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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Lucy's first blood tracking season

I got a good and thorough update on Lucy (Patti v Moosbach-Zuzelek), a Theo/Keena daughter. She is eight and a half months old now. Her owner Dan Davis wrote:

Things seem to be going well with Lucy. She absolutely loves to hunt. When she sees the gear coming out she lays in front of the door waiting until its time to go. I had her out 12 times this fall on "deer calls." We had significant rain in October (20 out of 31 days) which made it tough to get out on training lines. On 7 of the calls either the hunter or I knew where the deer were. She found those 7 and two others that we didn't know where they were but only because no one had looked yet. Two others I honestly didn't think there was much chance for her to find the deer. Based on what the hunter told me I was not convinced either were mortal wounds. I took her anyway mainly for the practice, but also "just in case." She did not find either deer nor did she show us blood beyond where the hunter had found it on their own. I had the opportunity to get her out at night, some tracks took us across water (she loves being in the water), she got exposed to being around other people while tracking; I think it was a productive fall. I am convinced that I have much more to learn about this than she does.

At this point my biggest challenge appears to me to be getting her to slow down. She loves being in the woods and gets very excited. I spent some time trying to get her to slow down with limited success.

Her owner (me) ruined what would have been her best outing of the fall. I shot a mature buck with my bow at 7 a.m. It looked and sounded like a good hit to me, but I found a piece of bloody corn while I was tracking it so, fearing a gut shot, I pulled out for 5 hours. I brought Lucy along when I went back but left her in the truck for the time being. We lost blood after 300 yards, at 400 I found one spot where the deer had brushed against a corn stalk. We looked for a while then decided to give Lucy a try.

She did really well for the first 450 yards or so but then started to get easily distracted by moles, bugs etc. She eventually made a right turn and took me into another woods which happened to be the same woods we walked the edge of when we went to the truck to get her. After a short distance it looked to me like she was taking the same route we took so I thought she may be tracking us. I took her back to the last place we knew the deer had been to start over. She made a left turn.... We started over again, she went straight... We were seeing no indications where the deer might be and she was not as interested as she had been in the beginning so we decided to call it a day. We were walking through the same woods to the truck when Lucy started barking and pulling into the wind. I let her go for awhile while she was zig zagging but then she started circling which usually means she has lost the trail. It was getting late so I picked her up to carry her to the truck. About 75 yards later my brother found the deer. Making a short story long, Lucy was taking me to it both times.

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