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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from Quenotte and her "von Moosbach-Zuzelek" family!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two German breeds living in harmony

Last week we received a very interesting e-correspondence from a couple, Columbus Smith and Uta Fehlhaber-Smith, who live in Portland, Oregon. Of course, the connection was made because of the teckel that they have imported from Germany.

A five-month-old Max von Bispingdorpe is a handsome puppy with a very impressive pedigree. His parents are GS 2009 Uri vom Pfaffenberg and GS 2009 Lotte von Bispingdorpe. Max brings new bloodlines to a small gene pool of European wires in this country, which is a very positive development.

The two pictures taken just few days ago show Max with his friend Luna, a Hovawart (also a German breed). The pictures were taken by Columbus, Max' owner.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gusto is reborn-to-track

We received the letter from Bob Yax, a member of the Finger Lakes Chapter of Deer Search. Three years ago Bob adopted Gusto von Moosbach-Zuzelek, who is our Gilda's brother (his parents are Asko and Sabina, and he was born on March 27, 2002). This is a second home for Gusto. As a blood tracking prospect puppy Gusto was sold to a couple from Massachusetts. Jim was planning to work towards making blood tracking legal in that state, but his life circumstances have changed and Gusto ended up living a life of a pet. Later the couple had to move where keeping a dog was not an option and they approached as about finding a new home for Gusto. This is how Bob became his second owner.

Hi Jolanta !

I thought you and John would enjoy this update on Gusto. As you remember we adopted Gusto about 3 years ago from a couple in Boston. They had hoped to use him for tracking, but the Massachusetts laws did not allow it, so Gusto did not have many opportunities to show his stuff for his first 6 years. Well, for our first two tracking seasons with Deer Search, we did not have any success in recovering deer for hunters. We went on a total of 14 calls, with 0 recoveries. In some cases we were able to kick up the wounded deer the next day to at least show the hunter that their hit was not likely fatal. As Kevin Armstrong recently discussed, I think we suffered from a lack of quality hits – all of those 14 hits were shoulder or likely one lung hits. In any case, this string of “failures” certainly didn’t do much for my confidence in Gusto.

This past tracking season brought new hope and better luck when it came to call quality. Our 2nd call this year was one that sounded like it might have been a liver hit – a lot more hopeful. However, once Gusto got beyond the initial short visible blood trail, it seemed like we were in line for another un-recovered deer. We covered about 500 yards including several back tracks over the first 45 minutes without any visible signs that we were actually still on the deer. Then, when I had just about given up hope, Gusto stopped to lick a leaf, when I picked up the leaf – Blood!!! I was surprised and elated. Over the next half hour Gusto showed me one more bloody leaf and a bed with a little blood. Finally, after another 300 yds with no visible sign, there it was – an 8pt laying in the open hardwoods. We confirmed that the hit was a liver to gut shot. Gusto had his first recovery after 3 seasons.

From this point on, Gusto had a new purpose – he lived to track. Any sign that I was getting ready for a new sortie and Gusto was jumping on the car door trying to get in and go. When we returned home from a tracking mission, there was no getting him OUT of the car! Gusto’s always had a little Jekyll & Hyde personality and he definitely displayed it (and his teeth !) when I attempted to get him out of the car. I had to resort to leaving him in the car with the door open so he could come out when he wanted. Most times he would be scratching at the door of the house around 11:00 at night. Twice, I found him still in the car the next morning! He didn’t want to stop tracking!!

Our terrifically fun and successful season ended with 7 nice recoveries  in 17 sorties. All our recoveries involved either a liver or a gut hit. One came 74 hours after the hit and another ended when Gusto finally convinced me, on his 3rd attempt, to head through 2 feet of water into a swamp. On an Island in the swamp we found a 9pt still alive with a gut shot after 24 hours – I wish I had gotten pictures of him doing the doggy paddle out to that island!

There’s still life in this old (9yr) dog and me too!

Can’t wait till tracking season 2011,

Happy New Year,

Pictures showing Gusto with the deer that he helped recover

I could not be happier that Gusto rediscovered his purpose in life. But you should not tolerate his behavior when he stays in the truck as he pleases and shows you his teeth! Let's talk about it on the phone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Nor'easter of the season

Winter started really early this year, and our first Nor'easter of the season came on the afternoon of the 26th of December. The travel was dangerous and we had to cancel our family's get-together scheduled for Sunday.  So far we have not had a chance  to exchange gifts but this is a minor inconvenience in comparison to the disruptions of lives of so many travellers stranded at the airports all across the Northeast. Now, two days later we are still snowed in and our driveway is buried under peaks of snow drifts.

Actually when the sun came out yesterday morning the scenery was beautiful and worth a trip to the woods, even with the snow squalls breaking all around me. All in all we probably had two feet of snow (0.6 meter) but drifts in some places are much higher.

Monday morning after a major snow storm. A short peaceful moment with a bright blue sky.

Trees looked really majestic in their white coats.

Wind gusts reached 40 miles per hour and the pond did not look too inviting.

A snow squall seemed to swallow our young apple trees.

Dogs did not venture outside much except for short bathroom breaks.

Blowing snow made our driveway look like a road to a frozen hell.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Berkely gets introduced to hunting and tracking

Lynn Pierce from Louisiana wrote a week ago (thank you Lynn!):

Aaron is introducing Berkley to deer hunting at Gut Buster’s hunting club and resort. Berkley is not too sure about all this, but she sure is cute in that pink hunting outfit. Rosette tracked another deer and this deer is number 6 for the year. The buck is Uncle Mike Oliver’s eight point killed in the play pen food plot and the buck weighed 225#. The first shot was a 35 yard shot and he missed. Can you believe that, yes we can. Then the buck ran 45 yards from him, turned and looked back at uncle Mike (bad move on the buck’s part). He shot again and this time he hit it (a double lung shot) and the buck ran into the woods, but did not leave much of a blood trail. The track was at night and not a long track for Rosette, but an exciting one. Rosette wanted blood and hide from that buck.

Way to go Uncle Mike and Rosette.

Rosette with Uncle Mike and Berkley

Friday, December 24, 2010

We worked hard this fall. Winter is the time to play!

Many thanks for your support and friendship that carry us through rough times. Our good times are even better just because we can share them with you.

Wishing you the best holidays ever!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our pond is coyotes' playground

This is how our pond looked like a year ago.
This year December has been cold, and the pond is frozen. recently we got few inches of fresh snow so two days later I went to inspect animal tracks in the woods and fields. It looks like our pond has become a playground for coyotes! We hear coyotes at night, but I wound have never expected that we were getting so much traffic on the pond. The walk around property lead me to believe that actually the pond has the highest concentration of coyote tracks. I wonder why. I suspect that they really like the icy surface underneath the snow. What else could be attracting them to the place?

These are all coyote tracks in the 48-hour-old snow covering the pond.

This fall we have seen more damage done by coyotes to the deer we found for hunters than ever before. In the past the main concern was that the deer left overnight in the woods would be ruined. This season on several occasions coyotes were active and on the deer during daytime hours.

Kelly Scott and his blood tracking dog Chloe from Ponchatoula, LA

Few days ago we received e-mail from a blood tracker in Louisiana. I will let him introduce himself.
Kelly Scott with Chloe, who is a half Lab and half Weimeraner
 Just wanted to write and tell yall thanks for all the GREAT info on your web site and internet. I have been a hunter all my life and just the past year have gotten into using a dog for blood trailing. I have a year and half old 1/2 Lab/ 1/2 Weimeraner. I have been working with her before the season and this is the first year tracking. She is 8 out of 12 so far; she is doing great, I am the one that needs help. I just ordered 2nd edition of your book on tracking dogs and can't wait to get it and start reading. I never thought I could love hunting for someone else's deer so much. She is a great dog and I am very proud of her as you can probably tell. I'm attaching a couple of pictures of my girl for you to see. Thanks again and hope I didn't take up two much of your time. By the way, I'm from a little town in Louisiana, Ponchatoula.
Kelly Scott

Thank you Kelly for writing. It sounds like Chloe is a really dog for tracking wounded game. Good luck and keep us posted about her progress. Let us know what you think of the book.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A wish for a long and healthy life

December is a special month for me as many life changing events took place in this month. In December: 
  • I immigrated to Canada and started a new chapter of my life  (29 years ago)
  • Zuzia (Susie), my very first dachshund that I had brought from Poland died at the age of 13 (20 years ago)
  • my first litter of wirehaired dachshunds was born (19 years ago)
  • I married John, who is my second husband (15 years ago)
  • my Mother died (13 years ago)  
So in spite of all the hustle and bustle associated with December, tracking and hunting, holiday preparations, this time of year brings reflections and memories. Nowadays it also brings many cards and messages from people who got their dogs from us. For some people Christmas holidays are the only time when they reach out to us, and we are always happy to hear from them.

Just a couple of days ago we received this e-mail with a picture from Janet and Randy Heidemann from Campbell Hall, NY, who have a wirehaired dachshund Johann. Johann ( Tobby von Moosbach-Zuzelek) was born on June 10, 1995, and now he is fifteen and a half years old. He must be currently the oldest living dog out of our breeding. He is a son of our Gita (FC Zuzelek's Gold-digging Gita) and Doc (Dogabert von dem Meier Hof).

Janet and Randy write: Attached is a picture of Johann after his "geriatric" check up. According to the vet, Johann is doing well. He has cloudiness in his eyes but not glaucoma. His back legs are wobbly but he is on medication, Rimadyl, for this. The medication has made a wonderful difference in how he is able to maneuver, especially in the morning. His diet is a Science Diet for older dogs which we get directly from the vet. All the vets are so taken with Johann. He is the only wirehaired that they have had the pleasure of treating. At 15.5 yrs. old, Johann is doing well. Johann, Randy, and I all wish you both a Happy Holiday and New Year.   
Johann, now fifteen and a half years old, is still doing well.
There is something very special about old dogs, and a book that really captures their magic is Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs.  It might be not too late to order it as a gift for a person who loves dogs.

Wishing all your dogs a long and healthy life!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas greetings from Quebec

Thank you Alain and Marjolaine for the lovely card!

Bonjour John et Jolanta. De ma part ainsi que de Martjolaine je vous envoie nos bons voeux pour la nouvelle année 2011. Alain et Marjolaine
Alain Ridel is an experienced tracker of moose and whitetails in Quebec. His tracking dog Théo is a wirehaired dachshund imported from La Meute à Chéops, one of the leading kennels for hunting dachshunds in France (Théo is a sire of our Paika).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tracking dachshunds at work and play

Joeri tracked this buck across a wind-swept field to the creek 23 hours after the shot. Location: Palenville, Green County, NY

There is something unique about fresh snow - young dogs love to play in it. I have included several shots showing how much fun they have when the snow is fresh. Joeri (above and below) was acting like a clown, carrying a branch and jumping around.
Paika and Tommy were play fighting and racing. be young again!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

While tracking a wounded elk Remi runs into a porcupine

In the last 24 hours we received two pictures from Justin Richins showing that Remi (Remy v Moosbach-Zuzelek) is living an active life.

Justin's caption:This fox realy did not need any tracking but my little budy went nuts when I shot and wanted to track him anyway.

Justin says: Finaly had a chance to track again a wounded cow elk. Remi was doing great on the 16 hr old track, then he came to a thicket that I could not go through. I let him go off lead as I waited on the other side for him to come out and this is how he came out. We were lucky as he could have lost his eye.
For a good article on dealing with porcupine quills click here. Possible complications resulting from the injury due to porcupine quills are addressed here. Unfortunately, our dogs have had many encounters with porcupines, usually when they were off leash running rabbits. Luckily they did not suffer any long-term complications.

Remi, we hope you feel better soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A talented blood tracking team from Michigan

Vernon and Bell from Marquette, Michigan
Recently we were contacted by Vernon Hansen from Upper Peninsula of Michigan, who so far has found 19 deer with his four-year-old wirehaired dachshund Bell. Bell (Doxy Trax Bell) was bred by Kathy and Michael Vincent from McKean, PA; her dam is Mein Suss Kirsche (a sister of our Elli) and her sire is Henri Anons.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Video showing Andy Bensing and Eibe on a deer call

A couple of weeks ago Andy Bensing and his son Gerik teamed up to tape a "typical" process involved in tracking wounded deer with a dog. The video is long, 34 minutes, and the actual tracking takes just few minutes - watch it We agree with Andy's comment that "the video shows the whole process well, especially for a new person unfamiliar with what we actually do.  The original is of good quality but to get it small enough to upload it lost a lot of quality and this is also my 1st attempt to upload a video". ! If we were to suggest anything to improve it - trim it to show only parts that are essential to blood tracking and then you would probably be able to post it at a higher resolution, which would make watching it more enjoyable. Post two versions of the video so people can choose which one they'd like to watch.

Watch the video at

Sunday, December 12, 2010

David Bell and Quella from Ohio recover a nice buck with almost no blood to follow

David Bell from Ohio shared his latest track with us in this e-mail written on December 2. Congratulations David and thank you for giving your pup opportunities to work. Quella is just over 6 months old and she is a daughter of Joeri and Keena.

I got a call this morning from one of my wife's friend's husband whom I met a few times. He needed help with the deer he shot with his muzzleloader. I haven't had a call since the last monster I found on the 20th of November and I was eager to set my pup down. I asked him on the phone interview if he found blood after asking him a ton of questions about the shot and the reaction of the deer. It sounded promising since he said that he shot the buck with his muzzleloader with a scope from 15 yards away.

When I got to the hit site I noticed right away there wasn't any blood, but he reassured me that his muzzleloader was on. As it turned out he didn't look for any blood and he just pulled out since he thought it might have been a bit high and far back. This call was around 8 hours old and I set Quella down anyway at the hit site and off she went pulling hard with her head on the ground working hard. It was 33 percent humidity and very cold. I asked the hunter after the first 100 yards if he even hit the deer because I wasn't finding any blood at all and started to get worried, but I followed Quella anyways because when I asked her if she was right, her reaction of pulling on told me that she was.

Shortly after she took me up a little hill where I found some blood. I shouted out to the hunter to follow me and mark it with the orange tape from my pack. Quella took me another 200 yards with a few blood drops every 30 or 40 yards or so and started to head to a creek after making a 90 degree turn. She started to look for a place to cross. Quella took me down to a low spot in the creek, and the hunter's buddy who came to watch this wonder dog at work noticed the deer on the other side up against a log. I picked her up and across the creek we went to the find.

Quella with Brian the hunter and the deer she helped recover.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another deer recovered by Karma. Some thoughts on recovery rates.

My apologies to the readers for a long silence but I was away from home for a week and found it impossible (too busy) to post while on the road. Ten days ago this report from Kevin Armstrong from Deer Search came:

Fresh snow on the trail made problems for the hunter who shot this nice Bristol, NY 11 pointer. No problem for Karma. She found the deer in less than 1/2 hour. No. 4 for the season.

I knew that Kevin has taken 29 calls at the time and asked him what in his opinion was the reason for the fact that he recovered only four deer. Thank you Kevin for your insights:

Jola, Karma did outstanding work. In my opinion this years low recovery rate is due to poor call quality. In addition, in three cases the deer was taken by someone else before we got to it. In one case, which is under investigation by en con police, the antlers will probably be the 4th biggest buck ever taken in NYS. In another case my hunter tracked down the guys who took the deer and got a photo. That was an 8 pointer who would have probably scored around 160. In a third case we were under observation by a stranger in a car on a nearby road throughout the track. No doubt the deer was removed with a motor vehicle and stashed somewhere nearby. Some people will do awful things to own a really big buck. Unfortunate. In most of the other trails we ultimately jumped the deer and in most cases chased it for significant distances before abandoning the trail. If we include the three deer that were taken before we got there I think we had a 100% success rate at recovering all the mortally wounded deer we went after. I believe that if the deer is out there, dead, Karma and I will find it. That said it is hard to hold such a positive attitude after 9 or 10 trails without a recovery. I suppose we all have to expect some good years, some bad years, and some average years. I just hate to have below average years while my little dog is in her prime.

The season isn't over yet. Anything could happen. My goal is always 25% with a stretched goal of 33%. If I recover the next couple deer I go after I suppose I'm doing OK. We had a master tracker with an outstanding dog in FLC DSI last year who only recovered 1 in 28 or some such figure. No fault of his, just the way it rolls.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Blood tracking reports

Bill Siegrist from Deer Search wrote on November 23:

Jake had a good find today. This morning at 8:00am we took a 25 hour old line. The hunter didn't know where he hit the buck but lost a sparse blood trail after 150 yards. Jake took us another 200 yards finding a few more spots of blood pretty much in a straight line. At the last blood he worked the area for a half hour. I had to start him over at the last blood 4 or 5 times. Finally he (Jake) made a sharp right turn and took me down a very steep slope for about 150 to 200 yards into a swamp. Jake got into the 6"' to 8" water and we found the deer 75 feet away. The last 150 to 200 yards were without blood. It was a nice 7 point buck. The wound was a low gut shot.

This is probably Jake's last tracking season. Sadly he has been diagnosed with mouth cancer. His registered name is Drake v Moosbach-Zuzelek and his parents were Alfi and Vamba.
Susanne Hamilton from Maine wrote on November 26.

We just did a 2 mile track on a high leg shot doe. I saw the bone and white hair at the hit site and decided to push it. I told the hunter that it could be a long track, to take some cloths off (he had looked like a michellin man) Also asked him to keep his rifle in the car as it is against the law for anyone but guides and trackers to carry firearms after dark.

I thought that we would most likely push this deer quite a way and that we would most likely find it still alive. I brought my 357 mag, and after a 2 mile track with very little blood the first 400 yards, the doe started to open up more. Although I kept Buster on a pretty short lead  because I didn't want him to get stepped on like the last leg shot deer, he suddenly had latched on to one of the doe's hind legs.

I pulled my dog off, handed him to the hunter (with a stern warning not to let go) and shot her in the neck and put her out of her misery quickly. It took over an hour to drag her out of the woods, but I had a very happy hunter.

PS sorry no pic... cell phone which I usually take pics with ran out of battery.

Joe Walters from Indiana wrote:
This was a 24 hour old track on a gut shot buck. The hunter tracked it for maybe 1/2 mile and then Doc and I started there and took the track another 1/2 mile where Doc got on healthy deer for a stretch. I took him back to last blood and we found the buck about 50 yards from there. Hunter was jumping up and down and wanting to kiss Doc. Biggest buck he has ever shot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Richardson Farms Outfitters' tracking dog Nadja

Jason Garthaus with his deer recovered with help from Jeff Richardson and his tracking dog Nadja.
Recently we received this nice message and a great picture (thank you Jason for both!).  "My name is Jason Garthaus, and I'm from Mt. Serling, Illinois.  Jeff Richardson and his dog, Nadja, helped me find my deer this year on November 2nd.  Jeff told me he purchased the dog from you so I though I would send you a picture with all of us.  Never would have found the deer if it wasn't for Nadja.  She did awesome, and it was fun watching her work."

Nadja is now three and a half years old and her registered name is Nettie v Moosbach-Zuzelek; she is a daughter of Emma and Buster. For more info on Richardson Farms Outfitters go to