Category Archives: Dogs

The crazy story of Stuckie the mummified dog!

So the story goes, back in the 1960s down in Georgia, a hunting dog chased a raccoon up inside a hollow tree. The determined dog wouldn’t give up from chasing the coon farther up, so it eventually got stuck.
Back to 1980 – Here’s the excerpt from The Sportsmen Party Facebook page:
In 1980 a “logger” found the dog after processing the log and donated it to a museum.

The dog is a hunting type dog and around 4 years old. Apparently was in there for around 20 years. Scientists believe his fate was sealed when he chased something up into the tree.

The plinth next to Stuckie in the museum gives an explanation on how the mummification happened –
“A chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air.
This caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away, which otherwise would have attracted insects and other organisms that feed on dead animals.
The hollow tree also provided relatively dry conditions, and the tannic acid of the oak helped harden the animal’s skin.”

Sources: The Sportsmen Party Facebook

A History of Hunting Dogs

Dogs and humans have a long history of friendship, and hunting has been one of the main reasons people have bred dogs over the centuries.

There are ancient cave paintings depicting stories of dogs walking alongside man. The story goes back 20,000 years to the time of pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers. As far back as 12,000 years ago, there’s evidence of dogs used for hunting, guarding and hauling weight. In most every culture, dogs have played a longstanding and important role.

The ancient Chinese kept dogs as companions and for hunting. In Egypt, dogs held great cultural significance and were often mummified and buried with their owners. In the tomb of the ancient pharaoh Ramses, there are paintings of him with hunting dogs. The ancient Greeks also valued dogs. Socrates even claimed dogs to be true philosophers. Ancient Romans also kept dogs as hunting animals and guard animals.

The history of selectively breeding dogs for an intended purpose goes back at least 9,000 years. By the 14th century, hunting dogs were common in Europe. However, because of the time and resources needed to develop a dog into a trained hunting animal, this task was only feasible for the nobility.

The first book detailing dogs used in hunting goes back to 16th century Britain with the 1570 publication of Dr. John Caius’ book, Of Englishe Dogges, the Diversities, the Names, the Natures, and the Properties.

Since domestication and specialized breeding began, the tradition of hunting dogs has evolved into what has become a diverse collection of dog breeds, each crafted for a specific purpose. Today, there are a few main categories into which most all hunting dogs can be placed.

Gun Dogs


Labrador Retriever

Gun dogs are great for flushing out hidden game including fowl and small mammals.
Gun dog breeds include spaniels, pointers, retrievers, setters and water dogs.

German Hunting Terrier

German Hunting Terrier

Terriers are great dogs for hunting small game. They can locate dens and flush out or kill burrowing animals.

Terrier breeds include Jack Russell terriers, wire fox terriers, Yorkshire terriers, Boston terriers, bull terriers, Scottish terriers and border terriers.




There are two types of hounds–sight hounds and scent hounds. Scent hounds are great at tracking prey over distance and are known for their endurance in the hunt. Scenthound breeds include foxhounds, beagles, coonhounds, and basset hounds. Sighthounds are known for their keen vision and can spot and track prey across considerable distances. Popular sighthound breeds include the pharaoh hound and the greyhound.

Other Categories
Similar in size and appearance to terriers, Feists are great at hunting small game. They’re especially good at treeing their prey.

Bred to hunt burrowing animals and smaller game, dachshunds can scent, chase, and flush out game.

Contrary to popular belief, a cur is not a worthless dog. Curs are a kind of North American treeing hound. Popular cur breeds include the Catahoula and Black Mouth Cur. Curs typical hunt larger game like boars, raccoons and cougars.

If you’re ready to hunt with your furry friend, make sure you’ve got all the gear you need. If you need quality hunting apparel for you (or your dog) head over to a high-quality outfitter like Carhartt to make sure you’ve got the right gear for the job.

Now you know a little bit more about hunting dogs, where they came from, and what each breed is known for. Here are some useful links for additional research.

Further Reading
List of Hunting Dog Breeds
Dogs in the Ancient World
United Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association

In Search of Sheds

By Scott Haugen

Hunting for deer and elk antler sheds has skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade. Not only do hunters learn what  bucks and bulls are in their hunting areas by finding sheds, but nonhunters, artists and collectors are getting bit by the craze too.
Shed hunting is like an Easter egg hunt, as you know the antlers are out there; it’s just a matter of finding them. From Rocky Mountain elk to mule deer, brush-country Roosevelt elk to blacktails, using a dog can greatly increase the odds of locating antler sheds.

Hunting for shed antlers is a popular late winter and early spring activity- here, Lon the pudelpointer brings in an elk antler– but searchers must
weigh their impact on winter-weakened animals. (SCOTT HAUGEN)

However, just because you have a dog, don’t head into the woods under the misconception that simply turning Rover loose will result in a pack full of sheds. Think of where bucks and bulls are this time of year and over the next couple months, and start there.

South-facing slopes are where many of these animals live this time of year. Here they can soak up the sun and feast on the first of the green grasses of spring.
Bigger bucks often bed toward the tops of south-facing ridges, where they have a commanding view. Some bucks and bulls will hang out in brushy fringes on these southern slopes. Some bull elk live in the deepest, darkest canyons.

At lower elevation, where nonmigratory  animals live, brushier habitat is the norm. Keep in mind that the movement of these animals is minimal in February and into March, especially during hard winters. Their food sources have held little nutrition since November, and in anticipation of spring’s arrival, they travel little in an effort to conserve energy. Scouring the ground of these slopes that face south can  take days, so narrow down your search for antlers by focusing on bedding areas and trails – especially where trails cross over downed trees, creeks and fences.

Whenever a buck or bull has to jump to get over an obstacle, the likelihood of their antlers popping off increases. As the pedicles weaken, a jolt to the body – even a headshake – is all it takes to pop the bone from their head. This is why bedding areas are also great places to search for sheds, because a buck or bull often shakes as it gets up, dislodging the antlers. In order to maximize your dog’s chance of locating sheds, these are the habitats you want to turn them loose in.

As with hunting upland birds, start the dog into the wind and encourage them to range out. But don’t send them out too far, as the last thing you want is them chasing game. If shed hunting in migratory wintering grounds, don’t use a dog until the animals have moved out, usually by late March.
I use an electronic collar when shed hunting with a dog, but not for the shock feature; I use it for the GPS option. When the dog works thick brush and big, brushy  timber, you want to know where they are.

If your dog has never hunted antler sheds, they can be  taught. Start by introducing them to an antler you have – either a shed or one cut from a buck you’ve taken. Thoroughly wash the antler with borax soap to remove any human odor. From that point on, only handle the antler with rubber gloves. You want the dog to familiarize itself with the scent of the antler, not the oils from your hands.

To “freshen up” an antler so the dog will be attracted to its scent, breaking off the tip of a tine or scoring the main beams with a file or abrasive paper will help. Give the antler to your dog, but only for a minute or two. You do not want the antler to become a chew toy, and you want to take it away from them with their interest piqued.

When first teaching the dog to find the antler, place  it in the yard in an easy-to-find location. Don’t let the  dog see you plant it. Once the dogs find the planted antler with regularity, it’s time to head into the hills or the brush. With the dog kenneled, plant a few antlers by tossing them away from the trail on which you’re standing. You don’t want the dog following the smell of your boots to where you set the antler, so toss it 10 to 20 yards off the trail, making sure it doesn’t get hung up in any brush. Remember where you toss them, just in case the dog can’t locate them.

Once your dog picks up the tossed, planted sheds, it’s time to get them on the real deal. Stuff a training antler in your pack when hunting for sheds, just in case you don’t find anything that day. The shed you take can be planted to reward your dog with success. You want them to have success so they develop the drive of wanting more.

Using a dog to locate sheds will dramatically increase the number of antlers you find, but the key to success is putting the dog in a area where bucks and bulls are located this time of year.

Echo, my 2-year-old pudelpointer, loves looking for sheds, and that’s one of the reasons I was attracted to this breed (not to mention the fact they are proficient with upland birds, waterfowl and blood trailing). Any dog that hunts birds can be taught to find sheds, and I’ve seen success with many breeds, especially Labradors early and late in the day before it gets too hot out.
As winter turns to spring, and antlers start dropping,  now is a great time to be afield, searching for sheds. Not  only is shed hunting a bonus for getting your dog into the field and both of you in shape, it can open your eyes to just how many bucks and bulls are really out there.

Editor’s note: For signed copies of Scott Haugen’s popular adventure book, Life In The Scope: The West, send a check for $15(free S&H) to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, W97489, or visit Follow Scott on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The Smart Canine Shopper

–By Scott Haugen 

I never had a hunting dog while growing up. I wanted one, but with my dedication to athletics, trapping, fishing and forms of hunting that didn’t require a dog, I didn’t think I could take on another responsibility.

What bird and bear hunting I did with friends quenched my thirst to own a hunting dog – at least until I got older.

When our sons were born, I was anxious to see if they took an interest in hunting, the type of hunting that would require a dog. For the first 12 years of their lives, I was on the road a lot as I pursued a full-time outdoor career hosting TV shows, writing and speaking. When he turned 11, our oldest son went on a pheasant hunt and loved the dogs. A couple weeks later, our 9-year-old son expressed the same interest after an upland bird hunt. For the first time in my life, the search for a hunting dog began.

Over the course of the next two years, I talked with lots of hunters, dog trainers and anyone else I could find who had experience with bird dogs. The family also went on multiple bird hunts behind a variety of dog breeds. Everyone had good advice that helped our family decide on what kind of dog to get. We’ve had our pudelpointer, Echo, for nearly two years now and our decision couldn’t have been better for our family.
If looking for your first hunting dog, the initial question you’ll want to ask is, “Do I have the time to dedicate to raising a dog?” Owning a dog is likely going to be a 12-year commitment, hopefully longer. Weigh your lifestyle, career and recreational time and ask yourself if you’re ready to take on the proper responsibilities associated with raising a hunting dog.

You’ll want to settle on a breed that fits your interests and those of

The author’s son, Kazden Haugen, with a pair of pheasants taken over Lon, a pudelpointer from Tall Timber Pudelpointers. After this hunt, the Haugens decided on this breed of dog for their family, but only after two years of researching breeds. (SCOTT HAUGEN)

The author’s son, Kazden Haugen, with a pair of pheasants taken over Lon, a pudelpointer from Tall Timber Pudelpointers. After this hunt, the Haugens decided on this breed of dog for their family, but only after two years of researching breeds. (SCOTT HAUGEN)

your family. For me, I wanted a dog that hunted upland birds, waterfowl, crows, squirrels, trailed blood and found antler sheds. We also wanted a loving dog that would sleep with the boys at night and offer protection.

You may not want an inside dog. You might only be interested in waterfowl hunting or shed hunting. You may want an upland bird dog. The point is that you’ll want to determine your personal interest and find a dog that matches.
Next, ask yourself how the dog is going to be trained. Are you going to devote the time to training it yourself or hire a professional? The number one concern I hear from professional trainers is about owners who drop off a dog for training, then do nothing with the dog to keep its skills honed. By the time the next hunting season rolls around, the dog has lost many of the disciplines it was taught.

When deciding on a breed, hunt with the breed or breeds you’re considering, if logistically possible. If a friend doesn’t have a dog you can hunt with, consider booking a hunt with a guide who handles the breed you’re considering. You can also call a breeder and ask to spend time with them and their dogs to get an idea of how they work together.

As the time approaches to get a dog, don’t get bit by the puppy bug. All pups of any breed are cute and cuddly, but stick to the breed you want. Like many other potential purchases, don’t buy on impulse; make your decision only after thoroughly studying what breed and gender of dog you want. Remember too that males and females behave differently.

Once you bring your pup home at eight weeks of age, immediately start the discipline process. An undisciplined dog is a training nightmare and the process of communicating and setting expectations for your dog should start the moment you get it.

Prior to the dog’s arrival, be certain you’ll have proper time set aside to start establishing guidelines, introducing it to water and getting it into new environments; six months of dedicated time is a starting point. Do not get the dog days before an extended vacation and leave it with someone else. The dog needs to be with its new family after leaving the litter and getting used to home.

Choosing a hunting dog is a decision that requires time and forethought. Don’t get caught up in buying a dog based on emotion rather than common sense. Determine your interests of what you want in a dog and then make the smart choice. From that point on, your life will forever be changed for the better. CS
Editor’s note: For more on author Scott Haugen, go to

K-9 tracking dog Sieger used its skills to ?nd the scent on a rotting deer carcass that was allegedly taken out of season and with a tag from a different zone in remote Inyo County. (CDFW)


Not a lot of deer hunters get to experience the spectacular scenery around Inyo County, near the Eastern Sierras. The G-3 Zone includes land east of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, some of the state’s most rugged country.
“Ethical hunters prize the G-3 tag for the incredible landscape and quantity of large deer,” says Lt. Bill Dailey of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s law enforcement division. “With only 35 tags issued every year, hunters can apply for years and never draw this zone.”
Perhaps that’s what had allegedly prompted Bishop resident Joseph Eugene Bragdon to take his young son on a hunt in Division Creek, part of Zone G-3, but with a deer tag from another zone and hunted a month before the very short season that takes place between Dec. 6-21. CDFW officials received a call on its CalTIP hotline (888-334-2258) of the possible violation.
The investigation got a big boost from a CDFW tracking K-9, Sieger. The dog successfully followed the scent of a mule deer and found most of a rotting corpse. The three-point buck was missing just the antlers and some of its edible meat. A $15,000 warrant was issued by the Inyo County District Attorney’s office, which took Bragdon, 37, into custody.
“Bragdon faces possible charges for several violations of the Fish and Game Code, including taking a deer without a license, tag or permit, failure to fill out tags, waste of game, failure to have a tag in possession and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana,” a CDFW news release stated. “If convicted, Bragdon could face revocation of his hunting license, fines, probation and/or jail time.”
As for the K-9 that helped crack the case, Sieger is a candidate to be awarded exceptional certification status. Atta boy, it was a job well done.K-9 tracking dog Sieger used its skills to ?nd the scent on a rotting deer carcass that was allegedly taken out of season and with a tag from a different zone in remote Inyo County. (CDFW)

Get Your Dog’s Days In This Summer

With summer upon us, now is the time to get in shape for hunting season. As hunters, we strive to have our body and mind tuned in so that we can fully appreciate and enjoy all our hunting experiences have to offer and get to where we need to be to fill tags and bag game. For bird hunters, now is also the time to get your dog in shape. 

“One of the biggest mistakes people make is not getting their dog in good hunting shape before the season starts,” notes breeder and trainer Steve Waller ( “This is the time of year dogs need to be working – not just a few weeks before the season.” Waller has been training canines for over 40 years. When it comes to doing so during the sizzling days of summer, there are different points to consider than when exercising them during cooler times of the year.

When it comes to getting a dog’s feet into hunting shape, train them on gravel. Doing so will toughen their pads, strengthen their toes, feet and legs and naturally wear down their toenails. (

When it comes to getting a dog’s feet into hunting
shape, train them on gravel. Doing so will toughen
their pads, strengthen their toes, feet and legs and
naturally wear down their toenails. (

“It may not look great, but one of the first things I do when training dogs in the heat is clip their hair,” Waller shares. “Clipping that coat short is one of the best things
you can do to keep a dog cool and comfortable. It’s also great for cutting down on grass seed problems; and don’t worry, it’ll grow back.” As far as actual training, Waller
points out the obvious. “Train early in the morning and don’t push it. Get up half an hour
early and get it done before heading to work, if you have to. Just don’t put yourself in a position where mid-day training is the only option. Cool, breezy evenings can also be
good times to train, but again, don’t overdo it.” Waller advocates training near water so you can let dogs swim every 15 minutes or so. Letting dogs play in the water will greatly
help cool them off and keep them more comfortable and focused
during sessions.

“If you can’t train near a body of water, be sure and take plenty of drinking water into the field and give it to your dog regularly,” Waller insists. “Dogs with a lot of drive
won’t tell you they’re getting hot or thirsty; they’ll just keep going until they fall over from heat exhaustion, so be sure to keep them hydrated. That goes for trainers too. If a dog does go down, cover them with water to drop that body temperature as fast as you can.” Even in water training, don’t push the dogs to the point of exhaustion.

Just because they’re in the water doesn’t mean they’re staying cool all the time, as their bodies can still overheat. Just take it slow and keep it fun for the dogs. Once they
start losing interest, stop. “When water training with bumpers, I’ll only toss it in five or six times, that’s it,” offers noted trainer, breeder and former Oregon State University professor of animal breeding and genetics, Howard Meyer. “I want them to stay interested
in retrieving that bumper their whole life, bringing it to me every time.”

When conditioning dogs in the heat, Meyer ( uses a canoe and has his dogs swim next to him as he paddles. “Tossing a bumper five or six times isn’t going to get them in shape, but swimming will. Just give them plenty of time to warm up along the shore
as the water can be cold, even on hot days.” A dog’s feet must also get conditioned.
For this, train on gravel, pavement or concrete. Again, do this training early in the day, near water, where dogs can be quickly cooled off.

If training on asphalt, make sure it’s not too hot for the dog to comfortably set foot on. Training in the field is obviously a great place to get a dog’s feet in shape, but this time of year, watch out for snakes. If your dog’s not snake-broken, there are classes and trainers who specialize in teaching this. As you begin conditioning for the upcoming hunting season, don’t forget about man’s best friend. Dogs require proper attention and direction to get in shape, and working
with them on a daily basis will also strengthen that bond that makes hunting with dogs so special. CS

By Scott Haugen