I'd like to share a story about tracking in NJ. As I got more serious about getting a tracking dog, I went on the United Blood Trackers web site. I went on the link to NJ to see what was going on in my state. I saw that a man named Rich Wolven was legally tracking in NJ under a research permit in 3 counties. I emailed Rich in an attempt to talk to him about his dog and his tracking experiences.
We never did get to talk in person until the evening of Dec 26 08. I was hunting in Sommerset county and hit a nice buck with the bow. The shot was right at quitting time and the woods I'm hunting in are not big; they are surrounded by houses and busy roads. I found blood after about 10yds but didn't find the arrow. There was a sift of snow, and the swamp the deer ran through was partially iced over. I could not determine where the hit was by the way the blood was on the snow and ice water in the swamp. I tracked about 220 yds and started to run out of woods. I didn't want to push the deer totally out of the woods I was hunting in. I marked the last blood with my flashlight and decided to come back in the morning. As I was leaving the woods, I thought about Rich. I gave him a call and as luck would have it, he was home. We made arrangements to meet in the morning and see if we could track the deer.
In the morning I filled out the paper work that the permit required and we began. It had gotten warmer over night and rained. Most of the snow and ice in the shallow swamp was gone. We started at the hit site, and Rich found the arrow. It was a pass through and the buck carried about 15 yds after the hit. The arrow had gut on it and by the amount of blood I had tracked last night, I knew the deer was dead. I hadn't flagged the entire blood trail, and the rain erased the most of the blood sign. The track in the snow had melted. Rich's dog is young and it was hard to tell if the dog was on the track without a flag line. I know these woods well, but I had some difficulty finding my flashlight. Things look different in the dark. I think Rich was starting to doubt me. I finally found the light and there was good blood sign there. Rich started the dog and the dog started to alert with her head high. Rich looked over and said "there's your deer". The 8 pt buck had gone about 40 yds past the light and died. We let the dog work and watched her find the deer. That was the morning of Dec 27 2008 my 49 th birthday.That was about the best present I could get. I got the buck and made two new friends that day. Rich took pictures.
BTW, if you wonder what kind of tracking dog Richard Wolven has, it is Basset Fauve De Bretagne. This breed is very popular in France, and this is where Richard got his Camilia. We got to see her last year at Trackfest 2008, and were very impressed.
For the record - NJDEP Permit Number 106 Effective September 13, 2008-February 21, 2009 This permit authorizes the use of tracking dogs to recover un-retrieved deer during the deer hunting seasons for the purpose of determining the efficacy of tracking dogs. Permitted Dog Handlers: Richard Wolven, John Hoinowski, Elle Hoinowski, John Gallagan, Andy Bensing. Only the above listed Permit holders are authorized to track deer in the state of New Jersey. Under this permit the above listed trackers are authorized to track lost deer in Hunterdon, Somerset and Morris Counties only. Permit holders will legally track any lost deer, any season/weapon for any hunter. Please visit this website for contact information: http://www.geocities.com/njtrackers/NJTrackers.html