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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tracking dachshund Tucker finds a dead bear in a tree

As told by Ray and Pam Maurier and written up by John Jeanneney

Ray and Pam Maurier of New Hampshire (Lightning Mountain Outfitters) started this tracking season with an unforgettable bear call. Their 13-month-old tracking dog Tucker  (Storm von Moosbach-Zuzelek) took a track from the previous day for 400 yards and treed the bear!
Here are the details: The bear had been been shot by a hunter in northern New Hampshire near evening with a .300 Savage rifle. It proved to be a fatal liver hit, but the only blood was at the hit site. The bear took off at the shot and headed for a very dense swamp. The hunter followed the bear down to the swamp, but there was no visual sign to lead him farther.
The next day, before dawn,  Ray, his wife Pam and their tracking dachshund Tucker were on their way from southern New Hampshire. As a puppy Tucker had tracked wounded deer the previous season, but Ray was not sure of how he would react to bear scent. In addition it was raining. Rain is no problem when there is a blood trail; the scent hangs on after visual blood washes away, but foot print scent is different. It does not hold up as well to rain.
Nothing was a problem for Tucker once he got to the hit site. The unfamiliar bear  scent was kind of weird, but there was enough to go on. Ray could tell by Tucker’s body language that he was definitely on the line. The scent led into some very dense swamp vegetation, and Ray could only follow Tucker on his leash by crawling on his hands and knees. In this fashion they went in about a hundred yards. There were bear trails everywhere.
Then Tucker turned and tracked out of the swamp. What was going on? Tucker tracked positively along a beech ridge and up ahead Ray could see a campsite. It seemed very unlikely that a wounded bear would go where humans had been spending a lot of time very recently. Then Tucker stalled. His tail said that there was still plenty of scent, but Tucker could not carry the line any farther. Strange!
Ray took Tucker back to the hit site, and they started over. This time Tucker forked off the original scent line to the swamp and tracked up the beech ridge again to the point of “loss”. This time  Ray looked up. Forty feet up in a big tree, there lay the bear, dead.

Tucker had never been trained as a tree dog, but when Ray looked up, Tucker’s gaze followed.  Now Tucker understood and he began to bark “tree”. He had never been trained on tree game.

Nothing was simple. The bear had died on some big branches and there was no way to get it down. The hunter called a friend, who finally got there with a climbing tree stand. This took a long time and Tucker barked steadily. It wasn’t easy to get the dead bear loose from the branches, but finally it came down with a mighty thump. Tucker circled and bayed; he was cautious but not fearful.

It wasn’t easy to get the dead bear loose from the branches.

It is very unusual for a tracking dog to find a wounded bear in a tree. This was sow bear younger and more agile than a 300 pounder. Apparently when the hunter had gone down to the swamp in the beginning he had spooked the fatally-hit bear before she had time to die. The hunter  did not see her take off, go another 200 yards in a different direction and then tree.

Hunter, Pam and Ray Maurier, who is holding Tucker.

Tucker on the top of his bear!


Vince Crawford said...

WHAT AN OUTSTANDING ADVENTURE! MY GOSH! Congrats to everyone involved!

Gentian Shero said...

Congrats to Ray and Pam Maurier! They have the right dog from the right breeding, plus that they must have done quite a remarkable work to get Tucker to find this bear with such an ease

Lindsjö taxar said...

Wow what a story and very good pictures to it...amazing...I think your breeding can track all kind of wounded animals.
We did it yesterday...Trym and Vilja did approve the capability of tracking. THey did very well , read my blogg and the judges comments.

Claire said...

WOW indeed!!!

Great pictures!

I am also impressed with the hunter's steady faith in his dog. That is the human half of the team reading and trusting his dog, and then making the right conclusion!

Bravo to this team!

adam calnan said...

Well I have a few words on this!!! I am the (hunter) My name is Adam and I would never have had a day go by that I would not have been haunted by not retrieving this bear. had it not been the braveness and professionalism of this team! Tucker you are a leader for others to follow!

Claire said...

Ah! My mistake! I meant tracker and dog team! Duh!

I think it's a lovely story with a happy ending!

Congrats to all!

: )