This was the last movement day I have been involed in this year and I could say that I saved the best till last from a tracking point of veiw.
The day started at about 6 am for me because I am a keeper and there are traps and snares to check before anything els, then put the tea urn on and get the bacon going for the stalkers to eat before the morning's breif, there is always plenty of liverly converstion over tea and bacon buttie's normally over which scope or callibr is the best or who has shot the biggest or best and this morning was no exception, finally managed to get every body out in to there seat's by 9.30 ish, our main target for today is fallow as there are big numbers in this part of the world and as you all know not easy to stalk and control, so like them or love these sort of days there are sometimes the only way to make a dent in the population.
The movment day involed 8 farms and estates of differant sizes from 400-5000 acres and coverd probaley some 12,000 acres in total, not sure about numbers of rifles because i was only responceble for organizing two farms and they had 12 people sat in seats.
On this occation I was not going to be on hand with my dog because I was running the day so I asked a friend to come and help with his three year old lab who I had seen develop over the years, he has been trained as a deadicated deer dog, but does still go beating and will pick up, he is a family pet and lives inside, he comes into contact with deer most days as his onwer works with deer as a professional.
All the parties involed had my phone number and had briefed all there stalkers that should something go wrong they were to mark the shot site and maybe make a note of were they think they may of hit the beast and direction it had taken from the shot site.
As the morning progressed i had a report from a keeper from a neighbouring farm that a fallow that had been wounded with a probable gut shot, so with this information in mind the best thing was to let the deer lay up and try tracking later in the day instaed of chasing a adrenalin fueled animal from pillar to post.
With the movement now finished and all our deer grallocked, well all one of them on our patch..!!( not quite the rat in a barroll shooting you think it may be )we then made our way to my neighbour to see if we could locate the wounded fallow, the rifle that had shot the deer had now gone off to lunch with the boss but had left a good account of what he thought had happend with the keeper and as it turned out the information was about right, he thought he had hit the deer in the gut somewhere it had then run into a wood which was oak and hazal coppiest, another rifle then tried his best to distpatch the animal with a head shot as that was the only bit he could see.
We found the shot site and sure enough some hair and some green gut content, the dog followed the trail into the wood and after some 600 yards we found a large peice small intestine(see picture)and this was also the place where the head shot was probably taken, the dog then indicated blood and a peice of bone, after that he was indicating blood every few yards(see picture) then slowly the blood drop became less frequent, we crossed a track and the trail took a hard left turn and found a wound bed then looked up and saw the fallow some 30 yards in front of us trying to move on again, at this point the deer was ditspactched and the dog let off the lead to to go in and hold it down(see picture) its good practice for the dog even though the deer was dead, the handler would only let him off as long as there is no danger to him, had it been a red stag, boar or even a big muntie then he would stay on.
It was only then we could see the full extent of its injurys(see pictures), this fallow fawn was very much still alive after four hours allow probably wans't going much further, had it been a bigger stonger animal who knows..! Some people may say how can someone f### up so badly and myself and other tracking teams can't get up set with the shooter, well I never judge other peoples shooting when I have been called in to help, just try and do our best to help locate the wounded animal, we dont always end up with a found animal sometimes because bounderys or sometimes just cant get a handle on the trail.
This labrador has matured into a first class tracking dog and is one of the best tracking dogs in my part of the of the world, he is a big strong dog and is very obedient, will sit under a high seat for hours, indcates blood on the trail, and will go in if asked.
to see photos look down the thread to my next post, for some reason, probaley due to my in incompetence it did not work this time