Tip from the Book: Train a Dog to Scent Trail

Early-season hunts often take place in the heavy cover of beaver ponds and thick timber. A good cripple dog is a major asset. To fine-tune your dog’s nose, cut a piece of PVC pipe about 5 feet in length. (The diameter doesn’t matter—use whatever you’ve got cluttering up your basement.)

Run an 8-foot-long section of paracord or other cordage through the pipe, and tie a slip loop to one end. Attach the loop to a bird wing or training bumper treated with duck scent. Hold the pipe out from your body, and drag the wing or bumper along a scent trail through your yard. The pipe prevents your own foot scent from contaminating the trail.

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