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Discussion Starter #1
my dad is soley a bow hunter and hunts deer and turkey, last weekend I had mentioned to him that I was going north to hunt bobcat as were some other folks that hunt with hounds.
he was very quick to say that hunting with dogs is not fair chase.
I was quick to reply"how do you know?" you have never done it.
neither have I , .but I do feel that it is a viable,ethical way to hunt bear,coyote,and bobcat.
so can any houndsmen give me some ammo to take back to my
dad to try to change his perception of this style of hunting.
I would rather him speak for this style than against it.
 

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I do not own hounds but I do know people who do and they run bears, coyote, and cats......and I have been fortunate enough to be on all three hunts. I can see why your dad would say its not fair chase, while all three were thrilling hunts the one that turned me away the most was the bear hunt. The most exciting part was the chase which eventually led to the bear being put up a tree. Too me that was the climax, I almost felt bad for the bear at the time it was dispatched.....and do not get me wrong I am by no means an anti-hunter.....I frequently hunt everything from small game to deer but seeing a tired out bear all out of breath at the top of a tree and then shooting it kinda lost its appeal to me. To those that enjoy that more power too them, but it wasn't for me. I enjoyed the coyote hunts alot, it was alot like rabbit hunting, and the bobcats were exciting too, I've never been on a hunt in which the cat was shot while treed. I will say that listening to the dogs was a lot of fun though and the chase on all 3 was quite cool, just the killing of a treed bear was the only part I didn't care for. But thats my opinion and I respect those who choose to pursue them.
 

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Take him along with you and then when all is said and done, ask him if he still has the same opinion.
To imply that using dogs is not fair chase is to imply that the hunt is a done deal. That once the dogs get on game it's a forgone conclusion the quarry will be killed.
Whether it's hunting big game or small game with hounds, the quarry usually wins out most of the time.
If hunting with hounds was so easy everyone would have some and there wouldn't be any game left. If you doubt any of this, let us know how your legs feel after the hunt.
I hunted with hounds(my beagles and my brothers' plotts & walkers) for 35 years and I can tell you that it's not for the out-of-shape or faint-of-heart.
 

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i hunt fox and coyotes with hounds and let me second that it is not for the out of shape and weak hearted. i personally think it is harder hunting than just baiting. i am not an anti-baiter though. i use bait to hunt deer and will be hunting bears in canada over bait this fall. with hunting hounds you still have to get up early and scout out the area and look for tracks. you need to have very good knowledge of where you are hunting and the trails around it. so when you need to get in there and shoot the game you know how to get to it and where it will most likely run to. most of the time the tracks we find are old and no good anyways. then while the dogs are cold trailing you most likely will still have to walk through the forest and help them sight track it until the dogs can smell it enough to take it by themselves. but when the chase gets hot and the game gets jumped it becomes high paced and full of thrills and tons of fun. for alot of people who have never hunted behind hounds they may think the dogs just do all of the work but the people hunt just as much as any other type of hunting and then the houndsmen have to go home after the hunt and take care of the dogs and do all that work also. so take him on a hound hunt one day so he can observe it and be overwhelmed by the fun of it, then he can make a decision if it is fair chase. oh yeah and tell him he can shoot a big bear or cat out of a tree with his bow too.

i have ran a lot of coyotes and fox so far this season and guess how many i have actually harvested. ......1 coyote.
the majority of the times the game wins the hunt, but that is ok so we can go and hunt it again next week :D hunting with hounds is like catch and release hunting.

in my opinion hunting is hunting no matter how it is done and as long as people are hunting, especially young people, it is good for all of us no matter the method used.

later, dave
 

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Everyone has their opinion on what is fair chase....I think that anyone with any ethics at all would agree that it is the hound music singing out of the woods or swamps and not the shooting of the animal......same with bird dogs... it is the dog work that is great to watch and do....remember dead animals leave no tracks....but the populations do need controled.....but the thrill will always be the chase...We have idiots in our sport that think they have to shoot out every coon their dogs tree...thats just plain stupid....I know bearhunters that very seldom shoot out a bear....the hounds just dont need it....they were born to hunt...That is the trouble with people that dont use dogs,,,They just dont get it....its the chase not the kill....

PS... if anyone would like to go coonhunting and see what it is alll about feel free to pm me i always have a spot open....the running is over for now...but it will warm up
 

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Unless you spend time training and teaching and raising and traveling to get a dog to the point to where he can push his game to a tree you honestly can't know how difficult it is.

I don't run big game hounds but a hound is a hound.

There is no way you could go buy a pup rase it then take it to the woods cut it loose on a bear track and have it tree a bear.

Thats takes hundreds of hours of training. And to have a pack you have to multiply those hours by however many dogs are in the pack.

The fair chase comes in when you calculate all the effort it takes to get a hound to the point that it and or it's pack can successfully
acount for there game most of the time.

I can honestly tell you from experiance that my pack of rabbit dogs will run almost every single rabbit they jump in good conditions back to the gun or put it in a hole.

They didn't get like that buy sitting in the kennel.

It's kinda hard to explain. To tell you the truth even going out on a hunt with good hounds wouldn't satisfy your question.
They alot of the times make it look some what easy.

You should try to go out with some one starting a pup. Then watch a really good dog do it. Then I think that would better explain where there fair chase comes in.


I could go out and jump shoot rabbits and kill alot more than I could kill if I took my young puppies out. But after two or three years of hard training a properly breed dog can become very much a rabbit killing machine. Getting them to that point is something you must try a few times to understand.


I hope this helps.
Rob
 

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I've hunted rabbits for a while now and I'll second what pedator dave said. My first rabbit hunt with beagles about wore me out! I went with my uncle who is retired and he says he hunts 2-3 times a week. He doesn't shoot everything he sees and often is out to train his dogs. I don't know how is does it that often. I can't wait until the next time I have a chance to go with him!
 

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I think the other guys have done a fine job of giving you some insight on hounds. The only thing I might add is that I know of alot of bear hunters who have tons of photo albums full of pictures of bears. They're not dead but rather live again to be run some more. In fact up here in northern Michigan bears are down right mean to the hounds. Alot of guys have dogs ripped up beacuse the bears are run so much. They don't get that way by being shot. They get that way by being turned loose from a tree beacuse the hunter decided to let it go. The sport is in the hound work. That's what makes a guy train a pack. Most hound guys enjoy the race and not so much the kill. To think that the bear will stay in a tree is a myth. When the hunter goes in to the tree alot of times the bear will bail. Let me tell you if a bear wants out of a tree bad enough there is not a dog mean enough to hold him there.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for all your informative responses, I now have a much better understanding of this style of hunting and will share this with my dad.
I have never hunted with hounds except for rabbit hunts so I needed your input to inform my dad,
thanks.
 

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Be sure and let him know that just because the bear or cat is in a tree, it doesn't mean that he is staying there. That is what I was getting at in my earlier post. So many people think that once a bear is treed it's a done deal. That's not always the case. And like I said earlier you can decide if you want to harvest the animal or not by looking him over. One thing you may want to check out and point out to him is the DNR bear license guide. Show him that bait hunters by percentage harvest more bears than hound hunters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
will do biggame.
that was one of my arguments with my dad was that he baits in deer but thinks that your method is not sporting, when in turn hunting is hunting and I feel both methods are sporting cause its chasing wild game no matter what method is used .
I will use what you folks have given and will make the old bowhunter see it the right way.
 

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If he wants to check it out firsthand, get ahold of me next year. Maybe we could take him out and with any luck get one going and let him see for himself. Good luck.;)
 

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Aftershock, The guys on here have given you alot of great info to use. I don't have much to add. I believe hound hunters in Mi. only have about a 20% success rate- alot less than hunting over bait.To me defining what's fair as a harvesting technique can turn into an elitist issue. We as hunters need to avoid falling into that trap.Am I saying anything goes???Of course not.

This topic reminds me of a hog hunt I went on 2 years ago in the hills of Tennessee. I was invited by some friends to go hunt hogs in Tn. behind dogs or still hunt them.We left Mi. with temps in the 20's & 6" of snow on the ground. The next day the weather for our hunt was in the 70's & sunny in TN. Half of us opted to hunt behind hounds & the rest decided to still hunt.One of my best friends wanted to follow the dogs with me. He's never hunted behind dogs up to this point. To make a long story short after about 2 hrs. of chasing hogs & hounds through those hills he was headed for the truck & was "done" hunting for the rest of the morning period.He told me he thought that the hunt was going to be like shooting a fish in a barrel & he was concerned it wouldn't be "Fair Chase". I still remember his words as he I took him back to the truck that morning......"Those dogs & hogs kicked my butt & it was definetly fair chase!!!!":D
 

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Originally posted by Cooner
To me defining what's fair as a harvesting technique can turn into an elitist issue. We as hunters need to avoid falling into that trap.Am I saying anything goes???Of course not.
That's a great point cooner.
 
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