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Hank is 1 out of 1 in deer recoveries this season!

hickslawns

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#1
As some of you know, I have been training Hank, our German short haired pointed, to follow a trail. I haven't had any deer blood to work with him, so have been using chicken or beef broth. I received a phone call this morning from a friend. His friend had shot a buck and couldn't find it. I took Hank out and they showed me the blood spots where he hit the deer. He couldn't find his arrow, but it didn't take Hank long to find it. From there, we just let Hank's nose lead us.

In all fairness, there were times where Hank got off the trail and I personally believe he was following some of the foot steps where these guys had been wandering around the woods. He could have been following the scent of other deer which had been in the area as well. Who knows? What we were able to do as a team though, is recover the deer. When we lost the trail, it seemed Hank could pick it up. When he lost it, we found it again. The deer had double backed on it's path, therefore we were trying to make Hank follow a trail the wrong way for awhile when we should have been just following his nose. Part of the process of learning both Hank and myself.

In the end, we were just about ready to give up but Hank caught onto something and just was going nuts in a small area. With lots of maple trees in this area having red pigment it was nearly impossible to find blood with our own eyes. Hank worked the area hard until one of us actually saw some blood. This told me, I should have been letting Hank take the lead all along. I just didn't trust that he was following the trail because at this point we had not figured out the deer had backtracked on it's course of travels. Once we found blood again, I just gave Hank all the leash and let him drag me along. 75-100 yds later, I yelled out "Dead deer!"

It was a good day for all. Hank got some work/play in. I learned a lot about his abilities. Rich (in the picture) got his buck and was able to process it before the meat spoiled. And I got to take pictures and write a short novel. lol

The first picture is when he saw something and locked up on point. I wish I could get him to lock up on point when he found a deer, but as long as he finds them I won't worry about the Kodak moments. The second picture is Hank, Rich, and his buck.

For what it is worth. Upon processing Rich found a liver shot deer. I got some blood for training, and a chunk of the hide to place Hank's treats on at the end of the blood trails which will be used in training!
 

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hickslawns

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#4
Cotty- I am on the south side of Lima. Cridersville area. I figure once i know Hank will consistently do his job, I will advertise a bit locally. Probably just craigslist or something. Problem I foresee is chasing a bunch of deer that were not mortally wounded. People bitching about paying for a service when they should have just taken some time to practice or not taken a bad shot.

My thoughts were to be as reasonable as possible, not to make money. Maybe $25 to show up and search an hour, say within 20-30 minutes of my house. Recovered deer fee is another $50 or something. I would like to cover my diesel and some dog food/vet bills. Maybe down the road this will change. I know there are guys that do this on the big outfitters operations and charge tons of money. My buddy's cousin was offered $30k for his tracking dog and turned them down. Dude gets $500-1000 tips on top of his fees for some of the deer he has found. This is not my intention. Would be cool, but not want I am looking for. I was happy this guy was able to recover the deer before the meat spoiled. Not his biggest buck. He isn't going to mount it. Just good to work Hank on a real tracking job today!
 

hickslawns

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#6
By the way, shed antlers is the other thing Hank and I have been working on. Hopefully this winter he can find some of the sheds I trip over.:smiley_deer:
 

hickslawns

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#8
Thanks Daniel and 1horn!

I got him over the summer. He will be 2 in December. Really haven't put as much time in with him as I would like to have. He gets attention every day, but not always tracking training. Maybe 1-2 times a week for a while. The last two weeks he did not get any. Just retrieving sticks from the neighbor's pond.
 

hickslawns

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#18
FS- Not too many will disagree with you on the potential that was stunted. Great potential and great start on the brows. I am just glad it wasn't a total waste. At least we found him while the meat was still good. Personally, I would have gone after a doe if I needed more meat.

Tucky- That is all I am looking for. Cover some of the costs, enjoy the companionship of a dog in the field. Help some guys out. Felt pretty good when Hank led me to him!

Thanks to all!