Blog

Dear Search Inc. Tracking Statistics – Fall 2010

Dear Search Inc. has gathered tracking stats from 21 trackers. Of those 21 trackers 12 reported mileage and 11 reported donations. Here are the results.

Annual Tracking Summary 2010/2011 Total In New York State Only
Bow Shot Deer/Bear-Total Valid Sorties 275 180
Total Invalid Sorties 2
 
Bow Shot Deer/Bear Recovered 95 63
Bow Shot Recovery Rate 35% 35%
 
Gun Shot Deer/Bear Total Valid Sorties 74 49
Total Invalid Sorties 1
 
Gun Shot Deer/Bear Recovered 33 23
Total Gun Shot Recovery Rate 45% 46%
 
Miles Traveled 15,100
 
Donations Received and Submitted $6,798
 
Total Valid Sorties 349 229
 
Total Deer/Bear Recovered 128 86
 
Total Recovery Rate 36% 37%

The first column reports all information reported to me by Deer Search Inc. Trackers including those who tracked out of state in VT, WI, NJ and Md. Those trackers are Tim Nichols, Larry Gohlke, Darren Doran, Rich Stollery and Andy Bensing. The second column reports big game animals tracked and recovered in New York State only. Those trackers who tracked out of state reported going on 120 sorties and recovering 42 big game animals.

-Two trackers, Tim Nichols (in Vt) and Mario Montana (in NY) each reported recovering one Black Bear.

-Tim Nichols went on the most sorties 66 with 25 recoveries.
-Andy Bensing went on 47 sorties with 16 recoveries.
-John Jeanneney went on 45 sorties with 14 recoveries.
-Marc Niad went on 26 sorties with 10 recoveries.
-Peter Martin went on 19 sorties with 8 recoveries (he found seven 8 pointers and one 6 pointer with a 20+” spread)

-Every tracker who submitted a tracking summary was involved in the recovery of a big game animal in the Fall of 2010/Winter 2011.

-The Fall 2010/Winter 2011 tracking season was a great success thanks to all the trackers, those who man the dispatch phone and the other members of DSI who contribute all year long. Great team effort.

2011 Deer Search Blood Tracking Competition Results

To all members of DSI FLC, DSI WNY, and DSI Inc,

This year’s competition hosted by Deer Search Finger Lakes Chapter Inc. in Campbell, NY was a huge success!. Weather conditions were brutal probably the worst tracking condition that you could have. The large amount of rain and wind, yet we still managed to get 7 dogs certified and two new blood judges.

I would like to congratulate:

  1. Chester Swierk and Moby first place 92
  2. Dale Clifford and Tabitha 82 2nd
  3. Andy Bensing and Eibe 64 3rd
  4. Dale C lifford and Cassey 50 4th

Congratulations to the certified dogs and handlers: Gary Huber and Beya 74, Darren Doran and Karl 57, Matt Griffin and Gunner 57, Daryl Kempston and Penney 50, and Laura Harrington and Braylee 67.

Congratulations to the two new judges, Daryl Kempston and Chester Swierk.

Thanks to the competition judges Gary Neal, Kevin Fisher, and John Jeanneney. Thanks to Dale Clifford, Gary Huber and Chester Swierk for judging on Sunday to help certify dogs.

As everyone there knows the conditions were unfavorable for Sunday. A rain all day Saturday, the blood was applied for Sunday. Even though there was no visible sign of blood the scent was still there 24 hours later, this was amazing.

The dogs still had enough scent to complete the lines on Sunday. A huge thanks to Dave and Veronica Seeley for the use of the land.

Thanks to all that helped mark lines, lay blood out Friday and Saturday, to Holly the photographer, to Dave Seeley our transportation coordinator(the taxi drivers), great job getting every one out and back, and to everyone that helped in any way to make it a success.

It was a fantastic education for both new and experienced handlers. Everyone’s dedication and enthusiasm was fantastic despite the weather conditions and it showed in the certification of dogs on Sunday.

Thanks again to all who work so hard to make it so successful!

Ron Hausfelder
Blood Tracking Chairman, DSI FLC

John and Jolanta Jeanneney’s Tommy – Is on a Roll!

John and Jolanta Jeanneney report:
October 23

Tommy finds a ten-pointer that has been damaged by coyotes.

Read more for the full story: http://borntotracknews.blogspot.com/2010/11/tommys-ten-pointer-was-already-damaged.htm

Paul Graves, the hunter, and Jolanta Jeanneney with Tommy
Paul Graves, the hunter, and Jolanta Jeanneney with Tommy

John with Tommy
John with Tommy

October 21

Tommy tracks and finds a liver shot buck in Fox Creek. To read in detail about Tommy’s find go to: http://borntotracknews.blogspot.com/2010/10/tommy-tracks-and-finds-liver-shot-buck.html

Check out the video below to see the deer being shot and Tommy tracking the deer:

Peter Martin and Lisa Start a Great Tracking Season

Peter Martin of Kiamesha Lake, New York and his wire-haired dachshund Lisa have had a great tracking season. Peter reports:

Monday Oct. 1 – I received a call from a hunter that Bill Voeglin and I tracked for 3 or 4 years ago. He hit a nice 6pt. at 9:30 the previous morning. Lisa and I took up the track at 10:30 am. (25 hrs.later). Average blood trail for about 100 yards, then nothing. Lisa knew exactly where she was going the next 150 or so yards. Real nice work, right to the huge bodied wide racked deer. Happy ending for all. We are finally becoming a team of two as one. Trust your dog, know your dog.

Pete Martin and Lisa
Pete Martin with Lisa and the buck she recovered.

Next recovery – Oct. 20:
This hunter shot his deer just before sunset on Oct. 20. The 7 pointer left a lot of blood on the ground as he headed towards a big beaver pond. The arrow entered midway back in the middle of the deer quartering to hunter and exited low through stomach and into rear leg, (I have to take the hunters word on this for lack of evidence) almost severing it. We took track the following morning at 10:00. Not soon enough. Lisa did an outstanding job going straight into the beaver pond, swimming around and exiting exactly where the deer did. After 150 yards through woods into a large knee high field, then another grass field, with a nose to the ground dead pull, this is what we found. I think even Lisa was a bit bewildered. There was absolutely NOTHING left of this deer but skin & bones. Not even a gut pile. Coyotes even devoured the rear hoof and tail. Plenty of scat left behind.

Peter Martin with Lisa October 20
Pete with Lisa and the deer that was devoured by coyotes

Next recovery – Oct. 22:

This track sounded easy but before Lisa could find the deer the hunter and tracker had to unravel what was wrong.

Eighteen hours after a good hit with arrow recovered we started tracking from hit site for about 250 yards with decent blood trail going uphill in open hardwoods. The trail was marked by hunter the night before. After an hour and a half and several restarts we advanced the bloodline only 75 yards or so. Lisa was pulling hard in every direction, but I could tell something wasn’t right with her. Upon closer inspection of all the blood we marked, we realized this deer was traveling downhill. We also saw the blood getting somewhat heavier going uphill but again the “fingers” pointed down. This couldn’t be the hunter’s deer. It must have been shot on top of the mountain.

Walking the road back to blood we knew was from the right deer, we noticed a heavy trail of blood across the road exiting the woods where the deer was shot to a whole different section. This was the deer we wanted. A heavy line for 150 yards, a right turn downhill towards wet creek bottom. Another 200 yards and across a stream lay a nice big bodied typical 8 pointer.

Pete Martin and Lisa
Pete with Lisa

Next recovery – Oct. 23:

There seems to be an abundance of 8 pointers in my area this year. Either that or the hunters are being more selective. Oct. 23 at 7:20 a.m. this deer took an arrow from a fellow I successfully tracked for last year. There was good blood for 220 yards through hardwoods into an open grassy field. He made a hard left towards a large shallow pond surrounded by thick brush, swamp grass and saplings. He bedded down for who knows how long before leaving and making a dash to the edge of the pond where Lisa found him. A pretty easy track for her even after 27 hour old trail. Completed in about 30 minutes. Scenting conditions were good.

Peter Martin with Lisa October 23
Pete with Lisa and the 8 pointer

Next recovery – Oct. 24:

This is by far the largest racked big bodied deer Lisa and I had the pleasure to find. Interesting story. On October 24th at 5:15 p.m. the hunter shot this deer from his tree stand, broadside at 36 yards in open field.

Deer trots off into a very thick old moist swamp 75 yards away. He knew he had a front shoulder hit and  didn’t like the deers’ non-chalant reaction as he watched him meander through the thick stuff. The hunter finds 19″ of back half of arrow about 5 yards away. First smear of blood was found 25 yards. From there the blood was hard to come by but the hunter marked it for another 30 – 40 yards and that was it. After thinking the crashes he heard ahead of him was his deer he backed off for the night.

Next day at 12 noon we took up track and track we 72 degree weather for 3 1/2 hours. Nothing. With hope fading and making our way back towards our vehicles Lisa nearly yanked the lead out of my hand when she took a quick sharp left into an over growth of mixed weeds and grasses. 30 yards away lay one of the biggest 8 pointers I ever saw. He wound up about 700 yards from hit site. We walked right past him on the way out. If it wasn’t for Lisa’s nose we would have kept right on going. The deer was indeed hit right in the shoulder bone but the broad-head clipped arteries and front part of one lung before lodging into the far side shoulder. This deer was shot 2 days prior by the hunters buddy right through the “dead area” between the spine and top of ribs midway along the length of his body. When we found him, he wasn’t stiffened up.

Peter Martin with Lisa October 24
Pete with Lisa and the large 8 pointer

Two Does Recovered in One Day

Marc Niad of Yorktown Heights, New York and his German Jadg Terrier Dakota found two does on opening weekend. He had two recoveries on October 17, 2010. He reports:

The first doe was shot in Mt. Kisco Saturday on opening day 5:30 p.m. The doe was gut shot. Dakota tracked the doe the next day 18 1/2 hours later. She tracked 300 yards after hunters last blood.

Marc Niad and Dakota -10-17-10
Marc Niad and Dakota - 10-17-10

The second doe shot in Yorktown at 7:20 a.m. was gut shot. Dakota tracked it 7 1/2 hours later. She tracked 320 yards after hunters last blood. She recovered both deer in the same day.

Marc Niad and Dakota - 10-17-10
Marc Niad and Dakota - 10-17-10

News from Long Island – Gut Shot Deer Found 4 Days Later

Deer Search is proud to announce this update from Mike Garrity from Deer Search in Long Island. Mike wrote:

Mike Garrity and Wolfie
Mike Garrity and Wolfie

It took all of 10 minutes for Wolfie to air scent this large 9 point buck, shot on Saturday October second, the second day of the Long Island bow season. Unfortunately they had to call in the dogs 4 days later due to a gut shot. The hunter Howie Habberstad, and partner Kate are seen pictured with Mike Garrity and his dachshund Wolfie.  Expectations were low for a blood line search due to a substantial rain storm the day before. Apparently the deer made his way back, close to where he was shot near a corn field some time after the initial search. The horns were salvaged and a cape will be provided by taxidermist Dave at Fish and Wildlife Unlimited in Bohemia. It will be another in a long line of impressive trophies for Howie. Also present was Louie Dibiase and his terrier Hunter.

Mike Garrity with Wolfie and Louie Dibiase with Hunter
Mike Garrity with Wolfie and Louie Dibiase with Hunter

Blood Tracking Equipment

Opening season of the deer hunting season is right around the corner. Time to get things organized and ready for the blood tracking season. Here is a list of equipment you may want to check in the coming weeks before your first deer call.

BLOOD TRACKING EQUIPMENT

  • Wallet containing DEC Leashed Tracking Dog License, big game hunting license and handgun permit. Place wallet in waterproof Ziploc bag.
  • Large I.D. card for your dashboard (needs Leashed Tracking Dog License number, Deer Search Inc., your name).
  • County Road Maps for counties you will track in
  • List of phone numbers of Conservation Officers and State Police
  • Large fanny pack (hangs up less in brush than a knapsack)
  • Compass (make sure that North end of needle is clearly marked)
  • Biodegradable marking tape (for marking last drop of visible blood, etc.)
  • Short leash for taking dog into the woods
  • Thirty foot leash of mountain climbing cord (11 mm. for large dogs, 8 or 9 mm. for dachshunds)
  • Powerful light for tracking. Dynalight or NITE LITE with charger.*
  • Spare bulbs and small flashlight for changing bulbs in big light
  • Small hunting knife
  • Blood bottle or gallon sized Ziploc bags for carrying deer blood (put one Ziploc inside another)
  • Small cup to dip blood out of cavity; margarine container works well
  • Rope or web strap for dragging deer
  • Pen and string for attaching deer tag; hunters frequently forget these items
  • Whistle for signaling to hunters
  • Water for your dog
  • Portable two way radios
  • Cellular phone
  • Camera

*These lights are sold by Nite Lite Co., P.O. Box 8210, Little Rock, Ark. 72221. tel. 1-800-648-5483.

The wish list for equipment always grows longer not shorter. It would be nice to have a GPS (Global Positioning System). For my own foolish capers in swamps and briar’s I like Wick Froglegs boots for deeper water. In the Multiflora Rose my Wick Cordura chaps and a Bill Boatman Cordura nylon coat keep my old hide smoother and more appetizing for the deer ticks.

For repelling deer ticks PERMANONE sprayed on your clothes will help some, but check yourself over when you get home and in the shower.

Starting From The Hunter’s Point Of Loss

Because of the sequence of the seasons most of us find ourselves tracking for the first time with young dogs during bow season when tracking is usually most difficult. For these young dogs it is especially important to take the time to start well.

Avoid starting your dog right at the hunters point of loss. This is likely to be the hardest part of the whole scent trail. Obviously the hunter lost the blood trail for a reason. Maybe the deer did stop bleeding, but there is also a good chance that the deer backtracked or radically changed direction. For certain the point of loss will be well trampled and saturated with human scent as the hunter searched back and forth to find another spot of blood.

Start by going back and reworking several hundred yards of the visible blood trail that the hunter tracked for himself. Unless the point of the shot is a very long way back it is usually worth the time and trouble to start at the very beginning. You may find something such as an arrow which the hunter missed and you are likely to find some sign to help you evaluate the hit. Reworking the blood line will familiarize your dog with the individual deer scent that you are interested in. Your dog may pick the backtrack, or with the “momentum” picked up on a well-defined scent line it may carry right through the hunter’s point of loss and show you more of the line.

Even if you run through several hundred yards of the old line the dog may well stall on the hunter’s point of loss. The hunter will probably have tracked blood scent and deer scent all over this area on his feet.

If you still can’t get started, the best solution may be to lead the dog slowly around a 50 yard radius circle, and then again on a 100 yard radius. Watch your dog slowly and she may well show you another spot of blood out beyond the limit of the area contaminated by the hunter’s search.

If possible avoid working a young dog on a scent line until it has been clearly established. Take your first calls with someone who has an experienced dog, and let them do the circling and casting if these are the tactics that have to be used to get started. These circling tactics won’t hurt and old veteran, but they are likely to slow the development of a young dog that is just developing “line sense.”

When you see a drop of blood mark it with biodegradable tape, or have the hunter mark it. You will save time in the long run if you are able to return with certainty to the marked line; if your dog loses the line later or seems to get distracted by fresh scent of another deer, it is good to be able to return to a spot of blood and start again.

Blood Tracking Puppy Training

Sometimes we insult the intelligence of our dogs and this is the reason why they become bored with what we ask them to do. A six hour old training line may sound like a very difficult task to us, but when the drops of blood are right there, still giving off scent, it is too easy to be interesting as far as a dog’s mind goes. A six hour blood line is much easier than a scent trail of the same age left by a man or a healthy deer. Once past the raw puppy stage when everything is exciting, you are likely to find that your dogs apply themselves better to a task that requires them to use their abilities. Don’t be afraid to increase the age of your training lines.

Once our puppies know what a bloodline is, we jump from 12 to 24 hours, very quickly. They seldom have problems. We don’t want to move beyond a puppy’s ability, but we find that things work out better if we make it easier by using lots of blood and also by keeping the lines short, under 300 yards. If we work at 24, 36 or 48 hours there is no problem with human scent; by this time it has pretty well dissipated.

Remember lines age much more slowly at night. They also become easier as the dew begins to settle in the evening. My impression is that a 48 hour line is only about 20% harder than a 24 hour line. For a long time it seemed to me that a line twice as old should be twice as tough. Now I believe that it a blood line loses its intensity of scent in a way that can best be expressed by a descending, sway-backed curve.

I’d like to hear about your training experiences. It’s by trading experiences that we all learn. You may persuade me that I’m wrong, but as I see it now the big problem in training and live blood tracking is the distractions, not the age of the line.

Sometimes we insult the intelligence of our dogs and this is the reason why they become bored with what we ask them to do. A six hour old training line may sound like a very difficult task to us, but when the drops of blood are right there, still giving off scent, it is too easy to be interesting as far as a dog’s mind goes. A six hour blood line is much easier than a scent trail of the same age left by a man or a healthy deer. Once past the raw puppy stage when everything is exciting, you are likely to find that your dogs apply themselves better to a task that requires them to use their abilities. Don’t be afraid to increase the age of your training lines.

Once our puppies know what a bloodline is, we jump from 12 to 24 hours, very quickly. They seldom have problems. We don’t want to move beyond a puppy’s ability, but we find that things work out better if we make it easier by using lots of blood and also by keeping the lines short, under 300 yards. If we work at 24, 36 or 48 hours there is no problem with human scent; by this time it has pretty well dissipated.

Remember lines age much more slowly at night. They also become easier as the dew begins to settle in the evening. My impression is that a 48 hour line is only about 20% harder than a 24 hour line. For a long time it seemed to me that a line twice as old should be twice as tough. Now I believe that it a blood line loses its intensity of scent in a way that can best be expressed by a descending, sway-backed curve.

I’d like to hear about your training experiences. It’s by trading experiences that we all learn. You may persuade me that I’m wrong, but as I see it now the big problem in training and live blood tracking is the distractions, not the age of the line.