We had a crawfish boil at the house Sunday and Tasha got to meet her first crawfish.
I am sure that it won't be the last!
Thursday evening I was relaxing around the house when my phone rang. It was one of my best friends Donnie and he asked if I wanted to make a track. I was excited like a little boy waiting on Christmas. I grabbed my tracking bag and while I was opening up the gate, Tasha jumped in the truck. Donnie said that he thinks that he made a good shot...right about 100 yards with his 444 rifle...an accurate but primitive weapon. He was surprised when he saw the deer after the shot and she was still standing there. She left the shot site trailed by at least one other deer. Donnie found pretty good blood that appeared to be lung blood leaving the shot site that went about 15 yards to some shallow water. Donnie has a Blue Lacy dog named Lucy that he uses for tracking. She has been up to her chest in water and it doesn't bother her a bit. Donnie knew that I had been wanting to let Tasha track in some water because we have so much of it in South Louisiana, so he backed out and called me. It only took us about an hour to be at Donnie's lease.
Seven month old Tasha has been doing some terrific work on deer! This deer call took place on December 19 when Cliff sent a short email and a photo. Here is the full story on that track. It is a very great post to begin the new blog year!
Last week I received a call from a fellow tracker asking me if I could take a track. The timing was good for me so I called the hunter and did a quick interview. The hunter said that he shot a buck about 90 yards away. The rifle he was using was a 45-70 which shoots a really big bullet. He said he knew he hit the deer solid because he was looking through the scope and saw water fly off the buck's fur when he shot. The hunter and two friends attempted to track the buck but they only found two smears of blood on grass almost waist high. There was no sign at the hit site. Their hunting camp was about 45 minutes away so I loaded up Tasha and headed out.
Ha ha! Thank you, Cliff, for a great report!
Received this report today from Cliff who has been super busy lately. Thank you, Cliff!
I took a track on Christmas Eve during the afternoon for my cousin's good friend. I called my brother in law Andre where he could get his new pup Aleah some OJT.
Tasha, 6.5 months, is Tranevang's MA Tashatax.
Friday evening I received a text from one of my buddies asking if I want to make a track. One of his daughters had shot her first deer and there wasn't any trail. In fact, they had conflicting opinions on which way the deer ran after the shot. There were three deer feeding when Samantha shot and they split up after the shot. Her dad Red checked out the site and found some belly hair and a small amount of gut at the hit site. After we talked, Red and his son Matt backed out of the area where they had been searching for blood and waited for Tasha to arrive. It took about an hour and a half for us to get there.
Awesome work! Congratulations to all of you!
[Tasha is Taya's sister. They turned six months old on Sunday.]
Tasha is pretty indifferent after we have killed and recovered a deer. She is interested in the tracking and after that is very passive toward the deer. She will lick on it some but as long as it isn't moving, she is content. If you grab the deer and shake it some, she gets pretty vocal and will bite it. My old hound Thibodeaux would attack the deer and would jump around never allowing you to catch him all the while pulling hair out of the deer. Boudreaux on the other hand (kind of reminds me of Owl and the groundhog) lays claim to the deer and will defend it aggressively.
I am reminded, though, that Tasha has already evidenced some "possessing" of a deer when another dog was close by. It will be interesting to see the puppies behavior when they are older.
Good going in class! I'm glad that one of the sisters is learning some obedience!
[Taya is Tranevang's MA Tayatax, bred by Lise-Lotte Schulz, Denmark.]
Happy Six Months Birthday to Taya, to her sister and brother Tasha and Thor who are also living Stateside, and to their three littermates overseas!
[Tasha, sister of Taya, is Tranevang's MA Tashatax, bred in Denmark by Lise-Lotte Schulz, owned in Lousiana by Cliff Shrader.]
Cliff sent this mobile photo of Tasha (mobile in more ways than one!) who is a natural, consistent, and persistent retriever.
[Tasha is littermate of Taya; they are five months old. It is always good to hear from Cliff.]
This weekend was youth weekend in Louisiana. Donnie, a good friend of mine who also has a younger tracking dog called me last night and said his son had shot a doe pretty close to dark. When he went to mark the spot he heard the deer get up and run. He marked the spot and backed out. There was also a shot made on another doe but it was not known if it was a hit. The hunter tried a head shot and said that their deer ran around in a circle right after he shot and then ran down the road into the woods. It was cold last night in South Louisiana so we decided that we would track together in the morning.
We had talked about tracking together but we were not sure how the dogs would tolerate each other. Donnie's dog is a Blue Lacy. Ruby is three years old and was started when Donnie got her last year. He never really had a chance to track with her so he was wondering how she would do. Ruby runs practice lines with ease. We were also concerned if Ruby would think that Tasha was something to eat....there is a difference in size. We met up at The Spillway Sportsman at 6:30AM and headed over to the hunting lease. We were able to drive the truck almost to the shot site. After we unloaded we let the dogs meet each. Ruby didn't even think about eating Tasha...what a relief. Both the dogs had their tracking collars on and knew it was time for business. We decided to start Ruby on the track while I let Tasha check out the road where the other deer was shot. As soon as I got there with Tasha, I looked over to see Donnie and Ruby on the road. I headed over. Ruby had found the deer on the way in. I took Tasha to the start of the short 30 yard track and without incident she tracked to the deer. The deer was 8 feet into a briar thicket. It was so thick that I couldn't even see Tasha at the end of her 12 foot leash. Ruby and Donnie came back where we could get the deer out. I heard a threatening deep guttural growl and I knew Ruby was growling at Tasha. Ruby was between me and Tasha and if I pulled on Tasha's lead it would force her to pass right next to Ruby. I told Donnie that Ruby was growling hoping he could help me protect Tasha. Donnie got down on his hands and knees where he could see up in the thicket. He said, Pal, that is Tasha growling....not Ruby! I have never heard her growl like that before. I am glad that Ruby didn't take it seriously because Tasha would have only been a bite or two for Ruby. We got the doe out without incident.
We took the dogs over to the road where the other deer had been shot at. We worked the entire area where the hit would have been and the open section of woods where the deer had run. I looked at my GPS and it had a fine looking grid where we had searched. I am impressed with how good the dogs worked together combing this area. The scenting conditions were great, a cool 47 degree morning with dew all over the grass. With two dogs and two handlers working the area, I am convinced that the shot was a clean miss. We had a great morning, spent some time in the woods with the dogs and even recovered a deer. This is one that would have been easy to find without a dog but I'm glad that we got a shot to work it.
Tasha and I have been working on her obedience training. A day in the woods tracking just kills leash training. In the woods, Tasha's job is to lead me around. At home, I am supposed to get to be the boss. It is a challenge to get her to walk with a loose leash. She tries to keep her nose on the ground and take me for a 4 block long track! She can be stubborn but so far I have hung in there with her. Everything else is coming along just fine with her obedience training and I'm overjoyed with her tracking.
Cliff and Tasha
Sent somewhere from woods or water in South Louisiana
[Tasha is Tranevang's MA Tashatax, sister of Taya, owned by Cliff Shrader, Louisiana.]
Cliff wrote, "This actually happened to me today. My little angels were busy while I was taking a power nap. At this time they are both still living and healthy!"
We are still bow hunting in Southern Illinois. This morning I got a call from my friend Ricky saying he had shot a doe. Tasha has had great success on her first three tracks ever, recovering all three with one being extremely difficult. This has surprised everyone here including myself. The farmer that owns the land where we hunt had heard Tasha stories for several days so he came along to witness the recovery attempt. When we got to Ricky's stand, he was on the ground and had good blood at the site. His shot was broadside at 20 yards, crossbow and Rage broadhead. Ricky said there were 10 to 12 deer and they ran everywhere when he shot. Several deer made a loop and ran back by him but he didn't know if that was the deer he shot or not. Tasha started the trail in her usual fashion pulling hard on the leash tracking 100 miles an hour. The track was through a thickly wooded area with brush piles and briar patches. I think she drug me through every one of them. The blood trail was light but steady little spots as you would expect from a lung hit. After about 75 yards we came to a big waist high grass field. The blood trail was drying up at this point.
Tasha turned from the field and came back toward the stand as Ricky indicated several deer did earlier. We worked the side of the road for a while but she couldn't pick up the track. Because it was so thick and full of briars, I picked Tasha up and carried her over the barbed wire and back through some of the thicker stuff. I put her back on the trail at a blood spot. She picked back up the track and continued back to the field. This time she took me into the field. She worked this track a little slower and checked herself a couple of times. I never saw any blood or sign again. I continued to follow her out further in the field. Tasha brought me straight to the deer laying in a slight depression over a hundred yards in the field with no visible sign. This little hound continues to amaze me. The shot was good but without a tracking dog, this deer would probably have been lost. Someone could have accidentally stumbled across it but more than likely it would have been lost.
[Tasha, sister to Taya, went with several hunters to Illinois and is doing an Awesome Job on her first experiences tracking deer!]
Today Tasha got the call for her first real track. My friend Ricky shot a doe and wasn't sure of the hit. We got to the stand with a group of four hunters, one tracker and one four and one half month old dachshund. The blood trail was good at the hit site and all the hunters took to the track. Tasha never took control of the track. She was content to follow the trackers and even found time to chase a couple of butterflies. After about 30 yards the blood trail dried up. This is where Tasha took control. Tasha started tracking at a rapid pace which had me concerned because there wasn't any blood. After about 70 yards we found a small drop of blood. Everyone jumped in behind Tasha and marked the blood along the way. This terrain was tough. This was a steep hillside that was thick and rocky. I think everyone lost their footing at least once during this track. There were also lots of sharp sawbriars around. I was bleeding almost as much as the deer. The trail would have some blood and then go dry. Tasha was intent on tracking at a faster pace than I could keep up. I was glad that I had a wide collar on her or she may have choked herself. After about 300 yards we found a pile of intestines. We tracked little blood for another hundred yards and we jumped the deer. With what we knew, we decided to back out and come back after lunch.
After lunch we went back and started tracking. Of course all the hunters saw the deer get up earlier so they took to the blood trail. When the trail went dry, Tasha took control again. She led us up a steep hill that was really too steep to comfortably navigate....but we followed her. We found blood up the hillside. Tasha tried to bring me back down the hill but I stopped her and brought her back to the blood. Twice more she got off the blood trail and tried to bring me down the hill. I brought her back to the blood. On the fourth try she went downhill again so I followed. Tasha went to a brush pile near the bottom of the hill. There in the pile was the deer, dead and concealed. This is one deer that would have gotten away. Total track near 500 rough and tough yards. I can't describe how gratifying this experience has been. Tasha's tracking has exceeded my wildest dreams.
Later this afternoon Tasha tracked and recovered her second deer. Once again she was slow starting with hunters tracking in front of her. After the blood played out, Tasha took over the track. There was very little blood on this track either. You can see her confidence level has gone up ten fold after two real tracks. She tracks very fast and on these steep hills it is all I can do to keep up. I have learned almost as much as she has on the two tracks. I will keep y'all updated.
Eight-week-old littermates Taya (front) and Thor arrive from Kennel Tranevang in Denmark! They are doing great after their 12 hour flight! You can see much more about them and their parents, grandparents, etc on Taya's page. Taya will live in Ohio with me; Thor with Derek and Jennifer in Virginia. A third littermate, Tasha, will arrive in mid-August and live with Cliff and Cheryl in Louisiana. Many, MANY thanks to their breeder Lise-Lotte Schulz!