how we do it in dixie! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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how we do it in dixie!

so i went down to my buddies place monday afternoon...a few guys were working on the hunt club and my buddy said we could ride around and look for bear that evening and maybe turn out the deer dogs the next morning to run them a while...sounded like a good time to me!

so were framing a roof for a skinning pole at the hunt club..my buddy said that guy right there is the man you need to talk to about bear hunting down here! we got to talkin and next thing i know we have plans to meet at 0600 to turn out the bear dogs for training! i was fired up!!


my buddy and i drove around some of the club and got to see 2 good bear...we went home, had dinner, and grabbed a spot light and went back out...the night was slow but we seen like 6 more bear...had a cub next to the truck i coulda pet..a few GOOD bear...seen probably a dozen deer and a gray fox too...not bad considering the spotlight broke in the first field! lol..another reason that we didnt see MORE critters...


0600 we met my buddies cousin who had the bear dogs..he showed up with 5 plott hounds..

we got to the club and we started looking for tracks on the sand road...we found a set of cub tracks right away but didnt wanna get the dogs on cubs or a sow with cubs if at all possible..so we kept on...we got to a picked corn field and we see 2 good bear there the nite before..the guy said there was enough disturbance in the field he could tell a bunch of bear hit it hard and said he'd free cast em and let them run the edge of the field...

the guy is down to a 5 dog pack right now and all of them are really young..even the lead dog is right around 3 years old!

we collared up that oldest dog and a young female that he said was showing some potential..we cut em and they took out around the field..within 200yds the female struck quickly followed by the older male! the track was pretty hot and the dogs moved it with authority..while watching to road for the bear and/or the dogs to cross the road, we spotted a bear on the edge of the field across the road!! the bear stood around a few minutes and finally went into the woods..

the dogs hit the road but between us driving and walking down the road and them not being ran since last season, they hit the road and ran right for us and quit the track....they burned on down the road and quickly struck another track and started working it. it sounded like a colder track so we took another young dog to the spot we just see the bear and cut it...that dog doesnt have much experience but thats what we were out there for! the dog instantly opened and started running the track...but i could tell it never worked a track alone..it had difficulty and for a smokin hot track, it should have burned it and jumped the bear quickly...

the other 2 heated up their track and i said to the man, "boy if i was coon huntin i'd say them dogs just rolled over and fell treed!" he said well son, your bear hunting and you are right they got him treed!

we drove around the block trying to get closer and an easier walk..we left my buddy with the other dog...

once we got on the next road the man realized it was cut since hes been down there last and the dogs were on the other side of the creek anyways so we went back around the block and got ready to head in...the dogs oddly fell quiet and the 3rd dog that was running a track alone gave it up and went to join the pack once they fell treed...(somewhat desirable trait of a bear dog..learning when to join the pack..)

all the dogs were quiet and the GPS said they werent treeing but werent doing much..said that 3rd dog was coming our way..and sure enough he came to us...

after a few minutes the race was on! that 3rd dog heard the other 2 in there and took off to join em! they carried the track with authority..could tell the bear was right infront of them...when the 3rd dog met them they all fell treed together!

i know NOTHING about bear hunting with dogs so asked the man what he thought happened there..he said they usually will never leave a tree with a bear in it and figured it was a mean sow with cubs and the sow was giving the dogs the run around...


we geared up and i seen the man putting on SNAKE BOOTS! i said UHT OH! this aint good! he assured me that i most likely wouldnt NEED snake boots but its still warm and he wears them as cotton mouths and rattlers are bad..

then he said "ahhh i dont think we'll need the machetes" i knew its thick and nastyyyyy down here so hearing that was a relief!

the dogs were hammering away and it was music to my ears..

we neared the tree and 100yds away or so was a "tree line" with older trees and we were walking through a growing up cut over..i know coon dogs and coon huntin and figured they could very well be treed on the edge of the cut...

i started scanning the few big trees and sure enough i seen black! 2 black fur balls!! i pointed and told the man to look at that tree they got 2 cubs treed! he said well look at that!! now, wheres momma?? i was standing up on something and could see much better and i realized the sow was upside down about 8ft off the ground swatting at the dogs!!

right when i seen her swat at the dogs she must have seen me or heard me tell the man i seen her and she bailed! when she bailed, the chase was ON!!!

we needed to get to the dogs quickly because they had enough training and didnt get hurt or lost so the man wanted to quit while we were ahead so we didnt spend much time there but i got some pics of the cubs...

heres both cubs...they were both up in the Y but as soon as momma bailed the other cub started climbing down..


heres both cubs but the one was almost out of the tree...


heres the one that stayed in the tree...



heres a good bear..blurry pic..didnt know how to work my buddies camera..


and heres the cub we walked a half a mile down the road lol...none of the pic turned out real good...



heres a few pics showing how thick it is down there...this stuff was 20-25ft high...that wasnt even the worst of it..






unfortunately i never got pics or video of the dogs or me with the dogs...next time! it was just sooooo face paced and after the hunt it slipped my mind...loading up dogs, packing dogs, 2 different chases going on...bear treed by 0730..2nd tree made by 0800..it was intense...

im already 10000% hooked...i really am..many of y'all know my passion in life is runnin coon dogs...id give up everything if i could keep 1 good coon dog forever..now, bear hounds are pretty deep in my blood..the excitement, intensity, fast pace, adrenaline rush...you just NEVER know whats gunna happen when you get a bear jumped..never know if its gunna bay or tree or walk around swatting and chasing the dogs off etc etc....

i know not all hunts are as good as what i got to be part of...i know some days they never find a track to cut on..or they get a runner in a big block and cant do nothin with it..but, some are MUCH more intense than what i got to be on...


im looking forward to next time...and looking forward to coming down here in kill season if all works out well...the guys dogs were on a 730lb boar a few years ago..biggest killed that year and top 5 i think in the state still...they get a fair number in the 400-650lb range..but most wont shoot anything that isnt trophy size..theyve all killed bear and they just love to be on a good chase...

its always been a dream of mine to run bear dogs...that ole timer made my dream come true...and he seemed to REALLY enjoy my company...i think he gets alot of people that wanna bear hunt but dont appreciate the hounds..dont appreciate the hunt..they just wanna kill the bear and thats that...me n him talked hound huntin ALL day...and he was impressed i knew what his hounds were doing as well as i did...he got a nice pack of younguns...by kill season they aughta be some fine hounds once they get tuned up and on a few more good chases...

thought y'all would enjoy the pics..i know the story got LONG..but i left out a tonnnn...
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:22 PM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

Cool! Sounds and looks like a good time....heck, I could even read the excitement in your post!

You really under estimated the ramifications of the boondoggle you have just perpetrated!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 01:49 AM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

Very nice read and sounds like an exciting time.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

thanx guys glad y'all enjoyed...its something most of us in PA know nothing about...really cant hunt big game with hounds in PA...cats, fox, yote, coon..but other than that we dont have hound hunting..its truly a different way of hunting and many dont understand it..it is really hard to convey what hunting with hounds is TRULY about to someone, even a fellow hunter, that does not have the passion of running hounds...


look for another post about how we do it in dixie....i WILL run deer dogs this year with my buddy before i come home...and, if everything goes right, i'll be posting more bear hunt pics, stories, and hopefully video...id LOVE someone to film me going in for a kill...id like a good tree and good bay on film..but, its so fast paced its difficult at best...and, your dealing with dangerous game..you GOTTA be on your toes...

when that sow bailed and there we are standing there..no guns or anything, i had an uneasy feeling till i knew the pack was moving the other direction....


running dogs is really a southern tradition..one look at those woods and you'll quickly realize that stand hunting is about useless here on the coast..sure theres fields and cutovers that deer and bear come out in...but when the small lots are 1000 acres, and critters get smart quick, its time to cut loose the dogs!

i think im going to love running deer dogs too...i cant wait...

like i said, i know running hounds isnt for everyone..and i know fellow hunters even that are ignorant to it and are somewhat opposed to it...unfair, no challenge etc...well, thats far from the truth...and anyone with hound hunting in their blood will tell ya, the kill is not needed...its all about the chase...but, the way NC is, if im with the dogs in kill season i HAVE to have a license..so i will be trying to fill deer and bear tags if all goes how im planning!

i cant get the bear hunt outta my head...im afraid its already deeply engrained in me...that was the best hunting in the world to me...i'll take deer camp or a good bear or deer drive at home...but to me, theres nothing like cuttin loose a good hound..
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 09:47 AM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

COOL mauser!!!

When i was on a sound charter fishing trip down there one year the Capt was a bear runner. Said he got 11 bears in his life, and pretty much just runs them now..he was amazed at how we do it up here.

Terrain defines tradition.

Cool stuff, i think you are enjoying this NC stuff too much, time to come home...




"Only takes a second to change your season" Dad, 1980
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

I am enjoying it RB....but that's me...you can put mme pretty much anywhere and I'm going to find something to catch and hunt...

Nov 5 is my last day for the year....I will be home to bear hunt the PA way...

Id LOVE to run bear in the mountains of NC or WV etc....somewhere not as jungle-ous...I love dog huntin..but, at heart, I think I'm a tree dog guy....that's just somethin special...I wanna be on a good bear bay...but, its music to my ears to hear a hound throw a good locate and fall treed....

But if I ever end up permanently here, you can bet I'll have me a pack of bear dogs....

There's nothing like watching and listening to good hound work...
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 04:12 PM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2011, 04:17 PM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

Yes,thanks for sharing.Very informative.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 11:24 AM
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

Nice post, enjoyed reading it.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2011, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: how we do it in dixie!

i figured y'all would enjoy it!! more pics are my goal for next time!



forgot to mention....the cubs are fine when momma leave them like that...i kinda felt wrong about that..i asked the old timer and he said he felt the same way the first time he did it...but he said that momma comes back and the cubs are always fine..he said he had one sow get 3 miles before he could get the dogs caught...said within an hour momma and the cubs were back together...he said he paid close attention to that and spent time making sure cubs were being orphaned and he said hes never seen momma NOT come back....he said she'll typically make a big circle around the cubs...


once kill season starts, he spends A LOT more time looking at tracks on the road...if he is hunting the night before he will drag the road and some field edges so he can read tracks the next morning...he marks all the tracks and drops dogs on the biggest track...there are some crop fields but not many...

you can see the pic of the good bear..hes in beans...they spend a ton of time and money planting crops down the sides of the road on the club..that gives them another way to get fresh tracks for the bear and deer dogs...

baiting is legal for deer and NC allows bear dogs to be turned loose over bait but bear cannot be killed over bait..if he gets free/cheap corn, sweet taters, etc, he will spread it in a field or down the roads to get fresh tracks..

i know some probably think thats cheating slightly...but, like i said, when the SMALL woodlot is 1k acres, its simply the way things are done and always have been here in coastal NC...


i read that NC has a LOW estimated population of 15k bear on the coast and another 15k in the mountain region...last year hunters killed right around as many bear in NC than they did in PA..i think it was a few hundred less..i found that interesting...
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