Injured Deer nowhere to be found, close to darkness, no tracking dog?
This is where UKSHA are there to help
Before reading on, if you are searching for a deer and need the advice of the UKSHA please call 0800 6890857 immediately
Whilst most of us hope that it will never happen, if you stalk and despatch enough Deer, there will be a time where you have a runner that makes your heart sink. Deer stalkers that guide clients or guests will also be acutely aware of the need for a good Deer dog to allow recovery of the injured animal.
Wayne Rollinson from the UK Scent Hound Association take us through an introduction and some top tips;
Firstly, the UKSHA only use scent hounds, we have both the Hannoversche Schweisshund (HS) and the Bayrischegebirgsschweisshund (BGS).
Two clubs ensure the purity of breeding and traditional use of these hounds. The Verein Hirschmann e.V for the HS and the Klub fuer Bayrischegebirgsschweisshunde for the BGS.
All our members are also members of (or aspiring to be members of) one or more of these clubs.
We also have their full co-operation and support in the UK, working closely with them to develop our dogs and our skills.
The UKSHA team are here to help at any time, we can offer advice and also we will respond to requests for tracking when needed. We do not take payment for this service, we provide it only to help end the suffering of deer and wild boar. The the earlier the contact you make, the better chance we have to follow up and recover that animal as quickly as possible.
Determining the strike and shot placement is vital when the follow up is started.
In the event of shooting a Deer or Boar that runs off into cover we would like to highlight certain things to do, to aid recovery of the animal and to also minimize the suffering caused.
Once the animal is hit, note the reaction to shot and wait 30 minutes before following up on the animal.
• Mark the shooters position.
• Find the strike site.
• Mark the strike area in case a dog and handler need to be called out.
• If bone and skin fragments found and on last light recover pieces for the handler or cover the area if possible.
• Call the tracking team for advice at the strike area which also gives the team time to arrange to come out if needed
Spend time looking at the strike to determine where the animal is hit.
You should find small fragments of bone or hairs these will show you were the animal was hit, maybe small amounts of rumen or fleshy parts which all build up a picture of the strike, either for yourself or the handler to follow up on.
Pink frothy blood will indicate a lung shot animal and is the only true way to tell where the animal is hit from blood alone, but even this can be deceiving as a head shot can throw pink frothy blood which could be from the saliva and blood mixed.
Once you have an idea of strike on the animal, you can follow up if shot placement appears correct for a heart/lung shot beast.
If the shot reaction and strike area point to a shot placement where the animal could be highly mobile then the best course of action is to wait because the animal will want to couch down if undisturbed and usually within 100-200 yards if not in danger.
It would be better to follow up with an experienced team on a mobile Deer or Boar.
Going in too soon to find the animal will make it run further but once pushed it will not stop for a long time.The best action is to wait for the animal to feel out of danger and couch up.
The animal will then stiffen up this seems harsh but will dramatically increase your chances of recovery and help the animal in the long run but more importantly cause less suffering.
The UKSHA team can be called on for advice at the strike site for the best course of action as things like a gut shot animal needs leaving 4 hours minimum, mainly because it will be highly mobile and without an experienced dog will be lost if an immediate follow up is done.
If the stalker has a Deer dog use the dog once you have determined the reaction to the shot and shot placement is good.
If not back out and wait for the animal to couch up and for the adrenalin to subside.
If you were to find bone fragments which point towards a leg shot animal this will need to be left alone 12-24 hour, again this might seem harsh, but the animals stress levels and being highly mobile will push the deer away from the ground altogether. An experienced dog and handler could be used to recover the animal.
Careful consideration is needed when using a Deer dog with a highly mobile Deer or Boar, if it hasn’t been trained to deal with them, it could end up being moved off the ground without dispatch or recovery prolonging the suffering.
Sometimes nothing can be found at the strike area and the stalker presumes the Deer wasn’t shot, but this needs careful checking. It can be a case that at last light perspective changes, meaning you might not be on the exact spot.
If it gets dark start again at first light, this gives a better look at the area for small sign and a follow up with an experienced dog and handler.