[NAFEX] Running Deer

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Fri May 4 10:38:55 EDT 2007

At 08:42 AM 5/4/2007, Doug wrote:
>The use of dogs to hunt deer is legal in Ontario.
>I'm told that many people do in fact use the dogs to run deer to exhaustion.
>However, I discussed the question with a councillor of the Golden 
>Lake Algonquin First Nation a few years ago. He told me that many of 
>his people favour a small dog like a beagle (about the size of the 
>Indians' traditonal dog breeds of pre-contact times) for hunting deer. It will
>not run very fast in the woods, but it will keep the deer moving. The
>idea is to move the deer through some kind of geographical choke 
>point, like a neck of land between two lakes, where a few hunters can harvest
>the deer from a considerable area of land and have a good chance of 
>making kills.
>My informant told me that an intelligent use of dogs greatly 
>increases the productivity of deer hunting. I would guess that this 
>kind of use of dogs goes a long way back, and not just among Amerindians.

I grew up running deer with hounds in the dense piney woods of 
east-central AL.   'Running them to exhaustion' was not the point - 
pushing them past 'standers' who were strategically positioned, as 
Doug indicated, in geographic choke points or known 'crossings' was the aim.
And, as Doug's source indicated, we favored beagles or beagle-mix 
hounds that did not push the deer so rapidly.

After 10 years or so of hunting with dogs, most of us in our hunting 
club gravitated toward planting wildlife foodplots and still-hunting 
over those - less expense than feeding a pack of dogs all year 
'round, and the meat did seem to be tastier or less 'gamey', and 
certainly less bloodshot, when that unsuspecting deer, feeding in a 
nicely-fertilized greenplot, was felled immediately with a 
well-placed bullet from a high-powered rifle, as opposed to being run 
a mile or more, building up lactic acid in its muscles, and then 
being blasted with buckshot.

And, a myriad of wildlife species benefit from the planting of 
wildlife foodplots.
Even though I rarely get a chance to hunt anymore, I still plant fall 
wildlife foodplots(wheat/rye/oats, ryegrass, clover/vetch) on an 
annual basis, and have incorporated soft and hard mast-producing 
trees(persimmons, chestnuts, low-tannin oaks, native crabs) into the 
landscape around these plots.


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