Avoid Getting Yarded – Around, Over, Through

Getting yarded is incredibly frustrating. The dog is on a hot scent and you get blocked by fallen trees or some other structure while the dog gets too far ahead.

A good hunter will be watching the lie of the land so they don’t get yarded, but sometimes it is not possible to avoid structure. You have to make a choice about whether you go around, over or through the structure.

The best option is the quickest. That gets you back after the dog as soon as possible. It may mean taking a long route around the structure. It may mean going over it. Something Cam taught me hunting six or seven years ago was that the other option is to go through it.

Cam demonstrated with his size 12s. He simply stamped the structure out of his way and kept moving. This is an important addition to any upland hunters playbook, and one that should be considered the moment structure becomes a problem.

It is another good reason to wear solid lace up boots. They smash branches and other structure better than gumboots.

The video above shows how frustrating it is to get yarded. I was hunting in some gnarly cover on the Tukituki River, which is not too thick but does have a lot of ups and downs and fallen trees that make it hard to follow the dog. I had to make a decision about whether to chase Mabo down to the river bank or go around a big fallen tree and try to meet Mabo on the other side of the tree. I chose wrong, and the bird flushed across the river. Annoyingly I hadn’t realised on the other side of the tree was a clear patch with a wide track down to the river so I could have got around the tree and down to the river pretty quickly.