I was fortunate enough on November 9, 2008 at 8:00 a.m., to shoot a very nice 8 pointer. I was quite sure I had a very good hit and the deer didn’t go far. I returned home to pick up Chloe to assist me with the track. We arrived at 11:00 a.m. to the location where I had shot the deer and found my arrow which had gone completely through the deer. The beginning of the blood trail was slim with not much blood for the first 50 yards, although Chloe was eager to follow the small amount of blood there was, I was able to track the deer only by its hoof tracks as it was running down a muddy road. The buck took a hard left and entered the woods and Chloe never missed a step. The blood trail became more evident as we got farther into the woods and approx. 100 yards into the woods was my nice 8 point. My arrow had passed through the heart and the deer was able to go 200 yards. Although this wasn’t a difficult track, it was well needed as she had three previous tracks that were very difficult and no recoveries. A great reward after three unsuccessful tracks, I could tell she was excited with her find, as she chewed half the hide off before I could get it out of the woods!
Also yesterday we got a call from Carl Kimbler who owns Elsa, Chloe's sister. The litter Elsa and Chloe come from was born on February 28, 2008 so these pups are just 8.5 month old. Last summer and early fall Carl was very concerned as Elsa had no interest in tracking artificial blood lines. It was hard to hear about her siblings' quick progress as they were already tracking old and long lines while she had no desire to follow the deer blood at all. Carl was just about ready to give up and return the pup. Our advice was to hold on to her through the hunting season and expose her to "real" deer and real blood trails. I am happy to report that this strategy made all the difference in the world. While Elsa was cautious with her first deer, she turned into a monster on her second one. She tracks well and by now has found three deer. They were not difficult trails but at her age they should not be. Her prey drive is awaken now and Carl is very pleased with the progress she is making.
Remember that every pup is different and there is no "one training formula that fits all". Puppies develop at different rates, and even when they come from the same litter they have different strengths and weaknesses. As an owner and handler you need to get to know your puppy, and then adjust your training techniques according to the pup's individual needs.