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Friday, December 28, 2012

Where and how to find hunters who need deer tracking services?

By Andy Bensing
In my last post I talked about presenting a professional appearance when dealing with hunters as a means to increase your exposure and potential calls in your tracking area. Another thing I do to generate calls is I frequent well used hunting message boards in my tracking territory. Many of my calls come from there as I have become pretty well know on the boards. But many people don't visit the boards regularly and don't know of my services so I keep at least a once a day check on the message boards for hunters posting questions about advice for shot deer they have not been able to find. Here is a link to one of those messages I "intercepted" yesterday. The hunter did not even know that there was such a thing as blood tracking dogs and even after being informed on the board about them he did not think it possible to track a deer 2 days later. If I had not contacted him via email in addition to my offer to help on the board I would never had gotten the call! According to Jolanta I may " need professional help" I think Jolanta is concerned I may be an internet stalker!

Here is a link to the thread I uncovered if you would like to see how I generated the call.
Here is the map from today's track. After interviewing Andy (the hunter's name was the same as mine) and his dad who was with him when he shot and did the blood tracking the first night I did not think there was a very good chance the deer was hit hard enough to die but especially with muzzle loaders I think it real important to follow up to be sure. With all the smoke the deer's behavior after the shot is rarely seen well if at all and often there is no exit and minimal blood on the ground on even a very fatal shot. Andy and his dad were game so I went and tracked the deer. At the hit sit the first thing I found were 20 or 30 hairs that appeared to be from the brisket and only 2 of them appeared cut off and the rest were still whole. Not absolute evidence but sure implies a less than solid hit to the body and likely a glancing blow. It had taken the hunter 2 hours to track 190 meters so you can imagine how sparse the initial blood trail was. The deer was hit over a heavily used bait station so with the track being 40 hours old and no blood at the hit site it took a little time for my dog to get it figured out but when she did she tracked pretty quickly down the line and through the hunter's point of loss. As you can see on the map the deer went right up to the edge of a residential area but then back tracked 30 yards before continuing on. After figuring out the back track Eibe tracked along quite easily to a blowdown where we eventually saw the first blood after the hunter's point of loss and there were 3 separate beds there as well. There were a very few small drops and small smears of blood in the beds but hardly anything. Definitely not enough to suggest that the deer was hit hard. With the beds being cold and easily from the day before at this point it was almost certain the deer was not hurt bad. If he was he should have been laying in these beds when we got there. To be sure I let the dog keep going just in case he got up and walked off a short distance further and finally died. After a short distance my dog and I caught sight of 4 does running across a small valley and that caused my dog some trouble. After confirming those deer were the wrong ones, I eventually got Eibe back on the correct line and we tracked 1250 meters through very open woods to another thick bedding area. As we were about to exit the bedding area Eibe stopped tracking and sat down and looked at me as she sometimes does when she knows we are not going to get the deer. I was considering quitting soon myself so we did. As is the case with 50% of the tracks we take, at the end of this day I could say with great certainty that this one will live to see another day.


Brady said...

Andy, Great posts on improving exposure in your tracking area. Tracking with dogs is a fairly new phenomenon where I live and I find most hunters don't even know it is an option at all. One tool that I have found to be extremely effective is Craigslist. I keep a free ad in all the local Craigslist websites and receive more calls from these ads than from any other thing I do. It's also the cheapest and least time consumimg way to get the information out in my experience.

Andy Bensing said...

I never thought of Craigslist. I will use it!