Below is the summing up of a whole day of the 5 day course that was given to me by the Verein Hirschmann, the breed Society of the HS, now many years ago. It goes into a level of detail seldom if ever used in the UK but it might give people food for thought.
This part of the course was given by 2 very senior policemen,both heads of their respective criminal departments, who are avid trackers. One of the remarks they made was:”In the old times we marked a dead body with chalk, now we send in a forensic team. Tracking has changed just as much”. It made me think the day would be useful, it was.
The day began by us looking at a wildboar, hung between 2poles with its feet touching the ground. It was surrounded on three sides at adistance of about 1.5 meters by 2 meter high paper. Whilst we looked on, a shotwas fired at it and when we went to look there where holes in the paper notonly behind but also on the sides and many more holes than I thought possible.
Lesson one; investigating the shotplace begins at least 3-5yards downwind and continue upwind.
Back to the classroom where a scenario was described on a blackboard. A hunter, sitting alone, has fired a shot from a highseat. The deer is wounded. The shotplace is 200 meters + from cover; what do you do now?
My answer: Look at the shotplace was met with a negative headshake.The right answer is: Interrogate/ the witnesses (plural). Who/what are they? 1 The hunter, 2 the rifle, 3 the deer., 4 the surroundings.
The questions: For the hunter ,the obvious ones, did you heara bullet strike? Describe the sound. Etc, all the usual. The rifle, calibre andespecially type of bullet were looked at, would the bullet have gone through the deer?As for the deer: did it know you were there, did it have it head when you shot high or low etc. Nothing a half experienced UK hunter would not know.
Then a surprise. “We are now going to find the bullet hole”.To achieve as much reality as possible 6 different "crime scenes" where set up whilst we got the theory. I'll discuss one of them.
Finding the bullet is obviously only possible if you shoot from a high seat or into a bank.
Approach the shotplace from behind walking at least 10 meters around the shotplace below the wind. Depending on soil/vegetation it is sometimes remarkably easy. A stripe in the grass/soil and the bullet at the end. Dig it out and smell it. Guts are easy and it there is hair that is useful too. Lay a white tissue in the bullet hole, ask the hunter or anybody with an empty rifle to get on the high seat and aim at the tissue. A second person approaches where the deer stood at the moment of the shot and put a stick vertical on the spot being careful not to damage evidence. Where the line of sight crosses the stick is the height of the bullet strike.
Now for the main investigation. You approach the shotside downwind armed with a tissue, a pincet and a magnifying glass (I am not joking).Starting some 5 yards away you very carefully look at and collect what you see,put it on the tissue. Hair, your hairbook will tell you from which part of the deer; bone, you know the 5 kinds of bone so that is another indication. Blood,you know the differences. Guts etc.
Now, what have you got?
Evidence of the bullet strike sound, the view of the hunter where he hit it, the behaviour of the deer and its surroundings, the bullet, the hair, the blood, the bones if any, the guts. All this are pieces of evidence which together should enable you to form a pretty good view where the deer was hit.
Now it is up to you to take a decision on waiting time, help needed for a legshot etc, etc, etc.