Few days ago we received this nice report from David Bell from Ohio. Quella is a 2010 daughter of Joeri and Keena, and it looks like she is an accomplished tracker at a young age.
This buck was gut shot, but the hunter told me he had shot the buck behind the leg. After arriving at the hit site I quickly saw evidence that the shot wasn't as good as he had thought from examining the blood. After driving for an hour I decided along with the hunter to set the dog down since I wasn't going to come back out due to my busy schedule. When I set Quella down, she quickly found the back trail that the deer made. The hunter told me that the last blood was found a few feet in a back yard and briefly stopped, but I didn't question Quella's nose when she started to pull to the right with great determination. After going 50 yards or so I found some blood, which confirmed my suspicions. I let the hunter know that I found blood and he made his way quickly to me leaving the spot that he was so sure that the deer had gone through.
I traveled across this 10-acre wood lot to another back yard where Quella paused for a second and lifted her head. This scared me for a second, because I didn't see any blood on the way over here and I thought she was frustrated or something, because she never lifts up her head. But as soon as the thought crossed my mind that we weren't on the deer track, my dog made a quick lunge for the rump of a bedded buck. From there we decided to pursue the jumped buck, so the hunter could do the ethical thing, which is put the buck down so he didn't have to suffer. The hunter manged to get a following up shot after we got into shooting distance, but the deer managed to cover lots of ground. Alltogether the track was a little over a mile to his final resting spot in a creek under a bridge. A man walking over the bridge saw the deer and notified the police, who came out and gave us a hand dragging the buck up the steep creek bank with a spare leash that I keep in my pack. The hunter happens to be my boss at work and I told him that he was very lucky that I took his call, because I wasn't taking any calls until I got a chance to hunt some for myself. After all it was the peak of the rut and I wanted to get out and get after one of those big bucks for myself.