beef as much as possible and any venison from last season, that may have got freezer burnt.

If you would like to contact me to discuss any questions you may have about specific breeds, or raising, training, or handling a blood dog, I can be reached at 337 298 2630.