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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.


Maribeth said...

Jolanta and John, (& Joeri!)
What a great video! I was fascinated to watch how Joeri was working.
Thanks for sharing this with us!

Jolanta Jeanneney said...

Thanks Maribeth. On a cold line Joeri works much more slowly. The part of track that was captured on the video was easy as the scent line was fresh after the deer had moved out of its bed.

Scott L said...

Jolanta and John,
Wow, what a great track for Joeri. I hear from Laurel W. that Tommy has had a great accomplishment too. Can't wait to read about it.
I am hoping to get a puppy from Laurel's latest litter. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Scott in Ontario

Jolanta Jeanneney said...

Hi Scott,
Yes, Tommy had an amazing two-mile eight-hour old track yesterday (Oct 21). I'll post as soon as I get time to do so.