Hounding Lessons Learned When Things Go Haywire
By Toby Trigger


Hunting with hounds can be rewarding especially when you’ve raised and trained them from pups to hunting machines.  But sometimes the training happens in reverse.

So there I was at the junction of two forest service roads in the middle of nowhere Montana.  My two hound pups and the old matriarch had been in the dog box since 4 am and I decided to let them out to clean out and stretch.

Five minutes later I asked my three companions where Action went?  “Uh… he was just taking a dump right there” was the reply.

After calling the hound to come for an hour I worked my other hounds into a barking frenzy on purpose hoping that the excitement would bring the missing hound back .  An hour later I hiked up the draw and could hear him barking.  Two hours after that we were all trying to decipher exactly where he was as the sounds bounced around the steep canyon walls.

Finally a compass bearing due west was the decided way to go. It was straight up and over a ridge. As the baying got louder my legs got quicker and I walked right into my hound working hard to sort out all the tracks left by varying genus and specie types in the forest.

Found hound

He was sure surprised to see me and the look on his long snouted face would  have made me laugh had I not been so mad.

So lessons learned: Don’t let a hound out of a dog box without a leash – it might suck.

 Lesson two – the first direction that you think you heard your dog baying from is probably the right one because the second sound is an echo.

Today the hounds trained me not to be stupid, now if I could only return the favor we might be able to reach an understanding…






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