In German we have the saying: Jagd ohne Hund ist Schund.
That roughly translates to: hunting without a dog is trash.
Today this mostly means that every hunter should have easy and fast access to a local tracking hound to find wounded game if he needs to. Not every hunter has the time and ressources to keep and train a blood tracking hound (what we call Schweisshund in German), nor does everyone want such a dog.
We have groups of hunters with specially trained dogs for this task, who will search for wounded game if a hunter doesn’t kill it on spot.
This is Ayla, a Bavarian Mountain Hound and working Schweisshund demonstrating her abilities at the hunting fair. Here she is getting her harness on, the sign that work starts now.
Her handler lets her find the starting point of the track on her own. She is worked on a loose leash, so that the handler doesn’t influence the dog even if the handler knows the track, as is the case in training situation.
…and found! In this task she was asked to follow a track of sprayed deer blood which led to a deer coat.
Isn’t she a beautiful dog?
At the hunting fair they also showed everyone interested how to gut a chamois.
This female chamois was shot the day before (out of season) because she had infectious keratoconjunctivitis, what we call chamois blindness. It’s a highly infectious eye disease that affects sheep, goats, chamois & ibex and results in blindness and ultimately death. The pathogen which causes chamois blindness is especially common in sheep and it can cause epidemics in wildlife when infected sheep spend a summer high up in the Alps, where chamois and sheep graze in the same places.
What infectious keratoconjunctivitis can look like in different animals:
Chamois blindness in chamois & ibex.
Infected eyes in ibex, sheep and chamois.
I have seen how to gut game before, and have done it myself in vetschool and when I got whole animals for dog food. But I never saw it on a pregnant animal.
Chamois mate in late november and the kids are then born in May or early June. This chamois was shot in the first week of February. So that puts this embryo at around 10 weeks old.
At a recent hunting fair they had a presentation of different breeds used for hunting around here. We saw some beautiful dogs, especially a nice variety of our Swiss Hounds.
The Swiss hound comes in 4 colours and both the normal-legged type and a short-legged type which was created by crossing in Dachsbracken and Dachshunds.
These are Lucerne dogs, called Luzerner Laufhunde in German.
And these lovely black and tan dogs with the long ears are Jura hounds, Jura Laufhunde in German.
A very nice Schwyzer Hound.
And the last colour variety is the Bernese Hound, called Berner Laufhund:
Unfortunately they only had Bernese hounds of the short-legged type at the fair we call these Berner Niederlaufhunde. Aren’t they awesome little dogs? Unlike Basset hounds who are also a short-legged type of hound, these don’t have excess skin. They also have tight lips and clean eyes. They are not exagerated dogs, but useful hunting partners.
And the last two of these are indeed very special. They are wirehaired, a variety which is quite rare today.