Deer Hunting Explained | Walterboro Live

With deer season in some South Carolina counties just a month away, many hunters who participate in one of our state’s oldest traditional methods of deer hunting, dog driving, are preparing to return to their secondary residence in the hunting clubs of the lower part. of State.

Although deer hunting with dogs has been a family tradition for many people over the years, there has always been controversy surrounding the method from those who don’t practice it. Most don’t know exactly how dog driving works and therefore consider it “unsportsmanlike”.

Deer are hunted with dogs of different types and breeds. Hunters select a “block” of terrain to hunt, and “standers” are assigned locations around the perimeter. The dogmen are given a designated place to release the dogs and the hunt is on. In years past, most dog hunters would “lead” their dogs, walking through the woods with the dogs hunting ahead of them until a deer managed to jump or a dog walked a cold trail long enough. to start a race. Not all dogmen follow this method today, but the goal is the same: to locate and hunt a deer so that one of the hunters has a chance to shoot. Those who have never hunted with a dog generally grossly underestimate the ease of hitting a fast-moving deer with buckshot.

Deer hunting with dogs is a delight for the senses. The flurry of a good jumping dog piercing the woods on a cool fall morning, indicating a deer is on the move, will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. Soon after, a pack of dogs will ring out and it’s hard to tell if the roar of running dogs or your heart pounding in your ears is the loudest. If it’s your lucky day, the pack of dogs will close in on you and your adrenaline will surge as you hear the approaching deer moving through the underbrush. Normally a hunter will have a very short window of opportunity to aim and attempt to kill. The duds are plentiful, but the joy of the overall experience outweighs the kill aspect for the majority of dog hunters.

The Dog Hunt is about kids pretending to be disgusted as their dad smears blood on his face after their first kill, but inwardly proud that they’re now part of some kind of brotherhood . It’s gathering around tables in hunting clubs on Thanksgiving, saying thanks with a group of friends who might as well be family. It’s laughing and tailing your buddy’s shirt when he misses, and being the first to take his shot when he wins a trophy. Then at the heart of it all, there are the dogs.

Dog hunting is about knowing an animal like the back of your hand, being able to identify the bark of every dog ​​you own in a chorus of dog songs, and knowing from the different sounds if the dog is on a hot or cold track. The hound hunt makes your heart swell with pride when you see a buck crossing a pass with your hounds in pursuit. Sometimes it’s hiding your tears from your buddies when you’ve stuck a faithful hunting partner for many years for the last time, because his muzzle has finally turned a little too gray.

Deer hunting with dogs is essentially one of the most “fair” methods available. After all, dogs give tongues which, in turn, reveal their location – and the odds are usually very favorable to the deer if it encounters a hunter. If you get the chance this fall, try one of South Carolina’s greatest hidden gems. You might find that you never want to give it up.

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