Monday, January 17, 2011

Learning From Our Experiences

After only one season as a professional blood tracker, I am convinced we deer hunters need to do a little more practice at the paper target in the off season and study deer anatomy and consider shot placement as a serious issue that needs to be addressed by all of us.

OK, here is yours truly admitting that I missed 3 out of 5 shots so far this deer hunting season. OK? I am not pointing blame at anyone. We are in this together.

Now, that I have confessed my own inaccuracies, the last 4 tracks I went on with my dogs were apparently not mortal wounds. OK, so it is not just me that needs better shot placement. More so, we can all learn a lot about tracking wounded deer. This is a learning process, and we would all do well to hunt with our youth and old timers as much as possible, to share the knowledge these old timers bring to the sport.

Hey, I am happy these people who called me were willing to bring in some help and see if the dog could find the deer. We found one, but problem was it got up and ran like a bat out of hell. I believe this deer will survive!

Later I overheard the hunter talking about putting the cross hairs on the shoulder and I thought, "You are supposed to but the cross hairs "behind" the shoulder.

Anyway, apparently John Jeanneney believes as I do that we need to tighten up and work harder to prevent the loss of so many wounded deer during hunting season.

Below is an introduction to his new book.

Dead On! is written for all deer hunters. They need information useful for killing deer quickly, cleanly and humanely, and they need to know the best tactics for finding deer on their own if complications do arise. The book questions many of the traditional assumptions about how to find wounded deer after the shot. John Jeanneney comes to the subject with a fresh perspective based upon his 930 searches with bow and gun hunters to find their deer. He used leashed tracking dogs to follow wounded deer far beyond the hunters’ points of loss, and this yielded more complete information on wounded deer behavior than has been presented by previous authors. Jeanneney presents this information in the form of clear, practical advice to hunters who do not have access to a tracking dog.

If you would like to order his book as I have just done, you can go to his site at:

and here is a link to a page in the site titled: About This Book

Below is the content from that page

Excerpt from Dead On!

For 34 years I have been tracking wounded deer on a volunteer basis. By the end of 2009 I had gone out on 930 searches with my tracking dogs to help hunters. They had tried everything to find their deer before they called me. We found many of these deer, 253 to be exact, and we usually learned something, even if the deer was not seriously wounded, and we could not catch up to it. This book is written to share with you what was learned during these many days and nights in the woods. You do not need a tracking dog to use this information!

My earlier book, Tracking Dogs for Finding Wounded Deer, describes what the dogs helped me learn about wounded deer behavior. On many occasions the dog’s work allowed us to figure out what the wounded deer had done. As the dog followed the scent line, it pointed out the widely separated bits of visual sign far beyond the hunter’s point of loss. Most of the deer we did not find provided convincing evidence that they were going to survive. Win or lose, the hunter usually felt better after we were finished. Even if we did not have the venison and the antlers, he knew that the deer was not going to waste.

The tracking dog book has sold beyond my wildest expectations, and many of the readers’ comments have echoed these words by Will Elliott: “The abundant wealth of this book lies in what it can do for a hunter before he goes out hunting and wounds a deer. Once a deer has been wounded, Jeanneney’s suggestions become priceless for identifying wound sites and tracking approaches before making that call to a Deer Search volunteer handler. Chapters 12-14 alone would be worth the $24.95 price of this book.”

This new and smaller book is designed to provide that information, and more, for the majority of deer hunters, who do not have the time or the interest to develop a tracking dog for themselves. They simply need information useful for killing deer quickly, cleanly and humanely, and they need to know the best tactics for finding deer on their own if complications do arise.

As you read this book you will see that my work with tracking dogs taught me many lessons that contradict the traditional lore about finding wounded deer. I had the advantage of learning what happened beyond the hunter’s point of loss.

I love to tell and write “deer finding” stories, but too many of these tales can get in the way of presenting clear principles that can be applied in the woods. I want this to be a small book that you can read on the deer stand after 10 AM, once your fingers have warmed up enough to turn the pages. As a former student, and later a teacher, I learned that it is easier to retain information, if you understand why it is true. Without getting into a lot of technical details, I plan to explain the “whys” so that you can remember them, even if your ears are tuned into the forest sounds as you read.

For Those Who Do Not Hunt

This book is written for hunters, but some of those who read it may not be hunters, or may even be anti-hunters. It should be understood that this book does not describe what is typical or routine in deer hunting. The experiences upon which it is based are drawn from 34 years of tracking wounded deer over a region of many New York State counties.

This book deals with the exceptional, unfortunate cases in which deer are wounded and not found. The information is provided in order to help reduce the sad situations described to an absolute minimum. It may seem strange, but sometimes waiting before the tracking begins may actually reduce suffering in the long run.

Those who would use this book as a basis for attacking hunting should realize that an equally disturbing book could be written by an emergency room physician describing about the horrible consequences of automobile travel. In the real world things do go wrong.

Be safe, keep it legal, and good luck in the last few weeks of the season.

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