Hunting with a buhundStrictly thinking a buhund is not a hunting dog, but formerly it has been sometimes used to it too. Even nowadays some buhunds can be taught to hunt. Buhund hunts using its voice so you can teach it to bark elk or you can have a nice barking bird dog. Some might even have the courage to face a bear or wild boar.
Other buhunds have less hunting instinct than others so if you think about hunting with a buhund you should ask about the hunting instinct of the parents. This does not guarantee a hunting companion so if you absolutely want a hunting dog, don't take a buhund. Buhund will probably never be as good as a hunting parner as dog breeds that are bred for it.
When you ask about the parents, also make sure the different instincts are not confused. Most of the buhunds have at least moderate amount of prey-drive (tendency to chase things they see) but they still might not have any hunting instinct (finding the prey with scent + sight).
Buhunds are used to hunting mainly in Sweden and Norway and most of the time their game is a moose or a deer. Buhund chases the deer and barks at the same time. Moose it stops with barking and birds it will either chase to fly or bark to tree.
Often buhunds are also used to track injured animals and they have proven to be great at this. Especially at Sweden buhunds are regularly used for blood-trailing. It's a great and useful sport. Wild animals are injured in traffic accidents every day and you need a trained dog to find the injured animal if it doesn't die right away. It would be unethical to leave them in the woods suffering from their injuries.
Blood-tracking does not require hunting instinct.
Buhund is trained as any other hunting dog, you just need to remember it might not have the natural instinct to right hunting behaviour. So don't be let down if training is not successful. Buhund can sometimes also be too impatient, it might give up the hunt too easily, stop tracking if the "reward" is not easily found and go to find another target (like a squirrel or other undesireable game). It can also be headstrong and not give up in front of difficulties. Buhunds are intelligent any way so it is possible to train many different behaviour patterns.
If buhund was compared to a real hunting breed, it would be mostly like Norbottenspets.
I have also heard someone to say that "buhund is a versatile hunting dog that has been destroyed by companion dog people" (direct translation). Is it true or not, you'll decide yourself...
The buhunds of this page are Tulhu's (Alma) parents Andur and Tu-san Naisa of Dania. Molle and Naisa do blood-tracking and belong to an "alarm group". This means that they can be called to track an injured animal when there is one. They are also used to elk-hunting.
Photos are the courtesy of Peter Magnusson & Anette Fransson.