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Thread: Spent powder residue

  1. #1

    Spent powder residue

    We all know are dogs are tracking foot and blood scents but how many would you say they also track useing spent powder residue i.e are dogs are picking this up through licking the blood or on the wind.
    Last year while taking a sd member on some stalking i have he wanted to check the zero of my rifle .After fireing 3 shots at a target on the river bank he was happy .I then let my lab have a run he started to hunt as if looking for a shot deer he crossed the river and went along the oppisite bank the wind was behind him all of a sudden he stopped and turned back only going about 4 ft and was hanging over the river bank marking where the 3 shots went.My dog always licks the wound on the deer that i have shot

    pendle
    If its hit its history / If its missed its a mystery

    A gun is always loaded .A mule always kicks

  2. #2
    More likely the dog is detecting the fresh disturbance on the bank at the bullets strike the ground. That lovely smell of fragmented rock, ground, steam and earth.

  3. #3
    A dog will associate several scents with a dead deer, the deer itself, blood, adrenaline and powder/bullet residue. It's probably relating the smell of the bullet strikes and think there must be a deer somewhere.
    I remember reading years ago about someone who did an experiment with springers and labs on pricked pheasants, even where there was no blood present the dogs would still take a line on these runners and pick them. They then put a trail down with shotgun cartridge residue and the dogs followed it like the were hot on the heels of a pricked bird.

    Cheers. Matt.

  4. #4
    If I shoot a deer from the vehicle my dog always knows the direction the deer was stood in, he can't be able to see all of them so I have concluded that he can smell the powder residue.

  5. #5
    To add to this, My ridgeback will also lick and paw at bullet strikes when I'm zeroing on the farm... He is just a pet and not trained at all for scent following. Must be the disturbance like you say? strange enough though!

  6. #6
    Hi new here. My dog will follow a powder residue to the strike. I thought the dog this by accident. When I clean my 17hmr I will always fire a fouling shot into a field at the back of my house. He will find the strike and try to dig up the fragments of the bullet. When I fire my 270 win at a deer he will go to the strike and look for a blood trail. I have fired at rocks up to 400 yards away and he will go straight to the rock. On his way to the strike he works the ground sent and the air scent along the path of the bullet.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by pendle View Post
    We all know are dogs are tracking foot and blood scents but how many would you say they also track useing spent powder residue i.e are dogs are picking this up through licking the blood or on the wind.
    Licking the blood, no. There will a small amount of lead on the entry wound. This is called 'bullet wipe'. It is lead residues from the primer. In terms of your dog's health, it's insiginificant. Bullet wipe can be seen on your white targets, it's the dark ring around the hole. Before anyone suggests it, the ring is lead and other material from the bullet, it is not the paper target being burned by the bullet's passage.

    Quote Originally Posted by pendle View Post
    Last year while taking a sd member on some stalking i have he wanted to check the zero of my rifle .After fireing 3 shots at a target on the river bank he was happy .I then let my lab have a run he started to hunt as if looking for a shot deer he crossed the river and went along the oppisite bank the wind was behind him all of a sudden he stopped and turned back only going about 4 ft and was hanging over the river bank marking where the 3 shots went.My dog always licks the wound on the deer that i have shot
    pendle
    Watch any dog in town after it's had a pee or emptied it's bowels. They scratch up and kick the earth. Dogs are tuned into recently disturbed earth for their own territorial reasons. The lab detected recently disturbed earth and went to investigate.

    -JMS

  8. #8
    my lab could not see the point of inpact at the time the shots where taken .He was after we finished shooting hunting up and was 6ft on top of the riverbank then turned back and was leaning over the bank. The point of inpact was a couple of feet off the water line and out of his line of sight at all times
    If its hit its history / If its missed its a mystery

    A gun is always loaded .A mule always kicks

  9. #9
    Hi Pendle.

    I have the same experience after zeroing my rifles. Dog is always in the back of the truck, with no visuals to queue off, and when I have made safe, and loaded the rifles in to the truck, I let the dog have a run when I take down the targets. I zero off a bipod ( replicating field conditions ) so only 8" or so off the ground. It never ceases to amaze me the line he takes, as invariably he follows the line of fire right up to the targets... While not the sole factor in a scent line on deer, I certainly think it is part of the picture... the same as on a wounded but running pheasant during a drive.

    When training my lab on rabbits, I used to throw a rabbit dummy in to long grass, and then fire a .410 down the line for the shot string... So he probably does have a gunshot scent memory ingrained somewhere in his hunting pattern.

    Dogs are great !!!!

    All the best.

    Neil.

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