Hunting is underway for archery and grouse hunters though last weekend’s opener saw the temperatures above normal and that may have shortened some hunting days.
This weekend, it looks like we will a little closer to normal with some nice hunting days ahead.
Grouse hunters might want to make sure that they have all the necessary safety equipment when they go in the field. This includes not only a first aid kit for themselves but also a well-equipped first aid kit for their dog.
“The ability to provide aid to your dog can mean the difference between survival and death,” said Jeff Smith from Rocky Mountain Retrievers in Ronan, “I highly recommend that you keep a First Aid Kit at home and have one to take with you in the field as the risk factors go up considerably.”
Smith, also known as the Dogman on the weekly Montana Outdoor Radio Show,
says there are some pretty good first aid kits available for purchase like the ones found on www.outdoorsafety.net/sportingdogkits.htm.
Smith also recommends the following links for some good information but also for a list of things that you will need if you choose to put together your canine first aid kit. K9forensic.org/k9firstaid.html, www.dog-first-aid-101.com, www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/firstaid.htm
“The cost of a good first aid kit for your dog can be expensive, however you can put together a customized kit for less. It may take a little running around to do it but it will save you some money,” said Smith.
Your veterinarian can also be very helpful in gathering supplies and it is also a good idea to keep your vet’s number logged into your cell phone in case of an emergency in the field. “Another good idea is to locate a vet in the area you are hunting before you make the trip,” says Smith.
Having a first aid kit is one step in making sure your dog is treated properly in the field. Smith also recommends getting your dog used to being touched so treating an ailment can be less of a hassle in the field.
“If your dog is used to being examined by you and you are hunting by yourself, it will be a lot easier treating something like a severe cut or it maybe tangles with a porcupine,” adds Smith. “If your dog won’t let you work on it, even things as simple as removing ticks can be quite infuriating.”
Smith also recommends that you make sure your dogs immunizations are up to date, especially Bordetella and Parainfluenza, which is commonly known as kennel cough. Both are highly contagious.
“At the end of each days hunt check your dog over carefully for any cuts or abrasions as well as for ticks and treat accordingly,” recommends Smith.
For a complete listing of these safety tips and other tips on how to properly train your dog from Smith log onto www.montanaoutdoor.com Smith may also be reached at 406-360-3311.