Awhile back, Scottie Westfall of The Retriever, Dog & Wildlife Blog went to southern West Virginia to meet Gary Varney of Kentucky to pick up Pavel the West Siberian Laika puppy. At the time, Gary told Scottie that Pavel was already treeing cats on the property and he and the litter-mates devoured a shot squirrel. For about a week or two, Scottie took care of the puppy before boarding him on a flight to Canada.
While Pavel was in care of Scottie, the puppy and Miley the Golden Retriever took walks to explore the rewilding forests every morning to see the grey squirrels and their den-trees. In the process, Scottie took several footages of Pavel’s treeing ability at a young age. He was smittened since a lot of puppies, including squirrel-dogs, don’t have a prey drive until about five-months old or later. Here is one footage from September 17, 2012 when Pavel was only 11-weeks old:
I have considered letting Scottie Westfall raise Pavel, then compensating Scottie heavily later on at the same cost of a started dog. In West Virginia, Pavel has much more opportunities to hunt squirrels than up in Canada where the native squirrels tend to only inhabit the old-growth forests; and the invasive Grey Squirrels are largely limited to the Fraser Valley and lower Vancouver Island in western Canada. Also, night-hunting in the United States, especially with raccoon, is commonplace while the practice is prohibited in much of Canada. Also, his bear-hound training would not be skimped on since West Virginia has the largest concentration of Black Bears in the eastern half of the continent. At least, that is how it would work out in a fantasy world.
One of these days, I will be sending Pavel back to Scottie Westfall if he still remain in a squirrel-rich area so Pavel’s foster care-taker could re-live his nostalgic long-lost days of hunting over an Elkhound with his grandfather. We will have to see what the future will hold.