Tips on Tracking Equipment
- Wallet containing DEC Leashed Tracking Dog License, big game hunting license and handgun permit. Place wallet in waterproof Ziploc bag.
- Large I.D. card for your dashboard (needs Leashed Tracking Dog License number, Deer Search Inc., your name).
- County Road Maps for counties you will track in
- List of phone numbers of Conservation Officers and State Police
- Large fanny pack (hangs up less in brush than a knapsack)
- Compass (make sure that North end of needle is clearly marked)
- Biodegradable marking tape (for marking last drop of visible blood, etc.)
- Short leash for taking dog into the woods
- Thirty foot leash of mountain climbing cord (11 mm. for large dogs, 8 or 9 mm. for dachshunds)
- Powerful light for tracking. Dynalight or NITE LITE with charger.*
- Spare bulbs and small flashlight for changing bulbs in big light
- Small hunting knife
- Blood bottle or gallon sized Ziploc bags for carrying deer blood (put one Ziploc inside another)
- Small cup to dip blood out of cavity; margarine container works well
- Rope or web strap for dragging deer
- Pen and string for attaching deer tag; hunters frequently forget these items
- Whistle for signaling to hunters
- Water for your dog
- Portable two way radios
- Cellular phone
*These lights are sold by Nite Lite Co., P.O. Box 8210, Little Rock, Ark. 72221. tel. 1-800-648-5483.
The wish list for equipment always grows longer not shorter. It would be nice to have a GPS (Global Positioning System). For my own foolish capers in swamps and briars I like Wick Froglegs boots for deeper water. In the Multiflora Rose my Wick Cordura chaps and a Bill Boatman Cordura nylon coat keep my old hide smoother and more appetizing for the deer ticks.
Some people are natural handlers, but even the most gifted can learn faster if they profit from the experiences of others and have the chance to work with an experienced dog. The apprenticeship program of Deer Search is designed to offer these opportunities.
Before a new Deer Search member becomes a certified handler he or she is required to take six wounded deer calls with an experienced master handler. On at least three of these calls the apprentice will handle an experienced, certified dog in the lead position. It is a requirement that the apprentice participate in at least one call which results in a find. The apprentice is also given the experience of interviewing hunters by phone and communicating with Conservation Officers and State Police as is always done before any call is taken.
We have some apprentices who are excellent deer hunters and who have worked with dogs throughout their lives. Even these super apprentices report that they learned even more and became better handlers because of the experience.