Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finished Blood Trail Dogs For Sale

I am writing this article for 2 reasons:

#1.  I have several dogs that are finished in their own right and hunt for me,
AND #2, I am willing to sell them, but  95% of the people calling who are looking for blood tracking dogs, want a finished dog that will hit the ground running without any transition time for the dog to adjust and hunt for the new owner. This is a big problem faced by dog buyers who operate from the presumption that buying a finished dog is a surer and time wise shorter means of getting a blood trailing dog to work for you during this ongoing deer season.

And...               I couldn't disagree more!

                                                   Toulouse with his nose on the ground...
But first.... let's consider what you could be missing by NOT having a tracking dog
 that WILL work for you NOW!
Such as...
Your daughter's first deer
~photo courtesy of Sarah Whatley Stringer~
this fine 12 point that was harvested in Michigan yesterday and.... was tracked and found courtesy of Michigan's deer tracking dogs, and he can be reached at: (810) 240-4891 
here is another shot of this 12 pt. just so you can compare it to this BIG man...
Just shoot that and try to suffer NOT finding it without a dog if there is no blood visable!
Back to blood tracking dogs for sale...

But actually what may be the quickest, and in the long run the easiest means of owning a tracking dog in this season is in getting a started puppy,
about six months to a year old from me that has been trained in my facility and eating raw meat all of its life,
and is ready to fire off, especially NOW that the deer season is in progress and that my friend, is the quickest plan in my opinion, to have a blood tracking dog work with you now.
And I know you want a finished dog, but, after getting a puppy way ahead of the hunting season, the next best thing is to get a started dog DURING deer season and put them on real blood trails as much as possible, because as you can see above, eating deer meat at my facility is an ongoing part of life.

And... if you really want a finished dog, remembering the title of this post... why is it that this is the absolute best time of the year, now that deer season is in progress? Because when it comes to training a started OR finished tracking dog, the rubber meets the road
and real blood trail dog training occurs during deer season, not in the off season, and this is a great time and way to help your new dog understand that you want them to track blood because you can at the very least feed them raw deer meat, and put them on multiple blood trails even if you have found the deer already, because the more you give them in blood experiences, the more focused they are.

 Remember that they were trained to track FOR ME, NOT YOU! And therefore, no mater how well trained they were by me, they were trained to track for me, not you.
This is your best time of the year to spend a lot of time with your new dog and develop the relationship factor ASAP, because it is a busy time of the year and the dog is capable of being a part of a lot of the goings on such as, the holidays with family,(and lots of left-over treats for the dogs),
and it is hunting season with dead deer on the ground, and you are going regularly to the hunting lease monitoring feeders and stands, and scouting, etc..,
and staying in at home during bad winter weather(with your dog in the house or camp!). Because of ALL of the above, you can spend a lot of time with the new dog, and easily overcome the relationship transition factors most people experience and do not understand that the dog is in an emotional transition, and more easily get a started OR finished dog to fire off and work for you.

And... #2.

95% of those people think if it is a "good" dog, it will hunt for anyone, anywhere, and anytime! And if #2 were actually true, then getting a finished dog makes a lot of sense, but the truth is: tracking dogs are part of a team of men and dogs, and if they don't know you, they won't hunt for you...

and because dogs are neuvo-phobic, meaning they are afraid of anyone or anything new, and a new place often causes them to stay close to your side, and not range out very far, so that way they don't lose you OR get left behind, so YOU must give them time to adjust, and work with them by moving them along, on leash or off leash until they warm up,  ...and if the dog is having a bad day, they won't hunt FOR YOU any and every time you want them to.

Why? For instance if a dog has broken ribs, because they fought with a live healthy buck yesterday on the last track, and every breath now hurts, they may not be as aggressive a hunter as they were yesterday. And you may want to bring in the back up dog,,,, Or if their best hunting partner is not around(such as their momma, or brother,) they may not hunt because(in the dogs mind) the team is not all there. Although an older dog works well solo,  often times a younger dog will not work alone, or just works better as a team with other older and more experienced dogs.

And....I'll let you in on one of my secret training methods, I don't train pups, my older dogs train the pups...sssuuussshhhhhh!


Here is the bottom line: If you wanted a finished dog for this hunting season, why didn't you buy a well bred puppy that was weaned on deer meat 3 or 4 years ago?
OK, maybe your dog just got lost or killed, and you don't have a back up... well you are in a bind that could have been avoided by having a back up plan, and that means you buy a new dog about every 3-4 years, and let it live with you and your finished dog, or as an option if you can only keep one dog, place it with someone as a pet in your hunting club, friends, family, etc... So, if you need a back up for what ever reason, you have one ready to go ASAP!

Let me share a true story, one that is repeated again and again among Catahoula breeders...

OK, ... Now here we are, I have several fine, well bred, well raised, well trained, and experienced blood tracking dogs for sale, and someone comes and picks one up and is convinced in less than 1 week that this dog will never be a blood tracking dog even though it has already found deer with me AND them, AND in less then one week they presume to know the dog better than I do, and I have spent years with the dog!(this a true story!)


 And here is the problem: I told him the dog would go through an adjustment period and the best thing for him to do to help the dog in this transition would be to keep the dog for a week or two, and if it slows down, then bring it back to me for a time, and then bring it back to the hunting club again, and see if it can get more comfortable with the program of tracking for other people(and this customer lived close enough to make the transport back and forth very practical).

Here is the solution: If I sell a finished dog, you must work with me in person or over the phone to facilitate as smooth a transition as possible.

 So... I call, leave messages, get no call back, and then a month later, he called to advise me that the dog is not working for his family! Big surprise! You failed to communicate with the breeder/trainer who spent many months OR YEARS with the dog, raising, training, socializing and knows a lot of tricks of the trade to help you connect with the dog, and facilitate a smooth transition!

And... here is the rest of the story: After five days of the dog doing really well with him, as I told him it would, he left the dog with his family contrary to my advise while he went offshore for 30 days to work, and the dog did not like being abandoned by the new owner! Although it was doing well for a few days with the new owner, when that man left, the dog was suddenly abandoned by his new friend and felt all alone because he was left with people he didn't know and maybe didn't like, and really needed to come home to me for it all to end well.  Then if the dog had went back at the end of the 30 days it might have gotten into the hunting season and the new owner had a tracking dog that had been there before and all ended well last time simply because it got to come home again in the first  "transition" period.

 I had been calling to help you facilitate the transition from me to you, but you don't communicate with me, and only communicate rejection to the dog by only looking for faults in the dogs performance, and thus the dog gets no positive reinforcement for THE THINGS DONE RIGHT.

 And believe me,
                                     my breed, the Catahoulas are very sensitive to such nonsense!

And then before you actually give the dog a chance to warm up and work for you, you reject the dog under the presumption that this one year old PUPPY should be acting like a 5 year old, well trained, and experienced blood tracking dog that YOU actually raised from a pup!

If you want to SAVE TIME and short cut raising a dog from a pup, you will pay for it in other ways, starting with the fact that I am putting 1 or 2 years of MY TIME AND MONEY into making YOUR FINISHED DOG a finished dog, because I travel thousands of miles every year visiting hunting clubs, and tracking for many difficult, hard to find deer, and some are not dead and are fighting mad when we get there as can be seen in the injuries Jessie girl sustained tracking a 9 point this month!
In case you are wondering, this buck was shot in the foreleg, and was otherwise a very healthy buck in full rut, when the dogs got there. Every time the deer tried to run, Jessie was nipping and biting it on the ass so bad, it had to turn and fight! As a result of his assaults on her head with hooves and antlers, you can see in the photo above that her head was still swollen 3 days later!
And here is smiles from some of my satisfied customers who bought puppies that ran blood tracks 500-600 yards long at only 3-4 months old!!

 So, if creating a finished dog is a process that is going to cost me time AND thousands of dollars, up front, and you are looking for a "good deal" in a finished dog, forget trying to luck out and find something for cheap with me!  Finished dogs are not cheap!


 I collect and store deer blood during deer season...

and I store heads, skins and legs during the hunting season...
and, I am constantly collecting deer, sheep, goat, and beef ribcages year round to simulate blood trail dog training exercises AND THE FEAST AT THE END OF THE BLOOD!
Not to fail to mention the cost of feeding, watering, medicating, worming, etc....

Another way you will pay is that a finished dog no matter how experienced, OR HOW MUCH YOU PAID FOR IT, will not work for you until you invest time into developing a close personal, warm relationship,
AND THEN... here is your biggest challenge: you also need to be taught by the person who raised and trained the dog!        Duhhhh!


And...Most people who want a finished dog have grossly unrealistic expectations of what a "finished dog" should be doing and at what age.  In my opinion: a dog is never finished until they die because they just get better and better the older they get. Just get a puppy and invest in the long haul...and if you get a smart one based upon genetics, they may actually teach you how to track!

And if you buy a finished dog, there will always be a reality check on the fact that it is not now nor will it ever be the same dog with you as it is was with me! It could be better or it could be worse. Sorry there is no getting around the best way to have a finished dog is to raise them from a pup. This truth is not open to negotiation or discussion, and you can believe what ever you want. I and all the old timers can't ALL be wrong...so if you have to learn the hard way... good, because I don't want to argue about it.

So if you want a blood tracking dog, you can call me at 337 298 2630 and I will be posting more photos of finished and started dogs in my sell sites ASAP.

for a link:  de la Houssaye's Catahoulas  www.bloodtraildogs.com    www.delahoussayes.com

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Louisiana Blood Tracking Dogs on Pecan Island 9 pt.

This story starts on Friday night when a blood trail dog customer calls me wanting to buy a blood trail dog, and advised me that he had three does down that day that were not found in Merryville. So I advised him that the best approach was for him to see what my dogs can do and we go look for the does early the next morning.

Well this 100 mile one way trip turned into the greatest track I have ever participated in because it led to Pecan Island a couple of days later for a track in the marsh, but I am getting ahead of myself. So, one of the does went on to a neighbors property, so we pulled the plug on that one, and within less than 1/2 hour on each track after that, we found the other two does as seen above.

These guys were impressed so much that they told me they would have never found those deer without the dogs, and agreed that they needed a dog for the lease for everyone's benefit.

Their choice was Jessi Girl(above) who would go on to be very valuable in the marsh 2 days later.

Needles to say, all my dogs were happy trackers that day
with several other rib cages being dropped off at my front gate all in the same weekend.

Then I get a call from the same people regarding their nephew that had shot a 9 point buck in Pecan Island late in the day on Sunday, with lots of blood on the ground and losing day light he backed out until morning and to get on with this adventure, I agreed to go to Pecan Island and help find this trophy buck.

The longest blood trail track I have ever run(about 2 miles), and in the roughest terrain Louisiana has to offer, the saltwater marsh in Pecan Island. And for that reason: the terrain, I brought a pack of dogs just in case the terrain kicks our ass as is not uncommon in the marsh of coastal Louisiana.
I turned out a few experienced dogs to see where we were going and it wasn't long before we were really getting down on it, as there was lots of blood everywhere we went.

As seen below the vegetation was so thick AND tall at times we had to get on hand and knees
         and crawl through a tunnel of vegetation for about 40-50 yards to keep on the blood...

Here is Cocodrie meeting me in the tunnel, and...

then we were back in the open and I got to stand up and walk like a man again...

From there we walked about 50 yards east, and then the blood trail turned north(into the wind) and went about 1/4 mile, and then the trail turned west and went about 40 yards into a super thick area, and the blood, and all evidence of a deer completely disappeared!

As we made circles looking close for a track, a trail through the vegetation, or any sign of blood, and remember there was plenty of blood leading in here, then nothing!


I sat down and took a break in the shade of a bush to cool off and allow the dogs to leave out.

I began to suspect that the deer had turned in here and jumped as far as he could from this cull de sac of the marsh, because he knew that if he could jump over and into some of the thickest vegetative area, he knew we could never follow, and so he had bought time AND space to loose us.

You see, if you can't see any blood on the trail to confirm the dogs track is accurate and to lead the dogs along, you sit down, take a break and let the long range dogs you pass by several times as they hunt and they know that you aren't going anywhere, and they then will leave out.

As I sat there, I contemplated our options and I wondered which way the wind was blowing yesterday when the deer was shot. My presumption was he went north and into the wind.

After about a 15 minute break, I climbed up on a dry hole oil well or Christmas tree as we say here in La. and that put my eyeball view up to about 12 feet off the ground, so I could get a look around.

The marsh is so thick and about 6 feet tall, that I have a breeze up there that I did not have on the ground, so I stayed up there about another 10 minutes and continued to cool off, and let my t-shirt dry.

Good move...

Because then I heard a baying about 1/2 mile to the north, and it was Jessie, he had found the deer and was baying and fighting with it, so from where I was, I could mark his location near a pipeline marker and we headed for the ATV trail and then headed north.

Jessie in true Catahoula form, took several stabs on the head,
                                          and he has some sore spots on his ribs too.

                                          Although Jessie has cataracts and limited vision,

he alone had left out from the pack when I sat down to cool off using that very much experienced blood tracking nose that the other dogs could not keep up with. He set out alone and found the blood trail, then he alone engaged the very healthy, wounded buck...
(the buck went to the water as seen in the area below where Jessie found him and bayed, and must have fought the deer for some time because he has a lot of new scars on his head, and there was fresh deer blood everywhere in this area,

  and that was where we got our first look at him since he was shot, but I am getting ahead of myself)

I continued north, crossed a canal about 2 foot deep and climbed up on a ridge which was probably the spoils of the canal so I could get a better view of the surrounding area and the dogs found lots of bedding areas up on the levee.
My presumption was: from here(the levee) the deer had continued north into no mans land; a flooded Pecan Island marsh! Wrong again!

OK, back to Jessie!

and he alone was 100% intent upon finding this 9 point AND then fighting and  keeping the buck bayed(barking to alert us of his location northward) and did it all alone until help arrived...

                                                                      and then when it arrived,  here is where the team work really kicks in!

the younger, faster, less experienced, yet long range dogs were just getting warmed up getting there, and when the buck turned and headed south and nearly ran into the hunter who was still on the ATV trail, it passed about 10 foot away from him on his way south and then we talked firearms all the way  back down ATV trail! But I am getting ahead of myself again!

 ... and the race was on...


                                     Jessi Girl,

                                          and Maurice smoked this deer's ass,

                                            ran it south again, and back toward the truck.
                             (thank God, because we would have had to drag the dead deer a mile! )

As it was coming up the ATV trail.

the hunters mother was videoing the track and the deer ran right up to about 10 feet from the truck and she could have shot it with the 12 gauge and buck shot, but she didn't know where we were and did not want to risk shooting us accidentally.  Thank you...!-)

 Although some people might want to accuse me of mercilessly running a wounded deer with a pack of blood trail dogs, (like that is somehow unlawful or cruel when the animal was suffering from a critical wound?) The truth is, I didn't have any control over the wounded animal until after the fact, and at that point, I was sufficiently able to control the situation(with the great help of dogs!) to minimize the suffering and bring it to a swift end.

We ended the suffering of this wonderful buck that would have never been recovered and put out of his misery without the combined team work of de la Houssaye's Catahoula cur dogs, two men, and one very proud mother!

But wait this story is not over...

As the hunter and I came out of the marsh, his moma advised us of the direction the deer and dogs had took to the east. As I looked for a hole in the vegetation and we were discussing our options...

 About 1/4 mile away we heard the baying start up again and we jumped into the trucks and headed over there and hopefully try to end the chase with the shotgun. The dogs were fighting with the buck that was shot in the foreleg and was otherwise very healthy(see photo below).

After passing the truck the deer turned and went through some thick brush for about 50 yards and was stopped by the dogs and bayed up in front of one of many houses that were abandoned after hurricane Rita in September 2005.

Judging by the scars on Jessi Girl's head in the photo above, you can see that the dogs were literally fighting with the buck putting themselves into harms way and taking serious injury to keep him there until we arrived, and at that point, the buck was so engaged that 2 pickups pulled up 50 foot away from the fight and we got out and shot the deer without the deer even looking at us.

As I was behind them approaching the bay in my truck, I heard the shotgun go off as the deer was dispatched in front of the dogs. As the deer stood up on his hind legs to attack the dogs again and try to stab them with his antler tines, the hunter nailed him broadside with a 12 gauge 3 inch 00 Buck from about 20 yards away. (Shooting a deer over dogs is very dangerous for the dogs, unless it is skillfully handled as the young hunter here did by waiting for the deer to stand before pulling the trigger.)

You can see Jessie in the center of the photo above guarding "his" kill , a common Catahoula trait.

The taxidermist was called about a mount opportunity and assured the Pecan Island, La. hunter that his first trophy 9 pt. was salvageable and the broken tines on the one side can be repaired.

If you need me to track a deer or would like for me show you what my dogs for sale can do, you can call me at 337 298 2630, I am Marcus de la Houssaye, and I live in south central Louisiana near Lafayette. I am a breeder and a trainer, have many dogs for sale, am self employed and have a lot of time during the fall and winter to help you find a dog to track your hard to locate deer or hogs.