Theo’s First Real Find by Darren Doran
On Thursday Sept 27 I got a called referred to me by fellow tracker John Drahos.
Rich Deickmann had shot a buck 5 PM Wednesday evening and couldn’t find it. Rich has killed more than a few exceptional
Rich was using a cross bow with a fixed blade broadhead and the bolt did not produce an exit hole. It was a quartering away shot slightly high and back from the left side and the angle did not produce much blood. He waited before tracking, but bumped the buck very close to the initial hit site. He backed out and gave the deer more time and then resumed tracking. There was very little blood and his tracking pace was slow. He put the deer up again and marked the spot and quit for the night. He went back the next day and tried to find more sign or the deer with no luck.
Theo and I got there 3 PM on Thursday afternoon. It had rained lightly overnight and during the day Thursday. The only blood left was some close to the hit site. We found the bolt and one blade of the broad head had been bent over. I let Theo sniff the bolt and took him to the hit site.
He started tracking right into this nasty blow down filled with green briars. I wanted Theo to get as much scent from the known part of the track as possible and went in with him. We got through it and Rich confirmed that we were tracking in the right direction.
Rich had mentally marked the known part of the track well and would let me know when Theo was tracking wrong or was too far off. I would ask Theo “is that right” or “search here” and direct him back over the line. We got to the point of loss and it was now all up to Theo. I let him continue to search and we worked nice circles around the point of loss and around the top of a creek.
Theo had been tracking for about 45 minutes and he couldn’t seem to find the track from this point. He kept going over the same area. His concentration was wavering and I could tell I wouldn’t get much more out of him. I needed to help him along and in some way get him moving forward. There was a steep bank down into the briar choked creek bottom and I asked him to search here and went down a deer trail on the side of the bank. We got in the bottom and Theo wanted to track to the right. There was a big soupy mud flat here and to me it didn’t look like there were any fresh tracks that crossed it. I asked him to “search here” and went left. He came over and sniffed around a little but went back to the right and I went with him. We crossed the mud flat and he put his nose in a deer track on he other side and about 8 inches to the right was a drop of blood the size of a dime in a curled up leaf. I called to Rich and was marking the blood on the GPS and looked up and about 10 yards ahead was the deer. Theo tracked up to the deer and went right to a tear in the shoulder that foxes had opened up during the night.
We had quite a celebration and I was real proud of him. We had tracked for an hour a 22-hour- old line with no visible blood to his first legitimate find.
As a side note, the off shoulder was tore up pretty good. The bolt hit the off shoulder so hard it came back out the entrance and never really broke the skin on the far side.
|Daren Dorran with a six month-old Theo, who recovered his first "real" deer.|