View Full Version : Huntin'n'Dawgs

Art Eatman
November 30, 2001, 12:12 PM
This is a spin-off from the ATV thread.

A problem I've watched for around a half-century of "adult awareness" here in this country is the "If some's good, more's better!" philosophy. I don't care what it is--car racing, competition shooting, SUV design, college/pro football. "More!" "Bigger!" And all that sort of thing.

Used to be, a few guys would take a few dogs and go out at night, coon hunting. They'd build a fire and sit around, listening to the dogs. It was no great problem for most folks, because the population was less; fewer "exurbanites" with their "five acres, five miles from town"; and it was not a really regular occurrence.

Dogs were traditionally used for deer hunting in the Carolinas and Florida. (Other states, too, of course, but to a lesser extent insofar as my reading has told me.) The cover was very thick, and it was common that shotguns were preferred. Overall, not all that many people hunted, with or without dogs. You must remember that for many "dog-hunters", the meat was important--much moreso than in today's world.

That has changed. I once drove Highway 98 below Tallahassee, Florida, on the opening day of deer season--and the highway was lined with trucks, waiting on the 12-Noon "Start". That struck me as a less than desirable situation--to put it mildly.

The fact remains that hunting with dogs has been going on for thousands of years. Once again, it's not dog-hunting as such that's a problem. It's how it's done, and how many do it.

Suggested reading: "The Voice of Bugle Ann"; and Robert Ruark's "The Old Man And The Boy".


November 30, 2001, 01:22 PM
I too, think something has to be said about deer hunting with dogs. If you've ever lived around it, it can be a disgusting spectacle.

It's grown into a lazyman's way to hunt. Laws around here say that the 'hunter' has to be 75 feet from his truck before he can load the gun, but I have yet to see a man more than 20 feet from his vehicle.

"Hunter". That's a funny term when talking about these guys. The dogs are hunting, the guys are just waiting by the side of the road to pick them up and cram them in a cage.

Now I can understand when a guy relies on his 3 deer to get him through the winter. Hell, I know I do; but the farce begins when most of the guys around here have bagged 10, 12, I've heard as high as 15 been accounted. That's the reason they have to form these 'hunt clubs' - to be able to justify to the warden the amounts of meat that were harvested. I know a lot of guys that buy their tags and don't get one day's hunt in, but their tags get mysteriously filled.

Those dogs, most of the time in packs of 20 or more, go crashing through the woods howling and push two or three groups of deer right out into the road for the 'hunters'.

I've seen it, and even though I'm an avid hunter, I had to turn my head. I can only describe it as like having to watch your father getting the crap beat out of him, and being too small to jump in and help. Ya, that's about right, that's exactly the feeling I had.

10 deer appearing from the woods running faster than I've ever seen, a pack of 30 or so dogs hot on their trail, and as soon as the deer were 40-50 yards from the road, 15 hunters open fire like the opening of D-Day. As the deer would tumble down onto their front legs from the shots, the dogs would run up and try to mangle any downed deer. The deer were forced to lie there and take it until the shooting subsided enough for a few of the hunters to jump into their trucks and drive, yes- I said drive, the 40-50 yds into the field to finish them off.

Lowest moment of humanity I've ever personally witnessed. And to think I actually thank every deer out loud to myself when after a long, lonely, sometimes painful day in the woods of trying to find one, I actually get to shoot one. These guys make it a carnival game.

:mad: RRrrrrrrr! I'm starting to blow a friggin gasket here just writing about it. I'll drop off and maybe pick this up later.

November 30, 2001, 02:02 PM
It's illegal to use dogs for deer hunting in Ohio. Is that just a southern thang? The dogs running deer around here normally preceed the deer in death..or follow shortly afterward. Now bunny beagles are a different matter entirely ;) .

Art Eatman
November 30, 2001, 04:01 PM
yankytrash, you're sorta proving my point of "Bigger!" "More!" and all that.

Consider folks who, say, walk into a hunting area, and set up camp some miles from dwellings. Three or four guys, with at most a half-dozen dogs. They've gotten landowner(s) permission, and know the territory from squirrel hunts, fishing trips, whatever.

One guy may look for a trail, and set the dogs onto deer sign. The others take known positions and wait. A doe or three pass by, and then a buck, which is shot as a clean kill.

That sort of hunt sounds like a lot of fun, to me. The idea of many tens of hunters, and hundreds of dogs, just really sounds like a case of suckitis.

As with ATVs or anything else, it's less what you do than how you do it. Mutually agreed-upon seduction ain't the same as rape.


November 30, 2001, 06:20 PM
The passage below is from a book written by a distant relative of mine about another relative (Sophonia Hoffman). Kind of a neat story...I think. Her great great nephew/cousin or ? carries a knife and has a passion for deer as well.

“Mrs. Page doesn’t claim to be much of a hunter but still she proudly boasts the fact that she has killed three full grown deer during her lifetime. All three of the deer were killed when she was only a girl. She aided dogs in drowning them. One time she jumped into the middle of a stream to help her dogs out when the deer in some way struck her and gave her a ‘powerful good baptizing.’ At another time she waded into a pot-hole with the water to her neck and helped the dogs to drown one of the fleet- footed animals.

“Perhaps her most exiting chase was when she and three dogs ran a deer for 100 yards down the middle of Caney Fork Creek. Two dogs had a front leg each while another dog had one of the hind legs, and she had the other. Those who are acquainted with the headwaters of the Caney Fork can realize what a difficult task it would be to hold the hind leg of a deer while it ran 100 yards down the rugged old creek bed. When about half way down a brother yelled, “ hold on Sophronia, I’ll be there in a minute.’ She asked him, when he arrived, to take her hunting knife from her pocket and give it to her. But when she got her knife “ the poor thing was almost stiff because it was run to death.’ This lady hunter still carries a knife in her pocket at all times.”

From: “The Hoffmans of North Carolina”, Max Ellis Hoffman, copyright 1938

November 30, 2001, 07:26 PM
I can understand dog-hunting for rabbits. They need to flushed out of holes that wouldn't otherwise offer a worthy shot nor a way to get to the kill.

I can understand coon hunters with dogs. Anybody that's gone coon huntin at night knows what I'm talking about - it's a miles and miles of running through the woods in the dark. Probably one of the most physically intense ways to hunt, IMnot-soHO.

Now we come to deer. What, pray/tell, is the need for a dog in hunting deer?
Flush him out? What was he hiding under, a bus?
The excitement of not getting a good, clean shot at a buck that's charging at 30-40mph? Is that hunting, or is it a carnival game shoot-out?

I won't even bother with my personal views of the hunters around here that don't even get their boots dirty. That's too easy, and I hold on to the hope that not all the hunters are as lazy as the ones I witness.

I normally have a heavy respect for your opinions, Art, especially when it comes to advice on the hunt, but I'm not sure if you can sway me on this one.

Short of ATTICUS's quotes of Supercavewoman, it's gonna be a cold day before I feel that dog-hunting for deer should even be called "hunting" at all.

I get my share of meat every year, usually my normal 2 meat does and one buck, and I have yet to need anymore than a few quiet days in the woods to find it.

If you have a disrespect for 'loud' ATV's galavanting through the woods, how can a pack of howling dogs be any different?

November 30, 2001, 07:32 PM
"Short of ATTICUS's quotes of Supercavewoman" Watch it now Yankytrash, that "southern belle" was my kin. :D

November 30, 2001, 07:43 PM
I tell ya, ATTICUS, I thought my wife's grandmother was tough - 85 years old, splits her own wood, cuts her own grass with an old-timey push mower with no motor, no running water, kills strays with big sticks,......

You got her beat. I'd lay my money on your kinfolk.:D Sounds like like yer great great great aunt is one tough cookie. Glad somebody wrote a book about her...


November 30, 2001, 08:00 PM
Well, she was a teenager at the time of the deer hunts. But she was probably a tough old bird as well, as all of my great aunts were (most of them packed pistols and dipped snuff). It's a family tradition I guess. ;)

A friend of mine was telling me about deer hunting in Virginia. He said something about dropping red flags next to the deer carcasses and picking them all up at the end of the hunt? Sounded like everyone got multiple deer and they collected them at the end of the hunt. Have you heard of this?

November 30, 2001, 08:32 PM
I'm familiar with 4 of the major hunt clubs around here, and many big families that hunt together with dogs, and none of them use the flag method you describe.

That's not to say it's not done - this is a big state with a lot of rural county. The area I'm familiar with, where I live, basically surrounds the lower Chesapeake Bay region, sometimes called the "Tidewater" region.

I don' git much down lower Virginny much, I likes it oan dis side da rivah.:D

Art Eatman
November 30, 2001, 09:51 PM
yankytrash, I guess my mildness about hunting with dogs in what I described as a "proper" manner ties in to my notion that hunting is many things.

In large part, it ties me to hundreds or thousands of generations of forbears. I can sit around my campfire and think about how folks got their meat 500 or 5,000 years ago. I often wonder what jokes and pranks those folks made around their campfires, as "me and mine" do around the fire, nowadays.

Rabbits, squirrels, birds, deer: I see no difference between them, insofar as how they are hunted--given that it relates to ancestral needs and modern ethics.

I dunno. I'm certainly in accord with you in your earlier characterization of dog-using "hunters". I agree with you about those who want their hunting to be overly easy. I must say I question your use of the "need" of using a dog--you're using an anti-gun notion, there. :)

I gotta say most hunting dogs seem like much happier critters than the average poodle...:D


November 30, 2001, 10:43 PM
I hope he doesn't mind, but I'd like to steal a quote from Bottom Gun's thread in this same section of the forums:
I will not take a shot unless I'm certain of putting the animal down quickly and humanely. I do this because I respect the animals I hunt and have no desire to be cruel to them anymore than I'd abuse my own pets. I like animals.
That is probably the best explanation I can quote for my dislike of dog-hunting an animal that doesn't require it. I'm not anti, but I try to avoid waving death in front of the face of an animal before I kill it, when possible.

I have the upmost respect for the game on my plate. I'm not a devout Christian, but I thank God and the animal that gave his life for me before I slather him in Worchester sauce.:D

December 1, 2001, 11:28 PM
I've been deer hunting for 25 years and just 3 years ago started to participate on some dog hunting in south GA. The club I hunt has about 6000 acres and there is no problem with interfering with other hunters. I would equate it with a really big rabbit hunt. Someone mentioned multiple hunters blasting away at a herd of deer. That just does not happen in my neck of the woods any more than you have a bunch of hunters blasting away at a herd of rabbits. Due to the vast areas being hunted the standers are very widely spaced. I'd say a quarter mile minimum between hunters. Just like rabbit hunting it is a matter of figuring out where the deer may go when pushed by the dogs. People use dogs to hunt pheasants, rabbits, quail, squirrels and also deer. As long as it is done properly and legally, I see no problem. Good shooting, Weagle

December 2, 2001, 10:28 AM
Weagle: That sorta validates what Art said about bigger not always being better. Sounds like fun to me. I'm sure it's not easy hitting that running deer either.

December 2, 2001, 04:40 PM
I think most of these comments are coming from the '"I don't know, I don't care to know" crowd.

I dog hunt in central, MS where this type of hunting is popular. It is nothing like what have described as the lazy man's sport. You just don't turn out a pack of 20 or 30 dogs and then wait by your truck on the road to catch and jam them back into a box. It more to it than that. First, who's gonna feed 20 or 30 dogs 10 months a year to hunt them 2 months? About being lazy, what about the person making the drive? Someone has to lead the pack of maybe 4-6 dogs through the woods until they jump. This may take a mile or so. Nor our the dog owners lazy when they spend countless hours looking for lost dogs at night.

Who is going to drive their vehicle down the road or trail the drive is on to chance having it shot?

In our club we have well over 4000 acres to hunt so we rarely have dogs trail/run deer onto bordering property. When this does happen its not a great deal because our dogs are collared and easily returned or owners are called.

Unlike what some may believe we do not use rifles and we do not stand public roads, to much of a risk to people, no deer is worth that.

To be considerate of members in our club that don't dog hunt we
rarely hunt past noon.

As with anything there are people like those that ya'll have described, the bad apples and they ruin it for the rest of us.

December 4, 2001, 12:19 PM
I recently saw an article in VA's Fish and Game periodical about hunting turkeys! with dogs. That was a new one on me. I've heard of them being used on darn near anything that creeps or crawls-especially in VA. Given some of the thick brush country and the fact that VA counties east of Charlottesville seem to have some irrational fear that anything with greater range than buckshot will strike down their citizens, I can definitely see reasons for using dogs in VA. There just isn't really any other way to hunt some of the thick country. Busting brush is a joke-the deer will be gone before you're even in range. I can't hunt with dogs due to my lack of land (and dogs :) ), but I don't find anything ethically wrong with it.