Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Important Than Genetics

Below is a post from Facebook

If you need tracking services in Michigan you can call Rob at 810 240 4891


This my tracking dog Scout. He is a 4 year old mini dachshund and does not come from hunting stock or show lines. His breeder only breeds for house pets. He is a stellar tracking dog with over 30+ recoveries.

He is a very slow methodical tracker very easy to read and does not leave a cold trail to just chase hot game. He has very little prey drive. He simply loves to track and especially loves to please me.

This buck in the photograph was recovered over a distance of 2 miles. The buck was jumped from his wound bed and we continued to push him because we delt it was a single lung hit. After 1.5 miles the buck crossed a fairly deep river and at this point I called the track off until morning. It was 12.40 a.m.

The following morning at 8 am, I started Scout off on the opposite side of the river bank, his nose was already working while I was carrying him and by the time I set him down he knew exactly what game trail to take. The buck bedded down two more times and we found him stone cold around 9:30 a.m.. The buck was shot with a bow and both lungs had holes through them.

So You Think They Are Just A Dog?


Below is a post a tracker in Michigan made on Facebook.

Notice how this new dog was "unique" in comparison to his other dog.

In this photo is my standard smooth European Dachshund "Sypris". She is 2 years old and she just completed her first official year of tracking.

She went on 17 tracks and made 8-9 recoveries. We struggled in the beginning because I was crating her to and from the tracks and also I was over feeding her and did not change her feeding time for tracking season. So for the most part she was tracking on a semi full to full stomach.

This was new to me because Scout my other tracking dog shows no affect with or without a full stomach. Once I had a feeding routine in place and allowed her to sit freely in my car she was a tracking machine. All her training I used a crate to haul her back and fourth and she showed no problem on my training lines. She has a very high prey drive and very high stamina when it comes to tracking. She is much quicker on a track than Scout, mostly due to her size and her nose is much better.

She for the most part tracks in a zig zag form slightly drifting on and off the scent trail. I have very high hopes with her and for her first year she was amazing and most likely would have made several more recoveries if I would have figured out the feeding routine and the crate issue. She is the type of dog that will punish you for not giving her the respect that she deserves.


So you want a tracking dog? Just my opinion: they should be a family pet and treated
with respect 24/7/365.

But come hunting season...cut back on the food!

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Train Your Dog to Track Wounded Deer

Hi, I am Marcus de la Houssaye,

owner and operator of de la Houssaye'e Swamp Tours
near Lafayette, Louisiana.

I bred and train Louisiana Catahoula Curs for blood tracking dogs.

Do I do what you see in this Youtube video below? NO!

But I like to keep it simple: Bring a hungry dog who has been fed and raised eating raw meat, to a kill site, and walk them down a blood trail to a dead deer or gut pile and let them eat.

Repeat as often as possible. But that is just me, you can complicate this "training" stuff as much as you like.

Furthermore: this guy in the video makes some very important points that I agree with completely. Such as: A wounded deer gives off a completely different scent than a hot unwounded deer.

And given time, experienced blood tracking dogs learn the difference.

I like the video, but even though I keep deer legs frozen year round, I doubt this is needed as much as putting dogs on wounded or dead deer blood trails during deer hunting season.

But that is me. I am not the man in the video below, I am just sharing for your learning experience.

I am sure you will find this video interesting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Simon's First Deer

After doing 3 swamp tours yesterday, I was ready for a relaxing evening at home. But instead we were called onto the blood trail of a 10 pt buck and Simon found his first deer.


Pope and Young score of 136 1/8

A very proud, and happy young lady with her first bow kill!

After my older and more experienced dog was unable to focus on the blood due to the fact that he had gorged himself on raw meat and kibble the night before(hungry dogs hunt), I went and dropped him back to the truck and took a 2 year old who had never found a deer in his life.

The 2 year old was hungry, and had found the deer, and was growling in the thicket before we got the big surprise that it was a high scoring trophy. The briars were intense and we were slow moving. The brush was so intense, that after we had found the deer, we had only moved this 10 pt 25 yds in 1 hour!

Everywhere we turned were briar patches, and downed trees. After we found the deer, it was an ordeal for five healthy young people to move this deer the 125 yds to the clearing at the food plot where the going got a lot easier. When we got to the food plot, I asked someone; "What time is it, about 10:30?" And they replied; "12:30!" Ohh well, time flies when you are having fun!

Deer traveled almost 400 yards after the shot according to GPS. Caught liver and possibly 1 lung, no pass through. We found the deer 5 hours later, deer was very stiff. Had been dead a while.

www.bloodtraildogs.com If you need professional tracking services, or you would like to buy or train a blood tracking dog, call me at 337 298 2630

It took several very determined folks on all fours crawling on several occasions to track blood and bring this beautiful deer out of the thicket. The buck first went 200 yards without bleeding a drop! Bullet(a hunters nickname) found the first magic drop of blood, without that, this story could have turned out a lot differently.

Four hours after the shot, there is nothing like the words "There he is".


Blood trail of a 10 pt buck and Simon found his first deer.

Below is Shannon's story, in her own words...

The "OFFICIAL" OTP Sherburne Kill...

Hunting is full of ups and downs; misses, getting busted by deer, buck fever, going several hunts without seeing any deer. One minute you're anxious and pumped up but when one thing goes wrong you question your ability and skill.

I was disappointed in myself for not being able to draw back on a doe I saw while hunting Sherburne WMA. Everything during that hunt was perfect, from going undetected by a doe who I watched for 45 minutes to her standing broadside directly in front of me at 10 yards. The pressure of never killing with my bow made me anxious and doe fever set in. She was granted a free pass back into the woods to live another day and I felt like I was gonna die. Was my hard work and persistence ever going to pay off?

Something about public land hunting fascinates me. It's the thrill of starting from scratch to harvesting a public land deer that keeps my head afloat when I feel like I'm going to give up and drown. Of course, if it would be too easy, it wouldn't be that appealing to me.

3 days after I had that eventful hunt with the doe, I was ready for redemption. I got settled in my stand at 3:30 and sat there waiting for deer thirty. I was praying the doe would come back out. About 5:00 I hear some crashing in a thicket in front of me and heard a grunt. All of a sudden I count 4 deer running around on the treeline followed by another grunt.

One doe decided to walk out and head my way. Excitement was building up because I knew if I had her in range I was going to shoot her this time. As she was down in the slough I stood up and grabbed my bow. I was shaking but mentally talking myself out of getting too nervous.

All of a sudden I hear a grunt and see a beast of a buck walk out the thicket and start hooking a tree. At this point I was elated! This is the kind of stuff I watch on tv!!! The buck started following the doe's path, went down the slough then I saw his majestic head and horns rise about 35 yards from me.

At this point I was thinking if this was real or not and if I should just shoot the doe who was 15 yards in front of me to my right, or see if this buck was going to chance giving me a shot. As soon as he stepped up and turned, he put his head down and walked a few steps, grazing. I drew back with ease this time, surprisingly.

I had turned my limbs down half a turn but I don't think I had needed it. Thought for a second on how to compensate for the draw weight decrease, aimed my 30 yard pin a little high and released my arrow. Words cannot describe the relief and the excitement, when I could see my green fletching sticking out where I had shot him.

It was a little high and a little further back than expected, but I was confident it was a vital kill. I immediately sat down and watched him run off and tried to see where he went to, back into the woods. Then I grabbed my phone to call Ceth and told him to stop his hunt and get over here now with Bullet.... I had shot a monster!!! Ceth told me to get down and find if there was blood where I shot him, and mark it, since dusk was quickly approaching.

I got down and had no flashlight. I couldnt find any blood with just my cell phone light which was about to go dead! Great!

While Ceth and Bullet were coming from their hunting spots I was talking to myself downplaying everything. My 10 point buck shrank to a 6, maybe 8 point. I didnt want these guys let down when they found the deer, just in case I had imagined shooting a buck this large. The three of us were on a good blood trail for about 75 yards into the woods. We came to a stand still and decided to back out. It would give him extra time to lay and we could call for more help.

The woods were thick with briars and there were down trees everywhere. We met up with LSUSlick who offered his services. He wanted to try out some new spray stuff that makes hemoglobin glow in case we lose a blood trail. We also called Catahoula1 who was on his way with some blood trailing dogs. I was begging these guys to please find my deer. I knew it would be worth it, when I found him.

The five of us ventured back down the blood trail. Bullet and LSUSlick were trying out the spray and following a glowing trail when there was no blood we could see. Catahoula1 was letting the dogs work and Ceth was on another path looking for blood. I stayed at last blood. At one point I was thinking I knew this was all too good to be true. The rain was supposed to come, and I didnt think there would be a chance at finding him after that.

Just when I'm feeling disappointed, Catahoula1 hollered, "We got blood!!" Everyone migrated through briars and limbs to see a very good blood trail. We would follow a little while then lose the blood again. One dog veered away from everyone else to my left and I kept looking down the path and wondering. The dog came back after he was called, and I didnt think much of it.

After not finding blood on any paths elsewhere I told them about the dog going that way. Sure enough, there was a very good blood trail and then a pile of blood. We knew we were getting close.... The dogs went ahead and I heard one growl.

LSUSlick and Ceth were on their hands and knees with a flashlight. The relief I felt when I heard Ceth shout, "Oh My God Shannon, you killed a monster!!!!" When I layed eyes on him, his body was a lot bigger than I thought. His horns were even bigger too!! I counted ten points... A first bowkill doesn't get any better than that.

I literally thought he looked like a horse lying there! Now came the hard part of dragging the beast out through all the thick woods. He had ran almost 400 yards and was expired a little while before we found him. It was determined I made a liver shot and maybe caught a lung.

I extend my gratitude to everyone who helped track and get the deer out.

Every one was worn out, cut up from briars, and had fallen down, but everyone was ecstatic to help and had encouraged me that the deer would be found. Catahoula1 and LSUSlick were smashing briars and brush, making a path at one point so we could drag the deer. It was after midnight when we made it to a clear area out of the woods.

This hunt was unforgettable. It's amazing how so many people came together to help find a deer. From the beginning to the end, it was an adventure that I'll relive again and again.

December 21, 2011
Weapon: Bowtech Soldier Bow
Ammo: Trophy Ridge Expandable Broadhead
Huntress: Shannon Beard
Harvest: Ten Point Buck
Sherburne Wildlife Management Area
Atchafalaya Basin Swamp,
South Central Louisiana.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Guilty dog

If it is a good dog, you will have problems with them.

Guilty dog

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Union Hill 10 Point Buck

Got a call on Wednesday November 23, 2011 for a blood track.

I had done four Lake Martin swamp tours, and was feeling strong so I agreed to drive 100 miles one way to look for their deer.

I dropped off the tour boat and loaded 4 dogs, then headed north on I-49.

Of course, I brought Jessie, who is sporting his new blaze orange neoprene vest below.

The plan was to bring a camera, but it got left on the dashboard of the truck, so I don't have any actual pictures of this track to share here.

I arrived there about 8:30PM and found a long line of blood, well dried, and flagged.

At the end of the flagging is a few more sightings of dried blood, and judging by the dogs circling, there must have been false trails everywhere.

Just as we were starting to head back to a point of last blood and refocus the dogs, Jessie started baying. He had found the buck, and with the other 3 dogs walking away, Jessie was left alone and couldn't stop this deer in the dark.

From this point we found fresh rich red blood, a piece of deer meat and watery blood suggesting this was not a vital organ and this deer was on the move 12 hours after being shot. At a certain point you have to consider if it is in our best interest to continue pushing on after this deer. Also considering the deer is wounded, but not dead after 12 hours, the most ethical thing we can do is to stop pushing it.