A good hunting dog can make deer hunting an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, hunting deer without a good dog poses a challenge. A deer hunting dog breed with a sharp sense of smell is especially useful in areas with dense vegetation, as they can track deer even over long distances. A hunting dog can be a great asset for practical purposes and entertaining to watch at work and witness its excitement when it finds a deer.
Several conditions should be considered if you are taking hunting deer with dogs. Here is a list of 6 things to consider before you go on a deer hunting trip with your fluffy friend.
Deer Hunting with Dogs: 7 Things You Should Know
It may be easy to overlook the importance of planning and training for deer hunting with dogs. Choosing a breed that will be effective at deer hunting, following safety guidelines, and being aware of local regulations are all important components of success.
1. The Best Breeds for Deer Hunting Dogs
There are a number of types of hunting breeds whose nature is prey-driven and who are instinctively attracted to tracking, pointing, and searching for their prey. The ideal dog for deer hunting will have a great nose and a lot of stamina. Several breeds of coonhounds excel in these areas, including:
- Bluetick Coonhounds
- Walker Coonhounds treeing
- Coonhounds with redbones
- Coonhounds in black and tan
- Redtick Coonhounds
Aside from Coonhounds, American Foxhounds and Plott Hounds are excellent deer dogs. For more information regarding the best breeds for hunting deers, we recommend checking out welovedoodles.com
If deer hunting is your primary objective, you may want to avoid certain hunting breeds. An example is the Bloodhound dog, which has a good nose and can run hard; however, it may not have the stamina to keep up with deer all day. The Dachshund is also an excellent tracker, although owing to its short legs, it may not be able to cover much distance. Lastly, Beagles are highly trained and popular with hunters, but they tend to avoid water, so you might want to avoid them if you are hunting in an area with water or wetlands.
2. Dog Training for Deer Hunting
You can make your hunting dog your best friend and hunting partner for life by properly training and caring for him. As soon as your hunting dog is a puppy, it should be trained. The best time for dogs to learn new things is during this time. Developing an effective hunting companion requires proper training and socialization while the dog is young. When training a dog for deer hunting, there are a few important steps to follow:
- Follow basic commands, such as sitting, staying, quieting, coming, dropping, and leaving.
- From an early age, expose your dog to the scent of deer so that they will become familiar with it.
- Partner your novice hunting dog with an expert dog to benefit from each other in the field.
- Praise good behavior and establish a reward system.
This method ensures the dog remains under control, which is necessary to ensure the safety of people and dogs. As a result, it provides both the safety of other hunters and the protection of wildlife.
3. Get Your Pet’s ID
Sooner or later, your hunting dog will be working off-leash. While it’s no secret that ID tags are extremely important, it’s still worth repeating. When you are out hunting with your dog, you will inevitably get separated from him at some point, so always ensure that he always has ID on him.
It is also advisable to look into stealth collars if you do not wish to be bothered by the “jingling tags” during hunting, as you can engrave up to four lines of information right onto the collar nameplate. There will be no more jingling!
The information you put on your dog’s hunting collar may even differ from that on his regular collar if you hunt in areas far from where you live. Consider providing a different emergency contact information, the address of your usual residence, etc.
4. Taking Safety Measures While Hunting Deer
Undoubtedly, hunting for deer with dogs is challenging, so you must ensure your companion is physically ready for it. Suppose you want to increase the endurance of your dog. In that case, you can exercise regularly and gradually increase the duration of your hunting excursions until it prepares for a longer day.
During hunting season, keep your dog hydrated by packing plenty of water, collapsible bowls, and snacks so that he will stay nourished and hydrated. Pack a well-stocked first aid kit and wear blaze orange clothing to prevent your dog from being confused with a deer when you take him on a walk.
5. In the Aftermath of The Hunt
There are a lot of physical and mental demands on your dog during hunting season. By praising and rewarding them for their hard work, you show appreciation for their efforts. Besides building confidence in the relationship, it also reinforces their positive behavior and encourages them to continue doing so.
After your dog has recovered, watch for abnormal behavior that might indicate an injury or illness. You should regularly examine your dog to prevent wounds, lacerations, and tick bites, and seek medical attention if you suspect he is not doing well.
6. Learn About the Wildlife in The Area
Depending on where you will be hunting or training, snakes, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes may be a concern at certain times of the year. Whether it is bears, mountain lions, elk, moose, coyotes, bobcats, etc., we should pay attention to large mammals, particularly carnivores, that we have no hunting experience. Plants should not be overlooked. Are there any poison ivy or Poison oak in the area? Both of which are extremely dangerous for the dogs.
7. Don’t Let Hunters Confuse Your Dog with Wildlife Animals
While your dog will be walking with you and, hopefully, you will wear your neon clothes, it is still possible that the dog may run away from you, and other hunters in the area might confuse him with a wild animal that may endanger his life. So please ensure he is as visible as possible.
For this purpose, you can use orange safety vests for your dog’s there are many available in different sizes for your dog. You can find an orange dog hunting vest online by searching for it. It is similar to a lightweight dog raincoat that fits over the collars and harnesses of your dogs:
Also available are wide collars in bright orange; even if you do not plan to use one daily, you may use it as a second collar during walks. Are you missing a safety vest or orange collar because you do not have one? You can use a bandana in a bright color, or you can make one yourself from a scrap of fabric.
You will have an unforgettable hunting experience if you carefully plan your hunt and take the proper precautions. So, remember these 7 tips when going deer hunting with your dog to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.