What You Need to Know About Bow Hunting with Dogs

bestcrossbowBow hunters often bring their dogs with them to hunt. There are a lot of ways that dogs can help lighten the load of a bow hunter when they are in the field. However, there are many factors to be considered when choosing a good dog to hunt with you. If you are looking to get a good dog to accompany you when hunting, here are all that you need to know.

Type of Dogs

The dominating breed for deer hunting is the German Wirehaired Dachshund and most search projects started with them. There are also other breeds that have been successful like a Basset Hound and several Bloodhounds, Golden Retrievers, a Southern Black Mouth Cur, a Beagle and a Deutsch Drahthaars. It doesn’t matter if you use a big dog or a small dog because that is just a matter of preference. The most important thing is to get a dog with a good nose, desire to please you and, of course, intelligence. The dog that you choose needs to learn how to track the scent of a wounded deer which can be more than a day old. To do this successfully, they must ignore the scent of other healthy deers.

How the Dogs are Trained

Deer search will have the dogs working at all times on a 20 to 40-foot leash to prevent it from hanging up. If you want to improvise, try using a light clothes line but a mounting climbing cord is suggested for smaller dogs. Ten-week old puppies can start the deer search with their foot lines dabbed with the deer blood that was collected and frozen.

It’s best to use a prize like deer skin, tail or leg at the end of your line. Let the puppy chew and bark at the prize when he finds it. If you see your puppy enjoying the track, you can now work with longer and older lines with deer blood.

You can put a frozen deer skin at the end of your line. Try marking your line with strips of paper or with surveyor’s tape so you can still see it when the blood is too thin for your eyes to see. Remember to use a drop of blood at every step. You can choose to start with easier lines that are aged from three to four hours. When your dog improves with his tracking abilities, use less blood, age the line more and increase the distance.

Try talking to your dog and praise him most of the time especially when he finds the deer. Let the dog make mistakes as well as figure out how he can correct himself. You don’t want your dog to be dependent on you for guidance so don’t overdo your training. The dog will learn more if you don’t make tracking a chore. Motivate your dog with positive reinforcement. He needs to develop and maintain concentration on the old deer’s scent line even when he is confronted by a healthy one.


Of course, aside from having a hunting dog with you, you will need a reliable bow to use. Some people use crossbows because it’s easier to shoot. Learn more about crossbows from Best Crossbow Hunter. There are different brands of crossbows like Barnett, TenPoint and Parker.