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Thinblueline

Emergency Tools/Supplies For Bird Coat/Vest

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Thinblueline

With a new young bird dog who I dearly love, I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous about cutting him loose in the north woods of Wisconsin where all sorts of threats to his life and wellness lurk. While I’m not too terribly worked up about wolves and bears, (which I still keep in the back of my mind), I’m genuinely concerned about Conibear traps and porcupines.

 

i know there is a sticky thread about releasing dogs from traps, but there are some guys who have come right out and said you can just forget it if your dog gets his head caught in a Conibear. I guess if your dog’s windpipe isn’t crushed in the initial snap, there are those who say you aren’t going to have to time to save them anyway because they are suffocated so quickly. Unfortunately I guess that makes sense, because unless you are right next to your dog when it happens, it might take a couple moments before you realize anything bad has happened, due to their silence. Then you have to locate your dog, and you won’t necessarily be running to save time because you might not know you need to run yet, and you might not know where to run anyway. Once you find your dog in a Conibear, then you have to start the process of trying to get him out, which is obviously a slower and more involved process. It’s no wonder most stories of dogs in body traps don’t have a happy ending.

 

Undoubtedly the most common threat is the porcupine, which many of you would probably agree if a dog is hunted with regularity throughout its life, it’s not a matter of if they will have an encounter but when. I almost can’t stand the thought of my dog getting hammered like I’ve seen in so many photographs. You see dogs with quills through eyes, nose, tongue, and everywhere else. Man, I’d think you could almost do more damage trying to yank the barbed quills out of a tongue or a nose, as it would seem yanking a barbed quill would easily tear open the soft flesh. I’d almost be inclined to throw my dog over my shoulders and haul him all the way back to the car so I could get him to a vet and beg for anesthesia. 

 

Having expressed all of these worries, I don’t want to deny my dog, or me, his lifetime of what we both love doing together, so I’ll just try to prepare myself the best I can if something bad happens. So I thought I’d come to you folks and ask your opinions of what tools and supplies I should be carrying to save my dog if tragedy strikes. 

 

For starters, next season I’m going to try to have a Garmin Astro so I can always locate my dog as fast as possible. I just bought a Dogtra 200C e-collar that I will use to trash break him off deer (to keep him from getting lost amongst the wolves), or porcupines if the opportunity presents itself. 

 

In my vest I will carry a couple short lengths of rope with a boot loop at the ends for the Conibear traps, and I may throw a couple of those big zip ties in there, but I can’t see those zip ties working on that 300 series Conibear.

 

I was going to carry a small wire cutters for snares, but I saw that many snares are made with the braided wire rope, so some sort of small bolt cutter will be needed. Does anyone carry a particular small hand held bolt cutter they can recommend?

 

Like many of you, I’ll probably carry a Leatherman type tool for quill extraction if the quills are in an area I feel like I can extract them without causing more damage. I’ve heard that quills are full of air (thus the reason some fishermen use quills as bobbers), and if you first trim the tips with scissors, quill extraction is easier and less painful for the dog. Does anybody have any experience with that tidbit and/or carry a small scissors for that purpose? 

 

Other than these big ticket items, I’d be curious to know what other items you guys carry in your vests or coats to prepare for an emergency for you and/or your dog, such as any other first aid items, fire starting tools, navigation tools, etc... 

 

I would like to be as reasonably prepared as I can be, given that I wander a pretty decent distance from my vehicle, without being over the top paranoid. Maybe I’m already sounding a bit paranoid to some of you, lol, but I really appreciate the feedback from anyone who chooses to chime in.

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shinbone

The only thing worse than your dog dying in a Conibear, would be standing there watching it die and not having a way to release it.  No way would I want to spend the extra time unlacing my boot in that situation, so I carry a few 3' long zip ties.  They are always in my game pouch, don't take up much space, and weigh next to nothing.

 

I bought a 220 Conibear and have experimented and practiced with different release methods to find what works best for me.  After trying all the standard methods, I have found the 3' long zip ties are the fastest for me. 

 

For porky quills, pliers or hemostats with smooth jaws work well.  I have found serrated jaws are more prone to breaking the quills off.

 

 

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OldSarge

Porkies are a real pain, actual and figuratively. I’ve had several dogs get hit to one degree or another. I’ve been lucky because now they only point porkies. I always carry a Leathernan. The worse injuries I have encountered are from old barbed wire, broken off branches, thorns, and matted burrs under their arm pits. Routinely check your dogs paws and chest for injuries and keep their hair trimmed tight. Some EMT gel or superglue, and a surgical stapler shouldn’t take up much room. 

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Thinblueline
37 minutes ago, shinbone said:

The only thing worse than your dog dying in a Conibear, would be standing there watching it die and not having a way to release it.  No way would I want to spend the extra time unlacing my boot in that situation, so I carry a few 3' long zip ties.  They are always in my game pouch, don't take up much space, and weigh next to nothing.

 

I bought a 220 Conibear and have experimented and practiced with different release methods to find what works best for me.  After trying all the standard methods, I have found the 3' long zip ties are the fastest for me. 

 

For porky quills, pliers or hemostats with smooth jaws work well.  I have found serrated jaws are more prone to breaking the quills off.

 

 

I can see the zip ties easily working on the 220 Conibears but man oh man, that 330 Conibear is  big and nasty. I’m wondering if a 3 foot zip tie would be long and strong enough to get a good enough hand hold and collapse those heavy duty springs?

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Thinblueline
31 minutes ago, OldSarge said:

Porkies are a real pain, actual and figuratively. I’ve had several dogs get hit to one degree or another. I’ve been lucky because now they only point porkies. I always carry a Leathernan. The worse injuries I have encountered are from old barbed wire, broken off branches, thorns, and matted burrs under their arm pits. Routinely check your dogs paws and chest for injuries and keep their hair trimmed tight. Some EMT gel or superglue, and a surgical stapler shouldn’t take up much room. 

I forgot about that EMT gel. I’m not sure I’d know what I’m doing with a stapler and I’d be afraid of my dog taking my hand off if I tried it. 

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shinbone
46 minutes ago, Thinblueline said:

I can see the zip ties easily working on the 220 Conibears but man oh man, that 330 Conibear is  big and nasty. I’m wondering if a 3 foot zip tie would be long and strong enough to get a good enough hand hold and collapse those heavy duty springs?

 

I've practiced on a 330, too.  I do two wraps with the zip tie to get a mechanical advantage.

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Remo

+1 on the hemostat for quills. Google "Hand Cable Cutter" for snares. 

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studdog

A small roll of medical tape wrap (like ACE bandage) to wrap wounds.  Even though my dog doesn't need a lease, I carry a small four foot lead in my game pouch.  The lead can be used for lots things, including muzzling a injured dog. FWIW

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oak stob

 

Re dog health....other than that Emt gel, a small pocket knife, mashed vet wrap, sterile eye wash, leash and the now-popular zip ties...I tote a short section of nylon stocking to keep a bandaged and bleeding ear tight to the head....in order to reduce chances of re-opening of the wound and therefore blood splatter a la Hawaii Five-O on a bad day.

 

I do carry a wee bit of surveyor flagging should marking ever be an issue and prefer small self-opening pliers rather than locking hemostats.

 

 

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Cooter Brown

In my mind avoidance training your dog on porkies is requirement for any dog that hunts in porkie country.  I've done it with fresh road killed porkies with good success.

 

In addition to the stuff mentioned already--pretty much all of which I carry except cutters--I have a way to start a fire, a spare whistle and compass, a small survival type space blanket, extra batteries--it all goes in a small kit in my vest.  Electrical tape is the best thing I've found for securing bandages and vet wrap (great stuff) on dog's legs etc.

 

I have a leash made of woven paracord that can be configured as a gun sling.  This could prove invaluable if you are forced to carry a dog any distance.  I got it from a buddy of mine who knows a guy who makes them.

 

Something I didn't see mentioned is a Leatherman type tool with a Phillips screwdriver.  Indispensable.

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braque du upstate

Meh, traps fall under Bigfoot sightings. I know a guy , who knows a guy , who's brother's uncle  got whacked by a bear trap. 220 are a possibility . Grow man should be able to deal with one sans tools. 99% percent of 220 are wired to something for a very good reason . Time is money on a trap line. animals routinely survive, and run off with traps. Most are efficient/ humane killing tools for target species.   They are designed for 10 lb or under animals . Coon ,fisher Martin.. They aren't designed for dogs. Breed is a factor.  Cocker head is similar to a coon. Most bird dog anatomy is significantly different.   I've pulled very much alive opposums out of 220 . 220 aren't intuitive.  takes 2 minutes of hands on experience to learn what you need to know.  The car ride is 1000x more dangerous.  Porkies suck. Snares can be nightmare. I would give traps healthy respect. lightning kills people every year. I wouldn't fly a kite in a thunderstorm.  I wouldn't get myself worked up about traps,  or acts of god. I personally carry a leatherman.  Basic working knowledge of traps/ first aid is a great idea. Fur prices should keep all but a few from the woods. 

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Mundo

Always carry something to make a muzzle from.  I carry a comb to remove burrs, spines and cactus. 

Keep a staple gun and disinfectant in the truck.  (Staple guns are pretty easy to use, but you need to keep the wrapped in package and sterile.  Bird dogs have a high tolerance of pain and often will let you staple them.}

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ryanr

The "barbs" on porcupine quills are micro barbs, as in microscopic. Cutting the quills to "deflate" them first is a myth. One of my dogs has had 2 encounters with a porcupine and my approach was to remove some of the quills I could just to try to make him a little more "comfortable" but to take him immediately to the nearest vet. Typically what the bet does is give them a mild sedative first to calm and quiet them before they give them a more thorough exam and put them under anesthesia to actually remove the quills.

 

If you remove quills in the field, do not yank them out with abandon. It can add to the dog's pain. However grab each quill firmly with your leatherman, needlenose or hemostats and pull firmly and quickly. Do not pull slowly as that definitely makes it more painful.  

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MUSTANGER7

Down here in Florida, I carry a snake bite kit, some liquid bandage, a few gauze pads, tape and a roll of vet wrap. Sounds like a lot but it fits easily in my pack with hardly any weight.

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airmedic1

I carry lots of things in my vest in the back compartment and in the pockets.  I always carry a multi tool with scissors and a cable cutter.  This started 30+ years ago when my GSP and I were hunting quail in a creek bottom.  I heard her howling and when i found her she was hanging out over a little ravine with a snare just in front of her back legs.  The snare was set on a log, over a trail and when she tripped it she was swung out.  Had it caught her by the neck instead of around her waist she would have been dead before I could have found her.  (My neighbor lost a setter in the same area a few weeks later and never found her.). Later that year my dog got wound up in electric fence that I was able to cut with the multi tool.  The scissors on the multi tool are useful for cutting porcupine quills before you pull them.  (A vet once told me they are full of air and when you cut the end it makes them smaller.). I carry a length of paracord in the front inside pocket that does duty as a lease, sling or to open a Connibear.

I carry a C.A.T. Tourniquet for me, someone I'm with or a dog, hemostatic blood stopper bandages, and a small zippered bag that has dressings, Coban, tape, hemostats, EMT scissors, triangular bandages, space blankets, both large and small bandaids, moleskin, a small SAM splint and matches.  Other than the bandaids, I have never used any of the first aid supplies but I feel more comfortable knowing they are there. I put the C.A.T. Tourniquet and the hemostatic bandages in a vacuum sealed bag to keep them clean and dry.  I made small cuts and marked them with permanent marker so they are easy to get open if I need them.  All of the first aid stuff probably weighs a couple of pounds or more but could be a lifesaver when you are a long way from your truck.

AM

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