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Sunday, December 11, 2011

More blood tracking stories from Louisiana: Mike Martien and his dachshund Waldo

We received a very nice report from Mike Martien, a United Blood Trackers member from Monroe, LA. Mike's tracking partner, a seven year-old Waldo was bred by Laurel Whistance-Smith from Canada, and his parents are FC Lutra von Loewenherz and our FC Asko von der Drachenburg.
On October 23rd, Waldo recovered/tracked a live deer that stood up to fight when Waldo approached it. It was a doe that had been gut shot by a young boy (Seth), that had been jumped up afterwards by a lab (that was tracking it), and shot again, this time resulting in a broken leg. The Lab that was tracking it is a very good, accomplished tracker (named Sandy), but she was pregnant at the time and lost interest in tracking the deer after jumping it, and we think it was due to her being pregnant and tired. Shane (Seth’s father and Sandy’s owner), hunts with me on the same lease, so once he saw that Sandy was losing interest, he called me and asked me to bring Waldo. I started Waldo from where the deer had been jumped, and he trailed it into a very thick pine thicket that is overrun with briars. While trailing, we came upon a massive wall of briars that I had to crawl underneath in order to stay with Waldo. As soon as we emerged out the other side, Waldo made a 180 and went back along the side of the briars that we had just come through. Surprisingly, Waldo soon began barking and pulling hard on his lead. When I got positioned to where I could see him, the doe stood up and started trying to paw Waldo while he was biting her on the nose. Luckily Waldo was on lead, and I was able to hoist him out of the way so that my brother could dispatch the deer. Waldo was unscathed, but very possessive of the deer, as he didn’t want Sandy anywhere around it. LOL

On November 20th we were called out on a track after church. This was an interesting track as Waldo was able to go on another track with Rudy, an up and coming one year old semi-smooth WHD that a good friend of mine (Jody McKoin) was able to get out of Pennsylvania. Watching these two dogs work together was pretty impressive. There had been a good many other hunters in that camp that had gone out trying to recover this deer and needless to say, the scent trail was littered a good bit from them stepping in the blood and scattering it. We determined that the deer was possibly hit high (as it dropped immediately after the shot) on a quartering away shot and we had no hair or evidence of a pass through on the bullet, and very little blood. After approximately 3 hours of watching the dogs struggle and seeing the lack of sign, we decided to pull out and call it quits.

On November 28th, Waldo was called out to a 17-hour-old track that was the remnants of approximately 5 people and a blood hound that had attempted to find the deer with no success (they stayed out there for approximately 3-4 hours, the night of the shot, walking around, dispersing the scent, and trying to locate the deer). Needless to say, it was difficult to get Waldo going, but fortunately, my brother (Claude) jumped the deer and we were then able to verify that we were on the right trail, and the tracking was on. To make a long story short, the blood sign picked up after the deer left it’s bed (and the scent was fresh) and we were able to track it 2 miles to its next bedding site, where we dispatched the deer and recovered it. The greatest part of the recovery was Russ being able to call his 12-year-old daughter, Callie, and tell her that her trophy had been recovered!  I’ve attached two pictures of Callie’s deer: one of Waldo with the deer, and another with me, Waldo, and Russ – Callie’s father.

Mike with Waldo,and Russ, Callie's father.

On November 30th, we were called back out to my lease by another good friend of mine (Chad), which has had Waldo recover a couple of deer for him and his son before (you might recall the picture of a young boy with Waldo and his dad earlier this season). Chad shot this deer at approximately 200 yards while it was running a doe, and we believe that his shot was low, because we found fragments of leg bone along the track and the deer was seen carrying its front leg. We had good blood for the first half of the track, and jumped it out of a bed twice while trailing. We trailed this deer 3,370 yards (or 1.9 miles) before giving up. We were able to get two more shots at the deer, but it wasn’t the most opportune chances, as one was a shot while it was running through thick cover, and the other was with a pistol at over 100 yds. Based on the sign along the track and the way the deer had stopped bleeding and was moving, we firmly believe that this deer is still alive. Hopefully someone else will see the deer and be able to take it.

So basically, the last month has been filled with deer that were still alive, yet we did manage to recover two of them. I’m surprised how slow the calls have been coming in, as we usually have a high volume of calls during this time of the year. Hope that all is well with both of you!

Mike Martien

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