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Thread: Bird dogs and Varmints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Centerville, MN
    Posts
    77

    Default Bird dogs and Varmints

    Have never run into this in my years of hunting personally but have talked to few other who have had encounters with Varmints and their bird dog(s). Last year a guy told me his dog got into a scrap with a coyote. Said he came out unharmed but could have easily been worse. I have also never seen or ran into a porcupine in SW MN but I'm sure they exist. Anybody else ever had a dog come toe to toe with a coyote, raccoon, or get quilled by a porcupine? a few years ago I did kick up a coyote in the distance and it sprinted a country mile out of sight (dog never even seen it). A friend of mine sees coyote continuously on his bird hunts in south Dakota. Some of these are my worst fear of injuring my dog and ending a weekend of hunting to head strait to the vet.

  2. #2

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    My dogs have been sprayed by skunks , quilled by porkys . They have treed Bobcats glad the Cats didn't stand their ground and fight .

  3. #3

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    In 30+ years of hunting pointing dogs I have seen one run in with a coyote. Came over a prairie ridge and my female Britt was facing off / circling a coyote. When the coyote saw me ... it ran away.

    I have a small fear of wolves, but I think in most cases the wolves run off. Heard of WI bear dogs getting killed when the stray into wolf territory, but these dogs run really far out.

    Seen a few dogs quilled, one sprayed. I have seen a few raccoons in cattail sloughs, but never an incident.

    Porky quills (small ones) can move through dogs and a vet visit may be advised when they are quilled. Easily my #1 varmint issue. Some dogs seem prone to this ...

    I would put these events ahead of varmints ... (regarding ruining trips because of a vet trip or worse) ... most can be avoided.

    Barb wire fence and other cutting risks. Easily number one for me. Hard to avoid and prevent. Vests and jackets not always effective.
    Ticks (Lyme and other disease). I should know better, but three times this "hit" one of my dogs. Nexgard pills last fall and from here on out.

    Read about these most every year
    Heat exhaustion
    Blue-Green Algae and other water borne toxins
    Feeding to close to working (mostly limited to, but not exclusive to labs)

    Cars and Trucks ... get that dog under control as you approach a road. Dog should be restrained or kenneled ASAP. Many farmers do not slow down for dogs.
    Last edited by BRITTMAN; 08-10-2017 at 03:51 PM.

  4. #4

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    Apparently the threat to bear hounds is real.

    StarTrib article today:

    A national watchdog group says Wisconsin bear hunters are harassing wolves with their dog packs — then claiming state compensation when their hounds are killed — and wants the federal government to launch a criminal investigation.

    The practice amounts to “a state-sanctioned financial subsidy for hunters engaged in the criminal harassment” of wolves, an attorney for Professional Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) said in a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    In 2016 Wisconsin paid out $99,400 for 41 dogs, a maximum of $2,500 each. The dogs were killed primarily in July and August, when hunters are in the woods training their packs to chase bears, and wolf pups are first emerging from their dens. More than a dozen dogs were killed, despite “caution” warnings by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that wolf packs with pups were active in the area, PEER said.

  5. #5

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    August is apparently the danger month for dogs in the woods. Wolf pups are just emerging from their dens and the pack is not mobile and highly defensive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I watched a friend's drahthaar absolutely destroy a ~15 lb coon in the cattails a couple years ago. I caught up with the dog just in time to watch him snap the thing's neck by shaking it. Kicked the coon free out of the dog's mouth and put it out if its misery. 10 minutes later...dog chased another coon. Great dog, but there's a reason I didn't get a drahthaar (also, we have 2 cats...). I've seen shorthairs catch and kill rabbits and squirrels many times. Mine hasn't paid much attention to coyotes the few times we've come acrossed them in the field. In my experience, it's hard to surprise a coyote unless it's a bit windy/noisy out and you catch them coming from downwind. Usually they smell you (and the dog) and are gone well before you see them. Of course, if your dog know's what he's doing, you're walking into wind while hunting so that does increase your chances of an encounter.

    SW MN pheasant country is devoid of porcupines. Might find a few at the northernmost extend of the pheasant range here, but definitely not south of the MN river. Same for bobcats, lions, wolves, and venomous snakes. It's a nice area to hunt in that regard!
    Last edited by nater; 08-11-2017 at 08:26 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Centerville, MN
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Great points guys, thank you all for sharing your experiences. How ironic that article came out while this thread was active. I don't grouse hunt much, meaning the dog doesn't get into wolf territory really ever, but i've heard how territorial they are. Lots of risks always in the back of my head other than varmints, thanks for bringing many to light Brittman. My lab darted through a barbed wire fence last year, thought there was no way he came out unharmed with the way he went through it, but by a miracle he was unscathed. I'll rest a little easier knowing Porkys arent really existent in the SW range. Have heard horror stories of quills still embedded months later.

    Starting to get the itch! High hopes for this season in SW MN!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Stillwater MN
    Posts
    263

    Default

    Glad to see a new thread here and there as my "Fall itch" is slowly rising. The Game Fair yesterday didn't help! I've been checking into UPH more frequently mostly to read about the drought in ND as we're planning to spend 8 days there in early November. Over the years my dogs and I have had numerous encounters with raccoons. Been skunked three times all opening weekends in South Dakota. I pray not to run into a rattler or a porky. My dogs are very familiar with barbed wire as there is some right in my front yard dividing our properties.

    Be in SW MN for opener with a new British lab pup in tow along with the rest of my pack. Sadly had to retire the best dog I've ever had last year. We'll miss her skills.

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