Whooo Hoooo! Lonestar made his first 'real' wounded game find, yesterday!!!! We went to the deer camp for a couple of days. The plan was to take both Hondo and Lonestar, but Hondo over did it on his leg during all the Christmas festivities and so my nephew suggested leaving him with him for a little 'alone time'.
Because I'm a whoosy, we stayed in a nearby motel. Hubby would get up super early and sit in the stand for a couple of hours while I slept in. Win/Win for me. He came back in yesterday and said that he needed to re-site his rifle. He dropped it putting it in the truck and thinks the site is off. He said he shot at a doe and missed. So he re-sited the rifle and we did some work around the camp. We decided to take Lonestar for a Gator ride before it was time to get back in the stand. I suggested to go back to where he fired at the doe.
I took Lonestar out in the area where the doe was standing. I gave him his comand to find it and he raced around looking for a scent. Suddenly he was hot on the trail. I keep him on a long line because he is so young and I'm not convinced his recall is 100%, especially when you're out in the woods with wild game of all kinds around. But the trail took us to some really dense brush and Hubby and I had to crawl through some areas. I was getting hung up on brush and pulling the lead which 'checks' him. I knew I was confusing him so I turned him loose.
He was an absolute Rockstar. He'd follow the track and then stop and wait on us. It was difficult terrain. Lonestar went down a steep creek bed, through the creek, raced up and down the side for a while, caught the scent and was off again. Each time hubby and I got tangled up, he'd stand and wait on us. I'd give him the command again and off he'd go. The doe crossed the creek twice. It was so steep I'd have to sit on my heel and slide down, then Tarzan my way back up. Lonestar made sure we could always see him.
He found a wound bed, where the doe bedded down. We stood and watched him work through it for a moment and then took off again. It was so very cool watching him work. My crack puppy was all serious business and knew exactly what was expected of him. Never stopped to eat animal poop. Never waivered off track to follow something else. Just stuck on the track - stopping only to air scent. Our trainer (of course I had to call him afterwards!) said that he was double checking he was on the correct track.
When he finally found the doe I was trying to worm my way through holly bushes with sticker bushes woven through them. I looked up and he was sitting next to her, waiting for me to reward him. I don't know why he didn't vocalize. I have to work through that one. Our trainer said to try rewarding him with a squeaker instead of food in the future to raise his excitement level.
We had to drag the doe through the creek to an opening. Then we had to follow game trails to try to find our way back to the Gator. That took us awhile. It's 1000 acres of cattle pastures, woods and dense brush. We were deep in the woods and brush. Twice hubby wasn't exactly sure which way to go and we decided to follow Lonestar's lead. He took us right to the pasture where the Gator was. He ran up to the Gator, jumped in and waited for us. It was at that point I realized that he still wasn't on his lead and he never once attempted to chase down the rogue cows we came upon. He just looked at them and continued on.
I'm not big on hunting. I spent the last 35 years keeping my livestock on all fours. I can't watch when hubby hunts, it breaks my heart. But I eat the venison all year long. And it's something hubby really loves. My whole reason for training Lonestar to hunt wounded game was to make sure nothing suffers due to a bad shot from hubby or anyone else on the lease. Lonestar proved himself on this hunt.
We plan on staring Rally in the spring. It's my hope that he isn't needed to find wounded game, but I am SO pleased to know that he is ready if ever that call comes!
Hondo Von Dopplet L Bauernhof "Hondo"- GSD
Lilie's Tug McGraw "Tug" - Golden Retriever
Maggie - Mini Dachshund (Rescue)
Lonestar Pivo - Texas Blue Lacy
Ashe - Barn Cat
Katie / APHA