Bear Dogs. A Plott Hound on the left and a Black n Tan on the right.
Bear and Hogs
The last two Saturday's have been fun day's. No one in the Hunting Party got anything, but a good time was had none the less. Once last Saturday we let the Dogs loose on what was thought to be a Bear and then yesterday we let them go twice. Once we thought a Walker Hound had something "tree'd" down below us. We did find an empty cave the Hogs had stayed in. The second time the dogs were let loose and then found a scent. They lost it on a warmer side of the ridge. I suppose you need an explanation. Here is how it works, an area with good Bear sign (or Wild Hog sign) is picked out. At daylight when the ground is at it's coolest Dogs are led on leads along an old road bed, trail or through open ground. The lead Dog is the "Strike Dog", this is the Dog with the best nose, thus, "Striking up a scent". The Strike Dog either catches a scent or you have them put their nose down in sign(generally a print) and if it's "Hot", then they start throwing a fit. You can bring another Dog up and see if it takes the scent too. The Dogs are let loose and depending on how many Dogs you have or how you feel about the scent you can hold onto some. Any more, and for good reasons, Dogs wear Tracking Collars. Some one will have a good direction and distance on the Dogs. The others take out either behind the Hounds or try to head off and meet up when something "tree's". There is also a terrain method of this. This requires good planning and "Actionable Intelligence". Hunters will sit on key terrain where a Bear or what have you would most likely run, such as a Gap(saddle terrain feature). Once the hounds start the chase the men move along the terrain to either head it off or meet up with what is tree'd. Usually a fight between the Bear or Hog ensues. Of course those can be bad. Of course it's tried to keep it from being too bad. Hunters care about their Dogs and if something happens to one it's a greiful thing. They will also go to great lengths to doctor them up. So, that's a very Basic Bear Hunting with Hounds.
We hunted over Twister's way. I came back across the Mountain last night using back roads. I came up on a pick up truck that had went off the side of the road bank and into a tree. It was sitting almost on it's side and for all I knew someone was dead inside. There was no sign of anyone and I turned the truck around in the road with my lights shining on it. It was a darn good placed to get Ambushed. There is a Lake up the other side of that Mountain with lot's of wealthy people living around it. One could be coming up from Franklin and be a prime target. Someone could easily rush out of the woods, tackle them and take what they want. There is no Cell Phone signal and no houses for a way's. So as I turn around I'm scanning the wood line. I took the keys out of my ignition and payed attention to my mirrors. I checked it with my Pistol in one hand and my Cell in the other. There was no one inside. The Air Bag on the drivers side had deployed the seat was forward and the door was locked. I wasn't sure why they had ran off the road there. It wasn't quite to the curve, a sharp upward climbing "Horse Shoe" curve. The Highway Patrol had apparently put a sticker in the window for abandoned vehicles at some time and they tried to peel it off. I hadn't passed anyone coming up the Mountain and didn't for a long way's. It was miles before I seen anyone. They may have walked down or up to a house, but there was several possibilities. I wasn't sure if the Highway Patrol or the County Sheriff knew about it. I drove for a long way and never got a Cell Phone signal and being there was no one hurt inside and the Authorities may know, I didn't bother any houses that time of night. I stopped at a another County's precinct station and told them about it. That Deputy didn't hardly want to pay me much attention, I suppose because I wore Camo and didn't have Breast.
A funny thing. I passed a Church where someone had drove off of the parking lot and was sitting nose first in the ditch of the Highway. A car or two had their lights shining on it from the parking lot waiting on a wrecker I reckon. Kinda something wouldn't you say?
That's enough for now,
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World