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Saturday, October 24, 2009

No deer at the trail end but a good learning experience for Joeri

We took this deer call last Tuesday, on October 20. Dick F. shot a six point buck on Monday morning and spent all day following and marking a sparse blood trail. He called us on Monday afternoon but John was already out on his second call of the day. Unfortunately there was nobody else available. It was a long drive for us as West Sand Lake is 50 miles from where we live.

By the time we got there the blood trail was 26 hours old; the day was dry and cloudy, around 50F. The hunter managed to track the deer for around 1000 yards. He thought that the deer was chest shot.

John took Joeri on this call, and I went with them to take some pictures. Below is a pictorial report documenting the track.

Above - when walking up to the hit site Joeri is always on a regular leash. The tracking collar and leash are put on the dog when he is supposed to start tracking.

Above - the tree stand from which Dick arrowed the buck.
Below - the ground in these hardwoods was covered with dry leaves and spotting blood on the red speckled leaves was a challenge.

Below - Dick did absolutely an outstanding job when he marked the trail with orange biodegradable tape.

Above - at the hit site John puts a tracking collar on Joeri.

Joeri followed the marked trail very well, and we could see some blood throughout the trail. The blood was dry as this trail was old.

Joeri is a careful tracker whose tracking speed is just right - not too fast and not too slow. This was a very difficult track for him, and we could see it by watching his body language.

There were several spots with more blood as shown on the picture below.
It took Joeri 45 minutes to get through first 1000 yards of the trail that was marked. This was a good training experience for Joeri. When the blood stopped, Joeri took us down the hill across the road onto a new property whose owners Dick did not know.

When we picked up Joeri 200 yards after the last blood, we did not know whether Joeri was on the right trail or not as we could not verify it. There was no blood, no beds and no other sign of the wounded buck.
It took us at least 30 minutes to get back to Dick's cabin. It is always disappointing when a wounded deer is not recovered. John wrote on his tracking report: "I doubt that a mortally wounded, chest-shot deer could have gone this far".

We enjoyed the time we spent with Dick, who is a very interesting person (and a very conscientious hunter). This is always an extra bonus when you track for other hunters. You get to meet people from all walks of life, and there is an element of adventure involved.

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