How to Train Dogs to Track Deer?

If you are a hunter, you know it well how frustrated it is to see your deer escaping away in front of your eyes even if you tried to make the shot perfect.

It takes hours sometimes to spot a deer at an affordable shooting range and when it leaves you empty handed, disappointment is the only outcome.

Well, have you ever thought of training your dog to chase a wounded deer? A well-trained dog can easily do the job for you.

How to Train Dogs to Track Deer?

Supplies to Prepare before Picking Up a Puppy

  • House or Crate
  • Indoor
  • Outdoor
  • Travel
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Dry Food
  • Wet Food
  • Canned Food

That’s why, knowing how to train dogs to track deer is exactly what you need, if you don’t want the next hunting season to be spoiled.

Dogs That Are Suitable To Train

Dogs have one of the best smelling senses in the animal kingdom. Due to their sharp nose, they are used by cops and for other detective purposes.

With the help of smell receptors of 225-300 million, proper training and motivation, your dog can become a pro in this field of tracking deer.

But not all kinds of dogs are usually prey driven. Some of their breeds are genetically ahead of others when it comes to tracking another wounded animal.

Lacy, Curs, Bloodhounds, Dachshunds, Deutsch Drahthaars, Walkers, Beagles Setters, and Bluetick hounds are the standout breeds that can be suitable enough to train for tracking animals like deer.

Prerequisite Tasks before Training Your Dog

There are few prerequisite tasks that you need to be concerned about before starting the training session for your dog.

Whatever breed of dog you own, it can be taught through repeated practice.

But, having a hound mix or purebred hound is mostly suitable for this job.

1.   Know Your Rules and Restrictions

There are different rules and restrictions in different countries and states in terms of chasing a wounded prey by your pet animal.

In some states, you can’t chase an animal by using your dog running freely, rather it has to be on a leash.

On the other hand, there is no such restriction to track the wounded animal.

Based on your state’s rules and restrictions, you have to train your dog to track deer that you will shoot.

2.   Start Early

Dogs can learn things easily in their early stage of life compared to older periods.

So, if you want your dog to be a tracking master, start training it from the age of 3-6 months old.

Try feeding your dog a necessary nutritional diet, so that it can grow up with the ultimate health condition required for hunting and tracking.

3.   Training Materials

Once you know the rules and you get your young aged dog, now it’s time to make the preparation for training.

There are certain materials you need to start the training session with your dog such as- deer blood, a training harness, treats, spray bottle, deer hide, squeeze bottle, beef liver, balls for dogs, leash, pieces of meat etc.

Methods of Training

There are several methods to train your dog to track the animal, but we will be talking about 2 most convenient ways to do it.

1.   Beef Liver Method

In this method, the very first thing you need to do is to make a trail of beef liver blood.

If you can manage deer meat on a regular basis, then using beef liver is not mandatory.

Just because deer meat is not that much available compared to beef one, so here comes the more available option of beef liver.

How to Train Dogs to Track Deer?

Once you fix your location, start with a short area to make a blood trail. At the very beginning, it would be hard for your dog to go for a long distance and track the final destiny.

So, gradually you need to increase the trail area.

After creating the trail, tie your dog with a harness and give him enough time to be familiar with the smell and beef liver by showing it.

Then make a line and place the liver at the end of that line to make your dog chase the smell to reach that piece of liver.

Every time he reaches the line to grab the piece, don’t forget to reward him with a treat.

Now, keep repeating the same process over and over again and increase the line length each time to make him get used to long distance tracking.

Once your dog gets used to the process, make it more complex by placing the trail a 90° turn.

With the time his tracking skills will be growing gradually. At this point, you might need deer blood and deer hide for spreading over the places, so that the dog can chase to the final destination of the line.

Now, as he knows the process from the beef liver method, you don’t need much deer meat as he got experienced.

If you can’t manage deer meat and blood, then you can use deer smell scent to continue the training session effectively.

2.   Hide and Seek Method

In this method, you need to mix some deer blood on some pieces of deer hide and let them dry for a while.

To make your dog familiar with the scent of deer’s hide, give him some to chew, play and even sleep upon.

Once, your dog gets used to it, take away the hide and conceal it somewhere in your house.

This will make the dog look for deer hide and every time he finds it out, reward him well so that he gets inspired when it comes to real life tracking.

Now, take your dog out in the woods and make a trail just like before with spray bottles this time.

To make the training session perfect, try to put a dead deer somewhere down the line that has been already hunted following trails.

You need to be patient enough while your dog is digging deep into the training session to get the mastery over tracking a wounded deer.

Final Words

A deer is a superfast animal which is pretty hard to hunt due to its swift and speedy motion.

Sometimes, professional hunters can’t even kill a deer with just one go. So, in that case, it’s a pretty good idea to use trained dogs to track wounded deer.

It might take months and even years to train dogs to track deer, but once your dog gets the skill learnt well, then your following hunting season will be full of super fun and thrill.


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