Despite having had my own dog [ess] partly trained for deer his main role has been for the flushing of pheasants and in the six years since he was trainned i have never had to use him in anger so to speak. [lucky run maybe]
That was until a couple of weeks ago a chap out stalking with me took a shot at a roe buck and despite our best efforts we were unable to locate him so i popped back home and got ozzy.
In uder two minutes he found the deer in a depretion in a dry ditch covered in reeds the shot was slightly quartering but had smashed the lungs and we new he hadnt traveled far but we lost sight of him as he ran down over a bank.
Surprisingly there was no blood trail until we got to within 6 feet of the deer and he was extremely well hidden running only a short distance.
Four days later a friend of mine rang to say he had a guest shoot a bit low on a severly limping buck and the deer made a dash for some dense cover and not wanting to push him in deeper with the light fading it was decided to come back later with a dog.
That was fine only the skies had oppened up and a severe storm of rain had delayed the follow up so he asked if i would like to help in the search, so a time was agreed and we soon headed off to the ground.
Going to the shot site with a dog each i decided to search down the bank into the cover while my friend searched along it and with the cover four feet high in places i thought to myself this is going to take some finding and we may be here quite a while.
After about ten minutes i saw my dog head into some tall nettles and head for a tree and failed to re-apear i followed the route he took and low and behold there he was sat under a tree next to the dead roe buck.
Lucky finds or a job well done who knows but i was one happy dog owner anyway.
Incidently as my dog is predominantly a game flusher i always carry a deer leg in a bag in the truck which i let him sniff before following a trail just to remind him what he is supposed to be looking for and so far it seems to be working.
Going back to the buck on closer inspection it turns out that after presumably a severe rta the rear leg had healed and the bones fussed back together only the leg was know facing the other way.
Poor thing probably didnt know wether he was comming or going and a good one to take for the cull plan as the haunch and hip were severly damaged and emaciated.
It never ceases to amaze me how tough deer can be at times as he must have been in considerable pain for a long time and his body weight was well down on normal for the area
Just incase any of you were wondering his antlers surprisingly showed now sighns of any deformity.
The star of the show or just two lucky finds either way i think he has earnt his dinner for the next couple of weeks and help keep my lost deer tally at zero.
Just thought ide share
RICK O SHEA