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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beginnings of the United Blood Trackers

Compiled by Jolanta Jeanneney

The need for a national organization of blood trackers became evident in March 2005 when Henry Holt ran into problems regarding using tracking dogs on public land in Illinois. In his email circulated within borntotrack group (for owners of dogs bred by John and Jolanta Jeanneney), hosted by smartgroups, he wrote:
“Last season here in Illinois there was an emergency administrative rule issued prohibiting tracking on public land. Just before the season opened, Larry Gohlke, Cheri Faust, Al Diehl and I all attended a meeting in Springfield with Tim Hickman, the DNR head of public lands, Jack Price the DNR attorney in charge of wildlife and administrative rules, and Mike Kennedy a Captain in Law Enforcement (and also a Drahthaar trainer). It looked as though everything was on track until I saw a new rule published on the DNR website.
1) Tracking on public land has to be conducted outside of legal shooting hours which are 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
2) Dogs must be certified as deer tracking dogs by a national dog tracking organization.”

At the time there was no national organization able to provide this kind of certification. After many emails and lively discussion, several members of borntotrack yahoo group decided to go ahead and form the organization. Ken Parker, an owner of Bavarian Mountain Hounds, was invited as well.
An organizational meeting was held July 21-22, 2005 at the home of John and Jolanta Jeanneney in Berne, NY.

Top row from left: John Jeanneney, Henry Holt, Larry Golhke; bottom row: Andy Bensing, Cheri Faust and Ken Parker. Jolanta Jeanneney was behind camera.
Present were John Jeanneney, Jolanta Jeanneney, Henry Holt, Ken Parker, Andy Bensing, Cheri Faust, Larry Gohlke, Tim Nichols (Friday).
We discussed:  Bylaws, Deer Search, Inc., Testing, Judges, Benefits of Membership, Membership Application and Dues.

The following were selected to serve on the Board of Directors:
Larry Gohlke (2006) – appointed Director of Testing
John Jeanneney (2006) – appointed Director of Education
Cheri Faust (2007) – elected as Secretary
Henry Holt (2007) – appointed as Director of Membership and elected as Vice President
Susanne Hamilton (2007)
Ken Parker (2008) – elected as Treasurer
Andy Bensing (2008) – elected as President
Jolanta Jeanneney (2008) – appointed as Director of Publicity

Initial UBT-approved judges were:
•             Larry Gohlke
•             John Jeanneney
•             Jolanta Jeanneney
•             Henry Holt
•             Andy Bensing

A Board of Directors meeting was held September 23, 2005 at the Black Horse in Denver, PA, and on September 25, 2005 at D-Bar-W Equestrian Center in Reinholds, PA. Present were: Andy Bensing (President/Director-2008), Cheri Faust (Secretary/Director-2007), John Jeanneney (Director of Education-2006), Jolanta Jeanneney (Director of Publicity-2008) and Larry Gohlke (Director of Testing-2006)

The Secretary received a letter from Henry Holt, who resigned as an Officer and Director.  Dave Johnson was elected for the Board of Directors to serve as Director of Publicity.  John Jeanneney was selected to fill the vacancy of Vice President.  Jolanta Jeanneney was appointed as Director of Membership.

In 2005 Bylaws were drafted, finalized and incorporation was filed with the State of Illinois.  A website ( was established.  The Board of Directors has exchanged over 1,600 messages via the email group list, in addition to private emails, telephone communications and discussions at other events for organizational purposes. Even though the organization was started mainly by handlers of tracking dachshunds, it has never discriminated against other breeds. From the beginning handlers of all kind of tracking dogs have been accepted, regardless whether their tracking dogs were purebred or not.

The next meeting of the Board of Directors was held on June 12, 2006 at Neal and Debbie Meyer’s, Quincy, Illinois, the site of Trackfest 2006. Even though this event was not officially affiliated with the United Blood Trackers, it was organized by the core of the UBT and everybody present was encouraged to join the organization. The report from this events is at  Neal Meyer’s dachshund Chloe was the first dog certified by the UBT. This was a press release describing it:

First Dog Certified To Track Wounded Deer On State Lands

Chloe, a wirehaired dachshund owned by outfitter Neal Meyer, was the first dog tested and approved to track wounded deer on state-owned lands in Illinois. The bill passed in 2004 legalized the use of leashed tracking dogs. The associated regulations require that any dog tracking on Illinois state lands must pass a test demonstrating basic ability and training.

Chloe’s blood tracking test was administered by United Blood Trackers (, a national organization, on June 11, 2006. The dog was required to track a blood line with two sharp turns for a quarter of a mile to part of a deer that was placed at the end of the line. The small amount of blood used for the simulated trail, combined with the heavy ground cover, would have made the line very difficult or impossible for a hunter to track by eye.

Dachshund Chloe has little in common with the beloved wiener dogs of cartoonists. She is bred from German hunting stock, has longer legs and a harsh, wirey double coat. Chloe weighs only 20 pounds, but in her own mind she is a “big dog”, big enough to track those huge Illinois bucks, even if they are still alive.