Leashed tracking dogs - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Leashed tracking dogs

Now that they are legal in PA, did anybody use the services? If so, lets hear the results. They have been legal in NY for quite some time. From what I hear, many times the success rate is only fair at best, with most tracks ending in what many times is determined as a surviving animal.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 09:00 PM
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I think first, success should be judged by finding all the sign that there is to find, not by assuming there should be a dead animal at the end of every track. Leashed tracking dog handlers arent gonna get a call for 50 yard blood trails very often......
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 09:05 PM
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I follow Andy Bensing on Facebook and I know he has been quite busy. From what he says, he first does a phone call with the hunter to get the information and then determines if he goes out at all. I think with an experienced dog that the success rate is pretty high to find "dead" deer. Not going to find a deer that is still alive and not mortally wounded.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by holedigger View Post
I think first, success should be judged by finding all the sign that there is to find, not by assuming there should be a dead animal at the end of every track. Leashed tracking dog handlers arent gonna get a call for 50 yard blood trails very often......

I agree. But there are cases of fatal shots with very little blood or poor conditions to follow after the shot. I was just curious as to anybody using the services and how well it went. On HuntingNY.com there is a whole thread on one of the handlers and dogs tracking. From that thread it seems a lot of deer are not recovered or will probably survive.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:30 AM
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I got call last Wednesday at work. A friend of mines son had hit a large buck that morning. They thought it was hit well but were a little concerned about the angle. They were going to give it till 4PM before they took up the track and wanted to know if I had a dog available to track it if they needed it. One of the guys I work with from OHIO has a DD from my J litter that has tracked several deer over the years in OH. He was up for it so I told my friend we would be there before 4PM. My friends son wanted to track it slowly at first without the dog. I told him that would be fine but if you lose the blood trail due to lack of blood stop its time to use the dog. We stayed at the truck and waited for a call if they needed the dog. They followed the blood trail from the food plot down a hill into a bottom and lost the blood. We got the call and took Rudy(dog) down to the food plot. Rudy's owner wanted to start him at the food plot. Rudy picked up the track and took it down the hill past where they lost it and down to a stream, he never hesitated jumped into the stream swam across it an began tracking up the hill. My buddy downed Rudy until we could find a place to cross. 30 yards upstream we found a place. We started Rudy again and he began tracking up the hill. Tracking was difficult because this whole area was a young clearcut and the tracking lead would hang up easy. all along he was tracking to the west and then turned to the south and after about 50 yards Rudy quit pulling and my buddy could tell he was off the track. We doubled back a bit to see if he could pick it back which he did and headed west back up the hill. Then all ---- broke lose five yards in front of Rudy the buck was up and heading up the hill. I got the best look at him in that tangled mess. I could tell he was hurting bad and didn't have much energy left. We decided to back out and they would go back in morning. They found that buck the next morning. It went about 150 yards and fell over dead on a logging trail. It was a dandy ten point 20 inch inside spread with really heavy mass that should net over 150.

Rudy tracked another buck in Ohio last Saturday evening about 900 yards into a waist deep swamp. They went back the next day with waders and found the buck about 40 yards into it.

Its been my experience that if its a killing shot an experienced tracking dog will find it.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 08:57 AM
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I've been told that folks that do this, do it for the love of watching the dog work. I get that, BUT....


A. There should be a menially priced permit from the PGC, in order to provide this service. $15 ? The permit really would be just so info can be tracked on this service, as it is a valid and interesting hunting service.
B. The tracking dog owner, should have to fill out a "recovery" sheet on every track they perform. Not to be a bureaucratic PITA, but for reporting purposes.
C. The "tracker" should be able to charge a price for this service. They deserve it. A fella with a good reputation can be in quite the demand. They deserve compensation for their provision.
D. The PGC should compile data (results), and release it to the public at the end of the fiscal year. BECAUSE IT'S INTERESTING.


Fielding calls from hunters all hrs of the night and day, can get cumbersome. ESPECIALLY if you gain a good rep. at what you do. Hats off to yinz.
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Last edited by Fleroo; 11-13-2018 at 09:00 AM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 09:31 AM
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Penndraght - thanks for sharing the story of finding that young man's buck. That's good stuff, interesting for sure. Watching a good dog work is fun stuff.

I'm surprised that buck made it 150 yards if he left you guys get that close before jumping up. Those big old bucks are tough, tough animals, and they can live a long time after the arrow hit.

I'm not sure why PA waited so long to approve this valuable tool in retrieving wounded deer.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 09:47 AM
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Last Friday nite a neighbor in susquehanna county shot a big 8 pointer and he called a guy from New York who came down on Saturday morning. He told me the guy and his dog were a joke.

My neighbor told me he had to show the guy where he came across all the blood that he followed before he backed out. Long story short, the dog handler said his dog does not follow any blood and only tracks deer. After the last blood found by my neighbor the nite prior the dog showed no interest in that there was any deer present.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 10:59 AM
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I'm not sure why PA waited so long to approve this valuable tool in retrieving wounded deer.

Because it's Pennsylvania, where nothin' much ever happens to move forward, until all the naysayers have run out of breath, lame excuses and supporters in the General Assembly.

Doesn't matter what has worked well in other states when it comes to improvements in hunting, we just can't have it here in PA, because someone doesn't like it and never gives up the fight to prohibit it.

Has taken over a decade and a half to finally gain approval for leashed tracking dogs in PA. It almost passed several times, then someone would chuck a monkey wrench in there at the last moment.

Ten years ago we had this debate at a meeting in Johnstown. Several there claimed it was only an excuse to let people run deer with dogs and opposed the idea. Andy showed up at that meeting, when several of us were outside during a break. He had his little wooly wiener dog, Eibe with him.

So I asked the most vocal opponent of tracking dogs, how many of them little rascals would it take, to "run down a deer" - ten, fifty, maybe a hundred of 'em?

The vocal opponent was not amused, went back inside.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:03 PM
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I have no issues with tracking dogs being legal and there's no doubt that under certain circumstances they would be valuable.Still,if more people understood a deer's anatomy,understood what the deer's reaction meant and backed the heck out on a questionable shot,there wouldn't be as much of a need for a dog.
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