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Traditionally, dogs have been as integral to hunting sports as firearms and sturdy boots. Unfortunately, that’s not true anymore. Many types of game that are usually hunted with dogs, such as grouse, quail and rabbits, aren’t common anymore. It’s a certainty that where youngsters used to cut their hunting teeth by roaming the fields with a .410 and a beagle in search of rabbits, the modern scenario is to set them in a treestand with a small centerfire (or bow) and wait for deer. But here’s a way where the wonderful element of canine companionship can be introduced into modern deer hunting, for the benefit of youth and adult. In Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer, John Jeanneney takes a practical look at all the elements of using dogs to find wounded deer. Beginning with an explanation of basic tracking techniques, the book proceeds into the finer details of suitable dog breeds, selecting individual puppies, basic and advanced training, finishing with chapters on regional tracking traditions and tracking competitions.
Best of all, John has written this book from personal experience. During his more than 30 years of working with tracking dogs, John has helped recover nearly 200 wounded deer, and personally trained numerous dogs. His chapters on diagnosing wounds and reading the subtle clues of a blood trail are alone worth the price of the book. Furthermore, John also played a key role in changing legislation in his home state of New York to legalize deer tracking dogs. Considering both his experience and his commitment to the benefits of using tracking dogs, I think it safe to say no other person could be as qualified to write this book.
As the book points out, tracking dogs are extremely effective tools for finding wounded game, but the benefits of owning one go far beyond utilitarian. These dogs send a positive message to non-hunters that sportsmen are willing to go that extra mile to recover game. Even more importantly, by including a dog in one’s hunting pursuits you not only create a unique partnership, you also greatly expand your hunting adventures. With this book, perhaps deer hunters will begin introducing dogs back into their hunting experiences.