A difficult question as most of the work we do with our dogs is just practice. If we track a fallen deer we almost always know exactly where it fell as we witnessed the shot and the run.
Well my definition would be when your dog finds a deer whether wounded or dead which no one can find and no one has any idea where to look. Not very likely I hear you say, but shoot a fallow in low light on the edge of a wood and the scenario is set. Make that wood a regen thicket with dozens of deer paths and the test is on.
Most good deer dogs will only be able to claim but a handful of such finds in a lifetime as it is such an uncommon series of events, but my first Teckel had a number of these finds to his credit and at the time I just felt it was the Norm.
It was 1992, jagare, a couple of friends and myself were stalking in west sussex. Nearing last light we heard a shot. We waited back at the vehicles until well after last light when Chris returned empty handed. He recounts the story of shooting a buck on the ege of the wood and then finding no sign and spent best part of half an hour looking for it.
We decide that despite being dark and the lack of sign we would take my dog and look. At the place where Chris said it was standing the dog took off like a torpedo I let him have 20 meters of lead and really just followed with blind faith. I have to say that after about 150 meters of scratched face, lost hat I was just aboout to give up and declare the dog to be having a laugh or just following live foot scent the lead went slack.
I worked my way down the lead through the thickest Ash regen to find Jake the teckel trying to relieve a medium size fallow of his ear. The deer lay stone dead with a perfect in and out engine room shot.
I probably did not realize it at the time, but now I know the significance of that track. I became a tracking dog trainer and Jake became a tracking dog, as to earn your "Pins" you have to have found at least one completely lost deer.
Jake was a German import, Birke Von Der Magnetbahn who came into the country in 1990, in whelp to Gaunner Vom Gesselnerfeld. His picture is below with yours truly 16 years younger than today.