outdoorstom

Luna and Kunox’s Tracking Journal 2020

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Anyone else dying to see a Go-Pro strapped to Luna and Kunox?


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17 hours ago, Steve D said:

I love your posts and are glad there are people around like you and others to provide this service which  prevents countless dead deer not being recovered.

 One question I have is why is a "grid search" by the hunter so detrimental to the dogs being successful on their search and how much does it affect their tracking ability?

Just trying to learn more about the entire process.

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!

 

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17 hours ago, crappyice said:

Anyone else dying to see a Go-Pro strapped to Luna and Kunox?


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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

 

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4 hours ago, outdoorstom said:

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

Thanks for the reply. I personally have never had to use deer search but it is nice to know they are available when needed. I make it a point when I am tracking to not step on or touch any blood in case I need to  go back and verify last blood. I just took it for granted anyone tracking would do the same but I guess just like everything else everyone has their own method.

Thanks again.

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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.......

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8 minutes ago, outdoorstom said:

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.......

Good Luck, I hope Luna is chewing on leg by the end of the night. 

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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.......


Well now i can’t sleep until I see how this turns out?


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Unfortunately this buck was nowhere to be found.  Maybe a brisket hit because he was not where I parked him.

 

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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.

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Ha love the pic of the trackers!!
Hope they get some leg chewin soon!


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I must say I appreciate the larger font!!!!


Switching gears to habitat improvements!

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The pic of the two crashed out on the couch is hilarious! Don’t we all feel like that after a long day of hunting! Can’t imagine doing all that tracking on those 4 short legs! LOL


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"It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." - Wease

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Tom,

These tracking stories are the highlight of my day.  The picture of the pups on their back, feet  up is beautiful.  Keep the stories coming and you and the pups have a great holiday.

Poppy

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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UNICORNS just magically appear (or so my daughter used to say). I won’t tell her where this one came from!!!


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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! 

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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.

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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. 

 

 

 

 

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Man you guys really put in the effort on that one! I was rooting for a recovery. You are most likely right that a 3 legged deer did not make that swim.

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Talk about deer being tough. That was one tough deer. Luna and you were darn tough and persistent as well. What a team you and the pups make. Kudos for the effort.

 

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