A week ago we received a nice report from Darren Doran about another find for Theo. This e-mail underscores the importance of a handler's role in successful recovery. A big thank you to Darren for all the work he's been putting into Theo, who is just nine months old.
I got a call last night from Casey, a hunter I’ve tracked for in the past. He had shot a doe, and was having a hard time locating any blood. He had thought that he made a good shot, and it looked like the doe was lagging behind the others as they ran. Originally we were going to track last night but Casey had not been able to find any sign of a hit and not knowing what we had we decided to try in the morning.
We met up at about 7 AM.We looked around a little bit and didn’t find any sign. I started Theo at the area where the deer had been standing at the shot. Theo went in the general direction the deer ran and I followed. I didn’t see any blood and Theo kept drifting to the right. I asked him "is that right?" and he lifted his head and changed direction. I was picking him up to re start when Casey called out that he got blood.
I brought Theo to the blood spot and started there. We were finding a spot of blood every now and then, and I knew Theo was right. Theo tracked to the frozen creek and hesitated at the edge. He attempted to cross but was somewhat unsure of how to do it. He then started tracking to the right along the bank. I told Casey that I thought the deer had crossed and asked him to wait at that spot. I let Theo go a ways and he ended up going the same way he did on the first start. I picked him up and told Casey to cross and look for blood. He found some right away on the other side and I waded across with Theo and set him down. Theo immediately started to track and within 70 yards we found the deer.
Unfortunately the coyotes found it first and most of the hind end was eaten. The shot from a 20ga slug had hit the doe in the back of one lung and through the liver. Most likely the deer was dead before Casey ever left the woods last night. If we had tried last night we might have beat the coyotes and gotten the whole deer.