Hound hunting preparation is no different than any other type of hunting. Like many aspects of hunting, people often overlook the amount of time spent behind the scenes well before the opening day even rolls around. No matter the hunt, for it to be successful, there is generally a lot of preparation beforehand.
Hound hunting is no exception. Even among hunters, many people believe that because the hound is pursuing the game, it’s “easy” or there is no work involved. And sure, a good hound may just make it look that way. However, that great hound likely had a great handler that at the very, very least gave them every opportunity to be that great dog. Although a good portion comes down to natural instincts, even a hound that is exceptional, without proper training can and likely will form bad habits, ruining a hunt in a hurry.
For a hunt to be successful, in my opinion, it requires both houndsman and hound to work together flawlessly, relying on each other to do their part. If these bad habits occur, then it makes the hunt and your team inconsistent and unreliable. This is exactly why so much time is spent training and building on these instincts while curbing any bad habits so that when season rolls around, you KNOW your hounds will perform.
Our lead dog Hooch is now 4-years old and the bond that my husband and he share is unmistakable. If he trees a bear or has a coyote cornered, he will hold it there until my husband gets there, regardless of time or any other factors. Another example is if he’s pursuing an animal and is bordering into an area we don’t have permission for, my husband will tone him with the Garmin Alpha and he will backtrack to the last road cross and we will pick him up. These traits are often taken for granted until puppy training rolls around again and you remember all those hours spent following on foot, working on these little things that make a hunt so much more enjoyable.
Not everyone who hunts with hounds expects what we do of ours and enjoys it a more leisurely aspect, which is completely fine too. But for us, it’s very much a lifestyle that we devote much of our time to.
What better topic to discuss than hound hunting prep?
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