Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Season Prep

  This time of year the truck bed Permanently gets smaller till the season end with a two hole dog box. The equipment is packed and truck is prepared for the hunting  season. There are essential items for running dogs. Then there are items needed for a trip north 

   These are items packed for the season 

In the bed 

   The dog box 

   Spare tire 

   Water bowl 

   Gallon of water or more 

In the truck 

   Dog collars and control (alpha)

   First aid kit 

   2 way radios 

   Truck jack 

   Jumper pack






The hunting vest 


   Solar charger 



  Medical wrap 

  Water bottle 

  Pruning shears 

  Game shears 

First aid kit 

   Vet wrap 

   Quick clot 

   Saline spray 

   Eye wash 

   Nail clippers 






   Fire starter

For long trips

   Chain gang 

   Two burner stove 

   Pots and pans 


   Dog food 


Being prepared for the hunting season can make a trip out better. Having a first aid kit that is up to date and in the truck makes sure you and all the dog make it home that night. Going on a hunt unprepared can make a trip unsafe. Weather can Change on a dime and when cold temps come an unforseen problem can turn in to a dangerous event. 


Tuesday, 16 November 2021

One for the Dog's

 Arriving at the spot we planned to hunt just after daylight in eastern Maine. The hopes that the season would start off right on the first day of the snowshoe hare season. We collard up and put down five beagles. It was a cool morning for October first but the temps were rising. 

  Time to see if all the time and miles put in during the off season payed off. It wasn't long and the first dog opened. Then the pack soon fell into place and in Harmony they sent music all over the hill side. There was no question the off season was good. The dogs looks in mid season form. 

  The hare went through with dogs in tow. We give the pack little warm up time before shooting. A few circles is good and now it's time to work in. After a few bumps we get in to position. This time we are ready when they bring it back around. Here it comes to the right I see it and shot and the hare keeps on. About hundred yards behind the dog fly through and away at a few hundred yards on the other side I decided it must have been a clean miss. 

  Then the silence hits they all stop at one in the same spot. Five hundred yards away we decide to have a look it's not like normal checks something is up. Guess it wasn't a clean miss we find five beagles gatherd round a few with belly's full. Guess we will start this season with one for the dogs. 

Saturday, 24 July 2021

Sea kayak fishing


   As an avid outdoorsman I find peace in being outside. Hunting and fishing are a rest to life for me. When the opportunity arose to try something new and sea kayak I did it. It's a little out of my realm from running bird dogs and beagles on my weekends. But trying new things and experiencing what bring others joy in the outdoors can help give a new perspective.

 The first leg if the trip was. 4.5 miles all in the pouring ran out to an island off the coast of Maine. With a few chances to fish on the way out the makerel were around but no bites to be had. It was filled with wildlife. There was many of seals, a few porpoise,  some eiders and many more bird species. It was a scenic view on the way to the island for lunch and a hike. 

The trip back the rain stop and the fish struck just off the shore of the island. There was two of us fishing and to fish aboard. That would be the last of the fish caught though the effort was there. With the paddle the paddle back to the main land the wind picked up across the open bay. The paddling became steady with no breaks just to make headway untill the other shore gave some relief. Once the 3 mile marathon paddle was over the coast broke the wind where some more unsuccessful fish was had.

9 miles was done for the day and one angler hooked on kayak fishing in the ocean. There is something soothing about paddling in the ocean with the tides changing and the abundant wildlife all around then pulling a fish from the water just inches from where you sit. With he makerel it is usually used for bait for the more sought after fish the striper but this one was destined for the dinner plate. Never trying one before I decided to see if they were more then just a bait fish. Cooked on the grill with garlic and lemon it was a mild tasting fish and one I would eat again. 

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Summer time Beagles

 The peak of the summer time heat is upon us. We have had an on and off one in the northeast but it is humid and hot out. Keeping your beagles in top shape year around can lessen the burden of getting them in shape for hunting season and also significantly decrease the risk of injury. During the summer months we have to be diligent in keep are packs safe when running. 

   There are many things we can do before and after taking them for a run to keep them safe. Running early in the day or late in the afternoon on hot days. Checking the weather is vitality important for summer running. Sunny days when it feels like the sun's rays are burning through you are better spent fishing. High humidity also takes a big toll on dogs. The feeling of wearing a blanket all day is uncomfortable. As humans we have the ability to sweat on those days but dog have to pant to get rid of the heat. 

   Making sure your dog has water before they run keeps them hydrated during running. Water before also makes it so they are not having to drink tons of water after to play some sort of catch up. Good ways to carry and offer water is in a watering system from one of the top kennel manufactures or in the field with a water bottle with a squirt top. Using a water bottle squirt the water across the mouth not down the throat. Across the mouth they will be able to drink at their pace and stay hydrated. 

   Besides giving water there are things that should be done after a summer time run to help the dogs cool off and settle down. To cool them off before the trip home you should have them calm down at the truck with water. Let them hang out and stop their heavy panting. Soaking them down water from a water bottle on the top oh thier head and ears can help in them cooling down. Making for a safe and comfortable ride home.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

The growing trainer

    Improving as a dog handler is a major goal for this off season. Working a full time job and raising a family makes it hard to be fully dedicated to a training schedule. Really thinking about your daily routine and where that training would fit in. There is time in the day to get it done and you won't even know the difference. Except in your dog you will see leaps and bounds. 

   They say the best way to become a better trainer is to work dogs. There is alot to be said about that but I also think it needs to be added with knowledge of books, dvd, and another trainer. I'm finding the more I train the more the knowledge taken from those sources comes out. 

    The other day was a struggle when a dog went from pointing to trying to take a bird out. After a few attempts of trying and failing I thought back to those sources and got the answer . It was time to launch the bird at the sign of scent. It worked perfectly the next bird he hit scent went cautiously right into a point then the next scent and point. 

   Like most things in life hard work and knowledge will get you where you want to go. A journal of your daily session will help you stay on track and give you something to go back to when all goes wrong. Set goals but keep timelines out of it. Have fun and grow as a handler and don't rush your sessions. 

  When everything seems to be going wrong remember that breakthrough could be right there. 

Monday, 8 March 2021

Solo the pack

 Running beagles In a pack can make the hare hunting experience mind blowing. The music that a pack of dogs make through the quiet woods is exhilarating. It is very practical to run dogs together when hunting. In a pack there is more dogs to find the rabbit and keep the trail. 

What happens when you find your self down to one dog. Dogs unfortunately get hurt, come in to season or it might be something different and they need some time off. How is the single dog going to react. Some will take off like nothing is different and others will act like they have never been out before. 

Why not solo hunt dogs during the season? It a tough thing to leave dogs home that are ready to go but maybe the best thing for your pack. In any pack all dogs should run the rabbit solo with no help from other dogs. During the season a dog running only in a pack can start to rely on the other dogs. The ones with the stronger noise or faster legs could leave your pack weakening each time out leaving the other dogs trying to just keep up. 

The best thing to do during the season is to get each dog in your pack solo time here and there. It will help them running for themselves using there own ability and adding to the pack later. The other thing you will gain is that at any point any dog in your pack can run a rabbit on its. With that in mind that any dog can go when your ready to hit the woods you will have confidence that you can get on rabbits and put some food on the table. 

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Winter Hare Gear

  The mid season of snow shoe hunting the temperature is going to 20s and below. Keeping warm during these hunts can be difficult because to get in the action you have to move long distance fast building sweat. Then you stand waiting for the dogs to circle it towards you really cooling you off. 

The ride to get to good snowshoe hare country can be long you don't want to sweat on the way. Don't dress for the hunt until you get there. The best method is to dress in base layers with a long sleeve shirt and carhartt pants for the ride. Wear shoes or light boots on the way. Just to keep from sweating. 

Once on location you want to have outer wear that is easy to get on so you can get hunting sooner. The less fussing at the truck the more hunting. 

Boots and socks: Get socks that are as close to wool that you can. Wool will keep your feet warm even if you sweat a little. For boots you want a rubber boots to the knee that has flexibility not stiff like most of the hunting style rubber boots. The lacrosse burly insulated boots are a good choice. Lacrosse boots also go very good with a pair of snow shoes when the snow is soft.

Pants: lined carhartt pants are more breathable the wearing long johns and with a pare of mule bibs on over them you will be warm. Mule bibs will keep you warm and dry they are water resistant making so they also keep the wind out. 

Body:  No need for a long john shirt a short sleeve and long sleeve shirt will do. For a outer layer a sweat shirt and wool jacket work good tacking the jacket off or unzipping when your to warm. The bibs will cover most of your upper half  keeping mostly worry free from water and wind. 

Hat and gloves: A baseball cap is a good idea as most of the time that will be keeping your head warm as a beanie is to hot. Keep a beanie with you one that is on the thin side you don't want a really think one. Get a pair of thin gloves like kinco's that will keep you warm and able to shoot. Also sunglasses are very nice to keep with you because of the brightness of the sun off the snow.

Bag: L.L.Bean makes a nice game bag that makes layering and carrying stuff easy on the go. Just keep hat, gloves, jacket or anything you need to get to in the game bag until you need use of it. When you start filling the game bag the vest has lots of pockets to switch your extra items to. 

Stay warm and hunt long. 

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Mobile Ice Fishing

 The comforts of a big ice shack make it feel like home. Having almost anything from a oven, tv, and bed. While also leaving you in one spot day after day. While fishing From the same location and the same pond can be nice at times. Being able to get out and fish new territory weather it's a new spot or a new pond brings on a new challenge. 

The ability to be mobile while ice fishing gives you more flexibility and opportunity fishing. Being able to change locations on a lake with a quick and simple pack up could mean more flags on a slow day. Scouting a new pond means you can change locations a few times to find fish. No longer do you have to fish the same pond every time out because of the big shack.

The gear that makes you ready to get out there and be mobile is a gear sled, portable ice shack, small heater. 

For an ice shack a shelter made onto a sled is very nice for the fact that you can haul all your stuff out in it. Setting it up  is a breeze and some even come with built in seats.. Insulated tops make heating much easier. Another great option to consider is a pop up ice shack they are very easy to set up but you need the extra sled space to put them. 

For a sled going with any sled of adequate size will work just just fine. Make sure you will have enough room for pack basket, auger, shelter and any other gear you normally carry along. 

If your going to be out long periods of time a heater for your shelter is a nice addition to the gear. On cold days it's nice to get a little time here and there of heat. A buddy heater works very nicely for heating a shelter. It's compact size uses less space but puts off plenty of heat. 

Consider getting out on the ice this winter and checking out new ponds. Old faithful is nice and familiar but new senary can be a great change during the season.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

No winter blues

 The notion of cabin fever has set in to most northeastern's by now. Short days and cold temps keep them looking forward to April showers and May flowers. Unaware of the beauty of winter woods and hard water.

   Nothing is quite like a frosty morning sunrise behind a few beagles. It is something mind clearing to listen to the pack giving chase on a snowshoe hare over the snowy hills and in the icy swamps. Music to a hunters ears baying beagles echoing through the quiet winter woods.


There is a lot we can learn and see in the snow covered woods that would be non-existent any other time of the year. Wing beats of a ruffed grouse taking off, Tracks ending at impressions in the now where an owl grabbed some dinner. Animal tracks telling a story like a lynx's going after the very same quarry those beagles are tracking over the ridge. 

   If the the hunting is limited or fishing is more your style. Hitting a frozen pond for the chance at chasing some flags will surely make cabin fever a distant memory. The best part of ice fishing is the time you can enjoy with family and friends while being out in nature. With all the portable ice shacks and small propane heaters there is no problem staying warm. Ice hockey, skating and more leaves  plenty to do while the fish find the bait. 

    There is definitely something special about ice fishing when you get a flag and the whole fishing party goes over to check it out. It doesn't matter who's hole it is. The flag goes up an you all run to the trap check to see if it's still spinning . Then you pull the trap out, grab the line, set the hook, then hand line it in. Now that's fishing.

    I'm not sure why cabin fever exists but I would say it's time to get out and enjoy the frozen ground before spring is upon us and the opportunity is gone. Time is to short to wait for spring. Some of the best story's come from the cold. 




Season Prep

  This time of year the truck bed Permanently gets smaller till the season end with a two hole dog box. The equipment is packed and truck is...