Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hunting Season 2013: Day 2

This was more like the first day of the season in that I actually had a full day to be out in the mountains. It doesn't mean we were up at the crack of dawn though, haha. We got started around 11am, and Baron was off on a boar within the first hour. We couldn't get to him fast enough, and he was back within 20 minutes. Hime was with us the entire time.

Moving a bit further into the mountains, Baron was off again, but this time he was on a hot trail, but not baying. It was right at this time that my brother realized he had dropped a piece of gear somewhere, so we had to backtrack to find it. This lead to a large 600 meter opening between us and Baron, which took a good 20 minutes to close. By the time we got close, Baron had given up the track and was coming back. We had crossed his track, but were shortcutting it to him, but when Baron crossed our scent, he followed it back toward the truck. This happens sometimes, and it always pisses me off as it wastes a lot of time and energy.

Luckily Baron realized his mistake around 200 meters back, and turned around on track. Since we were a fair distance back in the mountains now, we dropped onto a hiking trail to hunt another part of the mountains. The wind was gusting, and Baron was picking up scent here and there. At the entrance of every ridge we passed on our left side, Baron was throwing up his head and checking, moving downhill into the ridges for 20 meters or so at times to check, but nothing solid. The third time this happened, I had a hunch that the boar were laid up somewhere in the ridge, so I moved forward with Baron. Baron took the hint and moved forward. Under 100 meters in, I saw Baron's body stiffen and tail pop up as he moved carefully down the right side of the ridge. A dark shadow popped out of some underbrush, and Baron was on it immediately, catching the boar. It was all over in around 5 seconds.

My brother and I flew down there, Hime in tow, and she tried to latch onto the boar, which Baron was not happy about. My brother grabbed both back legs, and from there we had an interesting minute or two trying to tie both dogs up to trees to keep them from ruining any more meat on the boar. The boar was dispatched, a little fellow around 15kg, and we started heading back toward the car. On the way back Baron got on another boar, large this time it seemed from his trepidation and wariness. He kept coming back to make sure I was coming with the thunderstick. I got within 20 meters of the boar moving in underbrush, away from Baron, but could only hear it.

That was the end of our day, and it was not a bad one since we were out of the mountain and back home fairly quickly, the boar making its way into our freezer. Baron was in decent form, though we could have done better on the larger boars, and Hime showed she has a really strong catch instinct. Baron lets go a lot to get a better bite in, but Hime is a pretty solid lugger.

So 2013, 2 days out with the dogs = 1 boar.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Available Working Hokkaido Pups

These pups were born at Tokachi Morita Sou, one of the only, and certainly the most famous kennel producing bear hunting Hokkaido. There are 2 black and tan females available at the moment. They were born on the 18th of November.

Posting this as a courtesy to the kennel. As I've mentioned before, kennels have a hard time placing Nihon Ken within Japan, which makes them cut back on producing litters.


################Edit: All available pups are now reserved. Thanks for the interest!###########



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Available Kishu Puppies

There's a litter of Kishu pups available at a friend's kennel. There are 4 boys available. I went and saw them the other day, and 2 of them look quite nice.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Kai Ken of Tenro Kensha

Tenro Kensha (Tenro Kennel) focuses on preserving Kai that carry the breed's original working ability. Here are 2 of their males, San (kurotora) and Kuma (akatora) solo working an 80kg boar at a training facility.

It looks like either of these males would make a good working dog. We shall soon find out.
Here's Tenro Kensha's website http://www.hanno.jp/kaiken_tenroukensya/index.html

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Teruhide x Sekihoume: 35 Days Old

Here are the two females from the litter. The aka-goma has now become the favorite, though of course both of these females are excellent. We'll be comparing them again at around 50 days old.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hunting Season 2013: Day 1

The long awaited day arrived on November 15th (as it does every year here in Chiba prefecture). Now begins 3 months of very little 'work' and lots of walking, running, climbing, and waiting, in the mountains.

I was only able to go out for a few hours on the morning of the 15th since I had to drive 600km to Osaka in the evening. The weather was pleasant, a slight breeze, not too cold, overcast. We headed into the same area where we had found so many boar a week before. With me were Baron (Kishu Ken), and Hime (Shikoku Ken), plus my good friend Mark. Hime has only been out in the mountains a handful of times, and I've found she generally just sticks within a few meters of me even when off leash. Last time I took her out with Baron before he season started, she saw and bayed her first boar.

About 30 minutes in, Baron was on his first boar. He had swung down and around to the tip of the ridge we were walking, and was around 100 meters out. We rushed to close distance, and then did our best to creep closer. Baron was on a solid bay, a 40-50kg class boar had taken refuge in some waist high ferns on a slope. Baron was in front and downhill, the boar's back defended by the slope. The boar moved forward every now and again, but would just not come out for a shot. Due to the steep rock cliffs all around, the only direction I could approach from was directly above. The pressure on the boar was too much, and it bolted downhill before I could get an angle. Baron gave chase, and stopped the boar at the bottom of the gully, where he was given a solid charge and chase from the boar. Too many trees. The boar stuck around for a little while, but while I tried to line up a shot, Mark came up from behind and the noise startled the boar into full flight mode. Hime did nothing this whole time, as she was trotting up with Mark.

Our next opportunity was 30 minutes later. Hime and Baron simultaneously looked up to the slope on our left, and darted in from different angles. A wild rabbit came bounding down in front of me with the dogs hot on its tail. Hime gave up within seconds, but Baron went hard after it, all he way into the next ridge I was planning to hunt. We moved forward on Baron's trail to meet him after he gave up chase, and that was what happened. However, around 100 meters ahead, all hell broke loose when we ran into a herd of boar in an open area. It seems Baron running after the rabbit nearby had gotten them on the move, and we ran into each other. Little boar were running in all directions, into underbrush that made it impossible to take any shots. Baron and Hime were off together, running downhill and north after a large boar. They came back after a bit, and while we ran into a few of the stragglers from the herd over the next 15 minutes, they were all about flight.

As we finished hunting the ridge and headed back to the main trail, Baron and Hime again starting air scenting, and looking up at the slope to our right. After a few seconds of trepidation, Baron moved uphill, and I followed. Baron was being very cautious and quiet, the way he does when there's danger nearby. Halfway up he let out a quiet half bark, and then came back down to get me, I could hear the boar moving up and away slowly, taking its sweet time, but Baron was too tired and not motivated enough to risk going hard on this boar. We tracked it for a while, and got close, but it stayed a few steps ahead of us.

We ran out of time, and had to scurry out of the mountain. The dogs got some exercise, Hime got some more positive experience in the mountains, and we had a nice morning out in some beautiful country. I again failed at capturing anything other than the most boring parts of the day on my GoPro.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Available Male Shikoku Puppy

This pup was born on 2013.8.21 at Yudai Hakushin Sou

Here's his pedigree information

The dogs on both sides carry Izumo Yano Sou blood. He looks like a nice pup with good construction and temperament. He's registered as a sesame.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NIPPO All Kanto Show

Best in show (honbusho) today with Kotofusa Go at the NIPPO All Kanto Show! I'm thankful for the opportunity to show such a well bred dog, and thank you Mr.Nakano for taking the picture! We got off to a rough start in the morning, but with a bit of help from many people we were able to fine tune the afternoon session and get the win. Next week, the NIPPO National!

I did not take a single photo today. It was the nervous, sweat drenched, heart pounding, kind of day. Nidai Iwahori Sou produced and owns this beautiful Shikoku. The red hue in this line is terrific, and very rarely seen in aka and aka-goma Shikoku today. If you look at the famous dogs behind Koto, you can see where he gets his strong structure, color, and other traits.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


We're now in full prep mode. Winter is coming.

The NIPPO all Kanto regional is tomorrow, with the National coming a week afterward. I'll be showing an adult Shikoku male, so I've been busy getting him comfortable with me. Things were pretty iffy at the beginning, which is to be expected when showing someone else's adult male Nihon Ken. Whether or not we'll do well in the ring is anyone's guess at this point. The regional is our warm up, and it will be raining. In fact it just started pouring a few minutes ago.

I'll head down to Osaka on Friday night for the National, which is the day hunting season opens. I'll probably do a few rounds in the morning, then prep for my trip in the afternoon. I'm trying to get the house in order before the cold hits, so we're working on insulation, the fire place, and the front porch. This house was about to fall down when I moved in here in February. I was practically living outdoors in the middle of winter.

I was at Twin Rink Motegi for the Air Asia Moto GP race 2 weeks ago, running Air Asia's main booth, which was a complete physical wipe out. 

After getting back, I had the week to prepare for a friend's gallery opening which Magical Animal (me) was catering. It went extremely well and was loads of fun.

I'm also trying to get ready for the hunting season, so I have taken Baron out a couple of times on short runs. I took him out Friday for an hour, and we took Hime along too. She's glued to me in the mountains. I took them to an area where there isn't much wildlife, just to stretch their legs. They both did very well, so I took them to our hunting area today. I was out there in the mountains for 4 hours, and Baron was a complete beast. He rustled up boar for us 5 times (all different boars and 1 family group), and if we were in season I had at least 3 dead on shots at boar within 5 meters. He was baying, flushing, and catching. This guy does it all.

On the first group of boar, Baron went around to the tip of the ridge we were on, and after a minute or so I thought I heard his 'neya-dome' bay. Once he finds boar bedded down, he moves in carefully, and gives a few soft barks to wake them up, then turns up the volume to hold them there. I tore off to the spot like a wild man, and got just above where Baron had the boar bayed. I had Hime in tow, and the video below is what happened when 6 year old Hime saw her first boar.

It was very short, but she ran down there and bayed like a champ, and tried to catch the boar when it charged. She missed, and after the boar charged again, she came running back up behind me. I was still quite happy with the result. The rest of the day she was not interested in the rest of the boar we ran into, but I think a bit of time in the mountains will give her the experience she needs to find and bay boar.

After a couple more run ins with boar, Baron was exhausted, and so were we. A few hundred meters to the truck, we were walking toward the point of the ridge before it drops to the road. On the right of the ridge, and at the end, are bamboo thickets that I have taken boar in before, so I was ready to run into some more boar, and that's exactly what happened. First Baron dropped to the right, and a minute later we heard the tell tale sounds of a railroad train charging through the thicket, snapping bamboo like twigs. Baron came barreling out, came to get me, and we went back in together. The thicket was too dangerous to be messing around in without a gun, so we moved on. Baron was moving very tentatively, so I figured there was still a boar nearby. He wasn't moving far ahead, but was staying around 5-10meters out, constantly stopping to check the wind.

As he moved to the right again, I kept going forward (thinking we were past the last boar nest), and I walked past a group of ferns about 3 meters on my right. Hime was right behind me, and my hunting buddy was behind her. When Baron came from behind to catch up, he stopped at the ferns, and I heard him give a low growl, and then his half bark. Since we'd just walked past the spot, I thought he found a badger nest or tanuki, so I started videoing and walking the few meters toward him.

To my surprise, out charged a 40kg boar, and Baron immediately grabbed its ear. I threw my iPhone away, and in that split second realized I was trading my 80,000 yen phone for a boar, and jumped forward to grab its back leg. The boar wheeled, Baron lost his grip, and we were all left in its wake. Baron tore off after it, but was so exhausted that I had to get him and carry him back to the car. He's sleeping here at my feet now, a tired but happy Kishu. The gentleman who was out in the mountains with me said that Baron is the best boar dog he has ever seen. I know he isn't perfect, but I agree that he's a downright amazing dog.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Teruhide x Sekihoume

Sire: Teruhide Go http://www.shikoku-pedigree.com/details.php?id=63337
Dam: Sekihoume Go http://www.shikoku-pedigree.com/details.php?id=63336

This breeding has been repeated 3 times now.

The first litter produced Kotofusa Go http://www.shikoku-pedigree.com/details.php?id=63338
He's taken BIS at many regionals, and placed 3rd, 2nd, and 5th, in consecutive years in his class at the NIPPO National. This year I will be showing him in the adult male ring.

The second litter produced 4 pups, all of which are showing extremely well in the ring, 1 male, and 3 females. The 3 females are all owned by members of the NIPPO Chiba branch, so we are generally always competing against each other in the ring. One of the females is Chacha Go http://www.shikoku-pedigree.com/details.php?id=63467 I showed her to 5th place in class at the national last year. Her sister took 1st place.

Due to the quality in the previous litters, Nidai Iwahori Sou decided to go for a third mating of the same dogs. It looks like we will not be disappointed.

Here they are at 20 days old. Kuro-goma female, goma male, goma female.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kenzo & Momo

I got some recent pictures of my Shikoku x Kishu litter. They both seem to be doing well in their new homes.



Interesting to see the traits from both parents coming out. I'm waiting with even more interest to see what color their coats end up at.