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Friday, September 30, 2011

Blood tracking dachshunds working hard in Tennessee and Alabama

I met Tom and Jackie Munoz and their two wirehaired dachshunds Meg and Jack at the last Trackfest in Pocahontas, Arkansas. This is when I snapped a picture of their truck. As you can see they are serious about blood tracking.

The other day I got the picture from Jackie with a caption "Meg and Jack found this deer in Tennessee. Pictured with Tom Munoz and Hunter Jason." Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One month after Irene hit Albany and Schoharie Counties in New York

Few days ago John and I took our puppies for a ride. We drove to Schoharie, which is just 11 miles from us. When we drive there, we cross a line between Albany and Schoharie County. Because of  Tropical Storm Irene the town of Schoharie was flooded badly by Schoharie Creek, and it suffered a major devastation. The below pictures will show you how our area looks like one month after Irene's arrival.

I have never seen the environment destroyed to this extent. I certainly have a much deeper empathy now for people who live in areas destroyed by wars and natural disasters. It is hard to explain, but every time I drive on Route 443 my throat tightens and I feel this extreme negative energy. It truly feels like the environment were alive and now was wounded and crying for help. So while the fall with its beautiful colors always has been a favorite season for me here in the Helderbergs, this year the destruction left by Irene is gut wrenching.

This is Agway in Berne, and it is hard to believe but it is open for business. You have to maneuver your way in on plank boards. As it turned out the main part of building was spared the collapse into Fox Creek and the foundation is solid. The owner lost some inventory especially animal feed, but he is determined to rebuild and continue with his business.
This is a common sight on Rte 443, which leads from Berne to Schoharie. Six miles of the road was washed away.
One of the local bridges off Rte 443 still completely devastated.
This is what gushing Fox Creek left behind.
Another bridge around Gallupville, the town that was cut off by the flood.
Schoharie center was flooded badly, and many houses on Main Street are condemned.
Businesses are destroyed and shut down.

Schoharie's Main Street. Houses seem empty.

We saw many construction workers as the cleanup continues.

Another victim of flood and fire.
Schoharie Creek still looks like a river, a very muddy river.
To read more about challenges that the area residents face go to

A busy weekend for two "von Moosbach-Zuzelek" tracking dachshunds

It was a very busy weekend for two dachshunds out of our breeding - Quenotte (Joeri/Keena) and Gerti (Billy/Gilda).

This is a first tracking season for Quenotte and Kevin Wilson, who is a year-round bowhunter and District leader for Suburban Whitetail Management of Norther Virginia.  Kevin wrote:

This was the first weekend archery hunting in the local parks.  Here are a couple of photos from two recoveries.  The first was a double-lunged doe that went less than a 100 yards from my shot.  We did this one for a warm-up.  The second deer was shot by another hunter, went about 200 yards with very little visible blood and died in an awful thicket.  We would never have found it without Quenotte's assistance. 

Quenotte and I learning some great tracking lessons and having a lot of fun in the process.

Note: She is not tracking in her leash with the pink skulls.  She just wears it after/before actual tracking.  We use the orange polypropylene leash for tracking.

Chris Barr and his two and a half year old Gerti are experienced trackers. Chris wrote:
Gerti had a busy start to her tracking with the youth season opener on Saturday. We had three tracks for the day.    
1. The first was a 13 year old boy who’d shot a doe in the leg. He believed it to be a lower front leg hit. We found bone fragments and very little blood. Gerti tracked for a few hundred yards. I’m pretty confident that she was on the correct deer as the one heavy hoof print indicated a deer on 3 legs. The problem we encountered is that almost immediately we were off the hunter’s property with which he had permission. There were ½ million dollar homes in the area and I was pretty nervous that we were going to make someone upset. With no more evidence than we had and the circumstances, I chose to pull out. I felt bad, but I wasn’t willing to risk trespassing and there were too many landowners in the immediate area to possibly gain permission from them all. 
2. The second came while in route to the first. Caleb Sorrells, 15, is pictured with his 8th bow deer of his life. By the way, he’s vowed to never take a deer with a gun. Caleb has provided the first track of Gerti’s first two seasons, and the second of her third season. All total, we’ve tracked 5 deer for him and found 4. His dad filmed his hunt and after reviewing the tape, they felt they had a 1 lung, possible liver hit. They tracked until the blood became pretty sparse which is when they called. Gerti and I arrived about 2:00. We took up the track and 275 yards later, we found the doe. It wasn’t a perfect track, had a few corrections, but it all worked out at the end. Charles videoed portions of the track. When I get an edited copy, I’ll send it to you.  

3. After Caleb’s track I hustled home to prepare to take my daughter’s boyfriend out for an evening youth hunt. Jake had football practice in the morning. He’s a stud running back for Franklin who’s stacked up nearly 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first 6 games of the season. I got home, flew around the house, took off and we were on stand by about 5:40. At around 6:45, I felt a frantic tap on my leg which I was sure meant that Jake had seen a deer. I turned to see a small buck emerging from a small stand of trees. It was about a 75 yard shot which resulted in a leg hit. Having learned from my own mistakes, and from reading John’s book, numerous times, we just bailed out of the stand and went home to get Gerti. We put her down within an hour of the shot and away she went. There was little to no blood at the hit site and after about 150 yards of her pulling and breathing frantically, I restarted her  (be sure to reference John’s book regarding trusting your dog). We re-started and away we went almost step for step the trail we’d just taken. Once down in some really nasty vines and briars, Gerti started to open. Still with no blood or other sign, I radioed my buddy who’d come along and told him I was just going to see where Gerti took me. We made it through a stand of timber and into a standing bean field with Gerti pulling harder than ever. Still not completely convinced, I looked down and saw where the deer and fallen and knocked down some beans and left some blood. (Confirmation for the dope on the rope). We tracked through the beans another 100 yards and jumped the deer. After some more excitement at the end, Jake was standing over his first buck with Gerti attempting to chew off a ham like a grizzly bear. 

We hung the deer in my garage and I still made my 25 year class reunion by 10:00 p.m. Luckily for all involved, it rained all day Sunday. Gerti and I sacked out on the couch nearly all afternoon watching football. WHAT A LIFE FOR BOTH OF US!!!
Sorry for the long post.
Take care,
Chris and Gerti………and Oscar.
Congrats to Kevin and Chris and their dogs!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great colors of the fall - our place in late September.

Our nasturtiums are still blooming.

The last few days have been gorgeous, but the weather is going to get much cooler by the weekend. More rain in the forecast.

First blood track of the season - tracking wounded bear with John and Billy

Yesterday John went with Billy to track a wounded bear so I asked him to write a short report about the experience. Often handlers write only about tracks that lead to recovered game, but sometimes dogs show their best work on tracks that don't end "successfully". This is what John wrote:

After enviously listening to the adventure stories of my friends, I finally got my first call on September 26. It was a wounded bear, 65 miles to the North where the bear season is already open. The big bear had gone down instantly at the rifle shot, which usually means a shot to, or close to, the spine. However, the bear got his act together, got his hind legs going and ran off. The hunter got in two more shots, but he was not sure that he had connected.

Billy and I needed a workout, even if the odds for success were small. And it was a good work out. The track descended into a big swamp, and we waded around verifying the 22 hour old line with very occasional drops or smears of blood. The hunter had painstaking trailed 300 yards and Billy took it for another 700 with many loops and turns. The bear never bedded. I picked Billy up on a line that still had tiny drops of blood on it.

I was proud of Billy, and of course Billy was proud of himself …and showed it, especially when we got back to the farmhouse. Billy has found many deer, but clearly he is best at tracking bears, and he loves to do it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A new wirehaired dachshund puppy for Genti and Beth Shero - Achilles of Trace-ja

Yesterday our friends Genti and Beth Shero came up for a visit, and it was a good opportunity for us to see their new ten-week-old puppy and for them to play with our puppies. Recently they imported a male puppy bred by Dragutin Milojevic from Serbia, and his name is Achilles of Trace-ja. Both parents of Achilles are out of German breeding; his sire is Franz vom Roggenhof FCI and the dam is Tundra vom Frischlingshof FCI.

We were very impressed with Achilles. We like his conformation - he has really nice proportions with good length of legs. His topline is beautiful, and his shoulders and front are very correct. His body type is ideal for a working dachshund. This is a feisty, self-confident puppy with great resilience. Even though Bella is older and bigger than he is, Achilles played with her as an equal. They had a ball together.

Achilles is winning this round.

And this one!

This is a pretty self-contained, self-sufficient puppy. He inspected all the toys and played by himself very well too.

He shook the black bear toy and "killed it".

Achilles worked well a short blood line and he really liked the deer tail at the end of track.

He claimed the tail and would not let it go.
I searched the web for more info on Achilles' background. His breeder's website at seems to be down today. But he has several videos on youtube, and this one shows Achilles' sire Franz when he was a puppy working a bloodline. This dog has a lot of desire and a lot of mouth!

The below video shows Achilles' dam Tundra working her first wild boar.  

It looks like Achilles is going to make a nice and needed addition to the American gene pool of working standard wires out of European descent. Congrats to Genti and Beth on such a nice pup!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Andy Bensing's Tracking Video "GPS Pursuit: Don't Quit too soon"

This is a fascinating video that Andy Bensing put together of a deer call he had last weekend. Andy wrote: The deer was gut shot and the hunter did not wait the amount of time I suggested before tracking so we ended up pushing the deer for a total of 4 ½ miles over an almost 3 hour period. The first part of the video shows via GPS mapping the route the big buck took in trying to evade its pursuers and the last 5 minutes shows the hunter and I enjoying the celebration of the completed mission. I think this video gives good insight into what wounded deer sometimes do and how dogs as well as handlers have to sometimes think and strategize to get the job done.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The beauty of natural decay - first day of fall

It is the first day of autumn, and pictures showing the beauty of natural decay seem appropriate. I wish there were a way to infuse the pictures with the smell of wet, rotting leaves in the woods, which is one of my favorite scents. By the way, there is a small change to the blog. I widened the left column so it is easy to insert larger sized images.
Happy hunting and tracking this weekend everybody! 

Blood tracking dachshunds in action

We have several pictures from the United Blood Trackers members who use their dachshunds for tracking wounded deer:


Jack DiTommaso, holding my tracking dog, Eibe, and his father, Tony, at the Posted Sign where we quite the trail after tracking the deer  about  1000 meters after we jumped him.  The deer was very likely not mortally wounded and this was a convenient place to stop.  The hunter was satisfied that we were able to confirm the likely condition of the deer.


Hi Jolanta and John – Here is a picture of Vimy with his 1st deer. Vimy was sired by your Tommy from Laurel's Hexel. Not a real tough track as the deer only went about 80 yards. The deer did go over a hill and make a 90 degree turn. The track was after dark and this did not bother him at all. Vimy did well and now thinks were going to track every time I put him in the truck. 

Thanks for all your assistance at Trackfest. We learned a lot.
Scot Davidson - Iowa


First find of the season for Susanne Hamilton and Buster. Paunch shot doe, 0.52 mile on two drops of blood. Good start to the tracking season!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Jersey trackers promote their blood tracking program

We received a nice report from Darren Doran about the booth that New Jersey trackers had at the 2nd Annual New Jersey Wild Outdoor Expo under the banner of the United Blood Trackers. Great job Darren and New Jersey trackers!

The expo had a very good turn out, the total number of people who attended  was 4955 not including exhibitors. There was 2300 people there Saturday and at least that many on Sunday. The weather was great for expos as well as hunting. I got four calls on Sunday (took two) but that's another story. Karl is the perfect event dog. He just laid or sat on the table and let all the kids and adults pet him. He has pretty good crowd appeal. Saturday to the right of us was a retriever group with a pen full of eight-week-old chocolate lab pups and Karl still managed to draw his share of the kids. If I had a dollar for every time some one said he's such a calm dog or he's so laid back, I could have bought another dog. 

We did four short demos, two on Sat and two on Sunday, and they went well. We had a table set up with our tracking gear and one with our training gear. I had a poster board up with the complete NJ permit including all the assorted forms and reports that we have to do. The Expo had a diverse crowd with a family atmosphere. There were seasoned hunters and anglers as well as people that have never set foot in the woods. The NJ tracking program was well received and I did not get one negative comment about it. I got 4 new leads for handlers/dogs for next years permit and passed out my card to any one that would take it. All in all it was a weekend well spent.

Karl, Darren Doran's wirehaired dachshund, was a hit with kids and adults alike.


Rich Stollery is doing a demo with his dachshund Ember.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mid-September evening sky

Tommy and Lily's puppies - when wirehaired dachshund puppies are at their cutest

Another perk associated with going to field trials in Batavia was to see puppies sired by our FC Tom vom Linteler Forst out of FC Diamant Lily von Lowenherz J SE bred and owned by Laurel Whistance-Smith. The pups (all males) are three months old now and they must be at their cutest. Actually they are half-siblings to our Bella von Tierspur, who also was sired by Tommy. Lily did very well in Batavia and she was the only field champion who placed in a highly competitive stake on both days. If you are interested in a pup, contact Laurel at or 705-277-9183. Laurel lives in Ontario, Canada.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Field Trials in Batavia, NY, Sept 17-18, 2011

Last weekend I took Billy and Tommy to our first field trials of the season, which took place in Batavia, NY. I judged open stake in the morning and then ran our two field champions in the afternoon. Billy placed 1st in the stake of 28 on Sunday. Billy's sister Dixie owned by Sherry Ruggieri was second.  It was Teddy Moritz's mini long Garmin who won the Absolute run on Sunday. After I got home I took this picture of Billy with his mom Elli.
FC Billy von Moosbach-Zuzelek and his mom Elli (FC Elli v Moosbach-Zuzelek).
It was a treat to see Paika's brother on Saturday - Bentley (Poker von Moosbach-Zuzelek) owned by Sarah Stokoe. What a handsome boy he is! There is a great deal of resemblance between Bentley and Billy, who is Bentley's grandsire.

Bentley was 2nd in the open dog stake on Saturday.

Sarah and Bentley
Congratulations are also in order to Cheri Faust whose FC Danika vom Nordlicht placed 1st in the FC stake on Saturday and then was the Absolute winner of the trial.