On January 20 Darren Doran shared with us his latest tracking experience with Theo, a nine-month-old son of Paika.
Just wanted to let you know that I had another good training line with Theo today. It was 880yd, 23 hrs old and I used about 5 oz of blood. The line was made with tracking shoes with feet of a doe fawn shot in September.
It’s been windy here the last few days and we had a little problem crossing the power line and again in the open hard woods 200 yds from the end. The scent had been blown pretty far off the line, but Theo finally got it and never quit looking.
I was packing up the skin when the phone rang. It was a guy named Dave and he was asking about a tracking dog. His son, twelve years old and also named Dave had shot his first deer last night and was wondering what a tracking dog could do and if I was available to help. I gave him a little background about the dogs' general ability and after a short phone interview, I decided to come down with Theo and give it a try.
Dave and his Grand Pa (also named Dave) had been hunting at the back of their property in a double ladder stand. The shot was right at dark with a cross bow and he couldn’t see the arrow hit. At the hit site they found the bolt covered in blood and the lower half of a deer’s tail.
Grand Pa Dave is color blind and was no help tracking the deer. Young Dave hadn’t had much experience tracking, he did find some blood but lost it at beginning of a mucky creek about 50 yds from the hit. Dave’s dad looked for more blood in the morning and advanced the line about another 50 yds before losing the blood at what looked like a bed. It was real thick there and after searching around finding nothing, he called me.
I started Theo at the tail and let him sniff the bolt. He started searching around the lawn and was having difficulty finding the line. I asked Dave to take me to the first blood he had found. From there Theo tracked to and across the creek and to the last blood. From here on I did not see any more blood on the line. As Theo was tracking I would ask him “do you have it?” and he would continue on with his nose on the ground. At one point Theo actions changed and when I asked him if he had it he would change direction and start looking again. At this point I picked him up and brought him back to the last blood. He restarted and was tracking the same way when he unexpectedly left the line and circled back to within 20 yds of the last blood and restarted on his own. He continued back towards the spot I picked him up at, only this time he went straight instead of to the right. I asked him “do you got it?” and in another 50 yds we were on the deer.
The bolt hit the deer high back by the last two ribs on the left side. The expandable broad head must have deflected off a rib and came out the opposite hind quarter cutting off part of the tail as it exited.Theo did real good on this track and I especially liked the way he went back to a part of the line he knew was right on his own and re started. We’ve been training regularly, but haven’t had a real track or a find in a long time and it sure felt good today.