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Thread: Deer dog tracking queries

  1. #1

    Deer dog tracking queries

    I'm at odds with the timings for commencing a track with a deer dog. The only time that suffering will be reduced is when the animal is found still alive and even then, if this is after 24 hours then the suffering could be classed as prolonged in comparison to a follow up on foot and despatch which may be effective. A follow up on foot and second shot is effective on some occasions but not all admittedly. If the beast is found already dead then no suffering has been prevented.
    It just seems to me that the timings are a rather convenient 12/24 hrs for wounding injuries rather than maybe 8, 14, 16 or otherwise.

    Although I've read a few articles on the subject I just cannot get my head round these points and would welcome constructive reasoning.
    Helmet on and ready!
    Last edited by phitt; 10-07-2014 at 17:16. Reason: text

  2. #2

  3. #3
    I would say and I am far from being a expert, that it comes down to the strike spot and being able to tell were the beast has been hit from the evidence left of the ground ,if there was stomach content on the ground you would take this into consideration when judging the time to leave it before a follow up ,where as if you found lots off pinky blood you might be safe to say it's dead and you could start you recovery straight away ,it is hard to call but a phone call to a friend with experience in the field of tracking could help you come to a more successful conclusion.That's how I look at it

  4. #4
    For the moment put to one side the 12,24 or what ever hours for the track.
    Your called out by a stalker to track a wounded deer. If your a trained dog and handler team you should be able to read from the shot site what action you and the dog will take to find and dispatch the wounded animal. You may decide on the evidence to track strait away or leave the track for a couple of hours.

    Now back to the 12, 24 hours. When you train a tracking dog you increase the time between laying the trail and starting the track. By doing this you make the track harder for the dog. It really dos'nt matter if you do 8,10,12 or what ever hours as long as you extend the time between laying and tracking. Also the time element is just part of the making a track more challengeing for dog.

    So when a stalker rings you on sunday morning and asks you to come and track a wounded deer he shot at on Saturday evening your dog should be able to handle more than a warm track.

  5. #5
    I think the relevant principle is this:

    If you do wait, with the right dog you stand maybe an 80% chance of finding the animal. If you don't, even with the right dog you might have a 20% chance of finding it.

    My percentages are for illustration but based on what I have picked up. Of course, if a beast is dead when you get there so be it. you haven't caused any greater suffering as a result. Perhaps if you had gone in 10 minutes earlier you might have found it alive and shot it again, maybe you wouldn't. No point worrying about, you won't ever know.

    So you have a choice, find 8 out ten lost animals but they may have to suffer for 4, 8, 12 hours or however long it takes to get onto them OR you can find 2 out of ten animals and be secure in the knowledge that the 8 you didn't find went off to die probably a lot more time than that later. The choice is yours. Are you doing more good by finding 20% of the deer within an hour or by finding 80% perhaps 12 hours later? I can't tell you that but for me, if wound 10 animals, the fact is that I have caused 10 occasions of suffering and sorting 8 of those out slowly but successfully is better than only sorting out 2 of them but doing it quickly.

    The very long periods of time you have heard, say 12 - 24 hours or even 3 days later is more an indication of how long it is possible to do a follow up if that is necessary for whatever reason. 4 - 8 hours is the more usually recommended waiting time.

    As berg says, thee amount of time to wait is dealt with at the shot site. The guys from UKSHA will tell you chapter and verse on the vagaries of that but in simple terms, if you find something other than plenty of bright red blood all over the place, start thinking harder about how long you need to wait.

  6. #6
    It's not so much the time but the fact that a follow on foot and subsequent dispatch can sometimes be the better option by far. As has been said you will never know if you'll find the beast alive or dead or at all, so it then follows that it's not always the best idea to get a dog in rather than a foot follow and subsequent shot although that's what I've seen being implicated repeatedly in several posts on here. No one else seems to have picked up on this. Is the popularity of tracking down to foreign influence and better practice or are people risking longer, less favourable shots knowing that they have a dog as back up therefore breeding it's own success?

  7. #7
    Well as said if you find the shot site it's all there you just need to find the evidence that will tell you what to do there is no one rule that covers all you have to make a calculated decision on what you find and that's why even when you can see the deer dead it's important to check the strike spot and exterminate what is no the ground ,this way you might start to get a idea of what you expect to find ,that's a skill in its self ,some of the guys who do a lot of tracking Will look at a strike Mark and no exactly what to do

  8. #8
    Phitt firstly the shot you take dictates what you do next if you have a chance at a second shot then take it secondly if you have a trained dog and you cannot take a second shot for safety send it in to bay so you can then get a second shot or dispatch when safe to do so.
    going to the strike also gives you a better understanding of where you hit it and this then can give you a timescale to follow up. going in on a gut shot beast too soon you will move it on.
    If the animal is highly mobile it will run to what it thinks is safe and couch up if it thinks its not in danger if you proceed straight away the animal will run on with adrenalin be highly alert and going in on foot you will not get that second shot.
    pushing the animal too soon is surely causing more suffering to go off and die
    you could get lucky like in your earlier post and find the odd one but chances are you just push it and lose the animal. This is really only about deer welfare and letting the deer couch up will in the end cause less stress than going in so you are doing the best you can in the situation.
    to answer your other question of longer shots I really don't think this is the case at all anybody who has been stalking for any amount of time knows that things happen and this has always been the case, attitudes are changing and people are calling for help when something goes wrong rather than walking away and saying things happen, things do happen and its what you do next that matters to help end the suffering or at least do all you can do.
    and for your last question the foreign influence is tried and tested over many tracks and many years this has and is proven to give you the best chance of success its up to you knowbody is forcing you to ring but we are here to help if you need it and you stand a higher chance of recovery and ending suffering by waiting not going in straight away.
    Just one last thing the dog is only on a tracking line till the point you know you are on fresh scent and working a track you you can tell the difference and the dog is quicker than any person to stop the deer till you have a chance to get a second shot or if you have a chance before you release the dog then take it, ending the suffering and being safe is all you are after doing,atb wayne
    Last edited by mereside; 10-07-2014 at 21:42. Reason: added extra
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  9. #9
    Listen,read and learn.....
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    - call us anytime, free on 0800 689 0857

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    or find us on facebook
    Sponsored proudly by Pfanner, Blaser, Clark Forest, John Forsey sports

  10. #10
    Some good explanatory answers, thanks, and 2 with nothing to add (expected, why bother?).
    In the main the answers have been constructive though which is what I was after. Would more emphasis on what you should be doing before the shot not make more sense in the long term? Mishaps will still undoubtedly happen but sensibly reducing these must surely be the first port of call? I for one admittedly could do with more practice as could most. I can see in the future a legal requirement to have access to a dog but none to prove your worth behind a rifle. Without argument the wrong way round.

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