The scent hound is a dog trained for tracking wounded big game. It specializes in tracking wounded game through scent clues, whether there is blood or not, day or night, up to 48 hours after the hunter’s last shot. The scent hound is used during big game hunting season (moose, white-tailed deer and bear) with the aim of locating and/or recovering a specific animal that has been hit by a projectile and cannot be found.
Although no specific dog breed is mandatory, dogs with hunting skills are recommended. All good hunting dogs can become scent hounds. But beware! To be an excellent scent hound, the dog must demonstrate certain specific qualities and aptitudes to accomplish its work well and get the desired results. For example, it must be calm and stable, have excellent physical endurance and a “good nose”, along with an interest in this type of tracking work.
What distinguishes the scent hound from others is that it is useless if not followed closely by a driver with whom it forms a team. While the dog’s mission is to sniff out the trajectory of the wounded game while pointing out visible signs of injury to its master (blood, hair, bone, etc.), the driver will have the task of interpreting all of these clues to diagnose the kind of shot he is dealing with. In other words, it is up to the driver to analyse and determine where the hunter hit the game (belly, lung, liver, etc.) to make the decision to stop searching if the wound is not fatal, or on the contrary, to continue searching and persevering so the hunters can recover their game.
To ensure good training, use good tracking methods, consistency and patience, and get in touch with the Association des Conducteurs de Chiens de Sang du Québec, which offers training every year for future drivers interested in this practice.
A dog is not born a scent hound, it becomes one. The importance of the team that trains the driver and his dog becomes apparent during the hunting period for the hundreds of thousands of hunters who roam Quebec forests. Over 100 drivers are available throughout the province and proudly team up with the Association des conducteurs de chiens de sang du Québec (ACCSQ) to offer their services. Doing business with ACCSQ drivers means receiving professional service from passionate people trained to find your game.