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Deer hunters use dogs for tracking wounded deer or deer that have run on out of sight after a shot. The use of dogs for deer is growing in popularity and almost becoming a form of hunting in its own right!

Almost any dog can be used to track deer, but HPR breeds and Continentals such as the Bavarian Mountain Hound are very fashionable. At SACS, we see leggy fell-type terriers being used to very good effect (with the bonus of them doubling up as fox dogs, too), as well as traditional breeds like the Labrador.

Deer dogs are trained to follow a blood (or other scent) trail to locate the deer, and then to let their owner know where the deer is located (‘reporting’). This may be by barking, or by physically indicating the location to the owner. Some dogs can even tell their owner whether the deer is dead or alive due to a change in barking pitch, and we have heard of dogs that have different barks and behaviours for different species of deer. Deer dogs can also be trained to hold a wounded deer at bay (‘bail’) until it can be dispatched; usually though, the dog will be strongly discourged from tackling the deer itself even though the larger breeds are capable of killing a deer outright.

deer dog
deer stalking dog

Any addition to the hunters’ arsenal that improves deer welfare can only be a good thing. SACS supports the use of dogs for deer, and will always fight for the current legal status of deer dogs to remain as it is – without interference from Government and antis. Join us HERE to help us with our work.