Deer Tracking Dogs

bower4311

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This is in response to the start of an off-topic discussion on using dogs for tracking deer.

TRiley: 12 a year is awesome. Does he track all deer that get shot by certain close hunters or your own deer? Or does he only go on after they can't be found. The writer of the most popular deer tracking book John Jeanneney, says he is about 200 finds for over 800 tracks at the point where he wrote his second edition. Pretty cool stuff, but he has never been called to track a heart shot or jugular shot deer, just because hunters always find them easily. He has gone out on the hardest of the hardest deer to find, many of which are not critically wounded and finds 25% of them. Pretty good if you ask me. I'll be taking my dog on as many as possible, even ones that are confirmed dropped and most likely dead, just for training.
 

TRiley

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I get a lot of calls this time a year most times after they have looked and can not find the deer on there own. Sometimes It's when someone shoots a really big buck and backs out knowing it was a bad shot. I ask a lot of questions before I take the dog out so I can make a call as to how long we should wait before tracking. Shot placement, weather the size of the deer all go into it. If they are bow hunting I like to see the arrow if possible. You have to use your skills with your dog to be really good at it. Hunters often make the job much harder by walking all over looking for the deer. All they have to do is step in blood once and they are tracking blood all over. It can screw your dog up so I pick and choose which tracking jobs I take.
Deer shot in the heart only go about 30 yards not much to track there. If a deer is hit really well ( both lungs ) most times you find them with in 150 to 175 yards. A one lung hit can go mile if pushed. I guess what I am saying is 9 times out of 10 you will be tracking a deer because it was hit poorly. The most times it's gut shot.
 

TEEJ

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Yeah, typically, if its a good shot, the deer is where it was when it was shot, give or take, and if the hunter can't find the damn thing, its because the wound was not good enough to do it in quickly/was not a good shot.

Deer can lay down and hide, and I think some hunters don't seem to know that, and are only looking for that "standing deer silhouette" like they practiced on, etc....and walk right past the darn things. After they leave to get a tracker, the deer gets up and runs for daylight.

By the time they're back with a tracker, the deer's had quite a head start...and could have to ground again too, etc.

FLIR is really good for finding the hiders.

:D
 

bower4311

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I get a lot of calls this time a year most times after they have looked and can not find the deer on there own. Sometimes It's when someone shoots a really big buck and backs out knowing it was a bad shot. I ask a lot of questions before I take the dog out so I can make a call as to how long we should wait before tracking. Shot placement, weather the size of the deer all go into it. If they are bow hunting I like to see the arrow if possible. You have to use your skills with your dog to be really good at it. Hunters often make the job much harder by walking all over looking for the deer. All they have to do is step in blood once and they are tracking blood all over. It can screw your dog up so I pick and choose which tracking jobs I take.
Deer shot in the heart only go about 30 yards not much to track there. If a deer is hit really well ( both lungs ) most times you find them with in 150 to 175 yards. A one lung hit can go mile if pushed. I guess what I am saying is 9 times out of 10 you will be tracking a deer because it was hit poorly. The most times it's gut shot.

That's good stuff. Have you read any books on the subject? I did hours of research online, and then bought Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer, by John Jeanneney. It's amazing all of the information he has in there. The trouble I'm having right now is to get my dog to track blood and not anything else that walks by that he can smell. The books and online don't address it much, but coming from general dog training, I think I'm going to start on very small lines. Heavy blood for maybe 10 feet, reward at end. I'll do that multiple times per day, only extending the line as I feel fit. Once he knows he needs to look for blood, things will be easier because he is strongly motivated for tracking, I just need to narrow his tracking field. The only downside to that method is that he won't always have blood to track, but as a start, I need him to know to track deer blood and find the deer. If I do this on a few easier deer, he should pick up on the other scents they leave while they are wounded and running. Hopefully he'll pick that aspect up as we go with live tracks. But right now, he can struggle to want to stay on the line.
 

bower4311

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He's a Norwegian Elkhound, not a very popular dog but I rescued him and couldn't be happier. Bred for big game everything.



 
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TRiley

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I always start my pups out by dragging a deer liver lots of scent in a liver i cut up some chunks of deer liver and warm them up like a real deer kill and place them at the end of his trail. When that gets to easy I go to broom handle with a one inch sponge on the end then dip it in blood and mark every 3-4 strides. I use a harness not a collar and only put it on him when it is time to track. Now a days I train with and eye dropper and use about one once every 100 yards.
 

TRiley

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One other thing keep it fun for your dog don't let him get board I only run a tracking line once a week.Each dog is different my dog cares far more for the treats at the end than he cares about being told how good he is. Find out what makes him work the best and he will fall in love with tracking.
 

bower4311

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One other thing keep it fun for your dog don't let him get board I only run a tracking line once a week.Each dog is different my dog cares far more for the treats at the end than he cares about being told how good he is. Find out what makes him work the best and he will fall in love with tracking.

Yup, I'm working with him.
 

Frijid

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Isn't it legal in some states to actually hunt with dogs, as in chase the deer any everything? I could have sworn about reading something like that in a "field and stream" like magazine once. and i also read once someone had a patent to put a GPS thingy in bows to track deers that run off. not sure if it came to be or is still in development, but i do recall hearing that once. They also make some kind flashlight that helps blood show up.

For what it's worth, i've never had to track a deer, even a gut shot one. I've only used a 870 with slug when i'm in the mood for shotguns. when i don't use a shotgun, the 203 grain SP Russian made ammo i use packs a HECK of a punch. I could go into detail and tell you about one time what happened when i shot a deer with one, but it gets gory! (Mods probably wouldn't like it)

One thing where i've seen a lot of people mess up is they shoot the deer, and instantly go after it. It's best to wait at least half an hour. I had to help a buddy track a deer once. And instead of waiting for it to die, he just went right after it instead of just letting it die.
 
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bower4311

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Isn't it legal in some states to actually hunt with dogs, as in chase the deer any everything? I could have sworn about reading something like that in a "field and stream" like magazine once. and i also read once someone had a patent to put a GPS thingy in bows to track deers that run off. not sure if it came to be or is still in development, but i do recall hearing that once. They also make some kind flashlight that helps blood show up.

For what it's worth, i've never had to track a deer, even a gut shot one. I've only used a 870 with slug when i'm in the mood for shotguns. when i don't use a shotgun, the 203 grain SP Russian made ammo i use packs a HECK of a punch. I could go into detail and tell you about one time what happened when i shot a deer with one, but it gets gory! (Mods probably wouldn't like it)

One thing where i've seen a lot of people mess up is they shoot the deer, and instantly go after it. It's best to wait at least half an hour. I had to help a buddy track a deer once. And instead of waiting for it to die, he just went right after it instead of just letting it die.

It's not legal in New York to hunt with dogs. If it is in another state I don't now which ones. I know it's not popular in North America to have that. If you shoot enough deer between bow and gun, you'll get ones that you can't find easily. It's just a matter of time.
 

TRiley

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Yes, there are some states that allow you to hunt with dogs. Not all states will let you track wounded deer with dogs either. As to how long to wait before going after a shot deer I always wait and hour unless I see the deer go down if I am bow hunting I will go to the arrow if i don't like the way it looks I back out and come back later. Big bucks can go a long way if pushed And i chased too many in my younger days. These days I wait and give them time to lay down and die.
 

bower4311

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Yes, there are some states that allow you to hunt with dogs. Not all states will let you track wounded deer with dogs either. As to how long to wait before going after a shot deer I always wait and hour unless I see the deer go down if I am bow hunting I will go to the arrow if i don't like the way it looks I back out and come back later. Big bucks can go a long way if pushed And i chased too many in my younger days. These days I wait and give them time to lay down and die.

I'm lucky here in NY that you can put down wounded game any time of the day with any weapon during bow and gun. Some states don't allow that and trackers are forced to use spears which is very dangerous. I was able to get in contact with a local trainer that specializes in attack dogs, he has experience with working dogs and he is also trying to get into blood tracking with his APBT. He has a lot of experience with motivating dogs to do a task. APBT are not bred to attack humans so he had to train that. Same when he goes to track blood. My dog is an air dog first, blood dog second. I"ll be looking to reverse that order.
 
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