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Thursday, October 21, 2010

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!