When do they smell the best?
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Thread: When do they smell the best?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Brevard Arndt's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Newton, NC

    Default When do they smell the best?

    Okay, I got your attention. I am wondering just what are the best scenting conditions, from the dog's perspective of course. And conversely, what are the worst. I am thinking heavy humid early morning dew soaked ground. Dry, mid humidity, slight breeze wafting around. Those type of opinons. Heavy cover on a hot oppressive morning, would be another.

    I have mine, I just want to find out what everyone else thinks.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member yellow machine's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Elk River, MN


    I have heard many different opinions on this one. My original thought is that dry conditions are better for the smelling dog. Never had much luck hunting on wet days. Again just my thought. I think a poll should be a good one here.
    A cold nose feels good on a hot day.....
    Majestic Oaks Liberty Belle JH

  4. #3
    Kristie Wilder


    Learned some great stuff in search and rescue... This was one of the most useful things...

    BEST: cool, damp mornings with a little breeze. The dampness holds and magnifies the scent. Also... Terrain is another effect. Flat ground with some grass/light cover, again to hold the scent.

    WORST: hot, dry, windy weather. The scent particles dehydrate and are more easily blown around and away. Hilly or other heavy terrain with little to no cover (scent is easily blown around and WILL fall downhill! It's cool to run a dog on a trail that was laid at the top of a hill, but your dog is trailing at the bottom). Rock faces are the worst -- although we don't usually hunt on rocks (we may search on them though).

    When scent is FIRST put down, it's difficult for dogs to find the article because the scent is recently laid and has not settled in, may still be swirling around the general area -- and I'm talking about this more in terms of trailing than finding a bird, but it still does apply in many cases.

    When the scent has been down for a while, which rarely happens when hunting, it's easier for the dog to work because the scent has settled into a trail/area. I'm sure most of us have hunted where our dogs have INTENSELY caught a trail or fall of a bird that's been there for a while... I believe this is why it happens, the trail/scent and its cone is more settled and the dog is more sure of where he's going.

    there's a book called "scent and the scenting dog". It's been a long time since I read it, but this is the type of stuff it covers...

    Last edited by Kristie Wilder; 07-24-2008 at 12:29 PM.

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  6. #4
    Kristie Wilder


    Quote Originally Posted by yellow machine View Post
    I have heard many different opinions on this one. My original thought is that dry conditions are better for the smelling dog. Never had much luck hunting on wet days. Again just my thought. I think a poll should be a good one here.
    I don't remember the official opinion of wet, rainy days, but I would guess that the rain or heavy wetness just exacerbates everything and relocates a lot of scent. Moisture, like dew, is good, but I think rain and heavy moisture may not be. Would be curious if anyone knows this; I just can't remember right now...

  7. #5
    Senior Member Rick_C's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Ontario, CA


    My candidate for the worst would be an alfalfa field.

    The ranch we train on has some fields in alfalfa and even when it's just 10 or 12 inches tall the dogs, all the dogs, have one hell of a time finding anything.

  8. #6
    Member SPIB698's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    A good friend of mine has a pack of Beagles for rabbit hunting. He loves to run them on cool mornings when the dew is still on the ground.

  9. #7
    Senior Member El General's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Houston, TX


    definitely cool and damp mornings with a slight breeze that does not vary in direction to much. Green grass, plants, brush etc hurts scenting conditions.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Richard Finch's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    Ditto on the cool damp mornings.

    SHOOT EM' IN THE LIPS..........

    HRCH Otter Sloughs Bronze Gander " Gander"
    Annaloughan Arrow "Bailey"

    JOHN 3:16

  11. #9
    Senior Member Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Rapid City, SD


    Alfalfa is particularly bad for scenting conditions. It's great for testing 'true' marking abilities, however.

    Dry dusty conditions are very hard on the dogs nose, to the degree of becoming plugged up.

    Damp grass is good, but can be detrimental while testing due to the amount of dragback that can become confusing to the younger dog. But obviously is something trialed and tested dogs need to become experienced at.

    For teaching tracking, it's best to drag a trail with a day-old dead duck, rather than a fresh kill. The dog will hone in on that track much better.

    When the one you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.

  12. #10
    Senior Member duk4me77's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Daingerfield Texas


    My Dad had bird dogs and he hated dry conditions nothing for the scent to stick to. Didn't argue with my Dad.
    Wake us up November 1st.

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