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Old November 16, 2019, 05:36 PM   #1
Mainah
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Hunting Deer with Dogs

I just moved to North Carolina from Maine, and this concept is new to me. I understand how dogs can be really useful with game like birds, coyote, and bear. But I'm curious to learn about how dogs can be useful in hunting deer. Back in Maine I had to worry about my dogs being shot on sight by a warden if they were spotted running deer. How do you line up shots. and what happens if the dogs catch the deer?
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Old November 16, 2019, 11:56 PM   #2
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Back in Maine I had to worry about my dogs being shot on sight by a warden if they were spotted running deer.
Same remedy followed here during deer hunting periods.

Although my Grandpa used a dog for the same purpose. Dog's name was Bruno. A waist high mongrel hound. Gramps would set the dog in place. (told to stay) Then the old gent would back out those woods and circle out front re-position himself in good shooting place. Than blow his starter whistle loudly every so often. Dog would nose back & forth on the run until he pick-up scent and chase that deer to its Masters position and stop. Being a one person hunting party I was told "Gramp's seldom showed up latter in the day at the kitchen door without bloody hands and knife. Dog was given the liver and nothing else of the deer.
Eventually Bruno the dogs driving services came to a end as he was kicked in the head by a deer {as told} and died a few days latter from his horrific injury.
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Old November 17, 2019, 11:09 AM   #3
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I realize that many a deer drive has been successful but When I lived in East Texas in the 80’s I asked a local as it was legal in some counties still. It may still be. I was told that it was more of a social thing than a hunting thing. It involved a lot of alcohol, old guys, fixed positions with a lot of creature comfort, and not a lot of shooting. There was a lot of “that’s ‘ol (insert dogs name here) by the creek next to the church, should be coming by Jimmy’s house in a little bit”.

I suspect this may have been this particular groups way of doing it and not the norm. And There wasn’t a lot of expectation of killing a deer. There was an expectation of a hangover the next morning.
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Old November 17, 2019, 11:21 AM   #4
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I detest dawg hunters. Huge problem here in MS. They will turn their dogs loose on a 100 acre tract that they have access too knowing full well that their dogs will soon range outside of their tract. They try to justify it by saying "dog's can't read boundry signs". Top it off by the fact that they'll line up along a country road on the pretense of "trying to catch the dogs" but all the time they are holding loaded shotguns waiting for the deer to come by them.

Add to that the fact that dog hunting gives you zero opportunity to assess the deer itself. If it's brown, it's down. No chance to judge whether or not it is a mature deer so you can practice any kind of managed "harvest".
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Old November 17, 2019, 01:01 PM   #5
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I've only hunted with dogs once. On a hunt with a friends family in Mississippi. I went into it thinking I'd not like it, but in reality was much different than I expected. We had to access an island by boat, all the hunters were positioned near the end of one the island and the dogs, beagles, were turned loose on the other end. This was a pretty big island, several miles across.

Beagles ain't exactly going to chase down a deer. I saw many does and young deer, but no bucks. And it was buck only. None of the deer that I saw were running. But they were all walking away from the dogs, feeding as they moved. Occasionally they would look back toward the dogs and when they were close enough to hear them would move on.

It's not something I'd care to do on a regular basis. But I don't regret the time I went.
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Old November 17, 2019, 01:52 PM   #6
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Getting informed !!??

Quote:
But I'm curious to learn about how dogs can be useful in hunting deer.
A number of years ago, I started hunting in Alabama. Prior to going down there, I was informed that they hunted deer with dogs. I have to admit that the idea kind of took the "shine" off Alabama hunting. Once I started hunting down there, I got more informed and eventually got a new perspective and was more receptive to this kind of hunting. Hunting those woods is completely different than hunting, in the Midwest. At that time, it was estimated that there were 25 deer per square mile, in "mostly" unbroken woods, for miles. ……

I teach Hunter Ethics and in my book, legally running deer is just as ethical as running rabbits. ……

Be Safe !!!
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Old November 17, 2019, 02:56 PM   #7
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Before moving to Co 1977 we live Ca and we used dogs, blacktan and redbone hounds. Was so much brush northern part you couldn't walk thru it.
They use dogs on bear and lion back then.
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Old November 17, 2019, 02:59 PM   #8
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When I was a kid (teenager) in NE Louisiana, dogs were often used for driving deer. It was extremely exciting. I have no idea if it was outlawed later or if folks just quit raising dogs for deer hunting.

About that same age, or a bit younger, the town Marshall where I lived had beagles trained for rabbit hunting. Those big Swamp Rabbits, and the occasional cottontail rabbit, were in thick supply. He’d take me, and other town kids, hunting with him sometimes. I had my trusty 410 single shot.

Hunting with dogs back then was done on large tracts of land (plantation size), so it wouldn’t have been done on the small tracts like folks have here in central Texas, where I live now.

Was it ethical? The thought never crossed my mind. It’s what people in that time and place did. Would I like to experience it again? Probably not the deer hunting, but the rabbit hunting was wonderful, and I’d jump at the chance to do it again.

If forced to rank hunting in order of enjoyment, I’d put rabbit hunting with good dogs right up at the top with hunting Bobwhite quail.

Ahhh, to be able to go back in time...
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Old November 17, 2019, 08:44 PM   #9
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I grew up in Maryland. Lived/hunted in WV, VA and now PA.

We see a dog chasing a deer, your looking at a dead dog!
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Old November 17, 2019, 11:20 PM   #10
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That is interesting I have heard of guys claiming their dogs would drive game back to them but I never understood how they did it I would think a deer would be gone out of a area and not be able to be turned by a dog
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Old November 18, 2019, 02:27 AM   #11
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dogging deer

I've lived and worked in 3 states that allowed dogging deer, and 'Bama still does, though it's restricted a bit to certain counties and still allowed in the county I reside. There is a very heavy tradition of deer dogging in the South and those that hunt this way are very serious about the hunt and their hounds. Very often it is a social hunt, a "party" hunt, meaning that all who are involved will get a portion of meat from the kill. But in most of 'Bama, dogging deer is on the decline, largely due to the decrease of land/acreage that doggers can legally access......the rise of private hunt clubs have created boundaries and legal issues that did not exist as little as twenty years ago.

Deer pushed by hounds will run terrain features,, ie a saddle, draw, bench, or ridge top, that sort of thing. It is common to post standers on such crossings before the hunt, then the hounds will push the deer past the standers. In areas that have been dog hunted by generations, these crossings are well known, and doggers can take a significant number of deer. Shots are often close and on the run, and semi rifles and pump and semi shotguns with buckshot or slugs are frequently used as well. On flat land, timber roads and ROW's, breaks in the cover, are stood off, often with multiple standers at safe (sometimes not) intervals, and the deer are pushed across these openings. It is also not uncommon to shoot a deer on a crossing that is not being run by your partie's dogs. In that instance, if done traditionally, the animal is usually divided accordingly with the other group and dog owners.

Dogs can loose a deer if it takes to the water, or runs among other deer and holds, and the dogs take off after a different animal. Deer hounds often get out of hearing, and doggers spend a lot of time collecting their dogs sometimes for days afterwards. It is not uncommon to see a couple of pooped hounds layed up on the side of the road waiting for daddy to roll by and collect them. A hound will not "catch" a deer, but it does happen that a wounded or ultra fatigued deer will get "bayed up" in shallow water or against a blufff. The tone and tempo of the hounds change, and if heard, somebody will close and shoot the deer if legal.

Unethical deer doggers have given a poor reputation to the pastime. Hunters racing all over the countryside in ATV and 4wd, communicating by CB radio, attempting to get ahead of the chase, sometimes paid little attention to property lines and legalities of permits. It was also a common practice to drop hounds in closed areas, like parks and WMA's and other clubs, then stand off the boundaries and wait for the deer to be pushed out to those "legally" on the fringe of the property. Hounds helped in collecting cripples, but shooting to far with buckshot at deer out of range, and peppering them few pellets, led to bayed up cripples, not a clean kill.

All that is on the decline in 'Bama in my area. I don't think I heard a dog race in the past two seasons, even though hound hunting is largely legal on pvt land. But the season before that (3 yrs ago) the outlaws were at work. This bunch drove into a WMA on the last hunt of the year(open to hunting, but closed to hounds) dropped hounds at intervals, then stood off the boundaries in hopes of a shot. Infuriating.

If my Dad had a pack of hounds, I likely would be a dog man, but my Dad was a bowhunter, as am I. I've no problem with the sport, as long as done ethically and legally. BTW, there are quite a few dog deer hunts on Youtube by a a couple of posters in NC and SC.
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Old November 18, 2019, 08:15 AM   #12
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BTW, there are quite a few dog deer hunts on Youtube by a a couple of posters in NC and SC.
I've seen those. You frequently see them lined up all along the dirt road with shotguns at the ready.
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Old November 18, 2019, 08:20 AM   #13
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I've never hunted with dogs, and never will.

As far as ethics, I see no difference between hunting deer with dogs, or hunting birds, rabbits, etc. In either case you're shooting, not hunting. The dog is hunting.

Out here in the Rockies, a dog running game animals is a dead dog.
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Old November 18, 2019, 10:38 AM   #14
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"...dogs being shot on sight by a warden..." Deer chasing dogs are shot on sight by anybody, up here. Even if Fido is a cherished family member.
However, the dogs used, were it's legal, are trained and aren't just any old dog. It's more about Fido herding Bambi than catching him.
"...kicked in the head by a deer..." That's what happens when Fido catches Bambi. Bambi's feet are like axes. Usually fatal a lot faster than a few days.
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Old November 18, 2019, 11:25 AM   #15
603Country
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In this day and time, using dogs to hunt apparently seems to be a bad thing and unethical. Blah, blah, blah.

I grew up in NE Louisiana, near the Mississippi River, and in the lowlands. I believe that the practice of hunting with dogs goes back more than a century. It wasn’t for sport, but for food. A few years ago, when my folks were still alive and in their mid 80’s, Mom loaned me a book that was precious to her. It was by a woman that I had met when she was very old and I was very young. She owned a Plantation, and you’d think she was rich, but in the early 1900’s they hunted for food. During the Great Depression they were always in a search for food. They hunted squirrel, rabbits, deer, Turkey, fish, and even turtles. Until I read the book, I had no idea how difficult it was to have enough food. They didn’t buy food. They hunted it to survive. It was amazing to me how much of the book focused on finding food.

One of the woman’s favorite guests was General Chennault. She played tennis with him and they hunted together. She said he’d fly over from Barksdale Air Base in a fighter plane, in the 30’s, and practice gunnery in the lake behind her Plantation home.

So, hunting with dogs had a reason back then, but didn’t fade out in that area until my youth in the late 50’s and early 60’s.

And...on rabbit hunting, if you never experienced the thrill of listening to the beagles track a rabbit, you have not lived. We’d usually get two or three big Swamp Rabbits per hunt. Not exactly stripping the woods of wildlife. And spare me the talk on ethics. Is hunting a few rabbits with beagles any worse than raising rabbits in a cage and knocking them in the head for the dinner pot?
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Old November 18, 2019, 11:39 AM   #16
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Be Legal and Ehical !!!

Legally the use of dogs in hunting "any" game animal, is regulated by each state's DNR. …..

On the subject of hunting ethics, That is up to your personal Hunting Code and we all have one, even the anti-hunters.

Are there abuses? You bet !!!!

Be Legal and;
Be Safe !!!
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Old November 18, 2019, 12:24 PM   #17
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Ethics are a funny business. I find it interesting that the same set of ethics that would vehemently condemn hunting deer with dogs would allow the unconditional support of gunning down of someone’s pet, no questions asked. What a sense of pride being on the right side of set of ethics entails. Rightly earned.
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Old November 18, 2019, 02:38 PM   #18
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That is interesting I have heard of guys claiming their dogs would drive game back to them but I never understood how they did it I would think a deer would be gone out of a area and not be able to be turned by a dog
.

Its amazing what a dog can be taught. I was station in Germany and hunted there and owned a German hunting dog. The Germans use dogs to move game during drive hunts. In 2001 after retirement, I returned to Germany and had a number of invitations to hunt in East Germany. These hunts were on very large tracks of government land, 10,000 to 15,000 acres. Hunts were managed by foresters and consisted of 80 to 100 hunters with CF rifles who would be put on stands and told they could only shoot in specific directions, there where also up to 80 drivers with dogs, plus many hunters had their own dogs that were released 30 minutes after the hunt began.

My friend had to work the first morning of a hunt. He gave me his dog to hunt. My instructions were; I would be place on a raised stand before 8 AM, the hunt would begin a 8 AM with blazers blowing their horns. At 8:20, blazers would blow horns to stop the hunt for 10 minutes, during this time hunters with dogs will get out of their stand to turn their dogs lose to hunt. My friend told me to released his dog at that time, that the dog would go and hunt and would return to me about 11:30 to 11:45, prior to the hunt ending at 12 PM. At 12 pm I could get out of the stand and put the dog on a leash.

Well once I turned that dog lose it took off on a run, I never expected to see it again, especially since it wasn't my dog. Low and behold, about 11:40 the dog returned and laid down under my stand. At 12 PM, the blazers blew their horns ending the hunt. I got down and leashed my friend's dog with great respect.
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Old November 18, 2019, 04:25 PM   #19
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Yeah I have heard some crazy stories about German hunting dogs
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Old November 19, 2019, 01:30 AM   #20
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When I was a kid and my folks had a place out in the country, one day I asked my mother to keep the dogs in the house because they tended to chase off more deer than they helped. So about an hour later, I was in tucked into a brushy blind I had set up way up on a hill. What did I see buy my 2 dogs following my exact path up the hill followed by 2 of our goats. Needless to say I didn't see any deer that day...

Tony
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Old November 19, 2019, 04:48 AM   #21
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in Oh, Va, WVa, Ar, and Al. during deer season roaming dogs got shot, no questions asked. hog hunting was done only after deer season was over, that's when dogs were used for hunting.
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Old November 19, 2019, 07:26 AM   #22
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I'm not a fan of dog hunting. Nothing ruins a nice still hunt like a pack of dam dogs running deer, they always spook the deer even on your property. Like it was mentioned, the dumb dog does not know where their property stops but to make things worse the guys will "go looking" on private property for their dam dogs, gun in hand.
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Old November 19, 2019, 08:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
I detest dawg hunters. Huge problem here in MS. They will turn their dogs loose on a 100 acre tract that they have access too knowing full well that their dogs will soon range outside of their tract. They try to justify it by saying "dog's can't read boundry signs". Top it off by the fact that they'll line up along a country road on the pretense of "trying to catch the dogs" but all the time they are holding loaded shotguns waiting for the deer to come by them.

Add to that the fact that dog hunting gives you zero opportunity to assess the deer itself. If it's brown, it's down. No chance to judge whether or not it is a mature deer so you can practice any kind of managed "harvest".
Legal here in Florida and I agree with your assessment. Besides, getting that deer's adrenaline running through its veins means the meat is not going to be the tastiest it could be. I understand the principle - sending dogs into thickets so dense a human would have a hard time getting through; but after learning to hunt out West where you actually had to go after the deer, using dogs is not my thing.
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Old November 19, 2019, 09:18 AM   #24
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That is interesting I have heard of guys claiming their dogs would drive game back to them but I never understood how they did it I would think a deer would be gone out of a area and not be able to be turned by a dog
Quote:
Yeah I have heard some crazy stories about German hunting dogs
I've owned what are called "Versatile" hunting dogs for over 40 years. "Continental" breeds, bred to hunt fur and feather. Many have the drive to hunt deer just as deep as their drive to point Pheasants. Easily trained out of them in most cases. Things with the "continentals", is that they are not a exceptionally fast dog, and that works to their advantage. Like rabbits, deer will circle back to where they were first kicked up. One Drahthaar I had was exceptional at running deer until he was trained out of it. He could scent a bedded deer from a distance I never believed, and could not be called back once he took off. The secret was to go to where he had flushed the deer. Sometimes took ten minutes or so, but eventually the deer would come back running slowly, to the exact spot it was flushed, occasionally stopping to see if the dog was still following,(would have been an easy shot) with the dog hundreds of yards behind trailing by scent....not sight. When the dog got close, once called, he would come back wondering what he had done wrong. Eventually the dog was broken off deer and never paid no mind to them again, but how well that dog could do that with deer made me realize how folks with good deer hounds enjoyed the hunt....and how effective a good deer dog could be.

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Old November 19, 2019, 09:32 PM   #25
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Here in MS we have two seasons where you can use dogs. Both on public and private lands.
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