I am running way behind with posting reports, stories and pictures documenting the 2012 blood tracking season. Today I realized that I have posted anything about our own tracking team - John and Tommy. So let me post some pictures with captions starting with most recent ones.
After a string of calls that did not produce the deer, the winds have shifted into a nice Northeaster. On the 28th Tommy found a gut shot deer that left only two drops of visible blood. He worked calmly and patiently over a winding track of 500 yards and there was the deer.
Today, the 30th, Tommy found another one despite a little side-pissing from Hurricane Sandy. The hunter had shot the deer late the afternoon before, and he called at 10:45 last night. He had run out of blood, but he knew it was a good hit. “Could the dog track in the rain?” We got on the line at noon today. From the hit site Tom worked over the line tracked by the hunter and then kept on going. We wound back and forth through the thick stuff, crossed a road and there was the deer, dead. He was hit a good deal farther back than the hunter had thought. (Those quartering away shots can be deceptive.) This second deer is the one shown in the above photo.
In the case of both of these finds the hunters confessed that they thought Tommy was just going for a walk. They doubted that Tommy was really following their deer. I could see subtle signs that he was onto something, but he did seem pretty laid back. These two deer went 500 and 400 yards, much too far for it to have been an accident. There were total changes of direction in each case.
|Jim F. Hens with Tommy who found his buck.|
On October 25 John and Tommy found a nice 8-pointer for Jim F. Hens in our home town of Berne. It was an angling down shot through a lobe of the liver, through the stomach and out. There was almost no blood. Tommy got off the line once on another deer that had walked the same trail. When John saw no sign for 300 yards he bought him back to last blood and this time he figured it out. It was a good learning experience for Tommy has excellent abilities, but needs the experience of natural tracks. In the meantime Joeri, back in the house, is getting restless.
On October 15 Tommy recovered a deer in the town of Glen, Montgomery County. This was an 18 hour old track, unfortunately, coyotes arrived there first.
On October 13 I accompanied John on a track and had an opportunity to take some pictures. We did not recover the deer but advanced the trail and finally ran out of blood and scent.
|The cover was very thick and John had to crawl through a wall of multiflora rose.|
|At one point John scratched his hand badly and the blood started to drip. The picture shows the deer blood at the beginning of track and then John's blood at the end of it.|
|Tommy never quit but basically ran out of blood and scent to follow.|
|It is very tough to track in the thick cover of dry leaves.|