Turning Off Scent??

A general forum for the discussion of hunting with beagles, guns, clothing and other equipment and just talking dawgs! (Tall tales on hunting allowed, but remember, first liar doesn't stand a chance)

Moderators: Pike Ridge Beagles, Aaron Bartlett

Post Reply
Posts: 777
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2002 8:47 pm
Location: NC

Turning Off Scent??

Post by DarrinG » Sun Dec 29, 2002 8:35 am

Have any of you ever witnessed a rabbit on the run from the pack, see you and really spook and bolt quickly and then the pack comes on to the point where you spooked the rabbit and they cant seem to pick back up the scent for several yards from the point it was spooked?

Or (more often) while hunting, the rabbit comes by you, you take a winging shot and miss (not that I miss alot, LOL) and the rabbit really spooks and turns on the afterburners. Then the pack comes to the point of your miss and the scent of the bunny seems to be gone at least for some distance of the point of the miss??

I have had several old timers tell me that when a cottontail rabbit is spooked (really spooked), that they can "cut off" their scent. Me myself, I dont think they can just cut off their scent, but when they spook bad that their adrenalin (sp?) rush seems to do something to their scent glands or something? Just a thought. But I have witnessed some great running hounds loose the trail at points where the rabbit was spooked, not being able to pick it back up for some distance from the point of spook, wether it was spooked from sight of a person or from a loud booming bang of a shotgun, and whirling lead zooming at them. Seems it is worse from a missed shot than spooking from running into a person while fleeing hounds. Not saying all seem his way. I have seen bunnies spooked or shot at and missed that the hounds just kept right on hammering and never loose the track, but it seems that a check happens more often under these circumstances. I am yet to figure this one out to satisfy my curious mind.

What say ye?
He's coming....are you ready?

User avatar
Chuck Terry
Posts: 621
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2002 9:26 pm

Post by Chuck Terry » Sun Dec 29, 2002 9:03 am

I have seen what you are talking about hundreds of times. When such situations occur and the dogs reach the spot and are unable to carry the line, I try to put them back on a little past where I last saw him and hope the scent is back on! I don't even try putting them on the line where the rabbit and I were looking at each other. The same goes for a goes for a bedded rabbit that none of the dogs saw on the jump. I used to think the missed shot situation was from the gunpowder smell. Then I decided it was that the scent was sometimes disturbed by the blast. However, your theory is as good as any I can come up with.

Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 7:29 pm
Location: knox, tn

Post by biscuit » Sun Dec 29, 2002 9:15 am

I have jumped a rabbit and try to put the dogs on the line right where I jumped it and the dogs not pick up the sent untill 10 or 15 yards down the line. I think you are on to something.
Gal 2:20
Let Jesus Live

Stone Cold Beagles
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2002 10:23 pm
Location: Seymour, Indiana


Post by Stone Cold Beagles » Sun Dec 29, 2002 3:59 pm

Of course we have all seen this more times than we care to admitt. Every time I have seen this the rabbit has been coming along at an easy steady pace, when the rabbit bolted for what ever reason he has now interrunpted that pace and increased his stride and breaking the patteren of scent which gives the appearance of a hole in the line. The dogs have become accustomed to the patteren , or the amount of distance between each spot the rabbit touched the ground, it causes temporary confusion. personally I don't put the dogs back on the line, I figure thats where the check work comes in, but each man/woman handles their dogs differently. I don't know if adrenalin has any thing to do with or not, but I am certain that they don't shut off their scent.

As for a jumped rabbit, I have seen this too and your guess is as good as mine. Good luck with that one.

Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2002 9:35 pm
Location: Latham, Ohio

Turning off scent

Post by arrow » Sun Dec 29, 2002 7:52 pm

Stone Cold Beagles....I think you nailed it down perfectly. The interrupted pace and increased stride does the trick. Ever notice---The faster the pace of the rabbit --The faster the pace of the hounds.... The vise versa is also true,even more-so.....When the rabbit is just Bopping along he will ,quite naturally allow more of his body to come into contact with the ground, leaving a maximum amount of scent. Put the Little Pack hound on him and only 4 little feet touch for as short a period of time as possible. He will certainly increase his stride and put a bigger hole in the line.

Post Reply