This is the account of a SD member who sent me his story of his young pup first live track, he has asked me to put up his story because he struggles with posting pictures.
it is his words and pics and well done to him, he has put a lot of work into his young pup and he is getting something back now.
Hi Tony, I'm ashamed to say that this morning , I lost a munty buck that ran into a wood , after what I was certain was a well placed shot. I decided it best , despite the likelihood of stepping into the scent trail and spreading it about, to look for it first before putting The pup onto it because she is so young still and I didn't want her getting hurt by a wounded and violent muntjac buck. Anyway, I looked for over 40 mins and didn't find a single bit of hair, not a single drop of blood, not a snapped nettle, absolutely nothing.
Anyway, I went to the truck and got The pup, it was more out of desperation than any serious hope for her being able to find anything. I figured that if I couldn't even see a sign then my 6 month old pup wouldn't do much other than fail on her 1st ever real life track, she's found deer for me before in training but they were not lost deer and there was alway blood etc. However, I put her on her tracking lead and nervously followed behind her and watched what happened.
She quartered about a bit searching the point of shot site and then she found something ( invisible to me but she could clearly smell it) it was simply amazing to see how she reacted when she found the scent trail. Instead of quartering about and sniffing every slot mark of every deer that's ever been there, and there are plenty , she became super serious, you could really see that she was thinking and taking great care, she went slowly, very slowly, she picked and sniffed her way across the leafy woodland floor , stopping here and there to rummage amongst the leaves and snort and sniff amongst them like she was truffle hunting pig. she took me in completely the other direction to where I'd last seen the buck headed and then off towards the other end of the wood. If it wasn't for her intense sniffing of the leaves I would have thought she was just taking me for a walk of her own accord.
She found the dead muntjac buck behind some heavy cover lying in a slight hollow in the ground. Without going into boring detail, I would have never ever found that there, it was such an odd place for it to run to.
I found it simply amazing to see her do her 1st ever live track and succeed at it.
Loosing a deer is a situation that I dread and this one could have potentially got me into problems with that landowner , never mind loosing a wounded deer. it's very pleasantly humbling to be helped out by a 6 month old Bavarian mountain hound / Labrador cross puppy ! Half an hour Previous to me shooting that deer , id shot another two muntjac but knew where they were, needles to say she found them next too !
This is the buck I lost that my pup found about an hour after me taking the shot.
The shot I took was a quartering away shot taken from a high seat at about 90 metres, the deer was stood in long wet grass, I intentionally put the 150gr .30-06 bullet in behind the last rib aiming at the front off side shoulder , and it exited through the front off side shoulder. Strangely It didn't leave a single thing to track that I could find. Even once The pup had found the deer , and she took me a good 100 m through thick cover and open woodland, I carefully paced my way about but never saw a single drop of blood anywhere. Not even where the deer had collapsed was there a mark to be seen. Super little pup !
Here's another one of the buck :
The two deer (doe and its fawn) that I took out half an hour before taking that buck. My pup found these very easily as there was quite a bit of blood about from the fawn as my 150gr nos bt .30-06 3100fps bullet made a bit of a mess of that one. She tracked her way into them with great ease.
All three of the deer successfully accounted for , with the help of my Bavarian mountain hound /Labrador cross 6 month old pup being crucial for the buck !
Tony, I also thought I'd say that whilst tracking the deer with my pup I instantly remembered what you taught me when I attended your UKDTR course about the dogs reactions to going on or off a scent trail. when I saw my pup first pick up the trail, I knew she was onto something. It was completely different to any training trails I've laid, she could definitely tell it was a real trail, not a play training session. It was really amazing to witness. It will be good to exchange notes on it as I'm sure you will be able to explain her behaviour better to me than what I could make out. Anyway, super stuff. 3 nice deer (maybe I should say 2.5 deer !) in my own chiller (I keep the muntjac deer for my own food as they don't make any sensible money) and a happy puppy who got lots of treats yesterday.
Thanks once again for all of your help during and since my attending the UKDTR course on how to train dogs for deer. I'm definitely pleased that I've put all that time into training her for deer so far. She saved me many problems yesterday and cheered me up no end ! She found that deer in about 10 to 15 minuets, I'd spent 40 minuets looking and didn't even find anything.
I'd have no hesitation in recommending the skills and kind help and advice that you and your team at UKDTR have happily and humbly given me since I first contacted you seeking advice on what to do with my first pup.
Thanks once again for your kind help, you are very generous with your time and it's very much appreciated by me and my pup !
The pup a couple of weeks back, her soot stained face betraying the fact that she had just been cheekily cleaning our BBQ from the night before !
Still much work to do with her .........
Kind regards, Olaf