Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You Ready?

Simon, a one and a half year old son of Angel and Handsome

I am Marcus de la Houssaye, and I can be reached at 337 298 2630 if you would like to discuss the purchase of one of my dogs, or training of a dog you already own to be a blood trail dog.

Archery season opens here in about 5 weeks and in some states, it is already open.

Mark Twain once said, "Twenty years from now, you will be far more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do."

And if you don't invest time in a blood trail dog right now, in order to have him and his nose there and ready to help you find a lost deer, what do you think are your chances of finding a blood dog on the day when you need it, like when the deer season is already open and every good blood dog is already right where he needs to be?

Luke Skywaker, a three year old son of Handsome and Lady.

There appears to be a great myth that good blood trail dogs are hard to find. That is a negative assumption, and I believe this myth grew out of the desperation that resulted from shooting a deer, and then trying to find that deer, without the help of a dog.

Realizing the search was futile and a waste of time without a dog, that hunter then set out to find a dog at a time when he was least likely to find one; during deer season! After losing a deer and desperately trying to find a dog at the last minute, proved hard to do, he concluded good blood dogs are hard to find.

Rock, a one year old son of Luke and Angel

Finding a good dog may take time, invest that time in the pre-season when you are making your other preparations.

Another myth is that a dog that is not bred to be a scent dog, and then trained can't be much help and the result of that kind of thinking is that many very capable pets are never given the chance to help find what we have given up finding until the dog got there.

That same kind of thinking or over-analyse causes people to think they need a dog bred for scent trailing such as a blood hound, walker, or Plott. The problem with these breeds is that a bloodhound for instance, has such an acute scent trailing ability, and a long distance, high endurance of drive, that they want to start chasing something live, because a dead or wounded deer is not really what they want to hunt or were bred to hunt.

They are bored if you want them to be a blood dog only! And what does that lead to? The dog might start running non-wounded deer if given the chance.

This forces a deer hunter to work this kind of dog on a leash, and causes the hunter to be drug through briar patches and over hill and dale before realizing the dog is not on the blooded deer, but running another unwounded animal.

Hubig, a three year old, NALC registered male

On the other hand a Catahoula is a very smart, close range, adaptable, and gritty working dog that will usually stay close by the hunter, even if it is not on a leash. Also the nature of a Catahoula is to check back with you often to make sure you and he are on track. A Catahoula lives to please a master he is devoted to. Not every dog is the same, but most Catahoulas want to figure out your program and once certain of what it is you want them to do, they do their best to do it again and again to receive your praise.

Bobbi Girl, a one year old daughter of Bobbi Girl and Cutty Dark

Often they are totally silent on track, and will bay when they get to the downed deer if it is not dead yet. Best part about a Catahoula as a blood dog is they will often "catch" and hold or even kill a deer that tries to get up when they get there. The only draw back here is: a wounded buck may kill your dog that catches, by sticking him with the antlers, and that has happened.

Jessie, a three and a half year old son of Angel and Bob

To protect your dog during a battle with a buck you can run him with a cut vest as seen below.

This cut vest was actually blase orange and very visible before being subjected to repeated dirtying in the mud of the marshland by this pit bull, hog hunting, catch dog.

You can see in addition to the cut vest this pit bull is also wearing a radio tracking collar.(notice the antennae)

And on that note, I highly recommend you use a tracking collar also on your dog so no matter what happens you know where your dog is at all times.

The best plan for using a blood dog is to have one with you at the camp or in the box stand when you shoot the deer. Too many people are trying to find a blooded deer visually, without the help of a scent dog, after they have walked up and down the blood trail, got blood on their hunting boots, came to the end of the visual blood trail, started making circles, and thus transferring blood everywhere they went, making what we call false blood trails, and then giving up on finding the deer visually, they went to call in the expert with the nose for blood, to try to unravel the mystery of what happened to the deer they shot 4 to 10 hours ago.

Now that time frame is not detrimental to the dogs ability to find the deer, but the fact that they have transferred blood over a large area where the deer did not go, "is" detrimental, because a "blood" dog is following the scent of blood, not deer. Think about it, if a blood trail dog were following the scent of deer, it would be very easy for the dog to lose track of the blooded deer, because there is deer scent everywhere, on account of most people are hunting in leased clubs were deer are thick around feeders, and tree stands and the result is, the scent of deer is thick, and for a blood dog to to be most effective, it needs to follow blood and only blood.

Napolean, a 5 year old well experienced Half Blue Heeler and half Catahoula

Now if the dog was already there when or before this ordeal started, they would have immediately employed the dogs nose and eagerness to serve in the quest to locate the lost and hopefully by now dead deer. Had the dog been on the job before the scent of blood was transferred everywhere on the hunters boots, the location of the deer would have been easy to pin point. Blood trail dogs are not hard to find, I have a yard full of them eager to work and for sale. Go to my main blood trail dog site and see how I train a started dog. You can get to blood trail by clicking on the link.

Here is Samuel, a full blooded wolf, with great natural tracking abilities, and a great fur coat for climates colder than Louisiana.

And if you are investing thousands of dollars, countless hours and a great deal of energy to prepare to shoot a deer this fall and you do not have a blood dog, you may be a typical statistic of shooting and losing more than you find, rather than a success.

When I first started researching the use of blood dogs, I could not believe what the stats were revealing. We shoot and lose more deer than we find? This did not make sense to me, because I had never thought about it due to the fact that I always had a blood dog nearby when I hunted. Simple solution for me who always travels with a Catahoula dog. If I could not follow the blood trail because of standing water, or rain washed it away, I went got a dog and usually found my deer.

If you are serious about hunting deer, prepare now to find the deer you shoot rather than lose by the simple acquisition and use of a blood trail dog.

Here are a couple of long distance scent dogs wearing tracking collars.
I highly recommend you use a radio tracking collar on your blood dog.

Many people want to call in a blood tracker after they wasted hours looking for their deer. A blood dog will not look for your deer. They will find it by smelling it. And a wounded deer leaves a blood trail we often cannot see, but a blood trail nonetheless, and an experienced blood dog who knows the drill, can smell blood even after a rain, across water, and many hours later.

What is so interesting about using a blood trail dog through water, is that it looks like the standing water that absorbs the visual trail, does the exact opposite of what you think would happen, It makes the scent 'stronger". Keep this in mind too; and the same with falling rain that washes the trail away visually, it "amplifies" the scent and actually helps the dog to locate the deer.

I know this sounds nuts, but remember, we see the world, but a dog smells it.

Now running water, in a creek or river will obviously carry the scent away, and rain on a hillside can have the same effect. But where I live in south Louisiana, it is totally flat, and if water moves, it usually doesn't move very fast. So a slow rain that does wash the trail away visually, can actually help you to "hold" the scent longer, and thus help the dog in the long run.

Of course there is a limit as to how much rain can fall before becoming detrimental. But you might be surprized if it rains and you think there is no way that the dog can find the deer, but you let him try anyway, and lo and behold, he takes you right to it.

Be ready for the worst case scenario, come opening day with a well bred, well raised, socialized dog who has eaten raw meat all its life, knows the scent of blood, and has lived in a social setting with you, your hunting buddies, and in the wild as much as possible, operating on natural instincts which motivate the dog to find your trophy and meat.

I am available for consultation, I also offer started and trained blood dogs for sale and if available during deer season, I can and will drive to your lease to help you find a lost deer. I can be reached by cell phone at 337 298 2630.

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