We started to track at 1 PM next day, and this was the steepest and roughest terrain we have ever tracked in. I have just gone through six weeks of physical therapy for the lower back pain, and did not expect to track in such a rocky, ledgy, mountainous terrain (a lesson learned - we should have asked more questions when talked to the hunter on the phone).
We started to track with Billy, who showed us some dry dark blood on the ground and saplings. This part of the track is showed well on a short video, which I took while John was handling Billy.
|We started to track with Billy|
But after a while Billy took us down the hill and since we were not seeing any signs of the bear, we decided to give Billy some rest, put him back in the car and go back to the starting point with Joeri.
John and I took turns handling him, and Joeri was able to advance the trail further up the hill. We ran out of blood signs fairly quickly, but Joeri was pulling pretty hard while we were climbing the hill. There were so many caves and dens that a wounded bear could crawl into. At one point we encountered what must have been a bear bathroom as there we piles of bear poop all over the place. Some of it was very fresh. Joeri was animated and wanted to go into one cave.
|Joeri climbing the rocky hill had a good workout...|
|... and so did the rest of us|
|Bears must be using this small area as a toilet.|
|Joeri was very animated around this den and wanted to crawl there. We were sure that bears were using this den, but had no evidence that "our bear" was there.|
|I know that dachshunds are not supposed to move like mountain goats but this track underscored the need for sound conformation in the working dachshunds. Joeri who has excellent ground clearance never had any problems with the terrain.|
|At one point we came across bear vomit full of corn.|
We searched the area for 3.5 hours and did not locate the wounded bear that we were tracking. Bears are abundant there and this fact plus the really steep and rough terrain made the tracking difficult. For calls like this a close working dog such as Joeri was certainly a good choice. He has never showed any hesitation in following the scent and his great conformation allowed him to track for a long time. Both John and I were tired but we knew that even though we did not find the bear we did everything we could.