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Deer Hunting with Dogs: Why and How

Dogs have been wonderful companions and hunting partners for generations. Canines have used their better sense of smell, agility, stamina, and ability to negotiate all sorts of terrain to hunt down creatures that humans are unable to defeat on their own. 

Benefits of having a dog while deer hunting:

  • Increased Canine Sense of Smell
  • Reduced Effort and Energy Expenditure
  • Builds Hunting Skills
  • Appeals to Younger Hunters
  • Build the Hunting Community
  • Flushes Out Reticent Bucks

Cons of dog deer hunting

While some of the arguments you’ll hear against deer hunting with dogs are anti-hunting, there are valid criticisms from fellow hunters that everyone should understand.

  • Disruptive to Other Hunters
  • Dogs May Cross Property Lines
  • Possible Safety Risks
  • Potential Meat Damage
  • Challenging to Hit Moving Target

If you’re looking for an amazing pooch for your next hunting adventure, here are the top 10 deer hunting dog breeds to consider.

  1. Labrador Retriever

Dogs have been wonderful companions and hunting partners for generations. Canines have used their better sense of smell, agility, stamina, and ability to negotiate all sorts of terrain to hunt down creatures that humans are unable to defeat on their own. Labrador retrievers are usually regarded as the greatest duck hunters in the world. Did you realize, though, that they also make fantastic deer hunters? The Labrador Retriever is an energetic, eager, and very clever dog that can tolerate nearly any weather condition. When it comes to locating and recovering the kill, these puppies are willing to go the additional mile. Make sure you have a Lab with you if you intend on hunting near bodies of water or on chilly days.

  • American Foxhound

The American Foxhound excels as a deer hunting dog and was the canine of choice for America’s first president. This breed is ideal for daylight deer drives because of its strength, stamina, and keen sense of smell. The American Foxhound, whether alone or in a pack, will pursue a deer until it is tired. Because of their desire to run, American Foxhounds are classified as “running” hounds rather than “treeing” hounds.

This breed enjoys spending time with his family at home and gets along well with little children and other pets.

  • Treeing Walker Hound

The Treeing Walker Hound has a high prey drive and the ability to track down nearly anything, making it an excellent hunting companion for deer, bears, coyotes, and raccoons. This hunting breed was developed in the United States and enjoys running and chasing. Thanks to this hound’s unique cry, you’ll know precisely where the deer is. Treeing Walker Hounds are excellent for both fast hunts and all-day hunts.

4. Bluetick Coonhound

This scent hound will be on the lookout for any deer it encounters. Mountain lions and cougars have been reported to be chased by Bluetick Coonhounds! If you’re ever trapped by a large cat, you may be assured that this hound will protect you. While not chasing the game, this outstanding sniffer, weighing between 45 and 80 pounds, can be rather loud. For busy families, this breed makes an excellent home companion.

5. German Shorthair Pointer

Deer hunting needs a lot of stamina and scent-power. The German Shorthair Pointer, thankfully, possesses both! This pointing breed is capable of outwitting even the most elusive deer and hunting game in a variety of terrains. The German Shorthair Pointer was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930, and it makes a wonderful family companion in its spare time.

6. English Setter

The English Setter is a beautiful gun dog with a silky coat and a big head. It is known for its sprinting and pointing abilities. Until it’s time to go to work, this breed will happily trudge beside you. The dog will then set off and locate almost any game with ease.

7. Beagle

Despite its little size, this tiny dog is an outstanding deer hunter. Its constant baying will help you find both the dog and the deer quickly. The brightly colored Beagle is very simple to identify and has one of the greatest hunting noses around.

Beagles are also excellent family pets for those who live in the country, the suburbs, or the city.

8. Plott Hounds

The Plott Hound is a fantastic deer hunting partner since it is agile and athletic. This hardy, intelligent, and tenacious breed can track down and retain a scent like an expert. When the dog is pursuing you, you can easily follow it thanks to its choppy, loud bark. These canines can readily explore deep, wooded regions to assist you in finding deer lurking in the undergrowth. The Plott Hound makes a wonderful family companion.

9. Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur was originallt to hunt raccoons and squirrels in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. Because of their endurance, quickness, and sense of smell, they make excellent deer hunters today.

10. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds for families, as well as a superb hunting companion. This extremely clever canine is equally adept at navigating the water as it is at navigating the woodland. The Golden Retriever is a smart, robust, and powerful dog who enjoys running and chasing. It will rapidly find and kill a deer if you give it orders.

Breeds to Avoid

While all dogs have an innate need to hunt, certain breeds aren’t very adept at it. They’re more suited to becoming lapdogs. The Maltese and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are two breeds that should never be used for hunting.

How to Pick a Deer Hunting Dog

There are some unique qualities that every great deer hunting dog should possess. These include:

  • The desire to hunt
  • The willingness to learn
  • Agility
  • Stamina
  • Strength


A deer hunter should always have a good hunting dog with him. Consider adding one of these breeds to your family if you want your next hunt to be a success.

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