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

Deer Search

Deer Search is a private, non-profit organization of volunteers who track wounded deer and bear with leashed tracking dogs. Most of us are hunters and our goal is to reduce crippling losses during hunting season. The majority of us live in New York State and are members of one of the two New York chapters of Deer Search. We also have out of state members who track under licenses and rules issued by their own state.

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