Independence is a good thing, right? As Americans, we started a nation because of a document called the Declaration of Independence. Independent is synonymous with self-reliant and self-sustaining. Our entertainment industry has capitalized on the rugged independent character since the inception of movies. People love a good story and romanticize about being the self-sustaining, self-reliant, and independent personality that can ride into town alone, take on the world’s problems, and ride off into the sunset…alone. Being independent is a great attribute, if not a core principle for success.
It is a real honor to write this column for Bear Hunting Magazine. When Kolby asked me to take up the mantle and share my experience of hunting with hounds, my first thought was what can I contribute that would be useful for this diverse audience. Bear Hunting Magazine is such an in depth magazine that covers every aspect of bear hunting; nuance to the max from spot and stalk to cooking to hunting with hounds. Finding regular topics for this column that will intrigue every subscriber will be a fun and fulfilling task.
Strike dogs are definitely the quarterbacks of the bear pack. They open on scent, go and find the track and then start it the right way, and if they are well polished they do it so smooth and fast that a hunter really doesn't give the complexity of it all much thought. They come in all colors, shapes and sizes and can make or break the day for the hunter. Sometimes it seems like they can invent bears in areas that don't show a lot of bear sign. Good strike dogs are a lot like a fine wine, they just get better with age and increase in value.
Legendary bear hounds come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are registered dogs with generations of trackable pedigree, while others are crossbreeds. One thing is for sure, bear hunters are interested in dogs that will put a bear up a tree, or bay it on the ground, for as long it takes. Papers won’t produce a bear dog, but generations of solid breeding practices will. Undoubtedly, the Treeing Walker is one of the most popular breeds of tree hounds in North America used for big game hunting. In the third article in our Legendary Bear Hound series, we highlighted a line of legendary Walkers, the Nance Bred Walkers. In this article, we will talk about a hound out of New England that has some Nance breeding in it that qualifies for this series. The dog’s name is ‘PR’ Bear River Bullet.