Deer Hunting with Dogs

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Hunting for deer with dogs is one of the most controversial hunting topics today. If you are a hunter like me who thinks the relationship and teamwork between dog and master is even more important than the actual kill, this huge discussion going on regarding hunting dogs is quite sad. This is a fantastic way of hunting and is in no way “too effective” or puts too much stress on the animal. Of course, if you hunt deer with dogs every day of the week you won’t have any deer on your land, that’s for sure.

But keeping all of this aside, how do you find the right hunting dog to help you in your deer hunt? Today we’re gonna look at a few characteristics that are important when looking for a deer hunting dog and we will also be suggesting a few breeds for you to look more in-depth on. It is very important to keep in mind that there are different lines in each dog breed so you need to make sure that the parents of the litter you are looking into buying a puppy from have deer hunting parents.

How Do You Hunt Deer With Hunting Dogs?

A classic way of hunting deer with dogs is to set up shooters on escape routes out of your hunting grounds, or a geographically big enough area to hold a few deer within it. Remember to also put a couple of shooters behind the person in charge of the dogs as the deer often tend to sneak backward behind the dogs.

The person in charge of the dogs will then release the dogs into the beat (the area of the hunting ground that you are hunting right now) which will force the deer to move and they will try to escape the dogs by running out on their escape routes. This is where the shooters are located. In this type of hunting the shooting is often fast paced and the distance to the target is often short so shotguns are a good option.

That is option #1 and the fastest option and often the most attractive option from a shooter standpoint as there is alot of action going on and its super intense.

Option 2 is hunting deer with a Harrier or other short-legged dogs like Dachshund. This is in my opinion the most fun for you as the dog master. Here you can hunt all by yourself or with one or two friends. You just release the dog or dogs into the hunting ground and wait until the dogs have found deer.

The dogs will then force the deer to stand up and move around as they think the dogs are a bit uncomfortable and annoying. They will not move fast, they usually just start walking around to get away from the dogs. This is because the dogs are so slow-moving that the deer can easily move away just by walking. This gives you and your friends an excellent opportunity for good shots at slow-moving or even standing deer.

As with all types of hunting with dogs, the experience and results will be so much better if you well-trained dogs and a GPS-collar on the dogs so you can see what’s going on and follow the dogs at all times.

What Are The Characteristics of a Good Hunting Dog for Deer?

If we look at the bigger picture, not all dog hunting breeds are sufficient enough if you don’t carry out their proper training. However, some breeds are born athletic which makes it less challenging to train your hunt buddies.

Here are some of the characteristics that you should consider before getting a hunting dog.

Work Ethic

Some dogs are naturally best suited to be hunting dogs. Conspicuously, hunting dogs must be disciplined, and if trained properly, will completely get indulged in the act of hunting. While this aspect can be taken to a higher level with a proper exercise regime, if a dog is well-disciplined and more naturally adapted to hard work, the effort of training from your side will be much easier.

High Stamina

Hunting requires a tremendous amount of endurance and stamina for hunters as well as for dogs. Good hunting dogs should be able to be flexible and to withstand physical activity for hours in each training and hunting session as well as be able to endure different weather conditions. Although many dog breeds possess these two characteristics, it can also be something that a deer dog can learn from training by a professional dog trainer.

Right Temperament Needed for Hunting

Temperament is not a quality that can be learned, but it can be a quality you look out for when looking for the right dog breed to be your eventual permanent hunting partner. A good hunting dog should be able to remain calm and learn from a young pup to their maturity, as well as becoming a good companion at home.

Healthy Bones

Ok, let’s be real, having great stamina is something that can be learned throughout years, but having a dog that possesses healthy bones and joints is something you need to make sure before adopting. Along with that, you can incorporate proper training, diet, and nutrition to maintain healthy bones and joints. You can do this by making them take the right dietary supplements and keeping them active.

Smelling & Tracking Ability

A great nose undoubtedly is the most essential factor to consider when it comes to good hunting dogs. The dog will have to track and find prey in rough environments, and during harsh weather, potentially for long distances. Knowing the breed and genetic smelling skills of the dog is helpful to know a dog’s respective smelling and tracking ability in advance. Some dog breeds are meant to be bred for this reason.


Before you get distracted with their furious qualities, make sure they have the right foundations. A dog can be a frustrating hunt buddy fo