Monday, March 8, 2010

The Sabine River Delta Hunt with Big Dogs

I drove over to the Sabine River this past weekend to meet some friends who bought puppies from me years ago to share in my favorite way to hunt. From a boat in the marsh!

This is my favorite way to hunt because it is the way
I learned to hunt with the man who took me on my first hog hunt,
Mr. Daniel Edgar from Louisa, Louisiana.

Spider, a three year old son of Bob and Angel,
out of de la Houssaye's Catahoulas And the hero of last weekend.

I was invited on this hunt, because last weekend, while out in the marsh, my friend and owner of Spider, got a call from a fellow hunter as to the location of a really big, bad boar on a certain location that had wiped out his pack of dogs.

When asked what do you mean wiped out, he was advised that the two best dogs were tore up bad, but still alive(which led to 7 days and 6 nights at the vet), and the 2 younger dogs gave up and came back to the boat(smart, started dogs).

So he headed over to the location where the last pack were defeated, and discussed the plan of attack. Thus far the score was Wild hog-4 Big dogs-0!

Well my friend announced that he would try what de la Houssaye had been teling him; and decided to send in Spider by his self. Cuz if you have the right dog, one dog by himself does not pressure the hog to run, and has a higher survival rate. Meaning with no help, he will back up and bay, and wait for help. ie: man and bulldog

So he unsnapped Spider, and he went flying into the patch of palmettos. The funny part is, he says he came out faster than he went in! (smart, finished dog!)

At six weeks old, Spider was bit
on the whiskers by a brown recluse spider,
and lost almost all the hair on his snout.

The interesting result of sending Spider in alone was he came out of the palmettos and bayed from about 30 feet away from the hog and periodically looked at his master as to say: "What are you waiting for?"

So Coco was sent in with two men right behind him, and to quote Spiders owner; "I caught the biggest, baddest hog of my life, with only one bay dog, one bull dog and two very brave men. I later asked him if he had to check his shorts when it was all done.

At the boat landing, everyone is nice and clean,
but really ready to get the boat wet,
and get down and dirty in the mud!

With a big long canal on one side

and a seemingly infinite expanse of marsh on the other

we turned the dogs out on high ground hoping to have an easy start

and a quick clean catch.Well the high ground yielded nothing but a few cows getting nervous and us getting real warmed up for our first good walk through.

Then we came to the Sabine River.

And headed south for the marsh between us and the Gulf of Mexico.

Big, with his nose on the ground, good boy!Having never been in the marsh in his life, I knew Big(with green collar) would be curious about all the new smells. Especially since he was a happy, rat hunting puppy in the house he grew up in, in the city of New Orleans.

By the way there are a lot of rodents in the marsh,
especially the infamous nutria as seen in the center of the photo below.And did you notice the alligator in the lower left hand corner?
Watch it, they love to eat dogs!

In spite of his city slicker upbring, Big was ready to get down and dirty and wasted no time getting out.

Typical of a Catahoula, he did pass back periodically to check in and give me an opportunity to take a photo of his athletic physique.

After a short look around, we loaded up and moved on for a stronger scent

Spider, a son of Angel and Bob was doing a fine job of winding off the bow of the boat

Spider is still waiting for the right smell.

Looks like we are getting closer as Spider almost cannot contain himself!

And it wasn't long before the chase was on!Unfortunately the boar crossed a sow after about a 1/2 mile into the race and Spider was sidetracked long enough for the big one to get away.

But hey, we didn't scratch. That sow is now getting adjusted to sweet feed and a lot less room to run around in at the pen in my yard.

If you have never hunted the marsh, please take my advice; buy neoprene chest or hip waders and pull them up high as possible, cuz you are gonna need them, unless you like being wet, cold and muddy.Also you might consider the marsh is a tidal floodplain that is sometimes slightly flooded during high tide and often periodically turns into mud flats where water was a few hours before on low tide.

The point here is, if you have never been to the marsh, get a guide, and even if you are experienced in this wonderful paradise along the Gulf Coast, be careful not to burn your motor up getting caught in shallow water because thats the normal water depth in most places, IT IS REALLY SHALLOW!


A GPS is not a reliable aid to navigation because it doesn't read depth, just surface features. Be forewarned, you will pay for a lot of outboard motors if you want to hunt and fish the marsh year round. Make sure you bring a paddle and a push pole 'cuz
your gonna need 'em!

This is something else you might need, a catchdog from hell!Coco, a two year old, blue Pit Bull. And the best built pit I have ever seen!Are you ready to rumble?!!!

I personally don't favor size, but yesterday, Big lived up to his name and was doing his best to find that interesting smell that he kept coming across.Cuz, he wanted to bay his own hog!

So much so, he went down the bank and jumped into a boat and got stopped about six inches away from the sow we had just hobbled.

Whiteboy, a littermate brother to Spider was as usual, ready for action

It got to be a long daySpider, and his younger brother, Smoke
were ready to take a power nap between locations.

But in the end, the dogs made us look good in spite of the big boar slipping away.

The Sabine River Boys getting into the picture before we go tear into the
bar-be-que chicken waiting for us under the porch.

By the way my friend asked that I not publish his name so we could keep our honey hole to ourself. But he will be glad to tell you about his satisfied customer experiences of buying and hunting my dogs. If you would like to talk to him give me a call, I am Marcus de la Houssaye @ 337 298 2630. I own and operate de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours in Lafayette, Louisiana, and like Jimmy Young, "I love the smell of a stinkin' hog"!

By the way there is a great article on page 29 of this months issue of Bayed Solid Magazine, about the importance of the right kind of protien in a dogs diet. Raw Meat!

If you are not subscribed to Bayed Solid Magazine and you want to click here.

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