DocBrady's tracking pack

Discussion in 'Deer Tracking Dogs' started by Doctorbrady, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    After a few trips into the brush and grass I opted to restart Layla at the point of loss. Once restarted she drug me along a small indiscreet trail for about 75-100 yards when I noticed some congealed blood hanging from a leaf. I marked the spot and kept following her. She was very focused, but after 100 yards made a hard right and headed 50 yards down toward the water and brush. Just when I thought we were about to find it another large covey or quail erupted. I brought her back to the trail and she continued down it for a few hundred more yards without any sign. At that point we took a break and I headed back to the truck to get Echo.
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  2. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    In order to save time, I started Echo at the point of loss. To
    My surprise he headed up the hill and into a dead fall where we had not been. I didn't think he was on the right path as we had found blood in the opposite direction. He seemed very focused on some areas, and when I examined them I found at least one more bed with blood and gut material. He took the track down the hill and to the creek showing more sign. It was only when I called the Hunter over that he told me that this was the point where we had crossed the creek coming in. I think he had been backtracking an area that neither the hunters nor Layla had discovered on their initial search. The deer had apparently circled around in the deadfall a few times and bedded down before leaving the area and heading off in the direction of our initial search and the hunter's point of loss. To be more certain we searched the area a bit before moving Echo back in the direction of the blood that Layla had discovered. He took the trail past the blood but never got too excited. After traveling another few hundred yards I elected to do a grid search of the area along the lake as well as the area between the lake and a limestone bluff we had been tracking along. The search revealed no more sign and no deer. Having tracked for nearly 6 hours, I called it quits. It is always frustrating to lose a deer, especially one that you know is dead. Based on the multiple beds, this deer should have been close, but due to Hunter pressure it may have travelled a long distance in tough terrain. A deer shot in the small intestines can survive longer than 24 hours, and can cover an immense amount of ground in that time.
    As I was frustrated in our own results, I deeply discounted my rate for the hunter, despite the 5 hours of drive time and additional 5 hours of tracking. And by the way, it's our bow opener, which I've only missed once since 1990. That was in 2008, the year that our son died. To prove that a good deed never goes unpunished, I got stopped in a town of 2000 people on the way home. I was going 36 in a 35. Though apparently it is a school zone during certain times of the day (despite being downtown with no school or school kids in site at 4 pm). Since I haven't had a ticket in 20 years, the officer really wanted to give me a warning. But since it was a school zone he didn't feel like he could. And sorry by the way, your fine will be double. In all, I lost about $150 on the track. Another day in the life of a tracker. Thank goodness for my day job! I will post some photos of the area. Currently I am finishing my one hour opening day hunt :).
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  3. Brushpile

    Brushpile Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Likes Received:
    944
    Location:
    Fair Grove, MO
    Well there were pros and cons in all that. I read each post to Debby, and stressed the need for more than one dog. Today was hot and I took Elkie for a walk up to Agee's silo, a distance of about 1.5 miles, and when she got there she was over heated! Having a second dog on a day like today is a must. Debby didn't say no... that's a good sign. Elkie could not have tracked that far in this heat, and also needs a back-up.

    Sounds like you did a good job of advancing the track, and we know how tracking goes. The truth is usually discovered by the tracker after arrival, not over the phone with the hunter.

    Having been a Provost Marshal, I hang my head in shame at that police officer; people like him give good cops a bad name.
     
  4. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,000
    Likes Received:
    2,271
    Location:
    South Carolina USDA Zone 8/9
    Man I don't think I have the patience to be a tracker. I love working (and watching) dogs, but it sounds like most jobs are screwed up by knuckleheads before you even get there. In fairness to the knuckleheads, however, I know that I traipse all over the place looking for wounded deer, and it's often impossible to know you need a dog until the damage has already been done.
     
  5. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    The group of guys were all very nice and down to Earth. The Hunter even commented that if he had made the shot I wouldn't be standing there to begin with. The outfitter was polite, but did act a little put off that I still collected a partial fee. I wondered if he was still going to charge the Hunter his $4750 hunting fee since he get to take a deer home. The take home Message is the old adage, when in doubt back out. Waiting at least 8 hours on a deer hit that poorly would likely have led to a short recovery. It appears that the buck wanted to lay down and die, but the continued intrusion kept him moving.
    In the cops defense, he was very polite while writing my ticket. He was young and a little edgy when I handed him my concealed carry license and told him I had a pistol on my left hip. He just asked that I was slow when retrieving my insurance card, and that I remain in my car "for my own safety." I am sure that his job depends upon him writing citations. I just happened to be the easiest target at the time. I was in fact going about 36 mph, but had no idea the speed was only 25 at certain times of the day. I did see a "school zone" sign as we left, but none of the normal flashing lights that we have...not a school or a single kid. Tough break.
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  6. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    I got a call this morning from a local hunter who I have tracked for in the past. He stated that he has gut shot a doe around 7 AM. He had trailed the deer for about 75 yards an hour after the shot, but lost all blood. He searched with another hunter for about 30-45 minutes before he decided to call me. I don't get a lot of local calls, so I was pretty excited about the track. Also, gut shot deer are some of our highest recoveries. I was hopeful that he hadn't pushed the deer too far. I was working today, so told him that I could meet him in the afternoon once I had completed my hospital duties. He had to work the evening, so he arranged me to meet up with one of his hunting buddies.
    His hunting partner was a young man who was color blind, and unable to see blood. He also didn't have any real idea where the deer had been shot or where the blood had been. He did know where the treestand was that the hunter was in, and about where the deer had been standing...not a great start. I brought both of my younger dogs along for the track. The conditions were 75 degrees and extremely dry.
    I started the track with my youngest dog, Layla. I was hoping once again for a straight forward track for her first recovery. We walked a half mile into the hunting site, then located the stand. After a short look around for blood, I noticed that Layla was stopped on a spot licking the leaves. Sure enough...blood. She took the track about 75 yards without any struggles. The track then went past a small water hole, and she took the opportunity to get a long drink. There was no blood past this point, so it was difficult to know if the deer crossed the water hole or continued along the trail. I restarted her a few times, but she never seemed to take a solid line. She kept trailing "hot," and I noticed that there was turkey droppings, feathers, and scratching everywhere I looked. After letting her run the trail a bit we jumped up roughly 30 turkeys who seemed reluctant to leave. We were able to get within 10 yards of the birds several times, before they would run or fly a short distance. No matter how many times I tried to restart her, the turkeys proved too much of a distraction for me to trust her. Once I realized that this was not going to be a productive training track, I opted to take her back to the truck and grab Echo. I opted to start Echo at the beginning of the track as well. As we walked back into the area, I could see him winding the turkeys who were still all around us. I had to give him the "Leave it!" command a few times to get him to realize that turkey tracking was not going to be tolerated. Once I put him on the blood, he became interested, but was still sniffing the air that was no doubt filled with the scent of all those damnable birds. Once I got him to put his nose to the ground, though and start the track he became a new dog. He was flawless all the way to the point of the water hole. When he arrived at the water hole, he payed it no attention, but rather kept tracking down the line. Layla has tracked this direction as well prior to getting hung up in the turkeys. He continued on right through all the fresh turkey scratching and actually was picking up speed as he went. I really thought that he was following the birds as well, but trusted him enough to follow along for a while. After a couple of hundred yards, there was still not the slightest sign of blood. I had no other good options, so I continued to follow along. We reached a fence, and he crossed under it. Just on the other side was a deep raving with a small stream running in it. He crossed back to the near side of the fence, and began searching along the fence line. I could tell that he had lost the line, and was just calling him back when the young man with me said, "What is that?" Looking across the ravine I could make out the brown fur of a deer laying in the tall grass. Rather than running over to it, I opted to let Echo finish his track. He worked back to the crossing at the fence, and this time I followed him across the fence which encouraged him to cross the ravine. In just a few moments he had the deer located. Our first recovery of the season! The total trail was only about 400 yards, but it is clear that this deer would have gone to waste had we not recovered it with the dogs.
    2016-09-30 2016-09-30 001 002.JPG
     
  7. Brushpile

    Brushpile Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,954
    Likes Received:
    944
    Location:
    Fair Grove, MO
    Good job! Apparently, even a gut shot deer can be difficult when there's no blood.
     
  8. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,000
    Likes Received:
    2,271
    Location:
    South Carolina USDA Zone 8/9
    Great job.
     
  9. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Hey all. As usual, my threads and tracking blog have taken a backseat over the hunting/ tracking season. Due to an unusually high work load this year, and just plain old bad timing, I had an unusually slow tracking season. I have posted a few of this season's tracks on my tracking blog if anyone is interested. I hate posting links, but know that I will never get everything reposted here. So to those interested, feel free to follow the link in my signature section or go to www.highcaliberbloodtracking.com. I am happy to follow up on any questions or responses on this site. I will try to get another story posted tonight or tomorrow.
     
  10. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,981
    Likes Received:
    902
    Location:
    Portland, TN
    DoctorBrady,

    I did check out the blog. I had read what you had posted in Oct. Glad you posted the suggestion to go read it.

    I enjoyed your December updates. You have three different dogs and I wonder how you came up with the variation.

    I have always wanted an "antler dog" and have looked at some lab pup as possibilities. For an antler dog I think the retriever part is just common sense.

    Knowing what you know, do you believe a dog can blood trail deer (track) and be a shed dog too reasonably well? Got to say, it has always been great satisfaction to find a shed antler.

    Thanks for your post and blog.
     
  11. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    My first dog was bought after a purposeful search for a blood tracking breed with some versatility. He was the first and only wachtelhund in Missouri for some time. He has been a great dog, and an accomplished tracker. His wirking speed is somewhat faster than I like, but that was probably due to my lack of knowledge when I started training. My second dog was a purebred Bavarian Mountain Hound, and the mother of Layla. She had an amazing nose, but was hard to keep off fresh lines, so she got rehomed after Layla was born. Echo was my third dog. He was brought home by one of my sons. When asked if "we could keep him" I responded, "Only if he can track." He took to it right off the start, and has recovered many deer in his first 2 seasons. Layla was the single pup born from Chloe after a lab/Hound mix snuck into my yard while she was in heat. My plan was to start her on tracks if she showed any interest, and later sell her (cheaply) as a started mixed breed tracking dog. It didn't take long to realize that she was the most talented young dog in my mix, so she has stayed a part of "the pack" and her Momma found an exceptional home where she is well cared for and serves as therapy dog at a nursing home among other tasks. Time will tell if Layla lives up to her talent, but I am optimistic since she has nose, smarts, and drive. I love training young dogs about as much as anything, and am always looking for the worlds best tracker. I am trying fervently to find a breeder Alpine dachsbrackes (a European tracking specialist closely related to the dachshund but larger), but breeders are very protective. None of these dogs exist in the US at this time.
    In regards to dogs being used for both sheds and blood tracking, it is absolutely doable. I know of several examples, and labs are a common choice.
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  12. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Also, we got a nice honor recently. Caliber, my wachtelhund made it into John Jeanneney's latest edition of his blood tracking book. John asked me to help update the short section on wachtelhunds, as they were virtually unknown in the US at the time his first book was written. Granted, my last name was misspelled with an extra "n", but that's no biggie. It is really cool seeing my wonderful, furred buddy in such a monumental book.
     
    Troubled Trees and Brushpile like this.
  13. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    Added one more story to the blog last night. Jolanta Jeanenney posted my "Tracking Tips" section on the United Blood Trackers Facebook page (I don't Facebook). Definitely an honor that she felt it was important enough to have the 300+ folks on that forum check out. Enjoy!
     
    Brushpile and wbpdeer like this.
  14. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    We were talking about German training methods on Elkie's page. Here is a good video with English voice over that gives a good example of what is expected of European blood trackers. It is not short, but is worth watching for those interested in method.
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  15. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    I always have puppy fever, and really enjoy training young dogs. Seeing all the hard work materialize before your eyes is an awesome thing. Brushpile has stirred up my fever even more with his 2 young imports. It is said that the enemy of good is perfect, and I believe it. I have a kennel full of very talented trackers. Still, the quest for the "perfect" blood tracking dog drives me. For my needs, I prefer a medium sized dog, which rules out the ever popular and often talented dachshunds. I owned a BMH, and have known many others. The vast majority are too soft for my liking. The same can be said of most true hounds. I need a tough dog, both mentally and physically. Right now I am researching as many of the European advanced tracking test results as I can find using Google translate. I am also being assisted by Brushpile's German contact. I hope this steers me to one or two breeds that meet my criteria from which to choose. Currently the Alpine Dachsbracke and three of the Austrian bracken breeds are topping my list. Unfortunately they are rare in their own country and non-existent on our continent. Part of the fun is in the anticipation of working with a new breed. On the home front, Layla continues to show great promise as we work increasingly difficult tracks and work on more advanced obedience training exercises. Beware! Blood tracking can become a terrible addiction if you are not careful!
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  16. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    NE MO / Central IN
    Doc, can you talk about the "versatile" hunting breeds? I would like, as most probably would, a dog that would retrieve, track, point, etc. I've read about dogs like this, but do they really exist?
     
  17. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
    After dachshunds, the German versatile breeds are probably the most common (and arguably successful) tracking dogs currently in this country. The most prominent of these is the drathhaar (German Wirehair Pointer). Others include the kurzhaar (German shorthair), weimaraner, pudel pointer, large and small munsterlander, deutsch langhaar (longhair), and the pointing griffon. The wachtelhund is the only flusher in the bunch. All of these dogs are exceptionally capable upland bird hunters, duck retrievers, rabbit hunters, and blood trackers. Many are also used for driving game, dispatching varmits, and baying up wild boar. Don't mistake the German versions for the Americanized dogs which have been bred to be pets, show dogs, and upland hunters only. The versatility is basically bred out of the American versions. Lots of choices!
    My wachtelhund hunts rabbits and quail after tracking season. I have also used him for hunting coyotes, retrieving doves, hunting woodcock, and baying up wild boar. Many are used for duck dogs.
     
    Brushpile likes this.
  18. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri
  19. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    NE MO / Central IN
    Is it possible to buy a started or finished dog? Either in the USA or import? Never trained a retriever, pointer, or tracker.
     
  20. Doctorbrady

    Doctorbrady Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    263
    Location:
    SW Missouri

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. g squared 23
Total: 40 (members: 2, guests: 20, robots: 18)
(moderators are listed in blue)