Monday, February 20, 2017

Some Say It Can't Be Done...

So, it is not just me that has a handle on my dogs!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Outdoor Life: 10 Myths About Blood Trailing Deer

It has been an interesting year with all the activity and controversy associated with tracking wounded deer with running catch dogs. What amazes me is how anyone can critisize the use of a running catch dog to recover a wounded deer that will most likely have about a 95% chance of dying within a few days. 

As a rule until we had running catch dogs, we had to back off, hope and wait for the deer to die, but the last few years have changed the rules of the game dramatically.

When we use tracking dogs, and especially running catch dogs, not only do we minimise the suffering of the animal by bringing a swift end to it, we often save the meat from the coyotes or the buzzards, and save time for the deer hunter to get on to more important things like hunting deer.

There is a certain group of us deer hunters who don't hunt very much any more because we are too busy helping other hunters find lost, wounded and dead deer.

Above is Josh Miller and Rambo of the Louisiana Blood Trail Dog Network after Rambo went into over drive and put the brakes on a wounded and highly mobilized 8 point deer and made short work of what could have been a very time consuming long haul.  

Below is a link to an article in about the myths of blood trailing deer and I recommend everyone read it and learn something. It is so well written and rich with knowledge, whether you are a novice or professional, I'm sure there is jewels in here for you.

Here is a couple of the of the myths...

2) Give Him Time to Stiffen Up:

Deer only stiffen up after they die, so forget about the “stiffen up” theory. They lie down because they are very sick or have reached a place where they think they can safely lie down. You don’t necessarily want to bump a wounded deer out of its bed but there are times when it’s a good idea to get on a wounded deer and stay on it. Certain muscle and bone hits produce bleeding which will lead to death if enough blood is lost. Pushing the deer can keep the heart pumping at an elevated level which can stimulate blood loss and work against blood coagulation and healing. The trick is understanding the type of wound you're dealing with. Keep the deer bleeding if the hit is not inherently fatal — this won’t happen if the deer beds, quiets down, and the blood coagulates. On occasion, pushing a wounded deer is your best option.
Getting on him right away can sometimes allow you to get another shot into him, too. I have observed many animals stagger about in an impaired condition before getting their wits and/or limbs working to allow them to flee and fully escape. Sometimes the backup shot is the one that does the trick.

8) Down is Dead:

Sometimes a deer shot with a rifle or shotgun goes down like a pile of bricks. The gun goes off and the deer goes down instantly, the hunter congratulates himself and does a little victory dance or some other foolish thing like pouring a cup of coffee or heading to the truck for lunch.
What the hunter should be doing is keeping the deer “covered” with firearm at the ready for a second shot. Instant “drops” are often the result of nervous system shock which can dissipate with time. The deer regains its equilibrium and is off to the races. Hits near the spine can cause this reaction and occasionally do. Be sure that deer is dead – all the way dead. The same goes for recovering “dead deer” who need to be shot again to prevent them from getting up and getting away.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I Was Wondering If I Would Ever See That Buck Again

There are many people who are new to blood trail dogs and are tracking wounded or dead deer for the first time with a dog and are wondring what are the rules of the game.

Well common sense rules are one thing, but...

In some states the rules, restrictions and regulations handed down by the state government are so restrictive that they do not allow tracking dogs to work off leash, or worse, in some states no one is allowed to track wounded or dead deer with dogs at all.

I live in Louisana and hunt Texas and Mississippi as well, and we here in the deep south are very common sense and practical about a lot of things including the use of blood tracking dogs to minimize the loss of wounded or dead deer, and in some places it is even legal to use hound dogs to run and chase deer during the open gun season.

Because the use of dogs to run deer is so controversial, and caused so much division among hunters, many hunting clubs, management areas and states have banned all dogs from the woods during the open gun deer season, including blood tracking dogs, which to me is excessive and wasteful.

If you are in a state that is presently not allowing the use of blood tracking dogs, I suggest you write to your congressman or senator and advise them that legislature restricing the use of short range, highly specialized, blood tracking dogs or running catch dogs to find and recover wounded or dead deer is obsolete and wasteful of the states natural resources.

Now to get on with more common sense, practical matters...

As a rule, when you know you are tracking a gut shot deer, and you do not have a running catch dog, you should back out and wait at least 24-36 hours, and hope that the deer goes down before you get there. But sometimes, climate, coyotes or 'other' time constraints demand that the rules are to be broken.

                                                     Got there too late...

One of my customers is very soon coming to Louisiana to get a running catch dog to back up his already very successful and experienced Dachshund tracker Bentley.

Yesterday Bentley was featured as MDTN's tracker of the day out of Saint Clair County Michigan.

Kenneth Jordan, professional blood tracker
and his 11lb Dachshund, Bentley. 
St. Clair/Sanilac County 
Tracking since 2015
810 459-9814
Call for pricing
34 recoveries

Here is the hunters story...

 I told my son; "I saw the arrow hit, it was way back, and not what I intended." 

He said "Don't worry, we are going to find it, my buddy has a tracking dog." 

I said; " OK, but we are going to hold off tracking it until morning."

11 PM and 6 hours later. Frank calls, and said; "My buddy Ken Jordan, is on his way here now." 

Ken shows up, and he has the dog tucked in a back pack. 

We walked back to where I took the shot. 

Within 2 minutes Bentley picked up the trail and took off as fast as he could go, across the field, on the blood trail. 

We went at least 300 yards across the corn stubble, and then we see the buck, and he is still alive.

 I told Ken; "Hey, lets back out. What do you think?" 

Ken was not about to give up.

 He said; "I think you need to get another arrow in him. Right now, tonight." 

I thought about it to myself, and then I said to Ken, "And how am I going to do that?"

 He said "We(Bentley and I) are going to go get in front of him and get his attention and you are going to sneak up behind him."

 Let me tell you, hunting and shooting white tail deer is a thrill, but it is nothing compared to tracking and recovering with Ken, his daughter and Bentley. What started out to appear to be, a restless, long dreary night, and wondering if I would ever see that buck again, turned into a hunt of a lifetime. and one we will remember for a long, long time.


I will have to get the rest of the story from Ken later, and edit it in here....

Now what I want to emphasize before I close here is that tracking deer is teamwork between a dog, the handler, the helpers, and the deer hunter. Even though the hunter was trying to follow the common sense rules of tracking a gut shot deer and planning to back off and wait, the handler had enough experience, confidence and creativity to show up early and bring a swift end to the deers suffering, and save the meat and an amazing trophy. 

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and I edited this article for your educational and entertainment pleasure.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Blood Trail Dogs 2017

It has been a great year with some big reports coming in from da guides and I love the end, so...

I am getting ready for the final 2 weeks and the last few tracks of the season...

We had a good workout yesterday and early last night...

We finally got a little bit of cold weather,

and much needed rain

but after a mile with good blood and no breaks

It is a good guess we got a gut shot and will have to pick it up in the am or afternoon