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Hunting Dogs

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<SPAN name="C05"></SPAN> <h3>CHAPTER V.<br> TRAINING FOR SKUNK, OPOSSUM AND MINK.</h3> <p>All the foregoing has more or less application to the present topic. We are still dealing with the nocturnal wanderers. Occasionally any of the above may be discovered abroad in the full glare of day. Some hunters successfully locate them, by the aid of dogs, in their dens or burrows and capture them in the day-time. This is a cut and dried operation that requires none of the resourceful tactics of man and dog in the chase, and is, therefore, dismissed from the discussion. Now, what are the dog's duties? The matter of still hunters vs. tonguers, being of such variance of opinion, it will be discussed in a subsequent and separate chapter.</p> <p>Having impressed your dog with the fact that you want him to look out for skunk, possum and mink, as well as 'coon, the next point of importance is to insist on the dog staying with the quarry and barking until you arrive; also not to take hold until the word is given as the hide is apt to be all chewed up and full of holes if the dog is too long and too vigorous in the task. Many hunters pick up many of the skunk on the field, without even being touched by the dogs.</p> <p>In this connection a contributor writes: "We walk right up to the skunks and pick them up by the tails; then hit them on the head with a club and kill them or put them in the bag and take them home alive, as the occasion may suit."</p> <p>"Now I won't tell that I can catch skunks without getting scented, but will say this, we have caught hundreds by the tail, and after lifting them clear off the ground, never have been scented by them. As I said before, I go for the business end of it, and am not afraid to get some scent on me as long as I don't get it in my eyes. If you get it in your eyes, it feels about as if you had horse-radish or hot water in them for the next ten minutes, which is not altogether pleasant."</p> <p>The skunk is a foolish, unresourceful animal and were it not for its natural, unique means of defense, would be utterly at the mercy of dogs and hunters. Many dogs object to the scent and will trail and bring to bay a skunk only with reluctance. Only those who hunt for profit, care to take the skunk, and he must needs learn the finer points by experience.</p> <p>The Scotch Terrier and Beagle should be mink dog. The steel trap is more generally relied upon to bag the sly mink and his capture with dog and gun is oft-times very unproductive.</p> <SPAN name="pic061"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/061.jpg" alt="Opossums Are Easily Caught Alive for Training Purposes."><br>Opossums Are Easily Caught Alive for Training Purposes.</h5> <p>A Pennsylvania hunter contributes the following to the general fund: a good cross for mink as well as rabbit. This combination gives the requisite agility needed in coping with mink. Some even advise a strain of water Spaniel with the above breed for ideal.</p> <p>"Before taking him out you can teach the young dog when 8 or 10 months old, what to do by catching an animal that you wish to train your dog on and leading it around. If it is a 'coon or opossum, then put up a tree or on a fence. Loose your dog and let him trail until he finds it. Teach the dog to bark by hissing him on and clapping, whooping to him and such like.</p> <p>If for skunk, kill one and drag it around, place it out of pup's reach, and teach him to bark when he comes upon his game. You can teach the habit of tongueing after night or silence on the trail as you prefer. Let your young dog shake and chew at the game you are training him to hunt for. After he has found it and he fails to bark by hissing him, tie a rope three feet long to it and keep throwing it toward him and pulling it quickly away to teach him to grab at it and hold on, and also bark. A live skunk generally gives a young dog such a lesson the first time that he is always afraid of one afterwards, unless he is an Irish terrier or bull dog or beagle crossed. These two breeds are good ones for any kind of night hunting.</p> <p>Take a live animal, a 'coon or something, and lead it past your young dog's box where he is tied and let him see it and take notice how he will want it, but all you want is to teach him the scent and how to tongue when he comes up on the game. I believe what I have told will generally break any dog.</p> <p>A good dog, well broken to hunt 'coon, skunk or opossum is worth scores of traps. Don't be afraid to switch a young dog some, to make him learn good from bad, like tonguing track and rabbit. Always pet him and be friendly after chastising him, and a good scolding with a couple of light smacks with open hand will take the place of a whipping. Don't use a stick unless necessary. Use judgment, the same as you would want some one to use you, and in a few nights' training your dog will be catching game. It is easy sailing after a few are caught, and your dog is your greatest friend you have. He will make you from $5.00 to $15.00 a night, where if you were trapping for the same game, you would be lucky if you got a dollar's worth of fur, and besides what is finer sport than a day's gunning, to hear your old dog up on yonder hill or in some woods talking to you to come his way?"</p> <SPAN name="pic064"></SPAN> <h5><ANTIMG src="images/064.jpg" alt="North Dakota Wolf Hounds."><br>North Dakota Wolf Hounds.</h5> <hr>
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