Sunday, October 26, 2008

More Tough Going

Cate after a short hunt this past Thursday. Folks who think squirrel hunting is a kid's sport have never tried to spot a fox squirrel flattened out on a branch near the top of a mature oak.

Temperatures dropped here in North Texas, thank goodness. Then the wind picked up. But if you wait until everything's perfect, you'll rarely hunt.

Cate and I got out a couple of afternoons last week. Late Thursday, with the wind howling in the treetops, she disappeared into a patch of cedar and Osage orange. I heard her strike and wondered where a squirrel would hide in such low scrubby stuff. Moments later, Cate emerged with a fox squirrel which she efficiently dispatched with vigorous head-shaking and much impressive growling. You'd have thought she was fighting a bear. She handled the two squirrels in the photo in a more traditional manner.

We're heading for deep East Texas tomorrow. Soon, it'll be time to head west for quail.


Matt Mullenix said...

Go Cate! She caught the first one on her own? That's impressive!

Will she go with you after quail?

Henry Chappell said...

Thanks Matt! Cate's a quick little fart (36 pounds soaking wet, with a full belly) but she certainly doesn't have sight hound speed. She caught that squirrel in pretty thick cover, on a day when the wind probably dulled the squirrel's senses. Curs and feists do occasinally catch squirrels and raccoons on the ground but it's pretty rare. Mostly they tree them.

I'll probably take Cate to West Texas, but she's not a bird dog. Maggs does the heavy lifting out there.

mdmnm said...

Good luck in E. Tx and hope you get into some quail out west. Squirrel hunting in the wind is tough but it sounds like Cate is really getting the program down in her first season.

Matt Mullenix said...

Henry don't sell Cate short as a bird dog. :-) If a whippet can hunt and point birds for a living as Rina does, any dog can!

I'm really fascinated by the potential of finding or making all-round dogs---the kind Gregg Barrow calls "brown dogs," which he used to find uniformly at country homes. The family's "brown dog" would fill every niche, from hunting to guarding to herding. My guess is that our local Catahoula hounds (and curs like your Cate) have long histories as jacks of all trades.

rimfirenut said...

The idea of squirrel hunting with a dog sounds like a blast. Been wanting to try it out for a few years now. My hunting partner and I just split up and do the slow stalk and still hunt and meet up later to compare notes. When we're not deer hunting we are squirrel hunting out around Caddo Lake (Haggerty Creek). We wound up with about 16 last weekend. We saw a ton of squirrels, but they were really on the move and did'nt give us a chance to settle our crosshairs on 'em. Good luck on your next hunt.

Henry Chappell said...

Hey Rimfire. It's great to hear from you. I've done lots of squirrel hunting around Caddo Lake - I love that country. There's quite a squirrel dog tradition in the area.

Thanks for stopping by!