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outdoorstom

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outdoorstom last won the day on October 18 2022

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    Wilson Hill, near Massena

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    6A
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    Weatherby Vanguard 30.06

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  1. 11/6/22 Kunox and I tracked a big buck that was shot this morning. Based on the hair at the hit site, it appears he was hit in the shoulder. The hunter said the buck was quartering away at the shot. There was no blood for a couple hundred yards, then a few drops. Kunox struggled a little getting locked on initially, but did figure it out. We had gone past last blood and were looking for more when I spotted what looked like a tiny drop on a log. I sprayed it with hydrogen peroxide to confirm, and it bubbled, indicating it was in fact blood. A little further down the trail and we found another drop, that was the last we would see. Shortly after that Kunox went hot, indicating we were close. He pulled hard, barking as we went. It soon became evident the deer was spreading the gap between us as Kunox went silent. We never caught up to him. Based on the lack of blood and no beds, we pulled the plug after going 1.85 miles.
  2. They go right back at it the next day. If it was up to her she wouldn’t take any time off at all. Being on leash, it would be too difficult to handle two in brush. Plus, if one says it went this way and the other says no, this way…….
  3. Luna was tired after today’s swamp track. She hasn’t swam that much in a long time.
  4. 11/5/22 I was contacted last night by a guy who’s girlfriend had shot her first deer and it was a gutshot. He knew exactly what to do…..back out so you don’t push it. I let Luna take this morning’s track since she didn’t get to chew on a deer yesterday. It was 62 degrees when I left the house at 6:45 this morning. I can’t remember ever wearing a short sleeve shirt while tracking in November before. I expected this would be a slam dunk track, but it was not. The buck was all over the place which makes me think coyotes had been after it. We ended up in a swamp with Luna swimming down a beaver run as I was in mid thigh deep water following her. We didn’t see any fresh sign, so we went back about 300 yards to last blood for a restart. She brought us back the same way, but at one point she clearly was air scenting, but then continued with her nose to the ground. I told the boyfriend to mark our location on OnX because we may be coming back to look around, which did happen a little while later. We searched the thick swamp grass area while the hunter kept Luna there since she hadn’t shown any interest in going in there. We didn’t find the buck or any sign. We went for another restart and this time when we got to that area Luna began air scenting again and started pulling on the leash and pulled me into the swamp grass. She showed me a bloody bed not too far away which I examined and then called the hunting party over. I stood up and 5’ away I saw the buck laying there dead. It was very windy this morning and it was swirling in the swamp, which was definitely a factor. So happy for this young hunter. Nice 6 point for her first ever deer.
  5. 11/3/22 Kunox, myself, and first season tracker Mike Barcomb tracked a buck tonight that sounded like a high back hit from the interview. The deer dropped, thrashed around on the ground, then got up and dragged itself into the woods. We started at the hit site and Kunox locked on immediately. The hunter and his friend had followed blood until they bumped the deer out of a bed, then backed out. They had marked blood with ribbon!! Love that! As we were tracking I told the hunter I no longer thought high back due to the amount of blood. Kunox took us to the bed, then continued on another 50 yards to the dead deer. The deer had been hit high in the neck and had gone 275 yards. Mike just bought a thermal scope to use while tracking and wanted to try it out while not handling his dog. It worked great but he was just powering it back up when Kunox found the buck.
  6. 11/2/22 Luna and I headed over to finish a track started by fellow tracker and friend, Matt Miller last night. Matt and Greta tracked a buck about three hundred yards before it became clear this was a gutshot buck and they backed out. Unfortunately for Matt, he has this thing called a job and couldn’t go today. Luna quickly locked on and we were at the last bed in no time. There was no blood the rest of the track. We were 150 yards beyond where they had backed out last night when there was a commotion about 30 yards ahead. The buck was still alive! He got tangled up in a fence as he tried to leave so I called the hunters son up to take Luna so I could take a shot. By the time that happened, the buck had freed himself and ran across a small clearing. I was able to see exactly where he went in the woods so I snuck up and was able to finish him. The initial shot hit a front leg and lower brisket, angling in to catch a little bit of gut.
  7. 11/1/22 Kunox and I went this morning to track a doe that was shot yesterday afternoon. The deer dropped at the shot, then popped right back up but had trouble with her front legs. She quickly regained the full use of them and was gone. She was tracked for 75 yards and then the blood dried up. A small area was grid searched before they backed out and called me. The hunter had the same thought I did….high back hit. It had rained all night, washing away what little blood there was. This track showed us absolutely nothing. I believe this deer is still on her feet.
  8. You nailed it. That’s exactly what she’s doing. Does the same thing when we get there as I put my gear on too.
  9. Hahahaha. Thought people might be interested in seeing what a grid search does.
  10. 10/28/22 #1 Luna and I headed to Black Lake at 12:30 this afternoon, 20 hours after a big buck had been shot. The buck that had been shot straight on with a 30.06. The area was heavily grid searched last night and again this morning. He had been bumped from a nearby bed last night. We arrived after the hour drive and started tracking at the hit site. Luna quickly took us the 50 yards or so to the only blood the hunter had seen, and it wasn’t much. It took Luna about 10 minutes to get through the grid search, then she picked a line and we were off. She was acting confident and pulling hard. The first blood we saw was at 300 yards and it consisted of one fresh drop. I knew at that point our odds were low. Luna got us close a couple times, indicated by her opening up. Both times she went silent shortly after, telling me the buck was putting more distance between us. We were in an area with steep rock ledges and the buck was handling them fine, going up and down. The most blood we saw, even after pushing him hard was 4 or 5 drops, mostly 1 or 2. I pulled the plug at 1.25 miles and believe this buck will likely survive unless infection gets him. The hunter was happy to have closure. #2 While driving to the first track, I got a call to track in Sacketts Harbor. It was only an hour beyond our first track, so I told the hunters father to send me an address and I’d give him an eta when I leave. The son was disappointed he couldn’t be there, but was stuck at work. The buck had been shot yesterday evening at 80 yards as it entered a winter rye field from a very thick bedding area. He had dove back into the brush and disappeared. After waiting, they made a 20 yard pass and backed out, deciding to call in a dog. This afternoon after a long walk back to the hidden field, Luna immediately locked on and started down a trail. 75 yards later and there he was….dead. People often ask me if I get upset when we find them so easily and the hunter would have found them too. My answer is always, Not at all! I love how they didn’t grid search in fear of pushing him….leading to an easier track for the dog. We almost always work through grid searched areas, but they fatigue a dog physically and mentally for no reason. I didn’t stay for the field dressing so I don’t know what was hit.
  11. 10/28/22 Kunox and I went back this morning but were unable to locate the buck. We did find some smoking hot scrapes and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the one working them.
  12. 10/27/22 If Kunox knew how to do cartwheels, he would have done them tonight on the way to the truck. He hasn’t worked in about a week and a half and finally got a track tonight. He made the most of the opportunity too. We were asked to track an 8 pointer that had been shot this evening at 80 yards with a .450 Bushmaster. The hunter reported a little blood and a small piece of bone at the hit site, and he had done a little walking around looking for more. He was out there when he called me and I told him to back out and wait for me. I arrived 2 hours later and we headed across the road to start. Kunox immediately got on the trail the hunter said the buck went down, then began working in circles and it became obvious this might be a tricky start getting past the grid searched area. He circled around and crossed a 4 wheeler trail, then went hot, indicating he was on a live deer. As quickly as he went after it, he turned around and went back to the hit site. The hunter said a doe had gone through and gone in that direction. Kunox again took me across the 4 wheeler trail, worked the area, then went back on his own. The third time we crossed the trail, he stayed there and worked away from where the doe had been. We still hadn’t seen 1 drop of blood. Eventually we ended up in some very thick swamp grass, too thick for Kunox to even walk and not for a lack of effort. While in there, it became obvious Kunox was air scenting something. I carried him around the area as his nose was in overdrive. As we got into a thinner area, I put him back down and a few minutes later he showed me a few drops of blood on the ground. Good boy! As the hunter and I were looking the blood over, we heard a crashing noise as the deer took off. It sounded like he may have gone down, so I had the hunter hold Kunox while I readied my revolver and went to investigate. I could not find the buck, so I put Kunox on the trail and he took us across a nearby road to a property we didn’t have permission to enter. Since we thought we had heard the buck crash, I took Kunox back to the blood and did a restart. That was unnecessary as he again took us across the road in the same spot. The hunter is going to get permission in the morning and Kunox will be back on the track. To be honest, I don’t think we’ll recover this buck, but it’s worth a look in the morning. I believe he’s leg shot. We walked in mostly circles for 1.13 miles.
  13. Here’s the story….https://southernillinoisnow.com/2022/10/19/watson-man-injured-when-accidentally-shot-with-a-crossbow-while-tracking-deer-near-kell/?fbclid=IwAR3ZtLg-oIO-LdBQeSzqm0NS5gSs0mG2qPp73c0lAbaFYrG5djEI3rBz_48
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