A big thank you and congratulations go to Pete Martin, a member of Deer Search, who tracks with a seven-year-old Lisa von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a daughter of Billy and Gela, for sharing his tracking experiences with us.
John - as predicted I received quite a number of bear calls this year in my tracking area. I believe a total of 8. Mark Niad and I found the first and only one in Orange Co. Monroe, NY. I believe Lisa and I should have found at least 2 or more of the rest. One track was called off due to darkness and 3 miles + into the forest.On this particular track the bear when shot went almost straight uphill a steep rocky mountain. I let Lisa take her time and do her checks. Some were as long as 15 mins. I have never seen her so focused and intense before. As the hunters and I climbed the mountain she was right over what little blood we found. Hunters were awestruck at the amazing work she did. This was a gun shot bear high front.
On the other bear I thought we should have recovered the hunter had good blood for about 150 yds. but only the last 8-10 in. of arrow. Again Lisa was right on top of the line showing us blood for another 150 yds. or so, tracking right over top of the other half of the arrow (yes you guessed it - mechanical blade..(oh how I hate to see or hear bow hunters use those unreliable pieces of equipment). Hunter couldn't believe it. Again tracking conditions were very unfavorable. Hot, dry windy.No water or wet areas in sight. Hunter was very disappointed but after 3-1/2 hrs. of tracking I just was so exhausted.
There were a couple other tracks I thought we had a good chance of bear recovery and the hunters did a good job of tracking and marking their trails. I have a lot of time to think about our bear experiences this season and hope we have the opportunities in the near future and next season.
Lisa did a better job than I did as a handler today but I stuck with her and this was the result of our work as a team. The track was about 23 hrs. old and the hunter and his friend (both well experienced) just could not make his find. Very thick underbrush, muddy, watery, thorns etc. Deer was about 550yds from hit site. No wound bed, very little blood. Good job Lisa!
This deer confused me and Lisa as we must have passed it 3 times within 40 yds. Finally as we were crawling on our hands and knees (hunter right behind me) in thick nasty stuff (yeah what's new about this scenario) she started to open and pull hard. Twenty yards ahead lay the deer. Coyotes had first bite. Not much damage. Must have been just one. Tracking conditions were unfavorable...the classic warm, dry, and breezy. Hunter was so happy. Nice deer.