Ok a bit of a long one but feel if I give some history to the issue someone may be able to point me in the right direction.
I have a 2 year old Weimaraner bitch and have so far taken 8 roe deer with her in the last 12 months.
I started her from a young age tracking by dragging skin then blood drops and feet, reducing the amount of blood and leaving the skin for an end find. Started with Red and moved onto Roe. The dog did very well and I was well pleased however I have let this training laps a bit recently.
Now out stalking her wind scenting is awesome and she is picking up the deer upto 500 yards away easily.
So we stalk, she scents, I read her action, sit her down, scan with binoculars and shoot or plan a final approach stalk.
A few times I've shot and let the dog go, she runs in grabs the dead deer by the throat and holds it, I'm happy with this approach and it payed off a few weeks ago. I shot a doe which ran, she caught and dragged it down. Ok a good heart shot but she did well. Then I shot another, neck shot, while I was tracking a second in the scope the first tried to get up. The dog was in and held it well.
Now the problem.
This Thursday I was on my permission having a look around so I was there for the start of the Buck season, Friday morning, with the help of the dog I saw 6 does, and although still in season I had no intention of shooting does. However the dog was becoming frustrated scenting and watching with no prize!
So I took out a yearling at 150 yds that was with 2 others. It ran into the woods and light was starting to fade. The dog ran on and I saw her enter the wood where the deer had gone.
When I got there no dog & no deer.
I examined the strike site lots of hair & lots of heart / lung blood.
I gave the come back whistle and 30+ seconds later the dog returns out of breath no blood or hair so she hadn't found the deer.
I put her tracking line on took her to the shot site and off we went. Into the wood, head lamp & torch now needed.
Still a good visible blood trail in the torch light but very dense pine woodland.
Probably a mistake here I knew from the amount of blood loss the deer could not have gone far so I let the dog loose and off she went like a rocket. I continued to follow the blood and found the deer 10 yards away under a tree.
By the time the dog returned I'd dragged the deer out of the woods and started the gralloch.
This is not the first time she has ran past a dead deer she did it once last year where I could see where the deer dropped about 200 yards away but she ran round in circles without finding it.
Any advise welcome.