Video: Blood Trailing With a Bluetick Coonhound

There’s something to be learned from every blood-trailing challenge. Follow along with Callie, a bluetick coonhound, as she helps hunters find their deer.
Video: Blood Trailing With a Bluetick Coonhound

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I enjoy watching the online episodes of The Hunting Public. Even though I’m much older than the co-hosts of the show and have been bowhunting for many more years, I’m not too proud to admit that I can always learn something from other avid deer hunters, especially those who try to arrow mature bucks on public land.

Another online series I enjoy is called The Callie Chronicles, which is presented by Primos and Alps OutdoorZ. The host is veteran deer and turkey hunter Shane Simpson, and as you’ll see in the intro episode below, Callie the bluetick coonhound is beginning her second autumn of helping hunters find their hit deer.

 

Perhaps I enjoy this series because I, too, have a blood trailing dog. And while my British Lab Togo has helped my friends and I find a few whitetails through the years, I can still learn a few insights from Simpson on how to best utilize a blood-trailing dog in the field.

Blood-Trailing, Only Better

Important note: Callie isn’t following only blood scent to find deer, which is probably why she’s so successful.

Simpson explains “Callie was trained to follow the scent of a specific deer by its interdigital glands and/or other scent the deer leaves behind. Just like humans, each deer has their own individual scent, and Callie uses this aspect to follow a specific deer that I direct her to follow. Even when multiple deer were fleeing together, Callie is able to stay on that particular deer. Although I'm sure the blood scent and other pheromones of the injured deer helps Callie while tracking, the blood is mainly helpful to me in identifying that we are indeed on the correct course. I purposely trained Callie to follow deer scent and didn't use blood in her advanced training because I knew there would be many times that blood was not present. It's probably why she has such a high success rate compared to other dogs trained primarily with blood.”

Check out the video below where Callie leads Simpson to an early season doe that ultimately died in a standing cornfield. Before watching the video, here’s the background from Simpson:

“I received a text from a hunter to track a deer that he shot. Although he thought the shot was good, he could only find one drop of blood and no other sign. I only had about an hour to track before work, so we didn't have much time to search, but Callie made it look easy and recovered the deer in about 20 minutes. The video of this track is not as important as what Callie tells me while she's tracking using her body language of course. Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.”

 

I look forward to watching more episodes of The Callie Chronicles this fall.

FYI to avoid a citation: Regulations for using a dog to recover game animals vary widely across the country. In some areas, dogs don’t have to be on leash or rope, and hunters can carry a bow or gun as they follow the dog. In the states where Simpson is helping hunters, he keeps Callie on a tether and the hunter must leave their bow or gun in the vehicle. Check your local game and fish regs before using a dog to recover hit game.


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