Are wild boar any different to track than deer?

Q: Are wild boar any different to track than deer?

TONY LOWRY replies: At UKDTR we are predominantly asked to help with deer recoveries, but to date we have had five calls to help find wild boar that hunters have lost. All these calls have come from the Forest of Dean area; two from stalkers who looked up our telephone number on the website, and three from a friend of one of our UKDTR members who lives in the Forest of Dean area. With the wild boar population getting bigger by the year and with animals spilling out of Forestry Commission (FC) land onto private land, we anticipate the number of boar-related calls to continue to rise.

With regards to tracking wild boar, from a scent point of view they are probably much easier than some of the deer species because they leave a heavier scent trail. All of the animals we have helped with so far have been dead at the end of the track, but there will come a time when we are asked to track one which is still alive – a very different prospect altogether. We have sought advice from a number of sources on this: from the FC’s Forest of Dean head ranger and wildlife management officer, and also from our Danish tracking friends who track hundreds of wild boar each year in Europe.

The FC believes the boar in the Forest of Dean area are very humanised and will react differently to their European cousins. With that in mind, we are now looking into PPE for both dog and handler for those who are likely to be called out in the future. We are also doing further training with specialist dogs as this type of work is not for every tracking dog!

If you know you have wounded one of these animals, tracking with your own dog is not recommended unless dog and handler have experience with wild boar.