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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blood tracking in Wisconsin

Larry Gohlke from Neshkoro, WI, has been tracking wounded deer with his wirehaired dachshunds for many years. He is a Life Member of Deer Search and a co-founding member of United Blood Trackers. These days he is tracking with a young male out of his own breeding - FC Nix vom Nordlicht.

Larry Gohlke with Nix

In Wisconsin a tracker is not allowed to carry a weapon while tracking. Of course, some wounded deer are not dead when they are found, and they have to be finished off. We are not going to get into details how to go about it, but it is certain that sooner rather than later somebody is going to hurt.

This is Larry's latest adventure.

I tracked this buck for a hunter that only had permission to go further onto his neighbor's land if my dog was able to confirm that the blood trail had actually crossed the creek into the neighbor's hunting refuge. The buck had been shot in the morning and had walked to a town blacktopped road where it stopped and bled more than most road kills do!

The deer than walked onto the neighbor's land and down to a creek where it circled. The hunter and the landowner searched for any sign of where the buck left the circle until it was time for the landowner to go hunting. After hunting hours I was allowed to search. Nix was able to immediately continue the trail and make a large half circle back to the creek. The buck was bedded in the creek in some brush. I had the hunter hold my dog, his friend hold my light, and I walked in front of the buck so I could throw my rope around his antlers. (The brush was too thick behind the buck.) The buck got up, started walking up stream, and attempted to climb out on the opposite bank. I got the rope tangled in his antlers on the second toss. I was wearing the frog legs that you and John gave me and was standing in the stream. The buck turned and started walking RIGHT AT ME. I quickly put my body in REVERSE. Most of my body moved BUT my feet were stuck in the mud and not going anywhere. When my butt hit the water the buck stopped and I crawled out of the mud as fast as a could go.

Wouldn't it have been sweet justice if the buck had fallen on me, holding me under mud to drown? I got out and tied the buck down with a second rope before allowing the hunters to finish it off.

I can tell you that a buck's antlers apparent size increases exponentially when it is moving toward you and you are on your back. The difference is much greater than the ground shrinkage that hunters experience when the huge bucks they shoot are found to be much smaller when in their hands.

I didn't stick around for pictures. I let them drag the deer out and when home to put on some dry clothes and stop shaking! Larry

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