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Thursday, August 13, 2009

United Blood Trackers workshop in Laconia, NH

On the weekend of August 8-9, 2009 United Blood Trackers (UBT) held a blood tracking workshop on the property of Belknap County Sportsmen's Association in Gilford, NH. Many thanks go to Dennis Whitcher and Paul Lerp for making it possible and for supplying delicious lunch.

Fourteen dogs and 24 people participated in the workshop conducted by John Jeanneney and Andy Bensing with help from other UBT members: Al Wade (who travelled all the way from Louisiana), Susanne Hamilton from Maine, Ed Wills from New Hampshire and Jolanta Jeanneney from NY. We were very lucky that in spite of the lousy summer this time the weather cooperated and we had two days of blue skies with a slight warm breeze.

On Saturday introductions and update on the blood tracking status in New England were followed by a presentation on blood tracking as a teamwork of handler and dog (techniques of tracking, handling leash, communicating with and reading your dog) conducted by John Jeanneney. Andy Bensing talked about how to lay artificial blood lines, collect and store blood, mark the trail, use scent shoes.

New Hampshire was well represented. The picture shows Ed Wills (who was instrumental in legalizing blood tracking in New Hampshire), Maribeth McEwan, Dennis Clark (ME) and Kevin Marrotte.

Andy Bensing did a demo on how to use scent shoes for laying blood/scent lines. The shoes in the picture were designed by Alan Wade.

Several breeds were participating in the workshop: bloodhound, coonhounds, German shorthair pointers, lab and dachshunds. Above a six-month-old bloodhound owned by Shawn Marsh from NH. Below a seven-year-old GSP owned by Kevin Dawson from Maine.

Before we started to lay blood lines John Jeanneney and his wirehaired dachshund Gilda had done a tracking demo in the woods (below).

In the afternoon we split into three groups, and experienced trackers - John Jeanneney, Andy Bensing and Alan Wade - accompanied less experienced trackers with mostly novice dogs.

Ed Wills worked with his wirehaired dachshund Veela (above).

Dennis Clark did really well with a three month-old puppy Bogey.

Rich Stollery and his six-month-old pup Ember

Joanne Greer and her three-years-old wire Angie

Darren Doran with his six-month-old Karl

Dan Valdez and his seven-month old lab Buddy

Saturday ended with a critique of field work of individual dogs. On Sunday three wirehaired dachshunds worked overnight lines. They were one-year-old brothers Scout (handled by Chris DiPetro from VT) and Avi (handled by T.J. DiPietro) and a two-year-old Petey handled by Sally Marchmont from VT.

Above - Susanne Hamilton with Buster, a sire of Scout, Avi and Petey

Above - Chris with Scout, below Sally with Petey

Avi was handled by T.J. DiPietro, Tom's son
No doubt everybody involved learned a great deal not only by working their own dogs, but also watching other handlers in action. A hands-on experience like this is invaluable.
On Sunday we had more presentations in the club house. They were focused on equipment, working with hunters, dog training, working with adolescent dogs, obedience and GPS. Workshop participants also had a chance to network, compare their notes, and exchange experiences.
On the personal note, I enjoyed very much meeting new people interested in blood tracking, reuniting with old friends and seeing a new generation of dogs with so much tracking potential.
You can see more workshop pictures taken by Jolanta Jeanneney here. The only regret I have is that I did not get to take pictures of some dogs that were participating - Pete Mercier's mini long dachshund Trooper, Kevin Marrotte's coonhounds and Chris Spear's GSP. I'll do better next time!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, my names Lauren Lindsey, and I have raised labs for years a d have recently just bought a black lab female and a yellow lab female. They are a mix of English and American lines, though mostly English. They have parents that hunt birds though, so I was wandering if it seemed possible to train them as trackers. I also was wandering the best methods of training to track as well. Of anyone has any advice email me at