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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tommy tracks and finds a liver-shot buck in Fox Creek

A week ago, on October 21, we received a call from Daniel Hardin, a young deer  hunter. Dan shot a really nice buck around 8 AM and he needed help with finding him. It was a pass-through, close to the rib cage. Dan had a camera mounted on his bow and managed to get a video showing how the buck behaved after the shot (watch the video at the end of this post)

This deer did not know anything about the rules of deer hunting! We are quite sure he never read a deer hunting book. The hunter’s video shows him taking the shot that ultimately killed him with a perforated stomach and liver. The buck does not react when he is hit. He stands there placidly and then when the hunter releases  another arrow he takes off and flags his tail. This is not the way a mortally wounded deer is supposed to act!

The buck was shot at 8 AM and headed back in a nearly straight line to his safe bedding area a mile and a half away. Dan tracked him a long way but eventually ran out of blood. Then it rained hard. We chose to give this track to Tommy (FC Tom vom Linteler-Forst), who has been doing very well in training but has had no experience with real tracks. Since Dan advanced the track a good distance we would see whether Tommy was up to the task and would stay on the line. And he did! So John and Joeri stayed behind me and Tommy, and they were working in the backup position. Also we need to mention that Dan's mother and a friend joined us as well.

Since there was a heavy shower in the morning, some blood signs got washed away, but we still could confirm that we were on a right line. I had a camera with me and took some pics, but it is hard to track, look for blood and take pictures at the same time. John handled GPS and at the end of this post there is a GPS map showing the track, which was a mile and a half long.
Blood was visible on the ground, leaves and branches, especially for the first half of the track.

Tommy was confident in his tracking. I could feel it through the tension of the tracking leash.
We tracked through the woods and fields, and changed the cover multiple times..

Then we ran into a problem at the spot where most likely the buck had bedded before he descended to the nearby creek. Tommy pulled towards the creek but when I did not see any blood I restarted him.We tracked a bit around the bedding area, but after a while Tommy again wanted to go towards the creek, and this time Dan and I followed him. When we got to the creek John and Joeri were already there. Tommy started to pull to the left on the top of the five-foot-high bank, and I could see from a distance that something was floating downstream; it could be a log or a visible part of deer. When I zoomed in with my camera, I could see that yes,  it was a deer, hopefully the deer!
What followed next was caught on my video camera and you can see it in the video included. Dan and his friend went into the water to retrieve the deer, and eventually Dan pulled it onto the other side of Fox Creek

Then we had to follow and cross the water, and this was an adventure in itself. The video shows Joeri swimming across. Only Marie, Dan's mother, stayed dry by crossing the creek on the top of huge log.

Marie going across, and Joeri getting ready to do the same.
Once on the other side we took pictures. As it turned out we were really close to a local trailer park and luckily did not have to drag the deer by going back on our route to the creek!

Tommy checking out the seven pointer he found.
Jolanta with Tommy, who did a remarkable tracking job.
Dan drove to our place, only 2 miles away, so I could download his video onto my computer. Thanks Dan! The picture shows Dan with Tommy and buck.
The below video is a montage of Dan's video, my video clips and some pics. The pictures show GPS maps of the track. Click on the images to enlarge them.

This was one of the most memorable tracks that I have ever been on! It was a good feeling to help Dan recover the deer so it did not go to waste. As it turned out the deer gutted was about 150 pounds, and when Dan butchered it he got 73 lbs of meat.

John and I were quite amazed at the super job that Tommy did on first real track. By the way, two days later he recovered another liver-shot deer, but we'll write about that track some other time.

Two more bucks recovered by Pete Martin and Lisa!

It has been only 12 days from the opening of bow season in our zone of NY, but Pete Martin, a member of Deer Search, has already recovered 6 deer with his wirehaired dachshund Lisa (a 2005 Billy/Gela daughter). Obviously, there is a tremendous need for services of blood tracking dogs.

October 24, 2010
Hello Jola & John,
There seems to be an abundance of 8 pointers in my area this year. Either that or the hunters are being more selective. On October 23 at7:20 am this deer took an arrow from a fellow I succesfully tracked for last year. There was good blood for 220 yds. through hardwoods into an open grassy field. He made a hard left towards a large shallow pond surrounded by thick brush, swamp grass and saplings. He bedded down for who knows how long before leaving and making a dash to the edge of the pond where Lisa found him. A pretty easy track for her even after 27 hr. old trail. Completed in about 1/2 hr. Scenting conditions were good.

October 25, 2010
This is by far the largest racked big bodied deer Lisa and I had the pleasure to find. Interesting story. On October 24 at 5:15 pm the hunter shot this deer from his tree stand, broadside at 36 yds. in open field.
Deer trotted off into a very thick old moist swamp 75 yds. away. the hunter knew he had a front shoulder hit and  didn't like the deer's nonchalant reaction as he watched him meander through the thick stuff. Hunter fiound 19" of back half of arrow 5 yds away. First smear of blood was found 25 yards in. From there blood was hard to come by but hunter marked it for another 30-40 yards and that was it. He thought that the crashes ahead of him were coming from his deer and he backed off for the night.
Next day at  noon we took up the track. And track we did in balmy 72 degree weather for 3 1/2 hrs. Nothing. With hope fading and making our way back towards our vehicles Lisa nearly yanked the lead out of my hand when she took a quick sharp left into an overgrowth of mixed weeds and grasses; 30 yards. away lay one of the biggest 8 pointers I ever saw.
The buck ended up about 700 yds from hit site. We walked right past him on the way out. If it wasn't for Lisa's nose we would have kept right on going. The deer was indeed hit right in the shoulder bones but the broadhead clipped arteries and front part of one lung before logding into far side shoulder.
Of special notice was that this deer was shot 2 days prior by the hunter's buddy right through the "dead area" between the spine and top of ribs midway along the length of his body.When we found him, he wasn't stiffened up.

Congratulations to Pete and Lisa! What a great job you have been doing.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The big buck that got away from Quella

News from David Bell from Ohio who owns a five-month-old Quella (a 2010 Joeri/Keena daughter)

Quella found another deer and this time it was a big buck, but it was still alive and well.  The track was 20 hours long and around 300  yards.  This buck was hit with a Rage through the back leg and took us for a nice stroll through the woods, across a gravel drive, across a creek, along a fence for a while before jumping it. The deer veered to the fence and back into the woods around 5 times before it jumped it.  I questioned Quella a few times to find out that she was dead on.  We finally reached a field where we jumped the bedded monster, watching him bound away through the woods.   I was very happy with Quella today as she made me very proud once more to own her.

Ray Holohan and Roscoe, a tracking team from Illinois

We got this nice e-mail from Ray Holohan from Illinois. Ray's Roscoe goes back to our line on his dam's side. Roscoe's sire is Cameron Kruse's wirehaired dachshund Fred, who was bred by Stefan and Vanessa Fuss from Germany.

My name is Ray Holohan and the proud owner of Rosco, a wirehaired dachshund from the 2009 litter of Chloe Belzar owned by Neal and Debbie Meyers.

I'm sending a couple of pictures of Rosco 's first recovered buck. The track took place last Friday, and it was his 6th track of the seaon. The hit was a straight over head shot in the liver area, the arrow only penetrared about 10 ". There were only about 6 drops of blood at the hit site. I put Rosco on the blood and he took it out of the timber a short distance and into a cornfield, where he turned and advanced it through a hedge row and into a bean stubble. At this point I hadn't found any blood other than that at the hit site. He kept going but still we had no blood, at about 800 yards.

I decided to restart Roscoe at the hit site. This time he took it out to the corn field and went in a different direction. I let him go about a half a mile and still nothing. I told the hunters that I wasn't sure what to do with no confirmation of blood. So I decided to take him back to the opening in the hedge row where we found 2 small specs of blood. So now we had a direction, and I let him track across the bean stubble to a patch of timber about 3/8 of a mile away. I decided to enter the timber in the middle and track into the wind. The timber looked fairly clear from the outside, but I was wrong as it was loaded with thorns and briars .

I tracked into the wind as far as I could then decided to turn back do to the loss of my blood. We were tracking with the wind in the middle of the timber heading back when Rosco started pulling harder and made three checks in the same area. I decided to check the area out and Rosco found two wound beds and the buck not far away. The hunters were extremely happy along with me and Rosco. I should have believed Rosco the first track to the hedge.

This track was a good track because it taught me to trust Rosco. Rosco has had three recoveries prior to this one this season, two were pretty easy.

This very nice Illinois buck was recovered by Ray Holohan and Roscoe

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tracking wounded deer with Tom Munoz and Meg from Alabama

Jolanta and John,
We always love to read your posts. It's amazing how busy the dachshunds have been. Meg and Tom from Alabama have also been busy.

On October 15 Adam and Pastor Don (his73-year-old Grandfather) were hunting. Adam shot this 9 pointer. Meg tracked this deer for 400 yards. They were delighted. On the way back to the car on the 4 wheeler, Don driving and Tom as the passenger, the 4 wheeler flipped on a steep hill. Tom broke his finger so off to the hospital.
Pastor Don, Adam and Tom Munoz with Meg
A few days later on October 21 Cory, a hunter that had called us in past, called to let us know he gut shot a 4 pointer. Meg got right on track once we let her go with the gps. Once she bayed the deer Cory was ready with a 22 to dispatch the deer.
Cory, Tom and Meg
On October 23 Dewey and his friend Shane called Tom for help in finding a 10 pointer. Meg followed the trail for about 350 yards. She went into a wall of briars. After a couple of minutes we heard Meg barking and then whimpering. Tom decided to go in and check on her. When we arrived Meg was 10 feet from the wounded deer. The deer saw us and bolted. Meg seemed fine so we walked back out of that area.

Tom wanted to call the hunt off. No one had a gun and he was concerned for Meg. As we talked about it Meg snuck off and returned to the briars a little farther down from where we were. After a couple of minutes she started barking again, and Tom decided to go in  again. The hunters went around to the other side hoping the buck would come out and give them another bow shot. Tom found Meg 15 feet from deer. The deer was on the ground but kept picking up his head. Tom jumped on the deer and called for the hunter to come and help him. The hunter tore through the briars with knife in hand and dispatched the deer. Tom realized later that what he had done was foolish but said he was concerned for Meg and felt that the deer was giving up. The hunter wrote us this note afterwards "Thanks for turning a good hunt into a great memory. PS tell Meg I love her. Thanks so much."  Whats funny is that we feel the same way. Take a look at picture you can see the hunters arms all cut up.

Tom Munoz and Dewey.
Well hope you enjoy the stories. I'm sure you have heard them all by know.
 Tom and Jackie Munoz

Tom and Jackie,
Thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us. They sound almost too exciting!

Wirehaired dachshund puppies out of European bloodlines

Update: for the current listing of puppies out of hunting/tracking bloodlines click here.
Currently there are four litters of wirehaired dachshund puppies bred out of European hunting bloodlines. They all have been sired by our stud dogs, and dams often go back to our breeding. The list shows litters arranged in a descending order:  from oldest pups to youngest. In total 16 boys and 8 girls were born.

Often we get a question "which gender is better for blood tracking". The gender really does not matter, it all depends on an individual dog. For John's thoughts on this issue click here.

Beth and Gentian Shero from Poughkeepsie, NY , 845-656-3000,
4 males, 2 females born August 8; one male is available

Susie Gardner from Ohio, (740) 254-9156 or (330) 260-7742,  
5 males, 1 female born September 14

Susie Gardner's puppies two weeks ago
 • Laurel Whistance-Smith from Ontario  705-277-9183
2 males, 2 females born October 2

Gail Berger from PA 610-310-6835,
5 males, 3 females born October 14

Gail Berger's pups

Monday, October 25, 2010

Remi, a blood tracking wunderkind

Remi (Remy von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a Joeri/Gilda son) is just a puppy, and today he is turning five months old. We wrote about Remi on this blog before as he has making a name for himself at the R & K Hunting Company in Utah. We asked Justin Richins, his owner and handler, for more details, and few days ago we received this nice, thorough report from Justin Whitear, a guide at R & K. A big thank you to both Justins!

On September 29, 2010 we had a client who shot and wounded a bull elk. The elk was semi quartering towards us when the client took the shot. The shot went through the front shoulder and exited the same shoulder near the back of the shoulder, missing all vitals. The bull was able to cover a great distance of ground making our recovery impossible. As soon as the shot was made the bull elk spun around and headed into the same thick trees that he had just walked out of.

As we approached the clearing where the shot was made, we soon found a few drops of blood where the bull had ran into the trees. After following the blood for about 200 yards we could tell the animal had not been shot very well and we would need some assistance from Justin Richins. I made a call to Ken Duncan to pick Justin and Remi up at the bottom of the mountain. Within an hour and a half Justin and Remi had arrived and we soon watched this little puppy make a believer out of all us. As soon as they arrived I took Justin to where the shot had been made and that’s where Justin started his dog Remi.

At first Remi was very hyper and jumped around going back and forth from the blood trail to a possible rabbit or mouse track and then back to the blood trail. (Justin Richins comment to this statement was: Remi was just checking out all the wrong paths they tracked down with the blood/scent on there shoes at the hit site.) After 5 minutes of running around all of the sudden Remi ‘s disposition changed and he became very focused on the blood trail. At first we all watched this little puppy just kind of trot along and almost playing around like most puppies do and then something triggered Remi, maybe it was the taste of that blood, or the strong smell of fresh elk still on the ground, something turned this little puppy into a highly respectable dog that has the entire elk camp talking about Remi.

Remi’s nose never left the ground after the 50 yards or so of getting his wiggles out. Remi followed the blood track down a narrow path that was less than a foot wide, leading to a steep hill covered with thick oak trees. 35 yards from where the bull had been shot there was a large pool of blood about 6 inches long and 4 inches wide and then it slowed down to nearly one drop every 30 yards. Then at the 200 yard mark where we had stopped tracking and called Justin we could not locate any blood or which small game trail the bull had taken.

Remi was going at a pretty fast pace as he went over the hill and in fact missed the track and went about 20 feet down another game trail before turning around. He back tracked himself and then turned down a new trail. Watching this from above I had thought this is where the tracking would end. In my mind he had already missed the trail once and was now headed for a creek at the bottom of this large gully. After Remi crossed the creek he stayed at a pretty fast trot right up the other side of the creek and into some more thick trees. As we made our way into the trees I was very doubtful that Remi was even on the right trail.

At this point we were all in agreement that the bull had not been hit very well because of the distance we had traveled and the effort that would have been required to go up such a steep hill. As we continued going up through the trees we found a dot of blood and this was very exciting because we had gone close to a quarter mile without any blood sign. As we went further up the hill we came across a pretty good amount of blood where the bull had maybe laid down, not necessarily because he had been shot but it was getting late in the morning and most of the elk had bedded for the day.

As Remi made his way to the top of the ridge he worked his way out into an open meadow and started to head for the middle of it. Justin did not think that Remi was still on the trail so he took Remi back into the trees where the bull had laid down and started him over. Once again Remi worked his way up the hill and out into the opening towards the middle of large meadow. This time Justin let Remi go and we just followed. Justin and I were both thinking we had come to the end of our trail until we came to the other side of the meadow and found a small drop of blood leading into some more trees.

Justin and I were completely amazed that Remi was able to follow the same track through an open meadow that was 600 yards wide with a warm breeze and sun on the entire meadow Remi had still kept on the trail. As Remi made his way up the next bunch of trees he worked his way up until he came to a dirt road. Once Remi hit the road he kept doing half circles up the road and then back down to where the trail came out of the trees and into the road. After 3 or 4 times of going up the road and then turning back to where the trail came out of the trees Remi crossed the dirt road and followed a small game trail that lead into a giant basin that was covered with oak trees. The basin has to be close to 1 mile in length and ¾ of a mile wide.

As Remi worked closer to the big basin we came into a clearing where there were 10 to 15 beef cattle grazing. It only took a little bit of movement from the cows and Remi was on their tail barking and chasing them towards the basin. By now it was around 12:30 p.m. and we were exhausted and so was Remi. The good news was Remi had showed us where the bull had gone giving a game plan for the night hunt.

That night about 4:00 p.m. Kody Whitear and myself started into the basin looking for the bull. At the top of the basin we had a few spotters looking down towards us to make sure the bull didn’t slip out. About 45 min into our hike Bob Wixom, one of our guides, called and said he had spotted the wounded bull. We were able to make a stock on the bull and harvest the animal.

The recovery of this wounded bull would have never happened without Remi. From where we had shot the bull to where Remi last tracked the bull was close to 2 miles. Any good ethical hunter would have given up as soon as the elk had crossed the creek and its wound had stopped bleeding. I am so impressed with Justin’s dog I asked Justin to let me know when I would be able to get a dog like his. These dogs are incredible trackers and will save R&K many animals that would have suffered and died on the mountain and gone to waste without a dog to track them down.

Justin Richins with Remi at our place. Justin flew all the way from Utah to pick the pup up. Remi went to his new home on August 9, when he was 11 weeks old.
Not all puppies are as precocious as Remi. A breeder would like to see good blood tracking potential in young puppies. But every dog develops at his own pace and some late bloomers turned out to be terrific blood trackers and hunters.  We are very proud of Remi. He is in excellent hands and has a lot of opportunities to work. It is so satisfying to see that outfitters are starting to appreciate blood tracking dogs!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lisa, a Deer Search dachshund, does it again...and again...and again

Pete Martin and his dachshund Lisa (Lisa v Moosbach-Zuzelek, a Billy/Gela daughter) are on a roll - huge congratulations to both of you!

Pete writes:

Monday Oct. 18 - I received a call from a hunter that Bill Voeglin and I tracked for 3 or 4 years ago. He hit a nice 6pt. at 9:30 the previous morning. Lisa and I took up the track at 10:30 am. (25 hrs.later). Average blood trail for about 100 yards. then nothing. Lisa knew exactly where she was going the next 150 or so yards. Real nice work, right to the huge bodied wide racked deer. Happy ending for all. We are finally becoming a team of two as one. Trust your dog, know your dog.

Pete Martin with Lisa and the buck she recovered.
Next call:
This hunter shot his deer just before sunset on Oct. 20. The 7 pointer left a lot of blood on the ground as he headed towards a big beaver pond. The arrow entered midway back in the middle of the deer quartering to hunter and exited low thru stomach and into rear leg, (I have to take the hunters word on this for lack of evidence) almost severing it. We took track the following morning at 10:00. Not soon enough. Lisa did an outstanding job going straight into the beaver pond, swimming around and exiting exactly where the deer did. After 150 yards through woods into a large knee high field, then another grass field, with a nose to the ground dead pull, this is what we found. I think even Lisa was a bit bewildered. There was absolutely NOTHING left of this deer but skin & bones. Not even a gut pile. Coyotes even devoured the rear hoof and tail. Plenty of scat left behind.

Pete with Lisa and the deer that was devoured by coyotes
Next recovery:

This track sounded easy but before Lisa could find the deer the hunter and tracker had to unravel what was wrong.

Eighteen hours. after a good hit with arrow recovered we started tracking from hit site for about 250 yards with decent blood trail going uphill in open hardwoods.Trail was marked by hunter the night before. After an hour and a half and several restarts we advanced the bloodline only 75 yards or so. Lisa was pulling hard in every direction, but I could tell something wasn't right with her. Upon closer inspection of all the blood we marked,we realized this deer was traveling downhill. We also saw the blood getting somewhat heavier going uphill but again the "fingers" pointed down. This couldn't be the hunter's deer. It must have been shot on top of the mountain.

Walking the road back to blood we knew was from the right deer, we noticed a heavy trail of blood across the road exiting the woods where the deer was shot to a whole different section. This was the deer we wanted. A heavy line for 150 yards, a right turn downhill towards wet creek bottom. Another 200 yards and across a stream lay a nice big bodied typical 8 pointer.

A nice eight pointer was found by Lisa

Blood tracking dogs in action

I am trying to catch up with pictures and reports of deer and other big game recovered by blood tracking dogs. Since last saturday We have been very busy tracking and have not had time to write about our own recent tracking adventures. Some stories should be coming soon though....

We welcome your reports and pictures! If  you submit a picture for the blog, we'd really appreciate if you could give us some information about the track (how long, how old etc). To have this background info makes the picture so much more interesting.

This e-mail came from Mikki Vlach from Nebraska whose husband Marty tracks with Charlie. Charlie is an old Drahthaar, who by now must be around 12 years old. We wrote about Charlie before.

John and Jola -

Just thought you would like to know that Charlie and Marty are still at it! Marty shot this deer a week ago and old Chuck helped him recover it. It was quite a struggle for Charlie but his heart is still in it and Marty just can't retire him.

Marty Vlach and Charlie. It is good to hear that Charlie is still tracking.
Mike Martien, a United Blood Trackers member from Louisiana writes in the letter to Laurel Whistance-Smith about his dachshund Waldo. Waldo was bred by Laurel, and his sire is our FC Asko von der Drachenburg and his dam is FC Lutra von Löwenherz.

Our Waldo is doing fabulous! As he has matured, he has really gotten methodical on his tracking lines and is really working lines nicely. We’ve only been called out on one recovery so far this season (which opened Oct 1st), but Waldo did an excellent job in staying focused and working slowly. Last year I purchased a registered Labrador Retriever that is out of some of the same pedigree as Alan Wade’s dog, Scout. We’ve been working with him a good bit and I’m seeing the same type of “over eager” tracking that I saw in Waldo when he was just a pup, but I am making some headway in making him focus more. My hope is to have the Lab on a Garmin Astro collar (where permitted) and to mainly bring him in when a baying situation may be needed and a small dog on lead may not be the best choice. Waldo is so methodical in his working of lines that he will certainly remain as my “go to” tracker in tough situations where visible evidence doesn’t exist or lines are cold.

My family and I have been overjoyed with Waldo and he has really become such an integral part of the family. He’s a very smart dog and even alerts us when the kiddos are doing something they shouldn’t.  I just wanted to send you a quick update and hope to share some more finds with you in the near future. We are thinning does this weekend on our lease with bows, so he may get to log some more finds between now and Monday. I’ve attached two pictures of Waldo with this most recent find and the hunter. As you will see in the pictures the deer was shot at a bad angle and the shot exited a bit far back.

Waldo owned by Mike Martien is a shorthaired dachshund out of wire parents. The picture shows Waldo with a hunter.
 I see that you have another litter and I hope all is well with them as well. Waldo’s smooth coat really serves us and him nicely in these warm temps in the south, and if you or someone you know ends up with another smooth in a litter, with good possibilities, please keep me in mind and let me know. We’ve been so pleased with Waldo that we might be interested in acquiring another. These little dogs are great and I’m forever grateful to you and the Jeanneneys for getting Waldo placed with me! Waldo certainly has developed quite a reputation here in North Louisiana!

Mike Petrillose from Burnt Hills, NY wrote on the United Blood Trackers message board:

Cooper helper hunter Grant Palmer find his bow shot deer, we tracked it through 3/4 of a mile of thorn bushes. I'm all cut up. No blood, I only saw two spots and then found it next to a stream and put it down. John Jeanneney called me to take this call and he said he though it was a gut shot and he was right. Good call John. This was the second time I've tracked for this hunter the last time we hit posted land and I had to pull Cooper. This time it ended with a find.
Mike Petrillose's Cooper (Bavarian Mountain Hound) found this gut-shot deer for Grant Palmer.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A tough buck recovered by Pete Martin and Lisa from Deer Search

Pete Martin, a Deer Search member, shared with us his Sunday track. Pete's tracking partner is Lisa v Moosbach-Zuzelek), who is a five and a half year old daughter of FC Gela von Rauhenstein and FC Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek.
Congratulations to Pete Martin and Lisa on finding this nice buck!
On Sunday, October 17, I got a call from a hunter that I tracked for last year. He arrowed a nice eight pointer at 10 am the day before. Lisa and I started tracking at 11:45 am, 25+hrs later. The hunter stated good shot placement, no arrow. We tracked to last blood, and Lisa made hard left down and out of woods into field. I could see she was making her way towards gut pile from a previously shot deer the same morning whose blood trail crossed ours. After the restart we picked up new blood from 75 yds. or so. She missed a right turn at that point and continued on for another 100 yds before the second restart. She picked up the track from there and took us right to the live bedded deer, opening the last 50 yds.

Hunter put another arrow in deer, but the buck got up, trotted uphill 75 yds, and bedded again. We tracked to the deer again 15 minutes later and found him looking at us like a picture on a calendar. The third arrow proved to be too much but he did get up and go another 50 yds. This deer had a lot of will. The initial shot pierced one lung and liver.

Eibe finds a nice deer...and a groundhog

On Sunday we got the tracking report from Andy Bensing. Andy, thank you for taking time to write it up and sharing it with us!

Eibe and I were on a bit of a cold streak the last six tracks till this one.  We had a good one called off due to  private property issues and  5 that I think were just not dead.  Scenting conditions were surprisingly tough on this call.  The first 340 meters were quick and easy (only took 15 minutes) as there was blood everywhere but after the point of loss (POL) the visual blood spots were 25 to 80 meters apart and for whatever reason it was real difficult for Eibe to connect them. 

She was smelling tracks left and right but did not seem to be able to differentiate them and determine which ones went with the deer we were following.  She had to search most of the time from one  point of scent to another.  Basically the 380 meters from the point of loss to the dead deer was mostly a series of checks as opposed to a continuous track.  If you look at the GPS map you can see what I mean.  The last 380 meters took her 1 1/2 hours to complete but she stuck with it through all the searching and got it done.

Click on the map to enlarge it

 An interesting note about this track is that near the end Eibe finally seemed to be locked onto the deer and was tracking quite quickly and not having to search for about 50 meters and then she took a hard right turn up a hill for 30 meters and came to 1/2 of a freshly killed groundhog.  I picked her up from the obvious mistake and went back about 150 meters on the line and restarted her at some marked blood hoping to get her to blow past the groundhog on the next pass and stay concentrated on the deer.  She practically ran back down the known line as she retraced it.  I was afraid she might be running back to the groundhog that I had hung in a tree out of her reach.  To my big surprise as we approached the place she had turned right to go to the groundhog the first time, she blew right past that point and ran right to the dead deer, which was barely 20 meters away from where she had turned to go to the groundhog the first time!  The groundhog was so close that  I could actually see it hanging in the tree as I was taking the picture of Eibe and the deer.

Eibe with the deer that she found. Good girl Eibe!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A dramatic recovery of wounded deer caught on video

In our area Saturday, October 16, was an opening day of bowhunting season. The phone rang in the morning, and a local hunter was asking for help in finding his wounded buck. Michael, the hunter, is a friend of a friend, and John tracked for him several times in the past.

Michael thought that he had shot "too far back", possibly wounding the buck in its intestines as he noticed a piece of intestine-like tissue on the ground. There was some blood on the ground, not a lot of it, and after having advanced the blood trail for 60 yards or so, Mike called us. He did not disturb the further part of trail, which was very helpful as Joeri, our wirehaired dachshund that is trained for blood tracking, did not have any difficulty in trailing this deer until we got into a thicket.
When we walk to a hit site, a tracking dog is kept on a regular leash. A tracking collar and a long tracking leash are put on when we want Joeri to start tracking. It is his cue.

Blood signs were visible on leaves and occasionally on branches.

It was a heavy thicket, surrounded partly by the shallow water, and there we found blood signs in several spots. The deer must have circled there a bit before it bedded. It took Joeri at least 15-20 minutes to work the problem out. A good thing about Joeri's tracking style is that he does not move ahead unless he is sure that he is on the line.
In the thicket, Joeri tried several exit paths until finally he found the right one. 
Once he found the right exit from the thicket, the tracking got faster as now he was following the fresh line. From this point we saw only one drop of blood, which confirmed that we were on the right track. We were 50 minutes into what turned out to be an hour and a half long tracking job.

The last part of the track I taped on my camera, and I put together a 10-minute video. At one point we jumped the deer and Joeri got a piece of its tail. Then we continued for 100 yards or so, and finally Joeri located the deer. John had to dispatch it with a handgun, which we can carry according to the DEC leashed tracking dog license regulations. As it turned out, the deer was shot in its intestines indeed.

The video is posted at

Michael, the hunter, and John Jeanneney with Joeri
Jolanta, a co-tracker, is holding Joeri
Joeri got to chew "his" deer. He did an excellent job tracking and locating the wounded animal whose suffering ended with a single shot.
Tracking dogs can help! They are not always successful, especially if the deer is not mortally wounded, but they can do a much better job with their noses than we, hunters and trackers, can with our eyes. Next time you need to look for your deer, call Deer Search  or find a tracker through website.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Eight puppies for Pepper and Billy

On October 14 "Pepper" (Pepper Berger von Arno Yergz) owned by Gail and Art Berger whelped eight puppies - three girls and five boys. The sire is our Billy (FC Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek, SchwhK, Wa.-T, BHP-1, BHP-2, BHP-3, Deer Search certified). The mom and puppies are doing well.
Pepper with her newborn puppies
This is a repeat breeding and it looks like a Billy/Pepper combination really works. The 2008 pups are excellent blood trackers already. For information on puppies' availability contact Gail directly at 610-310-6835 or

Friday, October 15, 2010

Training young blood tracking dogs on real blood trails

Lee Behrens, a member of Deer Search  and very experienced tracker from Long Island, NY wrote recently:

My new little dog, Frenchie, Petit Basset Griffon Verdeen ( PBGV) found this deer tonight.  She is only 4 1/2 months old and has been doing well in training.  We would have found this doe in the morning  without the dog but I thought she did well.  Dark, flashlights and strangers and only about 200 yards through some thick brush.  I have great hopes for her! It was great to see you the other  night. 

Lee with Frenchie and recovered deer

The same training technique was used by Don Dickerson, a member of the United Blood Trackers from Michigan. Don's tracking partner is Gunner (Gunther von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a 2009 Billy/Gilda son).

Hi Jolanta and John,
Attached are a couple of pictures of a 6 pt buck that Gunner found last night, 10-14-2010, I thought you and John might enjoy seeing them.

The deer was shot with a bow by a very good friends' son right before dark. It was a good hit, good blood and the deer went about 400yards. Not a difficult track, but Gunner did a good job and it was good training for him. Gunner was very excited and "claimed" the buck as his own when he found it :-).

Things are about ready to really get rolling here in Michigan, cooler temps are forecast for the weekend so looking forward to a lot of calls.I will keep you posted. Having so much fun with my dog, thank you to you and John for starting all of this for so many.

Don with Gunner at the end of training line

A big thank you to Lee and Don for sharing their stories and pictures.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tracking dogs Quella and Gerti help hunters recover their wounded deer

Monday was a busy day as reports of successful recoveries were pouring in. We are still catching up. The first report is from David Bell from Ohio who wrote:

Hi Jolanta, I wasn't planning on doing any tracking tonight because of the hot weather, but I got one anyways from a die hard hunter, and off me and Quella went. The big doe ran into a field of briars which I love so much considering that I haven't bought my briar pants or jacket yet. But we went on to find this nice doe with sparse blood here and there, which was hard to see even with my big coon light. I had to restart her on blood when I noticed that she was checking for blood and clearly lost her track, but she prevailed shortly to find this nice deer. This was the young ladies first deer ever harvested and she did it with a hoyt bow.

Quella is just four and a half months old but she is already helping Ohio hunters to recover their wounded deer.

Quella with her doe.
The second report came from Chris Barr from Indiana who tracks with Gerti (a Billy/Gilda daughter):
Gerti and I had our 7th track of the season yesterday. The hunter was sure he had a rear gut/paunch hit that struck the far rear leg and broke it. He backed out without attempting to eye track. Gerti and I got there 2 hours later. With the broken leg, and predicted record heat for our area, it made it an easy decision to get right on it. It was 11:00 a.m.

The hunter wasn’t exactly sure where the deer was standing and there was no blood, so Gerti and I just started working the area. Gerti picked up the track within a few minutes, and after 50 yards with no blood, we found the arrow, confirming to me that Gerti was on it. In another 50 or so yards, we jumped the deer. We took it another 100 yards or so before the hunter was able cut the deer off and put a finishing shot on her.

This was Gerti’s 7th track, 6th deer to chew, 3rd “find”. The other three were already found, or surely would have been without our help. I guess you’d call this one a find?? The hunter just wasn’t sure how far the deer might go, which is why he called us. As it turns out, the whole thing was over within 200 yards.

The coolest thing is that this is Gerti’s 3rd “jumper” of the year.  I feel like I’m starting to read her better, and I’m definitely building confidence in her.

Gerti was instrumental in the recovery of this Indiana deer.
We love to hear that dogs out of our breeding are used for the purpose we bred them for. Thanks David and Chris, and congratulations!