In Chuck's own words:
This is Moose's synopsis of 2011. It has been a thrilling year as it was his first as a father. There has been nothing but positive feedback from the puppy owners so far.
As far as tracking it was a tough year as I was really busy working on some serious matters during prime tracking time. I was able to refer many tracks to other trackers as more and more trackers become available. Moose and I have become members/trackers for Michigan Deer Track'n Hounds as well as UBT. I'm proud to be a part of a Michigan based team as well as a national group such as United Blood Trackers. We need to promote unity in tracking. If we stick together, we can promote the awesome thing we do.
As of the second doe season which was the last track we attempted we went on 16 deer tracks recovering 7 and 3 bear tracks recovering 2. This puts Moose at 43 deer and 6 bears recovered so far. My working so much holds him back. What makes Moose more special to me is he does whatever I ask him to do. He is a 365 day a year dog. He is an awesome house dog/companion. He pheasant hunts and did great again this year. As far as rabbits he runs a rabbit almost every time we walk out to the barn. If moles are in the yard he is on them. We went out to the pond the other day and he was trying to dig out a man eating muskrat.
I've attached seven pictures and will explain them as we go.
The first was a short track in very dense (as usual) bear cover. It was about fifty degrees and there was a light rain. It was his first track of the year and as John said in his book I could tell Moose knew what we were doing was on the edge. Moose looked as me over his shoulder as if to say "Hey dad I'm on this but this is one of those big bad stinky bears and we're a team right?"
The second picture and bear was a liver hit the morning after the shot. We tracked from the hit site about a hundred and forty yards into the thick again. Moose did great. The hunter was a young boy. His grandfather was an experienced hunter, and the bear would have been found eventually but Moose made it a lot easier and quicker.
I don't have a photo of the best track he made on a bear this year. I had worked two jobs from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm. At the end of my shift a good friend showed up at my house and requested help tracking a nice black bear he had shot that evening. We were tired but started tracking at 11:45 pm. We worked hard and Moose tracked it between 800 and 900 yards by 2:30 am before we quit. After approximately 850 yards of dense cedar and spruce hell and crossing a creek we got to a small opening. The bear had stood there for a while with drops here and there as it circled around. I am convinced the archer made a high hit and the bear was getting tired of being tracked. I called the track. It was beautiful track with occasional confirmation blood but the bear was not dead.
The third picture was a beautiful 18 inch inside spread 7 pt. It was one of the best tracks Moose has ever done. It was shot the night before and we took up the track the next morning. It took about an hour and a half to work about 300 yards to where the buck had bedded for the night. He jumped up and Moose squealed and away we went. An amazing thing was even though Moose was squealing and we jumped the buck a second time Moose still took the time to smell a badger hole as we cruised by. The buck had a broken front left shoulder from a rifle shot. The buck was tough and would run a few hundred yards at a time and lay down. We tracked 2.9 miles before locating the deer. The deer was in a low bushy area.
The fourth picture was a gut shot buck that bled little but fell in a tall grassy area. The hunter was thrilled with watching Moose at work.
The fifth picture is the biggest state land buck he has helped recover. The buck was hit back in the intestines as it surged forward as the shot was taken. It was shot the morning before with a rifle by a very experienced hunter. It was in a beaver pond marsh area and was very wet and hard to traverse. The hunter, his brother and father had tracked about three hundred yards before deciding to contact Moose and I. We all went out and Moose did a great job of retracing the first three hundred yards before veering towards the tall grass of the beaver flooding. We went up to the edge of the deep water and Moose looked at me with the "He went across" look on his face. I advised the father of the hunter of my theory. He went around the twisted wet misery to the right and I went to the left. Within minutes he was yelling for joy as the deer was dead on the other side edge. According to my GPS he was on a direct line from where Moose and I hit the water.
The sixth picture was not a considered "find" for records purposes as I shot it well and knew it was going to be laying a short distance further. But it was special to me as my dog and I got to find it together. Me and my boy.
The last picture is a picture of my wife's first deer (a mature doe). It was shot with a muzzle loader in the last moments of the last day. I was in the blind with her when she shot. The smoke caused me not to see the deer's initial reaction to the hit. It ran 60 yards across a food plot and crashed full speed into a spruce cedar nearly impassable swamp. I checked and saw absolutely no visible blood and there was an inch of fresh snow. I believed she might have missed. She declared that she was on it and although a steep angle she was sure she made a good shot. She was not going to hunt deer again if she missed as she was so sure. We went and got Moose for the final say. Moose went in. It was so thick the snow didn't reach the ground in the thicket. I had to belly crawl as it was too thick to be on my knees. After about forty yards I felt the familiar tug as if it were a fish biting. Although I couldn't see it I knew what it was. I yelled to Kim that Moose had found the doe and was getting his chew on it. Needless to say she advised me she knew she had hit the doe well. It was very fulfilling to have the "Moose man" ready in the pickup.