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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rosette and her training on real blood lines

It was great to hear from Lynn and Ann Pierce from Louisiana, owners of a six-montth-old Rosette, a daughter of Joeri and Gilda.
David Domangue shot this real nice eight point with a kicker out of the “number one box” late Friday afternoon in Woodville, MS at Gut-Buster’s hunting club and resort.

David called on the VHF and asked if I could bring Rosette to track the buck because the buck ran into the woods and David wanted the buck to sit a while so it wouldn’t spook if he tracked it right away. We waited about an hour. It was dark by the time we arrived at the food plot of the “number one box”. We found some blood on the edge of the food plot and I put Rosette on it and she took off immediately and made a real nice aggressive track right to the buck. She is starting to understand the prize at the end of the track (deer blood, pulling on the skin, and some liver at the skinning rack). Everyone at the camp site pats her, holds her and rewards her. She’s loving it.

It was about a 100 yard track through thick woods with a hard left and right turn going downhill all the time to a small creek. The blood trail was good, but we had several long stretches without any blood. I am sure we would have found the buck without Rosette’s help, but it was great experience for me and Rosette.

The next day, 18 hours later I took Rosette back to the site we tracked with my son in-law Jeremy (nick name) Jeremiah Johnson, and two grandsons. I put some liver where we found the buck for her reward. We started Rosette in the food plot where we first found the blood the evening before. Rosette tracked the blood trail like the night before and with the same intensity and aggressiveness. She loves to track and I was really pleased with her track 18 hours later. Rosette really enjoyed the liver I put out for her. My two grandsons, Jac-4 and Christian-2, helped us track the blood and when they found some, they yelled “hey Big Poppa blood over here”. Even though we had passed over it I told them great job, which really gave them a feeling of helping Rosette with the track. We are all having lots of fun with Rosette. Thanks Jolanta and John for getting her started.

Thanks David for allowing us to track your buck.

Rosette (Roulette von Moosbac-Zuzelek) with David Domangue and his deer

Big Poppa (Lynn), Rosette, and the boys, Jac and Christian, resting after a long track with Rosette in the woods.We sure had fun.

This is just an extra pic to show you the young boys we had over over the thanksgiving weekend.
They had a blast and we did to. They look like some real characters and they are...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dreaming of elk.. or moose

I bet that Remi is dreaming of tracking elk or moose. It is a tough life for a little dachshund in Utah.

Tough ones and easy ones in gun season

by John Jeanneney

I took tracks #39 and #40 yesterday and today; they were a good example of how the results of hard work can be rewarded unfairly. All this is easier to handle if you get your best personal rewards from seeing good dog work. If you define success only by the number of big bucks found, you feel like a loser all too often.

In track #39 the signs looked good enough so that it was definitely worth checking out. Here’s the abbreviated story:

The hunter’s point of loss was on the edge of a ravine so steep we could only get to the creek at the bottom by sliding down 50 yards on our butts. Joeri took us across the creek and showed us a few flecks of blood. Then up, up, up with just enough blood to confirm that Joeri had it right.

I took Joeri off the line a half mile farther on as we descended toward the creek again. We had no blood, but Joeri was sure he was right; I trusted him. The deer had never bedded, but reading Joeri I could see that the line was warmer than when we had started. There was no catching up to the deer that night. He was moving out way ahead.

The next morning we took up the line again. Now Joeri showed us two splinters of bone and some of the same type of hair we had seen the previous day. We crossed the creek again and worked through a remote wooded valley. No deer, no hope. Assessing the bone chips it seemed like a probably low brisket hit that had not entered the chest cavity.

We had tracked a total of five hours. Our only reward was Joeri’s good work on what had become an old cold line with almost no blood.

It so happened that another hunter had called that morning. He had shot a buck behind his house that was right beside my return route. There was little blood and little evidence of a good hit, but what the hell; it was on my way home. In all my life had never before taken 40 calls in a year.

I started Joeri on a few drops of blood. To him the line was very easy because it was six hours fresh. We went through 150 yards of the easiest “thick stuff” that I’ve see all fall. And there lay the deer, dead from a wound in the stomach. He was a very nice nine pointer. The hunter was deliriously happy to have the biggest buck he had ever shot. Joeri seemed just as pleased as if he had tracked it for five hours. My own pleasures came from the pleasure of the others.

Dennis Schmidt with his nine pointer and Joeri

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tracking wounded deer with Bill and Mya

We received a nice report from Bill Brown from Ohio who has been working with Mya (Quanta von Moosbach-Zuzelek), a six-month-old daughter of Joeri and Keena.

Mya has been very busy and doing extremely well, she has had 8 searches and 3 recoveries. I been even more impressed with the way she has worked on the ones we didn't find. She had a 3 hour track through the woods, over a fence, crossing a corn field, over another fence, and in another woods with brush so thick a rabbit couldn't go. We had to crawl on all fours for 150 yards, but nobody said it would be easy. During the time she had 4 or 5 self checks that she worked out on her own. We finally determined this could go on all night and this probably wasn't a mortal hit. Two more of the no finds were seen by same hunters the next day doing fine.We have had 5 more calls that we were unable to take. The need for tracking dogs in Ohio is great as the other trackers in Ohio can attest to.

I really enjoyed seeing Rex and Dave teaming up for a successful track. Next week is gun season here in Ohio so we expect plenty of work, last weekend was youth season. Mya is a true believer in the saying "finders keepers losers weepers" she makes a claim on her finds with the hunters, she hasn't been that way with me though. Just something we need to work on. Enclosed are some pictures of my son Wylie during the youth hunt with Mya and "her" doe.

Wylie during the youth hunt with Mya and "her" doe
Bill with Mya

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our dogs on Thanksgiving Day

A year ago we started a tradition of posting pictures of all our dogs taken on Thanksgiving Day. To see the pictures that were shot a year ago click here. Today we have the same number of dogs as back then (12) but we lost Alfi on May 7, 2010, and we added Quenotte, who was born on May 22. We are happy to report that born-to-track humans are doing really well, and John, now 75 1/2  has taken more deer calls this fall than ever before. As far as dogs are concerned things are going pretty well, but when I look at the 2009 pictures, it is obvious that they are getting older. We, again, will start with the dachshunds from oldest to youngest; they are presented "au naturel", without any special grooming for the occasion.

Asko von der Drachenburg, born June 20, 1999, is now eleven and a half years old, and he has not slowed down yet. Still behaves like a puppy, crazy about his ball and swimming in the pond. The only difference in his old age is that now he likes his food. When he was a young dog he was a very picky eater; these days not so much, but you would not know it - Asko looks very fit. This is a dog that I take on walks around our property as he handles really well.
Elli v Moosbach-Zuzelek, born June 13, 2001, is nine and a half years old, and in the last year she has aged. Her muzzle has grown whiter. She still loves to run rabbits and does it almost every day. But I stopped taking her to field trials as her nose now is not as good as it used to be. She rules the pack here, and she is the one who sleeps in my bed. She is Asko's daughter.

Gilda v Moosbach-Zuzelek, born March 27, 2002, is going to be nine years old soon. Gilda had her final litter in 2010; she has produced many outstanding puppies. She is a daughter of Asko and Sabina.

Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek, born February 4, 2004, is going to be seven years old soon. This is hard to believe because I remember him so well when he was just a few weeks old. He has some white hair on his muzzle now. Billy has a heart of gold and his temperament is unmatched by any other dog. He sleeps in John's bed, and has not even protested when Joeri was invited there too. In 2010 he has sired two very nice litters.

Keena v Moosbach-Zuzelek, born April 7, 2005, is five and a half years old. Keena had a litter of 9 puppies at the end of May, and she is one of the best producers we have ever had.
Darin von Moosbach Zuzelek "Bernie", born October 15, 2005, is five. He is a fun dog and one of my favorites. We have a great time together and I love to watch him run rabbits and swim in the pond. He is a very responsive and easy going dog that usually plays with puppies and serves a role of benevolent uncle.

Mischa z Kmet√≥nyho dvora, born May 20, 2006, has an engaging personality, which shows well in the picture. She likes to talk to us but she also likes to have it "her way" - she is strong willed and opinionated.

Joeri vom Nonnenschlag, born February 18, 2008, never stops to amaze us. He is a close, careful tracker, who knows how to correct himself and does not gamble. The puppies he sired in 2010 have been doing remarkable work at a young age.

Tom vom Linteler-Forst, born March 26, 2008,  has matured nicely. This fall he came to his own as a blood tracker and field trial dog. Tommy is always happy and ready to please.

Paika v Moosbach-Zuzelek, born March 30, 2009,  is one of my favorites. Extremely responsive, she is a very talented dog with a super temperament. She is a daughter of a French sire Theo and our Keena.

Quenotte von Moosbach Zuzelek, was born on May 22, 2010, and is six months old. She is a daughter of Joeri and Keena, and looks very much like a small version of her mom.

Stone Apple Rip was born on June 2, 1999, and is now eleven and a half years old. He has slowed down quite a bit in the last year but has no health issues and still loves to run rabbits.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Happy Thanksgiving from John, Jolanta and The Teckels. Dogs in the pictures are Paika and Quenotte.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pictures from the field shared by Andy Bensing

Andy Bensing, a good friend of ours and President of United Blood Trackers, has shared a couple of pictures with us:

Last week Eibe and I were tracking a nice buck shot on youth day with a .243.  We put the buck up out of a thicket 26 hours after the shot and chased him with no blood for nearly 2 miles as he took very classic evasive maneuvers including 2 circles and retracing his blood line form the day before.  We eventually did see him 100 yards ahead looking fine as he ran along the fence of this pasture of fancy longhorns for the second time.  At that point it was clear we were not going to be able to catch up with him so I opted for a picture with the beautiful and friendly cattle instead.

Saturday was youth deer shotgun day in NJ.  This young boy got a shot at a doe in the morning and he and his dad looked for sign of a hit and thought for sure he missed.  I got there at 10 AM to track the father's archery gut shot buck from the morning before and the 11 year old of course went along for the track.  We found the buck about 500 meters past their last blood from the day before.  While tracking the buck, we came across fresh blood and thought we jumped him but my dog did not go "hot" and continued tracking cold. The whole thing made sense about 150 meters later when we found the dead buck that had obviously died the night before.  It turned out that the boy had likely just clipped the doe he had shot at earlier.  I was pretty proud of my dog, Eibe, for maintaining concentration on the buck when she crossed the fresh blood from the doe.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pete and Lisa - a hard working Deer Search tracking team

We are happy to report that Lisa continues to do really well. Pete Martin is a member of Deer Search, a NY-based organization of volunteer trackers. Pete said in a recent e-mail "I can't keep up with all the calls and neither can Lisa. I think this weekend is going to get really crazy." I know what he means... and I hope that Thanksgiving is quiet.
Hi John & Jola - Lisa is just awesome this year. Another 8 pt. buck to her credit.Very little blood.Three restarts. First one I was correct in reading her -she was right the first half of the way, about three-four hundred yards. Second start she was looking at me saying this is the way the deer went. Third restart. Lisa - OK, how many times are we going to do this? Hunter & friend swore the deer went in different direction. (I'll bet no tracker ever heard that before). I chose to go with her nose. Total track was appox. 800 yds. Deer crossed road going uphill. Near perfect shot placement but arrow hit far side of shoulder and did not exit. Most of arrow was recoverd 25 yards from hit site.Very little hair. Nice typical 8 pointer. Again Lisa told me to believe her and made believers out of the hunting party. Scenting conditions were very good but Lisa was confused when she brought us close to the deer. I think because of the tremendous amount of scent circulating in the area.

Pete Martin is holding Lisa next to the eight pointer she has recovered.

Monday, November 22, 2010

An Ohio monster buck recovered by two dachshunds, Quella and Radar

This report came from David Bell from Ohio who owns Quella, a 2010 puppy out of Joeri and Keena. The track was 27 hours old and as it turned out the hunter's arrow hit buck's one lung. Two dogs were involved in this recovery and they are half-siblings as Radar (Oak v Moosbach-Zuzelek) owned by Rex Marshall is a son of Joeri and Emma.

David writes:
I received a call yesterday (November 19)  for a blood track on a 170-180 class buck which usually turns out to be a little on the smaller side, but this call didn't disapoint on size or find.  I called Rex Marshall up, a  friend and fellow United Blood Trackers member as Rex's calls have dried up over the last two weeks. We decided we would run the dogs together. 

The blood trail started off pretty well but Quella was drifting off the massive amounts of blood, 4-5 feet off the track, so I decided to let Rex and his dog Radar run the line and we would follow.    Radar started to open up on the track, which my dog does when she is on a hot line, so I decided to go back to the start of the line with Quella and try it again by herself.  I got lost after trying to find the start of the blood line, but luck was on my side when the hunter came back to tell me that he didn't remember tracking the deer the way Radar was going.  My dog gets on a hot line occasionally also being a young dog like Radar and opens up the same way. 

When we restarted her at the hit site she started on the sloppy side drifting down wind of the heavy blood trail, but when the blood started to get sparse she started to dig down and lock in on the track with drops of blood here and there for confirmation.  Around two hundred yards later we hit a fence row and a big field of overgrown grass and weeds.  At this point of the track there was very little sign whatsoever with me really depending on  the dog's nose to be on the right line.  After  a couple hundred yards I rested Quella for around 10 minutes because she was moving on with a little less concentration then I like to see. I took her back to the last orange tape and decided I would let her cool down and give her nose a rest and wait, while Ralph who is the hunter met up with Rex and Radar.  Radar picked up the track and worked very well and true with confirmation from the orange tape that I and Ralph placed on the tall grass up to the point where I came back to  the last orange marker holding Quella. From there  Rex and Radar moved on around 30 yards or so to the big monster buck on the ground with Quella right on his heels.  The funny thing is Quella took me within  feet of the buck, but I thought she was tired so I picked her up and decided to go back to the last orange tape and  let the more experienced dog finish the track.

Radar and Quella both did an exceptional job on tracking this monster buck for this excited hunter. Both Quella and Radar are excellent tracking dogs which I and Rex are proud to own.

A bit later today I also received an e-mail from Rex Marshall, Radar's owner and handler.

Dave Bell and I hooked up Saturday morning to track a buck in Preble County. It was a good opportunity to meet after talking on the phone several times in the past. We tagged-teamed on the buck with Quella and Radar, together but separate. We kept the dogs separated so they wouldn't get distracted. It worked well. When Radar went off on a false track, Quella stepped in and followed the correct track. Later when Quella was having difficulties, Radar stepped in and picked up the track. This good teamwork resulted in finding the 14 point, 170 class buck. It was a shame that the coyotes got to the buck before we did though.

After we said our goodbyes, I travelled 3 hours east to track another buck in Muskingum County (home of huge bucks). We didn't find this buck, but it was the best performance by Radar for sure. He tracked this buck over a mile. Whenever I started to doubt Radar's ability, we would find a drop of blood. We found a drop of blood about every 100-200 yards. One time we even found a piece of meat in the track. Radar was right on! The buck crossed a road; we followed and the frequency of blood drops increased, but they were still small. When we got to the fence line, we had to call and get permission from the landowner to proceed. About 150 yards further we jumped the buck. You could smell his musky stink all was overwhelming actually. We tracked for another quarter mile, and then I turned to the hunter and said "we could do this all night long but I don't think we'll catch up to this buck". He agreed as the buck did not appear to be mortally wounded. It was still a successful tracking job by Radar, and he made me very proud of him again. The hunter showed me videos of this buck later; it was huge...body size at least 300 pounds with a rack to match his huge body size. Maybe this buck will appear again, and the hunter will make a better shot.

David Bell with Quella and Rex Marshall with Radar
Ralph, the hunter, with his tropy buck and Quella
Huge congratulations to Quella and Radar and their owners! It is great to see trackers working together.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dachshunds with real jobs

I am still running a few days behind current recoveries. Congratulations and big thank you to all the trackers who provide assistance to fellow hunters.

Chris Barr and Gerti from Indiana

On the way home from getting drenched last night during the season opener for firearms in Indiana (November 13), without seeing a deer I might add, I got a call from hunter who said he'd shot a buck at 5:00 p.m. He said it took two beds in the first 150 yards. When he jumped it the second time, he backed out and called. After getting home and getting some dry clothes on, Gerti and I arrived at the hit sight at about 8:30 p.m. It had been raining steadily for about 3 1/2 hours at that point. Gerti got a great start, went about 75 yards, and circled back to the field. The hunter said that that was not the right direction he'd followed the deer so we re-started. On the second time through she was looking good when she hit a check. After about 5 minutes, she worked it out and began pulling really confidently. She pulled south west never seeming to loose the scent. She hit a creek and pulled right on across. I hadn't seen any blood for 200 yards but I told Troy I thought she was on it. We went another 50 yards and there was his deer. No coyote damage. He couldn't believe it. He rushed up and gave me a big hug. I told him that Gerti would yank a bunch of hair out if I didn't stop her and he said let her have it, she earned it.

This was our first track in steady rain; I was pretty impressed with how well Gerti did. The track was 350 yards and took about 40 minutes total. The deer had been shot through the liver.

Troy is an ex-K9 handler for the Sheriff's Department and understands scent and what the dog is doing better than anyone I've tracked for thus far. He was tickled to death. Naturally, so were Gerti and I. Since it was just Troy and I, I had to be more hands-on with the gutting and dragging than normal. Gerti got such a belly full of hair, blood, liver, and whatever else she could yank out of the buck during the drag, I just knew she was going to throw up. Fortunately, she didn't.

Attached is Troy with his buck. I attached the one of me so that you could see how wet we were. My vest kept my chest somewhat dry.

Chris Barr with Gerti (Gwen von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a 2009 daughter of Billy and Gilda)

Troy with his deer recovered by Gerti

Chris Surtees and Koa from Georgia

Koa had a chance to get on another track today (November 8). Here over the last two weeks he has not been focused on tracking as much as I would like to see. He has been more interested in running the woods smelling and taking care of business on every tree he can.

Anyway I shot a doe a couple days ago and did not have time to bring Koa in for the track so I gutted the deer before passing it on to a friend. Took Koa out to run a track to the gut pile that ended up being a 14 hour old one with good blood throughout. I had to call Koa back several times in order to get him through the track. Again he wanted to run and play more than track. I just kept calling him back until we finished, gave him lots of praise, and let him run in a field next to where the deer expired.

Fast forward to this morning about 08:15 I put a follow up shot on this little guy. A buddy of mine the shot deer about 100 yards from my stand. He texted me to let me know what happened and just about that time I see a deer headed my way. As he came closer I could see blood in his side a little further back than my friend had thought he had shot.

I ended up putting a good hit in the deer and he went down in less than 100 yards. Since both of us had prior commitments later the morning we agreed to meet at lunch and run Koa on the line. At first Koa did not want anything to do with the line until he hit the arrow. After that he was on the go and tracking at a good rate. He then decided to sit down, take a break, and sniff around some. I just let him go and after a couple minutes he was back on trail. Once he hit my arrow he was full bore running. I let go of the lead and he was attacking the deer before we knew it. Overall it was a great track but I think Koa is feeling his oats a little and going through some teen stages.

I have been running him twice a week in the field (1 fun run and 1 obedience, retrieving training) with a blood trail every two weeks. Going to try him on a blood trail a week with scent shoes to see if I can get him back on track and focused a little more.

Here is a picture of Koa once he found the deer.
It sounds like Koa (Grock von Moosbach-Zuzelek, a 2009 son of Billy and Gilda) is going through adolescence.

Susanne Hamilton and Buster from Maine

Quick recap on my track today. Everything went right. My hunters shot a ten point buck at 10 am, tracked for two hours and started loosing blood. When they called, I tried to evaluate the shot, but being that it was taken at 270 yards, with the deer moving behind some alder bushes, they could not tell me more than that they got some white hair. The tip-off for me was that they had both sides bleeding, and after about a hundred yards, one side seemed to stop bleeding.

I pointed out that this was in all likelihood a paunch shot that plugged one side, and asked them to wait until I could meet them at 3pm (five hours after the hit). Buster immediately took off on the hit site and covered the track in less then three minutes until the point of loss. We found some very sporadic blood for about a hundred yards, then absolutely nothing for another hundred.

Two drops of blood and then 75 yards with nothing... Just as I said that I'd like to find some more evidence, I found my dog on top of the deer. It had expired within last hour.

I had two VERY happy and grateful hunters, and a very happy dog!

Susanne Hamilton and Buster found this nice Maine buck

Ray Holohan and Roscoe, Illinois

Rosco had a pretty good week last week with 4 in a row successful tracks. The picture is for the 4th.track

This is the third track. I got a call from a hunter who had shot a small buck, his first bow buck. The track was 24 hours old, they had trailed it 300 yards where it crossed a river. They were able to pick op the blood on the other side for about 30 yards. I told him I would come down and take a look with Rosco. When we got there I asked to see the blood trail but they couldn't find it and told me it was somewhere in this area, so I started Rosco in that location. It didn't take him long to pick it up and took it for about 40 yards across a marker stick that they stuck in the ground. I knew he was on it, we went about another 30 yards, and I could see all these eyes glowing and coming toward us. There must have been 30-40 cows that surrounded us and the hunters, Rosco was barking we were yelling to try to get them to move it was mass chaos. I told them this isn't good. So we decided to find a hot wire fence and get on the other side and that's what we did. Once on the other side I put Rosco down and just work him parallel with the river. We went about 40 yards, and Rosco raised his nose into the wind and took a hard right. He ran about 80 yards into the alfalfa field where he found the buck. It was great, the guy couldn't believe it as they had looked all day for the deer. He asked me if Rosco was some kind of a super hero, he was that night for them. They couldn't get over it and thanked me over and over. The coyotes had gotten to it on the rear but he was going to get it mounted anyway. The whole track didn't take 30 minutes. Rosco made believers out of those guys.

The fourth track took place the next evening. A friend of mine shot a buck that morning and didn't know where he hit it. He only found a small amount of blood at the hit site, so he gave me a call to see if we should go after it with Rosco. I told him that we should at least give it a try. So we went out in the evening about 14 hrs after the hit. He thought the buck ran across the bean field because that's where the blood ended. So I put Rosco down at hit site and he trailed to the field and started out in it. After about 400 yards he started to sound off and I knew he was on a hot trail. I took him back and restarted him at hit site again. He took the trail towards the field but doubled back and into the timber where he started to sound off again. Once again I restarted him and this time he went to the field, doubled back and went into timber in a different spot and away we went. I thought he had the right trail this time because of the way he was pulling and all the checks and backtracks he was making. We had gone about 600 yards from hit site when he started to sound off again, so I stopped him and took time to look for wound beds figuring we may had jumped him up. I couldn't find anything so we assumed Rosco may have been trailing an old track and decided to head back to the hit site as soon as we figured out which way to go.

We had walked about 50 yards when I saw the glow of a eye in the distance, we decided to walk over and check it out. When we got closer I could see it was a deer just kneeling on all fours with his head straight ahead. I told my buddy that it was his deer. I had already picked up Rosco so I told him to get out the spear that I have never needed to use. We had to use the spear twice and after the second approach  the deer charged right at me. I did some fancy foot work and he just brushed my chest and fell over where he died in a few minutes. The buck had a big body and looked pretty old, it looked like a high liver hit or maybe in the rumen. It was certainly a new experience for me and taught me that I will have to figure out maybe a safer position the next time. I know now why I carried that spear out with me at night. In Illinois it is illegal to carry a firearm or a archery device.

Ray (with Roscoe) dispatched the deer with a spear.
This track was Rosco 16th track and 10th recovery of the season. I know we are very lucky to be doing this well and expect to take a tumble soon, but we are having some great experiences.

Pete Martin and Lisa, NY

We found this great deer with help from a great hunter. the track was 18 hours old, and the buck was found 3/4 of a mile from hit site. GOOD tracking job by hunter and his friend at nite. The buck took us uphill, across streams, parking lots and roads, and 7 wound beds. Lisa brought us to her find. This deer was hit quarting away at 21 yds. directly into the rump roast and exiting thru the belly via an eight-inch gap. Fistfull of white hair at hit site. Didn't look promising at first, but Lisa taught us yet another lesson.

Pete Martin is holding Lisa who found this great deer

Friday, November 19, 2010

The best mule deer of the season is recovered with Remi's help

This story came from Justin Richins from the R&K Hunting Company in Utah. Justin's tracking partner is "almost" six-month-old Remi, a son of Joeri and Gilda. Justin wrote:

I’m not a writer so I asked Kody the guide to write this. I’m sure glad I called John as my first thought was to let the buck go for a while before tracking. John assured me the way to approach deer with this type of wound was to keep right on their trail because they would still bleed out through the bone marrow. If we waited, we ran the risk of the wound clotting up.... Thanks John!!!!!

A west view towards the hit site about 3/4 the way down the track
By Kody Whitear

Victor and I had been chasing this buck for a few days and he had given us the slip every time. We probably should have moved on to another deer, but as a guide I have a responsibility to take my hunters to the best buck on the mountain. The first day we had him at 200 yards in the jack pines when the doe he was after busted us. The hunt was over for that day. Day two we saw his head sticking out of the chaparral for 30 seconds as he worked his way into the dark timber of a straight up and down canyon. This had been going on for over two weeks now. Day three was a whiteout snow storm that kept us confined to the lower end of the ranch. Day four, our second to last, was our only opportunity to hunt high at 9,000 feet before the next storm rolled through. Day four was the day to get it done so I called for an extra set of eyes in my cousin and phenomenal guide, Justin Whittier.

As luck would have it we put this buck in Vic’s crosshairs several times on that fourth day as he was running around acting like a froggy buck in the rut. The breeding season brings the big boys out of the bushes, but they never stand still for more than a few seconds. After jumping out of Vic’s scope three different times in a 10 minute period he ran 500 yards down the hill and stopped. Vic had shot well at the range out to 600 yards earlier in the week, but I didn’t want to press our luck with the wind. This was too nice of a buck. So we dropped down to a big rock as I brushed off the snow and threw my heavy coat over the top of it. I dialed up the Huskemaw scope to 412 yards and backed it off two clicks as we were shooting on a heavy decline. We both knew this moment was it. This was our last chance at this buck.

I asked Vic how he felt and he replied, “Pretty good! My crosshairs are steady.” I said that I was ready when he was as he held his breath and let the 168 grain Berger fly through the air. “Hit! Throw another one in the chamber Vic, he’s running pretty fast.” Our buck was flying down the mountain as fast as he could, but I could see some red towards his hind quarters. Then I could see that his hind left leg had been hit. The bullet impacted eight inches behind the vitals, caught his flank, and passed out the opposite side breaking his hind leg high in the quarter. The elevation on his aim was perfect, but Vic must have slightly pulled to the left as he shot with all the adrenaline that we had pumping through our veins.

I watched our boy run 800 yards down into the bottom, stop under a pine tree, and then blow out from under that pine a hundred miles an hour for another 400 yards before slowing to a walk as he dropped out of view. Usually at a time like that my heart would sink into the pit of my stomach. This one was different. I had a good feeling we’d be able to find this buck. Vic was pretty disappointed as we headed to the Ranger, but I told him not to worry as we would do whatever it took to find his buck. I had my cousin take Vic down to the bottom of the slope.

When I hit the tracks the first thing I noticed was that he was bleeding heavily. With every bound in the snow it was easy to see that the shot would most likely be a mortal wound. The buck would pass by nightfall and it was only a matter of whether or not we would be able to find him.

We have asked the Utah GnF several time about the legality to track a wounded animal with a dog and there answer was yes, you can use a dog to aid in to recover wounded/dead game. Therefore, when our outfitter, Justin Richins, showed up with his little wirehaired dachshund (Remi by name) we put him right on the track. Being a pup he was a little over anxious those first 15 minutes as he missed the track, rechecked himself a few times, then took of on the track like a bat out of hell. Justin lost the leash a few times as Remi was moving as fast as he could, nose to ground never looking up. After I finally got a hold of the leash again with Justin in tail we were finally able to slow him down a bit. And as luck would have it the tracks left in the snow had slowed to a walk. Then we hit our first bedding area where the blood was pooled up. After spending a short time checking where the buck left this first bed Remi found the tracks heading out and further down the mountain.

The blood pools left after we got the buck up and moving in a light snow

There are a few ways to approach tracking an animal. If they are gut shot we like to let them lie in their beds  for several hours before we move in. When we have an animal that is passing a fair amount of blood we like to keep them moving so they don’t clot up and recuperate per John's advice. Every situation is different and on this one we decided to keep the buck moving. Once Remi got on the fresh tracks out of the bedding area he became excited all over again. We had to slow him down and confirm blood as we were starting to drop in elevation enough to move out of the snow. When we came into the opening that Vic had been covering, our hearts sank a little as we knew our buck had moved into the lower, thick oak brush. Justin and I looked at each other knowing that it was going to get rough down in there as we were already a mile below where the buck was first hit.

We again sent Vic and my cousin even lower another 800 yards where there was a good shooting lane. As we started into the brush we jumped a cow moose with a calf that moved right across our track. This spelled trouble for us as Remi had been on a moose track earlier in the year where he had recovered a bull in the thick oaks. When we crossed the moose tracks we didn’t know if Remi had diverted from our buck – the moose tracks would have been a hot scent only being laid down a minute earlier. It took another 20 yards to confirm blood. Remi was still on the right track and completely focused on our buck! It was a milestone for a five month old pup.

Every time when we came into an opening and could see Vic up on the ridge we knew that had he been there a few minutes earlier the hunt would be over. We were 20 minutes behind this buck. The blood kept getting fresher and soon it didn’t even have the slight glaze that sets in 10 to 15 minutes after it falls. We came to another bed, then another, and finally a spot where we could tell that he had fallen down. The thought of an injured buck was heart breaking. I make it a point to always take an ethical shot and limit the potential for a wounded animal. We quickened the pace as we knew we were closing in on him. The tracks made their way into a ravine that dropped down just prior to the shooting lane that Vic was set up on.

Suddenly, Remi froze right at the deer butt and started growling like he had visually spotted something. I ran for Vic and my cousin motioning them to come my way. We quickly slipped down into the bottom of the ravine where we saw the good luck that had trapped our buck. A small quakie had fallen across the ravine three feet off of the ground with branches that created a barrier. As the buck had dropped into the bottom he came chest first into the tree – he couldn’t go under, couldn’t jump over, couldn’t turn around from the narrowness of the ravine, and having lost his strength had laid down. Vic crept up and was able to finally harvest his buck.

Right side entrance
Left side exit
We celebrated with some humility knowing that we had needed help beyond our own ability. The snow put us on the right track in the first place, Remi tracked him once we lost our snow, and the felled tree held up the buck long enough for us harvest him. It was an emotional 10 minutes of relief while we congratulated Vic on the nicest buck to come off the ranch all year.  

Victor from NJ and his recovered buck
Little Remi, having found his quarry, then turned into a pitbull protecting his find. He ran around trying to chase us away from his new property so we gave him his time to be possessive and experience the reward. Remi had been on the tracks for over an hour which is unheard of for a pup this young. From start to finish he had tracked for nearly a mile through the thickest brush. This final track of the year ‘made’ that dog as it taught him to never give up. It also taught us as guides and hunters – to never give up. Everything worked out that day as it should have and Vic was able to return home with his trophy mule deer as well as a story for his friends. It was the perfect ending to the season. 
A map of Remi's track - click to enlarge
Remi in Justin's truck
 Thank you Justin and Kody for sharing this adventure with all of us!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How to introduce youth to hunting and blood tracking

I love this story written by Ann and Lynn Pierce from Louisiana. I think you will enjoy it too. This is an example how youth should be introduced to hunting and blood tracking. It is a gem! A report from the first weekend of hunting was posted click here. How lucky we are that people like Lynn and Ann have one of our dogs.

We had our second weekend of youth weekends in Woodville, Mississippi and it turned out great for hunters and Rosette. The first weekend five youths killed deer and the second weekend we had three youths kill deer. Hopefully the pictures come out in the order I explain them. First of all I must admit I need to work on my picture taking and clean up some of the deer a lot better. Rain was coming so we were moving fast.

First picture is David Cheramie, with no hunting cap, grandson of the landowner, who shot a doe and it was gut shot so there was not much blood to track.  David found a small amount of blood in the five acre food plot (our biggest). I put Rosette on it and she started tracking but the blood ran out quickly and the spot light seemed to confuse her (it was her first track at night.). After she got used to the light I put her along the wood line of the food plot. David was not sure where she went in so I was hoping we would run into a blood scent where the doe ran into the woods.

Rain was coming and we had a little breeze blowing as we followed the wood line for about 50 yards, when all of a sudden Rosette turned into the woods and about 40 yards into the woods she found the doe. We were down wind of the doe and I believe she winded her because we had no real blood trail and it was a real gut buster shot.

Second picture is Paul Reding, with a hunting cap on, also grandson of the landowner, who was bowhunting for the first time. He also shot a doe in a very small food plot and lots of tough woods all around it. The shot was a good one and it went through the lung and left a very good blood trail at first. Then it would stop for several yards, and we would see a few drops of blood, and it would stop again. This went on for about three hundred yards. During the track the deer took a sharp left turn and Rosette overshot it; she corrected herself and hit the blood trail again. At that left turn there was no blood to follow so I was really happy with her when she checked herself and she found the trail again on her own. By the way Rosette had her fan club following her- seven of the youth that were hunting that weekend, the landowner, and Paul's dad. They were really impressed with how well Rosette did being only five and a half months old.

On both tracks she's nothing but business. When we dragged the deer out she was on that deer like you were stealing her deer and it's like she is running a rabbit. Can't wait to try her on rabbit hunting after the deer season.

Rosette really did great job this weekend and she is a fun dog to have around the camp and she has settled into camp life very well. Thanks again for all your help and great little dog.

Third picture is Austin Duet, relative of the landowner, that it sitting on the eight point. It was his first deer hunt and his dad was with him to witness his son's first deer, an eight point to boot. That was one happy little boy. He dropped the buck in the food plot so there was no need for Rosette.

The rest of the kids were the hunters for the weekend and little friends that jumped into the picture. We really had a great time with all of them.

Forth picture is Jake Williams, my great nephew, getting his shirt tail cut by his dad because he missed a doe. There is no mercy at Gut Buster's hunting club.

Fifth picture is Terrell Pizani, friend of landowner, getting his shirt tail cut by his grandmother with his grandfather looking on. Like I, said no mercy at the Gut Buster's hunting camp.

Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving.

Ann & Lynn Pierce

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blood tracking with wirehaired dachshunds

I was away for five days at field trials in Ohio and upon my return have found a great deal of material for the blog. A big thank you to all who wrote! I'll do my best to post the stories in the next few days as our gun season is going to start on the 20th. John has been busy tracking, and when I was away he found three deer with Joeri, our main tracking dog this year. So far Joeri has six recoveries and Tommy three. One day we'll have time to write about all the adventures but today we'll focus on tracking reports from our readers.

Kevin Armstrong and Karma, NY

Having missed the first week of the bow season and having taken 18 trails already this season, and with my mom in the middle of a serious coronary episode, my trophy standards have been abandoned for the 2010 season. Yesterday morning in a stolen moment on stand I had a 1 horned spike stroll through my shooting lane quartering away at 15 yards. Before I knew it the sight was on his chest and the arrow was out the other side of him. The deer bolted but soon stopped and stood head down in one place for 20 minutes. As soon as he moved off I climbed down and verified what I had already suspected. Hit low in the chest just behind the diaphragm. I snuck out of the woods and spent the day at other tasks. At 4 PM Kathy and I took up the deer's trail and followed dark blood to a series of beds about 250 yards from the hit sight. The deer was laying on a bed, alive, 60 yards in front of me. He saw me too. After a 5 minute stand-off he arose and slowly walked into a thicket. He was close to property lines where I can not get permission so we left him in the thicket for the night. At 7:30 AM (24.5 hours after the hit) I put Karma on the trail where I had seen the deer bedded. She took me on a serpentine trail through the thicket to the dead buck 250 yards from the place where I had seen it bedded.

We found the deer in less than 1/2 hour and except for the part the coons had eaten we are able to use the meat. I have little doubt that the meat would have spoiled before we found the deer if we had not had Karma on the case.

Ray Holohan and Rosco, Illinois

I took this track last night (November 7), and I call it "The longest short track". The hunter had a stand right next to a dried creek bed, he had a buck and doe come down the creek. He took a high close range shot with a 2 blade Rage, the arrow hit high and there was 10" of arrow sticking out when the buck ran up the bank. The deer stopped at about 25 yards. and stood there a while before walking down the deer trail followed by the doe. The hunter waited a good hour before checking for any blood, and he found a little of blood on the trail. The trail headed to the plowed field so he gave me a call. I got there about 3-4 hours later. I started Rosco at hit site, he did his thing and finally followed trail up bank to deer trail. So we followed till we got to blood, and he continued to the plowed field where he tracked for about 1/4 mile and took it back to creek line. There was no blood in the field or even to the field. Anyway he started pulling hard and eventually kicked up a bedded doe. So I took him back to start of blood, he made his way down about a third of the blood trail, stopped and sat down, and just looked at me. I thought "now what", so I tugged and coaxed him to the end of the blood, where he sat down again. I picked him up and started him at the edge of the field to where he got on a scent and tracked something? So I restarted him again at hit site, and again when he got about a third through the blood he sat down. I did this a few more times and got the same results, I couldn't figure him out.

The hunter was getting frustrated and told me he was going to look in another spot. I got to think - did that deer backtrack, we only had about 30 yards of blood. So I picked Rosco up and started him at the end of blood trail and let him work it back toward the hit site, then at about the point where he would sit down, he took a hard right into the thickest bunch or briars and thorns you ever saw, so I followed and he went about 20 yards into a little feeder ravine and there laid the buck. I couldn't believe it! He had been trying to tell me the whole time, it was great. I yelled for the hunter and told him Rosco found his deer, when he got there he was about to cry and gave Rosco a big kiss. The deer hadn't gone maybe 60 yards took me almost 3 hours. He is still training the dope on the rope, it was a great track . The deer was hit in the lungs.


This is  the track I had this morning (November 8), I call it "First one there gets all the doe". The hunter shot last night, track was 17 hours old, had good blood for about 1/4 mile before he lost it. He said he had hit it behind shoulder. I put Rosco on the trail at hit sight, he tracked very well, took it 3/4 mile to river edge, climbed out on dead fall in river about 15' on a 3" branch and started barking, I told hunter the deer went across here. He called his buddy who hunts across river and got permission. The river was too deep to cross so we drove around. I put a ribbon at the site where we were and got across from it, and the doe was right there. The coyotes had it half eaten. It looked like it was a liver hit as far as we could tell. Anyway this was a great track for Rosco; he really did some good work.

Brian Hibbs and Scout, Iowa

I have been getting calls almost every day to help people look for deer here in Iowa. The problem is I am a bow hunter and this is the rut. I am still trying to harvest a mature Iowa Buck. As much as I enjoy tracking I also enjoy hunting. I have compiled a list of several handlers in the area that are willing to track and enjoy working their Drahthaars. I can at least offer a possible alternative tracker to people in need. I make sure and instruct the trackers to let their county DNR officer know they will be tracking until the law is in the books in Iowa next year. There is definitely a need for trackers in Iowa. I am excited the word is getting out and people are becoming interested.

I went hunting with a friend tonight (November 9) and decided to take Scout. As luck would have it my friend shot a deer and we got to use Scout and track the buck after dark. The shot placement was excellent, but the arrow stayed in the deer. The arrow was tipped with a mechanical broadhead. There was a blood trail although the bleeding was almost all internal. The deer did not go that far and it was an easy track for Scout. It was still rewarding to see Scout get excited after we found the deer. I sent a couple pictures of the hunter, his deer, and Scout.