Reba trailed Don's deer for over a quarter mile and jumped it and bayed it up like a champ. The buck broke bay when he realized I was coming but Reba stopped him again shortly and I was able to dispatch him.
We were bound and determined to recover this buck or just plain stubborn!!
The hunter had no idea how big or small the buck was he just knew it was a buck. He said he saw white hair and gut matter at the hit site and also at 60 yrds so he backed out and called us. I told him to go get something to eat,take a nap,or just relax and I would meet him in 6 or 7 hours.
Most of us deer trackers wait a minimum 6 hours before tracking a gut shot deer. We would like to wait longer but we always try to save the meat from spoiling. If after 6 hours the deer is still to healthy to bay up we back out and leave it alone for another period of time up to 6 hours,depending on how sick/weak it is.
If the hunter leaves the deer alone it is usually within 300 yrds of the hit site. The deer will lay down and never get up again if left alone. But if the hunter just can't resist,goes out and tries to retrieve the deer,invarably the deer will get up,sometimes very quietly and go a long ways before laying down again,usually off their property,then calls need to be made for tresspassing permission.
Couple years ago a buck we tracked went 3 miles before it layed down again and it was shot with 180 gr,30-06. Took a long time and several phone calls to recover that buck!
Back to my story,
We showed up 7 hours later hoping for a dead deer within 300 yards. At 300 yards Lucy kept on tracking which made me mildly concerned,at 600 yards I was getting worried that something like coyotes or someone had jumped this deer,at 700 yds all heck broke loose, lucy jumped the deer and the chase was on!!! She covered 900 yards so fast would make you head spin plus she was getting close to a major hwy,so I called her off. Very confusing,with the sign I had seen blood and gut matter I thought we had a dead deer not a deer that would go 700 yrds before bedding and then sprint 900 yards,at this point in time we had been tracking this buck for a little over 2 hours.
Marked the spot Lucy had been before I called her off on the gps.so I could easily come back and start tracking him again. I told the hunter I would meet him at 7:30 the next morning giving the buck around 11 hours to bed down and expire, a gut shot deer can not survive.
Our tracking Odyssey started at 8:am, at 1200 yrds I found some more gut matter and a little blood. We continued tracking to a busy hwy so I had to put Lucy on the 30 foot leash. I absolutely hate tracking on leash for all the obvious reasons.
I'm thinking unbelievable this buck was still alive at this spot! He went parallel with the hwy for a long time, at this point we are miles from the hit site,very interesting discovering all the places this buck had traveled. Made me think about hunters who spend hours/days looking for a buck not knowing that they aren't even in the same zip code the buck has traveled to!
At this point in time I'm starting to get wore out doing all this leash tracking. Track,track,track,then round,round,round,untangel the leash then repeat! Whew!! At one point we went up this steep hill,then back down,then back up then back down on leash. I handed the leash to the hunters son and said it's your turn for awhile. The 70+ yr old hunter couldn't go with us because of health problems as I collapsed onto a log for a short rest I wished I had health problems,lol!
The hunter back at the rig was being great help though. He was getting us permission to cross property lines as we went.
We crossed some RR tracks and needed to cross into some property we weren't sure about and in need of a rest and water. So we called the hunter he was able to get close enough that we could get water from him for us and Lucy.
The hunter figured out who's land we needed to enter made a call got permission and we were off again still cold tracking it was around noon we had been tracking for four hours.
The buck finally turned away from the hwy and with great relief I turned Lucy loose, she took off out of site instantly and in a few minutes to my surprise she jumped the buck!! "Wow! 26 hours after being gut shot and bleeding this buck jumped up and took off like a bat out of CensoredCensoredCensoredCensored with Lucy on his tail." They were 900 yrds away in a blink of an eye and not slowing down". We took off walking fast and jogging when we could. I stopped for a second and looked at the GPS screen and saw a beautiful thing,lucys track was going round and round in a tight circle meaning "bayed deer" as we approached we could here her baying her heart out.we snuck in but the "HUGE BUCK" first time in two days that we had seen him" saw us and took off,she caught him at 100 yrds and bayed him up again,we snuck in again and he took off again. This happened 6 times finally we had a shot,squeezed on the trigger and CLICK! Bullet was a dud"dang" the buck with his guts hanging out twirled around to take off again,but Lucy barked up his back side in a frenzy the buck turned back to address her and the next bullet wasn't a dud and the 70+ yr old hunter had the biggest buck of his life!!
It was almost 1pm, 5 hours from when we started that morning plus the 2 hours of pursuing the night before for a total of 7 hours of pursuit and 18 hours since we started and 27 hours after being fatally shot.
Checked the GPS and the nearest road was 1.2 miles no way these two wore out guys were going to drag this 200+ lb deer out by ourselves. We field dressed him and found a cool shady place to leave him,dropped a pin so we could find him again and started the trek out of the woods.
We were dragging for sure.
The end already,
Finally have a picture from Ohio and back in Georgia for the week before I head up to Indiana and Ohio. I couldn't be prouder of my Lacy dogs
and see that a good bit of this thread features their talented noses! I kept back the 2 best puppies and decided to keep the girl so have the red
boy available. Check classifieds. Sure do love this thread, keep posting pictures!
If you find bone at the hit site you almost certainly have a deer with a broken leg. Broken legs aren't easy but can be recovered usually requiring a dog that can bring the deer to bay and a second shot. Reba found this buck last night in south Ga.
Reba tracked, jumped and bayed this 9 point for 10 year old Peter Boulware. Peter made a good shot, a little high and back, but the buck was 600 yards out when Reba jumped him and brought him right back in our laps with her hot on his heels. She bayed him in this creek. After a concerted effort from Peter's Dad and Walter Hatchett and myself, we finally were able to dispatch him. Not before Walter had jumped in the creek to keep Reba from getting hurt but he jumped out faster to keep Walter from getting hurt. Lol
No neck shots for me. This is a buck that we tried to track on Dec. 4th. When it was shot it hit the ground and laid there for about 30 seconds then got up and staggered off. It was raining at the time and what little blood there was got washed away. The dog treated it as an unhurt deer and wouldn't follow his trail but a couple of hundred yards. That's the way she usually treats back-whacks. On Dec. 8th, 10th and 11th at 3 different locations he was pictured eating corn.