A dog can also be man’s best hunting partner. If you’re completely obsessed with hunting like I am, a dog will always want to head out for the hunt, they never come up with lame excuses as to why they can’t go or bail out on you last-minute. And there’s nothing better than the joy of watching your dog hunt. Besides, a good dog will make your hunt easier and more successful.
Let me introduce you to my hunting dog, Kruger, a Rhodesian ridgeback 1-year-old hound puppy that I imported from Africa in October of 2013. Kruger is not your typical hound: He’s a pet first and a hunter second—I know this and I’m not embarrassed. Yes, he sleeps with me and yes, he still hunts.
Kruger goes everywhere with me. He was in camp for every hunt that I filmed with RMEF’s Team Elk television show in the fall of 2013 and 2014, and he participates in as many hunts as possible. At 5 months old, Kruger was successfully flushing pheasants, and at 8 months old he was picking up shed antlers—and at 10 months old he was trailing horses with me in British Columbia to bear camp. Over the course of the past year, I’ve built a foundation that will last Kruger’s life as my best and most trusted hunting partner.
In years past, November was all about hunting deer—mule deer and blacktails—but his year is different. In my home state of Oregon, pursuit season for bobcats with hounds opened in September. We just had our first snow this past week, so I have foregone the opportunity to hunt late-season mule deer and elk in Montana, and late-season archery blacktails in Oregon. Instead, I’ve placed my efforts in trying to find a fresh bobcat track for my hound to pursue.
It’s my ultimate hope to train Kruger to track and tree bobcats and mountain lions during the coming winter months. In my free time at home, I plan to hunt bobcats, and I have my first mountain lion hunt scheduled with Kruger just after Christmas in British Columbia with Otter Lake Guide Outfitters.
Unfortunately, the snow and bobcats have not been cooperative thus far, but any day that luck could change. This past weekend, we set up and called in the season first coyote. Kruger and I are patiently awaiting the day where we successfully trail, tree and harvest a bobcat. Together.
Stay tuned for adventures to come!