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Doug Robinson
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Warsaw, New York
Posts: 4221

Drifting style track dogs

Someone posted something about a line of Walker dogs not too long ago that were a drifting style type track dog and I was curious to hear more about the pros and cons and experiences folks had with these type of dogs.

The reason I ask is that I have a young dog I'm hunting now that is different than any other dogs I have had over the years. He has Lightfoot English blood and after what I have read about the Lightfoot dogs they were noted to have a drifting track style. Let me describe my pup and hear some opinions.

At 6-7 mos old he could care less about a caged coon but he went crazy over wild coon scent. At six months old I had a heck of a time catching him in a big corn field as he would drift at a fast speed barking and winding and scenting with his head up. He has absolutely no quit and hunts on the run. He was very mouthy and barked at first scent of coon. I thought I had a lunatic pup but figured he was so scent crazy he would figure it out in time and his experience just hadn't caught up with his nose and desire.

As time went on he would occasionally hit a hot track, smoke it and pound the tree. He is super quick when he gets the track figured out. He never would tree on the tree but prefer to sit back scenting up. He was very accurate but if there were tracks around the tree he was very very reluctant to tree and got so he would check and check than settle. Sometimes he would not settle even with a coon up it if there was scent or tracks around the tree. I can honestly say he had a coon every time he settled treed he had his first slick two nights ago on some grape vines when he backed my buddies dog. He is definitely cold nosed and part of the problem is he tries to grub up old old tracks but has gotten better with time. He sometimes opens on tracks the other two coondogs I hunt him with wont open on till it warms up a few hundred yards in. He is very independent and will only go to another hound if he doesn't have anything going on but 99 percent of the time he has first strike.

As I figured he is getting better about colder tracks and if the dogs are working a feeder track and get hung up he will make a big circle to find the track. Last night in a big cornfield he ran down a big boar and killed it. I think he is starting to click and I figure just hunting him as much as possible will help him. Three nights ago he circled and circled scenting up on his hind legs and treed under a big maple. The other two dogs never opened or figured it out and he had a big coon curled up in a crotch. The nights he drifts and drifts and circles and rechecks on old tracks drives me crazy but then he will turn around and do an outstanding job. He is a bit more open than I like but not a babbler. He will get out 500 to 800 yards to find a coon if he needs to. He is now 18 mos. old and has more drive and desire than any dog I ever had. If we walk into a woods and come upon deer he will immediately come walk by me so I know he has a head full of sense. If he ever gets it figured out he will be something else.

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Sonny Phipps
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Registered: Sep 2007
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He without a doubt is a cull! If to send him to me, I have a rescue home for culls like him! Lol


From what you have said, just keep hunting him and enjoy the ride. He is about to teach you about coon hunting! I would bet he will make the dog of a lifetime for you. He will do things that will make you wonder how he did it.

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Nick Jennings
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Registered: Feb 2014
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Keep at em

Heís going to make a coondog no doubt. Glad to hear he is getting under coon.

Let me know if you need any help Doug. Glad to see a pup off Buck making some action.

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Old Post 10-29-2018 03:09 AM
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Blaine Stout
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Registered: May 2005
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Posts: 368

Hey Doug

The lightfoot dogs are known to be heavy heavy track minded. I have a nitech dog that I hunt right now that is from Rome NY. He is Wilcox bred but does run a track the same way as your pup does. He is 5 and will still wind and check himself 3 times before settling on a tree. I have also seen him circling an area treeing. He cant figure out which tree for sure but knows there is a coon there.

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Old Post 10-29-2018 03:19 AM
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Randy Holtmeyer
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Registered: Jun 2003
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Hey Doug sounds like you're gonna have a track dog on your hands! How much Lightfoot? I only ask because I think we can easily get caught up in these older bloodlines (I know I do) and just because a dog has "some of" something doesn't necessarily mean it's enough to mark him... The thing with track dogs is it's not encouraged today. If you've got a 6-7 month old pup that runs in their and gets wooded, he gets petted up regardless of what is in the tree! A good dog tries hard to please, so he soon realizes that "hey treeing is good" and at two you've got a dog that'll get wooded at the drop of the hat... A track dog on the other hand may not make that tree the first night in the woods, or the second, or for three months, but he'll always be active and always be trying to be right, when coon scent leaves the tree he's following it and we can't stand it so we give up on it, and all he's doing is trying to figure it out! If he has some tree sense and we can stay with him, once he gets it we've got a coondawg on our hands but most of the time we don't have the patience to hunt one to that point!!! We haul kids up and down the road starting at 5 years old to expect them to be high school superstars, they suck at 5 years old, but they learn! These dogs are the same way, sure it's instinct but they've gotta learn how to track! That's why things go so good when we turn that seasoned cooner lose, he knows where to go to find to find that track! He usually don't open at first scent but once he's got it rolling! He's also figured out what to do when that track disappears at say the waters edge, he's not gonna stand there and bawl! In my opinion these are all acquired things from many nights in the woods! Everyone wants the old blooded track dogs, but they forget these guys where hunting for the dollars and where more concerned about a 30-50 dollar coon hide, when he parked it they wanted the meat and if it was their they probably weren't concerned about speed, also without the trackers how close did they follow a dog? One that showed them a tree with a coon and went on trailing the next one, might've been worth a fortune!!!! I've seen this in my old Oney bred dogs, and in the Durbin Rambler line of walker dogs, who have a Finley River base! Not a lot of exciting 18 month old dogs, but a lot of really solid 3-4 year old dogs!

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critter
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hunt hunt hunt

I would say hunt the hair off him without pulling your own hair out or better give him to me.I don't have much hair left anyway.

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Chuck Allen
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Hey hunt that sucker all winter by himself 90% of the time if he was mine , my extra trashy depression era sportsmen hounds hunt a lot like that except not quite as deep if no track is struck or lay up treed in about a 1/4 mile my dogs will check back in. Good luck

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Doug Robinson
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Warsaw, New York
Posts: 4221

Thanks for the replies!

I have patience so I plan to just hunt "Chunk" all I can. And I like hunting on the snow so I will give him plenty alone time.


Randy and Blaine definitely great to hear from you! Glad you both are still hunting dogs!


Nick you saw him split and hold from his daddy that nite so you know he has it in him.


This is how he trees most always sitting down.

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Old Post 10-31-2018 06:07 AM
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Chuck Allen
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30 years ago my brother had a dog named Champ that looked like your Chunk dog and treed with the same style , he was born deaf we did not figure it out until he was about a year old. Good looking dog.

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John Burns
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Registered: Jan 2004
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Drifting style track dogs

A number of years ago I had a bluetick out of the jet line that behaved exactly like you describe. He appeared to have a very good nose and was superfast on the trail but would frequently have problems around the three. I know now that I did not have him enough and probably had a wonder dog on my hands but did not understand him and eventually sold him to a lion hunter.

To make a long story short, the dog made a super lion dog and before he died was in on 50 lion kills.

Once, while I still had him, I heard him treeing about half mile away after running a short fast track. As I walked to the tree I could see the coons eyes from 50 yards away. I could also see my dog standing on small branches about a foot from the coon and 30 foot or so up in the tree. The tree leaned out over a shallow river and just as I arrived the base of the tree my dog fell out of the tree and landed in the river. He survived the fall. Another time, I was driving down the road in a pickup truck with my dog in the back. He winded something and bailed out of the truck at about 30 miles an hour. He survived that fall also.

I wish I had kept that dog and hunted him hard. I chalk it up to my education about hound hunting.

Best of luck

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Dustin Myers
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Registered: Oct 2006
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Doug,
Most of the Lightfoot dogs we had over the years, treed sitting down most of the time. Some treed tight under the tree, and a few would tree back 20-30 feet, especially on a steep sidehill. It worked great for big game hunting, cause there isn't room for 6 or 8 of them to all stand on the tree. Sounds like you got yourself a diamond in the rough. I hope he works out for you.

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Toad Hill
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Doug I would like to talk to u sometime.
Sending u a pm

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wildwilly0161
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Do not worry!

I wouldn't worry one bit. You are experiencing a Very Cold nosed Hound accompanied with a High-level Scent Aggression bred in!!
This can be rare in our Hounds today. I actually breed my Blueticks for this trait, because aggression toward Scent equals Drive, Depth and Accuracy!!!
#1 Do not make him settle down (stay) on trees too soon! If you have Patients and a little giuding He will be the most accurate Hound youv'e owned in your Life. He is experiencing adolescence at his age, have Patients.

#2 When he does lock down on a Tree tell him Coon Got it !! in a louder than normal Praising Voice. Giving him Confidence.

#3 He needs track Drifting experience. Cold nosed Hounds develop this over years but it can be taught at a way younger age, within days in most cases. Teaching him to Run over the scent when its too Hot all the way to the end of it, where the coon will always be. Just drag a Hot wet Track across a field, Every 20 to 30 yards, Stop laying the track for 2 to 3 feet. This way when he goes to stop moving with the track (puting on his brakes) he will still run into the start of it again! After a couple repetitions everything your worried about will resolve it's self !!!
Then His natural ability will shine and he will be amazingly accurate , Because your Hound (naturaly) won't Tree Until he has Located the BODY of the coon in the tree. Doug less than 5% of all hounds I have trained do this Naturaly!!! and They Are the most accurate Hounds alive today!!!!

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Reuben
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I sure like this type of pup...

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Dave Richards
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Rueben

X2, I love a track drifting dog, hate a dog that noodles around on a bad track. I love to watch a really good track dog on my Garmin, it's amazing how they operate. Dave

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Bruce m. Conkey
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.

Doug what I find interesting is the last dog I started as a pup who is over two now fits your description almost perfectly. He is a walker dog. What I see is over the years even though breeders are breeding different breeds. The genetics of each breed seem to be migrating in the same direction.

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Preacher Tom
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Doug I was out of hunting for nearly 20 years with other responsibilities. For the last 5 years I have been looking for a true drifting style dog. The dog I have now will tree as many coon as any dog I've had but doesn't know how to drift a track. Will really run a hot track quick but that's a different quality. I've even wondered if the fact that we have so many coon keeps dogs from learning this style. They don't have to do it to tree coon. Of course Garmin may be making us see the truth about our dogs. I hate a painted screen.

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Kler Kry
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Outstanding Trackdogs Minus for Babbling

I love an outstanding track dog. In competition hunts the cold nosed first strike dog that opens, drifts and then opens again will often be minus for babbling. Competition rules state that the strike be followed by continuous opening. A lot of Judges view a drifting style dog as babbling and minus them. Sad but true!

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Richard Lambert
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Re: Outstanding Trackdogs Minus for Babbling

quote:
Originally posted by Kler Kry
...... Competition rules state that the strike be followed by continuous opening......

Rules don't "state" anything even close to that or that could be interpreted to say that.

But some hunters think that a babbler that just goes through the woods opening every once in awhile is a "drifting type track dog".It really is hard to tell the difference unless you know the dog and how to watch your Garmin.
Is a dog that hits a bad track, opens a few times, leaves it and goes until it finds another track and opens on it but can't work it out so leaves it and goes and finds another track a "drifting style track dog"? Again you have to be able to watch your Garmin and know what is going on to be able to tell the difference.

Last edited by Richard Lambert on 09-28-2019 at 03:10 PM

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Reuben
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Re: Outstanding Trackdogs Minus for Babbling

quote:
Originally posted by Kler Kry
I love an outstanding track dog. In competition hunts the cold nosed first strike dog that opens, drifts and then opens again will often be minus for babbling. Competition rules state that the strike be followed by continuous opening. A lot of Judges view a drifting style dog as babbling and minus them. Sad but true!


If that truly happens it is a sad thing...that English thread on that track drifting pup made me think of that possibility when in fact that type of pup has the potential in making a top dog...

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Preacher Tom
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Re: Re: Outstanding Trackdogs Minus for Babbling

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lambert
Rules don't "state" anything even close to that or that could be interpreted to say that.

But some hunters think that a babbler that just goes through the woods opening every once in awhile is a "drifting type track dog".It really is hard to tell the difference unless you know the dog and how to watch your Garmin.
Is a dog that hits a bad track, opens a few times, leaves it and goes until it finds another track and opens on it but can't work it out so leaves it and goes and finds another track a "drifting style track dog"? Again you have to be able to watch your Garmin and know what is going on to be able to tell the difference.



After you have hunted with 2 or 3 true drifting type dogs no one should have much trouble telling the difference in them and a dog that barks on a track here and barks on a track there. A drifting dog has catching that coon on his mind and you can tell it.

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Vic Stoll
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Re: Re: Outstanding Trackdogs Minus for Babbling

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lambert
But some hunters think that a babbler that just goes through the woods opening every once in awhile is a "drifting type track dog".It really is hard to tell the difference unless you know the dog and how to watch your Garmin.
Is a dog that hits a bad track, opens a few times, leaves it and goes until it finds another track and opens on it but can't work it out so leaves it and goes and finds another track a "drifting style track dog"? Again you have to be able to watch your Garmin and know what is going on to be able to tell the difference.



Richard, how were folks able to tell before a Garmin? If Garmins were available back in the day, how many of the dogs considered to have been drifting style track dogs would have actually been confirmed?

All we could do was listen. Either they could pack the mail and were always quick and efficient about getting things done or they werenít. Thatís all we had to go on back then. Never heard the catch phrase ďheads up track dogĒ back then, which Iíve come to find has multiple definitions depending on who you talk to.

These Garmins are a FANTASTIC tool and tell us things we would not have known without them. Iíd say they would have told a thing or two about the dogs from back in the day as well

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How? In one word, snow. When your dog runs with its head up, and consistently runs a coon track 10-20 yards from the coon track. Then in addition to that he is flying like he is tied to the coon, he is a drifting style track dog.

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Larry Atherton

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Doug Robinson
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Warsaw, New York
Posts: 4221

Larry

quote:
Originally posted by Larry Atherton
How? In one word, snow. When your dog runs with its head up, and consistently runs a coon track 10-20 yards from the coon track. Then in addition to that he is flying like he is tied to the coon, he is a drifting style track dog.


Bingo! It's fun to check the tracks in the snow. Also if you hunt long enough you absolutely know the difference between a babbler and a quick strike dog. I have never ever been in a hunt where a dog was minused for babbling nor ever heard of one being minused in the hunts for babbling.

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wart
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Registered: Jan 2006
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Posts: 119

Pup

What is the site and dam of this pup also the Lightfoot and Boyd's little Joe had the same parentage it is said they were top running dogs in that line Mr. Clark said in a Lightfoot interview

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