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Bella is a Southern Black Mouth Cur born September 2009.
(what the heck is a Southern Black Mouth Cur?)

We were fostering Bella for a soldier deployed to an "undisclosed location" in 2010, but when her soldier was seriously injured and then once recovered had to move to a "no dogs allowed" housing, Bella became our dog for good.

Bella is a true hunting dog and has the high energy and noise making ability to go with that, But she is also a very sweet natured dog who knows no enemies in her world and ADORES Rob beyond all reason.

Rob has trained Bella to be a Wildlife Recovery/ blood tracking dog she has a real natural talent for this job and is a fabulous natural silent tracker!

Bella and Diane have also attended Outdoor shows to promote Wildlife Recovery/Blood Tracking and have done some demo tracks and discussions, including one at a summer reading program at the local library for elementary grade kids.

Bella's Career Stats

Bella started her tracking career in 2011
a 4 track year
*A 1,000 yard minimal blood track she shared with Annie, on a buck likely a single lung hit that could not be caught up to.
(hunter has trail cam photo of this buck the next year)
*This was followed by a clean miss (same doe was shot dead shortly thereafter).
*Another uncatchable seen alive buck.
*and last a brisket creased seen alive doe also uncatchable.

a 5 track year with 1 recovery (20% recovery).
*She recovered a doe. photo
***Followed by 3 uncatchable no finds.
*And the final track was a fabulous no blood close to 1,000 yard track on a buck they did catch up to but was only superficially wounded and ran off very much alive much to Bella's dismay as the track was then called off.

a 5 track year with 2 recoveries (40% recovery rate)
*A fast buck recovery.  photo
*Followed by a rugged tough no find.
*Then an incredible track that involved THREE crossings of the Sugar River (with blood to prove each crossing) before the buck climbed a steep hill just ahead of them and the track was called off.
*This was followed by the now infamous 36 hour old abdominal shot buck where Bella got off her harness and completed the track on her own, sleeping next to the dead spike buck (which was found the next day with her tracks and body impression against the buck's body) and then involving a 58 hour search for her ending with Bella being herself recovered but in very bad condition.
Because of these injuries, Bella was unable to track for any of the rest of the 2013 season. (no photo of this deer)
*We did try her on a track of our own but the medications made her unable to smell well enough to catch up with the non fatal shoulder hit buck who had stopped to fight another buck and continue on beyond the 2 miles he had been tracked

a 7 track year with 3 recoveries (43% recovery rate)
*  photo * photo * photo

A 22 track year with 4 recoveries and 5 animals caught up to but not dispatched
(18+% recovered to the tailgate, adding the caught up to animals = 40+% resolved )

1.7 mile track1.9 mile track 2 mile track * track
track  photo * track  photo * track  *  track *  2.1 mile tracktrack  track  3.6 mile track1.5 mile track
* WINDY track * 1 mile track  photo * fog, rain 2.3 mile track * track tracktrack *  track  photo * 3 mile track *  track
We also did an
ACO track request for wolf hybrid shot by police, no recovery due to animal going on property I was not allowed to go on,

a 20 track year with 3 recoveries and one leg hit buck caught up to and seen but not dispatched.
(15% recovered to the tailgate, adding the caught up to buck =20% resolved)

track track  photo 1 mile track  photo
*  tracktrack  phototrack track
track *  4 mile tracktracktracktrack * tracktrack * track * tracktracktrack * track track

a 35 track year with 7 recoveries and one buck seen.
(20% recovered to the tailgate, plus the seen buck)

track tracktrack *  track photo *  track phototracktrack tracktracktracktrack  photo
track *
  tracktracktrack *  track  photo coyotes ate it tracktracktrack *   tracktracktrack
track track * tracktracktrack * track * track * track * track * track  photo * track  phototrack *  track  photo

a 38 track year with 5 recoveries
  4 taken later by hunters
  9 seen or caught on camera later in season
(13+% to tailgate + above 13 = 47+% resolved)

* track * track *track * track* track
**Bear, broadhead only in shoulder. Just confirmed hunters belief search only no track
*nofind buck confirming search only no track track *  track * track  Phototracktrack * tracktrack
*nofind buck 1"++ torrential rain, perimeter search no track
track * track  photo *track * tracktracktracktrack
*Recovery doe  bella air scented directly to it from truck photo
tracktracktracktrack phototrack *  track * track* tracktrack * track  phototrack * track
 * track (next day hunter found where another hunter had killed deer )Bella injured feet and could not track for the next several weeks
* track

a 31 track year with 7 recoveries
  1 taken later by hunter
4 clean misses (1 killed days later)
1 deer killed by coyotes 100 yards ahead of us
  4 seen or caught on camera later in season
(22+% to tailgate + above 10 = 54+% resolved)
* 1.5 miles track, *track  photo, *track, *track, *2 miles track, *track, *track, *track, *track, *track,
*coyotes killed doe 100 yards ahead of us! track,
*track, *track photo, *track, *track, *track photo, *track photo, *track photo coyotes ate it,
*track, * 2.8 miles track, * track, *track, *track, *track, *track, *track, *track, *track,
*tracka 2 miles trackb photo, *track photo, *track,
As of the end of the 2019 season, Bella's career total (9 seasons) was:
  167 Whitetail deer/bear tracks
  32 animals recovered to the tailgate (19++%)

  34 animals seen on track , seen later in season, killed by other hunters or on camera later
Both combined equal 66 tracks resolved ( 39+%)

2020 (at 11 years old)
40 tracks with 10 recoveries
3 killed by hunters later
2 clean misses
1 deer killed by coyotes 200 yards from where we had to stop
5 seen alive or caught on camera later
(25% to tailgate + above 11= 53% resolved)
recovery collage

2021 (at 12 years old- Bella's retirement tour)
37 tracks with with 11 recoveries
2 killed by hunters later on
2 clean misses
1 deer not recovered due to posted land issues
2 seen or caught on cameras later
(30% to tailgate + above 7+= 48% resolved)
recovery collage

As of the end of the 2021 season, Bella's career total (11 seasons) was:
  244 Whitetail deer/bear tracks
  53 animals recovered to the tailgate (21++%)

  52 animals seen on track , seen later in season, killed by other hunters or on camera later
Both combined equal 105 tracks resolved ( 43+%)

Bella has been a damned fine dog, not sure we will ever have another like her

Bella's final deer
bella's final deer
Scroll down through the pictures below to see Bella's tracking gear

To read our tracking log entries
see our Facebook page Working Class Canine

For an illustration of a Whitetail deer skeleton and arteries click here

For a photo of an alive high back hit buck click here

High back hit deer often stagger or drop as if dead or hit solid, but are not in fact dead or even dying assuming infection does not set in.

To read about Southern Black Mouth Curs click here

A video of a practice track in 2014

Working Class Canine Wildlife Recovery: Bella Practice Track from Rob Richardson Jr nhshedhunter on Vimeo.


bella 19m



bella 5mbella 8m

bella 9msit bella 9mstand

bella 17m

bella and annie

bellatrackingA  bellatrackB

bellagear    bellacollar
Bella's Tracking Harness is an adjustable Urban Trail Harness designed & made by Alpine Outfitters
Bella's collar is a modified lure coursing collar designed & HAND made by Big Paw K9
(we use this collar to walk her to the track start and from the track end)

unitydoea  unitydoeb
Bella's first recovery! Approx  450 yard track in the dark, about 2 hours after arrowed,
through some very thick overgrown clearcuts, thorns and brush

click photo for larger              

Southern Black Mouth Cur Information

Developed in the South and Western US back in the pioneer days, and registerable through UKC and also National Kennel Club

HEAD: Medium length, broad between the ears, more so in the male of the breed. Stop moderately pronounced, occiput visible. Muzzle should be of medium length, snippiness should be avoided.

MOUTH: Should be strong. Fangs should be thick, long and interlock. Flews should not be too pronounced.

NOSE: Well developed with relatively large nostrils, is always black.

EYES: Set apart, round and medium in size. Color of eyes may range anywhere between dark brown and yellow. Darker preferred, with a thin black line on the edge of the upper and lower eyelid giving the dog an appearance of alertness and intelligence.

EARS: Should be of medium size, set high and back, standing slightly outward at base then dropping with a sharp bend to the side with front edge lying closely to the head. The back edge should stand away from the head especially when the dog is at attention, helping to contribute to the dog’s alert, intelligent look.

NECK: Strong, muscular, of fair length and slightly arched. A light amount of loose skin under the throat, but not to the point of being throaty.

BODY: Chest should be deep, wide and well sprung. Back of medium length. Rump should be set slightly higher than withers. Shoulders should be sloping. Front legs should be straight, strong, and set apart. Hindquarters should be well muscled and give the appearance of power and speed. Back legs should be set in a wide stance.

FEET: Should be large and compact, toes well arched, pads thick and tough, toenails thick and strong. Feet should be webbed. Hair on feet should be short and neat in appearance. Back dew claws, although not common, do occur and are acceptable.

TAIL: Of fair length and curved slightly. Should be held above the horizontal when dog is hunting or at attention. Tail should not be docked. Natural bobtail or half tail is not a fault, but should not be bred for as the tail is used for balance.

COAT: Golden-red is the predominant color. Red, reddish-yellow, yellow and light yellow are also fairly common. Red, yellow, buckskin or brown brindle; red or yellow ring neck (white tipped feet and tail with a white ring around the neck) and brownish red are other color variations.

May have white feet, white socks and white blaze. White should not cover more than one third of the dog’s body. Roof of mouth, gums, and flews should be black. May have black muzzle or mask. Brown, black and tan, solid black, and black ring neck are colorations that occur in rare instances in the breed. These colors are acceptable and within the breed standard, however these colors should not be bred for.

SIZE: Females: 19 to 23 inches. Males: 21 to 25 inches (measured at shoulder).

WEIGHT: Females: 50 to 75 pounds. Males: 60 to 85 pounds. Ten pounds lighter or heavier should not be a fault as long as the dog appears balanced.

FAULTS: Too narrow or a clumsy looking head. Hound’s ears, prick, or button ears. Eyes any color than brown or yellow. Weak mouth, undershot or overshot jaw. Too long or too short a neck. Body that does not look in proportion. Bowed front legs. Splayed feet. Flag tail. Long or curly hair. Merle, white or liver colored coat. Pink or brown nose. Pink roof of mouth.

From www.blackmouthcur.com  in regards to all types of Black Mouth Curs : "BMCs are by nature very loyal and loving dogs. They have an intense desire to please their owner. They also have a need to burn off energy through daily exercise. The breed has an excellent nose for trailing (finding scent in the air) or tracking. (finding scent on the ground), making them an excellent hunting companion. When hunting, the BMC will also use his superb hearing, outstanding eyesight, and his memory of where he has previously found game. But a word of warning: the BMC has a very strong desire to please its owners, and this sometimes causes them to attempt actions that might endanger themselves, so an owner should be very careful what he asks a BMC to do.

These traits make a BMC an absolute pleasure to own when well-trained, but in the hands of an inexperienced, unconcerned, or uncommitted owner, their intelligence and drive can become very difficult to manage.

Breeding plays an important role in the temperament of BMCs, so selecting a reputable breeder concerned with both physical health and the personality of the puppies is of utmost importance. Different bloodlines exhibit traits differently, so question breeders about the strong and weak traits of their bloodlines.

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Frontier Rottweilers
Diane Richardson
P.O. 160
Georges Mills, NH 03751
(603) 558-9042

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