Four days into bow season my friend Darlene got a shot at a black bear. Her husband Pete and his cousin Mike cut their own hunts short to help Darlene recover the bear, but when they found the arrow the slime on it indicated a paunch shot, and they knew tracking would need to wait.
Mulling over their next move, Mike remembered a trapping acquaintance who was certified to track game with hounds, and the next morning Dave Seeley and his little Dachshund—aptly named Tracker—hopped out of the truck ready to roll.
When Darlene’s eyes widened at the sight of the 9-pound hound, Dave grinned. “Not what you expected?”
“Not really,” she admitted.
But once the little hound hit the ground it was obvious he knew his business. With Dave tending the leash, Tracker followed the trail to a bed where the bear had laid down. Soon they came to another, then another and another.
With Tracker’s tail thrashing wildly in the goldenrod, Dave finally turned to Darlene and said, “Found ’im!”
The joyous eruption that followed those magic words echoes to this day.
Dave first learned about tracking dogs when he couldn’t find the largest buck he ever arrowed. A comrade who was helping him search suggested, “Why don’t you call Deer Search? They’ll send someone with a hound.”
“That’s legal?” Dave replied. New York does not allow hunting