I've heard of 3 hunters calling in the services of dogs to recover bow shot deer in the past seasons. 0-3 with 2 of the bucks being found a few weeks later. I guess my question is does anyone have experience with this working. Just thought I'd ask. Sorry if there was already a thread for this but I didn't find one.
Deer Recovery Dogs
I had first hand experience with Muckdogs, as mentioned below, it was 40 mph wind gusts the day we tracked and took 4 hours but ultimately found my buck. It was crazy impressive to look back on the track at OnX and when it seemed as though the dog was just wandering aimlessly trying to scent, it kept going over the same track again and again trying to determine which direction the deer went. My buddy then hit one later that week (ideal scenting conditions) and wanted to be safe than sorry, gut shot, similar to mine - and the dog found his deer in 9 minutes. It works if you find the right handler who trains their dogs properly. I'd recommend Muckdogs again and again.
There are Facebook groups set up for this purpose. But this site also has people that offer the service as well as costs.
When I looked into this last year, I don't believe he actually charges a fee, but you're welcome to make a donation. Which I really hope everybody who he comes out to does because it seems like he puts a LOT of miles on with multiple tracks per day usually.
I have seen a few dog recovering deer videos and it is impressive seeing the dog and handler work. I have been curious what you pay for this service.
There's a service I follow on Facebook (Muckdogs Deer Recovery) and it is truly amazing what these dogs are capable of. Admittedly they don't find every deer they track. Some they just can't find (poor scenting conditions maybe), some they bump and determine it will probably live, Sometimes they can't pursue any farther due to property line issues. But the biggest thing they say is to back out immediately and don't go stomping around doing a grid search because that will likely bump the deer before it expires and makes it exponentially more difficult for the dogs to figure out. He's got a number of videos of the track jobs and when his dog takes him on what is essentially a 750 yard jog through thick stuff directly to the deer, you can't help but be impressed.
Good tracking dogs (and handlers) do an outstanding job. Fortunately, there are a bunch of them in WI.
So many variables factor into a successful recovery. Weather conditions, how disturbed the area was before dog/handler get on site, and most importantly the lethality of the shot itself all factor into the final outcome.
I would never hesitate to employ a tracker if assistance was required.
PS. If you're an expandable broadhead fan, don't ask an experienced tracker their opinion on expandables. You won't like the answer.
If you have a handler that knows his stuff And knows how to interview hunter and an honest hunter they are excellent. A lot of times scent gets disturbed and makes it tough. A good dog can fight through that a lot of times though. Lots of variables play into it.