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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tracking wounded hog with a young dachshund Spike

Ed and Barbie Wills of  Kearsarge Mountain Teckels  (New Hampshire) shared with us a letter that they have received from Mike. Mike is an owner of one-year-old Spike that came out of Ed and Barb's breeding. Thank you for sharing the letter with us, and congratulations on such a talented dog!

Hi Ed and Barb,
Just thought I'd say hi and let you know how Spike is doing after his first year.

Spike took to tracking deer quite well. The very first live deer track last fall was a success, it was an easy track. The deer was hit good and left a good blood trail, exactly what I hoped for for his first track. It was dark but that didn’t bother Spike as he took me straight to the downed deer, about 75 yds. Since then I’ve been on several other tracks as well as fiends called to find their wounded deer. Two tracks that impressed me the most were when the deer  left very little blood and traveled long distances.

The first tough track was a deer hit in a swampy area. At first Spike was more interested in playing instead of tracking until I scolded him. He then  put his nose down, circled the area in the direction the deer had traveled, about 100 yds from the initial hit, and started pulling. I still wasn’t sure if he was on the track or not, until I saw a tiny spot of blood. We went a couple hundred more yards and found the downed deer. The second difficult track was a deer that I knew wasn’t hit that good because of the angle of the arrow. It suggested to me that it was a flesh wound.

We picked up the track right away, the blood trail was decent for a while but slowly disappeared after a couple hundred yards. The hardwood forest started to change to a swamp. Spike picked his way through the first small swamp, every 100 yards or so there would be a small spot of blood, which confirmed that we were still on track. Well we kept going for quite a distance when we came to another swamp, very wet. We entered. At first the water wasn’t that deep until I looked up ahead and saw it was all water too deep and too thick to move through. When I  turned to head out Spike pulled the leash out of my hand and started heading away from me. I couldn’t get him, the last I saw of him he was swimming away and disappeared from view. The swamp was in a basin surrounded by hardwoods. I circled around to try to intercept him on the other side. As I made it to the other side I was looking down on the swamp, I could hear him splashing through the water, when he emerged I ran down to grab him. He still had his nose to the ground, when I got to him; I couldn’t believe my eyes, I looked down and saw another spot of blood. Spike had tracked this deer through about two hundred yards of knee deep water,  the deer kept going along checking its scrapes so we  finally ended the search. We had a GPS, and as the crow flies we traveled about one and a half miles, through three swamps. At the time Spike was only nine months old.
We just came back from Texas from a hog hunt. We were there for 21 days, and Spike had a great time. At first he didn’t show any interest in hogs. There were other hunters that had wounded hogs and when I took Spike out  he didn’t track at all. Even when some one would come back to camp with a dead hog Spike wouldn’t show any interest.

I finally hit a hog, and before I went and got Spike I had tried to find the hog on my own. Hogs don’t bleed very much because of the fat layer they have; it closes the wound up right away and very little blood is visible. The brush and grass make it difficult as well, so I looked around for about an hour with no success. Got Spike and a few other hunters, we spread out and started to search. When I brought Spike to the area the hog was hit, he put his nose down, looked at me for a brief minute and started tracking. I was very excited 75 yds later I saw blood, now I was really exited. One hundred yards later, wouldn’t ya know dead hog! Spike jumped on the hog’s back and started to rip fur. That was great.

We  had a few more hog tracks by other hunters and Spike did awesome; it just took him a while to figure out the difference between deer and hog.

Spike is a good companion, he has a very good disposition he loves people, dogs, even cats. He’s been a great inspiration, his tracking abilities are incredible, far more than I could have imagined. Wat’s he going to be like when he gets more experienced and mature!

Ed and Barb if you need any referrals let me know, I’d be happy to do so.   Great logo not quantity but QUALITY.

Thanks lots


Mike with Spike and his hog

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