I, m in the process of getting a pup for deer work, I know ill not need alot of stuff for along time but id like to start building bits and bobs up, so where's best place (or any body on here)to buy stuff like harnesses and leads from?
What breed of dog are you getting? I am getting my pup in a month or so soon as the rabies jabs etc are in order. A good book on training dogs for deer would be a start Neils songards book is good . scent shoes, Harness and tracking lead will also be needed. I would be collecting blood and cleeves, They are best off herding deer such as Fallow i have been told. A lot of people don't like to use roe for training. I bought a 10m biothaine tracking lead off flee bay for £25 and a very nice chap off here gave me one. I also bought a s/h niggleoh harness off here, It seems a very good harness. The best thing you can have and it is free is good advice and help on training. There are two tracking groups on here and i am sure either will offer all the sound advice you need. Also Rudi van kets is a member on here, He is a very clued up guy when it comes to training deer dogs. Good luck with your dog. Keep us posted on how you get on, I am like a kid waiting for Xmas at the moment
Kind Regards Sean
I have a 2 year old HWV. I have never done any formal tracking training with him as I wanted him for scenting live deer whilst stalking, walking to "heel" (a couple of feet in front of the normal heel position). I get out once a week. At some times of the year I shoot two a month, at other times it's 6 or 8 (like now). This season he has been well behaved enough to accompany me all of the time, so get's plenty of practice.
I am a pretty cautious stalker and fortunately have never had a wounded runner - I'm sure my time will come, but I take all steps to avoid it. However, as I heart shoot most of them they do run a little way before dropping, sometimes into woodland or cover crop. I always sit him up whilst getting into position and always put the tracking lead on before he moves off.
The lead going on is the signal. We always go to the strike point first, whether the deer is in plain sight or not, and he is then allowed to go after it. On a few occasions he has saved me a great deal of time in finding deer, especially if they have run into standing maize or dense woodland.
He picked it up naturally and for my end use he is starting to become a very useful tool as well as good company whilst out. In all honesty he is more useful on most occasions as an early warning system - he goes on point for deer which is especially useful in woodland.
I think what I'm trying to say is that there is no substitute for getting out and doing the real thing. The books are useful and I'm sure the time spent laying trails and getting him to practice finding skins is worthwhile, but for my dog the real life experience has worked really well.
I don't have any interest in competition or working trials, I just want a useful stalking companion, which I have now got (most of the time!)