I was called last night by a hunter that had shot a buck and tracked it 75 yards before losing blood. Luna and I arrived at first light this morning and she showed us blood in a couple spots beyond the hunters point of loss, then nothing for 800 yards. I decided to do a restart, and she didn’t hesitate and took us the same route again. We went further this time, but never saw any more blood and never found the deer.
The second track today was a continuation of a track from yesterday where we saw evidence we were pushing the buck and backed out. When we got there I started Luna about a hundred yards before the place we had stopped. She locked back onto the buck and showed us a small amount of blood beyond where we had stopped, then took us another 3/4 of a mile with no beds and no buck.
This was a track on a buck that was shot 2 days ago, pushed that night, then grid searched the next day. As Kunox and I rode into the property on a 4 wheeler, he opened up multiple times as he winded deer. We saw a couple of them as they crossed the trail in front of us. This property is HEAVILY populated and has standing corn on it. It took Kunox a little while to realize he was supposed to be tracking a wounded or dead deer, and 2 or 3 times he opened up on live deer while on the actual track, but I never saw any indication that it was the deer we were after. He finally settled down, taking us past the hunters flags indicating where blood had been. We’ve had heavy rain and most of the snow has melted since the shot, but we were able to see some blood in a couple spots. Kunox took us past last blood and through thick nasty stuff leading to a creek. He wanted to cross, so we found a narrow spot and then went back to where he had indicated he wanted to cross. He took us through a swampy area, then into a field which led to the corn field. Not seeing any sign, I decided to restart him at last blood and he took us exactly the same way back to the creek. Again we went toward the corn. After an hour and a half of searching I called the track.
As I was leaving track #3 I listened to a voicemail I had received a few minutes earlier. I called the hunter back to tell him I was tired and finished for the day when I learned he was only 5 minutes away, so I agreed to go over. The caller and his son had both shot does with their muzzleloaders as they were part of an organized drive. The problem with driving is it usually leads to running shots, which these were. I tracked the sons deer first as it appeared a front leg had been hit. The hunter and pushers had tracked the doe a few hundred yards, then jumped it in very heavy brush. Kunox got on the track and showed us blood along way as the deer had circled around in the brush before bee lining it out of there. We followed it 9/10 of a mile before calling the track. Leg hit deer should be pushed to hopefully weaken them through blood loss through the bone marrow, hopefully enough to get another shot at them.
The father thought he had shot his doe too far back. Normally we’ll back out and give these plenty of time, but he wasn’t available to track it tomorrow. I agreed to see what we could do. Kunox quickly got on the track and showed us a little blood along the way. The hunter said the deer turned to the left up here and cut through the field to the woods over there. Kunox on cue turned left and through the field and into the woods we went. He was locked on took us 3/4 of a mile, never finding a bed or the deer. It’s very possible this deer will go to waste.
Not a good recovery day, but the dogs did their part.