training a working springer to be deer dog

captain ken

Well-Known Member
hi,I have a 4year old springer bitch which hunts, retrieves,to the whistle and hand signals,SHE IS FANTASTIC at all types of bird n ground game,but can I train her as a deer dog? can anyone help cheersken
 

goathunter1

Well-Known Member
Well I have an 11 year old springer that had to start being a deer dog when he was about 8. No real problems. Once he found the first one he was on the ball thereafter. He's probably a bit better now as he's quite deaf and so keeps his eye on me most of the time. He's a bu&&@r for running in after the shot, but he always was, which is entirely my fault. One thing I do see is that when he appears after the shot and cavorts around, the remaining deer often stop and look at him, giving the opportunity to get some more. It works for me. Given the attitude of many on this site, I now have my tin hat on and await the incoming fire!
Im sure you and your wee dog will be fine.
 

tia

Well-Known Member
I have a 8yr old springer who had no deer training when I bought her aged 2.She is great with deer.
She has got me more deer than I can count wind scenting them well out (woodland).
As already said she will pick it up fine,she just needs to be a patient dog as sitting still is not on a
lot of springers to do list.
I also have a cocker that also started on deer aged 6.She is also great but as I said you need a dog
with a lot of patience ,good luck.
 

Sika98k

Well-Known Member
My old spring is sadly past his sell by date but the young usurper is moving up to take his place.
they may not be a BMH but mine have located plenty for meimage.jpg
 

goathunter1

Well-Known Member
Shoot one. Let the hound find it. They soon get the idea. Soon they'll tell you even when they are around and you have no chance of seeing them. When you gralloch it give them a bit. Yummy reward! Hmm. Right oh dad. One lad I knew always gave them something from the windpipe so that they would go for the throat when they found them!
Dont over complicate things. They are hunting dogs.
 

Sika98k

Well-Known Member
I,ll second what goathunter1 has written. Essentially my dogs are bird dogs. Tracking deer is a bonus. A fallow buck disappeared into high bracken early in the season and I had the springer in the Landie. Put a leash on him and let him at it.
After that I took him out on what I call a German lead which goes over my shoulder and leaves the hands free. Walking up into or across the wind it's easy to see the change in the dogs body language when he scents a deer.
Mind you I have since seen a BMH point at deer 670 yds upwind on the hill.
 

Dorsettaff

Well-Known Member
Have an 18month old Springer bitch who will happily sit with me in a hedge or under a high seat. Trained her to stay on the report of the rifle by taking her out when I was zeroing and sitting her next to the bench. She perks up as soon as the shot goes off but stays until allowed to find follow.
Agree with Goathunter. Shoot one close(ish) where you can see where it dropped, let her find it and then liver/heart/kidney or a bit of muscle from the gralloch as a reward.
Had a great "Mexican Stand Off" last Summer as a sika surprised us by a high seat....dog up on her back legs eyeballing the deer, the deer looking at me and me looking at the dog to keep her steady......The deer blinked first and pronked off squeaking....the dog stayed put! The hunting/retrieving instinct is in the DNA.
Keep it simple but as long as they are steady and good peg dogs then you shouldn't have any issues!
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
I'm currently training my 5 year old springer as a deer dog but I am not sure about what to do with him if I am going to use a high seat. If the dog is sat underneath the seat might the deer scent him and spook as a result?

atb Tim
 

Dorsettaff

Well-Known Member
Tim,

Getting him steady is the main challenge as Springers cant sit on their backsides usually for more than 5 minutes! Don't worry about scenting...If they can scent the dog they are likely to have already scented you! I've had deer come within 30m with the dog below me and also had them sit tight in gorse with the dog sniffing around close to them!
 

captain ken

Well-Known Member
my dog molly as I said is a fantastic worker etc but shes not a peg dog ,I have to watch her all the time on the peg as she cant stop wanting to work,if I was up in a high seat I would have to put on the lead,shes quiet but so keen to please ken
 

timbrayford

Well-Known Member
Tim,

Getting him steady is the main challenge as Springers cant sit on their backsides usually for more than 5 minutes! Don't worry about scenting...If they can scent the dog they are likely to have already scented you! I've had deer come within 30m with the dog below me and also had them sit tight in gorse with the dog sniffing around close to them!
Thanks, fortunately he can sit quietly, he was the dull and boring dog from the litter that we couldn't sell.... and one of the best workers that I have ever had.

atb Tim
 

lazza

Well-Known Member
My springer is 9 now, he flushes, retrieves and stalks with me. My advice to you would be to keep the dog close all the time, mines usually a couple of feet in front of me so that I can see his body language, but I never let him leave my knee when we were learning the ropes. Mine points and sniffs the air on deer, but he has got better at this with age and it took me a while to read him when he was younger. He will find deer, but hasn't got a bad bone in him so won't attempt to bite and although he has retrieved roe and munties, most of the time I used to send him to find and then follow him and then send him to find again. He won't play that game now he's older and I have to watch him very carefully or keep him fairly close i in woodland. He stops when I stop and comes and sits when I get up on the sticks or get on the bipod. He has his limitations as he is a jack of all trades, but he knows the game now and his nose is never wrong
 

Jono 4

Well-Known Member
I took my lab out for the first time Friday, we stalked into the high seat and then I sat her under it with the lead attached to it, she is steady on a peg, but as this was the first time I wanted to be sure, we had hares rabbits and pheasants all within 10 feet of her she just sat watching them, at last light a small Munty doe came out of the woods about 50 yards away, unfortunately I shot over the top and missed, only to see the White tail sticking up at me as she departed, but I took the dog to the strike point where we found the groove where the bullet had gone into the banking. No signs of a hit, and nothing but a good experience for both of us, and she will definitely be coming again.
 

doyle

Member
The good news is ,basically any dog will be better than no dog. A working springer will scent out a dead beast in cover relatively easily and has been said praise given after the find will help.Although I am not convinced about the need to offer a piece of meat/kidneys etc,a dog biscuit as a treat will work the same.There is always a slight danger if feeding meat that a dual purpose gun dog may be more tempted to have a chew on a hard shot pheasant etc.
What may be more difficult is to get a steady gun dog to chase and bay a wounded beast,this is a difficult situation and one which may not occur for years ,depending on how many deer you shoot.It is not easy to simulate training,apart from the obvious baying at a skin etc at the end of a blood or scent trail.
 

KSCR

Active Member
I was going to buy a dog for stalking last year because we were stalking sika that were coming out right on the last light , but started training my 10 Year old cocker as i thought he might feel a bit put out, he has come on really well he tracks shot deer, air scents when they are around and is really focussed on looking for deer when you are sitting waiting.
he probably wouldn't be any good on a track the following day but he only tracks deer straight away or within an hour if its someone else's, I've been really pleased with him and he absolutely loves it.
 

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