Nine Bar Ranch Blog

Can I Train My Dog to be a Hunting Dog?

Can I Train My Dog to be a Hunting Dog?

Dogs are some of the best companions when you’re on the hunt, especially those that were bred to track, retrieve, or expose game. However, even hunting breeds will need training before you bring them out in the field. Let’s look at the signs that your dog could be trained to be a hunting dog, regardless of breed.

Fitness and Obedience

A hunting dog needs to be quick, agile, and adaptive. If your dog isn’t in good physical shape, she’s at risk of getting injured during a hunt, especially if you’re hunting big game. In addition to physical fitness, a suitable hunting dog is going to listen to commands and respect your authority. If you can’t get your dog to hold a simple sit-and-stay, it’s more likely that she’ll scare animals away than help you bag them.

A Sharp Nose

Dogs have a much sharper sense of smell than we do and can smell a wild animal long before you’ll ever see or hear it. Take your dog on a walk through the woods and see where she guides you—if she’s immediately treeing squirrels and pointing at birds, her sense of smell is well-attuned to game. Unfortunately, not all dogs have the gift of sharp smell. Breeds with short airways, like pugs and bull dogs, aren’t quite as powerful in the olfactory department.

Consistent Retrieval

Toy-driven puppies tend to excel at retrieval. If your dog takes naturally to the game of fetch, you can train her to retrieve your fallen game. To graduate from tennis balls to fowl, practice a no-throw game of fetch using decoys, rewarding her when she locates and returns each one. Not only can this develop her recall, but it can also prepare her for blind retrieval.

Limited Reactivity to Sound

If you haven’t tested your dog’s sound reactivity and desensitized her to gunshots, she may take off the second you aim and fire. With the help of another hunter positioned at least fifty yards away, toss something for her to fetch seconds before your training partner fires a gun. Continue this process, closing the gap and rewarding her until she’s no longer scared of the sound.

At Nine Bar Ranch, we welcome experienced hunting dogs and their owners. Contact us to learn more about our packages or schedule your next trip.

Tips for Deer Hunters in Texas Summer Heat

Tips for Deer Hunters in Texas Summer Heat

Tips for Deer Hunters in Texas Summer Heat

There are a ton of advantages of hunting in Texas, and one of them is that there is available game all year round. That said, a lot of our native deer species are off-limits in the heat of the summer.

Does that mean that there’s nothing you can do as a deer hunter in the coming months? Not at all. We’ve got a few tips you’ll want to use before the summer is over.

Start Scouting

Scouting out the deer population in the summer in preparation for the fall isn’t a flawless system. Plenty of the bucks you spot in the summer are bound to shift to a new home range in the fall.

Still, a combination of trail camera and long-distance scouting can help you take an early inventory and assess the popularity and livability of your favorite hunting ground. Where there is a strong doe population, there is often a strong buck population during the rut. This is also a great time to start looking for new hunting ground, like Nine Bar Ranch, and reserve some trips before hunting season gets underway.

Do Some Target Practice

At Nine Bar Ranch, we’ve created the optimal conditions for your hunting trip. Still, you’ll need to be a sharpshooter or accurate archer to take down a swift-moving and self-protecting deer.

Don’t get rusty during the off-season. Head to your local range for some target practice. This is especially important if you’re planning on using a new gun or bow in the fall and you haven’t developed that much-needed muscle memory with it yet. When you have a deer in your sight, you don’t want to have to stop and think about what to do next.

Branch Out from Whitetail Deer

The whitetail season doesn’t start until the end of September for archers and even later for everyone else. The good news is that in Texas, you don’t have to switch to birds and small game to enjoy hunting in the heat of the summer if you don’t want to.

Sika, axis, and fallow deer are all part of our year-round hunting season. You can hunt all three of these deer populations at Nine Bare Ranch and these impressive species provide a memorable and exciting experience.

Ready to schedule your upcoming deer hunting trips to Nine Bar Ranch? Contact us today!