Bear hunting dogs were popular in Minnesota in earlier days. These dogs would track down their targets and force black bears up trees, so that they could be trapped easily. In 1971, the officials in the state declared that black bears were big game and not to be chased by hunting dogs. The result was a rapid increase in the population of black bears not only in Minnesota, but in other states too!
Seeing that the ban has not produced the results they envisaged, the Department of Natural Resources is naturally worried! They are pondering whether re-introducing bear ammo for sale hunting dogs would bring the population of black bears under control again! After all, there are dogs like the hound which track foxes, coyotes, raccoons and bobcats.
Today, hunting of bears is allowed in 27 states in the USA. Bear hunting dogs are permissible in most of these states. Bait is used in 9 states. Only the state of Wisconsin allows both.
Additionally, 2 provinces each in British Columbia, Canada and Ontario allow hunters to be accompanied by these special dogs.
Why are bear hunting dogs so much in demand? Known as scent hounds, they use their sensitive noses, and not keen eyesight, to trail their targets. As a matter of fact, these dogs are supposed to have the keenest sense of smell as compared to other members of the canine kingdom.
The trail resounds with their deep booming voices when they are tracking an animal, with the hunter following behind. The ultimate aim is to tree the bear so that it cannot escape, and this the dogs achieve with great skill. They are also capable of bringing down a quarry and killing it.
In case the dogs are too fast for the hunter trailing them, their collars emit signals that can be detected easily. Thus, the exact location where the bear has been treed is not too difficult to find.
What is so special about these dog collars? The collar is like a high-tech radio with a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter has 1 or 2 antennas, and is connected to the collar strap. This transmitter collar sends signals on an arranged frequency. The receiver in the hands of the hunter picks up these signals.
A popular choice where collars are concerned, is the Tree Switch collar, since it indicates that the bear hunting dogs have trapped the animal.
Finally, what are the various canine breeds that can be classified as good bear hunting dogs?
There is the Hunting Spitz which not only hunts bear, but also tracks moose. Another type of dog is the Karelischer Barenhund. The best breed that is specially trained for this activity is the Carelian Bear dog. It has a wonderful sense of direction and extremely keen sense of smell. Also very courageous and persistent, it can hold its quarry at bay just with its bark. The tone of barking varies with the particular type of prey, and it can be recognized by the hunter easily. So these bear hunting dogs can never be treated as pets, they are hunters by nature!