Weenie dogs for deer hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by spittinfire, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    LancasterOnline.com:Sports:Dogs on the trail

    Put yourself in this guy's shoes.

    A Maryland hunter during the Old Line State's two-week firearms deer season in 2008 shot and wounded the buck of a lifetime — a monster, 17-point nontypical.

    The buck ran out of the field, right under the hunter's stand, into some thick woods.

    The hunter planned on waiting until morning to take up the trail, but, when it started raining around 8 p.m., he began to worry about the trail washing away.

    So he got his buddies together and the crew hit the woods.

    During the search, the worst possible thing happened. The deer wasn't dead and they jumped it.

    Even without any rain, that's bad news for tracking.

    The trackers backed out and returned in the morning to grid-search the 60-acre woods.

    They found nothing.

    In Pennsylvania, the hunter would have had no other option at this point but to persist with the search.

    Fortunately for him, however, he was hunting in Maryland, where it's legal to use blood-tracking dogs to search for wounded deer.

    Also fortunately, the hunter had seen a flier hanging in a local sporting goods store posted by Berks County resident Andy Bensing, which advertised the free services of Bensing and his tracking dogs.

    "I do it for free, because it's what I love to do," Bensing said. "I want to get my dogs on tracks. You don't charge people for your hobby."

    The hunter called Bensing, who arrived at the scene of the shooting with one of his wirehair dachsunds, which are bred and trained for following blood trails.

    Bensing and his dog got to the farm around 3 p.m. the day after the deer was shot, so the trail was about 24 hours old.

    The dog followed the trail right to the big buck, which still wasn't dead. It was holed up in a thicket the hunter and his buddies had walked right past several times while they were searching without a dog.

    With the dog closing in, the deer jumped up, ran a short distance and bedded down again.

    Eventually, the hunter got in position to administer a coup de grace shot.

    The buck, which the hunter initially had shot through the stomach — so it eventually would have died — ended up measuring 206 inches.

    "Without the dog, they might never have found that buck or they might not have found it for quite some time," Bensing said.

    Bensing is director of an organization called Deer Recovery of Pennsylvania, which is lobbying for the legalization here of the use of leashed tracking dogs to recover wounded deer.

    Currently, the group is in the midst of a letter-writing campaign to urge state lawmakers to support and move forward House Bill 2625.

    Introduced by state Rep. Jeffrey Pyle, of Armstrong and Indiana counties, the bill seeks to amend Pennsylvania's game and wildlife code to allow the "use of a leashed blood-tracking dog to track a white-tailed deer in an attempt to recover an animal which has been legally killed or wounded during any open season for white-tailed deer."

    The proposal has the unanimous support of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners.

    At their most recent meeting, the board members adopted a resolution urging legislators to pass HB 2625.

    The resolution states, "The [board] generally supports the idea of allowing leashed tracking dogs to be used to track white-tailed deer. ... This procedure is legal in most surrounding states and seems to be working satisfactorily. ... Many hunters and dog handlers have requested that the PGC support the passage of HB 2526 by the Legislature."

    And, given the support a previous version of the bill won in the state House in 2006, it should have significant backing among state lawmakers.

    But, in all likelihood, HB 2526 will meet the same fate as similar proposals that have been churning in Harrisburg's legislative washing machine for the past 10 years.

    It will probably die at the end of the year due to inaction.

    "I'm worried there isn't enough time for this to get through before the end of the year," said state Rep. Bryan Cutler, of Peach Bottom, who is one of the bill's co-sponsors. "It could get through, but I just don't think it's likely."

    Bensing and the members of Deer Recovery of Pennsylvania hope to convince lawmakers to make time for HB 2526, which is currently sitting in the House Game & Fisheries Committee.

    A form letter the organization is encouraging people to send to their representatives hammers home the point that allowing the use of tracking dogs cuts down on the loss of game.

    "Hunters using blood tracking dogs demonstrate to the nonhunting public that hunters take all measures possible to harvest and retrieve game that has been shot," the letter states. "This helps to put hunting in a positive light to society in general and is a plus for the survival of our hunting heritage here in PA."

    According to Bensing, 17 states, including New York, Maryland and Ohio, allow the use of blood-tracking dogs.

    "This is a no-brainer," said Bensing, who works as a dog obedience trainer. "The reality is, there just isn't a problem with this."

    Cutler agrees.

    "Anything we can do to help hunters recover their deer, I think is a good idea," he said. "That's the goal of this legislation, and I think it's a good one."

    So why hasn't this proposed law change gone anywhere in 10 years?

    "Politics," Bensing said. "Every time it comes up we get caught up in politics."

    Indeed, this year Cutler said the House Game & Fisheries Committee has had other issues on its plate.

    "I think this bill just wasn't a priority for us this year," he said.

    In the past, proposals would make some progress, and then stall.

    None of that means the bill isn't a good one, Cutler said.

    And he fully expects that if HB 2526 doesn't move before the end of the year, Rep. Pyle will introduce a new version of the bill early next year.

    Bensing said he hopes there's still time to move the bill forward this year, but he's not holding his breath.

    And he said any legwork his organization can do now is less work they'll have to do next year.

    "I think there's been more pressure from the hunting community lately to move this ahead," Bensing said. "Momentum seems to be on our side this time."

    Currently, there are only a handful of guys like Bensing across the state who actively train dogs to be able to follow blood trails.

    Like Bensing, they train their dogs by collecting blood from deer they've harvested during hunting season, or from roadkills, and making their own trails.

    But that's not the same as working a trail left by a wounded deer.

    So they, like Bensing, regularly take their dogs out of state to get real-life experience.

    Last year, Bensing took his dogs to Maryland 30 times, recovering nine deer for hunters.

    "Usually, I get called by guys who hit big bucks, but I like finding a doe for a kid or a regular buck for a guy who's just too old to track by himself," Bensing said.

    Should the Pennsylvania law change, Bensing said he expects that, within two years, "30-40 guys will actively run tracking dogs across the state and another 200 or so will find the occasional deer for themselves or their buddies."

    I think I need to start training my dog to do this. She's only 13 weeks so we can get her going early.
  2. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    I can't believe nobody commented on this. I'm all for finding wounded game animals. Where I get an itchy trigger finger is when I see dogs or yotes actually chasing deer.

  3. Glasshartt

    Glasshartt New Member

    Seems like a really good program, I hope it passes.
  4. KLR

    KLR New Member

    Who'd of thought a weenie dog would be a good blood hound? That is cool. Wonder if my Chihuahua has got a nose? :D

  5. Glasshartt

    Glasshartt New Member

    Weenie dogs are actually from a "hunter blood-line." They were originally bred to hunt badgers.
  6. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    Weenie dog = dashound. After having been around them for some time now and having been around other hounds I have no doubts they could track a deer if trained. Some have better noses then others and my dog's doesn't leave the ground. Pound for pound they are a tough little dog and don't put up with any crap.

    Right you are my good lady. They bread the short legs into them so they could move thru/under thick brush where a larger dog couldn't pass. They also have webbed feet and most are good swimmers although some don't like the water.
  7. RMc

    RMc Member

    In the Deep South...

    We still run deer with dogs in the coastal swamps and uplands of the South. Without any real frost the woodlands stay thick and green all year. If a wounded deer runs very far there is a very poor chance of recovering the animal in some areas, without a recovery dog - regardless of the hunting method used.

    Don't get an itchy trigger finger when you see dogs running deer in this area - Southerners are particular about their dogs.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2010
  8. willshoum

    willshoum New Member

    Nose to the ground.....

    With the short legs it makes perfect sense. His nose is only two inches off the ground to start with, and the slower he trails the better so as not to spook the deer. Now if you can only get them to retrieve!!!!:eek::)
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    Dogs with floppy ears are great trackers. The ears help funnel the sent's into his/her nose.
  10. orangello

    orangello New Member

    My only question is "did the lil buggers hump the deer's leg"? Every daschund i've ever met was a pitiful leg-humper (i do have nice legs :D ).

    Did you say "badgers"? :D http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/badgers/
  11. safedman

    safedman New Member

    Good find

    I have to of those little dogs. Got some of the best noses on the planet. I am in for this type of location of wounded game. We may be at the top of the food change but the nose is not as good as it could be.
  12. pmeisel

    pmeisel New Member

    Now I need a dachsund, to go with my Basset Hound, Terrier, and two beagles....
  13. RMc

    RMc Member


    Beagles are becoming popular for deer drives in the coastal South. The use of beagles is being driven (pun intended) by the increasing hunting lease costs and the resulting smaller acreage leased by hunting clubs.
  14. nwrednk

    nwrednk New Member

    "Never underestimate the power of my weiner"!

    Is the t-shirt I would have purchased for one of my friends that favor "doxies"
    above all other breeds if he wore t-shirts! The pint sized little hounds do have
    a great nose on them that compares to the "super-nose" that my favourite
    breed... the beagle has!:D
  15. hardrock

    hardrock New Member

    Hope my wife doesn't see this thread...she already thinks Pete, her weenie dog, walks on water.

    Seriously, though, they do have a good nose and would make an excellent tracker.

    When younger I did a lot of quail hunting. Didn't have a good dog to hunt 'dead' birds so one day I took the wife's 10 lb. cocker. Did great!
  16. nwrednk

    nwrednk New Member

    Bird dawg?

    Snapper my first dog, a beagle/fox terrier was good at retrieving rabbits &
    finding them but drew the line @ birds when he prematurely grabbed a quail I
    had shot when it started "slapping him upside his face" spit the thing out &
    gave me "the look" as if by "body language" said, "shoot it again...it's not
    dead yet"!:D
  17. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    A local man here also tracks wounded deer and elk. His two dogs are wire haired dachsunds. The dogs are kept on a leash when tracking because of the danger of them being attacked by coyotes or wild hogs.
  18. nwrednk

    nwrednk New Member

    Big nose in a small package!

    There were several "Red Barons"/ red Doxies like "Bear" that lives next door
    that Jethro mistook for him at the grand opening of the Cd,A dog park on
    labor day! :)
  19. Bigcountry02

    Bigcountry02 Coffee! If your not shaking, you need another cup Supporter

    I got a Basset Hound, he gets one smell of food cookin' he is waiting! :D
  20. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    As mentioned, the use of dogs to track wounded or dead large game is on the rise and legal in many areas. Humane thing to do. Actually using the dogs to chase or "herd" deer is illegal in many areas and rightfully so, in my opinion. So, before anyone attempts this, check your local laws.

    As a side note, Ohio made it legal to use dogs to hunt turkeys in the fall season...I find this humorous for many reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that turkeys can fly. They also can run very fast. Another is how the heck do you train a dog to hunt a turkey?