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Discussion Starter #1
If you're interested in reading a short piece about deer recovery dogs.....
www.deersearch.org
scroll down to and click on Tracking dogs Message Board
upper left corner "After the shot" by Richard Smith

L & O
 

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Very interesting organization!

Is it possible that people could develop poor tracking skills, laziness, or iffy shots with the thought that they were just a phone call away from a good tracking dog?
 

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NJ,
Perhaps, but probably not often. Just because you know someone with a tracking dog that lives 10 minutes away that doesn't mean that they are home or that it is convenient for them to come help you find your deer.
Don't worry about the dogs owner developing poor tracking skills. I was in on dozens of recoveries or attempted recoveries before training a tracking dog. Since having a dog I've said several times to the dog...."there's no dam way the deer went that way" a minute or two later I would be saying, "Well, I be darned." A good tracker will become a better tracker when you work with someone that is a whole lot better than you.

L & O
 

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L&O,
I'm glad you posted on this topic. I'm getting a chocolate lab soon and plan on training it for deer recovery. I've read everything I can find on it (deer search and the troutbum's websites are the best) Do you have any other resources or tips that may be helpful in the training process? Thanks.

-GrizzlyBear
 

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I love watching my beagles work a snowshoe track, and I am constantly amazed at their abilities. Nothing better than watching a good tracking hound do it's thing. I had a male beagle that just passed away this spring that just couldn't pass up a fresh deer track. He probably would have made a good "deer recovery" tool.

On the subject of tracking though, one of my pet pieves is the poor tracking ability of some hunters, and the amount of deer some seem to lose on a consistant basis. A great dog would help, but it would be nice if some would make an honest effort at improving their own skills as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Grizz,
I don't know of any sources other than what are listed at the deersearch site.
I trained my 1st dog (we actually trained each other) before I ever heard of deersearch. I never used any blood. I used a deer leg drag with deer liver or heart rewards along the trail and at the end. Warm liver at the end of each actual recovery.
Labs are power dogs. Training your dog to walk when tracking would be a big plus. Even a beagle at the end of a leash can be a handfull when you have a flashlight in the other hand.
Save your deer blood.

L & O
 

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I guess my dog would qualify. We found a friends doe a few years back by going back with my puppy. She walked right from where we lost the trail around 30 yards to the deer that was in the tall grass.
She was gut shot and went around 150 yards. Lucy for him it was a large hole and she died quickly.
 

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When I hunted in Colorado several years ago, the guide used a shepherding breed for tracking. He rescued the dog from the pound, and it was awesome. I made a good hit on my mule deer buck, and the blood trail was awesome. We really didn't need the dog, but the guide wanted the dog to get as much work as possible. He let the dog loose, and it was barking on the carcass before we had the second lantern lit.

I also have a friend who uses his lab with good success when others ask him for help.

Dan
 

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GrizzlyBear:

Give careful consideration to training your lab for deer recovery. If that is solely what you intend to use the dog for, great.

But if you plan on using it for upland & waterfowl hunting, I would strongly suggest you not train it for deer.

Reason I say this is because labs have an exceptionally strong desire to please their master..... and once they figure out what you want them to do, they will try their darndest to keep on doing it. That is why they are so readily trained for so many different jobs: Hunting, seeing-eye dogs, drug dogs, search & rescue, & cadaver dogs.

Once that dog figures out that you want it to find deer, it will bolt on you every time you're afield & it comes upon fresh deer sign, and that happens quite often when upland & waterfowl hunting.

Any dog is going to get excited if you jump a deer: the scent, the commotion, & just plain curiosity. But if you tell the lab "no" when it does happen & tries to give chase, is will learn very quickly to ignore deer (and rabbits, squirrel, etc. as you encounter them).

Again: if you are acquiring the lab just for deer recovery, then I'm sorry for the long-winded rant. But if you intend to hunt with it, my advice is to forgo the deer training because you'll more than likely regret it down the road.
 

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The lab is going to be trained strictly for deer recovery. I do a little bit of upland hunting but not enough to sink the hours of training into the dog it would require to train him properly. I do however deer hunt quite a bit and it seems that every year out of all my friends that hunt the sorrounding area we seem to lose 1-2 deer. I am very excited about the chance to have the dog help out. I pick him up on Monday and he'll have his first trip to the UP by Friday. Thanks for the advice.

-GrizzlyBear
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Grizzly,
Your dog will be to young to do much this fall, but I would get him around every dead deer that you can. Let him chew on their legs or ears for a few minutes before you pull them up to the buck pole. Cut off a few legs from different deer and put a couple in your freezer. Once and a while get one out of the freezer and let your dog play with it.
Your lab might or might not want to run live deer after being trained for deer recovery. My beagle would find any deer that was dead, but she wouldn't have anything to do with a track unless she was given a sniff of blood or some other body fluid. I don't know why....I was just lucky. My shorthair will take off on a deer scent if he comes across one when we are out for some exercise, but he doesn't like to get out of my sight for much more than 30 seconds so he comes back looking for me and I just call him in and we take off in a different direction.
Some dog handlers have trouble with their dogs running live deer...some don't. It is something to be concerned about.

L & O
 
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