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bshadle

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About bshadle

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    Born Hunter
  1. bshadle

    Crossbred Working Terriers

    Well, I know I'm not qualified to do it or pass judgement on it, but I have a friend who has crossed a fine-working Russell dog with a fine-working smallish Border bitch trying to downsize the Border for our smaller earths here as well as add some of the Border's characteristics to the Russell style. He could probably explain it better than I can though. The first generation cross all have sort of a red fell appearance. One pup turned out to be a nice size for here, the others somewhat large for my taste but still smaller than the Border dam. Saw the small one work a few weeks ago, it was a real cracker. He told me it might be a little too hard for its size and have a shorter than usual working career because of it. If he carries on with it, it'll be interesting to see what the next generation cross looks like and how they work. Guess a lot depends on whether he takes it back to the Border or Russell.
  2. bshadle

    100 % Earth Dog

    I know we have different hunting conditions on this side of the pond than on that side, especially here in the NE where the primary quarry is groundhogs, but if you have a dog here that can't work completely through a 6" tube or even smaller it's probably going to spend a lot of time topside watching. Maybe serving as a pull dog if that's to your liking. When the dog spans much over 13" - 14" it's going to work hard just to get in. By the time it gets over about a 15" - 16" span it's just not going to fit. My personal preferences are for the smaller dogs. I've found that a small dog can do what I need a dog to do better than a big dog about 95% of the time, and spend less time laid off afterwards. Again, not trying to slag anyone's preferences or start a whizzing contest. If your tubes are large enough for bigger dogs, more power to you. Most of mine just aren't.
  3. bshadle

    100 % Earth Dog

    Easy verdict IMO. A dog that does its job with voice and brains is as much a worker as a dog that does its job with muscle and teeth. An outstanding dog knows when to use either set of skills. Personally, I'd prefer the dog 3" away and ready to work quarry again that day or the next rather than on it but beat up enough to require a long lay-off, but that's just my preference. As said prior, horses for courses.
  4. bshadle

    100 % Earth Dog

    Ah... The debate over a dog that can be called off... If you've never had one you don't know how valuable that can be. But let me add another criteria that will certainly be controversial. What about the dog that will stay until dug when required, but can also reliably bolt quarry from a den? Is that not also a worker?
  5. bshadle

    Euro Russell??

    Apparently some over here will. And some are more than happy to give them the opportunity to spend their money. All for the sake of preserving an ancient breed verging on extinction of course.
  6. bshadle

    Euro Russell??

    Here's the link to the "Euro Russell Club of America". Read it and judge for yourself. http://www.eurorussell.com/ It was formerly the "Hunt Terrier Club of America". It seems in some way related to the "Atlas Terrier".
  7. There's no shame in shedding a tear for a good dog. There's one last hole to dig for him. Make it a good one, one to be proud of. Sorry for the loss.
  8. bshadle

    American vs European Hunters.

    Don't the Brits classify hunting as shooting rats with a bb gun? An activity that most American boys stop at about age 10 - 12? I think you're painting with a mighty broad brush rizzini. I won't deny that there're people on this side of the pond that practice what most of us would consider unsportsmanlike conduct while hunting. I've never been to your fair country, but I'd imagine there're probably a few on your side that could be said the same of as well. IMO sportsmen are sportsmen regardless of where they live. And outlaws and rogues are outlaws and rogues no matter where they're from as well. There may be differences in what we hunt and how we hunt it, and local traditions and practices play a big part in what we do, but it wouldn't take anyone too long in the other's environment to quickly recognize what is fair hunting and what isn't. No hard feelings on my side. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Even when it's wrong.
  9. bshadle

    American vs European Hunters.

    It's good that you can finally come to terms with that.
  10. bshadle

    Americans

    I thought about it but could never learn to play the piano. Figured if I could play piano, when people asked me what I did for a living I could tell them I played piano in a whorehouse and they'd think more hightly of me than if I told them I was a lawyer.
  11. bshadle

    Visitors from Canada

    Feck me that would be a tough one to live with! It is a little for me now that I know about it, but I'd never even heard of lurchers before starting to work the terriers about two years ago. It's been illegal here for so long that it's not something we think about. When I was a youngster just learning to hunt with my Dad we hunted cottontail rabbits with beagles and shotguns. The dogs would flush the rabbits from cover, and if you didn't get a shot on the flush the dogs would scent trail the rabbit and bring it back around to the gun. Every once in a while a beagle would get lucky or a rabbit unlucky and the dog would catch the rabbit and kill it. When that happened my Dad would tell me to put the rabbit in the game bag, but don't say anything to anybody about it. I was a youngster in a time when if your Dad told you to do something you didn't question why, you just did it. He never told me why and I grew up thinking that it was just unsportmanlike to intend to shoot the rabbit but let the dog catch it for you. It wasn't until years later I discovered that it was illegal to let the dog kill the rabbit!
  12. I don't use PayPal, and no offense intended to the Mods here but I'm extremely selective about who I give my credit card number to. If there was some way to provide an address I'd be happy to send a money order. 5 GBP is about 10 USD and I can piss away more than that for a lot less fun and information.
  13. bshadle

    Visitors from Canada

    I have some friends in other states that run lurchers with the terriers for groundhogs. It's a very effective combination all right. And a real pleasure to watch. Here in Pennsylvania where I live hunting with lurchers isn't legal. Doesn't make a lot of sense. Unlike your situation across the pond, I can walk into a gun shop, lay down my money and walk out the door with just about any gun I want and use it to hunt that day, but I can't legally let the dog kill the game. Can't hunt with ferrets either. Guess it comes down to different traditions developed in different countries or even different regions of the same country. Even if it were legal for me I really don't have the space here to keep one properly nor the time to devote to training and working it, but it sure would be nice if I did. Groundhogs can move surprisingly fast for short distances above ground. They normally bolt to the next available denhole or sometimes even another hidden entrance to the den they bolted from, so they're only above ground for a few seconds. Plenty of time for an alert lurcher to do its job though. When they dive underground the second time they immediately start walling themselves off and leave very little scent behind for the dog to find. Even if you spot one feeding above ground and flush it to earth the dogs have a rough time finding it. Better to let that one alone for a while, remember the location of the den and come back to it a little later. It's a common saying here - the ones you see are the hardest to get.
  14. bshadle

    Visitors from Canada

    They're from the Toronto area. They dig to raccoon primarily and harvest the pelts. There're some groundhog nearby, but he tells me they've had a big increase in coyote and the groundhog numbers are dropping fast. Only a few areas where the soil allows the groundhogs to dig away from the coyotes faster than the coyotes can dig to the groundhogs. That was a good size groundhog, especially for this early in the year. I'd think she'd have a hell of a time NOT seeing her shadow though. She'd cast a pretty broad one.
  15. Had a couple friends from Canada stop by for the weekend. Quick bite and conversation until it cooled off a bit, then out to the orchard Friday evening. They took a nice small Russell and a Russell x Border, I took my Russell. Dogs bolted one fast, then we dug one at a nice easy two feet and another at a tough foot and a half wrapped around the roots of a cherry tree. Started losing daylight, so we returned home for some good brews and better conversation. Forecast of triple digit temps for Saturday so we got an early start. Hit one farm with their 12-year-old “queen†Russell, a younger Russell and young Border as well as my Russell. The old bitch bolted one, then we dug one at three feet before moving on to another farm. Stepped through the treeline and saw that the groundhogs had eaten a swath through the beans 50 feet out from the trees. Looked promising. Again, the dogs bolted one before we dug four more. The last dig held two in the den - a fourteen pound female and an eight pound youngster. I make one heck of a draw dog if I do say so myself! And this is what an honest fourteen pound groundhog looks like. A twelve year old bitch still working: Has to say something about the dog and the breeding program I think. Temps finally drove us from the fields by noon. Cleaned up the dogs, diggers and tools, threw some steaks on the grill, and enjoyed a hot but pleasant evening sharing a good meal, good conversation and more than a few good brews.
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