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Everything posted by outdoorstom

  1. 11/29 I was called last night by an excited and nervous hunter. He told me he had shot the biggest buck of his life, and he and his buddy had tracked a little blood for about 50 yards. After losing blood, they backed out without grid searching. Well done! This buck only went 250 yards and we found him in his first bed. It turns out he was hit way back and would have gone a long way if he had been pushed. Congratulations Cameron on a gorgeous buck!
  2. 11/28 Kunox sprained his leg while tracking on Thanksgiving so he’s on the injured reserve. He’s on some pain meds for a few days and we’ll see how he’s doing then. Luna is openly taunting him about getting all the tracks. #1 Luna and I tracked a buck this morning that had been shot yesterday afternoon. The hunter and a friend had tracked for 250 yards and bumped the deer out of a bed. They wisely backed out at that point. Luna quickly took us past last blood and beyond, then at 0.8 miles, the 10 pointer was found dead in his second bed. I wasn’t there for the field dressing, but the shot looked to be in the liver area. #2 The hunter on this track is a neighbor of the hunter we had our 7.58 mile track with earlier this week. We were on some of the same property we had tracked on then. Lots of rocky outcroppings and small ravines. This buck had been shot yesterday afternoon. Luna took some time to get through the grid searched area, but then locked on and we were off to the races. At about the 1/2 mile mark, Luna went hot and we went close to 800 yards further with no blood. I stopped her and told the group of 7 that were accompanying us that I was considering a restart, and if Luna came back the same way, we’d continue on further. At that point, one of the guys said he saw some blood on a tree about 100 yards back. Well, that changes everything! Go get ‘em Luna. In a very short period of time we started to regularly see blood, and we got our first look at the buck. He was about 100 yards in front of us and it was obvious he was hurting as he ran off. The hunter took a shot but didn’t connect. I wasn’t watching the gps, but we went probably close to a mile before we saw him again. And again, a shot was taken but didn’t connect. We continued on, occasionally getting close enough for Luna to open up on it. At the 3.6 mile mark, he was found in his final bed and was dispatched by the hunter. The original shot had hit high on his left rear leg. #3 Luna and I went to track a buck that had left a lot of white hair at the hit site. The hunter had tracked a small amount of blood for 200 yards, then had lost the trail. Luna showed us 1 drop of blood 200 yards beyond there, but that was it. We ended up searching 2.2 miles worth, but never saw any more blood or sign of the buck.
  3. 11/27 Luna and I were called to track a buck this evening after the hunter was unable to find any hair or blood. We started at the edge of a cornfield and followed the buck’s tracks to a trail the hunter said he watched him use. We were a couple hundred yards into it when Luna went hot. We followed the deer but never saw it, or any blood. I took her back for a restart and again she took the same trail. I worked her on several other trails but didn’t see any sign of the buck. I had gotten separated from the hunter and when we reconnected he told me he had just seen the buck and he was running strong and no sign of an injury was observed. Apparently, we were pushing it around.
  4. 11/26 Kunox and I went on a track this morning for an 8 pointer that was shot yesterday afternoon, this hunter’s first deer. White hair was found, but no blood. The hunter and his cousin conducted a small grid search, then backed out and called. Kunox worked the hit site, then chose a line and we were off. At 85 yards he showed us some blood smeared on a small log the buck had gone over. He ended up going hot a couple times and got on the track of live deer, but we didn’t see any blood so I took him back for a restart. The third time was a charm.....he took a different trail after we went by the known blood and 630 yards later showed us the dead buck.
  5. 11/24-25 Luna and I tracked a big mature buck for 2.3 miles this afternoon. The buck was shot yesterday afternoon and the hunter and his buddy had tracked it, lost blood, then grid searched until midnight. His buddy went back this morning for another hour and a half grid search. They had gone 700 yards on blood. Luna made short work of the 700 yards, then went a different direction from where they had grid searched and showed us more blood. The blood was very heavy in multiple locations and steady in others, then we would go hundreds of yards with nothing. Toward the end of the track Luna went hot and we started seeing fresh blood. Due to the amount of blood we had seen and the amount of time since the shot, I decided to continue in hopes of getting a shot at him. We never saw him, but Luna was still on him and there was still some blood when I parked him for the night. We’re going back and hopefully we find him dead not too far away in the morning. We got 1”-2” of snow overnight so I figured we wouldn’t see much blood this morning. It took Luna about 5 minutes to pick up where we left off last night, and from there it didn’t take long until fresh blood showed us the buck was still alive and the snow would be our ally today. We observed the buck started off running, then eventually slowed down and we would periodically see a bed. Also, it became obvious that we were tracking a deer hit in the right front leg. At 1.7 miles in, we got our first look at him. He was about 75 yards in front of us, in brush too thick to get a shot off. He took off and doubled back on the same trail we had just walked in on. Between our boot prints, Luna’s tracks, the deer tracks and all the blood, it took me a little time to figure out that he had backtracked. It didn’t take Luna anytime at all to figure it out. We backtracked for 150 yards, and he then started in a different direction and we were right back on him. Despite having 3000 plus acres of state land, 500 the hunter owned, plus all the nearby neighbors giving us permission, we ended up on some property that the hunter didn’t know the owners. I called the track at that time and the hunters brother was contacted to pick us up. He met us on the road 650 yards away and immediately told us he had just seen the buck. It had been bedded in some tall grass right on the side of the road, and had then crossed the road and struggled to get over a fence before walking into the woods. He said the right front leg was almost completely severed. An inspection showed there were two beds close together next to the road. We made contact with the land owner and obtained permission to go after him. We were soaking wet and cold from walking through a swampy area, so we went to change clothes and boots and then get back on him. I decided to leave Luna in the truck (she was warm and dry by that time) and we would see if we could sneak in and catch him in a bed. We got on his tracks and bloodtrail and soon found an empty bed. When I saw the empty bed I went back to the truck and got Luna. We were 200 yards in when he was spotted about 150 yards away. The buck was moving, so a quick shot was taken but unfortunately a tree branch was hit. 250 yards later and Luna was standing on the bank of the Oswegatchie River, looking across and barking. If I’d given her the ok, she would have dove in. The current is strong there, so no doubt the buck was carried away downstream. We walked the bank looking in the water and using binoculars to scan the other side, but no luck. I’d be very surprised if this buck didn’t drown. Yesterday afternoon and today’s track combined for 7.58 miles. I really believe if it hadn’t been for the river we would have ended up getting him.
  6. 11/24 #1 Luna and I tracked a big mature buck for 2.3 miles this afternoon. The buck was shot yesterday afternoon and the hunter and his buddy had tracked it, lost blood, then grid searched until midnight. His buddy went back this morning for another hour and a half grid search. They had gone 700 yards on blood. Luna made short work of the 700 yards, then went a different direction from where they had grid searched and showed us more blood. The blood was very heavy in multiple locations and steady in others, then we would go hundreds of yards with nothing. Toward the end of the track Luna went hot and we started seeing fresh blood. Due to the amount of blood we had seen and the amount of time since the shot, I decided to continue in hopes of getting a shot at him. We never saw him, but Luna was still on him and there was still some blood when I parked him for the night. We’re going back and hopefully we find him dead not too far away in the morning. #2 Kunox and I looked for a buck this evening for a young hunter. He shot the 4 or 6 pointer at 1:30 this afternoon. There was very little blood, and what was there appeared to be muscle blood. We did our due diligence, but I believe this buck will be seen again.
  7. 11/22 Kunox and I tracked a buck this morning that had been shot yesterday afternoon. The hunter reported he had a leg shot because he saw the deer limp off. He went about 20 yards checking for sign, then backed out. Well done! It turns out the buck had been quartering and was hit in the guts, then the back leg. We found two beds before finding him still alive at 460 yards. Imagine how far he would have gone if pressured last night!
  8. 11/21 #1 Luna and I tracked a spike the hunter had shot in the shoulder with a muzzleloader this evening. During this 1.2 mile track, we were pushing him and ended up at a road. A truck stopped and said he had just seen him running down the road! We never caught up with him. #2 I was in an area with no cell service on the first track, and I saw I had a voicemail when I left there. It was for a 15 year old hunter that had shot his first buck, a 6 pointer. Luna and I headed over and she took us quickly to the point of loss, then beyond. We went 160 yards through a hayfield, crossed a fence, a small creek, and into a thicket. Luna only went into the thicket a short distance before backtracking all the way back across the creek, under the fence, and through the hayfield. At this point she turned around and went back. She found the buck in the thicket, not sure what made her backtrack. We heard coyotes howling when we got there and I thought maybe the buck had been chased, but that turned out to not be the case. The 6 point buck turned out to be a 1 pointer.....the spike had one side broken off. A little buck fever I do believe.
  9. 11/20 #1 A young hunter took a shot at a nice buck and was sure he hit it, but couldn’t find any hair or blood. Kunox and I arrived 24 hours later and 230 yards away he showed us a pin drop of blood. That was the only sign of that deer we found in our 2 mile search. I have no idea how hard, or where that deer was hit. #2 I was sorry I took this track after I arrived. It was 31 hours old, 20 mph wind was blowing the dry leaves through the woods and 4 guys had grid searched for 2 hours. The deer had been shot in the shoulder with a crossbow as it quartered to, and the bolt had broken off with 12” of penetration. We got absolutely nowhere on this one. #3 The hunter shot this buck at 7:30 this morning. He waited half an hour after the shot to go look for sign, then found some whiteish hair and blood. As he was looking the area over, he saw the deer run off a short distance away. He immediately backed out. Kunox and I arrived at 3:30 and he quickly got locked onto the scent, but it took sometime for him to figure out which trail the deer had used, most likely due to the windy conditions. It’s so much fun to watch him doing his checks. Once he found the trail, he led us to the buck who was still alive 200 yards away. I took a shot at him as he got up and started to run off. He left the woods and ran 400 yards across a field and expired just inside a wood line.
  10. 11/19 The hunter shot this buck yesterday afternoon and we tracked it 24 hours later. The buck dropped at the shot, but regained his feet and started walking away. This was a high back hit. As the buck walked away, the hunter got off a second shot which hit guts. There was a little blood leading into heavy brush, so the hunter backed out and called without stomping around in there. If only all tracks were this easy. 250 yards is all he went.
  11. 11/18 We’re on string of non recoveries. Hopefully that turns around tomorrow. #1 A young hunter shot a huge buck yesterday afternoon. He’s not sure how many times he hit it, but one shot knocked the buck down and he laid there for a few minutes. The hunter climbed down and the buck got up and ran away. The hunter is sure he hit it behind the ribs as it ran away. He and his Dad only followed the blood a short distance, then backed out. Luna and I followed light sporadic blood for 0.93 miles, then with no blood but Luna locked on, we had a property line issue at 1.50 miles. Altogether on the track with restarts and loops, we did 4.6 miles. The neighbors stated they heard the coyotes going crazy over there last night. #2 This buck was shot this morning and not tracked for 2 hours. The hunter and a neighbor had followed blood for 400 yards before losing the trail and grid searching extensively. A bed was found not far from where he was shot and a piece of bone (pic attached) was found on the track which can often indicate a leg hit. Kunox was able to work through the grid searched area and showed us an occasional drop of blood for a couple hundred more yards. Despite 3.5 miles of searching, we never located this buck. Hopefully I get word that he is still alive. There are 2 tired pups and a tired old dog in this house tonight.
  12. Unfortunately this buck was nowhere to be found. Maybe a brisket hit because he was not where I parked him.
  13. 11/17 Luna is getting all the tracks until she gets to chew on a leg. We went on one this afternoon for a buck that was shot 20 hours ago. A lot of white/gray long hair was found at the hit site, first blood about 50 yards away. Luna quickly took us to last blood, took about 5 minutes or so to figure out the grid searched area, then continued on. We went 850 yards in a big circle without seeing any blood, when all of a sudden there he was. It happened so quickly there was no time for a shot. He ran off, but was not bounding strongly. We chased him for a few minutes trying to determine how sick he is, but didn’t get close enough for a look or shot at him. I stopped the track and told the hunter I’d come back in 5 hours, hopefully he’s expired by then. To be continued.......
  14. It would be impossible to keep a go pro on them as they go under logs, through heavy brush, etc. I just uploaded a few I shot with my phone recently. Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/user/outdoorstom
  15. As people are following the blood trail, they accidentally get blood on their boots and pick up the body scent of the deer off the vegetation. When they grid search, they’re laying false trails everywhere, confusing the dog on where the deer went. The vast majority of the time we get past there, occasionally not. It’s so much better to not have to deal with it. Mark last blood and back out!
  16. 11/15 #1 Luna and I started the day with a 2 mile track through a swamp. The buck had been shot 24 hours earlier and had been tracked a considerable distance. We had tracked in this swamp earlier this season, so I knew it somewhat. The hunter thought the buck had been gutshot. Luna took us on a march into the heart of the swamp. We hadn’t seen blood for a long time on this track, when a mile and a half in I heard the guys holler they had some blood. Always nice to hear that. It was shortly after that Luna went hot and I knew our buck was still alive. He ran very strong and it wasn’t long before Luna became quiet. We never got a glimpse of him. This was 24 hours after the shot and the buck was strong, it makes me question if it was a gutshot. The hike out of the swamp was an adventure as we walked through beaver runs in the icy water. I’m attaching a video for your amusement. #2 Kunox was with me as we tracked on this gorgeous piece of property for a 4 pointer had been gutshot yesterday afternoon. The hunter had waited 30 minutes, then started tracking. 500 yards later and the trail was lost. A light grid search followed. Kunox quickly got on this one but lost it in a field. It took about 5 minutes before he locked backed on. Pretty sure the wind was wreaking a little havoc. Once he got going in the right direction on he took us down to the tall grass by the lake and showed us 3 beds in about 20 yards. I told the guys that we were very close, and 20 yards later Kunox was chewing on a leg. This buck went 850 yards. Thanks for the call guys....enjoyed your company! #3 Luna and I attempted to recover a very large buck that had been shot yesterday afternoon. The buck fell over at the shot, thrashed around, then got up and ran off. My first thought was high back hit, but the hunter said it appeared that the shoulder on the opposite side seemed to have issues when it ran off. They had tracked the deer out of the field and into the woods for a short distance before losing the bloodtrail. They did a nice job of marking blood with gloves and hats, and minimal searching had been done after losing the trail. Luna quickly took us to last blood, did some detective work and showed us the buck had made a sharp turn into a thick grassy area. We found a bed in the grass that had minimal blood in it. She then took us across a field and into the woods where it was obvious something had happened there. She worked a crazy pattern all through the woods and I think it’s possible he ran does around overnight. At one point she left the woods and backtracked into the field. She went to an area we know the buck had been, sniffed around , then back into the woods. She was refreshing her memory. We never did recover this buck. I believe it was a high back hit. Interestingly, I tracked a big buck on the neighboring property during muzzleloader season this year. That buck had been shot in the shoulder and we never recovered it. The hunter said there’s a chance it’s the same buck. If that’s the case, he’s up 2-0. #4 I was messaged by a friend last night that a member of his club had gutshot a deer at 9:00 this morning. I spoke with the hunter and learned that when he got to the hit site he recognized what had happened and immediately backed out. A track without grid searching.....love it! We agreed to go in at 7:00, but I was only 20 minutes away when I finished my third track, so I told the hunter we’ll change it to 5:00. I went to grab something to eat, then headed over. I knew it was a little early to go in on a gutshot, but I figured if we jumped him we’d just back out and I’ll bring a dog back later. Kunox was a tracking machine while working through a large briar patch, then went a short distance to a dead buck. The track was only 220 yards thanks to the hunter using his head and backing out.
  17. 11/14 #1 Luna and I tracked a big buck this morning that had been shot at 200 yards with a .243 yesterday morning. I didn’t like the sound of that as soon as I heard it. The hunter jumped the buck out of a bed about 45 minutes later, then tracked it for 600 yards on light sporadic blood. When unable to find any more blood, 4 people did a 2 hour grid search. I wasn’t convinced we were tracking a fatally hit deer, but we did our best to make that determination. After 3.2 miles of following trails and making circles around the grid searched area and seeing no further sign we pulled the plug. #2 Kunox and I tracked doe that had been gut shot yesterday afternoon. The hunter had tracked until he saw watery blood and recognized that meant gut shot, so he marked it and backed out. Kunox made short work of this 600 yard track, unfortunately the coyotes had picked her clean. #3 Luna was rested up enough for the third track, so she got the nod. This 4 pointer had been shot yesterday afternoon, twice. The second shot had knocked him down, but he got up a few minutes later and ran off. Uh oh, sounds like a high back hit. The hunter and his friend did everything right on this track. They had ribbon with them and marked blood as they went. They also were smart and backed right out when the blood trail ended. Trackers love these kind of hunters! Once passed the hunters point of loss we never saw any blood, just one small clump of hair. The buck was still alive when we found him at 860 yards and I dispatched him.
  18. 11/13 Rough day today. 0-3. The deer should have been recovered on the first track, but it was taking more time than the hunter was able to stay. The second track we had a couple white hairs and no blood. A thorough search of the areas trails resulted in zero sign. The third track was for a neck shot buck. Often, if a buck is only hit through the meaty part of the neck you don’t recover him. That was the case today. Hopefully tomorrow is better.
  19. #3 Luna and I went on a short drive to a short track tonight. 15 minutes from the house.....gotta love those! The hunter had shot a buck with his .270 this afternoon, but couldn’t find any sign of a hit. He thought he had heard the smack of an impact though. Luna and I arrived at the area the deer had been in and shown an approximate area of where the deer had entered the woods. Luna picked a main trail and was checking it out when her head whipped up and she lead me into the woods to the left of the trail. In just a minute she showed me blood and we were off to the races. This nice 6 pointer only made it 165 yards before piling up.
  20. 11/12 #1 Kunox and I tracked a buck this morning that was shot last night at 40 yards from the ground with a 30.06. The buck never reacted to the shot and the area was too thick for a follow up. A lot of white hair and a small amount of blood was found at the hit site. The hunter lost blood at 30 yards and backed out. Kunox showed us a little blood beyond that point and picked a trail. We ended up finding the gut shot 8 pointer dead, 1000 yards away in his second bed. There was very little blood on this track....Kunox is a good boy❤️ #2 Luna and I had a first today on this track. We were in a 300 acre high fence operation, with a very high deer density. The clients that come here never leave. It was a cemetery! There is one small open area in the fence that had heavy deer traffic through it. The hunter said about 60 deer live there and I believe it. Luna went hot many times as we bumped deer. A 10 pointer had been shot with a .270. We found white hair at the hit site, with a few drops of blood. The hunter had followed the light blood trail a couple hundred yards until it stopped, then backed out. Luna showed us one tiny speck beyond that point, that was it. We worked every trail through there, going 3.4 miles before calling the track. I believe this buck is probably still alive.
  21. I got word today that last night’s spike is alive and well this morning.
  22. 11/11 Luna and I tracked a spike that had been shot 3 hours earlier in the evening. I was concerned about how hard this deer was hit when his reaction to the shot was described to me. He had immediately gone down, did some thrashing around, then got up and ran away. Sounded like a high back hit most likely. The most blood we saw was in the field where it fell, and that wasn’t a lot. Luna took us into the woods and showed us a few drops in two areas a few feet apart, which the hunters (the hunter was actually one of the guy’s wife, and mother to the other. She had a bad knee and couldn’t join us) had already seen. They had grid searched before backing out. Luna had multiple false starts while figuring out the grid searched area, but finally chose a line and we were off. It wasn’t long before she took us into a flooded section of woods, none of it over my knee deep boots. She worked in this area for quite awhile, finally choosing a line out of there as well. I still hadn’t seen any blood since the beginning so I was happy to hear the hunter call out that he had a drop of blood. At the 500 yard mark we jumped the buck and he ran off strong. We didn’t see any blood in his bed. Luna went hot and we were off to the races. It didn’t take long and we had a property line issue which took about 5 minutes to work through. Luna picked up the trail again, but with much less urgency this time. The buck crossed several fences and eventually ended up crossing a road. The property owner had joined us by that time (I’ve tracked for his family a couple times) and said we were welcome to continue. We were at the 900 yard mark and decided the deer wasn’t hit very hard and would most likely survive. We called the track there.
  23. I didn’t stay for field dressing, waiting to hear from the youngster’s Dad. We tried pretty hard to find the hole but the only one we saw was WAY back but the hunter says that was a follow up shot. the bow shot buck was hit in the liver.
  24. 11/10 #1 This morning Kunox and I tracked a 6 pointer a 15 year hunter shot yesterday afternoon. He and his Dad had only tracked it a short distance before backing out. Kunox quickly took us to last blood and after correcting himself once, took us 350 yards to the dead deer. He was happy to get a good chew, and we were happy the coyotes hadn’t found the buck first. #2 I hadn’t even walked in the house yet after the first track when I got another call. This one took me to Cape Vincent. Luna was extremely happy, to say the least! The bowhunter had shot an 8 pointer yesterday afternoon and he and a buddy had tracked it for 150 yards, then grid searched after losing blood. Luna took us to the point of loss, then it took a while to get past that point. She eventually chose a trail and took us into a swamp. At one point she acted like she wanted to cross a deep beaver run, then changed her mind. We ended up going back to last blood for a restart but we ended up back in the same area of the swamp. We waded through the beaver run and Luna seemed confident, so on we went. She checked and rejected 3 or 4 trails before picking one and sticking with it for a long way. I looked over a few yards off the trail and spotted the back of the buck as he was bedded, but I couldn’t see his head. I was surprised when he jumped up and moved slowly away from us. I had the hunter move up to dispatch the deer, he had only gone a short distance and bedded down again. He died 750 yards from where he was shot, but we covered 1.28 miles during the track. We never saw any blood beyond the hunter’s point of loss, so we definitely had to trust Luna girl!
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