I can’t tell you for sure how many years I've been hunting, but I can tell you that I started using dogs for squirrel hunting about 5 years ago. The reason I started using dogs was because of the times I would shoot a squirrel out of the tree, and then couldn't find it. It really bothers me to know that there is a wounded animal laying in the woods suffering because of me. If I hunt, I like to eat what I hunt. I don’t hunt unless it is to put food on the table.
I also like to harvest the fur and have tried various ways of tanning the hides. With this said, as an experiment I started bringing my Blue Heeler, Fuzz with me. Blue Heelers are cattle dogs with a natural born instinct to herd, but I soon found out, not only are they amazing herding dogs and companion animals, but also make great hunting dogs. I wanted to know if maybe I could train Fuzz to find the squirrels after I shot them out of the tree. It didn't take long for her to catch on. At first she would retrieve the squirrels after I shot them with no chance that they would blend in with the fall leaves and get lost.
After that she caught onto the fact that the squirrels were in the trees and started treeing them. Needless to say, she has turned into an excellent hunting partner. We even train pups with her. As the pups learn, their intelligence amazes me as I watch them figure out a trail and work together to flush out their prey. Many coon hunters start their young dogs on squirrel before they start using them to hunt coon. I love to hear the dogs tree. There is nothing more pleasing to a treeing dog enthusiast then to hear a dog treed. The best thing about squirrel hunting with dogs is that I never lose a squirrel now.