Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blood Tracking Dogs Are Not Hard To Find

Not really, because I am a member of an association of trackers for hire, and I have a yard full of dogs ready to go! I am a breeder and a trainer, so I have dogs of all ages, but I don't sell them in my yard, I train them in my yard, and I sell them in the woods.

I have people calling who want to come to my house and tour my yard, and "see" my dogs. What is the point of looking at dogs if you want a working dog? You need to see them on the job.

Sorry, I don't sell dogs out of my yard, only puppies.
And if you would like references from my many satisfied puppy customers, please ask.

So if you are interested in a started or finished dog, invite me to your lease or hunting camp during deer season, on a weekend when there are several deer being taken and I will show you some blood tracking dogs in action. I will bring finished dogs in case we have a tough track to work, and some started dogs who need to get on as many blood trails as possible during the open season, and puppies. I always have dogs in training, and need places to work them where they can get on multiple tracks even if the deer was already found. Because the deer season is short term, we need to get on as many deer blood trails as possible during the hunting season, and give the new dogs active experiences in as many areas as possible. I also have experienced ready to go finished dogs if you don't want to buy a dog, but need tracking services for hire.

For the most part, I do not sell finished dogs because it gets complicated after a dog is several years old, and is very attached to you.

Just like my experiences with hog dog shoppers, most people(about 95%) call me wanting a finished blood trail dog, assuming they can buy a ready to go, all you need to do is invest money, and voila: you have a working blood tracking dog.
These finished dog shoppers fail to understand the importance of a mutual relationship in the dogs’ functionality. No matter what breed, how well bred, raised, trained, or experienced, a finished dog will always have a big adjustment, going from one person—who they have known and loved all their life—to someone new.
And if they don't know, trust and love you, they won't work for you. If you want to buy a finished dog understand that it will require a lot of time and personal input on your part to develop a relationship of trust
before you will ever get that level of service the dog performed with the original owner.

 Not only does that relationship factor make selling finished dogs damn near impossible, I have people calling me who think they can get my 4 year old finished dog for the price of a puppy.

I am telling you here and now: you want a finished dog and you call me with that in mind, please advise me in advance as to how many thousands of dollars you are willing to spend so you are not wasing my time or yours. I put years into a dog, and it is worth thousands. If you don't believe that, you put years of your time, vet bills, and food expenses into a dog and get back to me on this one.

This brings us back to my most satisfied group of customers—the ones who are getting a puppy and raising it, and working on developing that long term relationship early on, and then having a dog that gets better and better year after year.

 Apparently common sense is not as common as it once was, and that may be the biggest issue causing people to think finding a blood tracking dog is a hard thing to do. Most people are not looking for a puppy or started dog, because they are accustomed to buying and using complex, ready to go, high tech machines to serve them, and all that is required is a purchase, then you turn it on and it is working for you. But a dog is a living breathing animal with feelings and complex emotional needs, that wants to be loved and accepted, and on a regular, if not daily basis. Dogs want to be part of the family, go where you go, do what you do, sleep in the house, guard you, your wife and kids, and your territory, and that's why, of all the domesticated animals out there, dogs are referred to as man's best friend.

Another thing is every dog has his own style of hunting and unless you know the dog and understand what it is doing, you might try to interfere and make the dog do what you want instead of trusting the dog, and letting it do what it knows it needs to do to find your lost deer. For instance some dogs hunt in circles, cover a lot of ground and should be worked off leash. Others are more straight line and on the blood track, and would work much better on leash if that is a restriction relative to your particular lease or management area. For you to trust your dogs actions in the field you must spend a lot of time getting to know how that dog hunts. As much as you might believe you need to train your dog to trail blood, if it is bred right, and raised properly, as mine are, obedience is the most important part of training, and after that, I suggest you let your dog train you to track blood. Where did we ever come up with this concept that we are smarter than them? You might be surprised how much a dog can teach you.

I have joined the Southern Blood Trackers Association, and we are discussing ways to get more dogs and tracking people into service.

Obviously, hiring us to come out with our experienced blood dogs is the most immediate and practical means for most hunters, to get a dog today. But we need to look ahead, and really plan on having one, or more than one for next season.

By that, I mean getting a puppy now, during hunting season, allowing it to be there in the box stand, and in the skinning shed, and raising it for a year and having it well started by next season. Buy a puppy from me, and I am available for consultation and training exercises in the off season to keep you on track.

Or getting a started dog, and working with it on leash  now during the hunting season, and gradually training and evaluating during the off season, so you have one well advanced for next hunting season. 

. We, in the blood tracker association, have obstacles that must be overcome to get more dogs into service. We need your help and want to work with you, the deer hunters, hunting clubs, and with government entities to raise the level of public awareness and the importance of the ethics involved with using working dogs to serve as the blood-tracking experts and minimize the effect of lost and wounded animals.

So, many people come into this looking for a finished dog and end up walking away from that pursuit assuming that blood tracking dogs are hard to find. If all you’re looking for is a finished dog, I agree—it’s going to be hard to find, because there are not that many of us breeding raising and training who are willing to sell our best dogs.

 Started dogs are very much available, from me personally, but you’re going to have to come up with more than money—you have to prove to me that you qualify to get one of these started dogs.
And what I mean by that is; I am very protective of my dogs who have been with me for a year or more.

 Your best bet is to get a puppy and invest time and money—and build a relationship—and as this dog progresses, I am available for consultation, training exercises, and will do anything I can to help bring your puppy into a point of service some day. Send him back to me for a 1 week boot camp at 6 months, for an evaluation and training exercise. Schedule a private class here at my training facility or better yet at your hunting camp or lease for me to work with you and your dog.

If you need blood tracking services for lost or wounded deer, you can call me at 337 298 2630.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Southern Blood Trackers Association

I am pleased to announce that I have joined a fine organization called Southern Blood Trackers Association.

Scott Hill and Remmy, a Hanovarian Scent Hound, preparing for for a track

Southern Blood Trackers Association was formed by Kevin Lang in Denham Springs, La. to promote the availability and ethics of using blood trailing dogs to find lost and wounded deer. As an avid deer hunter, Kevin has for many years witnessed the wonderful benefits of finding lost and wounded deer with blood trail dogs.

The genesis of this organization arose from the reality that most people who need a blood tracking dog, do not know how to train one nor do they want the year round maintenance of a blood tracking dog, and would prefer to call in an experienced tracker when the need arises.

We have several members who are available and on call 24/7 to drive to your lease or club and locate your deer. Also for the first time in the 2010/2011 hunting season, we are legally allowed to bring blood dogs onto state management areas in the state of Louisiana.

We use Blue Lacy, Catahoula, Lab, Hanoverian Scent Hound, and Bloodhounds for our tracking dogs.

Congratulations to Cliff Weems of Walker, LA for bagging this magnificent buck

Not only is it ethical to use a blood dog to locate lost and wounded deer, you can save time and heartache. Imagine the frustration of a young hunter, taking his first buck and losing it all in the same day.

Below is a true story of one such event that may not have had a happy ending if it wasn't for a blood tracking dog.

Dakota was 13 years old last year when he took this, his first buck, and has been hunting since he was about six having taken many does. But, last year he decided he wanted a buck, and started letting does walk by.

On December 23, 2009 at 5:00pm he took this buck, but was unable to find any evidence of a hit, no hair, no blood, nothing, and was getting aggravated when his dad told him to go get the blood dogs, and things started looking up for Dakota.

Tee Boy and Jazz started hunting for the deer, and after about 15 or 20 minutes, Tee Boy started slowing down, and his dad asked Dakota; "Are you by Tee Boy?" "Yes sir, HERE HE IS DAD, HERE HE IS DAD, Tee Boy FOUND HIM DAD, GOOD BOY, Tee Boy, GOOD BOY, Tee Boy". Good things come to those who wait and have the availability of an expert tracking dog to save the day in the end. CONGRATULATIONS DAKOTA

You can get the whole story as told by his dad, Kevin if you go to the brag page here:

I Marcus de la Houssaye, am located in the Lafayette area and will travel to the Texas state line, and available throughout the deer season for tracking services. I can be reached at 337 298 2630.

Ruby, and Bubbles a Catahoula puppy on her first deer

If I am not available, you can contact Kevin at 225 963 0027 and perhaps he can dispatch one of the other trackers to serve you such as:

Scott Hill and his dog Remmy a Hanoverian Scent Hound

Good luck, keep it legal, and please make every effort to be safe while on stand and anywhere in the woods.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A 6 Point Down With A Good Blood Trail

Got a call from a hunter just up the road who needed a blood dog to locate a deer downed with a good blood trail.
Problem was the blood stopped after about 100 yards.

Got there about 3 hrs. after the shot, and my dog jumped the deer, led us across the cut over, through a dry swamp, across a large hayfield, another dry swamp, and after about 1 mile, going into a thicket where we knew there were hunters on stand.

I then discovered my dog got cut on her paw and was bleeding real good. Took her back to the truck, got another couple of dogs out,
and worked the area around the shot and went on past the blood trail, just in case the deer we jumped(which was really moving) was not the same deer shot that morning.

It would appear that in spite of good blood sign, after six hours down and the fact that this deer moved more than a mile after we jumped him, this was not a mortal wound.

No luck, and tomorrows another day.

If you need a blood dog, I am willing to travel about 100 miles one way, I live in the Lafayette area, my cell phone is 337 298 2630.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Staying On Track

I got an invite to hunt in St. Francisville, La. this week and brought a truck load of young dogs to allow them to run down some blood trails and learn the ropes. Along with the young dogs who were learning, I brought along a few of the "professors".

There appears to be a lot of articles and forum posts coming out on the internet with a lot of different opinions as to "How to train a blood tracking dog". And for someone researching the internet to try to learn from all these conflicting opinions, it can get frustrating to know which way to go. Now bear in mind, I have a lot of dogs of varying ages to work with, so I know that what I am about to propose doesn't fit as a solution for most peoples predicament of starting a training program for a new and unexperienced dog.

Very important to get young dogs on a hot fresh trail as soon as possible because there is a long and steady process of becoming a great dog someday. And I am talking years, but why not use the years already in an old dog to set an example for a young one?

As complicated as it is for us to follow a blood trail visually, it is much more complicated for a dog, because their ability to scent is so profound, and a young dog can get distracted and confused easily by so many different scents in the woods. Laying blood trails in the yard, can get too easy and you need to take them to the woods as soon as possible, and with an older trained dog if you can.

The more experience they have the better to learn to differentiate and unravel the puzzle leading to the dead deer.

Experienced dogs learn to follow the deer with the "blood scent" and not get side tracked.

Good idea to use an old experienced dog to set a good example for a young dog. And on that note, I must admit, "I" don't train my young dogs as much as my old dogs do.

I take young started dogs to kill sites and let them discover the blood on their own if possible, if not, I lead them to the point of impact or "first blood" as we say and get them started, but try to stand back as much as possible so they are not following me.

If they are interested, I give them as much time to anylyse the scent as they need. Never try to rush an upstart on a new location! Dogs are naturally curious about scents. We "see" the world, and dogs "smell" the world.

I like to turn out a young dog, and evaluate their progress, and if they find the deer, great. If not, I then go get the older, more experienced dog to show them how it is done. As much as we might like to take credit for training a young dog, there is no better teacher than an old dog to take a blood trail to the next level and teach a young dog to not quit!

But... it can get much more complicated than that, as you will see in the article below.

Here is an exerpt of an excellent article in a great website at United Blood

The title is: Staying on the Right Line
written by By John Jeanneney © 2005
It is copyright protected and shared here for your pleasure,
I sure enjoyed reading it and I hope you do too.

I remember once we were tracking or trying to track a leg-hit deer in dry, dusty snow. We could see the tracks all right, but it was an averaged-sized deer running with a small herd of other average sized-deer; there was not enough track definition in the loose snow to tell which deer was which. Clary the tracking dachshund was the only one who knew what she was doing.

The tiniest drop of blood would have shown up on that pristine white snow, but there wasn’t any blood at all. One deer cut off and left the rest, and that was the one that Clary followed. Trust your dog! We followed and the long tracking leash kept us together. After a hundred yards we saw one drop of blood. Of course the dog knew the scent of that individual deer.

A tracking dog often has to deal with cross trails where a deer has been dragged out of the woods. Even young dogs learn to handle this pretty well. There was one case last year that was tougher than this.

Aunt Sabina dachshund was tracking behind her young nephew Alex. There was some tidying-up to be done, but basically we let the young dog do the work. I wrote a year ago about how disappointed Alex and the hunters all were when we tracked up to a still-warm pile of guts. It was from a paunch shot deer just like the one we had been tracking. The only one in our group who understood the situation was Sabina. She trailed past the pile of guts, went another 50 yards into real thick stuff, and there was the deer we had been trailing, also shot in the paunch.

If you would like to read the article in its entirety the link is here:

If you need to call me for blood tracking services, to purchase a dog or puppy, or for consultation, my cell phone is: 337 298 2630

Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Time To Buy A Puppy For Next Year's Deer Season

Plan to hunt next year? How about be ready to have a blood dog working for you by buying a puppy now.

This is Scarlet and Cutty Dark's puppies. Born 11 15, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Are Blood Dogs Becoming Deer Hunters New Best Friend?

As a hog hunter, I am painfully aware that dogs will serve us no matter what we ask of them, even to the point of putting themselves in harms way and risking their life. But that kind of service comes only after we have developed a good relationship with them. Hog hunting the way we do it is not a chase and shoot scenario, but a catch and tie, and that requires teamwork with a man and his dog.

I hunted federal lands this past weekend where dogs are not allowed during deer hunting. I needed to go there to hunt with a friend of mine who lives nearby and I wanted to speak to the enforcement agents about the use of blood dogs on management areas.

Turns out this year, the state of Louisiana has passed a new rule about dogs being allowed on state areas, but that didn't apply to this federal owned property we were on this past weekend.

So the blood dog stayed in the kennel, in the truck, while I walked in with my climbing tree stand on my back.

I found a real nice spot which was flooded this time last year, but was now a dry slough. You can see the dark high water mark on the base of the trees.

Didn't need to look very far and found fresh sign.

Buck and doe tracks, and real fresh droppings,

so I set out some scent wafers and started looking for a tree to climb.

Turns out I didn't need to pack in my climbing tree stand, because I found a large Live Oak tree that had fallen over the slough and I was able to easily climb into it and have a natural stand up in the branches with a great view of the slough on both sides and be very safe and comfortable.

I have done this type of hunt many times in the past and always enjoyed the solitude and oneness with nature. But I must admit that I am getting spoiled and really do enjoy hunting in a box stand a lot more with a dog in the stand with me. Not just for the benefit of his nose being there when I need it, he is companionship, during those long hours we sometimes spend in the course of still hunting, it is nice to be there with a friend.

Now, to be in a box stand with a dog and be effective in bringing home the venison, this is not just any dog, but one that is very cooperative and calm while waiting.

It can't be a dog that is begging for your attention or is moving around and making noise. It has to be a dog that is accustomed to being in your presence on a regular basis, and is well behaved.

Jesse was with me on opening day, in a box stand when I had a shot at a doe and missed. At about 125 yards, I had a pretty good idea where the deer had passed between two points and when I got down with my dog to look for blood, I knew exactly where the trail was, because the dog went on up in front of me and made a 90 degree turn on a game trail and was real excited when he hit the fresh deer scent. So I examined the area along this trail for about 50 yards and no blood. I didn't have to waste time looking for blood, and wondering if I was on the right trail. I knew by the dogs behavior that I was on the hot trail, and I had missed the shot.

So we went back to the stand and settled in to wait for another opportunity.

To be in a stand with a blood dog is a whole new way of hunting for me and a lot of people are immediately resistant to the very idea, as was I when my friends told me they were doing it, but it is a great way to really get your dog tuned in to what his job is as a blood dog.

It is also right where he wants to be, sleeping at my feet, ready to serve me. That time spent in the blind, builds relationship. I suggest you spend some time there in the off season with the dog to evaluate if he is ready to be a part of your full time hunting team.

Work with him in the off season to acclimate him to the program of being quiet and still while on the hunt, so he doesn't disrupt your success during hunting season.

You may believe that you can find a finished, ready to go blood dog and be ready to use him to find deer without investing time in him, but you cannot buy a relationship and the service that follows, you must earn it.

No matter what breed, how well raised as a puppy, and even more important than the training and past experience, the success you have with your blood dog will be in relation to the bond you share as best friends.

The quote below says it all.


The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.

A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness.

He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side.

He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince.

When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the Heavens. ~ George Best, 1870

If you need a good blood dog,

I suggest you consider the wisdom of buying a puppy now, and by this time next year, if you are worthy of your investment in the dog, he will work for you.

There is no excuse for us to lose so many dead and wounded deer during hunting season as we have in the past. New laws are allowing the use of blood dogs in about a dozen states just this year, which until now forced us to accept that we would lose more deer than we found. We can now save time, and be much more conservative with our wildlife resources, because the law allows it.

All we need is man's best friend.

If you want a telephone consultation to talk about it,

I can be reached at 337 298 2630.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

I have been finding a lot of very positive news and info about the growing interest, acceptance and use of blood dogs.

For instance where I live here in Louisiana this is the first year that we are allowed to bring blood dogs into a state management area during deer season. I thought I would have to go to the capital and fight for that one! Wow!

Also about a dozen states just lifted the ban on using dogs to track wounded and lost deer. This is exciting.

A great online magazine called Whitetail News is the source of a lot of real good info on hunting, and excellent products like food plot seed and mineral supplements. In there I found a great testimonial of a six year old Labrador Retriever trained by Michael Veine, who went on his first real trail after rain had washed away all sign and went right to the trophy buck in a matter of minutes. You can read the entire article if you click on the link here:


In case you can't go there via the link, I will give you the testimonial here:


I put Shrike’s tracking skills to the test for the first time when I arrowed a huge buck in a remote, Upper Peninsula cedar swamp. The buck was hit just before dark and unfortunately it started raining soon after the shot, so the visible blood trail was washed away and I couldn’t follow it. I knew the hit was good, but the area was so infested with coyotes, wolves and bears that leaving the deer overnight would have been extremely chancey.

Returning later with Shrike, I really didn’t know what to expect. I led him to where I hit the deer and commanded to him, “Find the deer.” With his nose to the ground, he immediately started pulling me in the direction where the deer had run off. He progressed steadily and, in just a couple minutes, Shrike was sniffing my dead buck. Shrike died last summer but he left a legacy of recovering many deer for me and other hunters. I now have a new lab pup named Harry. He’s being trained to hunt birds and recover deer just like his predecessor. With any luck, Harry will aid me in my deer hunting successes for years to come.


Important to note that this dog was a bird dog and a blood dog too. So many hunters mistakenly believe that a working dog should only do one thing in order to not be confused. I believe the more things a dog can do the better, because deer season is a short season and a really intelligent hard working dog, kinda goes nuts in the off season, if they are not focused on a regular job allowing them to express their working abilities on a full time basis.

As evidenced by Shrike's first time success, you too may be surprised to discover that you already own a dog that is very capable of being your best friend during deer season. Given a little training and a chance to help, your bird dog, guard dog, or maybe even Momma's little lap puppy may be waiting for a opportunity to learn a new trick.