Today we had our very first Hound Day with Parkland Middle School.
The kids came out by school bus for an afternoon of sunshine and hounds. The kids started with an introduction to who we are and what the day was going to look like, we also covered relation of hounds, how long hunting with dogs has been around, hazing, and a quick safety brief when handling the dogs. We then moved on to splitting the class up into two groups. We had the Grade 8/9 Outdoors class so it was split the same way, grade 8s and 9s. One group got to do dog handling and learning about scent work, the other was taught about the collars and how to use the GPS to track. Half way through the day the groups swapped activities to give everyone a chance at both.
During the dog handling they got to run a drag with their chosen dog, they got to learn about the dog and what breed they were, how to handle the dog, different reason to use hounds, what breed of hounds there are, why we manage predators, and proper retrieval of their dog at the tree. During the GPS tracking portion, we covered how to use the GPS, the parts of the collar, how we train recall with the tone and how to tell what way the dog was. We then hid collars out in the bush and had them paired to certain handhelds and they had to use the GPS to find their paired collar and bring it back. At the end of the day, we went over what animals we can hunt here in BC with hounds, why we hunt them and why it is an important tool for conservation.
This is a program we are hoping to expand to other schools across the province, so keep an eye on the website for more opportunities for Hound Days.
We would like to thank Parkland Middle School for being our test run with this idea and for jumping at the opportunity. Christie Hoyt for helping us get in contact with the school, setting up permission forms and helping get this program rolling. Thanks to Warren Bishop and Ed Pearson for helping with the day and bringing your dogs out.