|One of 11 deer that Sally and Petey recovered in 2011|
Hi Jolanta and John -
I see you've been following the Facebook page, but it's been a long time since you heard from me and I thought you'd like to hear a little more about Petey. We just finished our best season yet, as far as numbers of calls (33) and finds (11) as well as the work Petey has been doing. We had a couple of impressive 24-hour finds with little to no blood, a few frustrating tracks where we didn't get any further than the hunter, and then everything in between. Petey has not lost any of his enthusiasm and still puts out a lot more energy than he needs to, but his eagerness doesn't seem to interfere with his thinking process as much as it used to. He's very focused and intent on his tracking. He's become much better at figuring out the difficult spots and it may not always be quick or graceful, but given the time to work it out on his own, he usually will. I think he's learned a lot from my interfering with him less and giving him the time he needs to do his work. I understand his body language a lot better now and I trust what he's telling me, though it's not easy to convince the hunter that Petey's right when we aren't seeing any blood, and sometimes finding that one drop is almost as good as finding the deer.
We found our first bear last year and he took to that without a problem. I had to use my gun for the first time this year and in a classic case of beginner's luck, I hit the deer just right and it died almost instantly. I didn't like it one bit, but this deer would have suffered and died anyway and it had to be done. We had a warm season and only just got snow a few days ago, which might account for the higher number of calls this year. Over the last couple of years I've been getting more calls from people I've tracked for before or their friends and family, so the more calls we take, the more calls we get and I'm hoping for even more next year.
Petey is a very healthy, active dog, full of quirks and an absolute pleasure to live with. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this season, learned a lot and we're looking forward to many good years ahead. Hope you both had a safe and successful tracking season.
I'm attaching a couple more pictures - the bear was from last year but it's one of my favorites. Petey was the proudest I have ever seen him when he found that bear. The other one is an 8-pointer we found on opening day this year. All the blood had been rained away, not too difficult for Petey but impossible for the hunter.