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blood tracking dogs in southern illinois
Does anyone know of a person who offers blood tracking dogs in the southern Illinois (Carbondale) area?
Do you mean someone who offers blood tracking service or who sells tracking dogs?
Don't know if it has changed or not but I think you used to have to be a licensed handler to track deer with dogs.
I have two tracking dogs, but we are over in Clark County, about 2.5 hours away! Here's one of them with a find at five months, from last November. The deer had been shot fifteen hours earlier, and it had rained overnight... We got there about ten minutes behind the buzzards...
What kind of dog is that Big Red?
That is a registered Blue Lacy Game Dog, the state dog of Texas... That track was about 1/4 mile long... He is bigger and better now. I also have a female, the same age, that is trained to track. We will be breeding them in about a year...
I know a guy that lives just north of Pickneyville that has a dog to track blood.I hear he's been pretty successfull with it too.
Pete, you can try www.unitedbloodtrackers.org and click on the find a tracker tab, then the state listing tab. There aren't too many in Illinois yet but you might find someone willing to travel. Some members do it free and some charge a fee.
Speed, you don't need a license or certification if you're on private property. If you want to track on DNR property you better contact them first because they have a bunch of admin rules restricting it.
Natty- Thanks. Guess I was 1/2 right anyway. 8^)
Natty, Is that your little wirehaired dachshund puppy in the picture? Sure looks like a feisty little fellar!
Sausage dogs make great trackers!
did look at bloodtrackers and the closest guy is in madison county and he won't come. Who is the guy near Pickneyville?
I joined the UBT after I baught my dog to train and they put me on the list. Even though he has done a awesome job so far he is not ready to have me track for others around the state. I hope that changes soon. He is a Lab/Bassett mix 1yr. old now. He was 2 for 4 this fall (at about 7 months old) and the 2 he did not recover had no blood trails just scent. One of them he tracked 75 yds and then found blood high on a tree, the other he tracked 100 yds and found bloody hair on a low fence. Being so young he had all the tracking he could tolerate at that point. Very disheartening but a learning experience all the same. They say a good dog recovers 30-40 persent. He is agreat family dog to boot. Love to track some Quad City deer this fall.
The key to finding deer, is putting the dog on a track that actually leads to a dead deer... Too often, hunters tell you that they hit em square behind the shoulder, and you end up tracking a brisket shot deer! The interview before you start a track is vital to success, and will save countless hours of wasted time, and avoid a bad situation for a young dog... They need to find the deer in order to gain confidence. Good luck with the new pup... Watching them work is almost as much fun as sitting in a tree, and taking a shot!
Love taking him out training. Wife a bit ticked with what I keep in the freezer to train with though. Any thought on letting him run around on the property NOT TRAINING, just for exercise?
Tracking dogs are great...but they can't find a deer that didn't die (most of the time).
Amen to that Speed. Hard to convince the guy sometimes after we looked for an hour.
I have a young jagdterrier that was 2 years old last fall. She has done exceptionally well. Here is a pic of a buck she found. The track was 25 hours old when we were finally called. I almost did not go but tracking conditions were great. I am located in Wayne City.
Droopy, my dogs are pets first, trackers second... I enjoy letting them run all of the time. When its time, the collar and lead tell them that we are going to track. They definitely know the difference! But, its a job they enjoy, and they do it with relish!
Scarne, I am sure I made a few folks mad when I declined to bring the dogs out, after they told me they weren't sure where they hit a deer, but had blood! You bring up an interesting point which I had never considered. Could knowing that a dog is available cause hunters to take risks on marginal shot opportunities? I will have to think on that for a while now... Concerning fees: What many hunters probably do not consider is that the dog could be injured, or killed, during a recovery, and the amount of training time invested. I enjoy working my dogs. But, you can run the roads a lot, once the word gets out that you have trackers, and lost time and expenses add up fast. Typically, we get the call late in the evening, after all of the other recovery efforts have failed. And, that is absolutely the worst scenario for success. I think asking for compensation is totally fair, and justified, especially when we are are summoned in the middle of the night!
You should pay for a tracker. I have in the past when we lost my black bear. If one considers the huge amount of money spent on equipment, gas, licenses, motels, food plots, farm payments, insurance and leases to hunt deer the least you can do is pony up some bucks to finally find a good one. I would assume at least $100 or more would be fair, what do you think?
Hey BillK---How come you don't track with a red dog??? 8*( Good to see you on bowsite.
Maybe a flat fee to show up and then charge by the 1/2 hour. The better the shot the quicker you should find the deer. Anything over 1 and 1/2 hours the price doubles. Of course they will just end up blaming the dog for not being good enough to find it faster so maybe the "by the inch" rule could come in there somehow.
I've thought about this a lot. I have a yellow lab I've trained since he was 9 weeks and he is pretty good - but he doesn't work miracles! I've declined tracks for folks due to their answers to some of my questions. I will not set my dog up to fail - if I don't think the deer is dead I won't go.
I've thought about charging as well. My thoughts are standard mileage rates (.50/mile) and pay by the hour ($25) with a flat $100 to show up. Any thoughts on that fee structure? I don't expect to get rich but when you get calls from people you don't know... My original plan was just to have him for myself and friends but the word gets out.
Lee, sounds more than reasonable to me.
In most cases, a dead deer will be located by a good tracking dog, in a very short period of time. I charge my travel expenses (which will include an amount for my driving time), $150 to put the dog on track, and I ask that the hunter tip according to how much he feels the recovered deer is worth... When compared to the other expenses of a hunt, that should be considered reasonable...
BTW Bill, that's a nice dog you have, and they make awesome trackers!
I wish Illinois would let us work off lead... It would not be so hard on my body!
True, Scarne. More to think about... So looking at your earlier post you'd say $1200 for a 120" buck? Whew - That would ensure I only used him for myself and a handful of friends!
Here's Bow with a deer taken on a handicap hunt. I enjoy working him almost as much as hunting.
I would add to anyone that is thinking of getting one that I would consider a dog the size of the other dogs in this thread. My dog is a great dog and I wouldn't trade him for anything but he is 80 lbs. and STRONG! I think it would be much easier to handle a smaller dog. If we could work them off lead in IL he would be a perfect size.
I realize this is debate free...but I don't think I fully understand why you have to be a licensed handler to use a tracking dog to find deer? Licensed or not...you still have the trespass issue, right?
Don't get me wrong, I think trackers are a very ethical way for anyone to go all the way in finding a poorly shot animal. We all make mistakes. 10 years ago I trained Miniature Beagles to find my own client deer in deer camp and had NO idea I was doing anything illegal. I made pets out of them later. It worked great especially since I knew all the landowners in the region. Landowners don't like finding dead deer laying around.
I don't know where I'm going with this other than maybe everyone should be allowed to use their own tracker at their own convenience.
Jones is right at 60 pounds, which is oversized for a Lacy. But he is a good bit overweight right now, because I haven't exercised him enough lately. He will pull your arm off when he is on a hot track! He could care less about a deer that is not wounded, so working him off lead is great! Plus, he will not get more than 100 yards away from me in the woods, without checking to see that I am still behind him... Its all in the training!
Another good looking dog Lee!
Using a tracking dog does not give one the right to track anywhere. That is one thing I insist on - the person must have permission before I will cross a property line. If they don't, I don't. Simple as that.
Nowhere in the IL Ad Rules (at least that I am aware of) does it state you have to be a licensed handler. There are rules stating the dog must be kept on a lead no longer than 50 feet in length, etc. You can't have a weapon on you at night, etc. etc.
That is pretty much all there is to it in Illinois. Don't trespass, carry no weapon outside of legal shooting hours, and keep the dog on a lead no longer than 50 feet to maintain control. I use 30 feet.
Me too on the lead length.
Not sure where I had it in my head that you had to be licensed by the state but I'm pretty sure the original proposed wording was that way when trackers were finally allowed to hunt after not being allowed for as long as I can remember.
Beaux-Bo is low to the ground with his Bassett legs and nose. He has the heart and temperment of the sired golden lab. Great combo. Perfect family dog and loves to keep his nose to the trail. Didn't get the ear length I was hoping for but great dog just the same. Loves the quad rides and training. As some of you pointed out, it seems to be just as much fun to train him as go hunting sometimes. Be careful, you may end up spending more time finding friends deer than hunting. Again just as much fun for me but I can see where it could get troublesome for others.
I'm not sure why some states are/were resistant to allowing it in the first place. It takes a fair bit of dedication and time to train one right and I believe most people wouldn't want to fool with it, anyways. I think it would be fairly hard to abuse and I don't see where recovering a lost deer is a bad thing...
Those types are already out there, dog or no dog!
I agree with red dog. Its not like someone is just going to pick up a dog with zero training and expect it to find deer. They will get tired of that real quick!
As far as the slob hunters go - I personally wouldn't track for someone i thougt pulled a stunt like that. Even with owning a dog I know can trail one up, I wouldn't take a risky shot on the hopes he would recover it. Comes down to ethics I guess.
I had little problem training two Miniature Beagles together. They weren't real bright but it seemed like they competed with each other for the find and things got taken care of pretty quick. I used to train retrievers in the old days and had bird dogs to so I had a little experience with dogs.
I have been taking calls here in Illinois since the tracking law was first passed, mostly Madison County, and I'd say that by and large the hunters I track for ARE NOT slobs. They are just hunters that have lost their deer and are making their best faith effort to find it.
I don't charge a dime, and as long as I have a tracking dog that's the way it's gonna be. I consider just about any hunter in Madison County to be my neighbor, and If Bear and I are free to help, we'll be there.
The odds of finding your lost deer, dead or alive, are about one in three. Make a good shot to start with and you won't have to disturb me and my wife and kids. If I show up and it looks like you made a lousy shot, don't expect much more than an ass chewing.
Anyone interested in training a blood tracking dog should get John Jeanneney's book TRACKING DOGS FOR FINDING WOUNDED DEER, available at www.borntotrack.com
it's a great resource.
I agree with what Natty says. I do not charge anything either and I have tracked way more deer for strangers than friends. I am retired and can go at most anytime anyone calls. I DO need to screen my calls a little closer though. I have went on many tracks that I was skeptical on the hit. When someone says "I know I got a GOOD hit right behind the shoulder but we tracked it over a half mile and lost blood", you can assume it was a poor hit in the first place.
I usually go anyway as in my earlier post. We were lucky that time and had success. It usually does not end this way. I really enjoy the trailing but sometimes I know from talking with the shooter, the deer is probably still out walking around.
Scarne, How come it's upsetting to you for natty and BillK to not charge for the use of the tracking dog? They set the guidelines by which they do it and feel they are doing the right thing. Is there a dog tracking union somewhere they should be in?
They are not free if I don't have their number, I don't have the number for Santa Claus either. Last year a guy they used in Quebec recovered over 90 bear and moose at a minimum $100 a crack. These guys should rethink this free stuff. If someone found a big deer for me I would probably tip more than they charge anyway.
While I think it is admirable that someone would offer to help others, I think that they will get a lot of calls which they will want to decline. I am not concerned that they are taking business away from me, because I am not in the tracking business, and can only take a few calls when I am not busy with my regular job. I also would not be interested in taking calls where the travel time would be in excess of an hour. Tracking is something I enjoy, and I want to keep it that way!
I hope that most hunters would not be encouraged to take questionable shots simply because they know someone with a dog that might bail them out. Blood tracking dogs are just another tool to be used in our sport.
I have always admired any dog that did their work well and in a happy way, no matter the breed or the job at hand. I do this simply because I enjoy doing it and if I can keep a deer or elk from becoming a coyote's dinner that is rewarding enough although I have been known to grudgingly accept a tip to help with gas and dog food.
That is certainly NOT why I trained my dog! I thoroughly enjoy training dogs AND there is no doubt that at some point he will come in handy. So far I have not personally needed his services, even though I let him trail every deer I shoot. He's trained on whistle and hand signal commands for waterfowl hunting - even though i no longer waterfowl hunt - I just plain enjoy training him. There will always be losers that will let the "crows" find them - not my mentality and I won't track for anyone that has that kind of mentality - PERIOD!
I had a wirehair wiener dog named Snuffer that was worth his weight in gold when it came to tracking. Unfortunately, he was hit by a car. Someone in my house accidently left the front door cracked open a little. He got out and by the time I realized it...it was too late. I really miss that little guy. The best track I ever had him on was one that was unsuccessful. It was amazing. We tracked a doe my buddy hit for what I am guessing to be about 1.5 miles with almost no visible blood. We would be going a long ways, and I started to think Snuffer was off of the trail, when suddenly I would look down and find a little speck of blood. It was a shoulder hit and was not recovered.
I am sorry scarne but my words DO NOT indicate I think they will. I don't believe I ever heard anyone except a died in the wool union man talk like you
Scarne, My words do not indicate that I believe people will abuse the fact I track for free. I take it that you think if we charge for tracking, that will suddenly make a slob hunter say to himself "Boy, I'd better make my shot a good one or I'm gonna be out big bucks for a tracking dog".
Just how much money would we have to charge to make that slob an ethical hunter? $50, $100, $500? Could it be that you are strictly against tracking dogs period? I personally know a fellow that thinks if you cannot find the deer without a dog, it should be left to rot or up as a coyotes dinner.
This is my last word on this. I usually don't get drawn into this kind of discussion.
I know why I track and work with dogs, and the last thing I want to do is pollute that with money.
I've tracked for a lot of hunters for free, and I'm yet to meet single one that I would call a slob. That said, I have turned down a bunch that were ready to throw money my way to get me to drive 1/2 way across the state, but generally speaking, all they are going on about is how big the damn deer was, like I could give a rat's butt.
Honestly, I'd say the hunting crowd with the money is where you might be most likely most likely to run into the slobs willing to do anything or spend anything to get what they want.
So, you don't like money? I have thousands of dollars tied up in each of my dogs, and do not mind accepting payment to track, because it helps me to recoup that investment. I believe that this is being portrayed as something it isn't. When I am out with the dog we are working as a team. And when I work, I expect to get paid. Tracking takes time away from the hours outside of my regular work, and if I give those up I would like to think that someone would understand that they have a certain value. I think the difference here is that some think of hunting as a business, and others consider it purely recreation. I can think of a lot of things that would be more fun than tromping through the woods in the dark on a cold Winter night, after an animal that may or may not be found!
When posted this it was supposed to be about dogs and debate free. If you want to whine and argue why don't you start your own thread?
Scarne, let me get a couple of seasons on this pair, and I will be glad to give a demo! You never know exactly what you get when you buy a pup, but you can look forward to a good start by buying good breeding from a proven match. And, the more tracks they work, the better most dogs get. Obviously, there must be training to help them along, and it must be done correctly. That might qualify me as a semi-pro, but I also have some of the best in the business to help me. Two weekends back, I returned to Texas, and attended a blood trailing seminar, along with 70 other handlers, and almost that many dogs. It was, at the least, amazing to see what some of those dogs did, in the extreme drought conditions on trails that were very old. My gyp, whom I consider to be the weaker of the pair, ran an advanced track almost without fault, and in a very respectable time. Both of these dogs could be the best I have ever handled. And, my old Lab was no slouch... One thing I would like to point out to folks considering taking up tracking: You should plan to train your own dog! The bond that exists between a handler and a tracking dog, and the way they work together, is a large factor in doing the job well. Many dogs will find deer, some without any training. But, an experienced team will find the tough ones quicker! You can purchase "started" dogs, but rarely will one of them do as well as a dog raised from a pup by their handler. My dogs are trained to track blood. The best dogs will track what ever scent you put them on, and are often used in search and rescue work. And, just to add a value to this conversation, the ocassional top notch tracking dog that gets sold brings many thousands of dollars. A real eye opener comes when the dog locates a deer in less than ten minutes, that a group of men have searched for hours for. I could have made a small fortune in the past, just betting that we were on the right track, when hunters insisted that because they could not see blood the deer had gone another way. And, I cannot count the times that I have been pointed in the wrong direction while asking which way the deer ran after the shot. I prefer to start the dog on the first blood. But, freqently he is nose down and pulling as soon as we arrive in the area. I know it sounds like I am bragging, but this is a passionate subject for me. And, I love to talk about dogs.
Scarne said "to trust my dogs nose". You got it. A good dog that knows what he is doing will be right 99% of the time if you trust his nose.
Also, I have known BillK for many many years. He is a great guy--a real stand up kind of guy that knows dogs and loves to work dogs. Hunting needs more guys like him.
I am over here in Clark county... Casey...
We'll agree on that much Scarne, generally speaking the slobs have the money.
It really makes you wonder if the money creates them!
Looking for a dog to track a blood trail in Jackson county, any suggestions.