Prickly Pear Cactus

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Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby JTracyII » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:56 pm

Found the mother load of quail. The problem is there were a lot of cactus and my wife and I spent hours last night picking out the pins from the prickly pear cactus. I want to go back with a group of friends this weekend, but need some suggestions on how to prevent so many cactus from attaching themselves to my dog. I ordered Lewis boots before I went but they are back ordered. Don't think I'll get them before this weekend. I used tire inner tubes for the paws and they helped some, but they rubbed the tops of his toes so that he has no more hair on some of them. Maybe they were too tight. Most of the cactus were about 8 inches up on each leg down and became more prevalent as you moved
towards the paw. I thought about putting some wrap on the legs and taping some tire inner tube around the legs starting 6 or so inches up on the leg and loosening the boots around the paws. I had a vest on him and it did it's job. Suggestions?
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby orhunter » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:59 pm

What size inner tube did you use? I tried a size that was too small once and had to go back to the bigger floppier ones.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby JTracyII » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:19 pm

orhunter wrote:What size inner tube did you use? I tried a size that was too small once and had to go back to the bigger floppier ones.


I want to say larger than 3 inch, but not complete sure as I have had them for along time and picked the
Up used a few years ago. Pulled them out when I realized we would be hunting in so much cactus. My dog has pretty large paws.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby jarbo03 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:39 pm

Used to be a seller on ebay that made dog boots, got one pair that was double layered Cordura with a liner between them. No standard sizes fit my lab, so I gave her measurements and she made some for no extra charge. Will see if I can find that info.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby Coveyrise64 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:55 pm

JTracyII wrote:Found the mother load of quail. The problem is there were a lot of cactus and my wife and I spent hours last night picking out the pins from the prickly pear cactus. I want to go back with a group of friends this weekend, but need some suggestions on how to prevent so many cactus from attaching themselves to my dog. I ordered Lewis boots before I went but they are back ordered. Don't think I'll get them before this weekend. I used tire inner tubes for the paws and they helped some, but they rubbed the tops of his toes so that he has no more hair on some of them. Maybe they were too tight. Most of the cactus were about 8 inches up on each leg down and became more prevalent as you moved
towards the paw. I thought about putting some wrap on the legs and taping some tire inner tube around the legs starting 6 or so inches up on the leg and loosening the boots around the paws. I had a vest on him and it did it's job. Suggestions?


There was a reason you found the mother lode!

Boots are too small....you need 3.00/3.25 for large paws or even 3.25/3.50 for big foot. I'd vet wrap the leg then cover with duct tape instead of inner tube. Not too tight though. You can remove the leg wraps with blunt nose surgical scissors that way. If that doesn't work then you might try these.

http://www.gundogsupply.com/sylmar-leg- ... -tube.html
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby Willie T » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:39 am

Vet wrap, then duct tape make effective shin guards. After a few hunts the dog will most likely adapt and learn how to bob and weave like the coyotes in the prickly pear. Dog boots help. I'm not convinced anything other than experience works well in cactus.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby JTracyII » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:32 pm

All really helpful. I think I'll try the duck tape shin guard idea along with the inner tube tire boots. I will need to get some larger ones as the ones I had rubbed the tops of toes so much there is no more hair a few of them. Possibly some cactus needles I can't see in there as well. I guess the ones I can't see or find will eventually work themselves out?
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby LongHammer » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:37 am

I hunt in forests of cactus. I carry a flat comb to fling off the big chunks of cactus that actually stick to him. Your dog just needs to learn to stay out of it. It was a long painful process but I can see Otto turn around and go the other way when the cactus get to thick. Still whenever we take a break I give him the once over and do some thorn removal but him learning is the important part.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby jfwhit » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:23 am

The places in Oklahoma that have cactus issues are difficult for our dogs. My dog has learned how to deal with cactus in that he navigates to avoid it. However it is covered by tall grass and brush so when he is quartering or tracking, the Prickly Pear, is unseen until he is either in it or brushing up against it. Is mostly only a couple of inches tall. He will stop and back out, but by then it can be too late. I have manually navigated him out holding his collar. I myself have looked down to see I'm standing in a patch camouflaged by the grass. I'm certain the best and smartest dogs will be outdone by this scenario. So when I know I'm going to be in this situation, I boot him up and vetwrap/tape him up his legs. This has worked so far.

As Coveyrise64 said, there is a reason why there is the mother load.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby orhunter » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:59 am

I tried a heavy duty tube one time, rubber was twice as thick as standard. Rubbed dog's foot raw also. My dog's feet are kinda small for a 50 lb Griff and I used the 2.75/3.00.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby hicntry » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:36 am

I would find somewhere else to hunt, birds or no birds, if I was concerned about my dogs welfare.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby JTracyII » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:21 pm

Went back to the same place. This time armed with more tire inner tubes on the paws and vet wrap up the legs with tape used over that for protection from cactus. Seemed to have worked much better at keeping cactus off him. He has some bald spots from the tire inner tubes rubbing on his toes, so I'll give him the day off tomorrow. Good time though. My group got 45 quail to finish the day. My dog is really learning to point and hold well. I decided to not shoot and make him stay steady to wing shot and fall on the first few covey rises and let the others do the shooting. He pretty much stayed that way the rest of the day. Very memorable hunt.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby JTracyII » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:24 pm

hicntry wrote:I would find somewhere else to hunt, birds or no birds, if I was concerned about my dogs welfare.


No offense, but I thought you would understand if anyone would. Didn't you stitch your own dogs up in the field occasionally on hog hunts? Did you ever lose a dog hog hunting?
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby hicntry » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:10 pm

JTracyII wrote:
hicntry wrote:I would find somewhere else to hunt, birds or no birds, if I was concerned about my dogs welfare.


No offense, but I thought you would understand if anyone would. Didn't you stitch your own dogs up in the field occasionally on hog hunts? Did you ever lose a dog hog hunting?


I have put a lot of dogs back together. Had dogs laid up for days to months. My dogs were also bred for dealing with dangerous game. I hunted miles from any roads....for their safety. I didn't hunt them in areas with cliffs.......for their safety. JTracy, I had 20 to 30 adults normally. Most of you guys have one or two dogs. If I had one dog as my buddy, I wouldn't put him at risk with hogs any more than I would hunt him in over grown prickly pear.
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Re: Prickly Pear Cactus

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:36 pm

A spot where you can take 45 quail in a day would draw all of us into the cactus I suspect! Nice job JTracyII.
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