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Natural Instinct

Working Jack Russell Terriers

Bred to Hunt

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Hunting Page

Of all the things that we do the most enjoyment comes from our hunts. Natural Instinct Jack Russell Terriers are called on again and again to come to a farmers place and rid them of that dreaded pest the raccoon. It never ceases to amaze us the ability that these dogs have to go in a hole on one side of haymow and pop up in another hole over fifty feet away. All this without the help of a roadmap or even a streetlight.

It has been said that in the Bruce Coons just shudder at the mention of Natural Instinct Jack Russell Terriers. We have worked barns where as many as fourteen raccoons have fallen to the capable paws of these fine specimens.

Another favorite place for the Natural Instinct Gang is along a river bank where we occasionally find more of these critters to flush.

We are looking forward to finding a nice quick fox this year , will let you know when this happens ( Stay Tuned to this page for some of our next expeditions)

There is a question that Folks ask that needs answering and this is one of the pages that would be appropriate for that Question:

I like your site and hunting stories, but I was wondering if you could add something that would explain how to get a jack russell to hunt. 

The Terrier needs to be bred to hunt, this is genetic, natural instinct is not something you teach, a dog born with a good amount of natural hunting instinct will not need to be taught "how to hunt",  this terrier will likely teach you how to hunt.  We simply take our novice terriers out with seasoned workers and let nature lead the way.



Nov 17th, 98: Been Raining and snowing for the last few days. Today it is reasonable weather and we head out with Missy, Lady Diana and Jewel. Hunting along a creek Missy enters a hole along the bank under a large tree. She locates and we work all afternoon among roots and earth. Successful hunt to raccoon. Diana got her rear paw bit while caught up in the roots. She stayed right there till the job was done. We reentered her latter and she worked well.

Nov 12, 1998: Weather finally right for fall hunting. Took Twiggy, Dollie and Micro out this afternoon. Had a big dig on the side of a steep cedar covered river bank. Went 9 feet down then 8 feet in, had success a big raccoon was there. Started the dig at 1 PM finished at 4 pm. Everybody did an excellent job. Dollie was beat after this dig but Twiggy went on and we dug her three more times with success each time.

Oct 19th, 1998: An overcast morning In Maryland and we head out with some friends and new aquaintances . We had a great time and accounted for 5 hogs (2 bolted and where not seen but heard) and 3 raccoons. Micro had his first field trip today and does he ever love it. g Tessa earned a raccoon cert. As did Diana. Belle (a 3 yr old bitch) had her first day in the field and took to it real good. She worked a sette for almost an hour without getting up on it, too bad I would have loved to dug her to one. Another novice from California dog is really keen and almost worked one of the raccoon settes but kept coming out. Micro came along for his first field trip to observe, he sure does enjoy it and shows lots of promise.

Sept 6th,1998: A day that I will never forget. We take Petie and two young dogs to get them a first experience with live quarry. Petie entered and grabbed a skunk right by the rectum. The Skunk Sprayed right down his throat and Petie was stone dead when we got to him in just a few minutes. Tried to recesitate for a long time with no avail. The best Terrier that I have ever hunted with I buried today. Goodbye faithful Partner.

August 9th, A gentleman from St Mary’s called and wanted to hunt with us with JRTs for the first time to gain experience. We took him hog hunting and had success at the end of the day while he also got to experience hogs digging of in sand. Had to hunt Twiggy in the soft earth as she is a bit more aggressive and won’t allow them to dig off on her. His dog Snoop showed great interest.

July 26th: Went hunting with folks from Ontario, Maryland and Alberta,   near Cambridge. Hard Soil, We helped some folks there finish a deep dig. We accounted for 3 hogs that day ourselves. Dollie and BeeGee earned hog Certs. Other dogs present where  Toby, Petie, Rumour, Sawmill Spice, Keno and a Whippet Chance. Again small dogs shine while larger dogs show their desire without fruit.

July 9th: A friend from Guelph came up and Kate and I went hunting along with Flurry, Radar, Tucker and N.I. Lady Diana. Gravelly soil. Got a couple hogs.

June 18th: Sassy, Petie, and Missy go hog hunting. Bolted some hogs. Missy doing well.

May 10th, 1998 Mothers Day hunt with the family . We  take the gang out for a hunt. We get a ground hog in a clay bank. Tough Digging, BeeGee did an excellent job. You can sure see the merits of a small Terrier for groundhogs.

May 9th: At Cambridge Folks from the club    joined me for a hunt with Natural Instinct Missy, Foxport Vigor and the Hollow Flynn. Missy again showed that small dogs get hogs while larger ones get frustrated on the surface.

April 1998

April 19th: In Maryland we hunt with a friend. Ground hog and Raccoon. Rudger, Dollie, Keno, Sassy1 and Twiggy.

April 7: We trecked on to a different area of the USA and went out with some great American fellow terrier folks. A couple who the husband is a Field Judge. We had a great time as Sassy 1 worked 3 raccoons before she finally settled into groundhog and boy did she settle in. A 3 to 4 hour chase that left us coming back to the van in the dark. Terrier people are the nicest in the world and new Friends just continue to be made around these little white dogs.

April 5: Today we continue our hunt less the Field Judge, We had a great day with much success on groundhogs. One down note to today is that a groundhog claw went through Missy's eye and it has to be removed. Don't you worry this little 10 1/2 inch 9 1/2 pound fireball will be back in the field in no time.


April 4: Again we hunted with some of our American Friends and a Great Field Judge. Natural Instinct Missy earned her Groundhog certificate today. Along with that came her Bronze Medalion. The very first dog of ours that bolted her bronze quarry.

March 1998

Beautiful Unbelievable weather has us out looking for hogs this month.

January 1998

Jan 27: We hunted with an American Friend today and a Field Judge. An excellent time was had by all. 5 wonderful working Terriers earned certificates to Raccoon today.

Jan 15: An awful hard job for the terriers today in a rather large brush pile. They persisted and did an excellent job.

Jan 14: We got called to a barn today that the gang had a great time in. Raccoon.

Jan 13: Kate and I worked 4 settes with the last one taking us over 3 hours. Raccoon

Jan 12: It has been an exciting 35 days since December 7th. That was the day that We made a trip to Guelph and went out with friends from Guelph, we visited a good spot near Cambridge (thanks to Betty Sweeny's generosity) and KaCee Petie of Natural Instinct got us a coon at 7 to 8 feet that earned his Bronze Medallion. We went for a walk down the bank with our 10 month old Natural Instinct Twiggy and she entered a sett and worked for 45 minutes while we dug to her and earned her very first certificate a possum.


We knew this young one could do it as she has been just great with raccoons this winter. I would say she has been responsible for about 50 raccoons at least 90 percent of them in the earth. We started hinting to Our friend that maybe he should come up and watch Twig at hunting a raccoon. The phone rang one wet rainy Tuesday evening and He was on the other end  saying he was rained out of work for the next day and maybe we could get a raccoon with Twiggy. Well Twiggy earned her raccoon Certificate that next day.

Now we phone to NY State and inquire about hunting with there. We make arrangements to hunt on Sunday. Up at 4 something AM and of to NY. The Judge asks about the dogs and we tell her that we have 3, one that is a Quarry away form a bronze. Finding out that Twiggy needs either fox or groundhog she tell us the chance of getting either of them all almost none, so we decide to hunt Natural Instinct Missy and Natural Instinct Dollie.

Dollie Strikes first and we dig out an Non formidable possum ( the bugger would only play dead ). We move over to a bush and are sort of fanning out looking for spots when Michelle is heard shouting for us. We go over and Hudson is a Sett that we locate and dig to find a very large red Fox in. It was quite a sight to watch this guy bolt and dart through the woods.

Next we stop over by a large natural pond surrounded by a wooded bank. Twiggy is Quite upset with us leaving her in the van so we decide to let her come with us. Missy enters and works her first possum to perfection and was this guy ever formidable.


Further along the bank Twiggy enters and starts to bay. We Dig about 5 feet through clay and rock to open up the tunnel. It is getting near dark and we open the tunnel in the side. We can just see Twig so our Judge says "hang onto my feet I am going in." Standing on her head in the hole she pronounces "it's a groundhog". Kate got so excited that I thought she was going to let go of her feet but She hung on.

Just 35 days after she starts her bronze journey this 11 month old pup Finishes it and becomes our first Natural Instinct Bred Bronze Medallion Terrier. The Judge's comment says it better that I ever could.

Her Comment: "Now that's my Kind of Dog!"

A special Thank you to These wonderful folks for their assistance and hospitality.

Jan 7: Natural Instinct Twiggy, Kelsey of Vagabond and Brandywine Aftershock (Thumper). We hunt in the rain and Twiggy locates a large raccoon in a pushpile. We go do some local farmers barns in the afternoon. Kelsey does an excellent job. Aftershock sure has lots of hunting drive. Raccoon.

Jan 4 : Missy, Twiggy and Dollie accompany us to another local farmers barn. They all did an excellent job. Raccoon

Jan 2: We get a call to a local farmers barn, KaCee Petie of NI, Natural Instinct Twiggy and Natural Instinct BeeGee come with us. Petie did an excellent Job, he is learning the barn work very well. Twiggy was her hunting self and took her share of the work load. BeeGee Looked on. Raccoon.

December 1997

28th: Natural Instinct Twiggy and Natural Instinct Missy come out today. Missy locates raccoon in the bottom of an old rubble pile and Twiggy locates in the earth.

27th: We take Radar and Twiggy today. One 5 foot set. Twiggy locates and Radar Draws. Raccoon.

26th: Dad and Mom have been busy doing the Christmas thing and the Terriers are getting restless. We go for a walk along the river and come home after having three successful earth sets. Dollie, Petie and Twiggy. Raccoon.

16th: Today Dollie and Twiggy accompany Dad to the other side of the river that we did yesterday. We walk all afternoon and right at the end of the day both girls go crazy in the base of a tree. Raccoons there.

15th: Today weather is nice and we find them above the ground Missy, Twig and Dollie. Twiggy again shows her nose off as she points us to a tree with raccoon there.

11th: Today we do a few barns for some of the area farmers, Missy, Twiggy and Dollie. Twiggy again impresses us with her keen sense of smell. Raccoons today.

9th: Today we go for a walk back in a swampy area and end up at an old fallen down shack where the dogs enter and Petie makes only a suprised yelp and comes out with some porcupine quills in his feet. Twiggy has already had some quills once this year and showed no interest at all. Missy on the other hand is a little less experienced and is quite busy looking for the Quarry. She lights up as she find it but only for a few minutes then quiet. After a bit she comes back out just plastered with quills. So much for any more hunting today, Pulling quills takes up all the available light and then some. 


7th: Tonight Dad is floating, his feet have not touched the ground since late afternoon. We took a Trip to Cambridge and went for an outing with Special Friends. Ka Cee Petie of Natural Instinct entered an Earth and dug around for a bit. He came back out real excited and checked out every other entrance to the earth only to return to the original one. We listened and Petie dug and dug and dug then  came that "up on it bay". We located him at 7 to 8 feet and started to dig. After an hour and one half we found Petie just where the box said still steadily working a raccoon. Why was Dad Floating ? Well Our friend is a working Judge and this is Petie's Bronze Medallion Dig. It does not end here though, Kate and Ken take the pride of Natural Instinct a 10 month old pup called Natural Instinct Twiggy further up the bank and turn around at the end of the woods, they go to the high side of the bank on the way back and as they meet up with the rest of the folks Twiggy decides that a small hole in the side of the bank smells interesting and enters. We all gather round and listen, All you can hear is Twiggy's digging to get through the tunnel then baying as she gets up on her Quarry. Dad has heard many raccoons and pronounced it as such, Our Friend being one to keep things interesting says I will bet $5. that it is not. Well I put my money where my mouth is and we locate and start to dig. This pup works steadily for 45 minutes while we get there and lo a behold she is working an extremely large possum. Boy was that guy ever giving her some lip. This is Twiggy first hunting certificate and is Dad ever floating now.

  4th: Today we went for a Walk along a stream not to far from Home. It is beautiful weather and we can not find any one home in the earth. We do however manage to find some up sunning themselves due to Kate's sharp eye.

November 1997

Well it has been quite some time since we told you any hunting stories, that does not mean that we haven't been hunting, just we have not been finding the time to update. Well today is the day.

We have been busy hunting raccoon lately and all the dogs are loving it. I will try to recall a few of the more memorable outings.

We where walking around an old bean field with piles of recently pushed up Hawthorne trees around the edges. Sassy 1 disappeared and started to give voice. We approached the pile of brush carefully as the thorns where still quite sharp. Well she was in the bottom of the largest pile and by now her son Radar had joined her. Dad spent more that an hour chopping and hacking on old thorns to get down to where he could be of some help to the insistent terriers. We all still find little bits of thorn in our skin.

We walked a stream near Town and hunted the Natural Instinct Gang. Many slips and holes but no luck.

After about an hours walking Dollie enters the earth and makes voice almost unhearable, she is so far in. After about 1 1/2 hours working we have success.

This guy had to weigh at least 30 pounds. He sure did make Dollie look like a midget. But she is a giant in her dads eyes.

We sure did come away from that one feeling that we both earned our supper that night.

(a little note to those who don't know her, Natural Instinct Dollie is 10 1/2 inches tall and 9 1/2 lb. in weight. )

Today as we are walking a stream Petie is heard coming from under a large bunch of roots. We spend about 1/2 hour trying to find some way to be of some help to him and next thing we know he comes out where he went in. We quickly pick him up as we are not feeling up to a great task today and continue on downstream. About 100 yards upstream Petie looks at us as if to say what is the problem with you and heads back like a bolt of lightening.

By the time we arrive Missy our 9 month old is just disappearing from sight, well needless to say we did the great task and about 1 1/2 hours latter this hunt was finished

We go for a walk down by a stream and Natural Instinct Twiggy enters an earth and starts giving voice. Inside there is a raccoon. We leave the earth and continue upstream and Twiggy can be heard giving voice up the embankment, We go up to a tree and twiggy has entered and came back out looking a little confused. I check around the tree and see nothing abnormal so I tell her to get it. Twiggy not being one to disappoint dad renters the tree and give voice meanwhile getting closer to her quarry, all goes silent and twiggy comes back out with a nose decorated with Porcupine quills. So much for pleasing Dad, We retreat to the van and spend the next little wile extracting the quills.

Twiggy then returns to the field and hunts enthusiastically and in about 30 minutes she has located another set.. She works this one flawlessly netting another 3 raccoons. This 9+ month old pup sure is a delight to work with.

We take Twiggy and her littermate sister Missy out for a walk in the hardwoods. These wonderful pups are giving it 100 percent and we find nothing i the earth as it has warmed up to about 45 degrees. We do however end up at a derelict barn and Give the pups a go in the old strawmow. Twiggy keeps trying to get up on the sidewall beams so Dad does a scan of the beams to find no quarry. Dad encourages the pups in the tunnels in the straw and twiggy sniffs them but returns to the sidewalls. Dad calls Her back to the holes and she enters three different sets to come out the other side. She then returns to the sidewalls and looks at me as if to say "I did your bidding now you do mine."I comply and look straight up. High above her, on a small platform was 2 Coons a snuggled in. They could beat dads eyes but not the nose and brain of this young terrier.

Feb 17/97

Today NI Radar and NI Dollie had their first hunts without Mom. We had a farmer request that we come and help him get rid of some pesty raccoons that where ruining his feed stored in the barn. Sassy 1 has three pups that are just over two weeks old so she has to stay home, time for Radar and Dollie to do it all by themselves. Well these young dogs (Just one week over a year) sure did us proud. They checked the barn out and disappeared down the inside of the roof line ( feed mow was full to the peak) and start making a fuss as they locate the raccoon. Dad goes just about crazy digging the bales out from under the roof and gets down to find Radar and Dollie both holding critters at bay. As Dad pulled bales out the Coon decide to get out of Dodge , Dollie and Radar concentrate on one while Dad tries to hold another while this is happening three others slip away. Well we do our job and finish the two and then guess what? These young pups Locate the Dashers and all tolled we end up removing Five ring eyed Pests from this Farmers Barn. It is getting dark and we have to go home for supper and baths but not before we are welcomed back anytime . We even had time to take a few pictures and if they turn up will post them on the Hunting Picture Page in a few days.

February 26/97

Yesterday we went to help a farmer get rid of the ring eyed pests in his barn. We really made this farmer happy as he helped us and we found 8 of these critters that where ruining his feed ( you should have seen all the manure and excrement on the top of his haymow good feed put in at great expense and labour ruined by these bandits. We found these in three different places in the barn and one of them was very mean to Dollie and turned her left lower incisors inside out. We had no choice but to remove the tooth. Dollie showed her true grit as this happened at the first locate and she never even slowed down all the time. This Farmer really likes the Natural Instinct gang and gave us a hearty farewell with a big "your welcome back anytime". We think it is just great to be able to help out these fellas that work so hard to supply food for us to put on our table.

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