My first dog was a Plott-walker cross. He wasn't the best or the worst just an average hound. I got started by hunting with a guy that hunted Plotts. We went coon hunting alot and then I made the mistake of going Lion hunting.....since then I've been hooked. I (cross my fingers) have not yet lost a dog to either lion or bear....been real close a time or two and had friends lose theirs but not me
My first 2 dogs were a couple of Black and Tan/Walker crosses given to me by a kid going on a Mormon Mission. They were both about 18 months old and had been on a couple of lion the previous winter. One had won the puppy heats at a field trial and the other one was a unatheletic, bow legged, pancaked footed, mutt looking hound rescued from the pound. To this day I've never owned an uglier dog. I got these dogs in 1982 when I was in my early twenties and hunted them hard. I never had anyone to show me the ropes so I learned everything the hard way. I think I only caught 3 lion with them that first winter. By the second season I started to notice that the mutt looking hound was starting to out do the field trialer, and by the third season she was catching every lion I dumped her on (she was still too unatheletic and slow to keep up with a jumped bobcat).
She was my lead dog until May of 1991 when I turned her loose on a travelling tom lion after a spring snow storm never to see her again. I tracked her on foot for over ten miles but the snow finally melted out and I was unable to continue (I never had tracking collars back in those days). I suspect she foundered up and died.
I've never lost a dog to a bear or a lion (knock on wood), but I've had a few roughed up and witnessed some of my buddy's dogs get killed. My dogs are primarily cat dogs and will usually keep their distance on a bear. My current lead dog won't even run a bear anymore after a bad experience near Salmon, Idaho a few years back. But that's okay, 90% of my hunting is done on cats and I always have some young dogs wanting to prove themselves. I ain't too worried about losing a dog to lions, but with bear it is a matter of time.
My first dog was a Black & Tan She is looking to be a good dog started hunting lions 6 years ago but did not get my dog tell two years ago. Now I have 3 dogs the Black & Tan, Redboone & a Walker pup. Going to have fun this year
I run Walkers, have been running bear for 4 years but mostly chase coon.(Have to drive an hour to bear country) I dont personally know anyone who has lost a dog to a bear but I have heard of it, It dosent happen too often around here.
My first was a walker and except for a mutant 1/2 blue tick, 1/2 Beagel all my dogs were Walkers.
I just bought a pure Blue tick pup he will be 4 months old tommorow. I never had a single dog to train on lions without using other dogs that were already running lions and bobcats to help me. Not sure what to do about that? I guess I will have to just get him on fresh tracks to see what he thinks about the idea.
I can only comment on the dogs I have owned. The walkers and Blue ticks are the most obedient and friendly dogs you will ever own in your life. They make unmatched family pets and will even guard your children from intruders in the yard. They are the best dogs you could ever hope to have around the place. Plott's are a bit different and really attatch to one person and don't get along very well with other dogs in general. I'm sure there are great family Plotts, just none of the ones I owned!jj
Caiforniacoyote, It's more the individual than the breed in finding a good combination dog. I've had mean Walkers and friendly Plotts. Try to get a clue from the parents when you pick up a pup. Also, it's worth the effort to try to buddy up to another houndsman when you are first starting out. Most breeders are open to taking new hunters out if you buy one of their pups.
Catman, I live just outside Logan's city limits. Where abouts is Talmage?
I live in Indiana and dont have any bears or lions to run,but I figured I would reply anyway.I have been coon hunting for 12 plus years.I aint never lost a dog to a coon,but have thought a time or two that it was gonna happen.(coons get in a lucky bite every now and then)We had to cut a buddies dog out of a hollow log once,and I have climbed my share of trees to get dogs down.
I really cant remember the dogs I started out with,but I can tell you I hunted a lot of junk before I finally owned a hound that would tree a coon.
The first dog I had that would tree a coon was an old redbone.He was silent on track and barked about twice a minute when treed,but he never missed.
Then I had a walker dog that was pretty good,strait as an arrow,and had a pretty a mouth that was ever on a hound.
I had a grade english male that could flat tree some coons at night and simply smoke squirrels in the daytime.
The hounds I have now are definatly the best hounds I have ever owned.If I ever figure out how to put pictures on here I will post some.
One thing I can say that every houndsman on here will agree to is you will really appreciate a good hound when you finally get one.
I have had beagle rabbit dogs and coonhounds since I was 18,23 years ago. I used to run my coonhounds on bears too. The first real bear hound I owned was Stormy.I bought him a few years ago from Tom ashley in N.Y. He ran and treed a bear totally by himself the day I tried him out. He would do this on a regular basis so I say he was the first real bear dog I owned. He ran bear only.Stormys big fault was he didnt like a bad bear.He was such a fast dog that he was always catching bear alone. If they went right up he was fine.If they didnt he would often come out from the bear. That drove me nuts knowing he had a bear and left it. I sold him 3 yrs ago for that reason.
The best bear dog I have evr owned ,or seen for that matter, is my Spot dog that I still have. He will turn 6 this fall.He is the best all around bear dog I have ever seen.He trees bears alone on a regular basis and is not choosey on what bears either. I have had him tree 90 lb track star bears that flat out flew.I have had him tree 300lb bears that you would think would never tree and everything in between too.He has a couple things that he does that I am not crazy about. He is a little quiet going out on a cold track off a bait.Sometimes it is hard to get a dog to him.When he strikes from the rig the track is usually hot.He has a great cold nose on the ground but not from the rig.The thing with him that I love is that anytime he opens on a track I figure I have a good chance of seeing the bear treed,wheteher he has help or not.He and my Whiskey dog have been here for 3 seasons,I think that is a record for me keeping a hound.I can be a little demanding in getting what I want in my dogs.
As far as a dog getting killed .i have had several come close.An inch or 2 either way on a swipe would have done it. I have only had one actually killed by a bear,right in front of us too.It was my fault by the way.I had a plott dog that was a real good bear dog but silent on track.I used to run him with Stormy alot.I advertised him in Full Cry for 1500,he was worth it.I sold him but told the guy I wanted to run him one more time as I had a client the next day.Got on a real big real mean bear.Stormy quit and came out. I was with 2 other guys with dogs.Their dogs kept baying and fighting the bear.The hunter ran in with one of the other dog men.I got the plott out of the truck and ran him in to help the other dogs who really didnt need any help.
Just as I got him close to the dogs the hunter shot.I turned Tiny in like an idiot.I dont know what I was thinking.He heard that shot and chrged the bear thinking he was dead. The bear grabbed him,pulled him in and bit him right through the head.It was terrible. I felt so bad I sold my bear dogs the next day swearing I would never go again.I called the guy who was buying him .He didnt believe me at first and thought I changed my mind about selling him or something.I sent his money back the next day.Never will I run another dog that I know is sold.It is a jinx in my book.
I havent been on here much lately due to running the dogs and baiting almost every night.It is a long day with work too.5 more weeks to work then 2 months of running bear dogs!!!!!!!!