Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I have been finding a lot of very positive news and info about the growing interest, acceptance and use of blood dogs.

For instance where I live here in Louisiana this is the first year that we are allowed to bring blood dogs into a state management area during deer season. I thought I would have to go to the capital and fight for that one! Wow!

Also about a dozen states just lifted the ban on using dogs to track wounded and lost deer. This is exciting.

A great online magazine called Whitetail News is the source of a lot of real good info on hunting, and excellent products like food plot seed and mineral supplements. In there I found a great testimonial of a six year old Labrador Retriever trained by Michael Veine, who went on his first real trail after rain had washed away all sign and went right to the trophy buck in a matter of minutes. You can read the entire article if you click on the link here:


In case you can't go there via the link, I will give you the testimonial here:


I put Shrike’s tracking skills to the test for the first time when I arrowed a huge buck in a remote, Upper Peninsula cedar swamp. The buck was hit just before dark and unfortunately it started raining soon after the shot, so the visible blood trail was washed away and I couldn’t follow it. I knew the hit was good, but the area was so infested with coyotes, wolves and bears that leaving the deer overnight would have been extremely chancey.

Returning later with Shrike, I really didn’t know what to expect. I led him to where I hit the deer and commanded to him, “Find the deer.” With his nose to the ground, he immediately started pulling me in the direction where the deer had run off. He progressed steadily and, in just a couple minutes, Shrike was sniffing my dead buck. Shrike died last summer but he left a legacy of recovering many deer for me and other hunters. I now have a new lab pup named Harry. He’s being trained to hunt birds and recover deer just like his predecessor. With any luck, Harry will aid me in my deer hunting successes for years to come.


Important to note that this dog was a bird dog and a blood dog too. So many hunters mistakenly believe that a working dog should only do one thing in order to not be confused. I believe the more things a dog can do the better, because deer season is a short season and a really intelligent hard working dog, kinda goes nuts in the off season, if they are not focused on a regular job allowing them to express their working abilities on a full time basis.

As evidenced by Shrike's first time success, you too may be surprised to discover that you already own a dog that is very capable of being your best friend during deer season. Given a little training and a chance to help, your bird dog, guard dog, or maybe even Momma's little lap puppy may be waiting for a opportunity to learn a new trick.

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