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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blood tracking reports from Indiana and Maine


In Indiana Joe Walters blood tracks with Doc (Magnum v Moosbach-Zuzelek), who was born on March 19, 2007. Doc comes from our "M" litter - his parents are Buster and Keena.

Joe wrote:

Doc found this buck yesterday after a 2.4 mile track, which was 14 hours old. Buck was hit high and back with little external bleeding. It wasn't a very pretty tracking job but accomplished the mission. As we started track two deer crossed in front. Later a pheasant flushed and then three turkeys flushed right in front of Doc. I wrongly assumed he was tracking turkeys and pulled him off track for a restart at last blood sign. He tracked to fence and then turned right and proceeded about 175 yds. The hunters behind me yelled they had found blood going straight to fence and said there was water about 50 yds beyond. I wrongly pulled him off track again and crossed fence for a fruitless search on other side. I told hunter Doc wanted to continue down other side of fence and we proceeded over the 175 yds and after another 200 yds found buck. The gentleman in the picture is the owner of two sporting goods stores that I had dropped off fliers before the season. Good publicity.

Congratulations Joe - this sounds like a very demanding track with a lot of distractions. Great job!


Susanne Hamilton wrapped up her tracking season in Maine with two long difficult tracks, which both ended with recoveries. She is a dressage trainer, and now is on her way to Florida, where she spends her winter training horses. She told me that the last two successful tracks resulted in 3 marriage proposals! I am not surprised. It is not uncommon that hunters' wives and girlfriends don't support their men's passion for hunting and spending so much time in the woods. Male hunters must be surprised when they call Susanne for her tracking services first time. They see this beautiful blond who is ready to track regardless the weather and terrain conditions, carries a gun, has a great dog... and finds their deer.

Susanne tracks with Buster, who is now 6 years old and is in his prime. The November 24 trail was a very long one, and took 3.5 hours of fast tracking. The deer had a leg injury, and injuries like this call for immediate tracking and fast action. There were very long stretches where there was no visible blood on the ground at all. Few times Susanne wanted to verify whether Buster was on a right line and restarted him, but Buster always pulled in the right direction. This is Susanne's description of the second half of the track.

Buster had to work really hard at a spot in the pasture, where the deer had crossed, and where a truck with three barking Great Danes had just driven over it. Buster worked up and down the tire tracks, and eventually went bouncing back into the woods… now again almost 300 yards with absolutely no blood. I hoped that we would find something, and low and behold, as Buster took a right turn into the woods, Andy told me he had found a little bit of blood.

Buster then went yet another 200 yards with no blood, and crossed a paved road, went alongside the paved road, and went back into the woods. At this point, we started to find a little drop of blood about every 20–50 yards. We went through the woods, and then through a Christmas tree farm, went across the paved road, back into the woods, and at this point, the deer started to bleed stronger.

By the time we crossed the next Christmas tree farm the deer bled a lot. Andy, KC and I entered the woods. Big smears and patches, and even a piece of bone indicated that we where successfully pushing that deer. I had talked to Tracker Tom to ask his advice, and he encouraged me to really push this buck. He figured that if he bled now, and if we managed to bump him, that we’d likely eventually catch up with him.

Tracking through this woods was really easy going, when eventually things turned boggy. We entered Plymouth Bog, it was dark and mossy and frozen, except for the places that the ice was not strong enough, and we almost went through. It was the place where I figured we’d eventually get him. However, the bog was getting really difficult to go through, and really thick, but we saw places where the buck had fallen and slid on the ice. I thought I heard a crash, but wasn’t sure, but about five minutes later, we finally bumped the deer. We saw this large buck about 25 yards away leap away through the trees and bog. At this point I told Andy to go ahead and load his rifle.

About ten minutes later, looking only at my dog, trying to keep up and trying to keep the sticks out of my eyes, I see my dog latching on to a deer tail. Seeing that the buck was still alive, but down and slightly stuck with his antlers between two trees, I pulled Buster back, and gave Andy the go ahead to shoot.

It took us almost an hour and a half to get the deer out of the swamp, and on that way out, is where we found all the weak spots in the ice, and kept sinking through it getting really wet feet (in 25 degree weather). By that time, KC and Andy got sweaty from dragging, and I was freezing. Maynard caught up with us in the bog, and Scotty and Skip had the four wheeler and the truck waiting for us, as soon as we got out of the bog.

Buster was super tired, but still digging into that deer any time they took a break. They dragged about a 180 pound deer with my 20 pound dog hanging at the end of it.

Back at the cabin we took some pictures, gave Buster some heart, and warmed up by the wood stove, reliving this speedy 3 ½ hour track. Anyone who knows Buster (or has his kids) knows that he tracks at a pretty good clip… too fast for some people's taste. We covered an enormous distance, and reliving the track in the cozy cabin, made it a special event.

I found out that this cabin is a taboo to girls, and that I am now considered a life long “honorary dude”. We had some beer, some good laughs, and molasses cookies, and Buster was the “king”. What a GREAT day !!!!

The next day Susanne was tracking again - this was a 24 hour old trail. It took 2.5 hours of tracking to find this deer at the end:

Susanne with Buster - the last deer of the tracking season in Maine

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