Can you please assist me in the following question, what is the reason when tracking wounded deer, while dog is on an leash, I am not underestimating your knowledge. I just want to know, because in the areas where I hunt a leash will complicate things, very busy and many trees. I use Jack Russel for this purpose. If my dog is on an leash it is unable to stop the wounded animal...but when it is not on leash it is capable of stopping the wounded animal and barking to let me know I must hurry up to the position of the wounded animal. Thanks for reading my letter. What are your suggestion to this matter of mine, because I am afraid my dog get killed by the wounded animal. Sorry for my poor English writing.
Enjoy your day
B. d. K., Kuruman, South Africa
In much of the United States the legal requirement is that the tracking dog remain on a leash at all times. In certain southern states of the USA and in Europe it is not legally required that the dog be worked on a leash.
Generally, all but thoroughly experienced dogs work better at the beginning on an old, cold line, if they are kept on the long tracking leash. It is easier to make sure that the dog is tracking the right animal, and it permits the handler to read the blood sign and determine how the animal is wounded. If the animal is still alive and takes off from the wound bed, then, in the European case, the dog is released from the leash to run down and bay the animal. This works well, but generally you need more than a single dog of Jack Russell size to bay a large animal.
The methods used in tracking are dependant on regulations and circumstances of your country. Releasing a dog puts him at risk of being hit by a car if roads are numerous. When properties are smaller than 1000s of hectares, there is a risk that the dog will get onto another property and be shot by the angry property owner or hunter. In the United States a small dog like a Russell is in danger of being killed by coyotes. I had a very good Russell killed by coyotes one night when I was raccoon hunting. My wirehaired dachshunds are never off lead at night.
If I lived in South Africa, I would probably modify the tracking methods I use in New York State of the USA.