I thought some of you might find this interesting.
Annie (3 years old) and I just got our license to be a Wildlife Recovery Team (leashed blood tracking dog). This is following wounded deer, or moose for hunters.
Annie's mom, Bea, was my great tracking girl that we lost this past February to bone cancer.
This track proved to me that with a dog that has proper talent and motivation, old tracks are not quite as big of a deal to dogs as we humans like to think.
The below is from 11/9 and 11/10, 2008
We got home this evening from doing a long list of errands and found a desperate voicemail from a guy that shot a deer and could not find it.
This is Annie's first call since she/we became licensed, though she is still actually in training
The man had called both myself and another licensed tracker in a near by town. The other guy had come out but the dog tracked just til blood was lost and could not get any further despite several restarts.
I told the hunter that Annie is still in training and that I made no guarantees, BUT we were willing to come out if he wanted us to. He most surely did!
We got out to the site and started tracking (not at site of the shot but several yards down the trail at a bloody spot) at about 7:45. TWELVE hours after the deer had been shot. Annie tracked very well to the end of blood and then spent several minutes casting about. She then locked on a track followed it, lost it, found it, lost it. This repeated for awhile and then she found more blood!
At this point we were farther by quite a lot than the other dog team. She found a teensy bit more blood a bit farther on and then lost the track again. Found it again and followed it to a mud puddle where she dug up some more blood and then we lost the track entirely.
We circled about and eventually a ways farther on Annie locked on a track and dragged me about 300 yards to the edge of a field.
It was late, Annie was pooped and so we came home and will go back out tomorrow and restart the track again
The man was quite impressed with Annie as was my husband, Rob. I was happy with her performance but sad we did not get the deer. A first track AND in the pitch dark though she did very well and worked her darn heart out! Annie NEVER quit
Banana Annie is passed out on the bed!! I will be soon
Went out again this am at 6:30 (almost 24 hours post shot) and got to see the point of impact. The shot and subsequent events were not exactly how initially described and we could tell the deer was likely not mortally wounded (appeared to be an above the spine shot which stuns them but is not fatal)
We restarted the track from the beginning and Annie tracked very very well and exactly as last night, but got lots farther. We followed the deer to where it crossed a road with no sign of stopping to lay down. We quit after 2 hours and feel confident that the deer will live to see many more days
Annie was upset at not finding the deer so we stopped at the taxidermists and got a hide for her and we will lay her a track later so she can "find" her deer
She did VERY VERY well and was an excellent ambassador for the breed (Rottweiler) and the hunter was grateful for her efforts, patting and hugging her in thanks for trying!