Dogs have been a part of the hunting scene spanning back centuries, and have always played a major role in helping human hunters in pursuit of their prey. Usually you will see dogs in fox hunting but they play a fundamental role in deer hunting as well, and usually they are better than going out on a hunt on horseback.
However, like anything it takes time and practice in order to properly use a dog on a hunt. If you go in blind you are only going to get frustrated and angry, and end up going home empty handed.
It’s not just the hunting aspect that it’s good to have a dog by your side either, there are also other benefits in getting a dog for your pursuits into the wilderness which we are going to look at below.
Take a chair, grab a coffee and let’s look at how you can start hunting with dogs.
Deer Hunting With Dogs: Tip 1
Firstly it’s not just about hunting as we said in the introduction; dogs can help you in many other ways as well, in particularly when it comes to survival which is the first point in our article that we wanted to chat about. You see getting lost in the wilderness when you are hunting is quite an easy thing to do because your concentration levels are primarily focused on the deer you are tracking down.
Therefore, it’s easy to lose track of where you are especially if you aren’t equipped properly. Even if you have all the equipment you need having a dog to lead you back to safety or a landmark where you know you way back from can come in very handy.
The second thing about taking a dog with you on a hunt is that dogs have senses that are stronger than ours, it’s in their nature to track and pick up on scents so choosing the right dog for hunting deer can help you save time.
Deer Hunting With Dogs: Tip 2
The second thing you are probably asking yourself or hoping that we cover is what breed of dog is best for hunting deer, after all there are so many different breeds of dogs to choose from. This prt of the process is critical as choosing the right dog is the difference between a successful hunt and a disaster.
There are three types of dogs, these are:
Each has their different pros and cons but in general gun dogs
and hounds are usually the more popular breeds to choose from when it comes to hunting. Generally speaking gun dogs are favored for more for game that tends to hide or camouflage itself while hounds are better equipped for game that runs.
For deer, usually a hound is your best option and you can either pick a running hound or a tree hound such as a Bluetick or a Foxhound. Both of these larger breeds will do the job for you but Beagles and Bassets will equally offer a successful hunting experience should you choose a smaller hound.
Deer Hunting With Dogs: Tip 3
The third point we want to alert you to is that you need to make sure that the state you are hunting allows the use of dogs for deer hunting. You would be surprised at the amount of states in the US that prohibit the use of hunting deer with any type of dog. If you neglect to research this valuable information than expect to be hit with huge fines or in some cases your dog will be put down.
Before venturing anywhere (even you own state) make sure you check and double-check the hunting laws to see if it is legal to take a dog with you when hunting for deer.
Deer Hunting With Dogs: Tip 4
Training. The major keyword we need to look at when it comes to taking dogs on deer hunts because without it you are wasting your time. The best advice we can give is to take your puppy on hunts with you so it learns from a young age. Not only will this make them comfortable with the environment but it will help them adapt each time they are with you.
Once they start to grow its then time to start training your dog to chase targets, whether you use decoy dummy animals or any other methods you prefer this will help them pick up that hunting instinct for when the big day finally comes.
The other tip is to use an electric collar during the hunting experience, the electric collar is quiet so it won’t alert or spook any deer on the hunting ground but it will also help your dog to understand when it isn’t obeying a command, and again this will help them in the long run and offer that important training aspect so that they can be a more successful aid to you rather than a hindrance.
Extra Tip: Gun Sounds
If you are out during the gun season don’t forget that you need to make sure your dog is comfortable with gun fire and doesn’t go running miles at the sound. If your dog gets spooked esily then it will be no good on a hunting excursion. Therefore, at a younger age get him used to loud noises. You don’t have to start off with a gun, you can start off with a loud clapping off your hands if need be to gradually get the hunting dog comfortable with loud noises, until you are happy to work your way up to a gun blast.
The younger you introduce this to your dog the better they will accommodate the sounds and the better they will be as a hunting dog for you. Also, make sure that the loud noises you make are associated with an enjoyable experience otherwise you may find that your dog shies away from the sound if it relates it to something bad.