John's Journal...


Breeding Cur Dogs

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gene Brooks of Dublin, Georgia, who hunts hogs in three different states is on call to a large number of landowners and farmers. When a bad hog or a pack of hogs starts eating and destroying crops, tearing up roads and killing dogs, then landowners and farmers call Brooks, whose motto is “Have Dogs, Will Travel.” Although Brooks catches and removes any hog or group of hogs that terrorize the landscape, he specializes in “killer” hogs – those that have been hunted before by other hog hunters. These killer hogs are so bad that they leave bulldogs, curs and hounds lying on the ground like casualties from a bombing raid. This week we’ll continue to look at the man, his dogs and the hogs he hunts.

Click to enlargeThe evolution of Brooks’ hog cur dogs is interesting too. As you learned yesterday, when Brooks first started hunting hogs at the age of 18, he used the same English foxhounds and Plott hounds he’d used previously to hunt coons. But over the years, the hogs where he hunted developed a hound education. The hogs learned that when they heard hounds wailing in the night or singing that sweet mountain music during the daylight hours, they had better pack their bags and get out of town. They learned to move to water, swim creeks and go into deep thickets to lose the dogs. “We finally realized that if we were going to catch hogs, we had to have dogs that wouldn’t bark on the trail, but would bark when they bayed a hog,” Brooks explained.

Click to enlargeIn later years, Brooks also had a problem with his hog hounds trespassing. Because an open-mouth dog like a hound would bark so much and take a hog on such a long run, during deer season, a pack of hounds might chase a hog across four different property lines and cover 20,000 to 30,000 different acres, which greatly irritated the deer hunters and aggravated the landowners. But by running wild hogs with cur dogs that were silent on the track, the cur dogs could get close to the hog before the hog ever knew he was being chased. Therefore the races were much shorter, the hogs could be caught much quicker, and the deer hunters and landowners weren’t nearly as irritated. “If a cur dog doesn’t catch a hog within a couple of hours, he’ll give up the race and come back to you,” Brooks said. “But a hound may run for many hours and run a great distance before he bays a hog. So we decided that the cur dog would help us find more hogs quicker, catch more hogs faster and not create near the problems that the hounds were creating for us.

Click to enlarge“My cur dogs are a little different from everyone else’s curs. My curs are a crossbreed of birddog, bulldog and hound. I breed the birddog in my curs for their noses and their stamina. A quality birddog can run all day long and has the nose to find quail. A good hog dog has to be able to run and cover a long distance, but he also has to have a good nose to trail a hog and find it. But the main reason I put birddog in my curs is for the stamina. I breed hounds into my cur dogs for their noses, since a hound can follow a coon track or trail a fox all night. Hounds are bred for their hunting ability and their ability to stay on a track once they pick up the scent. They too have a lot of stamina. I put the bulldog in to get the courage and the staying power that my dogs need. Regardless of how mean and tough the hog acts, a bulldog will stay with him. Once they get to the hog and bay it, I want them to have the courage to stay with the hog until I get there. I don’t want my curs to quit when a hog decides to fight. So I’ve learned that a birddog/bulldog/hound mixture produces the best cur hog dogs for my hunting. If the fight gets tough, these cur dogs have got enough bulldog in them to go in and help catch the wild pig.”



Check back each day this week for more about MORE ABOUT THE BAD, WILD HOGS GENE BROOKS HUNTS...

Day 1 - How It All Began
Day 2 - Breeding Cur Dogs
Day 3 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part I
Day 4 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part II
Day 5 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part III



Entry 283, Day 2