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Thread: Follow up on muntjac

  1. #1

    Follow up on muntjac

    Morning , ok having read about all the good work being done by the various tracking groups I have a question about following a wounded muntjac ? Out of all the deer species I am way more careful in using a dog of off the tracking leash , in other words as you all know a muntjac has some serious armoury , very capable of slashing a dog . So my question is this at what point do you risk the dog by sending him on a wounded muntjac ? How are you sure he will deal with it properly and not get injured ? Is this training or gut feeling ? If it's training I am not sure you could ever replicate a very angry muntjac buck , if you can I would like to know how ?
    This is not a criticism of anybody on here and it is admirable that people are prepared to do it . I ask this because I had. The very dilemma a few years back and didn't let my dog go as I was concerned of injury to him and we lost the deer ! I know he would have got it but then don't know what would have happened .


  2. #2
    Morning Tom.

    First of all, I would say while Muntjac have tusks and antlers, are are strong for their size, sending your dog in on any buck, stag, is not without hazard, and the `risk` needs to be weighed against the situation in that specific instance.... If any male deer is highly mobile, and aware, then a follow up shot should always be used in preference to the dog..... or yourself...

    If the dog is to be used, then the dog needs to have experience, which can be hard to get, but over time and exposure, they do work it out themselves..... The dog itself is also important as some ( regardless of breed ) do have more natural willingness to get involved at close quarters - ( acknowledging this is subjective to the handler and training, and the specific dog in question !! ) however, in training, I have caped munties, roe, and fallow bucks, leaving the head and neck attached to the skin so the dog gets a `sight picture`to work with / learn from....

    If you let the dog rag the skin, and they shake, they will often get poked - spiked - hit with the antlers, and after time they learn to clamp hard and pull down and back.... This will translate on the a live animal if you then need to release the dog, but again I stress that the circumstances need to be worth it... Always shoot first if you can. Training the dog to `bay` the bigger species is very worth the effort.

    My GWP, has had to deal with 4 big munty bucks now, in cover where a follow up shot was not possible / feasible / dangerous.... and he has learned to get them from the back of the neck and drag them out... the last one he got the back of the neck and virtually laid down on it - no way I have trained that, but he knows he is bigger than a munty.....

    There are a lot of people more knowledgable than me about Tracking Dog training, so maybe a different opinion, comment will be posted, but I am not casual with my dog, and have only used the dog when there has been absolutely no other alternative, so have only commented on what I have done in training.

    It is a very subjective topic, and while the dogs welfare always needs to come first, the timing of if & when to use the dog is ultimately down to the handler... You can only do so much training, and then you have to trust the dog... but training is key to develop the dog...

    All the best.


  3. #3
    Thanks Neil , good reply ,my old lab is coming up for retirement and I am waiting to pick up my first gwp , I am sure the munty we let go was the right decision . I have always as you said followed up with a shot when possible , luckily we don't have to deal with muntjac very often .!
    I would be interested to hear about other people's experience with dogs getting injured following up on any deer ?

  4. #4
    We have a lot of Muntjac and considerable thick cover.

    The only injuries inflicted on dogs by deer, that I have seen, have been by Muntjac. The injuries were serious but survivable with expert veterinary treatment.

    The Muntjac will head for thick cover where he is in his element, so a second shot is, as you say, most likely not possible. Rhododendron for example can be virtually impossible to access, unless crawling on one's belly.

    With all things considered, I would not risk my dog (running loose) on a lively buck Muntjac.

    If I take a body shot on a Muntjac in or near cover, then I usually 'pin' them through the shoulders/ribs, which is both a killing shot and usually puts them down and static.
    A pessimist is an optimist with experience.

  5. #5
    Good question and great to be concerned about your dogs health!
    Yes, its a question about the right training....
    We do habe the same or even worse concernes any time we start to track a wounded boar.
    But, as others mentioned before, its pretty much the same with any track on and antlered deer, maybe except roebucks...
    So again, its all about proper training and a dog not turning mad in the Frack, even when approaching a injured animal still alive...
    People's hobbies are more their measure's than are their jobs.

  6. #6
    Evening , yes forgot about boar ! I guess they are pretty serious when wounded ! Even so I have seen some pretty large tusks on muntjac ! Uncle norm I think you are right it is a pretty risky thing letting a loose dog after a lively munty , I wonder if anybody uses the protective dog coats as a precaution ?

  7. #7
    Hi Tom

    The other thing to bear in mind is it is relatively hard to inflict a shot on a muntjac that won't kill relatively fast, purely due to their size. They can run with body shots and if too far back they can run with an amazing amount of their intestines on the ground but 5 minutes and they are dead but in thick cover. If you are head shooting or hit a leg then it is different and it does depend on the dog. Like Neils mine has encountered a couple that were only injured and she is very keen most you find dead in the thickest cover possible 40-50 yards from where you started. LikeUncle Norm I tend to just shoot a little further forward than usual which solves the problem as well as making extra sure you don't nick the rumen as thats very easy to do with a conventional positioned shot with their size.

  8. #8
    There are lots of issues tracking muntjac
    the main one is ... Is it a buck and alive
    michael mentioned a comparison to wildboar
    the difference being a dog will often be scared to go in on a boar due to it's size regardless
    but a dog may look at a muntjac and feel
    I can nail this
    teaching or having a dog that bays helps eliminate any potential vet bills
    but in reality the majority of wounded muntjac will keep running if not dead
    and by introducing your dog on to such wounded deer helps build up the dogs experience on how to deal
    if not sure ... keep your dog on a tracking leash
    A case of better safe than sorry

  9. #9
    Hi Tom, personally, more often than not I let my current GWP track loose of Muntjac, this is mainly because of the thick blackthorn makes it challenging to follow the the other end of the lead. However, I have always trained my dogs to rag on a toy from an early age - they are deer dogs first and gun dogs second, and so far they have all turned out soft mouth (except on deer) so they are conditioned to go in hard. Also, I trust that my dog's sense of self preservation to keep out of the way of the sharp bits - my GWP will neck a doe muntjac but pins bucks on their back holding a back leg and leave the nasty bit for me to deal with. Nothing i have trained her on - just instinct. Not wanting to tempt fate, but she is so quick dealing with the muntjac, and so far, she has never been caught.

    I am just starting training up another GWP pup so I am thinking about how best to bring her on. At puppy classes she has been introduced to the "take it" command, so if somehow I can get her to bail up the muntjac and stand off until I catch up it might keep her safer - but I suspect GWPs will just want to get on with it! I suspect a young pup is more likely to get injured than an older wiser dog, so anything to keep them safe as they are learning the reality of their trade. One thing I am thinking I should do is wait longer before starting to track - giving the muntjac more chance to expire or weaken. Also a cooler track will slow the dog down a bit, giving me a chance to tread my way through the blackthorn.

    One other thought - GWPs have a bit of a greater size difference to muntjac than most labradors, bavarians and teckels, plus they are athletic and agile, and I think this gives them an advantage in handling muntjacs.

  10. #10
    SD Regular Mr. Gain's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    SW Birmingham (Rubery Rednal)
    Thanks to all for an interesting thread.

    I was at the IWA show last weekend and saw a number of protective jackets designed for tracking dogs. Is there any merit in these in the context under discussion?
    "Docendo discimus" - Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – 65 AD)
    “Comodidad, tranquilidad y buena alimentacion” - A Spanish recipe for contentment that oddly omits hunting.
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