John's Journal...

Scrounge Hunt for All Kinds of Game

Take Squirrels with Dogs

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You’ll find this timeClick to enlarge of the year in February just right for hunting doves,  rabbits, squirrels, snipe, woodcock, quail and predators in many states. Change-of-pace huntingcan helpyou remember why you’ve always enjoyed hunting.

To have the most fun when scrounge hunting, hunt with a dog. Butch, my all-in-one, four-legged hunting companion, could do everything you’d expect a hunting dog to do. If you wanted to hunt...
*squirrels, you could look up into a tree or shake a vine and tell Butch to, “Get ‘em.” Then he’d start hunting squirrels.
*rabbits, you could take him into the field and kick brush, and he’d jump and take a rabbit on a full circle.
*quail, you could walk cautiously up to a briarpatch on the edge of a field, say, “Whoa, Butch.” If he smelled the aroma of quail, the birddog blood that ran through his veins would lock his joints, bring his tail to attention, lower his head to the ground and make a little tuft of hair between his shoulders stand up.
*ducks during duck season and sat Butch in a duck blind, he’d watch the sky, alert and whimper if he spotted ducks. But he never would break out of a blind to retrieve a downed webfoot until you gave him the signal to, “Get ‘em.”Click to enlarge
I’ll never find another hunting dog as versatile and as skilled as Butch, although he looked really strange. But I’ve never had a more-intelligent or better-minding dog who knew how to hunt more varieties of game than Butch did. Click to enlarge

Squirrel hunters have the most success when they hunt bushytails with a dog, especially in the late season. Once, Butch became the victim of a tooth-to-nose encounter when he tried to grab a not-quite-dead squirrel that sank its teeth deep in Butch’s nose. Butch never forgot the pain of that encounter, and he hated squirrels the rest of his natural life. “A good squirrel dog is an excellent young hunter trainer,” explains Tim Cosby, the owner of Hickory Ground Kennels in Ramer, Alabama, where he finds, trains and breeds squirrel dogs. “With a squirrel dog, youngsters can go hunting and not have to be quiet or sit still. Too, there’s always plenty of action. A good squirrel dog will run silent, bark when he trees and look at the squirrel as you get to the tree. You can call him off the tree if he trees across a river or a creek, and a really good squirrel dog will retrieve your squirrels after you take them.”

Tomorrow: Stalking

Check back each day this week for more about "Scrounge Hunt for All Kinds of Game"

Day 1: What Hunters Learn by Scrounge Hunting
Day 2: Why Scrounge Hunt
Day 3: Take Squirrels with Dogs
Day 4: Stalking
Day 5: Bunnies by the Bushel and Bunny Drives


Entry 445, Day 3