Thor von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a brother to our Tuesday and Darren Doran's Theo, has had a great tracking season so far. He helped hunters to recover their deer that otherwise would go to waste or feed coyotes. This is what happened today, in Bob Yax's words:
After breaking my streak of Birthday recoveries yesterday, I was ready for some success today. Boy, did we get it! 3 recoveries on 3 tracks that were all hit yesterday and sat overnight in the heavy rains. Thor was awesome today... relentless on every track.
Track 1 was in Romulus. I started it yesterday afternoon thinking it was a liver hit. We then postponed it till today when I saw only intestine matter on the arrow. The arrows level / broadside path could have not have hit liver and intestine so we needed to wait overnight. Yesterday there was no blood found on the 1st 20 yds of the trail. That's as far as the hunter tracked it. This morning just as the rain was ending we took up the trail - 0 blood was seen, but Thor took off hard down the trail. To our surprise, we found the buck dead 100 yds from the stand. Autopsy showed arrow deflected (off a branch) down thru the back strap, lung, liver, stomach and came out the intestines. The 9pt was likely dead after 5 or 6 hours. We found it at the 24hr mark and it was still good, likely due to the heavy cool rain.
Track 2 was in Pavilion. Hunter wasn't sure what he hit on the big buck, but he had a pass thru with only blood on the arrow (no guts). Yesterday, he and his wife tracked it for hours over a mile till the blood petered out. We started the track 29 hrs after the hit. The arrow look almost clean to me, maybe from skidding thru very wet clover? Over the next 30 min we covered the mile long trail with 0 visible blood again. We did go right past 3 markers the hunter left along the buck’s path. That is always reassuring! Finally we hit a railroad track where they had stopped tracking yesterday. The thick brush on the other side was a promising place for the buck to bed. Thor headed down a trail into the brush, then came out into a clearing in the swampy woods. About 50 yds later his head was up scenting the air hard - was the buck nearby? - yes! It was laying in the open wood 40 yds ahead. It looked dead, but it was laying straight up on its belly with its chin on the ground and antlers up? Thor was barking like crazy! I had the hunter hold Thor's leash as I slowly approached the buck. Soon I was 15ft from it and it was still motionless. Just when I was sure it was dead, it blinked and took off running. I got my 20ga up and shot when it was going away at 30 yds. It tumbled into one of the big puddles then ended up lying head up in the woods 40 yds ahead. My hit to the back knee put it down, but it was still trying to get up. Too long story short - 2 more shots finished it! (this included an "ammo run" to get a 3rd slug!) It was a Big 10pt. The Hunters shot passed thru the top of the lungs just under the shoulder blades. PS, it was a 4 blade Muzzy. This was the 1st marginal lung shot we've ever recovered, and it wasn't easy...
Track 3 was in Dansville. Hunter said that yesterday he hit the buck broadside and far back. He saw stomach contents on a tree. The arrow showed me only intestine contents, but I did find stomach matter on the tree. Yesterday the hunter tracked it (pushed it!) about 175 yds with a little blood, he then backed out. We started on the track 23 hrs after the hit, again no blood was visible (dam rain!). Thor again got hot on the trail and was soon passing the hunters backpack that he left where he backed out. About 300 yds later, Thor again had his nose high in the air looking for the Buck. We then saw it dead, 50 yds ahead. The 8pt was very fresh, no rigor. It had only been dead a few hours. The entrance wound was halfway back and about 6 inches from the bottom of the deer. It hit Stomach and exited out the intestines. A day that started with driving in the pouring rain, turned into our best tracking day ever. Tracking conditions were great, damp and cool, and Thor was really on his game. The heavy rain that washed away all blood sign probably helped us.