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:

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:

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


Great Find for Joeri on Video

On Saturday, October 16 John and Jolanta Jeanneney took a great video of their first find of the season. For more info about the Joeri and his find check out:


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


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.