Unfortunately not every deer shot by hunters will be easy to recover. Maybe the hit was too far back or too high. Maybe, there is not much blood sign to follow. I learnt many years ago that there is still a very good opportunity to recover your shot deer by letting your dog follow the sign to your prize. Yes, this might sound weird, but a properly trained dog just might be the extra help you need.
Why can’t a dog be trained to follow the scent of deer blood? The answer is that he can. With just a few minutes each day in as little as one month, any dog, no matter the breed or size, can be trained to be a “blood-hound”. The trick is to train your dog to follow the scent of blood, not the scent of a deer. You do not want your dog chasing every deer it smells.
A dog wants nothing more than to make his owner happy. There is no question that a dog that is well cared for and treated with respect 365 days a year is more likely to perform well for his handler the few times you might actually need him. Compared to a dog that is not treated well.
Start the training by teaching the dog basic commands like stop, stay and slow. It is good to be able to control the dog while in the woods. After your dog has mastered these commands, it is time to start training your dog to trail blood.
I start working with my dog a couple of months before deer season begins. I use blood from a deer that was killed the previous year that has been kept in the freezer*. A couple of days before you are ready to start training take the blood out of the freezer to thaw. By the time season roles around two months later, the dog will be more than ready to trail the scent of blood.
A hunter has two ways to obtain the blood for training. Either from a previous kill, or blood obtained from a butcher shop. Drop the blood for a couple hundred yards or so along a trail in a zigzag fashion. Use more blood when you first start training your dog, than what you will use as the dog advances in his training. At first, you might have to use as much as two pints. As your dog gets better as a blood-hound a few drops every 7 to 8 yards is enough.
When starting out, use a short lead that is no more than 10 feet long to control your dog while on the trail. Keep your dog calm by rubbing him and talking to him in a gentle voice.
Allow your dog to smell the blood. If you have to put the dog’s nose down to the blood, do it. But be gentle. Repeat the command “search” a few times. Eventually he will be able to associate the word search with the smell of blood. Let your dog follow the blood trail while you control the pace. Do not let him run. A slow walk is best until the dog has trailing understood. Continue to follow the blood trail until the dog has a grasp of what it is suppose to be doing.
Just like when you take a young child hunting, do not let your dog get bored with the experience. If the dog is no longer having fun, he will not want to go back out and try it again. As soon as the dog shows that he is tired, stop for the day.
The dog has to know when he has reached the end of the trail during the training. Saturate a rag with deer blood to simulate a dead deer. Place the blood soaked rag at the end of the blood trail. When your dog finds the rag, reward him. Pleasing you pleases your dog. When he knows how to make you happy he will want to do it again and again.
Work with your dog 15 minutes a day for a month. By the end of the month your dog will be pretty darn good at the art of trailing deer. Two months of this and he will be as close to perfect as you can hope for. After your dog has been out of action between seasons, remind him of what to do by having him run a couple mock blood trails.
While on the blood trail, if your dog starts moving erratically, his tail is still and he stops smelling the ground, chances are that he lost the trail. Take your dog back to where you know there is blood and let him go at it again. When he begins to bark and growl, your deer is close by. Keep in mind that the deer still might be alive so be ready for a follow up shot.
While you are hunting, make sure your dog is well cared for. Supply your dog with a bed and blanket for comfort. Keep this in the floor of your truck while you are hunting. Your beloved dog is sure to be thirsty after spending time on the trail. Have water available for your dog when you return to your vehicle so he can quench his thirst. A dog that is warm and well rested will perform better when the time comes, than one that has been left in the cold.
This is a new approach to find a wounded deer. Other hunters may think you are little nuts at first. This will quickly change when they begin to see the results. It will not take long for your dog to be the most popular amongst your hunting buddies. Do not be surprised if your friends unexpectedly want to baby sit your dog one night shortly after sun set.
* Blood can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer up to a year.
Check out how this 14 year old dog finds a gut shot deer in just a few minutes.
It’s important to always know your target — and what’s behind your target. It’s also very important to never shoot at a deer that’s standing in front of another deer. The last thing you want to do is shoot two deer.
Sure, it’s possible that both deer might die if an arrow passes through one deer and travels into a second. But it’s also very likely the second deer would only be wounded and left to suffer, possibly to die a slow death.
So what if you have only one deer tag and you did kill two deer? Game wardens rarely have sympathy, even when it is accident. Check out what happens in this video.
In the end, a conservation officer was contacted, and both deer were tagged. This is a good reminder to always know your target, and what is beyond it.
Hunters all have their favirite wsy of doing things. Once they get accustomed to doing something a certain way, they’re not an easy group to change.
Even when it comes to hanging a deer.
This is true whether you’re talking about their hunting tactics or the ways in which they process their deer.
To hang a deer by its head or back feet? It’s a question that has had hunters arguing for ages.
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. Now, Outdoor Life addresses the pros and cons.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but what about a deer? A small minority of deer hunters get all their skinning and butchering work done at ground level, but the rest of us usually opt for a solid meat pole where we can hang our deer, tell lies, and sip a beverage while meat is made. But before the venison flag is raised, first you need to decide how to hang the deer. Is it better to hang the deer with its head up or hindquarters up? [continued]
If you’re like me, your treestand is hung in the tree just as it comes out of the box. No fancy gadgets or other fluff added.
But maybe we’re missing out on items that would make our hunt more comfortable. After all, a comfortable hunter can often stay in the woods longer. And we all know that the more time we spend in the woods improves our odds of shooting the buck we’ve been scouting all summer. Field & Stream has came out with eight simple and inexpensive add-ons to our treestand that could make your next hunt more enjoyable.
With $125 worth of easy add-ons and D.I.Y. tweaks, you can turn a favorite ladder stand, like my Millennium L220 ($400; millenniumstands.com), into a silent Barcalounger in the sky—comfortable enough to sit in all day and quiet enough to get the drop on the cagiest bucks. Whether you’re enduring a rainstorm or a freeze, these improvements will help keep you in the hunt for as long as it takes… [continued]
As hunters, we strive to achieve the most ethical and humane shot on animals as possible, as those shots will quickly put an animal down. Hunters debate whether to shoot for lungs or heart. I prefer the heart shot ,because any deer shot in the heart will go down very quickly, and stay down. As the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”
Watch as this deer that has been shot in the heart expires quickly.
This is humane and ethical shooting as its finest.
From the East Coast to the West Coast, and all points in between, hunters are finding “No trespassing” signs going up on the best whitetail hunting grounds. Just because woods have been “posted” does not mean we cannot hunt them. “No trespassing” signs simply mean that we must ask permission before we hunt. It might even be easier than you think to find hunting land.
It’s not uncommon that the behavior from past hunters has given the landowner a negative opinion of hunter and hunting.
Because of his lack of hunting knowledge, he has a neutral opinion about hunters and their passion. Whatever the case, it is your job to give the landowner a positive opinion about yourself.
Asking well in advance of deer season and being polite will go far in securing unpressured hunting grounds. When you approach a landowner, first impressions are important. Put on clean clothes, shake the landowner’s hand, and do not use profanity.
Respect — that’s first and foremost when you are interacting with landowners.
Below are seven more tips that will help you obtain permission to hunt on posted land. As a landowner, I’ve had all type knock on my door asking for permission to hunt my ground. Some were granted permission, others not. Follow these tips and you’ll likely get what you’re looking for.
1) REPORT YOUR EXPERIENCE: Let the landowner know your hunting history. Landowners feel more comfortable allowing a safe and responsible hunter on his property than one who is not. If you have taken a hunter education course, let it be known. Don’t hesitate to say that you are a safe, responsible, and ethical hunter. If it’s true, it’s not bragging.
2) LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACES: Look for areas where deer populations are causing problems. CWD, Lyme disease, suburban areas with high rates of deer-vehicle accidents, and farmers that are experiencing crop damage as a result of whitetails — these are all good places to look. Many people with problem deer in their area, more often than not, will be more than happy to have a few deer killed off their property each fall. UPS drivers, FedEx drivers, U.S. mail carriers, and school bus drivers are all good people to question about deer hunting possibilities. They travel rural roads and talk with landowners on a daily basis.
3) GIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION: Give the landowner a business card or an index card with your contact information. Include your vehicle description and the tag number of your vehicle. This will allow the landowner to feel safe should any problems arise.
4) LET YOUR INTENTIONS BE KNOWN: You’ll be more likely to obtain permission if the landowner realizes your harvest will provide your family with many healthy meals. If you plan to donate your kill to a program such as Farmer and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH.org), or any one of the local charities that are in your area, say so. Charity goes far in the hearts and minds of others. If possible, take a child with you when you seek permission. It is hard to turn down a child.
5) DO NOT STOP AT NO: This does not mean that you harass a landowner till you get the answer you want. If you are told no, thank the landowner for his or her time and move on to the next landowner. Eventually you will receive permission.
6) BE COURTEUOUS: Do not leave trash behind at your hunting or parking site. An empty bottle of cover-up spray does not look attractive on the ground. Close all gates that you open. Nobody wants to spend their afternoon trying to round up livestock because someone left a gate open. As far as I’m concerned, this next one is a big one. Do not take other hunters with you to hunt who do not have permission. When you secure permission to hunt, you are getting permission for yourself, not all of your buddies. Nothing will get you removed faster than bringing a whole platoon of hunters with you who did not obtain permission.
7) FOLLOW UP: when the season is over, share a couple of packages of venison with the landowner. Homemade cookies are liked by almost everyone. Send a thank-you note or a Christmas card. All of these little things will let the landowner know that you appreciate the opportunity to hunt. Hopefully, all of these gestures will go far in securing permission to hunt prime ground for many years to come.
One final thought about secure hunting ground: Do not take it for granted that you will be allowed to hunt the next season. As long as you abide by the landowners wishes, hunting should not be a problem the following year, unless there have been some changes (such as a change of ownership or a family member who wants to hunt). No matter how much of a sure thing you think you have, always ask permission from one year to the next.
David Soto at Peach Orchard Deer Processing knows how to skin a deer. He might even be the fastest deer skinner in the world.
Do you ever feel like your back is abut to break by the time you’re done skinning a deer? Do you dread the thought of having to complete this task? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if you could get the job done in less than two minutes.
Watch as David flies through the steps of skinning a deer from start to finish in one minute and 48 seconds!
After you watch this video, check out more ways to skin a deer.