A DRIVEN HUNT WITHOUT DOGS? VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE. DOGS PLAY A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE SUCCESS OF A DRIVEN HUNT.
Without flushing dogs, large-scale hunts would not make any sense. No human could fight their way through dense brambles, crawl through thickets, or scent and track game. Two strategies have emerged in relation to driven hunts for hoofed game species. In the first method, the dogs are unleashed from the stand. They find the game on their own and then trail it. Spaniel and hound breeds have proven themselves particularly adept at this. The other form of hunting is where the handlers lead their dogs to suspected locations in the hunting area where the game resides, and the dogs then track and trail the animals. Terriers, pointers, and hounds are typically used for this method. Disagreement prevails within the hunting community as to which strategy is more successful.
As you would imagine, the ideal flushing dog needs to race into the thicket as soon as it is unleashed, search it thoroughly, and – even in areas with lower population densities – track animals as quickly as possible, in order to direct them toward the shooters. Of course, it takes a fair bit of time, perseverance, and patience for a dog to become a reliable helper.
As the dog handlers do not dictate any specific direction. It is also important that the dogs make a lot of noise during the pursuit. This provides the shooters a better opportunity for an ethical shot. The game can estimate the dogs’ location based on the sound, and are therefore not surprised and don’t flee in panic.
Dogs must learn to hunt in the area around the handler’s stand and come back again. They also need a certain level of understanding and confidence regarding how to confront game animals on their own. They are expected to bay injured animals, and, if necessary, bring them down.