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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Young blood tracking dachshunds at work

Last weekend John and I were at field trials in New Jersey and after we got back we had to face a high volume of phone calls and e-mails that awaited us. When we go away to field trials we usually unplug and take a break from instant communications. We pay a price for this as we have to catch up with "stuff" later. Anyway, every day brings new reports of how useful blood tracking dogs are in the field. The following reports tell stories of recovered deer by young dachshunds, all of them under two years.

First blood tracking story comes from Chris Barr from Indiana:

Sunday night Gerti and I took our 6th track of the 2010 hunting season in Indiana. I was supposed to go hunting with 2 buddies, but opted not to so that I could stay home and watch the Colts....ultimately lose.

I got the call from them at 8:00. Gerti and I arrived at the hit site at 8:30. Hunter was sure he hit the deer just behind the shoulder, but did not get a pass-through with his mechanical broad head. Before I arrived the hunters eye-tracked for 50 yards to the arrow, but could not advance it any further. I put Gerti on the hit site and after a few re-starts, she tracked right to the arrow and beyond. To that point there was maybe a tea spoon of blood dribbled on the trail. Away we went with Gerti pulling very confidently for 200 yards....but I had not seen a drop of blood since the arrow. Thinking she was not on the right deer I pulled her off and circled back to the hit site. I re-started her and she went directly to the arrow and took the same route we'd just taken. I called the hunters on the two-way radio and told them that I was just going to let her go and see where we went as she seemed very sure of herself.

This time in the same 200 yard stretch that we'd just covered, I found 2 very small drops of blood. (I'd missed them the first time through). This was the confirmation that I'd been hoping for. I called the hunters to my location and kept on going blindly following Gerti. Ten yards beyond the point where I'd pulled her off the first time, the deer opened up and started bleeding pretty well. We pushed on into some thick brush when Gerti must have nearly put her nose on the deer because it exploded from the brush and took off. At the wound bed there was gut material and the strong odor of a gut shot. Gerti went ballistic! Since the doe had let us get so close before bolting, I felt safe in pushing her hard. She went another 200 yards before making a semi-circle, going back the direction we'd just come before collapsing. With some additional drama at the end waiting for the hunters to catch up, we finally dispatched the deer, nearly 800 yards from the hit site.

Gerti (Gwen von Moosbach-Zuzelek) was born in April 2009 and she is out of FC Gilda v Moosbach-Zuzelek, sired by FC Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek
Ultimately, the deer had been hit in the paunch, but all the blood was red, not dark or muddy. The funny thing is, we evaluated all three potential hits, shoulder, lung, gut. We’d have never jumped on the trail so quickly if the hunter had not been so sure of his shot placement. As it worked out, I’m glad we did. I have the whole track on my GPS but have not put the software on my computer yet and thus can’t share it. That’s my next move.

This was Gerti's 20th live track of her life, and without a doubt her best yet. She had no assistance (except for the prayer I said before we left). John J and everything you read, and everyone you talk to says to trust your dog, trust your dog. Until last night I just hadn't developed that "blind faith". At 18 months old, Gerti still likes to track everything and has taken me on some goose-chases. I had never had the opportunity to follow her for a considerable distance, and then finally find that tiny drop of blood that confirmed to me that Gerti was right on. From that point, I knew that all I had to do was hang on and keep up. I was truly just the dope on the rope.

I’ve never been so happy with a dog in my life. Yesterday, still on my adrenaline rush from the night before, I was taking nap on the floor when Gerti came over to me, licked me on the face and then crawled under my blanket and went to sleep. Total experience of owning a Von Moosbach Zuzelek…..PRICELESS!!

Thank you Chris for sharing the exciting story and giving Gerti good opportunities to work.

The next report comes from Greg Accardo from Louisiana. Regular readers of this blog might recall a horrific loss Greg suffered in April when his premier tracker Ariel was killed by coyotes. When Greg bred Ariel (Ariel von der Pfauenbrucke) to Tully Mars last year, she had 8 puppies, and Greg kept one male for himself. His name is Axel vom Feliciana, and he is almost a year and a half old now. Yesterday Greg wrote about this first solo find for Axel:

The hunter made a decent shot but the buck was quartering to him so the arrow exited the rear of the gut. Consequently, there was not blood at the hit site and none to be found in the direction of travel. Axel locked on to the scent where they found the arrow. At about 100 yds I started seeing lots of blood that looked like the buck was stopping and bleeding out badly. About another 30 yds we walked up on the nice 11pt buck. The young hunter thought he shot a 4 pt. Needless to say, he was very excited to have his 1st bow kill to be an 11pt.

Greg Accardo (right) and Axel found this 11-pointer for the young hunter. It was hunter's first bow kill and Axel's first solo recovery. Congratulations!

Another short report comes from Andy Pedersen from Maryland, who tracks with Ruby. Ruby will be two years old in December and she was bred by Gail Berger, and is out of Pepper Berger von Arno Yergz and our Billy. Actually this breeding was repeated recently and puppies are due in two weeks.

10/03/2010: This was Ruby's second successful track of the 2010 Season (first was 10/02 - a doe but no pics). The deer was gut-shot and we started at 0600 the next morning - Ruby took 8 minutes to cover the ~140 yd trail that had very little blood.

Andy Pedersen with Ruby who recovered this gut-shot deer.
Congratulations to all the three trackers and their young dogs! Great job!

1 comment:

Stan said...

Great stuff!
I love the "dope on a rope" comment!!