Squirrel Hunting Tactics Untaught Tactics

  • Hi All,

    Here is a Flicker page link to some of my hunting pics of Basenjis in the field doing their thing. A common misconception about my hunting style is that I train the dogs to do a particular thing. That is not really true. I imprint species odor on the dogs starting at seven weeks of age but i do not train the dogs to hunt in any particular style. On the other hand, I adapt my style to what the dogs do and it works very well. The basenjis seem to adapt to conditions and game based on the circumstances at the time. They have techniques, but they seem to evolve with environmental conditions.

    I took Axel out to hunt Squirrels the other day along with my son, Shayne, and his BT Gracie. Gracie has a fascination for squirrels and we were hoping that Axel might teach her some things. Dogs learn to hunt best from other dogs that do it well.

    The way all of my B's work squirrels if they do not see them is in this order:

    1. Locate the source odor on the ground. Most squirrels run logs and limbs on the ground quite a bit as the B's emulate this behavior and track/ trail the odor to the source tree. I have not been able to determine how old of a trail the B's can follow but it appears to be at least several hours; however, they only really follow the fresh ones in earnest. They appear to make a decision very quickly, solely based on odor, on what trails to follow.

    2. Once the tree is located, the basenji will focus up in the branches and listen for movement and try to get a visual acquisition on the target.

    3. If the squirrel is detected by sight and/ or sound, the Basenji will rotate on the tree and run from tree to tree always Trying to center on the squirrel.

    This behavior was not taught and all of my dogs are naturals at it. When working as a pack, they course the woods at very high speed and when an odor is located, they stop and spin on a dime to run the track. My hunting style has never been to teach the dogs anything other than scent of the creatures we hunt. I adapt and evolve to their style and it seems to work well.

    Here is a flicker link for this series of squirrel hunting. I will post more as time goes on as well as other types of hunting. I will do most of the writing on styles and techniques on our BNTPP yahoo groups.

    Squirrels were harmed in the making of these photos. Don't click on it if you don't like this type of stuff




  • Your dogs are really healthy looking b/w's. I noticed you also have another terrier in there - does he hunt with the basenjis?

  • Nice! Mine caught a squirrel yesterday.
    Do yours eat them if you let them? Squirrels are the only animals up to now that Voodoo doesn't eat and he doesn't even mind if another dog takes it from him to eat it. They shouldn't try to take an artic hare from him, or a rabbit…

    Mine will not try to find scents on the ground. He will only do that if he has spotted the squirrel first. And once the squirrel is high into a tree, the hunt is over. He will then not follow the squirrel from tree to tree.

  • The terrier is an EBT owned by my son and he said that she likes to chase squirrels and wanted her to follow Axel. She was more interested in following and playing than hunting! LOL.

    I think the reason why mine naturally trail and stay with the squirrels is because they expect me to bring it down them possible. They learned through osmosis that if they do a certain thing- scent and locate prey, I may respond with dropping it for them. With all dogs, there has to be some sort of reward, self reward or from outside to really motivate them. All dogs trail naturally, some better than others. It is one of the traits that I test for at an early age and my pick has to have that ability to a large degree at seven weeks old. Axel was my first and he tested very high for trailing. Phoenix is his daughter and she tested off the charts high and was my pick.


  • Our previous Basenji, Maxx, was a great squirrel killer, although he got all his kills while on a leash…the stupid squirrels would commit what we call PSD (poor squirrel decision) and pretty much just run into his mouth! :rolleyes:

    I imagine he would have made a great hunter, given the opportunity. When out for a walk, we'd see a deer cross our path, and while Maxx might not see it, when he got to the spot where the deer had crossed, he'd start following the scent...always in the direction the deer had gone.

    Blaze hasn't had the opportunity to do any of this yet, so I don't know how he'd be as a hunter.

  • LOL! PSD…I have to remember that one!

Suggested Topics

  • 17
  • 16
  • 12
  • 1
  • 5
  • 19