Last weekend I was in Dorset judging and witnessing some fantastic work by GWP’s, yesterday I made the trip up to the Midlands to lay two 20 hour old trails for two Hanoverian scent hounds from the same litter, before I made the trip up the A34 and M40 to lay the trails I had been called to help find a roe buck which a stalker had lost that morning.
The stalker had taken a face on neck shot out in an open field at about 80 meters, the buck dropped and then get up and ran 70 meters approx into a large block of woodland, any other neck shot that goes through the vertebrae would have dropped on the spot but this one was just a little off causing the deer to run for cover, very little blood at the shot site but a little meat and hair, once the deer was into cover it stopped and bled quite a lot until pushed on by the stalker thinking it was going to be just inside the wood.
The stalker walked into the wood and the buck was nowhere to be seen, it was at that point he called his gamekeeper for help and in turn he called me just as I was departing for the Midlands, I of course said I would come and have a look even though I was on bit of a timetable to get tracks laid for the following day.
Loaded up the hound and went to see what could be done, tracked into the wood finding blood every 10 meters or so but didn’t want to release the hound until I had found a positive wound bed, it was at this point it was clear to see that the stalker had had a real good look which is only human nature but detrimental to the recovery of the buck at that point, I said to the keeper it would be better if we left it so the adrenaline levels dropped down and let it stiffen up that way a recovery was more likely.
I left him and said I would be back later in the afternoon, so popped hope to drop the dog and rifle off then up to the Midlands to lay the tracks for the following day, It took a couple of hours to lay the trails and then a 2 hour drive back down the M40 and A34 to have another look for the buck, while on route I phoned another UKDTR member to see if he was free to help, we agreed to meet up and made our way to the wood to resume the search for the buck, I let Noby and his lab Wilson take the lead and it wasn’t long before we had a good line on the buck and found it still alive but nowhere near as mobile, quickly dispatched the buck and our job was done for that day.
An early start the next day as we had to lay a three hour old track for a puppy and handler before being ready to test the first 20 hour test of the day at 10 am,
The first up was Brutus a large HS hound, It took him a while to get going but once on the trail the only slip up was a call back on the back track which was more handlers error than the dog but a nice hound working at a steady pace.
Second up was the sibling brother to the first hound Brutus , Although Ben was out of the same mound he was a completely different dog in looks and the way he worked, Robert his owner had difficulties in obtaining hoofs from herding deer species to train him satisfactory to his requirements before the test and this was due to covid restriction and was fearful he may struggle, From the start it was clear this dog was good and had had little trouble following the trail, allow he was a little fast which caused his to run off the corners but he got round the track, the only place he struggle was going across a hard dusty track just before the end the trail.
Rob and Ben got round with a 3rd prize
Well done to both handlers for putting the time into their dogs.
We now have two more teams, one in the Midland and the other in south Yorkshire.
Next up was a new breed to me and one a have not judged before, I can only describe an Alpine Daschbracka as looking like a HS with very short legs lol, weighing 23KG’s and only 11 months old he was a compact breed, the 3 hour old puppy test was a piece of cake for him and we look forward to seeing him on his 20 hour in the future.
A nice steady drive back down the road on a Sunday after in time to check the larsons again and sit down to watch the cup final which the mighty blue side of Manchester won.
PS please excuse my grammar and spelling