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outdoorstom

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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
  14. I haven’t seen a gofundme page for him. Very kind of you to ask.
  15. Unknown to Ron, the hunter walking behind him had cocked and loaded his crossbow. He tripped and must have had his finger on the trigger.
  16. This happened last week to a tracker friend in Illinois. Thank God he’s going to be ok. Right through the tibia. How does one remove a bolt from a leg? A bolt cutter of course! Tara is holding the bolt cutter to trim the bolt so that they could fit me within the CT Scan before surgery. ANYHOW THE UPDATE AND ANOTHER CRAZY ORDEAL (MUST READ). The surgery appeared to go well. The fletching end of the bolt that was buried within my tibia was all removed. The doctors were a bit surprised to find something that was lit up inside me when they began the surgery, the lit knock was still lit up! The surgeons got quite the surprise, wondering what the heck was this lit up thing inside of me? Anyhow it was a couple hr surgery to clean up everything and to install two screws in the tibia to hold the break together. With that all being said the biggest fear I have now would be a possible infection. I can bear weight on my leg and I’m using a walker to get around currently, stitches and staples will be removed in three weeks. Now here is where the story gets even crazier, this is what my middle daughter, Morgan, calls a Slifer Situation! Checking out of the hospital took FOREVER, the first mentioning of a discharge was around noon yesterday, we finally got out around 7:00PM, but not without drama. There was a motor vehicle theft and an attempted kidnapping!! Yup that’s right and it was none other than OUR mini van that was stolen and I was the one kidnapped! So how you say did this happen? Well I had loaded up within the back of the van, since Tara folded down the seats I was able to lay down in the back comfortably. Laying down in the darkness, due to the tinted windows and wearing dark clothes apparently I could not be seen. After loading me up Tara and myself had realized that we had forgotten something in the room I was in. Tara then pulled up out of the way and left the van running to go get what we had forgotten, it wasn’t three minutes later an individual decided that he would open the door, enter the vehicle, and take off with our van. I immediately said hey bud what are you doing? The person replied I’m security, you can park here I’m moving your van! Immediately I knew this person was not security by the baggy clothes he was wearing, a hat on sideways and was smoking a cigarette. I must have really freaked this person out the minute I said something from the darkness of the van behind him! Fortunately for me the person drove half way around the block, exited the vehicle quickly and ran off, doing so drew attention to the situation and security personnel came to investigate! Meanwhile Tara comes back to where she had left me in the van. Needless to say the van was gone as well as her husband, ME!! At first Tara had thought I had pulled a joke on her, I wouldn’t know why she would think that but there was no way that I could drive with my leg the way it was. Tara had no phone to call me, as it was laying in the van between the seats with me. I finally received a call from a MO. phone number, I immediately answered as I figured it might be a track call, or perhaps Tara. Fortunately it was Tara she was relieved, but in shock to find out about my ordeal! Security then brought Tara to me and an investigation then pursued. I believe it was around 9:00PM when we was finally freed to go. The officers investigating were scratching their heads, as this was the first vehicular theft and attempted kidnapping they had dealt with. Unfortunately I couldn’t ID the suspect well, due to the fact he never turned to me to see his face. However there are surveillance cameras all about and he was captured on them. They didn’t find the suspect as of last night, but will still be investigating this Slifer Situation! Of course Tara felt terrible about the whole ordeal, we were once again lucky that this didn’t have a worse outcome, as I couldn’t defend myself well and the person could have driven wherever within the city to do whatever with me! Thank you all for the continued prayers and support for myself and the hunter as this was an accident.
  17. Like Crappyice said….no charge. A tip for gas is appreciated though!
  18. You’re not kidding! I tell people if you go after your deer too soon, all you’ll do is push it and lay a lot longer scent line for the coyotes to come across. Left to die in its first or second bed and your odds are better.
  19. 10/24/22 #1 This track was for a 4 pointer that had been gutshot last night. This was the young man’s first buck. He and his father tracked it for a couple hundred yards last night, quitting when it crossed a blacktop road. We started at the hit site and Luna quickly took us to the road and crossed over. She then ran parallel with the road and we ended up at a creek, next to a bridge. Luna wanted to cross, so I picked her up and went up the bank to cross the bridge. I was told we didn’t have permission from the property owner to enter, so we waited while the hunter went to ask. Permission granted….we can continue! I took Luna down to the other side of the creek and she locked back on. 50 yards down the creek we found what was left of the buck laying in the creek. He had travelled 1/2 a mile. The coyotes had really done a number on him. #2 Our second track was for a young ladies first buck. She was in school so unfortunately couldn’t be involved in the recovery. This was also a known gutshot. They had gone in looking last night and bumped him out of a bed. They left at that point, going back 2 hours later but not finding him. Luna made very short of this 200 yard track. Kunox will be back to work tomorrow.
  20. 10/21/22 #1 Luna and I tracked a buck this morning that had been gutshot last night with a muzzleloader. The hunter did exactly the bright thing and marked the trail the deer left the field on, then backed out. Luna locked on easily and quickly took us a meandering 563 yards to the spike. Unfortunately the coyotes found him before we got there. I’m sure he had been chased by them, that’s why the track was all over the place. #2 The second track today was for what was thought to be another gut shot last night. The doe was shot with a bow in a food plot, with other deer present. This was the hunters first deer. He had to work today, so his uncle took me out there. The hunter had seen the doe run to a trail up at the far end of the plot and enter the woods. For some reason, Luna wouldn’t locked on up there, but in we went. After a few hundred yards she went hot. We never saw the deer she excited about, but I believed this doe we were after was most likely dead, so I picked Luna up and took her back to the plot. We went back to the trail she had been seen entering the woods from, but Luna wasn’t interested. She walked back toward the hit site about 40 yards and entered the woods there. She circled through the thick area, eventually coming back out and went through the plot in a different direction. We entered an overgrown area and started up a trail. Luna changed her mind, turned around and went up a different trail, this time taking me right to the dead doe. She was less than 100 yards from where she was shot, but never would have been found since it was believed she had gone in the opposite direction. It turns out she had been shot in the neck. There must have been real good blood, but heavy rain last night washed it away.
  21. 10/20/22 Luna and I tracked a mature buck tonight. It was tracked last night too. The shot last night was high….a classic high back hit. The hunter watched it drag itself into the woods using its front legs. A friend and fellow tracker went out last night, but had no sign of the deer and no recovery. This morning, the hunter and a friend went to take a look in the daylight and the friend watched it stand up and walk off 15 yards in front of him. It had been bedded behind a deadfall. Based on the fact the buck had let him get so close and had only walked off, I thought we’d see if we could find him. We started at the deadfall and Luna immediately locked on to the big unmistakeable tracks. There was no blood in the bed. We pushed this buck back and forth between two thick woodlots. Luna went hot 3 or 4 times, but we never got close enough to see him. I’m wondering if he was very stiff from laying in the bed last night and that’s why he walked away, but once he started moving around he loosened up? Hopefully the hunter sees him again and can close the deal.
  22. 10/19/22 #1 Luna and I went and tracked a buck this morning that was shot last night. The hunter and his buddy had waited two hours before tracking, and had gone a couple hundred yards before calling me. I advised them to mark last blood and get out of there, which they did. He suspected gut shot, but the blood I saw didn’t look like it. Luna took us to last blood, then had to work out the line coming out of the grid searched area, which she did. We advanced the track, finding very small amounts of blood along the way. At one point we found a larger amount of blood where the deer must have stood, and it was fresh. Shortly after that, Luna went hot….indicating a live deer. We followed a long way but never caught a glimpse of it. We could see ravens flying up and down from a tree near us, turns out they were eating a spike that looked like it got shot last night. After many restarts, we pulled the plug. #2 Luna and I headed out for a track on a buck that was shot shortly before 7 this morning, and we arrived 8 hours after the shot. The hunter said the deer had walked away very slowly, then bedded down for 10 or 15 minutes. When he got up, he walked into a patch of goldenrod and then slowly walked out of there and into a super thick area. The hunter recognized the behavior as most likely a liver shot, and when he saw the blood he knew for sure it was. He did exactly the right thing and left without going after him. Great job!! A ranger ride took us to a hidden field where Luna went to work. She took us into the bedding area that bordered the field, and took right to the dead buck. The track was only 200 yards long. Field dressing revealed the buck had been slightly quartered at the shot and 1 lung and the liver were hit.
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