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Why Scent-hounds (added 12.4.05)

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Why Scent-hounds?

Scent hounds are trained to follow exclusively the scent of a specific species, and in most cases a selected individual of that species. When they pick up the scent they give voice. The more hounds picking up the scent, the more voice is heard, assisting the huntsman in the management and control of the pack. It is as important for the huntsman to hear the hounds clearly, as it is for the hounds to hear the huntsman's horn, and obey his instructions.

Team work and great skill underlines the magic of hound work and is of considerable importance, where deer have sought thick cover, such as gorse, to hide, and where a full pack will be needed. When the individual is brought to bay, the sound will change to baying, which indicates to the hunt staff and the hunt guns that a stationary deer can be approached and killed instantaneously.

In difficult terrain a mute dog will not assist the handler in locating the animal which has been followed up. The mistaken concept that one or two mute dogs will allow wounded and injured to be found efficiently is plain wrong, and has sadly corrupted the debate.

Deer dogs are trained to walk permanently beside the stalker and will indicate the presence of live deer but will only follow the blood trail of a deer that has been shot or injured. They do not hunt in the accepted sense of that word - Guy Wallace - Leading authority on training dogs for deer stalking - Submission to the Burns Inquiry.

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