Blood trailing, also known as trailing or tracking, is a specialized skill used by hunting dog handlers to follow the blood trail of wounded game. Blood trailing utilizes the vomeronasal organ in dogs to detect prey animal odors, a sense that humans lack.
There are several key elements to successfully training a dog to a blood trail, many of which can be accomplished in the early stages of training.
A blood trail is a trail left by a wounded or dead deer after a hunt. The blood trail is an important aid in tracking wounded deer.
Dogs have been used to track wounded deer for nearly a century. A dog can track a deer for miles with proper training.
Reasons To Blood Trail A Deer
This is done for several reasons:
- To find a wounded deer
- To honor the deer
- To save the meat
How To Train A Dog To Track Wounded Deer
If your dog is a hunting enthusiast, then it might be time to consider training it to track wounded deer. Tracking the blood trail of a wounded deer is an important skill for any hunting dog to learn. Read here, where to shoot a deer with a bow.
But because it is a difficult skill to accomplish, you’ll have to establish the right training program and be smart about approaching it.
As an experienced dog trainer will tell you, the key to training a dog well is by rewarding him for the good behaviors and ignoring the bad ones.
The same concept applies to training your dog to trail deer.
- Whenever you have the chance try to freeze deer-blood and legs. This way you can train your dog off-season too.
- Using the blood, create a track that you ideally let sit for at least 2-3 hours. Use the leg as a deer dummy for your dog to find once he leads you to the end of the blood trail.
Book Recommendation and What Else you Need
For an in-depth teaching method, we highly recommend you to check out this book.
“Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer” by John Jeanneney
As you know, a dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times stronger than that of humans.
- Start with the basics
- Blood trailing using common scents
- Blood trailing using deer scent
- Food puzzles
For a dog, it’s easy to track the scent of a deer. He can follow the scent from the scene of the hunt to where the deer ran off.
Of course, you also have to train your dog to track a wounded deer. Train your dog when he’s young for the best results.
If you have a dog that you want to train for tracking, it is important to understand that a dog’s sense of smell and a dog’s sense of sight is not interchangeable; they are both important and need to work together.
What Dogs Have The Best Smell
Tracking dogs are often called the “scent hounds” because they use their highly sensitive sense of smell to track animals or humans in the wilderness.
While all dogs have a sense of smell, it is the tracking dogs that have the most highly developed olfactory system, and their noses can detect subtle scents that humans cannot smell.
- Basset Hounds
- German Shepherds
- Deutsch Drahthaar
The way that dogs track is by following a scent, so you want to teach them to follow the scent.
Tracking dogs are trained to follow a scent over difficult terrain, and the purpose is to track and find something like a wounded deer.
The dogs are trained to follow the deer’s scent, and the training might include conditioning a dog to track deer in a confined area.
However, you have to make sure that the dog is trained in a controlled environment.
Many factors can affect this kind of training. The dog must be conditioned to track the scent in a smaller area before it is let loose in the real environment.
5 Traits of a Good Blood-Trailing Deer Dog
- The desire to hunt. Buy your dog from a litter that is well known for breeding hunting dogs.
- Intelligence. The deer took off, and your dog has to find it. He needs to comprehend what it is you want from him.
- An outstanding ability to smell. All dogs have a “good nose,” but some are better than others.
- A socialized dog that is good with humans and other dogs alike. Should successfully have been through obedience training
Is The Use Of Blood Tracking Dogs Legal?
One of the most commonly asked questions when people hunt for deer is whether or not blood trail dogs are legal in their state. The answer to this question is actually quite complex since it varies from state to state.
No tracking allowed in the following states:
- Rhode Island
California has many different regulations – check with your local authority.
For further information regarding this question, check out this website https://www.unitedbloodtrackers.org/