Shooters Forum banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Rosie and Toad were once two pint-sized sibling pups that did lots of hopping and dancing, and began to look for things to kill and chew on by the time they were three months old. The cats, rodents, lizards and birds were all targets--I can't take any credit for their innate abilities as hunters--that's in their blood like most canines, though their drive is the most intense I've seen in dogs that I've owned or been acquainted with. They are also protective of their space and their groceries, which turns out to be important in their aspirations to become Supreme Coyote Tolling Dogs.
They are in a target-rich environment with respect to coyotes. They have heard and smelled them around their home since forever, and bark at them (as well as any other canines) when they wander by. So they gained a keen understanding of WHAT a coyote was at an early age.

The first season of calling was at best a hit and miss operation, with dogs in front of the muzzle, or climbing on your head, or hanging on your heels or chasing rabbits until **** won't have it. But the transformation began to occur as they discovered MY aggression towards coyotes on the ground. That's another instinctive behavior that just "happened"--as I growled and grabbed and flipped a (dead) coyote, it was absolutely NO TIME before they were on the throat, or one on the throat and one on the hind end, tugging and shaking--Rosie, the twelve pound terror, can shake a 25 pound coyote by it's throat until it's legs and entire body are flipping and writhing about. Toad has always preferred chewing on elbows and hind legs as if he's trying to pick a fight, but also gets on the throat of a coyote that shows even a little life.

We also killed coyotes together early on, as we do now. It's one of their favorite things (very high rewards)--and I mean RIGHT together, down in the brush and rocks with me on my hands and knees with the smelly coyote and the dipping and diving terriers. They began to get frenzied in no time, and then it happened ALL OF A SUDDEN: Rosie got bitten. Oh, the pain, the terror, the tragedy of it all--Rosie's little head was locked in the jaws of a rough male coyote down in a creekbed amongst the oak brush--she shrieked and cried in horrible tones, and I myself was overcome with my own instinct to save Rosie--I grabbed the coyote's tail without thinking and yanked him out of the brush with Rosie attached to his teeth to a partial clearing, and Toad came LEAPING in to the brawl, latching on to the coyote's ear and face. The coyote lunged for Toad, and Rosie was free! Toad continued the face to face torment, flashing looks at me and Rosie and the evil coyote, as Rosie staggered momentarily, blood streaking from her right eye and cut ear. A very long ten seconds, maybe fifteen seconds went by. Toad is barking at the snapping coyote as the life continues to drain from his bullet wound...

And Rosie transformed.

Rosie's voice raised about an octave that day, and has never come back down. She could have kept her tail tucked and hugged my heels from then on, but she did not. No, Rosie turned evil towards coyotes that morning--she turned towards being more business-like at that point, and as Toad circled the down coyote, Rosie streaked in for the throat and shook like she had never shook before. She was utterly and thoroughly pissed from the sound of her barks and she locked down on that struggling coyote until he struggled no more. The special aroma of that older coyote became solidly engrained in her brain that day, and we all sat down around that coyote and kissed and hugged and celebrated our hunt. We skinned that coyote under a big juniper tree as we were about three miles from home on foot. I have the very coyote tanned and hanging in my room with a note written on the hide inside: the date and "this coyote bit Rosie". Toad has been bitten as well, and knows how to stay clear of the toothy end of a coyote with much life left. He does, however, willingly grab and hang off the hind end as long as the coyote attempts to go anywhere, allowing Dad to catch up and slow the coyote down just a bit more.

These kinds of experiences a dog remembers--there's just no way to get around getting experience when you're learing a trade.

The terriers were beginning to understand the rewards and that they needed me to get the coyotes in to a special condition before they could fully experience those rewards. They need some fine tuning (finesse) when it comes to just "how" to dance the way I'd like, and just how far to push a coyote before they make their turn towards Dad. I suspect they get to feeling good and aggressive and remember back to those coyotes that have hurt them--and maybe they don't want to wait for me to lay them down; they're gonna go get 'em themselves! But I persist in my requirements of them to stay within rifle range with coyotes present. The Tri-Tronics collars with the tones let them know I'm aware of their pursuit and that I'd prefer if they bring that pursuit closer to the gun. They originally learned that the tone means to come to me, but now it's evident that the tone means to come towards the call or the vicinity to which we have set up the trap, so that we can chew on the coyote together.

I'm certain that I've killed more coyotes when the dogs have been there for coyote eye candy. I can get away with a lot more movement when that coyote is riveted on those dogs, and when the dogs stick around the call "defending" their kill, the coyotes start to try and figure out how to get it away from them. They'll split up and come from two directions, try and bait the dogs away from the rabbit or any number of other
tactics.

Many times Rosie plays the role of checking on me to see if I'm coming when we're looking for a coyote, as Toad forges ahead trying to latch on to the hind end of coyote he's blood trailing, or I'll tone back the dog that doesn't seem to have the best line on the scent trail, because when a coyote goes one or two hundred yards in to the brush to pile up, you can lose sight of them in a hurry. With one dog checking back and forth, I can keep sight of one and he or she can follow up the trail as I stumble along at human speed.

I always reward them to this day with voice and pets when they succeed, though they don't really need it; they know this game pretty well, and they're only a year and a half old.

This working with animals is a special thing. It's obvious to say that we're not working with machines with known parts and known responses to a given stimulus, but there are folks out there that don't understand this when it comes to their dogs, horses, or the animals they hunt. There are frustrations and failures along the way when you're dealing with animals that are essentially out of your full control--sometimes it's just best to sit back a bit and observe the show. I'm here to learn from them as well, and I've sure learned a lot.

Tom T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
214 Posts
Sounds like a great way to hunt. My dad used to run feral hogs with dogs when he lived in Beaumont, about thirty years ago. He said them hogs would tear them dogs to shreds when they got in the water with them.

:cool:Walter30-06
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top