Monday, November 30, 2009
Karma's #7 recovery this season was a long exciting track. The hunter swore that he had a chest hit. He followed bright blood 100 yards to a bed and jumped the deer. After jumping the deer he followed blood for another 100 yards then lost the trail.
When Chris Martinek and I arrived we found paunch hair and bright blood at the hit site. We got off to a poor start due to many other deer in the area, walking on the same trails as our wounded buck. Eventually we followed our deer the 200 yards the hunter had marked. Then we added another 50 yards of trail out to a paved road. We lost the trail at the road. After 1/2 hour of searching we began to suspect a back track. Sure enough, when we went back we found blood spatters going back on the trail. Karma soon found the turn and took me through suburban door yards and across driveways. The hunter confirmed that we had tracking permission as we went from one property to another.
The trail was confirmed by an occasional drop of blood. After 1/2 mile the deer was veering to the west, away from the homes. Karma soon found a second bed. The blood leaving this bed was much fresher than the blood leading to it, so I knew we had jumped the deer. Now Karma was locked on to this deer. I knew that nothing could break her concentration. Rather than back off I decided to try to run the deer down. Away we went through swamp and thicket for over a mile. From time to time the trail was confirmed by a drop of blood. From time to time I would find a drop of blood with the fingers pointing back at us, indicating that the deer was moving in front of us and watching his back trail. In another 1/2 mile we were going through water nearly to the tops of my 18 inch pac boots. I took this to be a last ditch effort of a desperate deer trying to lose the trackers.
I was right. As we came out of the swamp and up a bank covered in rose, wood vine, and thorns, there lay our buck. He was still alive but his head was drooping as in sleep. The deer was 10 yards from Karma when I spotted him. I gave the hunter my dog lead and pruners to hold as I moved in for a killing shot. At 5 yards I cocked the hammer of my .44 mag. Hearing this the buck leaped to his feet and fled. The laser was on his chest so I squeezed.
The lucky bullet severed his spine, knocking him down and allowing me to dispatch him as humanely as possible.
Breathless, the hunter and tracker watched in celebration as Karma claimed her buck. We walked exactly 1 mile from where we dragged the buck to the road and the where the truck was parked. So, if we straitened out the trail we had probably tracked the deer from 1.5 to 2 miles. Maybe more.
The once skeptical, now totally impressed hunter, gave Deer Search a very generous donation.
Sorry about the poor quality picture. I had forgotten my camera and have to be content with a cell phone pic.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
12 Oct 09:
Ruby and her first encounter with the real thing. She was fun to watch; when she came up on the doe, she laid down about 5 feet away and pondered her options. She soon started licking up blood and chewing the ear - it was an effort to keep her off her trophy. It was not a difficult deer to track - Ruby covered the 120 yds in 4 minutes.
4 Nov 09:
Ruby convinced this hunter that she was right about where the buck ran off - no blood was evident at the hit, and the hunter opined that he heard the buck run off in another direction. The 250 yd track took Ruby less than 5 minutes to cover. The buck could have easily been lost.
21 Nov 09:
A very difficult track of ~175 yds that took about 10 minutes - very dense cover. There was very little blood in evidence after the first ~50 yds of the bow hit. Ruby lost the track a few times, but managed to pick it up to the end. The hunter credited Ruby with saving a potentially lost deer.
This buck could have been sight-tracked, but my friend called me off my stand and waited for me to get Ruby. Just after the hunter told me he thought the buck went off to the right of our track, we came across his broken arrow. I did not see much blood - not a pass-thru and the hit was high. Ruby ran the ~150 yd track under 5 minutes. My friend commented: Awesome!
"I am happy to report that two Westchester County, NY bow hunters were greatly elated and appreciative Deer Search and of my dog Dakota's ( German Jagdterrier) ceaseless efforts which helped find their bowshot deer.
The first picture is of a 7 pt. buck shot on 11/6/09. The track was initiated 6 hours after the shot. The wounded deer crossed two roads, then walked further down the second road and subsequently turned back into the woods. It finally ventured up a hill and expired where Dakota then found it. As you can imagine, the hunter was very appreciative.
The second picture is of a doe that was gut shot on 10/25/09. This time Dakota started the track 7 hours after the shot and found the deer within a short time. Again, the result was another grateful hunter who was rewarded with his deer."
Great job Marc and Dakota!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Yesterday's scenario was less promising at the beginning, but this time Joeri found the deer. Again the hit site was up almost at the crest of a mountain again, but this time we rode in style on a very powerful utility vehicle.
The hunter had found very little blood (four drops), but Joeri had no difficulty picking up the scent line which was less than four hours old. He started off “right” according to the hunter, but then Joeri veered off to the left. The hunter had just found another drop of blood farther up the mountain, but Joeri knew where he wanted to go, and that way was down. Hanging on to trees, I worked down the steep slope after him. And there was the dead buck, tucked away in a tiny, deep ravine that would have been easy to miss in an area search. He had gone only 150 meters by the GPS. The shot placement, with a 12 gauge rifled slug, had been almost perfect, but there was almost no bleeding even in the bed where the buck died.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek, born February 4, 2004
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The shredded sumac in our enclosure will quickly resprout next summer, so we asked Charlie to work over about 2/3 of the area. White pines were dropped for winter shelter. The remainder of the sumac was left standing to provide food and cover for the rabbits this winter.
These videos show what an amazing machine the CAT 297C. Despite it size, it is agile and can do amazingly precise work. And it works fast. Of course this requires a highly skilled operator and Charlie is all of that. He worked one day from dawn to dusk, and accomplished what would have taken me months with hand tools.
Charlie lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at 570-279-0790.
A day after
Monday, November 23, 2009
“Bitches are better!” We’ve all heard these words start an argument in no matter what hunting dog sport. It’s no different when it comes to tracking dogs. And I must say that it’s usually the handlers who have tracked only with bitches who talk the loudest and are the most certain on this point.
Personally I’ve been gathering experience on the gender question for 34 years now and I don’t think it’s all that simple. Male and female dogs have different characters, just as boys and girls do, and these differences are strongest in the adolescent years.
I have found that young female tracking puppies “get it together” sooner than males. They are less rebellious and more eager to please; this makes for easier training. If you cull early, more females will make the grade than males. When it comes to staying focused on the line, they ignore the distractions of hot lines better than their brothers.
Adolescence is the real testing time. It tests the patience of the owner handler almost as much as having a teenage son. I fondly recall my own early teenage years, but I’m sure that my teachers didn’t have the same warm feelings. I was always in trouble and I was kicked out of class a good part of the time. The other spitball shooting wise asses in my class were all males too. This is the common pattern
In dogs adolescence usually begins around nine months of age. It is usually over before age two. In Bavarian Mountain Bloodhounds it is common for it to last for three years. Lab trainers, on the other hand, experience much fewer problems. Tracking dachshunds are somewhere in the middle. If you want to minimize adolescent down time, go with a female puppy.
In adulthood males begin to catch up and surpass many females that looked more promising before maturity I would like to believe that this is true of both dogs and humans. The male brain is working more efficiently now, at least in human, brain wave tests. The stronger disciplinary tactics, required for the “teenage” rebel are no longer necessary. The aggressiveness of the male is now focused on getting important jobs done.
A seasoned male is certainly more convenient to work with than a bitch that comes into heat just when there is the most tracking work to be done. Many bitches really fall apart at this time, but my best bitch ever did a great tracking job on the day she was bred. There are exceptions to every rule.
Whelping is another handicap for bitches. They shouldn’t track for the last four weeks of pregnancy, and then they are occupied with puppies for six weeks more. Once their mammary system is tucked up again, the brain still may not have returned to normal. I had one tracking bitch that completely lost her ability to track a wounded deer, even when there was a decent blood trial, for six months after weaning her pups.
At this point you are probably thinking, “Who needs this!” I’ll spay or neuter my pup; my vet is eager to the job. Wait a minute! Better yet wait a couple of years. For one thing it takes this long to make sure that your dog or bitch has the very superior abilities that would make it suitable for breeding.
There is another factor, which is difficult to explain. A neutered or spayed puppy grows up to be a dog without a gender. If the castration or spaying comes after maturity the gender personality is by then already established, and the surgical operation doesn’t change things very much.
As a handler I find that I can relate better to a dog that is male or a bitch that is female. There is definitely a difference between male and female company, but both mean something special when the handler/dog team are working a tough track on a long cold night. Working with a “steer” just isn’t the same thing. I’ve spoken about this with other experienced handlers, and they agree. They want to track with a canine that is definitely male or definitely female.
Whatever gender you choose is pretty much a matter of personal taste. If you are getting your first tracking partner, a calm, eager-to-please bitch puppy may be your best choice. Just don’t underrate the males. Basic ability is more important than gender.
Speaking for myself I have to admit that my two best tracking dogs ever were two bitches, Clary von Moosbach and Sabina von Moosbach-Zuzelek. But right now my own two top choices for tracking difficult calls are males. We’ve survived their difficult early years together, and now they calm, steady trackers with great desire to find their game.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
These are the pictures of me with our dogs which placed at the National trial:
DCA National Field Trial Results Swatara Beagle Club, Middletown, PA (Total entry: 135)
OAAD - 23 Starters, Judges: Jerry Price and John Merriman
Place #2.Tommy - Tom vom Linteler-Forst
OAAB - 40 Starters, Judges: John Merriman and Robert Schwalbe
Place #4 Mischa - Mischa z Kmetonyho Dvora
NBQ Paika - Paika v Moosbach-Zuzelek SW (placed #3 prevoius day)
Paika and Mischa (2 pictures by Sidney Stafford)
FCB - 38 Starters, Judges: Jean Dieden and Robert
Place # 4 Elli - FC Elli v Moosbach-Zuzelek SW
Scott Semrau wrote:
When I joined Deer Search & apprenticed for a season, my "Master Handler" Ed Avis hammered this home. Trust your dog, not the hunters. It happened again. The hunters are sure the deer did not go the way the dog is heading. WRONG! The nose knows. Another 9 point for Buddy.
Certainly it is easier to trust the dog when the dog is matured and experienced. But for novice handlers working with young dogs the issue of trust is not that simple. We received this e-mail from Jeff from Wisconsin who is tracking with Chloe (Emmy von Moosbach-Zuzelek) who is 19 months old.
" I haven't sent any emails this tracking season as it has been an extremely frustrating one. In the last 2 weeks, I have had 21 calls to go on and out of those 21, I have gone on 10. The season started out slow with calls but picked up rapidly! The first few calls were definitely not killing shots and I'm quite sure the deer were not fatally shot but I was eager to get started. A number of the calls were tracks that were 12 hours old or more in dry conditions. I had the word out to a lot of hunters about calling me with easy tracks, but those never came. As the frustration built early in the season, I was able to talk with Larry Gohlke a few times and share my concerns with "my" tracking methods. He felt I had to trust my dog more and let her work farther on a line with no visible blood. Much to my surprise, the next few tracks had different outcomes.
One in particular was a lung shot deer which the hunter told me the buck ran into a corn field and then up on a oak ridge. After last blood, Chloe became confused but showed interest in going deeper into the corn. I pulled her off twice and tried to get her to focus on where the hunter claimed the deer ran. After no interest in the oaks, I told the hunter I was going to let Chloe do her job and I would follow her as far as she wanted to go. Long story short, she got on a hot trail scent and through the corn we went. Again, after approx. 150 yards of tugging I was ready to end the track as there was no visible blood. I stopped Chloe to calm her down and talk to her and let her know I didn't feel we were on the right track. As I knelt by her I looked down and there was a small pile of blood! I couldn't believe it! We went a bit farther and more blood. In total we trailed this deer over a half mile and most of the track was with limited or no visual blood. The hunter could not believe that was blood from his deer but he was the only one hunting the area.
Yesterday I went on another call and did not recover the deer, but had the same situation happen. Hunter shot the deer at 10 yards from a 20 ft. tree stand and thought he had hit the lungs and heart. Chloe picked up the blood trail which was about 3 ft. wide, spraying on trees and all over the place. Trailed the good blood about 100 yards and it stopped. Chloe continued down the trail again with no visual blood and we went a few hundred yards before she looked confused and began roam frantically. Took her back to last blood and start over again, she took another trail same story, nothing. After a search of all the trails, I decided to focus on the first trail. We passed the ribbon I put in the tree the first time we stopped and she was really digging and pulling. I remembered what Larry Gohlke had told me a few nights earlier about trusting the dog and let her work. Again I saw nothing that showed a deer had went this direction until I stopped Chloe to take a break and again I looked down and there I stood in a blood soaked deer bed!! Again this was approx 200 yards from last visual blood. Chloe found two more beds with blood in them but we were unable to recover this deer either.
I contacted Larry G. again to share my track with him and he is full of great tracking knowledge. He reassured me that recovery isn't always the most important factor and not emphasize stats how many calls and recoveries we have. He assured me the fact that she is learning and able to continue on tracks that distance with limited blood is a victory itself. Larry felt this deer may not be fatally shot as the arrow may have hit a rib and stayed between the ribs and front shoulder coming out low which made the blood trail so heavy at first and not hitting any vital organs.
The last three tracks have reconfirmed the fact that Chloe does know what she is doing and I have to have more confidence in her tracking abilities. She and I just want to recover one deer before the season ends! I know I have ready several articles by many great trackers about trusting the dogs nose and again I have found this out first hand."
How long do you think the scent of the interdigital gland lasts after the hoof has been removed from the deer. I ask this because the last few training tracks I have done for my 5 month old Majestic hound consist of taking a deer leg on a stick and making a track and leaving the other deer leg at the end of the track. The pup has found the leg both times but there has not been any other deer tracks in the area. My next training session will be around allot of other deer tracks so would you want fresher legs than say a week old leg to compete with the live legs of the deer in the area. I hope your season is going well and thank you for your book it has really help me train my dog.
I think that it makes a difference as to how you handle the deer hoof. I use a set of deer feet in tracking shoes over a month or more, on four or five different half mile tracks. In between tracks I store the tracking shoes, with hoofs attached, in a big plastic garbage bag in my chest freezer, and I suppose that this freezer storage helps to preserve the scent form the interdigital glands. The track itself is something that my dogs can follow after 24 hours. I imagine that a Majestic could do better than that.
On a track made with an aged deer hoof, we really don’t know whether the dog is following the scent of the interdigital gland, or just the smell of the rancid or rotting meat. There is much that we don’t know about what the dog actually perceives, but we do know that tracking shoes, or a deer foot on a stick, are good training devices.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
John Jeanneney wrote:
Yesterday we had an interesting call down at a site in Columbia County about 45 miles away. The eight pointer had been hit by a Rage broadhead far back in the rib cage about half way down. I took young Joeri, who is doing very well but can always profit from more experience.
The arrow has entered and exited, but the interesting thing was that there was very little blood at the beginning and none after 75 yards. This lack of blood came about despite the fact that there was a two inch entry hole and a somewhat smaller exit hole. You see some strange things! The scent line was about 8 hours old.
Joeri worked slowly and carefully for about 300 yards, but then his body language showed that he knew he had run out of line. We started going back over the line we had just tracked, headed back to the last marker I had put up on blood. On the way back Joeri put his head down and began pulling hard to the left. “I’ve got the line now”, he said. Within 50 yards there was the dead deer.
I can’t be sure whether the deer backtracked from where Joeri ran out of line, or whether Joeri simply overshot a sharp turn and later corrected himself. Joeri communicates pretty well by body language, but he still leaves certain questions unanswered. Anyway he does correct himself. On this point Jolanta, my wife, believes that my dog can teach me something.
Below - the closeup of the last part of the track.
Monday, November 16, 2009
The elated hunter and I praised Karma as we had a little photo session.
The more I track with Karma the more I'm coming to believe that the scent trail is more a broad plume of scent rather than a narrow line of scent. Like wood smoke from a neighbors fireplace wafting through the neighborhood.
At times Karma was nearly 50 yards from the known blood line but she clearly had the scent in her nose and was just as excited as she would have been running through puddles of blood."
Cheri writes: "This deer was an 8-pointer that was shot the first time at 7:30 Saturday morning (one lung, diaphragm and liver) and then a second time in the neck 6 hrs later. He was recovered at 4:00 p.m. 250 yds from where the second shot was made. The only blood we had was at the start in some marsh grass. We crossed a green alfalfa field then worked along the edge of a standing corn field. Danika made a 90 degree turn into the corn, went in 8 rows, and made another 90 degree turn to the deer.
This was a 9-pointer that was gutshot Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and recovered 800 yrds from the hit site at noon on Thursday. We had blood for the first 50 yds and then nothing until one spurt of blood on the trail in hardwoods next to where the deer was found in.
Both hunters were very happy having their deer recovered, and I was pretty happy with my dog!"
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Above - Cretchen
Great job Fred!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Got a call this week from a guy that shot a buck in the "pouring rain". He had 4 guys helping look for the deer with no luck. He said the blood was all washed away. WRONG! Within 30 yards Buddy showed us the blood was still visible. To the hunters dismay we jumped the buck only 100 yards from the hit site. He could not believe that this buck laid there with 4 guys getting as close as 20 yards before we came out. The hunter said he would never have found this deer because he would not have looked in that area any more. He thought it was in the next woodlot. Another notch on the collar of Festus V Moosbach-Zuzelek SW (Buddy).
Buddy has really opened some eyes, and made some jaws drop this year. Eight years old and still has the drive of a teenager. I think he would track both of us to our deaths if I let him.
Thank you Scott for sharing this story with us and good tracking!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Rob Miller from Michigan has been very successful tracking with a mini longhaired dachshund Scout. He writes about his blood tracking adventures in his blog http://scouttracker.blogspot.com/ Just last weekend he recovered two deer on one day! Congratulations to you Rob and Scout. Great job!
Rob has just acquired a new puppy that he is going to develop for blood tracking. It is a standard smooth dachshund bred out of European hunting bloodlines by Sian Kwa from North Carolina. More information about the litter that Rob's pup comes from can be accessed here.
Jim Mayer from Michigan has a year old pup bred by Sian, and Dozer found his first deer two weeks ago. Dozer is showing a very good potential, and Jim is proud of his dog who recently was able to advance a difficult trail with almost no blood. You can read about Jim and Dozer's tracking at http://yooperstracking.blogspot.com/
Patt Nance reports that longhaired standard male Odin out of her breeding, who is owned by Stan & Alecia Wenner of North Carolina, is also a successful blood tracker. Pictures of his finds are posted on Patt's website at http://www.fieldworthy.com/Dorndorf_News.html
It is not the type of coat that matters but what kind of blood lines a dachshund comes from. You maximize your chance of getting a good blood tracker when your puppy comes from hunting bloodlines selected for working attributes and functional conformation over many generations.
This year's first recovery for Jim Mayer's Dozer
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The first one "Using Dogs to Recover Game" was written by Michael Bartz and was published in the October 16, 2009 issue of Wisconsin Outdoor News. It was interesting to read about author's first hand experiences in tracking wounded game with his Drahthaar Gus. The article emphasized legalities of blood tracking in Wisconsin where "though it is illegal to hunt deer or spring turkeys with a dog, dogs may be used to recover game as long as the dog is on a leash and no weapons are possessed." I found the article very well written and very informative. It mentioned United Blood Trackers (http://www.unitedbloodtrackers.org/) with its state-by-state listing of available trackers, and I know that Wisconsin trackers have experienced a big spike in calls from hunters. Many thanks to Michael Bartz for a much needed publicity given to blood trackers. And a big thank you to Larry Gohlke, a Wisconsin veteran blood tracker, for sending us a copy of the article.
The second article, "The Nose Knows" by John E. Phillips was published in the December issue of Petersen's Bowhunting. It was fascinating to learn how tracking dogs are used at Tara Wildlife, a huge bow-hunting only property in Mississippi and Louisiana. Phillips writes "Tara has a strict policy of using dogs to follow up on every single shots clients take. During the 2008-2009 deer season, Tara's tracking dogs helped recover 64 bucks and 36 does." Then, he goes into the details how Tara's tracking dogs (only Labs are used) are actually trained and handled on calls. Great reading! Thank you John for mentioning our book and for online extra Deer Tracking Dogs in the North.
Thanks Kevin for the info.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tom vom Linteler-Forst was bred by Dieter Engel from Coburg, Germany. We have known Dieter and his wife Dr. Marlies Müller (von Rauhenstein kennel) for many years. They both are exceptionally accomplished breeders of standard wires, and dogs of their breeding are universally recognized for their superior quality. Tommy's pedigree (see below) is a mixture of German and Scandinavian bloodlines. He is a grandson of famous Revestreken's Frikk.
Tommy is a very outgoing, friendly, affectionate and intelligent dog. His conformation is impressive, and at the spring NATC Zuchtschau he was rated vorzüglich (Excellent). His wirehaired coat is ideal with thick undercoat and harsh, wiry topcoat. He weighs around 9kg (20 lbs) and his chest circumference is 43cm.
Few weeks ago Tommy finished his AKC Field Championship with two first places and one second. He has a very strong hunting drive and opens freely on live game such as rabbits. His nose is powerful, and he trails rabbits fast. Last summer he showed us good aggressiveness towards woodchucks when he was confronted by one.
Tommy has showed good potential for blood tracking on artificial blood lines but this current tracking season is going to be his first in the field. We will know much more about his aptitude for natural blood tracking in a couple of months.