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Tracking Deer II

Hello, My friends have indicated that they would like to see how well a dog could be trained to trail wounded deer. Many archery hunters are losing trophy bucks due to the fact they can afford to hunt but are not smart enough to take appropriate shots or track deer once wounded. Many of my friends own ranches that provide day leases to deer hunters and I believe a well trained dog could save them trophy bucks and money since a deer that dies in the woods does not require a tag. My question is solely about the most appropriate dog to attempt this with. I have seen labs do this to some degree of effectiveness but since I have the experts on line I would like to get a second opinion before branching off in a new direction. Without going into a great amount of detail the dogs basic function is to start trailing at the last visible blood trail and guide to the deer without any further duties. Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I would like to thank you in advance for your input.

An added note : I would like to stick with a dog that can be semi-obedient if that would not be to large of a sacrifice to the ability of the dog. - Dustin

Hello Dustin.

Trailing is a feat best left up to those that are made for it. That would be the hound group. When you add to this the "make an obedient dog" criteria you cut down the list dramatically but far from impossible to find. My suggestion would be to use a beagle. They have been used very successfully by many trainers as termite dogs, drug dogs, cadaver dogs, and accelerant dogs. They have a very pleasing personaity, are highly trainable, and have excellent noses.

I would study as much information concerning the above uses for beagles and the training involved as possible. There is plenty out there on the subject. use the existing knowledge to train the dog to search for the object you desire. In this case, wounded deer. I see that you are connected with a training academy. You will want to have this dogs obed trained to at least a cdx equivalent. Follow the procedures and i think you will be very pleased with the result. I would recommend a puppy form good hunting lines. Do not worry about him chasing rabbits. He will chase what he is taught to chase and disregard what he is taught to ignore.

keep me posted.

Terry Germany
JC&T Shooting Sports

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