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Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to Find Dog Handlers Who Provide Deer Tracking Services

You are a hunter and you shot a deer. But even though you did everything right, and you are sure that the deer is mortally wounded, you cannot find it. What do you do now? You should contact a handler with a tracking dog which is trained to track wounded deer. Of course, it is a very good idea to locate such service in your area before you go hunting so you know whom to call when the need arises.

If you live in New York state, calling Deer Search is your best option. This volunteer-based organization was formed in 1977, and currently it has three chapters. For tracking services call:

- the mid-Hudson Valley area call (845) 227-5099
- Western part of New York state (716) 648-4355
- Finger Lakes Region (585) 935-5220
In the Capital District the number is (518) 872-1779.

In New York state only trackers licensed by Department of Environmental Conservation can track wounded game with leashed dogs. If there is no Deer Search tracker in your area, call your local conservation officer as he might know of local tracking services. Not all licensed handlers are members of Deer Search.

This buck was recovered by Bill Siegrist and Jake (Drake v Moosbach-Zuzelek) in Pleasant Valley, NY on October 26. Bill Siegrist is a member of Deer Search.

If you hunt in other states, you should first learn whether tracking wounded big game with dogs is legal where you hunt. Don’t assume that if blood tracking is legal in New York state, it is also legal in neighboring states. Regulations are controlled by state, and vary a lot from one state to another. Now this activity, which many view as a very integral part of ethical hunting, has been legalized in 17 states where any use of dogs in deer hunting, including the recovery of wounded deer, was previously illegal. Yet, it is hard to believe but it is true that in states such as Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kansas and many others blood tracking is still illegal.

State regulations can be checked at the United Blood Trackers’ website at If you are looking for tracking services, the United Blood Trackers website can help you as well. Go to, click on your state, you will see a list of available trackers.

Robert Rubie from Michigan is a member of United Blood Trackers. His tracking dachshund Mirabell von Moosbach-Zuzelek is a year and a half old and it is her second tracking season.

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